Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010

We spent Christmas with Jared's family in Idaho Falls. Since I had just got my new camera (Canon it!), I took tons and tons of pictures. Not all of them are great since I was (am) still trying to figure out how to use the camera, but they will do : )

And since there are so many pictures, I will try to avoid lengthy explanations- hopefully that will help it not be a marathon length post!

We had lots of quality family time, which is always dangerous when Stokes are involved. Randomness occurs often, sometimes in the form of family wig night, which generally results in jam out sessions.

Christmas Eve was very busy. The kids made reindeer food (so the reindeer could find the house...duh!)

We had a special visitor show up:

Of course, the classic kids acting out the nativity was performed (don't you love how most of the kids are keeping a close watch on the "donkey"), followed by a touching rendition of Feliz Navidad and a cousin gift exchange:
Um, have you ever laid your eyes upon a cuter angel? The answer is no, no you have not! Were you not aware that all angels carry around Elmo?
Matching pj's were worn:
and Grandparents were snuggled:

Then Christmas morning came. Everyone was exhausted from the night before. I LOVE the middle picture on the top row. Preston is explaining to Kerrigan that we were about to go downstairs to see what Santa left everyone.
(sidestory: Christmas Eve, as we were putting K to bed, Jared explained to her that Santa was coming and in the morning we would open the presents he bought for us. Kerrigan paused, then looked right at Jared and said, " Santa is SO COOL!" She is a huge fan now, and tells us how cool Santa is at least once a day.)

My favorite part of Christmas was watching K open her Woody and Jessie dolls (from Grandparents and Tucker). She was so in awe that she was actually holding them....and has not put them down since!

Then, after more feasting and short naps, we hit the great outdoors for some sledding. Grandpa attached the sled to the back of the snowmobile and gave us all rides. Jared, Kerrigan, Tucker and I took a turn, but I don't have pictures of it.

Tucker's first tube ride. Yes, he is going down alone. No, the hill wasn't as quite steep as it looks. And yes, he did sleep the entire time...such a thrill seeker!
LOVE the look on Kerrigan's face.

My sinfully good looking husband and son. You can't really see it in this picture, but Jared's eyes with the blue beanie...YEEEOOOWWWZZZAAAA!!!!

So, our move to Idaho has been really, really hard. However, looking through these pictures reminds me of why we did it. We want our kids to have these kinds of memories with family. Yes, we have had a rough 6 months since leaving CT, but we just have to remind ourselves that FAMILY IS EVERYTHING!
The End.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pre-Merry Christmas

Yes, I am behind again.
No, I probably won't catch up anytime soon.
Maybe someday I will post pictures of Kerrigan's birthday, Tucker's 3month pictures, Christmas and soooo much more.
Until then, this will have to do....
Happy Holidays from us to YOU!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Little Behind...AGAIN!!!

I can't seem to find the time to blog regularly, so here is a (partial) catch up post- a mere month late : )


Saturday (10/31) we explored a little fall paradise, known as the Farmstead. I had been begging Jared to take us for about a month, and we were finally able to go the day before it closed. so much fun!

There was a "cow train" ride. Kerrigan was not so sure about it when we first plopped her in good ole' Max...but we are working on a little thing called INDEPENDENCE these days- so off she went.

It was a huge hit- for all of us. She loved riding it, and Jared and I got a kick out of watching her tiny head (the next youngest kid was probably 4) barely peeking above the side, bobbling around the whole time. Not sure if bobbling is a word, but I think it paints an accurate mental image.

Since we went to The Farmstead in place of a nap, we needed to give Kerrigan a slight boost. In the form of sugar, of course. Her first taste of cotton candy (no idea how it took this long with the parents she got stuck with) was an instant success.

By all means, Kerrigan, don't hold back!

Then the highlight of the day occurred when we stumbled upon these mini treasures.
We sat her on a tiny horse, thinking we would at least get a picture of her terrified face (I was serious when I said she is stuck with us). Lo and behold, she is a natural horse rider...I am sure there is an actual name- and that's what she is.
The 2 cowgirls running the ride were in awe with her form. I see horse back riding classes in our future. And by ours, I mean hers. I will probably retain my fear of horses...
The Farmstead is basically good, (relatively) clean family fun! We had a blast exploring hay mazes, jumping on giant trampoliney things, watching pig races, hay riding through the pumpkin patch, etc.
We even got us a pumpkin- isn't she a beaut?!?! We totally bought a small one there, thinking we could get a better price at the grocery store. The joke was on us...Albertsons' pumpkins were expensive and ugly (it was the night before Halloween in their defence).
Live and Learn, my friends. Live and Learn!
The highlight for me was getting these pictures:
My toddler, who suddenly treats me like much hated paparazzi these days, actually LOOKING at the camera. We sat her down on the hay bale, gave her a chunky baby to love on...and voila!- she embraced her inner super model.

After the Farmstead, we went to our ward's Trunk or Treat. When we were rushing to get over there in time, Jared teased me that if I was in that much of a hurry on Sundays, we might actually make it on time every once in awhile. Right back at you, babe : )
Kerrigan chose her lovely Abby Cadabby ensemble. I had a momentary freak out when I started spraying her hair pink, thinking it may not wash out- and thanked my lucky stars later that night when it did.
Since the cotton candy's effects had started wearing off, we presented our next weapon : the sucker. Worked wonders, she was perky and energetic the rest of the evening.
One minor (or major, however you want to look at it) setback happened fairly early on. She was just starting to gain her "twick o tweet" confidence when we got to a particularly ghoulish trunk. The lady had a bowl with a hand in it, and asked (as she is placing the bowl within reach of a hyped up on sugar 2 year old) ,"Will this be too scary for her?", right as the motion sensored hand grabbed Kerrigan's unsuspecting, candy seeking hand.
DRAMA unfolded...much weeping, and wailing, possibly gnashing of teeth. And I got to carry her the rest of the time. Thank you, kind stranger, for forever traumatizing her : )
Oh, Tucker was a whoopie cushion...for obvious reasons to anyone who has been in a room with him for more than 2 seconds. The kid can rip 'em better than any gassy 92 year old man!
Actual Halloween was pretty low key. We made Halloween cookies, carved a Mickey Mouse pumpkin and filled the bags of many children with candy (all 4 of the trick or treaters we got).

So there you have it. Halloween weekend a la Stokes. Stay tuned for more updates.
Although, they probably won't get done until me and this little sicko stop playing stomach flu tag....

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Two YEARS of Kerrigan

Seriously, I have a 2 year old?!?!?!

My little Miss turned 2 on December 5th. I don't have the pictures of her actual birthday (ahem, week) since they are on the memory card from my old camera I will hopefully post those soon.

Here is the only picture I have of her opening a birthday present (the game Cootie from Matt and Suz's family-only fitting that this is what she was doing while opening it), and I only have it because we did it Christmas weekend. Isn't it a beaut?

The two words I would use to describe 2 year old Kerrigan are GOOFY:
(I realize this is blurry, still figuring out my camera, but shows my day to day Kerrigan to a T...looking a little wild, but happy as a clam)

(Also a blurry picture, but for a different reason. Mid-shot, Tucker started rolling off the couch. He was caught before plummeting downward, but she climbed out by the time my heart had slowed to a normal pace).

Literally on the stroke of midnight on her birthday, the terrible two's kicked in. Tantrums and messes ensued. At the time, Jared and I were completely caught off guard, but soon came up with a plan, which has for the most part worked on the tantrums. However, the mischief has only increased.
Part of me likes that she has become more adventurous, part of me misses the little baby who was content with playing with what was placed in front of her.
Either way, the girl can find her way into a sticky situation faster than anyone I have ever met. I took these pictures the other day. I had just cleaned the family room and left the room for a few minutes to throw in a load of laundry.
I returned to find this:
But where is the culprit? Oh, here she is, in the pantry trying to get at stuff she knows I won't give her.
I am still trying to figure out how she destroyed the family room, strip down to her diaper and get the goodies out of the pantry and the lids halfway off in a matter of minutes.
Now that the tantrums or more under control, she has returned to being a delightful toddler (I know, sounds like an oxymoron).
Growing up, my mom called me her joy child. That is exactly what Kerrigan is to me! She makes my day brighter just by being in it. She tests my patience sometimes, but is quick to forgive me when I fail to be the best I can be.

Baby K (we really need a new nickname, not so appropriate anymore) LOVES being around people. I love this picture. She has only seen Gail a few times, but warmed up to her very quickly this time. Gail said she was sitting on the couch and K came up and sat on her foot and asked for a ride...typical Kerrigan!
I love how this picture makes them look like old buddies!
She LovEs LOveS LOVES being a big sister. She is such a good helper these days. Sometimes she over loves on her "buddy", but is quick to inform me when Tucker is stinky or needs his Binky. Luckily for all of us, she has realized he is only 8 lbs smaller than her, so we haven't had any repeat incidents of her trying to carry him.
Her tender heart doesn't mix well with sleep training, so I often find her sneaking into his room when he is crying. I have a hard time being stern with her inability to let him cry.
Kerrigan has always been a chatterbox, but the things she says are starting to get more and more funny. Here are a few of our favorite Kerrigan-isms:
"I scewed" (everything is scary these days. She also labels things as scary, dat scewy dada, dat scewy gwanpa, etc.)
After every activity she does, she lets me know she enjoyed it with "Had fun nursery, had fun daddy, had fun bath," etc.
Every morning I wake up to, "Come in Mama, come GET ME!!!" in her sweet helium voice (which is just how she talks, cracks me- and everyone else- up)
Her prayers are awesome. She is thankful for the most random things, such as daddy's eyebrows, all the letters, the fans and brother's source of food (when I am nursing during prayer).
"It's ok sweet bruder boy!"
Her favorite foods are mackey cheese, cheesy crispies and canteen (or candy, as the general population refers to it)
She only speaks in sentences. Everything is "I hear..." or "I see...", instead of just the word.
My personal favorite, when looking at a picture of our wedding, "Its a BEEEEAUTIFUL mama!"

My sweet, sweet Kerrigan Rose,
It really seems like yesterday that we were waiting for you to come to us. When we found out you were finally on your way, I remember thinking how lucky we were that you had chosen us! And when you arrived, I realized you were worth every second of those years of prayers, tears and pleading. You are my joy child, and bring me such happiness every day.
I know you won't fully understand how much Daddy and I love you until you have a child of your own, but maybe then you will read this and know what we feel for you!
Thank you so much for being so patient with me as I learn what it means to be a good mother. Thank you for loving me even when I am not perfect.
Thank you for being you!
I can't wait to see what is in store for you in the next 2, 10, 20 and 50+ years!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Three Months of Tucker...

(I am actually typing this a little over a month late, but am going to post date it in December, so when I print my blog book it show up in the right year.)

Tucker turned 3 months old on November 28th. Here are some Tuck facts, as well as his 3 month pictures.

The first few months of life "on the outs" (as we call it) were rough for our little guy. Adjusting to the outside world was difficult and he was a fairly fussy baby.

However, in his third month he really began to enjoy life. He has since become such a giggly, chubby, dimply little dude. He has mellowed out in the crying department...much to my (sanity's) relief!

At 3 months I have no idea how much he weighs. We will leave it at he is one solid kid.

He wears size 3 diapers and has been in 3-6 month clothes for a few weeks.

I hope his eyes don't change. I could not be more in love with their color. It is the second thing people always comment on (after they inform me how huge he is...really? I hadn't noticed : )

While Tucker started laughing (full on laughs, not the infant giggle sound) pretty early, he is still a fairly serious baby. His go to face is generally like the picture below...

...unil someone makes eye contact, then it turns to his toothless, gummy smile.

He started rolling back to stomach to back around 2 1/2 months, which is impressive considering the amount of weight he has to maneuver. He is such a tank!
He hates being on his stomach during his conscious hours, but he loves to sleep on his belly. And thanks to the wonderful discovery of breathing monitors, I am able to enjoy (read:sleep) during his 10 hour nighttime sleep stretches!

I am so grateful for my baby boy. When I found out I was pregnant, I was genuinely concerned that I would be able to love another baby as much as Kerrigan.
That worry left the very second I held him. It is so true what they say about the bond between mother and son. I can't (and wouldn't want to) imagine my life without my sweet son!

Friday, November 19, 2010


This morning I woke up with an "angry" eye.

It was (and still is) bright red, burning and as Kerrigan so gently pointed out, "dat scawy eye, mom!"

No, I will not be showing pictures.

Yes, I did go to the eye doctor.

Yes, Jared had to rearrange his entire day to play chauffeur to his one eyed wife (due to lost glasses and no way in heck was a contact going in that eye).

We decided, after being questioned by the nurse, that I am ocularly un-hygienic. The good doc told me I abuse my eyes via leaving in my contacts to long...a contact abuser, if you will.

In my defence, it is impossible to do midnight feedings/changings when I am almost literally blind as a bat, but without their sonar capabilities.

The only medication he could subscribe has been correlated with stunting the growth of breastfed babies.

Not sure if that would be terrible for Tucker, considering he is in the freaking 97th percentile for weight (yes, you read that correctly. Little different than his 10th percentile sis)!

However, Jared wants a basketball player- and being in the 75th percentile for height is not going to guarantee playing in the big leagues.

So I will endure the next week with measley artificial tears, a scary eye and no mascara, for this:

Hope someday he appreciates it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tucker's Blessing...

We blessed Tucker on November 7,2010. It worked out really well for everyone. My parents and Orson were able to drive up, and the Stokes family already had tickets to the BSUvs. Hawaii game, so they were planning on being in Boise anyway.

On the 6th, Jared's family went to the game, and Jared and I hung out with my family. After the game, we took pictures in all our BSU gear.

Then Sunday Jared blessed Tucker. He did an amazing job on the prayer!
I am so lucky he is is my baby-daddy!
We feel so lucky to have friends and family that were willing to travel to come share this special day with us!

Tuck with my parents...

And Jared's...

I totally forgot to take pictures of just him in his blessing outfit that Grandma Wilkins bought for him, and he had outgrown it a few weeks later- such a chunky guy. He looked so handsome in his white outfit, with a vest and bow tie. It also came with a newsie hat (a look I LOVE to put on him), but it didn't fit him : (

This was my favorite picture of the, my mama and favorite little guy!