Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Eli's 4th Birthday

In the blink of an eye, my little 5 pound premature baby boy has turned into a little man of 4 years old.  The older they get, the more fun their birthday's are and this little man could hardly wait for his big day to arrive this year!  We started the morning with his birthday breakfast request of birthday cake cinnamon rolls and 4 candles!  Because candles are fun!

Then it was off for a day of fun. It didn't start off to fun though as we had to drop by the social security office and take care of some business for LB and Malachi.  After 3 years of waiting for Malachi's updated social security card, we finally got  that resolved and got a number for little sister.  That was officially the LAST step for both of their adoptions so it was a productive morning! Eli hung in there through the loooong wait with the ipad! 

Finally we were off to have some fun!  Eli requested a game place for his birthday (see a theme here?) so we took him to a game place and he had the whole place to himself!  It was pretty fun!  

After playing lots and lots and lots of games, it was lunchtime.  A pizza buffet while watching some favorite cartoons seemed perfect for the birthday boy!  

And then the moment he had been waiting for!  A trip to the toy store where he was told he could pick out any lego set that he wanted!  The choices were endless and this took a bit of time and debate but he left with a set that he couldn't wait to put together! 

And last stop on the way home.  Nobody can resist a free scoop of ice cream on their special day! 

We picked up some small bundt cakes on the way home so we could have some sort of a dessert that night as a family.  Of course, we had to blow out a few more candles! I don't think he could have had a more perfect day!

Then a few days later, it was time to party!  We seem to have a bit of a lego obsession in this house at the moment!

                                      He couldn't have been more excited to be a big 4 year old!

 Happy Birthday Eli!  You are one great kid!  You're still as stubborn as ever but we deal with it. You take after your mom and dad just a wee bit!  I still think you're as sweet as sugar and definitely still a mama's boy.  The only drawback to turning 4 was that you needed 3 more shots and that was no fun for anyone.  You're now 35  pounds (41st %) and 41" tall (64%). Crossing that 40" threshold is always exciting in this house because that means you will be tall enough to do the fun rides when we take you to Disneyland later on this year!  We love our little lego man!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

6 Months

Well, after a bit of a blogging hiatus I am trying to get back caught up on the happenings.  We were super busy during the holiday's and that took awhile to recover from.  Then Peter has been working insane hours in the new year along with a really bad and scary bout of RSV hitting all the kids in the house.  Then a birthday boy and it has been a lot to just get everyone taken care of each day. But I'm going to try to get  caught up the best I can.

At the end of January this sweet little love celebrated her half year birthday.  Time has flown by since her birth.  I didn't think it was possible, but I must say she just gets more and more adorable every day! 

She's still wearing 3-6  month clothes and I think will still be in them for a bit longer.  She's drinking 8 ounce bottles and eating all sorts of baby foods. She's not a huge fan of baby food but we're working on it. She does love banana, apple, and pears.  The good stuff!  She loves music and loves listening to my not so great voice sing to her.  She's also one busy girl who is always wiggling and moving. She doesn't want to miss a thing and gets bored quickly if someone isn't entertaining her.  I could definitely classify her as our most high maintenance child. She knows what she wants and she wants it now! She's still a great sleeper though, so I'm definitely not complaining.

We love you little miss!  I can't believe you are already 6 months old. We've come so far in 6 months.  You are such a strong little girl!  We are so happy to be your mommy and daddy and look forward to all you are going to learn and do in these next 6 months. I know our days of you not moving all over the place are limited so I am savoring every minute that you are still my snuggly baby girl!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Way I Will Always See You

There's something pretty amazing about having daughters.  Yes, boys are equally incredible and a mama loves them in a special and unique way too.  But today, I'm referring to the way I look at my (oldest) daughter.  It hit me like a ton of bricks last night as I was watching you giggle with excitement as you got ready for bed.  I looked at you and I realized how much I wish I could just bottle you up the way you are in this moment. How I wish you would never grow and change, and I knew that before long you're going to grow up on me.  You'll start making friends and then boyfriends. You'll be driving, then going to college and then someday I will watch as you walk down the aisle into a new phase of life. For some crazy reason, the thought of you growing anymore just about split me in two.  And in that very moment, I also had this clear sense that even as you grow up and change, I'm still always going to remember you as this little 2 year old giggling girl!

The way you sing "Let It Go" in your bed at night (and sometimes over my singing and rocking you to sleep).
The way that as we're getting you dressed for bed you whisper "Can I run around?" because for some reason there is nothing better than running the halls at night completely naked before getting your jammies on.
It's the way you giggle and try to ask me to stop tickling you, but then seconds later you've got that little grin on your face as you climb back into my lap begging me to tickle you again. 
It's the way that everything in your bed has to be just so-so before I can tuck you in. How you must have your bubble blanket, your pillow, a sippy cup, a book, your white poodle, and your pink poodle. And the door must be cracked just the perfect distance - not to closed but also not too open.  
It's the way we must sing "You are My Sunshine" every single night as I rock you before bed.
It's the way you love shoes and the color pink and all things sparkly. 

I just don't know how I will ever see beyond the beauty of today. You're my little girl and you will always be my little girl. I know there are so many more wonderful memories we will make in life together and I do look forward to them.  But there's just nothing I would change about the way I see you right now and sweetie you better just be prepared, because in my eyes you will always be this precious 2 year old little girl!  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hopes for 2015

This is a post that makes me excited! I love the freshness that a new year brings.  It's also fun to look back at the end of the year and see all of my dreams from last year and where they actually went in the new year. I encourage everyone to do this. It's fun to have direction and hopes and dreams for the year ahead!

Things are going great for us.  We've definitely grown closer through some growing pains this year.  I hope that we can continue to communicate honestly with one another and show each other love.  We REALLY need to utilize date nights this year as that time together is so valuable!   I also look forward to accompanying Peter on a trip to Ireland sometime this year and also hopefully will get away at least one more time during the year for a weekend away! 

   The kids are also doing well. They are very busy and a lot of work, but we're getting through the toddler years. I hope to grow in compassion and patience with them this year.  We've had a really great year of preschool with the 3 oldest and I look forward to finishing that up and starting a new year as Malachi moves into Kindergarten and the others move into 3 and 4 year preschool! 

The house is still a work in progress but we're getting there.  I want to continue with the small things inside  to decorate it.  We've been here almost 2 years so it's time to prioritize all that. Our top priority outside will be a new fence and we're ready to get a garden planted this year! Inside, we're going to focus on renovating the playroom/schoolroom and setting up some really cool workstations for the kids to do their school.    

Health is still a work in progress. We'd both love to lose a few pounds but our primary focus is on being healthy. Peter needs to get back into running. I hope to focus more on 4-8 miles runs this year and might even contemplate training for a half marathon by the end of the year.  I'm also getting into yoga and we finally have the garage cleared out to start using our workout equipment again.  

  We have some fun trips planned for the coming year!  I'm just waiting on word from Peter to book a trip to Ireland.  We're thinking spring but it might be the fall.  We've also booked a trip to Eagle Crest in August and we're hopeful that we will be taking all the kids to Disneyland in December!   

   Finances always remain the thorn in our side.   This year we hope to pay off our adoption debt and replenish our savings that was depleted from our adoption.  We did end up taking a few steps back on our Total Money Makeover this year, but it was totally worth it to add LB to the family!  I think by the end of the year we should be back on track!  

   Peter has had a challenging year as he learns a whole new aspect of tax.  He joined a team and kind of got thrown in the deep end when 2 of the 3 members of his team ended up having babies and are on maternity leave for a year (gotta love Ireland!).  So he's had a crash course in the world of International Tax and has steadily worked 55+ hour weeks.  We're hoping things will settle down this year and he'll get a bit more comfortable with what he's doing.  We're also hoping there will be some career advancement this year!  Getting his Master's in Tax is always something we're discussing but that's just not a realistic possibility if his hours remain as high as they've been.   

Another exciting year ahead!  This APPEARS to be a pretty calm year ahead for us.  No big, exciting life changing PLANS for us. But who knows. We love living in chaos so you just never know........

Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014 In Review

Truly, I can't believe it is December and our year is almost over!  The years keep flying by for us!  We had a another very exciting and busy year.  So many awesome and wonderful things happened in our lives.  We're still processing and adjusting to all the changes this year has brought, but its been a good one! 

We started 2014 off in Ethiopia!  I still don't think I have fully processed that trip. All I do know is that my heart longs to return and I still am left trying to figure out what my role is for the bigger picture.  

We got a decent amount of snow right around Eli's birthday and my boy's had a lot of fun!

Eli turned 3 years old in spiderman fashion!

                                      We also sold my much beloved jeep.  I still miss that thing!

                                                And we became a swaggerwagon family!

                                            Mr. Malachi turned 4 years old - break my heart!

                                                And my little princess became a 2 year old!

One of the highlights of my year was getting away with Peter for a weekend in the spring. It was probably the most relaxing time we've had in years!

And something we totally didn't see happening this year, Peter accepted a new position that moved him into the world of International Tax!

                                            We celebrated a final 4th of July as a family of 5!

Of course the highlight of our year, was the addition of sweet LB!  She has been a true dream come true for our family!

And while there were no plans to visit a Disney park this year, to our surprise LB was born in Florida and since we couldn't leave for 2 weeks, we knew exactly where we needed to go! 

Not many 5 pound, 5 day old babies get to visit DisneyWorld! 

We've taken 4 trips to Seattle to visit Uncle Andy this year (and 1 more to come over New Year's).  A highlight of those trips would be Peter getting to take Eli to his first Mariner's Game!

Our late summer days were spent in soccer practice and swim lessons!

Because of Peter's new role in International Tax, he was able to travel to Ireland for 2 weeks to work!

 On October 31st we were blessed to finalize LB's adoption and she officially became a Keyser!

We also had the most adorable Halloween ever!

                                      We took a quick trip to San Jose for Peter's work!

Its truly just been a wonderful year full of lots of blessings! I am so grateful for how this year has turned out and there isn't much I would change about it.  I look forward to 2015, there's not much crazy we have planned (yet)!  Thanks for a good one 2014!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Peaches Adventure

So about a year ago, we decided our property needed a couple kitties.  Peter's cat that he had during his childhood had just passed away and in his absence all the neighborhood cats started taking over the place. So right before Christmas my MIL and I took off to get a new cat for the Keyser Compound.  

So Bentley joined the family! 


Well, it just so happened that the humane society was doing buy one kitty get one free. So we also added Oswald! 

Skip ahead to this summer, and we had a mama kitty and her 4 kittens show up.  We attempted to capture them a couple times but had no luck.  So needless to say our cats we got to keep the other cats out didn't do their job!  Then there were 7 cats!  

A month or so ago, I noticed that our mama kitty was looking a bit pregnant again! Oh boy!

This is when I decided that something needed to be done!  I mean, we're literally feeding the entire neighborhood here!

So after some chats with local cat charities, we decided it would be best to try and capture the cats and at least get them fixed.  However there was one kitty that I would like to think I'd built a little bond with. He was definitely the most friendly of all the wild cats and he wasn't spooked by me like the others. Since he was just 5 months old, I did some research and found some advice to suggest that with time he could be domesticated.  Since he was the first of the kitties that we were able to catch, I decided to give it a chance.

So we brought Peaches as the children had named him, into the bathroom and started the slow process of making friends with him.  He wasn't super skittish and in the few days we had him in there, we were definitely making some progress. I was really hopeful that he would become my buddy!

Until I came into our bathroom to see this!  I couldn't believe it and went in to full on panic mode!  Peaches was  no where to be seen. Peaches had staged a jail break! 

I didn't sleep that night as I worried about him and what if he died in my vents!  Or what if he somehow made his way to the furnace and broke my brand new furnace that we just spent $8000 on!  I was trying to brainstorm ideas to get him out or sat in the quiet house hoping I'd hear him move and have an idea which floor of the house he was on.

We dumped flour down each vent so we could see if there were footprints of him moving around.  We took the vents off all the bathrooms and put cat food near them all hoping he would come and explore but after another day, there was still no sign of him.  Until that evening I heard a big "clunk clunk clunk".  That would be Peaches falling from the second story down to the first!  At least we knew where he was now! Claw marks in the dust of the vent that dropped to the first floor confirmed it for us!

I felt a little bit better knowing he was on the first floor, because we knew we had a vent that we needed to fix that was disconnected under the house.  If he made it to the first floor, surely in no time he would find his way to that opening.  So we just waited and hoped we wouldn't start smelling anything dead.  If he made it to the crawlspace we figured he would have no problem finding his way to a vent and back outside. So we waited and watched for any sign of him.  A week passed with no sign of him.  But then, all of a sudden there he was prancing across the yard. The little fart came right over to the sliding glass door and stared me down.  I think he may have had some choice words for me. 

He did it. I never thought a cat could have outsmarted me, but somehow this guy successfully escaped our house.  Well done, Peaches. Well done! 

And on that note, we're still trying to catch a bunch of cats and get them fixed. Plus we have new kittens out there...... again.  Since when did I become a cat lady?!?