Free to good home

Free to good home:
Two year old boy with a passion for all things energetic. Comes from great breeding lines - he is in excellent health and has phenomenal strength for his age! Has a smile that will knock you off your feet and loves to cuddle when he isn't in "fast paced" mode. Shows great interest in interior design. However, he is in need of full time training on determining market needs and customer satisfaction for design services...
This little guy has no need of being constantly entertained.. he provides dinner and a show all by himself! *Constant supervision is recommended. Potty breaks, showers, mending to other children or household duties may not produce desired results in this full time training process.

Terms of sale:
-Must have a full time supply of pacifiers (aka "binks") on hand as he is rarely seen without.
-If he is sitting still for a period of time longer than a Disney movie, chances are he is sick - take him to the hospital IMMEDIATELY!
-Must be fed at least 10 times a day. Keep a large supply of food with you at all times just in case.
-He loves to be read to, but do not leave him unattended with any books that you would like to read again at a later date, unless you enjoy impromptu jigsaw puzzles.
Last but not least, he MUST be returned once training is complete (we estimate he will have full understanding of basic principles by the age of 8).
Disclaimer: We LOVE Sir L and although at times tempting, we would never let him decorate anyone else's home other than our own (at least not intentionally!). This post is for memories sake only. PLEASE do not use it to call child protection services.. though parent protection services may want to hear our story.. ;P


Where's the frosting?!

So I've diagnosed myself with selective OCD.. my hangers are color-coordinated, my DVDs are in alphabetical order, and I am constantly organizing and re-organizing my pantry and refrigerator. That being said, I LOATHE cleaning the bathrooms and microwaves, and I never make my bed. Granted I wake up anywhere from 4-5am for seminary each morning, so making the bed would consist of kicking my hubby out first which I think is cruel.. and I blame my lack of enthusiasm over microwaves and bathrooms to working in a deli for a number of years where there was an abundance in opportunities to do just that. Needless to say, I think I've made my lifetime quota in those areas! ;)
ANYWAYS, today as I was re organizing my fridge, I found a jar of chocolate frosting. There was only 1/3 of it left. Too much to throw away, too much for me to eat alone and still feel decent at days end! So, naturally, I called my kids in! :) They eat the frosting for me so I don't "have to", AND I help convince them that their mom rocks! ;) Miss B and Mr H (Sir L was resting in his room) happily took their over sized "Daddy" spoons and the jar and went to work! Once Mr H realized the scoopfuls were less than huge, he lost interest and went merrily on his way. Miss B kept at it.. Now, I LOVE chocolate I'll admit, but I have never, EVER seen a frosting jar THIS clean, unless it's gone through a dishwasher... THAT'S MY GIRL!!! :)
I mean truly, have you ever seen such a beautifully licked jar?! "Where's the frosting?!" I said laughing.. "What did you say mom??" came her sweet reply.. she walked around the corner and I busted up again! :) I LOVE this girl!!!


Dinner AND a Show!

I gave up hope for a quite, peaceful family dinner about 2 or 3 kids ago, but yesterday evening definitely took the cake!

Being both a Fast Sunday and daylight savings, by the time we all returned home from church, Brandon and I were VERY hungry. I had planned ahead and put chicken in the crock pot which was ready to shred when we walked through the door. We turned on a Sunday movie for the crazies and Brandon and I went to work prepping dinner for Hawaiian Haystacks (YUM!). We called the kids in and all sat down for what was sure to be a picture-perfect family dinner!

We blessed the food, and had been eating for about .2 seconds when we heard what sounded like water spilling on the floor. Landon and Hunter (the usual culprits) didn't have open glasses on hand, so we didn't know where the sound was coming from until we heard Bailey timidly say, "Ooops.. I think I had an accident. I'm sorry mommy and daddy.." Well, you just can't get mad at that sweet little face, and, we understand that accidents happen! I told her it was alright and to just go upstairs and change her pants. When she was finished, she could bring a towel down to wipe up her mess (she's 4 1/2 and quite capable of cleaning up after herself, so we left it be until she returned). She complied and went upstairs.
I then caught a glimpse of Landon who was chewing up his food and spitting it on the floor. Apparently it was good enough to taste, but not enough to swallow?! Brandon and I simultaneously chastised him for his lack of manners. I then turned to Brandon to give him my "What the heck?! Did he really just do that??" look, when I noticed Hunter... Amidst the commotion he took it upon himself to strip down. He was standing on his chair with only his shirt on, with one leg up on the table, slightly leaning back (pelvis forward) as if to say "Ah yeah, look at me, I'm a boy!". Well, as cute as I might think my kids are in their naked form (don't judge - you know you think your kids are cute too!), that was a little more "BOY" than I was hoping to see while eating my dinner! Brandon and I tried to chastise him, but all we could do was laugh!
Once we calmed ourselves down enough to cover up his display of "manhood", we heard splashes.. this time I knew EXACTLY where it was coming from and I looked under the table to find Landon on the floor playing in Bailey's puddle! For real?! It was one of those moments where you can laugh or you cry.. Brandon and I chose to do both! After everyone was cleaned and re-dressed, we stuck everyone in their car seats, took a nice Sunday drive and laughed over all of our little "blessings"! :D
Ironically, it will go down as one of the most fun family-bonding Sunday afternoons to date - pee, child anatomy and all! ;)

On a different note, last Monday a girlfriend of mine helped us take some family pictures for our Christmas cards this year. Here are a few of our favorite, more "put together" moments!..


Dear Grandma,

Dear Grandma(s),

My mommy has been SUPER busy lately and really dropped the "capture every milestone" ball... it's probably hiding somewhere under mounds of tulle! But not to worry, it looks like she's finally caught up with the craziness, and all of the Halloween costumes (307 to be exact) are in the hands of their rightful owners rather than decorating our now less than colorful home. But it's okay, because although I enjoyed looking at the vibrant colors, it always made me sad when mommy told me I couldn't eat her hard work.. :( What's up with that?!

Alas, I have been growing like CRAZY - sitting up, crawling, and even starting to eat small finger foods! Can you believe I am 6 1/2 months old now?! As for my siblings, about a month ago Bailey decided she was big enough for no training wheels. She's doing GREAT and looks way bigger than mommy and daddy would like her to be! I guess it made Hunter want to be big too, because he finally showed interest in his bike and is riding like a pro (with training wheels to his dismay)! This makes Landon happy, since he now has the push car all to himself! Anyways, mommy pulled out the camera to capture the sweet moment of Bailey showing Hunter how to pedal on his bike around the cul-de-sac. She got some really great shots, but you'll never see them... you see, she came out to play with us and put her camera on top of her car! I guess she's been so busy that she's been forgetting things and left it up there. Errands had to be run of course, (we eat a LOT over here!), and we haven't seen our lovely camera since! :(

Today, I guess mommy couldn't take it anymore because she got out her old junky camera (which she despises!) so she could get a cute picture of me before I decide to start walking.. it's not fantastic quality, but, I guess it'll do until daddy buys mommy a new camera for Christmas... ;)

Love you!
Love, Peyton :)


Howdy Partner!

A HUGE THANK YOU to the Johnson family for hosting their AWESOME Barbn Dance last night! It was so much fun mixing and mingling with good friends, and making new ones too! :)

My kids LOVED their horses! I can't imagine how big a full grown horse must seem to a child!

Even Peyton was able to get up close and personal with the mighty beasts! I hope all my kids will love horses as much as their mom! Brandon promised me a horse someday.. I told Bailey (who also LOVE them) and between the two of us, I don't think he'll get off the hook that easy! ;)

The Johnson's hired a man to teach square dancing to everyone who wanted to learn. Bailey and Brandon had a BLAST dancing together (even though it was CRAZY hot!).

Before we headed out, we attempted a family shot... this is as good as it was gonna get!

We had such a blast, and made some great memories! It's times like these that you just want to last forever!!! :)

The New "Big Man" on Campus!

Can Hunter really be THREE?! My word where has the time gone?! If he wakes up tomorrow and wants to start dating, I think I just might kill over! Serisouly though, I have been SO blessed with this adorable kid! He is so sweet and sensitive.. my little lovey boy! :) Only his face could win me over to the point that I would purchase homes for his BUGS for his birthday!

In case you didn't know, I love all God's creatures.. truly, I do. But there are certain creatures that are meant to stay OUTSIDE, and not interact with mankind. That being said, Hunter LOVES bugs! A while back I gave my kids jars to collect their bugs in. I vividly remember cleaning my kitchen when Bailey came running up:

"Mommy, come quick! You have to see what Hunter did, and I don't think you're gonna be very happy..."
"What happened Bailey??"
"He let all our friends out to play in our preschool room downstairs!"
"Our friends?? What friends??"
"You know.. our worm friends, and our roly-poly friends..."

Yeah... about 3 dozen creepy crawlies later, you may be wondering if I'm glutten for punishment?! Well, one look at his face, and you just might have a lapse in judgement too! ;) Happy birthday buddy!!!


Playing catch up

Well, I've been putting this off long enough... There's SO much to tell! Brandon and I figured if we are going to drive 3 days to see family, we were going to make it worth our while! The entire month of July in Utah seemed worth while enough to me! :) The kids were truly FABULOUS in the car, and to reward them, they were spoiled royally by three adoring grandmas!!!

We bounced around a bit, but stared off at Grandma Roberts' house, then went for a weekend boating trip in Elko with the De Groot side and my Aunt Lauren. Then it was back to Grandma Roberts' for more fun with cousins, on to Grandma De Groot's, then a Hooley family reunion up Ephrain Canyon (we went "camping" in a beautiful trailor with AC... HEAVEN!). All in all, a splendid vacation visiting family and old friends. You'll notice, the slide show below excludes the camping trip with the Hooley family, but no worries, I'll share those pictures too once I get a copy of them. :) ENJOY!!!



People ask me all the time, "Does Peyton look like Bailey?". Well, I have my own de-ja-vu opinions.. but pictures recap memories so much better! :)

Here's Peyton at about 6 weeks on her blesing day:
Here's Bailey at about 6 weeks (imagine her mouth closed..):
Peyton on her blessing day again:
Here's Bailey on her blessing day.. she was about 2.5-3months here, but you can see her little facial features really well:
So.. what do you think?! :)


Stolen Carseats & Baby Blessings

This past Friday, Peyton turned the big 6-weeks! As Excited I was for her reaching yet another milestone, the 6 week mark isn't my most favorite because it comes with a certain appointment that I absolutely HATE! You see, I ENDURE the evasion of privacy throughout the pregnancy because I know I'm getting a prize at the end.. at the 6 week check up, there is no prize. You just feel violated.

Brandon had been out of town all week on business, and was coming home that evening, and not a moment too soon! I called him afterwards, emotional, and asked him when he'd be home. "Another hour".. :( So, I opted to go to Target with the kids to pass the time more quickly and keep me from having my 6 week cry. FINALLY, it was time to load everyone up and go home to get a much needed hug from Brandon.

The kids started shuffling into the car, and Bailey yells, "Mom! Our seat belts!" What?! Sure enough, I looked into the car and both Bailey and Hunter's booster seats were gone! ..first things first, I SWEAR I locked the car! And second, whoever swiped them must not have kids, because they would have known that Landon's Alpha Omega Elite costs at least 4 times as much as Bailey and Hunter's booster chairs! Maybe they are going to sell them on craigslist.. how desperate is this world getting? Oh man.. Brandon's going to kill me! How could I have forgotten to lock the... and that's when I saw them: 2 dozen of the most stunning roses I've ever seen, right smack on my front seat! It was pouring rain outside, and in my rush to get everyone in the car, I didn't notice my adorable hubby hiding in his car, parked right behind mine.
I never had my 6 week cry. Rather, we called a sitter and had a FANTASTIC date at an awesome Mexican restaurant! And even though they were fresh out of Chile Relleno's, it was the most perfect evening one could have asked for. :) I have the best husband ever.
TODAY, that wonderful husband blessed Peyton in church. It was a beautiful blessing, for a beautiful daughter! One of those "mommy payday" days.. complete with a home made photo shoot afterwards (the morning session, trying to get a family shot, was a bit crazy)!


Maybe Tomorrow Mom...

So time flies. We all know that. More so as we age (not that I do...)! But nevertheless, I was quite disappointed in myself that I neglected to snap a few shots of Peyton at her 1-month mark. As a matter of fact, I haven't even reached for my camera since she was a week old! I swore I would give all of my kids the VIP treatment from day one, but truth be told, after all the diapers are changed, tummies are full, and bodies are dressed, there isn't much time left over for picture taking!

Last night I was determined to redeem myself. Peyton was 5 weeks as of yesterday (a good mark as well). Peyton however, had payback in mind. It was the saddest photo shoot to date... This in fact was the best picture of the evening:
So of course after that (which was strangely cute, and had to be chronicled since that's the face I stare into every evening due to colic), we decided to try again this morning. We were much more successful, and I had to share! :)

Happy 5 weeks Peyton!!!



Most people are afraid of Jillian Michaels... she can kick your tail no matter your level of fitness! That is, unless you're a 4 year old with WAY too much energy!!! Bailey did the entire workout. TWICE! I wish I could say she gets her dedication from me... ;P


Peyton Bre

Our little Peyton Bre arrived yesterday (April 9th) at 3:38pm!!! She weighed in at 8lbs 1oz and is 20 3/4" long. :) It was a great delivery.. LOVE those epidurals! :) But boy, when she decided to come she came FAST! One minute I'm nice and comfy, the next I'm wondering if the doctor can put her gloves on fast enough.. two pushes later and walla! Words can't describe how excited I am to have another girl!!! My mom and sister Janelle are in town watching our other kids at home. They brought them to the hospital last night shortly after to see their new baby sister. It was SO fun to have us all together!
Peyton and a VERY proud daddy :)
Landon looks so big all of the sudden.. not that I ever thought he was small, but he is one cute "big brother"!
Me and my girls :)
The whole clan (thanks again mom for dressing them up SOOO cute for the big debut!). :)

We are SO blessed and happy that everything went so smoothly once again. Thanks to everyone for their love, support and prayers!


Baby Steps

When breaking an addiction, you hear two terms used frequently, "cold turkey" and, (thanks to "What About Bob") "baby steps". I have always been a "cold turkey" kind of gal.. I'm either in or I'm out, seldom in between. So it seemed only logical that I resorted to locking my bedroom door this evening to get my children to sleep in their OWN rooms! They have beautiful beds.. quite comfortable if I may say so myself. So call me crazy, but I just don't see why they prefer mine and Brandon's floor over their kooshy mattresses?! Granted, they would prefer our bed, but with my rapidly expanding mid-section, we are a little tight on room.. and any parent of more than one knows you can't invite one without the other(s)!

After tucking the kids in (who were quite unhappy with the whole prospect of being in their own rooms), I headed downstairs to clean house while awaiting the glorious silence that accompanies a bedtime victory. The silence came, and I tiptoed upstairs to kiss my darling children goodnight one last time. They did SO well.. or so I thought...

For those unfamiliar to the layout of my home, these are my sweet children, fast asleep in the hallway.. right outside my bedroom door. Apparently, my kids are more into the "baby steps" technique! ;)


Changes Made

For the past 3 years, "Little Tykes Preschool" has been a major love in my life! It started in Arizona, and migrated with us to Michigan... Unfortunately, the economy in Michigan has forced the larger majority of families to have two working parents, putting them in need of full-time childcare, which I do not provide.

A little over a year ago, I started an online business selling boutique hair accessories, "Bailey's Blossoms" - another love of mine! As I have had a very hard time filling my class for this coming preschool year, I have tried harder to expand www.baileysblossoms.com to help compensate for my financial losses. These past few months it has really started to pick up, and I have enjoyed every moment! However, between teaching early morning seminary, preschool, my website, being a full-time mom to 3 (soon-to-be 4) young children, a wife, a housekeeper, cook, chauffeur, etc., my time has been spread pretty thin. I realized that I am doing a lot of things mediocre, and not much "great".

After much consideration, Brandon and I have decided that it is time for me to close my preschool doors for a time after the finish of this year. I LOVE teaching preschool, and this has been a very emotional decision for me, but I realize now that I care more about my children thinking I'm "super mom", than anyone else! ;) So, I look forward to spending more quality time with them (and making hair accessories when they're asleep!). Alas, this is not goodbye forever to Little Tykes Preschool, but rather a recess until a better, more plausible time. :)


School Pictures

A girlfriend of mine came over last week to take our individual and class pictures for preschool. Although I always knew she was talented, there's nothing like an adorable picture of your child to solidify your beliefs!:) Thanks again Sharon - you are of course, AMAZING!!!

It's crazy how much they change in one year. Here is our little diva Bailey:
And Hunter.. I just want to jump in this shot and squeeze him!
And of course Landon, who I don't believe you can take a bad picture of! LOVE that under the chin chub!!! :)
..I love pictures! (Accept of course when they're of me when I'm pregnant... hence, the class picture is NOT being posted today - yes, I may just be that insecure!) :)


Let's go FISHING!!!

I'm not sure what it is about a toilet that gets a young child's heart to beat rapidly with excitement...

With Bailey, it was the plain old water that she couldn't wait to splash in. Hunter, well he preferred to go fishing... yeah... (as a matter of fact, Bailey still hasn't mastered the "FLUSH" aspect of the whole ordeal.. any suggestions?? I'm at a loss, seems kind of common sense to me!:P).

Then there's Landon... He prefers for US to do the fishing. I guess it's good he realizes human waste belongs in the toilet, but how do you teach a 16 month old that if it's in a diaper in the garbage, that's alright too?! I must admit, it's SOOO much funnier to watch someone else "go fishing" for a change! Thanks Brandon - SOOO glad you were home!!! ;D


Mmmmm Mmmmm

I return home from seminary at approximately 7:15am. It isn't unusual for the kids to be awake watching cartoons while Brandon is getting ready for work upstairs. Today was no different, accept no one was actually watching Curious George... I heard "Mmmm.... Mmmmm..." and it didn't take me long to find the source of the commotion!

I'm glad my pie got the ultimate seal of approval, but I think it's time we put a lock on the refrigerator door! I always knew these two were trouble... ;P


Let me explain...

Before anyone judges me, yes I know I should be in church right now... but sometimes the call of motherhood throws an obstacle in our way! Poor Landon has been battling an eye cold for a little over a week now. He's finally good enough to where I don't think people would have avoided us like the plague in our meetings today (I stayed home with him last Sunday). But upon arrival from mine and Brandon's night out last night, we were greeted by a puking Hunter. :( Granted, I am not a puker (I've only experienced the phenomenon twice in my entire life span thus far.. including pregnancies), and I've been very lucky that my kids have had "tough" stomachs as well. Being spoiled has it's ups I'll admit, but it does throw you for a loop when something normal to the rest of the world shows up on your doorstep! So alas, I am home again (Brandon teaches the deacons so we can't alternate this responsibility!) with my two sad boys who are for the moment "resting" if not sleeping. :)

Spare moments are hard to come by these days, so I figured I'd better seize the opportunity to redeem myself as a mother and post about the festivities of the month... what festivities you ask? Why Bailey's 4th birthday of course!!! ...I know, I can't believe it either! :(

The day began with breakfast in bed (of course!). During which Brandon revealed the dollhouse he had put together for her the night before - the two of us are pathetic like that.. NO patience! Then Bailey chose McDonald's (another no-brainer) for her birthday lunch with mommy. :) I tried to talk her out of chicken nuggets in her happy meal since she also chose chicken nuggets for her birthday dinner, but she didn't mind having them two meals in a row! :P That evening we celebrated some more when Brandon got home from work.

Think we were partied out yet? NO WAY!!! My mom came into town at Midnight on Thursday to be here for her birthday party with her little friends on Saturday! "Dora" was all the rage this year, and she was plenty spoiled as usual! As always, a GREAT dragged-out-as-long-as-humanly-possible birthday celebration at the Hooley home! :) Happy Birthday Bailey!!!