Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy late 4th Birthday

Dear Kate and Riley,

Your birthday did not pass unnoticed but it has been so crazy busy around here I did not have time to blog about it.

I wanted to involve Zach as much as I could this year. Zach is at a hard age where we want him to understand and know about you but the concept that he has sisters that he doesn't know but who live with Heavenly Father is a pretty hard concept for a 3 year old. He also is a little crazy at the cemetery wanting to take things off headstones and be a little wild. But I still think its important that he grows up knowing about you and I know that some day he'll come to understand better. We went together to pick out balloons, pink for you and blue for Zach and Brady. Dad picked up some flowers and met us up at the cemetery where I realized the camera battery was dead and Zach got a little too crazy. It was a short but sweet visit.

I couldn't help but be struck by contrast of what I expected my life would be like-- pink, barbies and bows with what it is like now-- trucks, dirt and cars. I love your brothers of course but it just made me laugh to stand there with my two boys, sometimes I think Heavenly Father has a sense of humor to send me these crazies. I am grateful for all of you and the things you have and are teaching me.

I hope you had a wonderful birthday. I know you watch down over us and keep your brothers safe (and laugh with us). I always feel your presence in our home around your birthday and during the holidays. You are missed and remembered. We love you.



Monday, November 22, 2010


Dear Kate and Riley,

As much as I just want to skip ahead to Christmas, I am determined I won't skip things like Bray's first Halloween! Even though with my laptop dead it takes HOURS for each blog post, I am determined to catch up so this kid will have a record of his first year.

For Halloween we had a party with preschool at our place, celebrated on Sat at the church first followed by some fun with the neighbors on Sun. Every time that we have pulled into the parking lot since the trunk or treat Zach says "Oh, its not Halloween here any more." I'm wondering how many Sundays in a row he's going to be disappointed! *I wrote that long time ago and the good news is he doesn't ask that any more!

Preschool costume parade

Zach and is preschool buddies

Zach and his buddy Ryan at the ward Trunk-or-Treat

Brady the bat

2nd year in a row as a pirate. Zach insisted and I had no problem not buying a new costume!
Don't touch my stash!

Out with the neighbors on Halloween

After trick-or-treating to a couple neighbors, we came back to our house and made marshmallow candy corns to put in our hot chocolate! It was such a fun little project.


(now let's see if we can catch up to Christmas!)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Dear Kate and Riley,
Still feeling behind but I'm hoping not much will happen between Halloween and Thanksgiving and I'll get a little break in here!

We like to head to the pumpkin patch by our house every year but until this year we've been able to get by with just walking around and looking at stuff. Not so this year, Zach wanted to do EVERYTHING. Thanks to some coupons we found we were able to do it for cheap but let me tell you, that place is making a killing on all the sucker parents like us!

We met up with a bunch of people from our ward but of course all Zach cared about was running around with his buddy, Will.

He talked about the big slide for like a week after

They were being SO goofy and having so much fun on this ride, laughing so hard and yelling at the guy every time they went past him.

He loved driving the tractor but was not the best driver, he kept running in to stuff!

More Halloween to come!


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

My Birthday

Dear Kate and Riley,

This year, when I turned 29 AGAIN (wow, that just keeps happening!) I decided to just take the day into my own hands. Aunt Jenny and Uncle Chris were here and I stole Jenny along with a few of my girlfriends and headed up to LA to see "Phantom of the Opera". We had a nice, quiet, childless dinner, saw a great musical (Raul was to die for) and then partied it up after with dessert at the W hotel. It was so much fun and definitely made me feel younger than my 29 again self. Dad was a trooper to get stuck with the kids pretty much all weekend but I really appreciated it!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Zachary Updates!

Dear Kate and Riley,
In continuing with the catch up theme we have a lot of Zachary updates!


Started preschool

Turned 3!

Zachary is SO much fun right now and can be a handful. He talks. Oh, does he ever talk. He is very articulate and he really just never stops talking, singing, or just making noise of some kind. He LOVES his baby brother, he loves his buddies, he loves preschool, the gym and gymnastics. He does NOT love being forced to sit still for any amount of time, being asked to be quiet, or being told he can't do something.

He loves "Cars" and "Thomas the Train" and I LOVE to listen to him play pretend with them. He is into acting out elaborate scenarios with them and I love when he repeats with his cars things I've said to him.

He repeats EVERYTHING I say to him so I'm learning to be more careful! My favorites in the past little while are--
while getting him dressed one day-- "Mom, I don't have TIME for this!"
to Brady-- "You're killin' me!"
to me-- "I"m so mad at you right now Mom. Don't talk to me like that"
me-- "Like what?"
"like you're mad"
to Dad-- "No way, Jose!"

We love our Zachary, he makes us laugh every single day.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Disneyland and Sea World

Dear Kate and Riley,

Still catching up...
Our Disneyland passes were unblocked so we have been able to go back a few times, but not many pictures!

We were also able to spend a Sat. at Sea World with the Carlsons

Loving their popsicles. Zach apparently doesn't share his mother's sensitive teeth as he just bit right through the whole popsicle!

The boys favorite place-- the big bounce house. Zach was asking about it from the second we got there.

Love this picture! Best buddies. Not sure about the hand on the leg but seirously so cute, these two love each other.

So this is sad but the only picture I had from Disneyland of Brady was exactly the same (same outfit and everything) I swear we take the kid out of the stroller sometimes!


Too cool

There, see, we do take him out of the stroller!

Brady Turned 8 months

Dear Kate and Riley,

In other catch up news, Brady turned 8 months (a while ago).

--He is officially crawling. First army crawl but now the full on speedy crawl all over the house
--Pulling up onto his knees but not to standing, yet (but I think its soon)
--So vocal! I love his jabbering but sometimes it is so loud!
--Happy, happy, happy
--Working hard on those teeth (which is putting sleep back into a not so great place)
--Eating puffs and "num nums" (rice crackers) but gagging on anything else that's not totally pureed, no interest in anything with a little texture to it

Zach loves, loves playing with him and the other day after playing with him for a half hour on the floor he kept hugging him over and over and said to me "I love having a baby brother". And my heart melted! He always says "wait mom, I need to just play with Brady for a couple minutes". And whenever we're in the car without Zach, Brady cries the whole time.

Catch up!

Dear Kate and Riley,

I have SO much to catch up on. My laptop died thanks to a newly mobile Brady who unplugged it while in stealth mode and it decided to never start again. My desktop doesn't like blogger for some reason so I finally suckered Dad into bringing home his laptop from work so I could catch up a little!

In September--

Grandpa Great (aka Grandpa Hansen, aka Russel) passed away

We headed up to Salt Lake for the FOURTH time this year for his funeral. It was a beautiful event where my Aunt Kathy and my Dad spoke and gave wonderful talks remembering my Grandfather.

The things I'll always remember about my Grandfather--

-- his beautiful garden. I loved nothing more than to visit their back yard in the spring/summer when the flowers were blooming. To eat the pears (oh the pears), the apricots, the raspberries, the apples, I could go on. He worked so hard and carefully in that garden, he was just a worker.

--always reading, always had a book to talk about, always up on current events

-- waking up in the morning (I lived there one summer and spent many weekends there) to the sound of Grandfather playing his harmonica

--his TV commentary. Oh I don't know if any of my siblings or cousins share this memory (as I'm sure they do the others) but I thought watching TV with my Grandfather was an utterly amusing experience. He had these total no nonsense tell it as you see it comments about everything. I remember him talking about Kelly Ripa being so fat and pregnant, Oprah gaining weight, the terrible singers on American Idol. Maybe they are one of those "you had to be there" things but I loved watching tv with him. And I think i can thank my grandparents for my loves of both Amazing Race and Dr. Phil (although they watched him in his Oprah days not his own show days)

And really, my cousin, Megan who is much more eloquent than I am, said everything I wanted to on her blog so I'm copying it more so I have it here than because I think anyone else wants to read it! Just replace "my mother" for my Aunt Kathy and "my uncle Ross" for my Dad and I think you have it...

The service was wonderful and yet another reminder at how they give us each an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of life, and to bask in each other's company. I love my family. I am so thankful that we can pick up right where we left off (which happened to be only 8 weeks ago.) As the family walked into the service we were greeted with lovely harmonica music - a passion of my grandfathers'. My mother gave the eulogy and she was beautiful and eloquent. She told stories of my grandfather's hard upbringing and how he was able to shed a somewhat rough life and start a new one with my grandmother. He was a master gardener and we all obsessed over the fruits and vegetables that he would grow. He always had a book that he was reading - this obsession with reading stems from both my grandmother (who would like to come back in her next life as a librarian) and my grandfather. Following the eulogy, the grandchildren were coerced into singing - we did this ONLY because our grandmother requested it of us, and all said a silent prayer that the congregation would forgive us our singing shortcomings - I think everyone had a secret plan to just start crying so they could blame the Tone Def-ness on the tears.

My uncle Ross also spoke. He gave several wonderful stories and managed to even work a river-rafting story in complete with a nudist colony as one of the elements of the story. (It also occurred to me that he is similar to my Father-in-law when it comes to outings and NOVICES. "It's just a small _____ (insert torture of choice: hike, canoe, raft, walk, swim, biking) expedition." The next thing you know - you're scaling the side of a mountain...He quoted poetry a favorite in the Hansen family - where anything other than a degree in English - is ridiculous! He spoke of my Grandfather's favorite poem by Myrna Welch "The Touch of the Master's Hand". I'm sure that as everyone sat and listened to him, they also tried to see how much of the poem they could recall from memory - without having to turn the program over to check their lines. It's a status symbol to be able to throw down on the poems ya know. A sister in the ward sang "Goin' Home" and it was stunningly beautiful. It made me think who I could recruit for my own funeral to sing such sweet, beautiful, comforting lines to those in attendance. Funerals are like that - they make you reflect on your own. (Taylor and I have ours all planned out - I prefer Invictus for my poetry- Scatter Sunshine for my hymn - and we both would like a tasty machaca throw-down dinner to follow - in case anyone is interested.)

Thanks for letting me steal that Megan :)

I hope that you were there to greet your great Grandfather with open arms. I have visions of him gardening in a garden with no weeds and where the flowers always bloom.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

7 months!

Dear Kate and Riley,
So I might be a week and a half late on this one but better late than never! Brady has found a little bit of a personality and a little bit of a temper this month! He is too funny as separation anxiety has hit and he does NOT like mom out of his sight and can express it VERY loudly! Whenever I set him down or leave the room he is sure to make his displeasure known. But big brother is a good distraction and with him around I can usually still get a few things done. Zach and Brady are best buds lately, I think as Brady grows, can sit and likes toys more, reacts more, etc. Zach has shown a much greater interest in him. Sometimes to Brady's detriment as Zach thinks that Brady is ready for wrestling matches and roughhousing. "Please don't SIT on your brother" is a line I find myself using almost daily. Brady wants whatever Zach has at the moment and I don't think Zach knows what's coming as soon as this kid can move a little better.

This month Brady--
-can sit very steady, rarely falls over except when he decides he wants to reach something
-can roll to most any destination he chooses
-can scoot backwards quite a bit and lately has gotten a little forward momentum
-has really taken to eating but is kind of picky! He loves any fruit but is not a big fan of most veggies although I can get him to eat almost anything but green beans
-is on a pretty regular nap schedule (finally!)
-after a little "encouragement" which involved moving Zach temporarily into our room, is FINALLY sleeping through the night (yay!) he still wants to wake up at 5 am but we're working on moving that to at least 6 (which is why Zach is still in our room, boo)
-seems to be finally growing a little. He gained 1/2 a pound in a month and the doctors seemed satisfied, he is finally up to size 3 diapers and fitting into more 6-12 month clothes although he can still wear most 3-6 month and even some 0-3 month! He's still a little guy.
-has decided he hates the carseat, you should see him arch his back and scream when I try to put him in!
-despite his "mom" issues is overall a happy baby still and we love him SO much. I love that Zach is loving him so much lately, he never lets me go get him out of the crib without wanting to come with and he leans over the crib and yells "BRADERATOR!" and he's always concerned about where Brady is or if Brady is crying. Its so much fun.


This one morning Zach made he and Brady a "house" (all the pillows piled around) and then brought out almost all of his cars and trains to "share". He kept telling me "mom! I'm sharing with Brady!" it was so cute and Brady loved it.

Brady with everything Zach decided to share with him. Please excuse Phineas and Ferb in the background, Zach had a slight obsession this summer.

Hanging out at the pool eating goggles

Because he often bathes with Zach he now thinks that sitting is the only way to go. I seriously made Zach lay down in the bathtub until he was almost 1! I can't believe Brady already insists on sitting, its a little scary since he has a tendency to try to reach things and then fall in face first. But he doesn't seem to mind and I'm always right there.

He LOVES taking a bath with Zach. And Zach doesn't seem to mind that I'll only put in like an inch of water! I wish I had gotten this picture straight on, Zach was making him laugh so hard that day.