Saturday, March 31, 2012

Gavin Turns 5!!

The good news about Gavin's pool party was that we were actually able to swim the whole time as planned (unlike so many times in the past when our swim time was cut short by someone's unfortunate 'bathroom' incident in the pool . . . oooooo . . . super gross).  The bad news was that in the shuffle of getting three kids and two adults ready in the locker room, we misplaced the birthday boy's shirt.  This was immediately following the realization that Gavin had sliced off the side of his big toe at some point in the pool . . . and after he was semi-fixed up in the lifeguard office (one of the kids at the party later told her mom that Gavin was taken to the ER . . . so, to the other kids . . . the whole bloody experience was super exciting).

There are rare blessings that Gavin does not have feeling in his feet.  So, the loss of his Spiderman shirt was by far more traumatic than his sliced toe.  Plus, especially to the people that didn't realize that Gavin was not in pain . . . his calm demeanor in the face of disaster was incredibly impressive.

The final good news of the night was that we finally found his shirt while we were packing up.  It had fallen under a chair in the pool area.  Peace was restored.

Because his party was on a weekday, just a few families came to join in our celebration.  Gavin invited his friends from our new neighborhood as well as the twins that go to preschool with him.

There were Spiderman decorations all around and delicious pizza from our favorite local restaurant in Kamas, followed by homemade chocolate cupcakes.

Our shirtless little boy was the center of attention . . . and he deserved it.

There's no doubt that Gavin is at a pivotal age.  He is the funniest little guy and says the most random things to make us laugh. His laugh is infectious and his little voice melts my heart.   However, that voice can easily turn into the whiniest of screams.  And, his flailing angry arms sometimes hit and hurt.

So, I sometimes struggle between what is normal five-year-old behavior and what is related to the challenging situation that he is in.  Who can blame Gavin for getting frustrated when the other kids run up the stairs faster than he can?  Or, when one of my friends said that she would bring her boys after to our house to run around . . . and, Gavin yelled from the back, "I can't run."  If we can do anything for Gavin, we hope it is to instill the most positive outlook and attitude that is imaginable.  If we can do that . . . we will be so happy.  Because nothing will stop him. Attitude is the only disability.

But, our little five-year-old man is amazing.  A true little miracle man.

I wonder what he wished for . . .

Gage at 12 months

Our sweet little man . . . 12 months already.  Time sure did fly by.  I know everyone says that.  But, it's completely true.  There are a million moments that I would like to freeze: 

Gage's chuckle when Jeff blows on his belly,
The way he points so that we will take him somewhere,
How every single time I put his bear on my shoulder before bed or nap time, he immediately snuggles his face into the silky fabric,
How Gage is learning sign language so quickly and motions for drink, mom and hurt,
The way that Gage crawls when he has something in his had - a little sideways scoot with one leg dragging behind,
The way he absolutely loves the little board book 'Goodnight Baby Blessings' that has been a consistent favorite at our house - he will sit on his own and flip through the pages,
and so much more.  

I can only imagine how big Gage will seem when his baby brother comes home.  But, Gage is still - undoubtedly - my little baby.  I adore him.

Sherry came up while I was at work one day to snap a few photos of our growing little guy.  Newly skilled at being mobile, he was not the most cooperative subject.  But, I love the photos that she was able to capture.  Oh those blue eyes . . .

Monday, March 5, 2012

Birthday Season 2012

Peterson Birthday Season 2012 started earlier this year than in year's past because of our sweet new addition.  Gage's birthday on January 19th kicks off the season.  We were in our house less than a couple of weeks when we celebrated Gage's big first birthday!  During birthday season, we take one set of decorations down to put another set up.  And, in the middle, we celebrate Valentine's Day, too!  I learned a few years ago to switch to cupcakes.  We used to throw one cake away just to cook another one!

Gage's First Birthday - January 19th

Gage was a very willing participant in the festivities.  We are pretty sure one of his very favorite parts of the party was the streamers hanging from the ceiling fan.  Autumn and Gavin took turns turning the fan on and off.  It never lost its fascination with any of them!

The past year absolutely flew by.  It's been just over a year since we've been back from Canada - which seems like a million years ago.  In the past year, we've bought land, built a house, and moved again.  And, during it all, we have been able to enjoy this little bundle of joy.  And, those words are absolutely true for Gage.  His smile and mischievous little laugh lights a room.  He is laid-back and cuddly.  I am completely in love with this little man and am so glad that we were blessed with this angel.

Autumn and Gavin both had to be coaxed into eating their birthday cakes on their first birthdays.  Gage didn't hesitate even for a second!  He instinctively knew exactly what to do.  Clearly this little one takes after his mommy and her sweet tooth.

He licked every last bite.  Gage has always cracked us up with the way he smacks his lips when he eats. Jeff and I have a HUGE pet peeve about kids (or anyone) that eat with their mouth open.  But, one-year-olds get a free pass.

Gage ate every last crumb.

Autumn wrapped a present just for Gage.   She found one of her books that she knew he would like and included school photos of her and Gavin for the little man.

Grandma and Grandpa Peterson gave Gage a wooden toy that has proven to be extremely popular with all of the kids.  Hammering is a favorite around here.

And, like all the kids ... Gage is always willing to go for a quick spin in Gavin's wheelchair!

Autumn's 7th Birthday - February 2nd 

We made flower cupcakes for Autumn's class at school.  I was able to take the cupcakes in and read a few books to her class.  She loves it when we come in to her classroom.

We celebrated at home on Autumn's birthday on Thursday night.  Surprisingly, Autumn asked to go out to eat for the occasion.  So, we enjoyed our favorite Mexican dinner at Tarahumara in Midway.  And, then came home to open presents!

Since Santa brought a few of her friends American Girl dolls for Christmas, Autumn added a doll to her wish list for her birthday.  We searched around and opted to buy her a 'journeygirls' doll (honestly, less than 1/3 of the American Girl doll price - and much prettier, in my opinion).  She was absolutely thrilled.  Autumn dressed and undressed her for the first few days and carried her around.  And, she has comfortably rested in Autumn's room, tucked in gently with a blanket, since February 4th.  Oh thank goodness we didn't buy the American Girl doll!

On Saturday, we hosted a cooking birthday party for Autumn.  Twelve little girls arrived and decorated aprons and chef hats for the event.  [Mental note . . . puff paint, used in the way that these little girls use it (heavy, thick, globs of color) will never, ever dry.]  They all loved being crafty.  And, it was really fun to see their creativity and designs. 

We played a 'guess that food smell' game.  I stumped them all with soy sauce.

We played the cupcake game - where you throw a ball into a cupcake tin and have to do the activity on the card to earn the points.  Silly girls.

Autumn, of course, opened presents . . . and was thrilled at every sugary treat she opened!

And, after making 'salad on a stick' and individual pizzas (I gave them each a ball of dough and lots of toppings), each girl decorated two cupcakes.

And, after everyone went home, Jeff took the kids to the Midway ice skating rink while I stayed with a napping Gage.

Gavin really endured extremely well in the cold weather.  He is a huge hockey fan . . . and loves to watch the Colorado Avalanche on TV whenever he can.  So, sledge hockey is right up his alley.

I sure do love my little girl.  I can't believe she's seven already.  I can't believe what an amazing help she is to our family - and how she is always willing to help out with Gavin and Gage.  She has a lot of responsibility as an older sister in this family.  And, she never ceases to amaze us with her thoughtfulness for her little brothers.

She is truly beautiful on the inside and out.

Jeff's 35th Birthday - February 25th

For Jeff's big birthday celebration, we invited the 'old gang' up to the house for dinner, cake and ice cream.  Jeff has been lucky to have the same best friends for way more than a decade now.  Sickness kept the Engles away.  But, Jory, Johnny, and Wendy - and their families - all made the trek to Heber despite the stormy weather forecast.  Scott and Krissie are the latest additions to the 'old gang' and also came to celebrate!

It was a really fun night of catching up, eating and relaxing.  It is really amazing to think about how much has changed over the years with this same group.

We had seven little ones running around.  Three of us are pregnant.

Jeff's birthday has traditionally been a time when we all come together.  We've crammed in apartments, rental homes, and had surprise parties.  Sadly, our former hangout, Fuddrucker's, closed down this past year. But, the memories go on. 

I absolutely adore this man.  He is everything that I dreamed of in a husband and even more.  How many people can say that?  I feel like the luckiest girl.  I am so happy that he picked me.

Gavin's 5th Birthday - March 1st

More to come . . .