Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Years, and time with Grandma and Grandpa Betteirdge! (and help remodel a bathroom)

Max started off likely his first bath:

  And then he didn't like it:

We all love holding him.

We had one last hurrah with Thom and Brittany before they left and had a Raclette Cheese night.  I loved showing mom and dad this fun Archibald tradition.

 We loved spending time with Grandma and Grandpa playing games, watching movies, doing puzzles, reading books, snuggling on the couch.  Grandma and I took care of regular stuff while Dad and Chris tackled a bathroom remodel. I could tell Chris wasn't super excited about this but I just couldn't let a whole week of Dad being here with all his experience and NOT do a project. We're trying to get our house all finished up and in a good spot within the next year just in case its our last one here.  For New Years mom helped make a lot of special foods, like cheese balls, fruit bread, little BBQ smokies, chips and dip. etc. We counted down with a Netflix countdown timer at 10:00 for the kids. We face-timed with Hailey for a long time and actually stayed up till Midnight.  It was nice. I LOVE my parents and were soooo sad to say goodbye to them 2 days later.

Here's more information on the entryway bathroom remodel. The sink was a 4 foot cabinet which took up WAY too much room in the small bathroom and barely gave a small person enough room for their knees as they sat on the porcelain throne.  We had plans to make this awkwardly shaped bathroom feel better by putting in a pedestal sink but we were limited with where the water came out of the wall. We debated on trying to leave the tile in, but ended up needing to take it out. We ran into so bumps as we realized we needed to redo the tile, and had a hard time getting the right tools to cut the tile. Dad was able to change out some of the plumbing that made it easier to get a sink in the right place, but we didn't like any of the pedestal sinks at Loews so we came up with a new plan to build a little wainscoting-looking shelf to hide the water pipes and found a small but nice looking sink. Dad helped us change out the light fixture, replace the broken toilet, install the sink and get the tile down. Unfortunately Chris got hit with the same bug that the rest of the family got over Christmas Break. (only little Max was spared ... breastmilk win!) He wasn't able to help out on Dad's last day here and so we didn't get it all done but we're confident we can finish everything up ourselves. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Alec's Birthday!

We made yummy french toast with challah bread, egg nog, chocolate milk and pears for Alec's birthday breakfast.  We also opened all his presents from Chris and I and other family members on his very day. We had plans for a few friends to come over on Friday for a video game birthday party. It was Alec's idea and it was a perfect one since I could just let the kids play video games the whole time..keeping it simple for this postpartum mom. 

Alec's cake with his friends was a minecraft style cake. Two friends from school and one friend from church came. They ate pizza and played minecraft on the computer, wii in the landing and xbox in the living room.

My mom went out and got a few extra presents at the store the day of and Alec was pleased to have soo many presents to open. My mom is so great at making people feel special and loved. She's amazing.

Alec is a wonderful older brother.  He is always coming up with fun games to play and can focus for a long time on his own building things. He loves to draw and has a great sense of humor. He has masterfully combined those with a comic strip series entitled "The Julio Show" he makes at school about this guy 'Julio' who teaches kids how to do things but always ends up getting hurt in crazy funny ways.  Alec is a great student at school and is well liked by his classmates and teachers.  He tries SO HARD to never get in trouble and his teachers confessed to us this year that they sometimes don't even notice him. He's working hard on expressing his emotions appropriately at home. He gets to play legos and draws once a week with a sweet gal, Mary, who is helping us all be a little bit better with feeling angry and frustrated.  Alec and I have special one-on-one time each Wednesday night while the other kids are in bed and Chris is at YMs. We watch a BYU TV show called Granite Flats and its fun to have something special with him. 

Alec  loves to spend time kicking soccer goals out back, coming up with obstacle courses, building with legos, k'nex, or magnets or even duplos.  He likes to make surprises for people, read, make people laugh, watch Studio C and Dude Perfect. He's such a fun person to talk to one on one and is growing up to be a fine young man. I can't believe in 1 year he will be turning 12 and getting the Priesthood. I wonder if he'll be taller than me by then too.  We love Alec so much!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas with Brittany and Thom

We are SOOO excited to have Thom and Brittany and their kids over for Christmas! We love being with family. Some people were worried for me, hosting company for a holiday a week or so after having a baby. But Thom and Brittany have been here enough for me to not feel pressured to 'show them a good time' and their personalities are so conducive to this visit. Thom is playful with the kids, enjoys cooking and has zero expectations of needing to leave the house for entertainment. Brittany is so helpful and super aware of not being a burden and cleans the house and plays with the kids too. They were wonderful to have stay! 

 We had the traditional clam chowder and challah bread for Christmas Eve and we acted out the nativity and sang Christmas carols. There was a sweet spirit in the room as we all sang about Christ's birth in the glow of twinkly lights.  Also, having a new baby in the house really brings home all the songs and carols of a newborn babe, and of hope and peace and love.

We opened the cousin gifts with the Betteridge cousins over a video chat and then took some matching Christmas Pj pictures: the pyramid, shortest to tallest and the traditional new baby everybody-sit-on-Chris'-lap picture.

I tried to get some pictures of Max in his outfit but he was hungry and not wanting to model.

Christmas morning we decided to congregate at 7:00. We lined kids up on the stairs and then started opening presents.

We enjoyed opening presents all morning and ate some breakfast casserole half-way through at some point. We lounged in our jammies and played with presents the rest of the day.  We had a delicious Christmas dinner with turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls etc.  We got some fun games for Christmas and played tenzie and code names in the evenings. Thom prefers to not watch movies/TV when we're all together so we end up playing games and talking. It is so nice to have family over for holidays.