Sunday, June 28, 2009

Slippin' n' Slidin'

This is my 100th blog post. I feel like I should make a cake or something, like TV shows do upon reaching their 100th episodes. Maybe I'll treat myself to an ice cream sandwich when I'm done.

Grandma and Grandpa sent the kids a Slip and Slide a few weeks ago. I think I was just as excited to tear it out of the box as Ava. It brings me back (very far back) to my childhood summers. I didn't have an actual Slip 'n Slide. What I did have, was just as good. It was a plastic hopscotch.... big, long yellow. Perfect for not only hopscotching, but slipping and sliding. One hot Phoenix day my dad stuck the hose on it and I slid and slipped and, I'm sure, got plenty of grass stains. So, as you can imagine, I was uber-excited for Ava and Jax to have just as much summery fun. However, our weather has been terrible and very un-June the past few weeks, so the Slip n' Slide sat in our laundry room until Thursday, when finally, the sun woke up and brought us some much needed warmth and dryness. Ava invited her little buddy Ethan over, and the slipping and sliding began.

I assumed that Ava and Ethan would just know how the the Slip n' Slide worked. I don't know if I thought it was an innate ability or what, however, I was sorely mistaken. They both kinda stared at the thing blankly initially. Joni, Andy and I all tried to explain, "You run, and then you slide on your belly." So, they army scooted across the thing. Despite our attempts to correct them, they seemed just as content doing things their way. Andy, wanting the kids to get the full Slip 'n Slide experience begin sliding pushing them down the slide. He got a workout... the kids had a good laugh.

Look at that face!


Ethan & Ava Train

Even Jax, who most of the time, insisted on simply walking down the runway and sitting in the "water cushion" at the end, signed "more" to Andy after each shove down the Slip 'n Slide.





After close to an hour-and-a-half of fun, the kiddos finally gave in to their shivering bodies and decided it time to wrap up in a towel and each lunch... which they topped off with popsicles and another ride down the Slip 'n Slide.

I have some video that I hope to get up tomorrow. Until then, enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

To Hold You Over...

I have a ton to blog about, and pictures to go with all the blogs. However, it's going to be a few days before I have time to write any serious, quality blogs or download and edit pictures. Business is insanely busy for me right now. Not only do I have my Etsy shop, but now, my products are on a few other websites, generating even more business. But, that's just the tip of the iceberg. I've been up to my elbows all week in wood, paint, modge podge, scrapbook paper and vinyl, preparing products to begin selling at Pebbles in my Pocket, a well-known Utah scrapbook store. The owner approached me last month about adding my products to their already amazing store, and of course, I couldn't resist! I'm taking everything in tomorrow morning, and then it's to work filling website orders. It's exhausting, but well-worth it.

So, long story short, I wanted to throw something on here about the kiddos to hold you (by YOU, I mean mine and Andy's parents) over until I can actually blog. As opposed to what I'm doing now, which is just kinda updating. I know, it's a fine line.

After a couple of weeks of rain, we've seen nothing but sunshine the past few days. Ahhh, glorious sunshine. So, we've spent many hours each afternoon playing and basking in the rays. Tonight, after dinner we took the kids to the park a few blocks behind our house. As we reached the grass Andy and I began racing Ava to the playground (Jax enjoyed zooming in the stroller). Ava moved her little legs as fast as she could, which is darn cute I might add, but just short of the playground she stopped and announced, "My legs are out of breath!" I love a child's thought process. Ava says what, to her, makes complete sense. As funny as it may sound, usually, her "odd" statements come out rather poetic. Too cute!

Jax is a walking machine! He waddles all over the house. His balance is still off a bit so he tends to veer sideways quite often, or even backward. However, the ENT says that should improve once the tubes are in.

Alright, sorry this wasn't more exciting. I promise some super blogs in the near future!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

When Daddy Comes Home

Andy has been home from China for nearly two weeks, but I thought I should still post this.

The kids and I were so excited to see him, that we decided to surprise him at the airport, rather than waiting for him to ride the van home with the rest of the group. His flight didn't come in until around 8pm, so I got the kids dressed in their jammies and to the airport we went.

Unlike us, we got there about 25 minutes early. We stood in front of the area where all arriving passengers come through, trying to come up with ways to make the time pass. But, it was just too difficult. Every tall guy she saw coming, Ava would say, "Oh, I think I see him." After several disappointing false-alarms, I think she decided she'd take any Daddy, and told me three different men were her Daddy.



Finally though, around 8:20, someone walked through the tunnel wearing an I LOVE (heart) Hong Kong shirt and I knew Andy couldn't be far behind. I excitedly told Ava to hold up the sign we had made (Welcome Home Daddy!), but after about 10 minutes and some people I recognized from Andy's group we started to wonder if he decided to stay in China. Fortunately, he didn't. Because just a few minutes later, there he was. A little tanner than when he left, exhausted, hair in need of a cut and walking at his normal speedy pace. The kids and I stood staring at him, Ava proudly holding her sign. But he kept walking. A man on a mission --- gotta get my luggage. "Andy!" I exclaimed. He didn't hear me. One more time. There it was. He spotted us and a huge grin came over his face. Ava ran into his arms and gave him a big hug and Jax got had an enormous smile and begin kicking his legs and shrieking with excitement.


Andy told Ava he had a present for her, so she couldn't fall asleep in the car on the way home as I had planned. Instead, she asked every few minutes, "Can I have it now, Daddy?" By the time we got home, the excitement took over and she practically tore Andy's suitcase open. He got both kids these adorable wooden animals -- a dinosaur for Ava and an alligator for Jax. He also got Ava these adorable panda stacking dolls. I got a beautiful necklace from the Pearl Market and a lovely table runner with Chinese prints. So pretty!

It took a few days for the jetlag to wear off and Andy to get back on schedule. But, things are finally back to normal. It's so wonderful to have our whole family together!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ava, playing the role of Shamu

Since we got back from Sea World in April, Ava has been a little obsessed with Shamu. She talks about orca whales quite frequently and more often than not, she pretends to be Shamu in the bathtub. Tonight, as I began giving her a bath, she quickly got into Shamu position by rolling to her tummy and turned to me and said, "Now, playing the role of Shamu, Ava Grace Kleinman." After which she proceeded to cheer and clap for herself.

At one point, Andy was in the bathroom with us. Before he left, he stopped to give me a kiss. Ava, seeing all the lovey-dovey-ness loudly exclaimed, "Stop! You're embrassing Shamu." And if there's anything I know, it's you never want to embarass a pretend killer whale.

Friday, June 12, 2009

EAR we go...

After seven ear infections in his one year of life, Jax finally had an appointment with an ENT today. Thank goodness!! The poor little guy has had a chronic ear infection in his left ear for the past two months. Whatever it is causing the problem used to be an equal opportunity infector, switching from ear to ear or pooling fluid in both at the same time. Now, I think "the infector" is just getting lazy and hanging out in the left ear. Jax has been on four different antibiotics during the episodes, which I hate. So, we went to the ENT today hoping and praying he'd deem Jax's ears tube-worthy. SURE ENOUGH! One look in his left ear and he told me to schedule tubes immediately.

Apparently, his eustacean tubes are very small and narrow and unable to drain fluid properly. As a result, a pussy fluid pools in his ears. The tubes (in both ears) will basically teach the eustacean tube how to irrigate. They should fall out in about two years, and the hope is, that by thenhis eustacean tubes will be large enough and smart enough to do the job on their own. In the meantime, his ear infections should be minimized if not completely eradicated. That means, no more pain, no more runny nose (we are solely-responsible for keeping Kleenex in business) and no more antibiotics. The doctor can't tell if Jax's hearing has been affected, but he did say that Jax may have walked sooner had it not been for the persistent ear infections throwing off his balance. I gotta say, him not walking sooner may be the only good thing about the ear infections.

So, the big day is scheduled for JULY 7. It's a 5-10 minute procedure, but they will have to put the little dude under. That, of course worries me a little, but he will get to wear a Jax-sized hospital gown... which will be so darn cute. I can already picture the scrapbook pages!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

All About a One-Year Old

I am way behind getting this post up. I meant to do it right after Jax turned one, but with vacations, business and a husband in China, well, it didn't happen. Better late than never, right?

So, my little man is one. This isn't going to make any sense, but I'll say it anyway. When I think about him being one, it seems like the year has just flown by. It feels like he was just in my belly, hanging from my ribs and hiccupping almost daily for hours on end. It seems like we just brought him home to an excited big sister and a house full of boxes (preparing for our move to Utah). But, on the other hand, when I think of all that has happened in this past year, it seems like such a long time. We've moved, Andy went back to school, we've visited Arizona twice, Ava went from toddler to little girl, and Jax, well, Jax grew and grew and grew and grew.

It's hard to believe that a year ago, he was just about nine pounds. Now, he's 24! He's grown 10 inches since birth and gone from a quiet, calm Zoolander face-making little baby to a jabbering, silly, all-boy little boy!



At one, Jax is finally walking. But even pre-biped, he's always been very physical and busy (read: SOOOO WIGGLY) -- he loves to throw balls, climb up or onto anything and bang... toys, his hands, sticks, doors, you name it.

He's quite the little talker, and always very emphatic, whether it be jibber-jabbering or asking for an apple. Right now, Jax's vocabulary consists of over 20 words: Mama, Daddy, Ava, Bubba (his nickname), more, ball, car, bath, baby, dog, bird, turtle, uh-oh, apple, nana (banana), all done, prayer, duck, quack, baa (sheep), wa-wa (water), please and thank you.

Jax is definitely a content little guy. Even with seven ear infections under his belt, he's almost always pleasant and joyful. While he's pretty easy to please, he definitely has his favorite. And for the most part, Jax love, love, loves all things that little boys should love:

CARS



DESTROYING THINGS
Our little Shaq tore apart his basketball hoop while playing one morning

FOOD AND THE MESS THAT COMES WITH IT
He did this to himself... seriously!
DIRT


PLAYING NAKED


BATHTIME

HIS DADDY



HIS MAMA
PLAYING DRESS-UP WITH HIS SISTER. Okay, actually his big sister likes this, but Jax just plays along because he loves to make Ava laugh.



And more than anything, he just LOOOOVES his big sister!

Tired kiddos after a long day at Temple Square




Our little mancub brings us immense joy each and every day! He has a smile that lights up his whole face and then radiates to fill an entire room. He's so silly, so cuddly and so wonderfully sweet! He'll often come charging at me (crawling or walking), laughing or growling the entire way. When he gets close enough, he'll throw his little body at me and attack with kisses or raspberries before snuggling up to me and humming. I hope he does that forever... okay, maybe without the growling or raspberries... but the snuggles are always welcome!
LOVE YOU, LITTLE BUDDY!!!
I love to watch you grow and explore... I can't wait to see what this year will bring!

Monday, June 8, 2009

BIPED!

Andy finally returned home last night after two weeks in China. HOORAY!!! Before he left, Jax was getting close to walking, standing on his own for several minutes and taking a few forced steps at a time. Andy and I both hoped he wouldn't actually begin walking while Andy was halfway around the world. Sweet little boy he is, Jax obliged his parents' wishes and didn't begin walking until yesterday morning, just hours before his Daddy returned. He's still quite wobbly, and falls quite frequently, but he's walking... on his own... without us having to stand him up and bribe him with food like a horse with a carrot. His legs are stiff and he sticks his arms straight out, kinda like Frankenstein, but he has the biggest smile on his face. He's so proud of himself. And, of course, we're proud of him!!!

video


Oh, and please excuse my kitchen floor. Before walking over to me, Jax took part in his newest favorite activity -- emptying the kitchen drawers.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Summer

When we stepped off the plane in Arizona last week, I remembered why I don't miss it. There's nothing fun about walking into a giant blow dryer. How I survived 23 years in the sweltering heat of Phoenix and Tucson, I'll never know. What I do know is stepping off the plane in SLC felt heavenly... as opposed to, well, the other option.

We've been blessed with some lovely weather here in our neck of the woods. Not too hot, but warm enough for shorts. A gentle breeze in the afternoon and cool, relaxing, sweat-free nights. Love it! As do the kiddos. If Ava sees sun outside in the morning she assumes we should be in it. I can't blame her. So, outside of the normal every-day errands, I've been trying to get the kiddos and I as much face time with good ol' Mr. Sun as possible (don't worry, face time includes vats of sunblock).

Last year we got Ava this cute little Elmo sprinkler for the backyard. It hooks up to the hose and then twirls around spraying water. Ava loves jumping over or trying to escape the water streams.Taking a break

Jax, on the other hand... well, he didn't know what to think. Despite his love of "Elbo" as he calls him, he wasn't a big fan of the Elmo spraying him with water. So, the little mancub made like a bull and attacked the furry red guy.



When he finally realized that Elmo meant no harm, Jax joined in the watery fun... at a distance.
Ahhh... I just love summer. Oh, I should mention that tonight we consumed almost an entire watermelon (with the help of my wonderful friend Joni and Ava's Little Buddy Ethan). Of that's not a sign of summer, I don't know what is!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

An Arizona Vacay

Hold on tight... you're in for a long ride...

I survived my very first plane ride ALONE with my kids!! And to be completely honest, I don't know what I was so worried about. I did panic a little inside when halfway through the flight, Jax was asleep in my arms and Ava announced she had to go "poo-poo, really, really badly." Fortunately for me, just a few seconds later she said, "Oh, wait. Pump fake, it was just a toot." Phew.

So, while Andy is out globetrotting, the kids and I took a weeklong vacay to Arizona. We spent the week at my best friend Jaime's house, which was interesting. Jaime has a little boy, who is just a few months older than Ava and a little girl a few months younger than Jax. Joey and Ava were the best of friends when they were younger. However, times have changed. Okay, now, to be fair, we stuck a pair of three-year-olds in the same house for a week. We should have been prepared for a reality TV-like fight. But, there wasn't a ton of fighting. They were more like an embattled pair in love. One minute they'd play nicely together, the next they were screaming at each other. The good news is, they left on a highnote, playing all that morning and hugging when we left. Ava even told me on the plane she couldn't wait to see Joey again.
Jax and Brooke

Bath Buddies

I had to post this one too. It's Ava and Joey when they were one. WOW! Time sure does fly!!

The kids got to spend quite a bit of time with both sets of grandparents. Jax just loves his Grandpa Ralphie. I think it's because their hands are the same size! :) He also took some of his very first steps for G-Ma!Ava, of course, loved running around like a wild woman with her G-Pa, and even talked to Uncle Ben (my brother) which is a new thing. And she can't stop talking about Grandma's record player. She's pretty amazed by it!

The week was full of fun and firsts for the kiddos...

Ava shot her very first BB gun, thanks to Uncle Curtis and Cousin Nathan.



The kids also spent an afternoon swimming with Cousin Nathan. Jax had a ball
and did great keeping his ears out of the water (did I mention he has ANOTHER ear infection?!)

Showing off her cute little bathing suit




Jax took 10 WHOLE STEPS ALL BY HIMSELF!!! Unfortunately, I don't have pictures, but I promise he did it. But, what I do have pictures of is his very first birthday! We reserved a ramada at a park, however, when we arrived, it was cold and windy and then proceeded to rain and then hail. So, we moved the shindig back to Jaime's house. The baseball theme would have gone great with an outdoor party, but hey, the kids didn't care. They played and ate, what more could they ask for?


Getting every last bit. He didn't get nearly as messy as I thought, or as his big sister did on her 1st birthday.

In the adorable cape Aunt Courtney made



A trip back to Prescott would not be complete without a ride on Hopi for Ava. As soon as she was near Hopi she said, "Oh Hopi, I'm so happy to see you!"
Reaching down to pet Baby Oakley

Jax petting Baby Oakley

Ava also rode a real bike (with training wheels) for the very first time. It took her only a few tries until she got the hang of it. She did great! I'll post the video later.



Jax's hair was getting a little shaggy around the edges so I gave him his very first haircut. It's amazing how a little trim transformed him from a baby to a little boy. And, I've gotta say, not too shabby for my first try.

BEFORE

AFTER

More than anything, the kids just loved seeing everyone. Who knows when we'll be back! I've always considered Arizona home, and more specifically, since moving to Utah I've thought of Prescott as home. However, this time around, it didn't feel that way anymore. Maybe it's because I know our next home is one Mississippi away from Arizona. Maybe, we'll never end up back there. Who knows. What I do know, is no matter where our little family ends up, we'll always have several good reasons to go back to Arizona. And I'm not just talking about Hopi :)