Oh, the things kids do to make us laugh! Now, I know I have more "cushioning" than Hunter, but for some reason this still looks like it should hurt...


What A Weekend!

What a fun and BUSY weekend we had!!! Thursday, we had a preschool performance at Arrowhead Mall - the kids sang some songs and afterwards visited with Santa.:) Friday, we had Brandon's graduation!!! We are all SO proud of all his accomplishments and hard work. Way to go Brandon!!!:) Saturday was pretty uneventful, and Sunday we blessed Landon in our ward... It was a wonderful weekend.. who knew so much could get accomplished in such a short time?? We are now enjoying our time with Brandon home before he heads to Michigan on January 7th. Enjoy our pictures from along the way!


Climate change anyone??

Anyone who knows my husband Brandon knows that the perfect career path for him would have something to do with vehicles! So, no surprise here, the offer he just received to work for Mercedes Benz Financial was eagerly accepted!:) And although just the sound of "Michigan" sends chills down my spine (whether in fear, or anticipation of the negative temperatures, I don't know...) I am very excited that Brandon's "work" will for him be borderline "play"!:)

Brandon will graduate with his MBA in International Business Management from Thunderbird on December 12th of this year. He will be headed out to Michigan sometime in January, and the kids and I will join him after preschool graduation on May 18th, since I previously committed to finishing off the school year. The move will be a bitter sweet as we have many good friends and memories in Arizona.. but we are excited to see what the Lord has in store for our family in the cold zone!:)


The Three Musketeers

What a blessing it has been having Landon join our family! Bailey absolutely ADORES him and would be happy to hold him all day if we let her! We have had to teach her that she isn't allowed to pick him up by herself, or kiss him for so long that he can't breathe, etc. :) Hunter is so happy to be alive that he hasn't had one moment of jealousy. He kisses with his tongue now (lol), so hopefully he won't get sick in the near future, since he'll pass it to the rest of us via slobber! Landon is doing wonderfully! He wakes up once a night to eat, which is fine by me. He's already on a perfect napping schedule for preschool (I'll go back to teaching this Thursday) so that's been a HUGE blessing as well. :)

All the kids (and mom and dad too) have enjoyed Grandma's help here! My mom has been teacher, "mom", housekeeper and cook for the past week and a half and I truly don't know what I would have done without her help!!! All in all, we are all adjusting VERY well - it's only been 1 1/2 weeks, but already we couldn't imagine life without our baby Landon! Thank you to everyone for your good wishes, prayers, and all forms of generous service you have shown to our family throughout. We love you all!!! :) *Enjoy the slideshow... they grow up SO fast! :(

Hallows Eve

Well, this past week and a half have been fun-filled and busy to say the least!:) I figured I had better post our Halloween pictures before Thanksgiving, so.. here they are! Landon and I stayed home and passed out candy while the "zookeepers" (dad & grandma) took our crazy little animals trick or treating! Although I was sad to miss it, they took some GREAT pictures so I can't complain. At least I was able to carve pumkins with the kids before the big day! ENJOY!!!:)


Landon Norris Hooley

Great news from Arizona... Landon Norris arrived at 10:51am this morning after a very short labor totalling a whopping 2.5 hrs (no complaints here!) 3 pushes and he was out! The only negative was that the epidural couldn't keep up, so I felt a bit more than I wanted to... but it was all worth it when I saw his sweet face - he looks SO much like Bailey!

He was born on my dads birthday, hence the middle name change from 'Steel' to 'Norris' which is my fathers middle name.:) He weighs 8lbs and is 20 1/4 inches long.. not bad for an early delivery, he's VERY happy and healthy! Bailey is SO proud and Hunter is an excited bundle of energy and destruction!!!:) Both Landon and I are doing very well and are excited to go home tomorrow afternoon!



YES!!! It's time... it's taken me by surprise I'll admit, but it is time! I am writing from my hospital bed. Today when I went in for my doctors appointment, Landon's heart rate dropped slightly. The biophysical ultrasound that followed came back normal, and the non-stress test was "neither good nor bad" (whatever that means).

So, long story short, since it wasn't as "good" as it could have been, my doctor has suggested that I deliver first thing in the morning! He said he would rather be safe than sorry, and get the baby out just in case. My mom is on her way and I am excited to have Landon share a birthday with my dad!:)

More news (and pictures) will come shortly, I just wanted to let you know that Landon is on his way!!! (As of this afternoon, I am 80% effaced and 3cm dialated). Well, I hope everyone has enough sleep tonight for the both of us, as I'll be monitored all night.. WOO HOO!!!:)


Dress Up

Hunter discovered my preschool dress-up chest this morning for the first time with real interest! He asked Brandon to help him get dressed by handing him the costume pieces and excitedly bouncing up and down.:) Our little policeman/firefighter, and SO proud of it too!:) I guess we won't have any trouble getting him into his Halloween costume this year!:)



Last Christmas, my mom gave Bailey a Disney Princess bike... tried as we might, Bailey would ride with her legs hanging straight, not even touching the pedals, with us "pushing" her around. I got a little nervous, thinking that she would never learn to ride if she thought that being pushed was the way a bike was supposed to work! Well, today my fears have been put to rest! With the BEAUTIFUL Arizona weather we've been having lately, Brandon and I decided to get the bike out again and see if Bailey would at least try to pedal... and vwalla... SUCCESS!!! It was a bitter-sweet I'll admit, seeing my little girl grow up!:( She rode around the neighborhood for a good 30 minutes and wasn't too happy when we told her we had to go inside to eat dinner! All in all, a VERY proud day for mom and dad!:) GOOD JOB BAILEY!!!


How could I not?

Every once in a while, a child who doesn't particularly "enjoy" being in front of the camera actually gives you a REAL smile at the precise moment you need it!:) Today, we had one of those rare moments.. and of COURSE I had to share it!!!

Oh, and yes Bailey's hair is naturally curly.. just not THAT naturally curly! She asked me to put foam rollers in her hair last night.:)


A blast from the past...

I dare you to tell me you've never seen (or at least heard reference to) the LDS movie "Saturday's Warriors". I grew up on this cheesy musical and I dare say it should be labeled a classic of our time!:) Well, if you don't, at least Bailey agrees with me.. she has decided that her new favorite movie is Saturday's Warriors. I don't know what it is, maybe the music and dancing? But she will watch it over and over and OVER again! She knows every word to every song and scene - it's adorable!:) And even with it's 80's style and over-acting theatrics, it still manages to make me cry! Now I'm more than happy to say that Bailey enjoys it just as much, if not more than me, so Brandon is out voted on which movie we watch EVERY Sunday, and now EVERYDAY!!! lol:)



HURRAY!!! After some VERY late nights and a LOT of hard work, "Bailey's Blossoms" is up and running on the web!:) Check it out at http://www.baileysblossoms.com/ there will be many more fun additions coming soon!:)

Bailey is almost as excited as I am.. she wakes up every morning wondering which flower will be in her hair! Too cute!!!:)


Bowels & Sunscreen

It seems as though "poop" is the theme of the month at the Hooley household! After a failed attempt to put Bailey to bed for a nap, Brandon shut her in her room... needless to say she didn't exactly fall asleep! She took off her diaper (which she only wears when sleeping) because she "didn't want to get it all dirty" and decided the floor was a better place to have the runs... then, heaven only knows how, she climbed up on her little nightstand and left a cute little puddle of urine! As if that wasn't messy enough, she proceeded to dump EVERYTHING off her bed and shelves - much of which were quite high up on her wall...

When she started calling "mommy, come help me!" I hurried into her room. Instead of yelling, I quietly turned around and walked out of her room to tell Brandon his daughter needed him.:) All the while I hear Bailey telling herself, "it's okay, it was an accident..." As Brandon started being "the dad" I grabbed the camera to document. Then we went to work cleaning up the monumental disaster! Not 2 minutes later, we spot Bailey crouching in the hallway. Brandon chased her down and found she had climbed up on the kitchen counter to retrieve a bottle of sunscreen (hence picture #1). I then had to dismiss myself to call my mom since Bailey mistakenly was taking my hysterical laughter for "cool, this is funny" and her responding giggles weren't sitting well with dads lecture... and to think this was supposed to be our day of rest! lol:)


"Bailey's Blossoms"

So after being ridiculously jealous of my new little niece's adorable hair-wear, I decided to start making some myself for Bailey. My cousin Brandi and I went to town last night and we had SO much fun making these cute little hair flower clips that I'm thinking of starting up a website to sell them! I know, I know.. like I really need one more thing to do right?? What can I say - it's a BLAST!!!:) ...and Brandon would never forgive me for the money I've spent if I didn't at least attempt to make some of it back!:)


Organ Model

This week in preschool we are learning about "The Body" and what's inside it.. Bailey was more than THRILLED to be picked as the helper to wear the organ puzzle vest.. she practically drowned in it! It was too cute I couldn't resist sharing!!!:)

The Party Scene

This past Saturday we attended Bailey's friend Peyton's 4 year birthday party. Brandon had double duty as I don't have maternity swim bottoms and thought that might be a bit inappropriate! So alas, I was once more the longing bystander... but it's not all bad news since I got some adorable pictures!:)


Load of Crap

Excuse my terminology, but in this case I find it quite appropriate... Children are to be treasured, adored and even emulated: "become even as a little child" as suggested in the scriptures. Well, I am guessing that what happened this morning is an exception to that prophecy...

Friday is my mass-cleaning day (after the traffic of preschool, my own two children, husband, and happy-to-shed-EVERYWHERE dog, it is a necessity to break a sweat towards the end of the week so I can "relax" on the 7th day!:) ...So I banished the kids and dog to the backyard early this morning after breakfast (while it isn't too hot), so I could go to town on our disaster of a kitchen while they are still in eyes view. OBVIOUSLY, watching them through a glass door isn't as effective as I had originally thought! No sooner had I started mopping the floor when I hear Hunter shrieking with delight.. the high pitched excited squeal we hear when he is so excited about something that it's bound to be a "no-no". Well, it didn't take more than half a second for me to realize I forgot a MAJOR household rule when letting the kids (especially Hunter) outside to play... I had neglected to pick up our rather large breed dogs' "piles" and now Hunter was doing the job for me!

"Holy Crap!" (no pun intended)... I ended up doing a lot more "cleaning" this morning than anticipated as I stripped my poop-smeared son in the bathtub and dumped at least 1/2 a gallon of soap all over his reeking body! Not to get graphic or anything, but it's been a while since I've cut his nails (another on my never ending "to do list"), you can only imagine how FUN it is to pick that out from each finger.. it's the closest I've been to puking throughout this entire pregnancy! :P Sadly, this wasn't Hunter's first escaped with the nasty... a few months back, Bailey forgot to flush and he was all too happy to inhale that fistful as well. GAG!

In short, fellow moms... I NEVER want to hear any of you complain because your child enjoys eating play dough, paper or even the occasional insect, booger or toenail... remember this, it could be a LOT worse!!!


Blissful Irony?

Ironic: Poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended; coincidental; improbable.

May I first just say how much FUN we had in California visiting Brandon's father and step mom?! It was a great week!!! That said, what are the odds that the first trip we took to the beach turned out to be overcast, windy and 60%, while our excursion to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom yesterday was a blistering and HUMID 100%+??? Yes, we are from Arizona.. but it is as dry as bone there - props to my brother and sister-in-law who live in Dallas and have the heat + humidity to deal with on a regular basis.. YIKES!!!

If you set aside the weather factor (when with combined with all the walking, caused some record breaking swelling for me), and the lack of sleep for the kids (resulting in the occasional frustrated outburst), it was truly a blast!:) We got up close and personal with a variety of animals, from tigers and lions to sharks and dolphins. Bailey rode the rides with Brandon and Grandma while Grandpa spoiled Hunter, and I looked longingly on past the "no pregnant women allowed" signs. There was even a sign restricting me from the splash pad and slide area! Is that discrimination at it's finest or what?! :)

Bailey enjoyed some rides more than others. Her facial expressions were priceless.. and a bit hard to capture on camera!:( Brandon and Grandma all too willingly braved the"big kid" rides.. in fact I've never seen Brandon quite so youthful!:) All in all, another wonderful day - the perfect way to end our "last vacation"!


All in one day...

We woke up this morning not knowing exactly how much we would be accomplishing in only so many daylight hours! We started out with our sights set on touring San Francisco... on our way we stopped to visit Grandpa at work on the highway (he's California Highway Patrol). The kids LOVED his police truck and uniform.:) We then took our picnic lunch which we had grabbed from Safeway, and decided to eat it at the beach. By pure luck we happened upon the most perfect spot in the state for a PERFECT afternoon! The weather was about 80 degrees, sunny with blue skies and a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge.. the water wasn't too cold and there was only the slightest breeze! Both Bailey and Hunter enjoyed it this time.. it wasn't even painful getting wet!:)

After the beach, we made it to the city and toured the pier. We couldn't have asked for a more comfortable setting to our escapades.. it was wonderful! Bailey missed her nap but was SO excited by the seagulls, ships and sea lions that she didn't care in the slightest! We then headed to the Coast Guard base to visit Uncle Josh and Aunt Stephanie.. that was a treat for Brandon especially! I think he would have enlisted right then and there if I was a braver soul and could handle the stress of it!!! The day ended with a peaceful lakeside dinner after visiting Josh and Steph's new abode... does vacationing get any better than that?? What a day!!!:)

Beach Fun

We are currently enjoying the BEAUTIFUL weather of Northern California, getting in our last vacation of the summer before preschool and Brandon's last semester starts!:) We took the kids to the beach on Monday and had a blast!!! The beaches in Northern Cali are FREEZING this time of year (I know... it's August right?!) and the whipping wind didn't help either! The combination of the two deterred Bailey from any real water interest, but not Hunter! The crazy kid made a beeline for the coast every chance he got!

Although we all had on fleece jackets, Bailey still managed to adopt her Aunt Stephanie's coat as well.. thanks again Steph! :) Hunter was all over the place - when he wasn't turning blue from the icy water, he was chasing the seagulls or climbing over driftwood.. you name it! It as one of those moments when you wish you could have a camera running the entire time. Weather and all, it was a GREAT day!:)


The New "Old Man"

I have been waiting ever so patiently for this day for what seems like FOREVER!!! Brandon has hit a milestone in his life... he is now, ofiicially, 30!!!:) Here are some pictures from the grand day, (8/22/2008):
Breakfast in bed was supposed to be a special treat just for daddy... the kids thought it would be more fun as a family event - I tried taking a picture with Hunter attacking Brandon's food too, but we had a mishap with the syrup.. oops ;)
Bailey was SO excited to opne presents that we ended up celebrating at 7am! Note the kids still in pajamas... Brandon on the other hand insisted on showering and combing his hair if I was going to attack him with the camera! (He even showered before his breakfast in bed picture... and you thought that was only a female trait?! lol).

Oh, and for those of you who have never played "Ticket to Ride".. you're missing out!!! It's like "Risk" without the hurt ego's in the end!:) *for those of you who don't know.. Brandon and I had to ban "Risk" from our marriage for the first year.. we were SO competetive that there were occassional tears and even a broken chair once! lol :)
Bailey and Brandon like to watch "The March of the Penguins" together.. she found this penguin puzzle with "a daddy penguin, and a Bailey penguin" and insisted he had to have it!
And of course our little line backer had to give dad a football movie!:)
And here is my first class attempt in keeping the old man young.. :) I don't think I've seen much of him since...
WOW!!! 30 and still as handsome as the day we met.. maybe even more so!:) Happy birthday Brandon - I love you!!!:)


AND a website?!

First blogging, and now this! I created my very 1st website today while my kids were napping... SO fun!:) I've had a lot of people ask about Little Tykes Preschool's website, and now I FINALLY have one to share! It's a work in progress, so don't be too critical, but I was too excited to not pass it on!:) Here you go... http://www.littletykespreschool.com/ If nothing else, pretend to be AMAZED!!!:) (I may just have to shed a tear or two otherwise...:))


"At-Home Pictures"

Here's Bailey two seconds before her heaving sighs on the floor crusade.. this is her "Mommy you've betrayed me, if you REALLY love me, you won't make me do this" face. And then there's Hunter, happy that he cried loud enough that I gave in and gave him fruit snacks I was using as "be happy, look at me and say CHEESE" bait! Sadly, these are the best of them... :P

Have you ever bathed your children JUST for pictures? Combed their hair and put their cutest outfits on them, in hopes to get that one "perfect" shot? Well... that was my goal this afternoon. Now that Hunter is the big O-N-E I wanted a great shot of him "all growed up"! I don't know anyone who enjoys paying money for a stress filled day at the Wal Mart picture studio, so my nothing-special-camera and I went to work setting up bed sheets in the main room to bring the "studio" home.

Those of you who have previously attempted this ill fitted fate are already smiling... For those of you who have not yet had the privilege, let me enlighten you! Imagine: holding a camera with one hand, shaking candy in the other, whistling, singing or making strange noises just to get your kids to make eye contact with you, all the while pushing them back on their rear ends with one foot when they try to run away crying, and kicking your dog out of the shot with the other... sounds tempting doesn't it?? So, what have I learned from this experience you may be thinking? Well, I have learned that the phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words" is more true for those who saw the "behind the scenes" of taking it... ahh, memories! With that, you may not see another picture post from me in a while... I quit!



So, Brandon thinks I have A.A.A.D.D. "Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder". This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide it needs washing. As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier. I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car. I lay my car keys on the table, Put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full. So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first. But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first. I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of soda I'd been drinking. I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the soda aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. The soda is getting warm, and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. As I head toward the kitchen with the soda, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need water. I put the soda on the counter and discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers. I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I'll be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers. I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day, the car isn't washed. The bills aren't paid. There is a warm can of soda sitting on the counter. The flowers don't have enough water. There is still only 1 check in my check book. I can't find the remote, I can't find my glasses, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day, and I'm really tired!

hmmm... and to think I thought I was multi-tasking! Thanks for the diagnosis honey, it's good to know I'm not the only one! All this and kids! Well, until they find a cure it looks like you have a LOT of work to do!:) I LOVE YOU!!!

Vampire Withdrawl

At approximately 10:30pm last night, I finished "Breaking Dawn" the fourth and final book in the Twilight series. I must say, it is a bitter sweet to have this overly obsessed era in my life come to an end. As my children are now fast asleep, I am heart broken to realize I have NOTHING MORE TO READ!!! :( You know you have it bad when all you think about is "fictional" Edward when there are SO many other things you could be accomplishing! lol:) (I must however note, that in my dreams, when I am Bella, Brandon is also Edward.. so I don't feel guilty in the slightest!) :)

Truthfully though, to those of you who share my feelings - finish the book.. WE NEED TO TALK! And for you unfortunate souls who have not yet filled your mind with these, the GREATEST books of all time, I urge you to DO SO NOW!!!:) I don't recomend books very often, especially ones revolving around vampires and such, but my heart has been overly softened. I hardly read for pleasure.. and I have NEVER finished a 700+ page book in 48 hours... until now!

On a positive note... Brandon is glad to have his wife back. :) That is until the Twilight movie is released this December!!! :)


Hunter's 1st Birthday!!!

WOW! Where do I start?! What a day... we had "Hunter" (aka: Bailey) open two presents this morning in order to subdue the excitement for his birthday which I swear has lasted over a month now!:) Nothing wrong with that though right?? ;) I think Bailey enjoyed his birthday more than he did.. well, the toys anyways.. I think he enjoyed his cake enough all by himself! :)


Music Time

After showing Bailey the footage of Hunter, her face drooped into a frown as she exclaimed, "Now where's Bailey?"... so in order to level the playing field so to speak, here is Bailey this evening after bath time, singing especially for all you blogging fans! Be impressed because she was MUCH more interested in watching herself on the screen than she was of sitting still for ease of filming!:)

House survives TWO tornados!

Well, it's official.. my house will never be "clean" again (as clean as it ever was anyways...)! Hunter has started walking, and is quite pleased with his new talent! :) Of course Bailey credits herself for his apparent step up in society. I have heard consistently throughout the day, "No Hunter! WALK with me.. you can do it buddy!". Who knew he would have numerous life coaches all under one roof?! And although he still looks drunk, it is nothing short of HILARIOUS watching his little eyes light up with every step into the unknown while his "padding" quivers with every launch forward! Hopefully this new beginning will bring my tired arms quick relief... at least until the next one arrives! :)



Hunter didn't waste any time getting personal with his birthday cake! He didn't even pretend to be modest about it! :)

Shy? What a waste of time!

My favorite shot of the two best looking men I know! Thank goodness they both belong to me!:)
Here's Bailey reuniting with the puppy we "almost" kept. :)

After much internal debate I have decided to join the "blogging community"! No promises as to the consistency of upkeep for this new endeavor, but what the heck, we'll give it a try...

So how does this work? Do I intro my family as if everyone seeing this wouldn't already know of our history? Well... Brandon and I married on June 5th 2004. We have 2 (and 1/2) LOVELY children who I dare say are quite spoiled, but of course we wouldn't have it any other way! Bailey is 2 1/2 and definitely has her daddy wrapped around her sweet and always innocent little finger... Hunter will be the big O-N-E this Friday, August 1st and is COMPLETELY boy (I wonder who he gets that from..??)! He just started walking this past week, and has the cutest drunken sailor footing I've ever seen! And then there is "Landon Steel", who is due November 10th and destined to be a super hero, or so I've been told. :)

Brandon is a student at Thunderbird School of Global Management and will graduate this December (WOO HOO!). I am a busy pregnant mom and preschool-teacher-on-summer-break with obviously not enough to do once my children are sleeping... I have posted some recent pictures of the kiddos from our vacation to Utah and Hunter's pre-birthday festivities. ENJOY!!! :)