Thursday, February 25, 2010

To Mason

Dear Mason,

I didn't realize until today how differently you're treated because you are the third child. What a treat it was for me to go to Starbucks today with daddy and you, just you. Instead of carrying you into the store because I had other little hands to hold and kids to keep track of I let you walk, tightly grasping my finger, confidently strutting yourself through the door and to a table. Instead of strapping you into a high chair because it would be less distracting than having you climbing everywhere, I sat you in a regular chair, next to the window where you could get your little greasy fingers all over pointing at buses, trucks, and trains. You seemed to be loving every minute of the undivided attention daddy and I were able to give you, and you hammed it up with us and all of the onlookers around us. I can imagine that they were thinking what a cute little family we were, doting on our first child like he was the most important thing in the world. I wish it could be like that more often, I hate having to schlep you to Cameron and Gavin's activities, strapped into a stroller and expecting you to be quiet and perfect, which, by the way, you usually are. I hate dividing my attention with you and your brothers, hoping to make everyone feel equal and like they have all had their turn with mom. I hate that I rarely get down and play with just you, puzzles and blocks and board books. It seems like you have been pushed to watch older kid movies, read older kid books and play with older-kid toys because that's what your brothers are doing. An old friend shared a sentiment that I share completely- I wish I could raise each of my kids separately and individually, one at a time. I want you to know that I'm going to try harder to do baby things just with my baby and make the time to have you all to myself.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

That's Amore!

For Valentine's day I got a Shark steam mop! I love it! No more cleaning my wood floors on my hands and knees with a bucket of hot water. The boys got big heart lollipops and a toy, Buzz Lightyear for Gavin, Woody for Cameron, and a little tow truck for Mason. Jeremy got a box of pecan clusters. I also got some pretty red roses and a very special valentine made by Cameron from all of the boys. Last week all three boys got a card from their Grandma and Grandpa Johnson with a crisp $1 bill in each! I remember getting such cards from my grandparents and loving it as a kid and our boys (especially Cameron) were thrilled. Well, a seed was planted in Cameron's head after receiving that card and Valentine's morning Jeremy and I each got our own special card with a dollar bill inside! Now I can go buy that pack of gum I've been wanting... :)

Valentine's day this year happened to fall on the Sunday that we do our monthly dinner swap with our friends the Wadley's, Toler's and Turner's, so we made it into a fun little party for the kids. They all decorated a shoebox and exchanged valentines and then stuffed their bellies with candy. This dinner night has become something that we always look forward to, it is such a great tradition and our kids have really cemented their friendships with each other. We get some great adult time too and eat really yummy food! It was a great day filled with love and friendship! Happy Valentine's Day!

Nice job, Travis...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Stuck in Snowmageddon!

A week ago the forecasters began predicting a storm that would arrive by the weekend. Every day the accumulation amounts grew and panic struck northern Virginia. They said that it would be the biggest snowstorm in DC's history, the last was in 1922 when the totals were 28 inches. I went to the grocery store on Thursday and they were already out of many items, including bread. Jeremy went to Costco and said that he could not even park in their parking lot and the lines were all the way to the back of the store. School was cancelled on Friday even before a single snowflake fell. Around 9 am we began to see flurries and the snow continued until around 5 pm on Saturday. Jeremy shoveled throughout the day on Friday, doing little by little, trying to keep up with the storm. On Saturday it was like he hadn't shoveled at all. Again, we took turns with the shovel, and as soon as we would finish it would be time to start over again. The snow was heavy and sticky, it stuck to our shovel so that only half of every load fell off when we dumped it. We even tried spraying it with Pam! When the snow finally stopped we heaved a sigh of relief and surveyed the aftermath. The total on our yardstick was 24 1/2 inches. We counted ourselves lucky that we did not lose power like many of our neighbors did and we had internet and TV access, which was handy for keeping the kids occupied.

Today church was cancelled, no surprise. We took the kids out while we tried to clean off the cars and while outside a snowplow finally came to clear our road. Gavin with his truck love waved madly until the guy stopped to talk to him. Because of our gregarious little guy, the snowplow man cleared most of the snow in front of our house for us! He even offered to let Gavin drive! The roads are still icy and thick with snow so we don't plan on going anywhere any time soon. They are saying we could get 8 more inches on Tuesday! We'll see if they even have school at all this week. Cameron will be going to school until August with all of these snow days!

We were some of the few actually looking forward to this storm, most are sick of all of the snow we've gotten this winter, but I love it! We have tried to make the most of this experience with the kids, realizing that this may be the biggest snowstorm of their lives (and ours). One day they will look back and say, "remember when the snow came up to our waists and we were stuck inside for days?" We're trying to make some fun memories and feel fortunate to have each other to be stuck with. Snowpocalypse 2010, baby!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Aspen in the snow

Friday, February 5, 2010

The ever-constant Cameron

My darling first-born. He was the baby that everyone wished they had because he was so good natured. He broke us in as parents the easy way. This kid is something else. He is dependable, loyal, compassionate, and sensitive. He tries his hardest to make right choices and to please his mom and dad. I hate watching this kid go off to school each day because I miss him so much. He loves games, and puzzles, and playing the wii. Above all this boy loves money! He will work hard to earn it and then count it over and over again until his hands smell like metal from the coins. For Christmas he received an ATM machine that can help him keep track of how much he has and I hear the ringing sounds it makes from his bedroom constantly. However much he loves his money, he also loves to give. He is a big saver, not a spender, but when it comes to paying his tithing at church or giving to help those in Haiti, he does not hesitate. Cameron also keeps our family on track. He is the one to remind us to do our scripture study or say our prayers and will always volunteer to say the prayer as long as we don't have visitors :) Cameron has tried a couple of sports including, soccer, baseball and swimming and while he isn't too athletically inclined, he loves playing them and being involved in something. He is is a great big brother. As much as he and Gavin can argue and compete with each other, he can also be extremely loving and considerate towards him. With our new Christmas trampoline, I have let the older boys go out back on their own occasionally while I am making dinner. Every time, I sneak a peek outside to watch Cameron lifting Gavin up to get on and taking his shoes off for him, and then repeating the process when they are done. Also, in the mornings Gavin sneaks into Cameron's room and the boys lay in bed together talking or playing quietly so mom and dad can get a bit more sleep. With Cameron and Mason I never have any issues. He is a great protector over him and will willingly help out with him in any way. Often when Mason falls or hurts himself he will run to Cameron for a hug instead of me. Cam is a great peace maker, he always wants everyone to be happy and he is always trying to help people feel better. He is a snuggler in the worst way, he likes to hug long and hard. I hear "I love you" from this one all day long and if you ever get mad at him for something he is right there to make it up to you in whatever way possible. Jeremy and I, we got lucky with this one, he is setting such a great example for his brothers and aims to please his parents along the way. I hope we are deserving of this sweetest boy.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Which are cuter?

Or these?