Friday, July 18, 2014

A Nothing Day

Today we did pretty much nothing. Nothing that was forced, or planned anyway. We went to our final day of swim lessons, then played in the smoke and ate cheese and crackers for lunch. I sewed a couple newborn outfits while laughing dirty boys ran in and out of the open front door. 

This one, ^^^, cracks me up. Such friends on their own world, then suddenly a Hobbes like attack from little bro. The aftermath was about like Calvin's too...possibly a tad more scream though.

I was politely invited to attend (and make, go figure) an afternoon snack of English muffin and Beth's jam.
This is the girl outfit I made today. The shirt says "never mind the cloudy days" and I wore it when I was like 16. We were cleaning out boxes and boxes of old clothes for the "pretty stuff sale" next weekend but couldn't bear to part with this one. It was worn a lot and has lots of sentimental meaning. I may have to just keep this one in case we ever happen to need a baby girl outfit ;)

Farmer Reid, wondering where the tomatoes are...his ma is too.

The smoke has been so thick today. The mountains have disappeared and the sky is gray and you can even look directly at the sun, which appears to be a big orange marble. Smoke is coming up and over from ID and WA and expected to stick around for another few days. I cannot imagine what it's like right next to the fires! Talon (nick and Beth's son) is on the Hot Shot team this year and is on his first uncontrolled fire, so we are very glad that these guys are trained well in fires!

We strolled down smokey Main Street and may or may not have stopped at the drug store for ice cream. 

Hmm, Kase and Reid seem to prove that we DID make that stop..

Just missing Grandpa & Grandma now, who were there the last time we went for I've cream :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Those July Days

It's been so hot and smoky here that even though I know fall is a LONG way off, it feels like it's just around the corner.

I'm not a morning person at all but have been trying. When I can get a few moments of quiet time for my soul in before the noise wakes up, I am able to have more patience for a bit longer. Bentley and Kase were early birds too this day and joined me outside to bask in the morning air.

Beth, Bonnie,  Shelby and our boys had a picnic at the splash park last week on one of those hot hot days. Shelby is such a great help and friend to the boys...which I love too because when she's with them this ma can actually sit down long enough to have a conversation with my friends! It's been a few years since I could sit and do that :)

It's no secret, our kids are terrified of dogs. I am too. But we love Zeke and Maggie who live with Nick and Beth. Reid even shared his cantaloupe with Zeke.

I often wish that I could give our boys more adventure, but time and money are restricting. Then I see them running around playing like boys do, and see that in itself, to be what you are, is adventure enough! Kase plays here in the big tires at the park where we met some new friends for snack. At first, he ducked down to nearly sitting on the ground and scooted through. Each pass he would raise up a little higher until he was comfortable enough to know he wouldn't hit his head, like he watched his little friend do. Even though they're rough boys, it's sweet knowing they're still a bit cautious and thinkers :)

I put all (yes ALL) of the Legos away now, because this boy didn't care if he ever saw the beautiful sun as long as he had his Legos. So, just like how addicting gadgets can be for kids, I decided it was time to have a lesson in moderation with Legos. Once they were put away, he wanted to spend more time outside too. (Which was the purpose!) We took a walk/ride up to Nick and Beth's, which is 3 miles round trip. Not once did they complain even after a huge hill or two!

This hot weather has exploded my buttercup squash! We also have summer squash growing, zucchini blossoms, bean blossoms, and thick rows of beets. Summer has felt so fulfilling!

Friday, July 11, 2014

About Reid - 17 months

Since I was gone from blogland, I missed posting all about Reid and his firsts! Now, I can try to be the mom that remembers all the firsts and the dates they happened...but I'm not. So I may fib by a month or so, but here's what this handsome prince has been up to;

* Little whippersnapper at less than 20 lbs at 17.5 months
* Started getting up on all 4s and rocking since 4.5 months, but didn't actually crawl till 10
* Was a late teether, getting his first at almost 11 months
* Now has a bunch. And they make him look really old, especially when he's wrinkling up his nose, giggling and showing off them pearly whites. He has only a few molars and eye teeth left to come in.
* Was not really into food either. Still isn't. However, he's been known to eat little Lego people heads. And they always come out face up. Creepy. And gross.
* Walked at 13 months. Ran shortly thereafter. But he also rides a lot in my Hava sling.
* Still loves to nurse, and I love nursing him! He's going on the longest kiddo to nurse, just ahead of Bentley who weaned at 17 months.
* Seriously has taken his roll of "baby of the family" too lightly, and is now acting not-so-much like the baby.
* Favorite pairs of shoes are little blue Toms and Minnetonka moccasins.
* He doesn't say too many words yet. He does say mama, da, stop (first word, along with the thrown out hand that comes saying 'stop'), no, hot, tickle tickle and a few others. He signs more, please, drink, and just did thank you for the first time yesterday.
* Wears a little pair of Wranglers like a {cowboy} boss.

He's full of life and has such a pleasant disposition! Granted there are days all he does is want to nurse and be held, he is always a beam of light in our days! He's always interested in what big brothers are doing and joins in and "goes with {that} flow", but still has a shrill way of holding his own.

He's not being a fan of this pool yet, but his pout is adorable. He will squish his whole face up and squint his eyes like his daddy. Anytime he can escape thru an open door, he will.

This is one of his most favorite places, and I'm sure it's one of daddy's too! Since around13 months, Reid has been sleeping in his own bed, but is still known to find his way to ours and snuggle in between us. I don't mind as long as I get to sleep most of the night...I often feel a little heart broken that they're become little men SO fast! If I can keep him in our bed and keep an eye on him...he can't grow up then right? Like a watched pot never boils...? I'll just need someone to confirm that, please!?

Oh, and a favorite food is strawberries. When in Escanaba MI, we picked up some for a snack at the beach and little Berry Pants ate nearly this whole carton.

If there's a glass of water anywhere he can see....he WILL get it and take a drink, and then SPILL it. Most people just breath without thinking, but this guy will spill things just like that. He will also stuff his entire supper into a very small drinking glass.

Now, when I was pregnant with Reid and didn't know gender yet, a lot of people thought I would be hoping for a girl. We didn't care, obviously. I loooove having little boys because they're just plain fun, make you thankful for your husband and realize how awesome his mama raised him, keep you surprised at what can go in the wash machine and not get destroyed, keep you thankful for your soft bed at bedtime, and are sweet on their mama. HOWEVER, one thing that I could live without, is the hands down the pants. All. The. Time. And look who has started it. Joy.

Sometimes I squeeze him, put my lips on his soft cheeks and smell his (fleeting) innocent baby smell and my heart quadruples in size immediately. When he looks at me and grins while nursing, I can't believe that God gave him to US. He's the perfect addition to his family, and his brothers are as lucky to have him as he is them.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Slam

It being July, summer is most definitely here! In Montana, it takes a while to get warmed up and for the weather to decide which season it's going to be...but we are hot now!

We got to celebrate Jaci's birthday at Gramma Mary's with the Pheifer kids, and added a few extra belated birthday greetings in there too cause that's how we do it. Haha. I love these kids playing together...Jaci & Coy team up pretty fast and Bentley & Aaron make a fun pair...not only because of their ages, but when you chat with his mama, their personalities are very similar too!

Logans parents lent us their truck so we could haul our camper to convention. With 4 carseats in there, to say we were squished would be an accurate description of our trips anywhere. We didn't complain however, cause me sitting in the middle (we moved Coy into the middle for the trip) felt like our dating days when I got to ride right next to Logan in his white Chevy truck. Swoon...

Our house came with a big wooden play set in the back and the boys never used much of it besides the swings until this year when they discovered the rope swing! Here in this picture, they moved a hose back to the irrigation line, set up a sprinkler, and swung thru it! These boys...this is a mini picture of what is to come with 4 of them i'm sure........! Logan has great insurance, thank goodness.

I wouldn't complain if Bentley wanted to be a barista someday. He's made it his job in the mornings to push down my French press. And he does it slowly and perfectly. A boy after my own heart....

Grandma and Grandpa came to visit during Manhatten convention, then came home with us afterwards for a few days! I picked up some popsicle molds and the only ones at T.J. Maxx just happened to be rocket ship shaped! The kids love making them...they can choose what fruits go in the smoothie and then we fill 'em up and wait till they freeze!

Grandpa helped blow up the pool we picked up at Target once we saw the forecast of 90 all week long. Would you believe that it got this dirty before it was even full for the first time? Yep, any cow pond is probably much clearer than the dirty water that fills this pool.

This Grandma is awesome. Or 'jawsome', rather. She saw an idea online of a watermelon carved into a SHARK! And anyone who knows these boys, knows that their crazy shark obsession that's going on 10 months long now just got crazier after seeing this!

We wanted to walk back along the river to the shelter at the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge, but got cut off by the trail being completely washed out by this years major flooding. It was ok that we headed back earlier then we expected, cause the SKEETERS were feistier then expected too. This poor B-bug got bugged, bad. A little melaleuca on the bites seemed to help.

Here's these Braaten kids with their grandparents <3 strong="" we="">love
them. A lot!

And hey, did you know our grandpa is part monkey?! Sorry dad, but this is awesome. I still can't believe you can do this, and pull ups like nobody's business. :D

A little ice cream on a hot day? Meant to be.

4th of July morning, daddy and the big boys took a roadtrip to Kalispell to return the pickup. So it was just me and Mr. Green 'Stache all day...providing much cuddling time. Did you know that colds and boogers are allowed during the summer time? They should not be!

In the evening of the 4th, we headed over to the Coleman's for a great time celebrating our Independence! Sweet Bonnie picked up a slip 'n slide for the boys to try. They didn't make it all the way to the end, so I sat at the end of it taking pictures and a video looking UP it. My brain must have shut off when Shelby (age 9) came running because I stayed at the end of it, a sweet Reid on my lap, and video'd her coming down it. SHE, however, DID reach the end of it (and beyond) and little bug and I got sprayed with cold cold cold hosewater! Bug was mad, and all I could do was laugh and apologize to him that his mama was so blonde. He should get used to it.

Is there anything cuter than watching a toddler with a sparkler? It's like their eyes and mind are sparkling along with it.

The big booms drove Coy right into Bonnies lap. Her boys are teenagers now and don't cuddle anymore, so I don't think she minded one bit. :)

Reid was near his expiration time by the time we got to fireworks, but these glow sticks kept him awake for a bit longer. One of these glowsticks burst and squirted me in the eyes and face...which really stings, if you were wondering.

These two have the hardest time getting along, but I melted this day when Bentley, all dressed in his space suit, asked Kase, "Kase, want to ride on my rocket ship? I'm gonna drive though, k? We just need to buckle this helmet on you before we baLAST off".
 And they did have a great ride from the stories I got to hear about it.

The first week in July is always time to hay here. Also time for King of the Bales, but with no pushing.

Coy gets a Lego Jr. magazine every month and he marvels at all the creations and picture kids send in to get published. He wanted a picture of his masterpiece too, so here he's pictured with his "underground bad guy hideout". He plays legos EVERY single day. He was introduced to Ninjago by an older friend and has been obsessed with all the ninjas ever since. He even mentioned them being blessed during his play meeting. SO, the other day I figured it was time for a healthy break from everyone having to suffer our lives being surrounded by ninjas...and quietly put them away. He played almost the entire day with just his City Legos until he noticed them missing...then exploded. But, we're on day 3 without ninjas and we're all healing. But there's still no getting away from "bad guys" and "good guys"'s just part of being boys. Sigh.

And..that brings us up to today. I took the older two to swimming lessons this morning, then came home to relax (I say that very loosely since relaxing with 4 boys isn't a real thing, most days)  outside and spend some more time in the water. Our neighbors gave me some mint plants so I've been enjoying fresh mint and lemon water. SO refreshing!

Again, the rope swing entertains. Swinging over the pool is so fun...except for being shirtless brings about rope burn on the tummies. They're tough enough though.

I hope summer days are happy wherever you are today!