Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas 2011

This year we were able to spend 5 wonderful days with family in Idaho. The trunk was packed tight and I don't know how we fit everything, but we did. We left on Thursday evening and got up there at about 10:30 pm. The boys were wired to say the least and continued on like that for the next 4 days. :) All day Friday, we spent the day with Snedakers. It was the best night for everyone to get together since Marshall's brother's family was headed down to Utah for Christmas. We spent the day eating, playing games, and enjoying each other's company. That night we played chimes which is a pretty fun tradition that they've always done. We also did a fun little gift exchange and the kids got in on that one too. Then we sang carols and exchanged sibling gifts. We got a bunch of marshmallow shooters and I think everyone had some fun with those.

Christmas Eve we spent at my parent's house. I started the day with a nice long workout and then we all hung around. I went to Idaho Falls with my dad to do some last minute shopping as well. We spent a few hours making Christmas cookies and after 5 dozen somehow they all got eaten, (including the cookies we had set aside for Santa.)

We had our classic Christmas Eve dinner of Hoagies, salads and cold shrimp. YUM! The boys got to open their Christmas jammies and I must say that they looked VERY cute.

Afterwards we watched the nativity, sang some songs and watched the show 17 Miracles. It was a very humbling show to watch. The kids all put food out for the reindeer and then we got them into bed. It was close to midnight before they all went to bed. I made a fun movie of Christmas Eve, all on my phone. Marshall and I both got the iphone 4s back in November, and I've had so much fun with it. All of the video was taken with an 8 mm app and edited in iMovie. Yes they have imovie for iphone! Way cool, right?

The next morning we got up at around 8:30 am and the boys were so excited with what Santa had brought. He brought duplicate presents this year, thus no fighting. Santa is one smart cookie. We opened presents, and had a delicious Christmas breakfast.

And here's a short clip from Christmas morning.

At 1 pm, we headed to church. My parents were speaking and they did a fantastic job. What an amazing blessing to be able to have Christmas fall on a Sunday and to be able to go to church.

Sunday afternoon, we went back to Snedakers. We had a delicious turkey meal and played games and visited the rest of the night.

How grateful I am to spend this time of the year with family. It's so fun to have kids too. Their excitement rubs off and reminds me of when I was a child. Hoping that your Christmas was as wonderful as ours!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Kindergarten Christmas Program

Chan had his Kindergarten Christmas program yesterday. Lots of singing and lots of distracted little kids. We were sitting back a little bit and all I had was my phone so I didn't get any decent pictures. I, however, got some video of a couple songs. Chan is in red and keeps turning to the side. Gotta love the reindeer antlers.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

We Believe

I took the boys to see Santa today. While standing in line, there was a big sign that said, "We don't want your kid to have a picture with Santa unless you pay $25." Maybe it wasn't quite worded like that but they didn't allow cameras or cell phones for pictures with Santa. Lame. Might I add that the $25 package came with like 1 5x7 and a couple 4x6's? Talk about a 1000% markup. We waited for a half hour, and then Chan was star struck and didnt talk much. He told Santa he wanted a robot? Uh- yeah....ok? I think his mind changes every day, depending on what catalog we got in the mail that day. Santa told Chan to be sure to be good and not go to time out. Chan just stared at him in awe. He must have seen him in time out a few times this week. Amazing what the man in the big red suit knows. Rowan mumbled a few things in a very Rowan like way and we got a picture in front of a Christmas tree. (Free of charge, provided by my iphone.)

For the record, at 28 years old - I still believe.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

School Update

Since three of us are currently in school, what better way to take a break from studying than give a little update on school?

First, the boys. We got a call from Rowan's special ed teacher. He will be going 2 days a week and will also be meeting with a speech pathologist on a regular basis. His teacher, Miss Anita and I set some goals and he will go in for his IEP testing next Friday. So, next semester he will go to the ECCLES lab preschool full time Mon, Wed, Friday, and his special preschool on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. I had parent teacher conference with one of Rowan's morning teachers yesterday. Her name is Lisa and Rowan adores her. She went over the whole semester and just how far he's come. We also got a nice binder that his other teacher, Miss Heather made to document his progress and pictures. It's fun for me to see everything that Rowan has done while in preschool. When I have a few more minutes, I'll scan in some of his preschool binder pages. I'm so glad that he will be going back there next semester.

Chan is soaking in school and doing well. I am helping with his classroom Christmas party next Friday and he's excited for that. Loves his teacher and is having a great school experience so far. I know many doubt the public school systems, but I have nothing but good to say about it so far. His teacher is wonderful, he has friends in school, and he's learning, happy and motivated.

School for me. I'm burnt out and am coming up on a much needed Christmas break. I just finished 480 clinic hours for the semester. I have a small final on Monday and then a Physics registry on Wednesday. This will be my second time taking the physics registry. I took it back in May and didn't pass by just a few questions. That was disheartening, and it costs $200 every time you take it. I've been studying a LOT this time and will be very surprised if I don't pass it this time around.

The thing about ultrasound, is that there isn't just one board you have to pass to be registered. You have to first pass physics. It is the only board you can take while still in school, you just have to have had a passing grade in the class. I want to get it out of the way so that I can take one of my other boards when I graduate. There are tests/boards for OB/GYN, Abdomen, Vascular, Neonatal Heads, and Breast. I'm planning on taking OB/GYN when I get out of school and then maybe taking another one a few months after that. I'm really excited that there are only two semesters left! There has been talk of hiring some students while we are still in school so I've been stalking the job boards to see when they post. Doesn't necessarily mean I'll get a job, but I can always hope. US techs make a pretty good amount and it would sure help us pay off some debt if I could get a job while still doing my clinical hours.

Marshall is the only one not in school right now, but he's expressed wanting to go back to get an MBA. I definitely think it's a great idea since it's always good to continue learning.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I can't believe we've made it 6 years with Chan without any stitches/staples. He did tear his top frenulum when he was about 2, but other than that, no big mishaps. I was at clinic yesterday and Marshall texted me saying he was going to pick up Chan early because his babysitter thought he needed stitches. I guess he fell down the stairs at the babysitter's house and hit his head on a bookshelf. The girl who watches him also lives in a townhome much like ours, so I knew he had fallen down a full flight of stairs. Naturally, I really wanted to be there, but I was stuck at clinic. Because I was so worried, Marshall gave me a play by play via text on my phone while taking him to the Dr. . I wasn't too worried after seeing him chill in the Dr.'s office with a sucker and a kid's magazine.

2 staples later, he was fixed up and ready to go home. :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I've known for a bit that Rowan wasn't quite on track with his speech. He has a pretty good vocabulary but doesn't really know how to apply it. He goes to preschool 3 days a week, and was evaluated by a speech therapist about a month ago. He passed hearing but they felt that he needed further screening. After contacting the school district, we set up an appointment for a screening. Today was that day. It took about an hour and a half, and we met with a Speech Pathologist, Early Special Education Teacher and a Psychologist. He was actually pretty cooperative for most of the testing which I was glad about. They had me fill out a bunch of papers, one for Asperger's. He really doesn't exhibit the signs for that, and the survey I took showed that, but he is delayed in other areas. They rank children on a scale much like they do a growth chart. So like if your child is 50% for weight, that means they weigh as much or more than 50% of other kids their age.
In cognitive development, Rowan ranks in the 3rd percentile, meaning he doesn't know how to use his words appropriately. He also ranked in the 10th % for receptive and expressive language, and 4th % for Social/Emotional. In order to be referred for a category, they need to be at or under the 7th percent. I guess they felt like he needs help in receptive and expressive so they are referring him for that as well. He ranked in the 11th % for adaptive behavior/ self-help skills and 80th % for physicial/motor development. So he's actually ahead on physical and motor, but is lacking everywhere else. We are getting referred to a special preschool through the district and we will get a meeting set up in the next couple of weeks to see if he will be am or pm and how many days a week he qualifies for.
This has honestly been a really hard thing for me as a mom. It's hard not to compare your kids to other kids their age and see what they are doing. I know people are proud of their kids, but it almost hurts when I see what another kid is doing or I see a Facebook update about how amazing and smart their kid is. I know I shouldn't feel this way, but I've shed some tears over it.
At this point, I am so glad that we are getting some help for Rowan. He is the most amazing and wonderful little boy and I want to give him every advantage this world has to offer.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree!

We got our little tree up tonight! For the last few years, we've been saying that we are going to get a new Christmas tree and it doesn't ever happen. We have a skinny little tree my mom gave us probably 5 years ago and it's served it's purpose, so we keep it. Tonight we cranked the music, and put up that little tree. Chandler exlaimed that it was the most beautiful tree that the had ever seen. I love how simple things make him so happy. The boys were so happy to decorate the tree and I foresee Rowland our elf making his appearance in the next day or two. He's an elf that plays at night and watches the boys during the day. He reports back to Santa to make sure they are being good. For now, here's our humble and most beautiful Christmas tree!


Thanksgiving this year was spent up in Idaho. We spent the majority of our time at Marsh's parent's house. We left Thanksgiving morning and got up there that afternoon. The next few days were filled with lots of laughter, tons of food, and wonderful family. The boys had such a great time with their cousins and played until they were exhausted. All of the girls went to Breaking Dawn on Saturday and it was fun to have some girl time. We stayed at Snedaker's home until Saturday evening and then we spent Saturday night and Sunday at my parent's house. It's so much fun to be able to spend time with family.

Gma Snedaker with Chan, Rowan and their cousins Claire & Jake

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Yo Gabba Gabba Live!

We went to Yo Gabba Gabba Live! again this year. I think the boys both liked it a ton more. Instead of being at The E Center, it was at Kingsbury Hall. We were only about 15 rows back, so we were a lot closer to the stage. I think that helped the boys get into it a lot more. Plus, they've been watching it on Netflix so they knew the songs and the characters a lot better. They sang, danced, and smiled to their heart's content.

Chandler's 6th Birthday

We celebrated Chan's birthday on a few different days. Marshall's parents were supposed to come down the weekend before, but ended up not being able to make it. I had already ordered a cake for Saturday, so we decided that we would celebrate anyways. Chan woke up Saturday the 29th early in the morning screaming that someone was hurting him. He must have slept wrong on his neck because his neck was hurting him the entire day, he couldn't even move. That changed a few of our plans since he basically stayed in bed until 4 in the afternoon. Marshall still went to pick up his cake though and he got to open his presents from us when he was feeling better. He got a Spiderman figure and the Cars edition of Sorry! The rest of the night we laid low and played his new game.

We celebrated again on the day of his actual birthday. He got to open his presents from his grandparents. Grandma & Grandpa Snedaker got him some Pokemon cards, a folder to put them in, and a Pokemon game. That folder with those cards hasn't left his sight since. Puppy & Papa Nielson sent $20 so that Chan could go pick out a present. He ended up getting a Joker toy that goes with his Batman Imaginext stuff. We then went to Planet Play and played on their arcade games, mini bowled, and Chan played laser tag with Marshall. Chan kept asking me that day when he was going to turn 6 because we weren't celebrating? I finally realized that he thought he had to have a party with lots of friends in order to celebrate. I told him that we don't have a party with friends every year and this year we were just celebrating with family. I guess I just don't want him to have expectations every year of a party. We ended the night at Coldstone. Still can't believe he's 6.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Halloween this year was fun! Chandler got to dress up for his parade at school that day. Then that evening we went trick or treating. This is one time that I love living in town homes. The homes are close together so there's less walking. We went for about an hour and the weather was absolutely perfect and warm. Marshall sat by the door to give out candy while I went trick or treating with the boys. My sister had a witches brew party a few weeks before so I already had a great witch costume. I dressed up and a few people didn't recognize me. I think it was the blacked out teeth. Nice, right?

The boys were both transformers, bumblbee and optimus prime. This was the first year since I've had kids that I didn't have any say in their costumes. Chandler didn't care at Rowan's age since he didn't have an older brother. But because they like everything alike, they both wanted to be Transformers. (I forsee some duplicate toys at Christmas so that everyone is happy.) The boys loved coming back and helping hand out the rest of their candy. I actually think it was their favorite part.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday Chandler


It's hard to believe that you are 6 years old today. I look back on the last 6 years and it's been some of the best of my life. Our whole world changed when you were born. This last year I've seen you grow and stretch in so many ways. You started kindergarten just a few months ago and can already write your name, all of your letters, and are starting to read. You're so smart and I'm surprised at how quickly you catch on to things.
You have really mellowed out the last few years and are a really good boy. You are a great helper and listen really well.
You've lost your first two teeth in the last 3 weeks, both your bottom. Just another realization for me that you are growing up. You're definitely a mama's boy and always want to sit next to me at the dinner table, will hold my hand if I lay by you before bedtime, and are always good to give me hugs and kisses. You are a great example for your little brother and are so patient with him.
You love to play the ipad, loved going swimming countless times this summer, and love playing with other kids.
Your favorite foods have not changed much and include corn dogs, and bean burritos. You and your brother are really into superheros and especially transformers. You are really witty and say the funniest things right now.
Thanks for being you and for being such a wonderful little boy. Dad and I love you. More than you'll ever know.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Family Pictures

We had some family pictures and pictures done of the boys about a month ago. I was so impressed with the place we went. Our photographer was amazing with the boys and even got Rowan to smile which is impressive. :) Best of all, we got all of the pictures on a cd for us to print out how we want. Nice, right? I didn't want to resize them all, so they are a bit smaller than I normally post pictures. I went through and picked some of my favorites, but there were lots of other good ones on top of all of these! If you want to see any of them bigger, just click on the image.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hee Haw Farms

Hee Haw Farms is a fun place to visit in the Fall, or so I've heard. I took the boys about a week ago, and they had so much fun. There was so much to do. They rode an animal train (aka animals behind a lawnmower), rode down a big slide, played in the hay, in a big corn pit, on a blow up toy and more. We also took a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin. We went right before dark so it was a little hard, but Chandler found a perfect little pumpkin just for him. Rowan had already gotten a pumpkin a few days before when my friend took him to a pumpkin patch the day she was watching him. It was a lot of fun and a good reminder of how much fun it is to have two little guys.

Rowan is such a ham. He actually will stop to smile for the camera now which I love.

Riding the animal train

Sliding on potato sacks

Chandler & his pumpkin

Thursday, October 20, 2011

St. Charles, Suzuki Momfest

I've got quite a few posts to crank out, and since it's my day off, I'm going to do some blogging! For the first time in well over 4 years, I feel like this blog has been put on the back burner. My other blog brings us income, which we need right now so it still gets a lot of attention. But when I step back to think about it, this blog is my journal. It's where I record my thoughts, milestones for my boys, what's going on in our lives. So in all reality, I can't put my journal on the back burner either.

2 weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to beautiful St. Charles, IL for a Suzuki momfest. It was the first time Suzuki reached out to mom bloggers. They wanted us to get to know the brand, and I although I was only there about 30 hours, I most definitely feel like I know the brand better. I flew into Chicago at about 4 pm and joined some other bloggers on our trip to St. Charles. It took another 2 hours to get there which was a lot after already being in the airport all day and taking a 2 hour flight to St. Charles. St. Charles was on the top 10 list of places in the US to live as far as family friendly cities go, and I can definitely see why. That night we had a meet and greet dinner. There were 12 bloggers in total. We stayed at Hotel Baker which is this amazing hold hotel. I had a hot tub on my balcony and a beautiful historic looking room.
The next day, we learned more about Suzuki, test drove cars, went to Target for a fun scavenger hunt, attended the scarecrow days in St. Charles and had a fantastic lunch. It was fun to make new friends and learn more about the company.

View from my hotel room just after sunset

Beautiful St. Charles

The pretty red Suzuki Kizashi that my friend Jacque and I got to ride in all day. It was a standard and not everyone could drive a standard, so we were in this one. We ended up getting lost, and doing a little offroading, lol. It was a super nice little car. Honestly, I would consider Suzuki for our next commuter car. The warranties are awesome and they drive well.

Louise from MomStart, Me, Jacque from Blessings Abound Mommy

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lost Tooth

Chan lost his first tooth last Wednesday, Oct 5th. He lost it right before school and was pretty excited. Kind of a weird milestone to hit for me and I'm not even sure why. He put it under his pillow that night and the tooth fairy brought him 50 cents which he was super excited about. We had an idea that he bottom two teeth would come out first because we saw his permanent teeth on xrays this summer on the bottom.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Free Time

I can't believe it's been close to 3 weeks since I posted. That's unlike me! Just busy I guess. Most nights when I get home from clinic, I'm too tired to do anything. I make a conscious effort to try to get a run in because usually it gives me a bit more energy. School is going well. I can't believe I have 6 weeks down already! I usually only have 1 day off a week so I definitely need to make the most of it. Today I tackled a mountain of laundry. I'm on load 6 and only have 1 more load to do. :) Also went full out grocery shopping for the first time in a month. My house still looks a bit like a disaster but that's because I needed to get out and actually spend some time with the boys. If I get free time, you bet I'm going to soak in my little boys.
After Chan got home from kindergarten today, we packed lunches and headed to the splash park. We have a huge park/splash pad only a block from our house. It was a perfectly beeautiful day, in the low 80's which is nice for the end of September. The boys played for close to 2 hours and I enjoyed actually being outside.

Eating lunch. Nutella and pb for Chan. He loves nutella right now.

Playing on the splash pad. Isn't it a pretty day?

Amazing what fun a plastic baggie can create.