Sunday, February 14, 2016

I'm sensing a theme here... or Owen's 5th birthday interview

I tried to start a tradition last year of having a birthday interview, and miraculously remembered on the night of Owen's birthday this year. Here's his last year interview if you'd like to compare answers. :)

Owen's 5th birthday interview
1.  What is your favorite color?  Blue
2.  What is your favorite food?  Mac'n'cheese
3.  What is your favorite game?  Chutes and ladders
4.  What is your favorite book?  Uh, I think it's The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, A Great Jedi Knight. As found here.
5.  What is your favorite toy?  All of the light sabers we have.  Or if we had a Darth Maul light saber, it would be my favorite.
6.  What is your favorite treat?  I can't answer that question.  (Me: What about strawberry icecream?) Oh, a strawberry milkshake.
7.  What is your favorite song?  Uh, I have to sing it for you or I can't explain it...*starts singing The Imperial March*
8.  What is your favorite thing to learn about?  Getting money for Darth Maul's light saber.
9.  What is your favorite animal?  I think it's an orangutan
10.  What is your favorite TV show?  Star Wars shows, especially ones with Anakin Skywalker.
11.  What is your favorite thing to wear?  My Darth Vader t-shirt (Thanks Annie!)
12.  What is your favorite Holiday?  My birthday is my favorite holiday.  Why? Because I get presents.  Oh, and Christmas...the ones where you get presents.  Oh, and Easter.
13.  What do you want to be when you grow up?  A drummer boy in the war or a fighter in the war.
14.  If someone was being mean to your brother, what would you do?  Go and attack them.  Or maybe pull them away from James and close where he was, and block the door so someone being mean to him couldn't get in.
15.  Who is your best friend?  There are 2 people.  Jackson (Rife) is one and Andrew Giles is the other.
16.  What is something you want to learn to do this year?  Light saber fight.
17.  What is something that you are really good at?  I think I'm really good at Star Wars.
18.  If you had a million dollars, what would you buy?  A Darth Maul saber.
19.  If you were an animal, what would you be?  I think I would be Jabba's pet if I were an animal.
20.  What do you want someone to invent? A real light saber..
21.  If you could have a magic power, what would it be? To fly with wings.
22.  How many kids do you want to have when you grow up?  65
23.  What kind of house would you like to live in?  A light saber house, painted light sabers all over it and brown.
24.  Who is the prettiest girl in the whole world?  You.
25.  Where do you want to go on your mission?  To Hoth.  (Me: Owen that is not a real place!!  What real place?)  The African Savannah
26.  What's your favorite scripture story?  Samuel the Lamanite.

Also for his birthday I asked him what kind of cake he would like.  First he said a strawberry cake like last year.  (I made the Pioneer Woman's Strawberry Shortcake Cake.  It's delicious.)  A few days later he stipulated that he would also like it to be Star Wars (surprise!) with Luke and Darth Vader light saber battling, and red and black.  Ummmm.......what?

I was pretty stumped.  I didn't consider the fact that he might want a themed cake...I usually just like to eat yummy regular cake on a birthday.  Also, black frosting and red frosting are gross.  That's what I told Owen eventually, "Sorry, I can't do that because black frosting and red frosting taste really yucky."  (Whew, bullet dodged!)  Then Owen counters with, "Okay Mom, I'll give you your options.  You can make a Star Wars cake or a tortuga cake. Okay?"  (The tortuga is a giant flying turtle ship from the show Wild Kratts (teaches all about animals and their, "creature powers").  Here's a picture

I decided that was doable.  So I made my first attempts at a themed cake.  I was pretty proud of the results.  I made a chocolate cake with buttercream frosting instead of the strawberry cake.  Owen didn't seem to mind.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

We're back!

Hello!  The post title says we're back, we'll see how long it lasts. A few weeks ago Casey asked why I've stopped taking pictures.  I had to pause a moment and think.  I'm not sure I realized I had stopped (mostly) before he mentioned it.  I didn't have a great answer when he asked, and I still don't, but I'm going to try to document our life a little better, if for no one but myself, because I do believe it is important to have some sort of a record of our family, and I'm better at this than a journal.  So, I'm going to jump right in:

May 2015
Casey graduated medical school.  It was fantastic, and I am so proud of him for his hard work.  Now people call him Dr. Pickett (which is still kind of weird to me).

June 2015

We moved to Pennsylvania at the end of June last year.  We decided to rent a house, but the current (at the time) tenants' lease didn't technically end until the end of August.  I say technically because they told the landlord they were looking for somewhere new to live, and would be out as soon as possible, but worst case scenario we were looking at being homeless for two and a half months during the start of Casey's residency.  Thankfully, Casey grew up in nearby Elizabethtown, and still has friends in the area, so we moved in with the Shaffers for an indefinite period of time.  We will forever be grateful to the Shaffers (Hi Lyn and Byron!) for their kindness.

July 2015
We were able to move into the house the first few days of July (even better than we hoped for!).  I experienced a number of difficulties starting this month.

  1. Previous tenants owned a cat that did not consistently use the litter box.  
  2. We discovered I was pregnant with baby #3, and morning sickness set in shortly thereafter. 
  3. The combination of 1 and 2.   
  4. I took on a number of house projects that required much more work than I anticipated (Casey tried to warn me) shortly before said-morning sickness set in.  I started having a really hard time, emotionally, and therefore 
  5. Felt guilty for not being thrilled and grateful and happy for all the good things that were happening (Hello!  House to live in, job with a real income, baby coming, etc.).  
All of this combined with being in a new place without close friends and family around made for a rather trying period of time.  I experienced some emotional struggles that I had not experienced during either of my other pregnancies.  This article helped me to recognize that I was not the only one to experience this, and that I wasn't crazy (I guess she didn't even write it until November, but I was still having a really hard time at that point.  I'll include it at the start of my hard time).  I did not take a single picture on my camera in the month of July.

August-September 2015
Worked on settling in.  I managed to capture some happy moments.
It was really hot.  James liked to lounge on the slide.

It's been really fun to see Owen grow in his capacity as the big brother.  He's good at making James laugh, and James is pretty much his copycat in everything (good and bad).  It provides many opportunities to discuss the example that Owen is setting. 

October 2015
At Owen's request we dressed up as Star Wars characters for Halloween.  I only agreed because we already had a Yoda costume for James.  I suppose this was the start of the "Star Wars fever" that currently has a firm grip in our home.  (I'm talking light sabers of all colors, pretend playing Star Wars EVERY day, Star Wars books from the library, coloring Star Wars pictures, building Star Wars lego creations, talking about Star Wars, and endless singing of various Star Wars songs).
I made my dress, Casey made his blaster, and I'm going to be pretty sad the day that any of our children don't want to do a family costume.

November-December 2015
Thanksgiving in Utah with Casey's family.  Christmas in Virginia with mine.
Owen asked me to take a picture of him in our magnolia tree.  You'd never know it was the middle of November in this picture.

Which pretty much brings us to the present.  
James really likes having his picture taken, and any time I have the camera out he requests a picture.  Hence this one and the next few, taken just days ago.

Owen wanted to join.  We were practicing real smiles.  This was the best I got.

Brothers.  I spy Darth Vader.

I feel like now I'm working on finishing as many projects as possible while waiting for this little boy to come.  I'll try to do some future posts of our home projects and before and afters, although I didn't get a lot of great before pictures.  Mostly they'll be for Allison (Hi Allison!), who expressed an interest in seeing them before we left Columbus, and also for Amber (Hi Amber!) who helped with some of the hardest parts and never saw the end results.  Also for anyone who is interested. :)

Lastly, our baby still doesn't have a name...not even a short list of names, so if you want to contribute a little boy name idea, I wouldn't mind a bit. ;)  Happy Sunday!