A Little Out of Date, But Oh, Well

Ha ha ha! I have some time to myself today. ¬†The kids are napping and Ken is out with the dog. I thought I would hop on here, and after nearly a year, update this. ūüôā ¬†As it turns out, out, I have a post written this summer that I never published. Because my intent was to hop on here and try to record some tid-bits from this last year before 2016 gets completely away from me, I thought it would be best just to start by publishing this. ūüôā ¬†Ignore how late this is. I blame motherhood on my lack of organization and timeliness.

 

So…it’s been a while. ¬†It should not surprise you in the least bit that this is how I’m opening my blog post, as it seems to be the norm.

Truth be told, I’ve been debating deleting this here little blog and just throwing in the towel. ¬†I enjoy writing and I love to come back through and relive some of my family’s memories that I’ve posted about, but I find it hard to stay up to date. ¬†Not that staying up to date matters in the least bit. ¬†I suppose it’s the part of my personality that lends itself to being more type A that makes me feel like I can’t write about current happenings unless I fill in all the gaps in past happenings. ¬†Does that make sense? I’m a dork.

I thought for sure when I had Coen that I would carve in the time to keep this up to date. ¬†I wanted to share pictures of him and record, in writing, all the little firsts. ¬†How he smelled, the way he would rest his little hand by his cheek as he slept, the many times and ways Grace would melt my heart as she interacted with him. ¬†But, carving out that time proved far more difficult than I realized. ¬†After my last blog post ¬†I realized that it was just easier to not even put blogging on my radar, because if I woke up thinking I need to make the time to post, it just would’t happen for various reasons. ¬†Two kids have kept me pretty busy. Especially in those first few months when Coen was still so new, and I was attempting to learn the ins and outs of him as well as potty train his older sister. ¬†Once I seemed to find the balance, my maternity leave was over and school started…and then suddenly summer was upon us, and I thought for sure I would blog, but all I wanted to do was read, sit outside with the kids, or go to the park. AND THEN school started and blah, blah, blah…anywho, blogging just hasn’t happened this year, and that’s okay. ūüôā

 

 

 

Anywho, in the spirit of accepting that my blog is just going to be all over the place, I thought I’d take time to catch up on the all the Dietz happenings from this past winter and spring-starting with December. ¬†Just ignore the fact that it’s nearing the end of July and play along, okay? Okay. ¬†Here we go, folks.

December:

I may be stating the obvious here, but our biggest event of December was welcoming our mini man into the family. ¬†We spent December fawning over him and and having him try as many new things as possible such as…

clothing  (he did, after all, spend the last nine months naked)

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riding in the car seat

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sleeping in the rock n play

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sleeping on the couch-don’t worry, we were right next to him

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laying in his very own bed

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beanies and hoodies

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cuddling in mom and dad’s bed

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photo shoots

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taking a bath

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the swing

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and being photo bombed by his sister

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again, and again.

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The kids also spent a lot of time being ridiculously adorable in December. Case in point:

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Grace decided to use my bra to make herself look like she just returned from war with an arm injury.

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We decoratededited-9369 edited-9366 edited-9355and celebrated

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Christmas.

And then we rounded the year out by staying up until aproximately 9:30 to celebrate the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015.

edited-9531January and February:

January consisted of more adorable-ness

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a photo shoot or two

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and a few fashion statements.

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We also celebrated my 31st birthday,  Valentines Day,

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and took advantage of free day at the zoo.

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March and April:

My maternity ended in the middle of March, and I started back to school. ¬†It was good to be back in some ways and then really, really tough. ¬†It’s always hard to leave the kids. ¬†Between school and a the kids, March and April sped right by. ¬†edited-0244

The weather was unusually nice in March and we got to break out the bike.  This particular ride, Grace had a really hard time.  At one point she wanted to get off the bike and have me push it, which is not like her at all.  I kept pushing her to finish though, and came to find out (once we made it home and Grace was exhausted) her front tire was flat, making it exponentially harder to pedal.  Poor girl.  She got a work out, and Coen enjoyed coming along for the ride.

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We spent a little bit of time enjoying the early spring weather

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and watching Coen grow.

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We also celebrated Easter

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and my nephew went to prom. ¬†I made him pose with me because I took him to prom my senior year…when he was five. ¬†The initial plan was for him to stop by before prom, but he ended up swinging by the night before while he was trying on his tux, which is why I’m in sweats and a hoodie. ¬†My initial plan was to dress up, because I’m a dork like that:)

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I would post the pic of us at my senior prom, but it is buried deep in a photo album. ¬†(Isn’t Dennin handsome? ¬†It’s crazy he’s done with high school now and officially an adult! My gosh, time goes by too quickly!)

May

May is always one of my favorite months of the year. ¬†The weather is getting warmer, summer (and summer break) is just around the corner, and it’s Grace’s birthday, which is always quite an event. ¬†edited-0354

We kicked Grace’s birthday off this year with birthday pancakes.

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We did this for Grace’s third birthday and she talked about throughout the year, so we thought it would make a good tradition.

I had the day off, so I was able to spend the day with the kids, and Ken’s stepmom and his sister arrived later that day from Nebraska.

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and then spent the weekend spending time with Aunt Kori and Grandma Lu.

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It’s still hard to believe my little girl is four! ¬†Next year at this time we will be gearing up for kindergarten!

The rest of May was pretty low-key, right up until the end.  I finished the school year and packed up my classroom.  My cousin Nic and nephew Dennin graduated high school (!), and Grace finished a year of preschool.  They wrapped up the year of preschool with a preschool program, which gave Grace an excuse to get all fancy:)

edited-0444My daughter is the one who can’t stand still and keeps switching spots during the music program:)

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It’ hard to see her in this photo, but she’s there in the middle, singing and dancing her little heart out:)

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Coen started solids the month of May. Grace has really enjoyed “helping” to feed him.

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I’m just throwing these last pictures in for the heck of it. I very rarely get a photo of me and the kids, and the bottom photo of Byron and Coen ¬†I just love. ¬†Coen LOVES the dogs! ¬†LOVES them! ¬†He grunts and squeals and reaches out for the whenever they are near by.

That pretty much wraps up the first half of the year (and December). ¬†Our summer is wrapping up, so I’m hoping I’ll post about summer sometimes before we hit Thanksgiving:) ¬†That’s the goal anyway. ¬†One can hope…

 

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Two Months and Time is Flying!

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Our mini man is already two and a half months old! ¬†In fact, three months is creepin’ up on us really quickly! Where is all the time going? ¬†I swear it goes by even faster with your second than your first. ¬†I know that’s not possible, but my gosh, does it feel that way! Despite the fact that our excitement for the day usually consists of a jaunt to the store or a quick walk, we are keeping busy, and time is flying by! ¬†I go back to work in three weeks as of today and the thought has me a little FREAKED out! ¬†I love my job, I really do, and Coen will be in good hands as I make it through the last nine weeks of the school year, but just thinking of not being around him all day has me feeling anxious already. ¬†I go on short trips to the store by our house without him from time to time, but other than that, we are pretty tightly attached to one another, and going back to work and missing out on the day to day things with him and with Grace kills me, but we will make it through and we will definitely be making the best of our weekends (and frozen meals that take next to no time during the week….sorry Ken!).

(The pics above are from his one month “photo shoot” with mom.)

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Coen at two month is SO. MUCH. FUN! Don’t get me wrong, I love the newborn stage. I love the sleepy cuddles, and I love all their tiny little ¬†features. ¬†I love all the firsts. ¬†This stage, the one where he is more aware and has started to really interact with us, is just plain fun though! Coen mastered the smile right around six and a half weeks and was laughing by seven. ¬†At first I was the only one who could coax a smile out of him, and Ken was the only one who could get a laugh, but now he gives both freely, and I love it! ¬†I spend the majority of the day making ridiculous faces and goofy noises just to get him to smile or to hear his laugh. ¬†Grace has just found a way to make him laugh as well, and THAT has been a blast to watch. ¬†Coen loves both his older siblings, and the feeling seems to be mutual. The first things Fenix does when getting home from school is come over to wherever Coen is be it in my arms, his bouncer, or his playmat, so he can see him and talk to him. Grace is the same way, constantly fawning over him (well, when she isn’t talking to her imaginary Ninja Turtle friends that is-that is a post in itself!). ¬†Sometimes she gets a little to eager to interact with her brother and I have to pull her off him to give him some space. ¬†Three year olds really don’t understand personal bubbles quite yet, and she has most definitely invaded her baby brother’s a few (thousand) times already (her big brother’s too). I do love watching them all interact though, and I’m excited to watch them grow into best friends. ¬†I’m not looking forward to the arguing that will most likely ensue, but I suppose it comes with the territory. ¬†I’m happy they all have each other.

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Well, here are a few more tidbits about two and half month old Coen.

At two and a half months Coen…

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*Weighs 12 pounds 4.5 ounces and is 23 inches tall (both in the 50%).

*Is smiling a ton! (Just the other day I saw that he had woken up in his crib, so I went to go and get him. The minute he saw me his entire face lit up in a smile, and I just wanted to pause that moment so I could keep it a while longer.  It completely melted me!)

*Has started laughing. ¬†His favorites are when dad says, “Give me your giggle!” or when we blow air through our lips to make a funny sound. ¬†He loves that one. ¬†Grace has been tickling him and saying “Gitchy, gitchy, goo!” which usually warrants a laugh from him as well.

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*LOVES warm baths.  The few times that we have had a bout of crying that could not be stopped, we put him in the bath and he was calm within minutes.

*Hold his head up pretty well.  He likes tummy time for the most part and can push up with hands pretty well.  He loves to be held against your chest so he can look around and take things in.

*Sleeps fairly well at night, which is a blessing! Grace woke constantly to eat. ¬†Coen usually eats at nine or ten and then doesn’t wake for 5-6 hours, sometimes more. ¬†I’m really hoping that continues. ¬†I’m a bit afraid of what it will do to my supply once I go back to work and start pumping, but we will see. ¬†For now, I am really enjoying the extra shut eye.

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*Loves his bouncy chair…to an extent. ¬†He usually lets me sit him ¬†in there and talk with him when I’m working in the kitchen and has gotten into the habit of taking his morning nap in there. ¬†Hopefully I’m not setting him up for napping failure.

*”Talks” and “sings”. ¬†I love it! ¬†He loves to talk back to you and the other day I started singing along to the Pandora station while he was in his bouncy seat and he started to “sing”/coo back to me. ¬†It was too much!

*Isn’t the biggest fan of the car seat:( ¬†I’m wondering if it’s because he can’t see what’s around him. ¬†I’m hoping he gets over that. ¬†Grace and Fenix have always been pretty good travelers and we are taking a trip out to Nebraska this summer for my brother-in-law’s wedding (financials willing) and that means 14 hours in the car. ¬†That’s a long drive as it is, and I would hate for him to be miserable the whole time, not to mention, I think all of our nerves would be fried within the first hour.

These first few months have quite literally flown by; I can only imagine how quickly the next few will move. ¬†I’m always sad to see a stage end, but I’m equally excited to experience the next one, so I’m looking forward to what the next months brings.

We love you so ridiculously much little man! ¬†I can’t wait to see how you grow these next few months! ¬†You’ve definitely completed our little family.

A Quick Look at How We Spent August and September

August and September pretty much just sped right by without me even realizing it, or taking very may photos.  My August folder of photos has maybe eight pictures in it, which is kind of sad.

We’ve been keeping busy, though, with school and soccer and the normal day to day stuff. ¬†I did a pretty good job of summing most of August up in my 24 week post here, but I thought I’d write a quick post just to jot down all the stuff I managed to leave out in August as well as September, such as

OUR ANNIVERSARY!

kids-Ken and I celebrated seven years on the 17th of August. ¬†There have been some years when we have been able to go all out, and other years that have been a bit more low key. ¬†With me being pregnant, this year was more on the low key side. ¬†Grace hung out with my sister and niece for the evening so that Ken and I could go out to eat and go to the movies. ¬†We decided to try a new place near our house called…I can’t remember. Like, I really can’t for the life of me remember. ¬†It was good though. ¬† They had deviled eggs on the menu as an appetizer, which was just weird enough to be intriguing, so I used my pregnancy cravings as an excuse to order them. We followed dinner up with going to¬†The Giver, which was absolutely terrible. ¬†Bad, bad, bad. ¬†It was so bad that I was mortified for the person sitting a few seats down from us who was so moved she was bawling and gasping for breath. ¬†I could not even look at her. It was too much. ¬†Clearly, she did not read the book or understand just how much they ruined the story in the movie. Once the credits started rolling, Ken and I both hopped up immediately out of our seats and made a run for the door. ¬†Despite the terrible movie, it was still a good night. ¬†It’s pretty hard to believe that the Mr. and I have been married for seven years. ¬†I met Ken when I was 20, and am now 30, which means I have spent a third of my life with him. ¬†Kind of crazy. ¬†It went by quickly, as does everything else it seems, and I couldn’t be more happy with our marriage and our little family. ¬†I am very grateful for the life we have managed to build, and I look forward to seeing what’s in store for us in the future.

August also marked the end of summer and the beginning of school for the whole family, which I already blogged a wee bit about.  We spent the evening before school started making ice cream sundaes and enjoying our last night of summer break together.

Fenix is loving 7th grade, and he’s doing really well. ¬†All A’s. ¬†Occasionally he’ll have a grade drop into the B range, but he has been doing a great job of staying organized and on top of things. ¬†We’re really proud of him and hope he keeps it up.

Grace has been really into building forts lately, and so the kids also built many a fort in August. ¬†Here’s a glimpse of ¬†one of their masterpieces below:

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I have NO idea what Grace is doing in the bottom picture. ¬†I have about six pictures of her doing that same thing, with no idea what her ¬†goal was. ¬†She’s a strange¬†creative one.

We closed August off with the Boise Balloon Festival,

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(you can see a bit more of that here¬†if you’d like)

and we kicked off September with Ken’s 33rd birthday.

We took him out to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings the weekend before and then made him goulash and cheese cake for his actual birthday.  kids-7515 kids-7524

 

My niece also turned 15 this month, so a few weeks after Ken’s birthday we had family over to celebrate both.

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We have also spent a lot of time on the soccer fields this September. ¬†Grace and Fenix’s games have overlapped so far. ¬†As a result, I have yet to watch an entire game of Fenix’s ¬†because I’ve been taking Grace to her soccer, while Ken coaches Fenix’s team. ¬†This weekend we will both be able to make it to both kids’ games though, and so I should have some more pictures, but these will suffice for now.

kids-7527 kids-7534 kids-7536Grace loves soccer…until the actual game starts. ¬†They practice for 20 minutes and then play a 20 minute game. ¬†The first day of soccer, she was in love! ¬†She got right out there and was the only one on her team to score a goal. ¬†Her second game? ¬†Completely different story. ¬†She got bonked on the head and then kicked in the shin, and as a result is now a little gun shy. She loves to dribble and shoot the ball, but she doesn’t like it when someone kicks it away from her or when too many people crowd too close and push. ¬†I tried to explain that it was O.K. to push a little in soccer because you’re trying to get to the ball, and she informed me that pushing was mean, and that she didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings:) ¬†So for now, soccer games consist of her playing for a minute, pouting when the ball gets kicked away from her, followed by her taking “a break”. ¬†This series of events pretty much just plays on repeat for the entire 20 minute game. ¬†It’s still been fun to watch though, and I really do think once she gets over the whole people trying to take her soccer ball/pushing thing, that she’ll be a fine little soccer player. ¬†And if not, we’ve had a lot of fun.

That pretty much sums up our lives these past two months. ¬†The weather is turning, and we’ve spent this last week in the 60’s. ¬† It’s starting to feel like fall, and Halloween is is right around the corner. ¬†Grace is already getting excited, and we’re planning to do some decorating this weekend and maybe even take a trip out to the pumpkin patch. ¬† Hopefully I will be a tad bit better about breaking out the camera this month:) At least that’s the goal.

 

July Can Be Summed Up In Two Words…

Potty Training.

Really, after everything we did this month you can just add the words “while potty training” and you’ll get a pretty clear picture of what our July has looked like.

We have spent the last month in pull-ups and finally made the move to cute princess underwear this week, and it’s going O.K. ¬†(You can skip this paragraph if you don’t have children and/or have no interest in learning about Grace’s potty training trials and triumphs. ¬†It’s O.K. ¬†I won’t blame you.) ¬† Grace is actually doing well. ¬†She is headstrong and likes to feel like she’s in control. ¬†Bribes and sticker charts were helpful, but not enough to get us to the point where she was completely potty trained. ¬†We’re still not there yet, but we are SO much closer! ¬†We have had a whole day without accidents and a few times in the last two days Grace has taken it upon herself to go potty all by herself without a reminder from me. ¬†She’s called me in after to tell me how proud of herself she was and to get help with washing her hands. ¬†We’re getting there, bit by bit. ¬†Hopefully we’ll be there completely sooner rather than later.

Anywho, I start school on Monday, so it’s best that I get a move on on this blog post. ¬†If history repeats itself, it may be a very long time until I write a new one:(

I always kind of drag my feet when it comes time to get the photos off my camera. ¬†It just seems like such an effort, and there are so many, and I should really be printing them immediately and making sure they’re backed up. So, it always feels like such a big task (and I don’t even print them or back them up when I should, yet somehow it still seems like a task). ¬†However, I’m always happy once I do, and a little overwhelmed with just how lucky I am to have this little family that I do. ¬†I’m grateful for every shot, for each moment, ¬†for the two children Ken and I get to raise (soon, a third), for our marriage, our little house, the animals, that drive me absolutely crazy, and the great memories we always seem to make. ¬†THAT is the reason, I write these posts (even though sometimes it takes me f-o-r-e-v-e-r!) I like coming back to them later. ¬†I like reliving the memories for a moment, big and small.

That being said, let’s begin!

July was a good month.  I took advantage of my time off with the kids and we did a lot of fun things just the three of us while Ken was at work.

We took a trip to Babby Farms in Caldwell one week, where the kids got to feed and pet the animals, while I just about died of heat stroke. (Just kidding…O.K. Maybe I’m only kidding a little! ¬†I way overestimated my ability to handle 95 degree heat while pregnant and in direct sunlight. ¬† Lesson learned. ¬†Next time we’ll be going in the early morning before it gets too hot.) ¬†While I tried not to die on a bench, the kids got to pet horses, cows, camels, and zebras, as well as feed deer, goats, and pigs. ¬†Fenix’s favorite animal was the zebra/donkey mix that they had. ¬†My favorite moment was when Grace mauled the camel with a giant hug around the neck, especially given the “Animals May Bite” sign right next to him. ¬†Grace, of course, was partial to the cows, silly girl.

We took another mid week adventure to the MK Nature center.  We played around in the center itself, walked the paths, and then spent some time eating and playing in the park (and we did it all before 12:30, because I learned my lesson.)

We also did the movie thing and took advantage of the Wednesday dollar movie (and the air conditioning!). ¬†They were showing Kung Fu Panda Two, and even though we could have rented it, it was fun to sit in the theater with some popcorn. ¬†Grace is still not big enough to really weight down her chair, so we spent a lot of time helping her balance her little bum so the chair didn’t fold up on her.

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In addition to our weekly field trips we also took a camping trip to McCall. See, I told you we’d fit in a camping trip! ¬†I believe my goal was to go camping ¬†twice this summer. ¬†However, I’m thinking once may be enough. ¬†If we go again it may just be an overnight trip. I don’t know if I can do two…unless we buy an air mattress. ¬†Not that I didn’t have fun or that I don’t love to camp, I just had a terrible time sleeping on the ground with my pregnant back and hips. ¬†I’m talking up-all-night, switching from one hip to the other every 30 minutes. ¬†Other than the lack of sleep, we had a lot of fun! ¬†We went to the first come first serve campsites in Ponderosa Park. ¬†We spent the first night setting up camp, swimming and playing on the beach behind the campsites, and going into town to get some grub.

We spent the next day hiking around the campground and then spent most of the day beating the heat¬†at the beach. ¬†Once we made it back to our campsite it was cool and shady enough to make dinner, enjoy some s’mores, and play game after game of Phase 10. ¬†In fact, we finished in our tent by the light of a flashlight. ¬†We ended up getting up early¬†the next morning¬†and heading home so that we could enjoy the rest of the day at home (after we took long, hot showers). ¬†Grace LOVED the beach. ¬†In fact she kept asking to go the whole trip. ¬†Even now, weeks later, she tells me she wants to go to the beach.

 

I took this photo as we were packing up.  Grace is clearly tired.  She had a fun and busy few days.

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In addition to camping, we took a day trip up to Idaho City over the 4th of July weekend. ¬†We debated going out of town for the long weekend because Ken had four days off, but instead settled on a day trip on the 3rd and stayed home for the 4th. ¬†Idaho City has quite ¬†a few hiking trails in and around it, so after we got into town and stopped at the visitor center, we chose a 3 mile trail that was close by to hike. ¬†The kids did great. ¬†It was a pretty easy hiking trail, there just wasn’t much shade at all on the back end, so by the end, Grace was pretty whiny, but she made it! ¬†She really got a kick out of holding the map and stopping at all the places meant for stretching and exercising.

Once the evening of the fourth rolled around, we walked our way to down town Meridian to play in some of the bounce houses and watch the fireworks. We’ve been able to set up camp on the grass by the local ¬†pool for the last two years , which is right by the Speedway where they let the fireworks off at, so it’s a perfect place. ¬†The fireworks go off right over head. When we were done, we walked home and enjoyed a few of the fireworks that we bought last year and didn’t set off. ¬†Then, we crawled into bed because we were exhausted:)

(This is such a terrible picture of Ken and I, but we have so few, that I thought, what the heck,  I might as well post it!)

We spent a lot of time at home and the park during the month of July as well.  It has been HOT, so most of our park trips have either been taken early in the morning

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(Donuts at the park, not much gets better than that!)

or late in the evening.

Our friends Amanda and Cecily also came to visit from Arizona. ¬†We haven’t seen them in a while and we miss them something terrible! ¬†Amanda and I spent a night watching So You Think You Can Dance while the kids enjoyed ¬†a movie, and another night at the park followed by sitting around the fire pit and making s’mores.

And lastly, I managed to up date this blog  five times this month, which must be a record!  If interested, you can catch those posts here, here, here, here, and here.  Most are pregnancy related with one about my mom.

That pretty much sums up our July. Grace has kept me constantly entertained with her make believe scenarios and witty three year old quips. ¬†I’m sad summer is ending. ¬†I’ll miss getting the time with her that I’ve had, and it will be a tough adjustment, but she’ll be excited to be back at preschool with all of her little friends, and soon, I’ll get another three months off with her (and her brother) once he decides to make his appearance.

Exotic Bathrooms, Birthday Cowboys, and Road Trips-A Look At How We Spent the Month of June

Today is the LAST day of June! ¬†Eek! That has me a tad freaked out. ¬†Time has been slipping by and it took the plethora of fireworks stands set up around my neighborhood to make me realize that June was on it’s way out, and July was ready to barge in. ¬†That means I only have six weeks of summer vacation left, and that doesn’t even take into consideration the days I’ll need to put into my classroom before our one and only staff day before the kids start. ¬†Blah! ¬†It kind of makes me want to vomit. ¬†Summer is going by WAY too quickly for my liking.

I know I have about six months worth of memories and pictures to share, but because that overwhelms me, I’m going to start with just this month. ¬†Perhaps, I’ll make a habit of that…I hope! ¬†(How do people who blog all the time do it? ¬†I thought for sure once I was home for the summer, it would be easier, but nope! ¬†I’ve posted a whopping three times in June: a random free write here, a post about summer here, and a very over due birthday post on my daughter here. ¬†And, I can tell you, it’s not because I’ve been spending my time watching SYTYCD, because I’m about three episodes behind in that as well!)

So, what has been taking up my time this June?

This girl:

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We’ve had some big events this month, but if I’m being honest, much of our time between those events has been spent at home. ¬†We are currently in the war zone that is potty training. ¬† When Grace was only one I read this article that said typically girls are easier to potty train than boys. ¬†Ha! ¬†Not THIS girl! ¬†This girl is stubborn and headstrong and completely O.K. staying in diapers until she’s a teenager. ¬†(Well, hopefully not.) ¬†Needless to say, it hasn’t been easy. There has been a lot of tears on both ends and a lot of accidents, and we are nowhere near being potty trained. ¬†No amount of praise or bribing is winning Grace over; however, we will keep at it and hopefully get there eventually…before all of my hair turns gray:) Oddly enough, Grace does enjoy going potty in exotic places. ¬†The zoo? ¬†No problem! ¬†Hotel room? ¬†Simple! ¬†The dirty gas station? ¬†Easy peasy. ¬†Our bathroom on the other hand? No way! ¬†I’m really hoping that I can update this in a month and say that we are a tad bit closer.

We spent a big chunk of time this June visiting family in Nebraska and Colorado, where Ken is from. ¬†We managed to muscle through a 15 hour drive with Grace to get to Nebraska. ¬†She was actually very good! ¬†It would have maybe taken us less time if it weren’t for the many times we stopped between Grace and our dog Ginger. ¬†For the most part though, Grace just played with the few toys she brought and when she got fussy around the 12th hour, we broke out the portable DVD player and watched Brave,¬†followed by some Mickey Mouse.

Ken’s dad lives in Nebraska, along with his two brothers and his sister, so we spent a lot of time hanging out at his dad’s house, which gave Grace plenty of time to play outside and track down frogs with her cousin Bella. ¬†Bella and Grace are only a few months a part, and this was their first time meeting. ¬†It was a blast to watch them play. ¬†Grace was crushed when she had to say goodbye.

We also spent some time with Ken’s grandparents. ¬†We haven’t made it out to Nebraska in a long time, so it’s been a while since the kids have seen their great-grandparents.

After spending time in Nebraska we headed to Colorado for a couple of days to spend time with Ken’s mom, step-dad, and sister. ¬†We had a blast going to the zoo and Casa Bonita with them, and just enjoyed having the time to chat and see them.

June also meant swimming lessons for Grace. ¬†She’s in a two-week session, so we go every day, and she loves it! ¬†She’s had so much fun. ¬†I signed her up to go at the same time as her daycare, so she also gets to see all of her little friends. She always runs over to them to tell them that she misses them “so much”! ¬†Her instructor is great. ¬†I honestly could not do it: squirmy little 3-5 years olds, a pool, and trying to get all six of them to listen. ¬†Not the best combination, yet he does great, and they pay attention (for the most part). ¬†I had to laugh because at one point he asked them all to show him their best move. ¬†Each child did a swim move of some sort, dunking their head in the water, etc. Grace? ¬†Grace did a dance move. She shimmied in place, wiggling her hips back and forth. ¬†That’s my girl!:)

 

This last Friday they had Princess/Pirate Safety Day where they learned boat safety and what to do if someone falls, etc. ¬†They each wore a life jacket and got to ride on a raft across the pool. ¬†Then they “walked the plank” (diving board) and jumped into the deep end. ¬†They each floated their way to the middle of the pool, while they waited for everyone else to jump. ¬†Grace was a rock star! ¬†I was so impressed. ¬†There were a lot of tears in her age group, but she was completely fine. ¬†She was one of the first to walk the plank, which meant she had to float in the water for about 15 minutes, and even then she wasn’t afraid, she just floated her way around the pool, holding hands with another little floater. ¬†It was fun to watch!

June also marked Fenix’s 12th birthday! ¬†One more year, and we’ll have a teenager on our hands! ¬†Fenix was with his mom this year on his birthday, and so we picked him up the following day and treated him to dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack. ¬†I’m not much of a fish person, but Fenix is, and I think Ken would like to be. ¬†My nephew joined us and we ate on the patio and then let the staff embarrass the birthday boy. ¬†(They had him wear a cowboy hat and ride on a stick pony. ¬†Grace keeps saying “Happy Birthday Cowboy!” as a result.)

Afterwards we went for a walk along the green belt and then out for snow cones. ¬†It was a good day. ¬†This weekend Fenix had some friends over to swim and sleep over in honor of his birthday. ¬†They slept out on the trampoline (remember how I said it was right outside our window a few posts back?) Well, that was a great idea, until it’s ¬†one in the morning and all you can hear as you’re trying to sleep is middle school boy gossip. ¬†And, yes, they gossip!:) ¬†It was worth it though. ¬†We ended up having family over the next day to wrap up the birthday celebrations.

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Oh, and I can’t forget! ¬†My nephew turned 17 at the beginning of this month. ¬†We did the usual and had him over for dinner, but in addition to that, my husband and his friend took him on an overnight hiking trip. ¬†They had a blast hiking and doing man stuff:) ¬†Grace and I stayed home and watched princess movies and had a very unsuccessful garage sale:) ¬†Their pictures beat ours-hands down.

That pretty much sums up the month of June. Grace is napping right now, and when she’s done, I’m hoping to spend a little time outside playing in the water and maybe walking the green belt and feeding the geese once Ken gets off. ¬†We’re hoping that July will bring with it a few camping trips and some more time at the pool. ¬†(Oh yeah, and more time for me to read!). ¬†July, we are ready for you! (Just don’t go by too quickly. ¬†I don’t want to be back in school quite yet!)

2013~Year In Review

There are a lot of gaps in my blog from last year. ¬†I did an ¬†OK job throughout the summer, but even then, there were still tons of things from the beginning of the year, that I just plain did not make the time to post about. ¬†So before I begin posting anything about 2014, I’m going to live in the past for a bit, and make sure I at least have the highlights from 2013. ¬†It’s a year worthy of highlighting.

January

*We kicked off the year with a trip for my birthday to McCall’s Winter Festival. ¬†We watched the night light parade, caught the fireworks over the lake, and spent the following afternoon checking out the ice sculptures. ¬†It was FREEZING, and poor Grace spent most of the night shivering, despite her gigantic snow suit, but it was a blast, nonetheless.

February
*With last year being Fenix’s last year in elementary school, he made his last Valentine’s Day box, and Ken and Fenix spared no expense:)

IMG_2823 2IMG_2837 2*I also managed to get my hair cute SUPER short this month and not on purpose.  I believe I asked for my hair to be cut to my shoulders with long layers.  Instead, I got this:
IMG_2828 2Sad day. Even Grace was a wee-bit freaked out by it.  Luckily, it grew out quickly and I have now learned my lesson about cheap hair cuts and hair dressers who immediately, while making hair dresser conversation, tell you they hate their job.  Not a good sign.

March 

*¬†At some point this past spring we decided hiking was going to be our thing…although we really only went on two as a family. ¬†Ken, on the other hand, spent quite a few weekends going on afternoon hikes with the kids. A co-worker of mine gave us a hiking backpack last year and Grace loves it! ¬†Sadly, she is getting a bit too heavy for it, so it looks like this coming season she will have to carry her own weight.

We spent an afternoon last spring hiking ¬†and playing up at the Bruneau Sand Dunes in March and another up and around Camel’s Back park in Boise.

Here are a few photo highlights of our trip to Brunuea.

(Grace LOVED sliding down the dunes on her bum.  She had SO, SO, SO much sand in her diaper when we were done. )

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March also marked the beginning of Grace sleeping in her own, big-girl bed (and by sleeping in her own bed, I mean her room containes a big girl bed that she occasionally sleeps in-you know, in between her spurts of sleeping smack dab in the middle of her dad and I).

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April

With April, came trips to the park, because the weather had finally warmed up,

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and Easter.

Easter was a joyous time in the Dietz household, which you can see in exhibits A. B, C, and D below.

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B.

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D.

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OK, so Easter really wasn’t as bad as the pictures above insinuate, in fact, Easter wasn’t bad at all. ¬†Grace was just a tad emotional and didn’t quite grasp that when hunting for Easter baskets or eggs, you have to keep going. ¬†You can’t drop everything and eat every piece of candy you see. ¬†Eventually she got the hang out of it:) ¬†We spent the Saturday before Easter at our town’s Easter Egg Hunt, the Easter Bunny left a few baskets for the kids on Easter morning, and then we headed to my Aunts to find more Easter eggs and eat dinner.

May

May brought with it Grace’s 2nd Birthday and the end of my school year-both of which I managed to write about (Go me!) here and¬†here.

In addition, Grace was pretty cute this month. ¬†We had ourselves many a dance party, she helped me do some spring cleaning, and she even helped with planting our garden. ¬†Let’s hope this want to help with cleaning and gardening continues into the teen years.

June

In June, Fenix got all grown up on us and left the fifth grade and became a middle school student (click here, if you missed the details on that.)

¬†We gained a new addition to our family in June as well, a Jack-Rat terrier that Fenix named Ginger. ¬†She has fit in quite nicely and does really well with Grace’s obsessive coddling. ¬†Ginger even seeks Grace out during her naps, so that she can nap with her. ¬†Grace likes to play hide n seek with Ginger, in which she shuts poor, patient Ginger into a closet until I can some rescue her, and yet the dog still comes back to play and cuddle. ¬†She has been easy to train, which has been a blessing, and she loves to travel. ¬†We did ¬†quite a few camping trips with her this past summer.

We also hiked Camel’s Back Park,

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spent a day at Roaring Spring, celebrated Father’s Day, and celebrated Fenix’s 11th birthday, complete with a S’more bar.

And lastly (June was a busy month), Grace made her first trip to the Meridian Dairy Days.  We spent some time hanging out with the farm animals,

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played some games,

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and then Grace rode the rides.  She loved it.  I thought maybe there would be some hesitation or fear, but nope, she loved every single one.

July

July was equally busy, so you will have to bear with me.  I will try to keep it as short and sweet as can be.

July can be summarized as follows:

-Fourth of July -We were pretty low key.  We grilled at home and then walked down to the speedway to watch the fireworks-low key was good.

-Camping with my niece, Brooke-We took a short two night trip up to a campsite along the river, past Lucky Peak. Fenix was with his mom and so we had enough room to bring Byron-he was a mess the whole time, but we had fun.  Lots of card games and sitting with our feet in the cool river water.

-Toddler Soccer-Grace got her feet wet in organized soccer this month. ¬†The first few classes were rough-not because Grace didn’t like the soccer part, but because she wasn’t used to the organized, follow direction part:) ¬†But she got the hang of it and realized it was fun to follow directions! ¬†In the end, it was a blast to watch her. ¬†We’re looking forward to having her do it again when the time comes.

-Lastly, we took ¬†a trip to Utah to camp with Ken’s family. We had a great spot on the lake and were far enough away from the other campsites, to feel like we had some privacy. ¬†It was fun to see Ken’s side of the family. ¬† Grace and Fenix loved the time with their aunt and uncle, as well as their grandpa. ¬†If we can, we’d love to make it a tradition of sorts.

August

My school district starts school pretty early in August in comparison to other districts, and so our August felt short and as a result was short on pictures.  We spent most of our time enjoying the last days and evening of summer break that I had left.  We did lots of swimming and playing at the park.

Then when I started school, Grace started school as well.

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We also fit in one last camping trip at Banbury Hot Springs, AND Ken and I celebrated six years of marriage.  My niece spent the night with Grace, and Ken and I spent the evening in Boise.  We rented a hotel room downtown, hit the Saturday market, ate a fantastic meal, and then wound down with some nice wine.  It was a good way to celebrate.  We also enjoyed an entire night of sleeping without getting kicked by little, toddler feet-which was priceless.

September

September was a whirlwind of school activities with school being back in session for both Fenix and I. ¬† However, we did manage to celebrate Ken’s birthday,

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we started soccer season, Grace tried to poison herself with smear her face with sunscreen,

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and Ken’s mom and step-dad came to visit. ¬†We spent a lot of time just chatting and hanging out on the patio. ¬†Ken’s mom and step-dad were able to catch one of Fenix’s soccer games and we spent an afternoon showing off Idaho’s own version of wine country.

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October and November

October and November were kind of a blur.  School was in full swing for everyone.  Grace was making lots of friends at her new pre-school.  Fenix was enjoying middle school and starting to feel like a middle school pro, Ken was busy with work and coaching, and I was balancing teaching and my masters.  I say all of this to give a weak excuse to why I took very few pictures these two months.

I did however manage to get the big stuff.

With it being October, we went all out celebrating Halloween.  We spent a day at the pumpkin patch with the kids,

had our annual Halloween party,

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and then rounded out the season with trick or treating.

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Fenix went around our neighborhood with his friends, and they were kind enough to not only let Grace tag along, but they really did a nice job of making her feel included.

In November Grace painted her own nails,

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I took some family photos of the kids at the Star Walk

and a few more of Grace in our yard-because she wasn’t exactly cooperating when we attempted pictures at the Star Walk. ¬†She needed it to be done on her own time table.

Oh, yeah, and we celebrated Thanksgiving:) ¬†Ken’s dad and sister came, which we loved, and we did Thanksgiving at our house this year. ¬†This has been one of my favorite Thanksgivings at our house. ¬†Once dinner was done and things were cleaned up, we headed outside and threw the football around. ¬†I know that sounds a bit funny coming from me, but it actually was fun and I got to use all those football throwing skills I picked up from watching all five seasons of “Friday Night Lights” this summer:)

Sadly, this is one of the ONLY photos I have of Thanksgiving.

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December

And, finally, we have hit December, which for the most part, I already wrote about here.

A ¬†billion pictures and scrolls down later, we are done! ¬†With my blog being so outdated, I almost dreaded writing this, but I know I’ll be happy later, when I can look back it on it. ¬†All in all, 2013 was a good year, and we are ready to see what’s in store for us in 2014.

Holiday Happenings

Well, the holidays came in just as quickly as they left, leaving us with a house full of toys, a camera full of pictures, and a the flu. ¬†That’s right, the flu:) ¬†In fact, the flu is why you will see no pictures of New Year’s Eve, you will hear of no celebration, no sparkling cider or wine, no recollection of watching the ball drop on T.V., because we spent our New Year’s Eve sick as dogs, Grace, Ken, and I crammed into our bed and in close proximity of the bathroom. ¬†But, prior to acquiring the plague, our little family had a pretty swell holiday season.

Christmas snuck up on us this year. ¬†In the past I’ve tried to be proactive about Christmas shopping, but this year I found myself scrambling to get things wrapped up at the last minute, but despite all the scrambling, Christmas went off without a hitch.

We started celebrating a few days earlier with our friends Amanda and Cecily by decorating our usual sugar cookies.  Amanda and Cecily live in Arizona now, so their time here was short, and Fenix, unfortunately, missed our cookie bake.

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The girls had fun though, and this year Grace was actually able to decorate her own cookies, and she did not hold back.

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But really, are we surprised?

Christmas Eve day was spent baking dessert for Christmas dinner with my sister and niece. ¬†I was terrible at breaking the camera out that afternoon, but despite our lack of pictures, we had ¬†fun drinking wine and making a slew of goodies for Christmas day. ¬†When Ken came home that evening we let Grace open up her Christmas pajamas (“jammies” to Grace) and one gift, which is always something my mother let me do when I was a child.

After that we cuddled up until Grace nodded off and then we wrapped up our last minute wrapping and snuck off to bed. Grace woke up at her usual seven a.m. ¬†She’s been excited about Christmas all month because of how much they have talked about it at pre-school and and how much we’ve spoken about it at home, and although she loves opening presents and knows who Santa is, she doesn’t quite get the concept yet. ¬†So, with Fenix not getting to our house until 10:15, we were able to relax in bed until she got restless, at which point we let her open up her stocking.

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I really thought we would have a hard time keeping her busy and out of the presents until her brother and cousins got there, but Santa brought her plenty in her stocking to keep her busy, and we were able to kill time watching The Little Mermaid and playing with play dough.

IMG_5812 2 IMG_5816 2Once all the kids arrived, it was game time.

IMG_5823 2IMG_5831 3 IMG_5843 2IMG_5834 2 IMG_5855 2There were lots of smiles and squeals. ¬†We do a gift of love, want, need, and read, plus what Santa brings each year. ¬†This year, we went a bit overboard though. ¬†Next year I am vowing to be more disciplined and kinder to our bank account. ¬†Santa brought Fenix a few of the lego sets he had wanted and Grace was given a Sophia the first bike, which she was super excited about. ¬†I was probably equally excited to give it to her if you want to know the truth. ¬†She practiced riding one around Walmart before Thanksgiving, and since then, Santa had his sights on it:) ¬†I’m looking forward to some warmer weather, so that Grace can actually get outside and ride it. ¬†In addition, and the area in which we went a wee bit overboard this year, we got the kids ¬†a trampoline. ¬†Fenix spends a lot of time on the trampoline at his friend Colton’s house, and it’s been nice to have him enjoy something that’s outdoors, so after much hemming and hawing, we jumped in. (Did you see the play on words, there? Pretty good, huh?). ¬†It will fit perfectly in the back corner of our yard, which currently lies empty and full of tiny river rocks and weeds (it’s also the perfect place for a paranoid mom to spy from because it will sit right outside of our bedroom window.)

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Once gifts were exchanged and breakfast, along with copious amounts of coffee, was consumed, we spent a few hours relaxing and letting the kids enjoy their new treasures

IMG_5879 2before we headed over to my Aunt and Uncle’s to spend ¬†a bit more time with these folks

IMG_5821 2and the rest of our family.  We ate a delicious meal and then sat and played games for a few hours before retiring to our own homes and beds for the evening.

All in all, it was a great Christmas and ¬†a really relaxing winter break-well, aside from that whole puking, body aches, flu thing, but you know, what can you do? ¬†We spent a lot of time playing with Grace’s new set of Little People Princesses, watched our fair share of movies, and really just took advantage of having some much needed family time. ¬†IMG_5918 2IMG_5905 2IMG_5897 2