Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Little Cowgirl

Emily had her first horse ride this past weekend. Her friend, Maren, invited her to her cowgirl birthday party.

She loved playing with Maren's dog, running wild in the grass, swinging, drinking lots of Capri Sun, eating yummy treats and most of all riding on the horses. Emily and I had our own little ride on the horse. I haven't done that since I was a little girl myself! Made me want to ride them a little further and faster.

These are my favorite pictures from the outing-Steph attempting the rope swing we found in the back. It started out very gracefully but went downhill from there. And here is Jaxon's attempt at the swing. Mostly I love his bright red shirt against all that green. I have lived here for almost 7 years and I am still amazed by how green it is!

From Fiddlin' to the Keyboard

I love music so my kids get to love music as well, whether or not they want to! This past week Abbie had two chances to perform and Connor had his moment to shine as well. Abbie competed in her first fiddle contest. Her teacher asked if she wanted to participate in it and she was excited to. I was happy that it was all her decision. The contest was an hour away so we had a fun afternoon together. There were 9 kids who competed in her division and we were thrilled that she got 5th. Lots of the kids compete in every contest they can and take it very seriously. So to get 5th in her first contest was great. Especially because it meant getting a trophy (only 5th-1st got the trophies!) and a $5 check. Very exciting. I was way more nervous about the whole thing than Abbie was. She loves getting up on a stage to perform. Sorry the pics didn't turn out real great but you can still see how cute she is!

Spring Piano Recital 2008
I teach both my kids piano and they are both doing great. I had my spring recital last week and all my students did awesome, especially Connor and Abbie!
It's always very rewarding as a teacher to hear your students perform well. Makes it all worth it!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Go to Bed!!

I talked Rick out of watching a movie tonight so that we could actually get to bed on time and catch up on some much needed sleep. I'm still recovering from being KC's doula. Rick fell asleep on the couch and here I am at the computer. It's already past midnight and as always, I have somewhere to be first thing in the morning. But I checked e-mail which led me to a blog so then I decided to check all my favorite blogs and before I know it it's been an hour and I am wondering if I'll ever go to bed. I have got to get control. It's just so fun reading about all of your lives. I love it.

I promised to post more on the kittens. I was excited to add some video clips but cannot get the darn thing to work. I need to get it figured out. If I never get it up, just know that it was pretty fascinating. The kittens and mama are doing awesome. It's so much fun having them around. Adds an extra excitment to the home.

This week has been one of those where I feel like I can't quite get my head above water. I've been going from one thing to the next. I really don't like life that way. It's no fun when your mind is racing trying to make sure everything is taken care of. Part of that was because it was my week for preschool. I love having preschool at my home but it robs me of the hours I normally spend putting my life in order. So this week we had to do without the order. I feel like I've made it through. It's a long weekend and I'm finally ready for sleep. I think I hear Rick stirring in the other room. I guess it's time to go to bed!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Meet Rascal, Midnight, Tiger and Lilly

The kittens have finally arrived!! I only have a few minutes to write but I wanted to get the pictures up for everyone to see. Here's a quick play by play of the night.

Warning: The pictures are bloody!
Around 9:00 KC found a secluded corner in the girls room. You could only see her head poking out of all the stuffed animals that had been thrown in the corner. We put her out around 10:00 and she asked to come right back in and went for the same spot. Rick and I read until 11:30 and then attempted to put her out again. She begged to come back in and was not acting normal. Her cry was different and she had started purring and wanted so badly to be inside. Usually she prefers the garage at nights. We knew something was up. We cleaned up her corner and put a box in it with old towels and let her try that out. Apparently it was important for her to be near Abbie. When I was a girl my cat always wanted to be by me and I loved it. It was fun to see the pattern repeated.

Here's a picture of KC in her box hiding out. At this point she was panting, purring and pushing. We knew it was close! I called Steph at 11:50 because she had insisted that I call her when it happened. She was so fun to come over and join us. Rick on the other hand, knowing he had to get up and go to work, went to bed.

I like this picture because it shows how hard KC is working. The one thing that amazed me is that she continued to purr through the whole thing. It made me wonder if she was really enjoying herself. She seemed very relaxed and I would even go so far as to say happy almost the entire time. The 4 times when she pushed the babies out, she would look at us and cry, and then they would pop out. Amazing!

After about an hour of panting, purring and pushing baby #1 was born. I woke up Abbie when I new the baby was moments away so that she could experience it. I figured KC wanted her to be there anyway. Abbie decided to name this little guy rascal. It has proved to be the feisty one of the bunch. It had the food all to itself at first and kept up a good fight as the others came along.

Midnight was born soon after Rascal. She (I don't really know what if they are male or female) was born in the midnight hour and was much darker. KC had about on hour after these first two were born. After she had cleaned the babies and eaten the placentas (that part was gross!) she laid and panted. You can see on her face that she is still hard at work. She continued to purr through the entire thing.

Within just a few minutes she had both Tiger and Lilly out. They are named after our first cat, Tiger Lilly, who disappeared before she was even one. Here she is nursing all the babies. Lilly had the hardest time finding food. By the time we went to bed she

was still attached to her placenta and had to drag it around on her quest to fill her belly. This morning they are all very happy. KC left them for just a moment to get some food so we could get a better shot.

And here is what Emily did during all the excitement. She just didn't have it in her to stay awake but was nice to make room for us on her bed!

I've got kids to pick up and lessons to teach but have a few more details and video I'll add later. So keep checking. Good job KC! You're a great Mom!

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Friend

I'm just so glad for the LDS church publication of The Friend that I have to share my gratitude with others. I'm not good at preparing in advance for Family Home Evening. I still don't even have one of those nifty charts to rotate whose turn it is to do this or that. Some day. For now we often pull the Friend out at the last minute, read a good story, and then have a family discussion on it. Tonight's story was about a boy who found himself in a sticky situation at his scout leaders home. Of all places. You'd think they wouldn't have to face temptation at scouts! The leaders' son wanted to play a video game that the boy didn't feel was appropriate. He was strong, made the right choice and learned a valuable lesson from it.
After we read the story, the kids opened up and shared what they thought might be things that would be inappropriate and how they could know when they should walk away. I was so grateful, and a bit surprised, at how open they were with me. Here was the biggest shocker: finding out that my children have noticed all the terrible things you see in Blockbuster and recognized that it was bad. We take them in there on occasion to pick out a movie. Little did I know they were absorbing things I'd rather they didn't and that they were finding it hard to look away from inappropriate things. I was the one putting them in those situations. Little eyes and ears are so impressionable and we have to be on a constant vigil to help them.

What a blessing that we have a home where these things can be openly discussed. I am very aware that we can't keep them from temptation-even Blockbuster has it-but I am also very aware that we can teach them so that they will know when to look or walk away. And I'm so glad that the church produces a magazine that isn't afraid to address these issues and gives us a start to what can be very powerful and important discussions in our homes. I love this gospel!
Oh, and just for your info, my cat is going to have kittens any day now. I can't wait! I'll post pictures soon.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Tillamook Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

What's this I've found? Isn't this the stuff Dad fills a bowl with every night and eats. He never shares it with me. Looks like he didn't even use the bowl this time.
Guess I'll give it a try.
Hey! That's pretty good. No wonder Dad likes it so much.
I need to devise a plan to get a nightly bowl of this stuff myself.
Maybe if I smile really big they'll let me have more.

What did I just hear? Did someone say to take the ice cream away from Holly? Whoa. They don't know who they're messing with. No one is getting this from me. Just try it. I dare ya!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Birthday Fun

I had big plans to deep clean the kids rooms today but have tried a few times and am finding that I have no motivation. I'm too worn out from birthday fun! I decided to blog about that instead. Much more fun. The kids rooms will remain cluttered with messy closets and overstuffed drawers for yet another day (or week or month).

Connor and Rick have to both agree on the festivities of the day. They both threw out their ideas and we made a compromise. Connor wanted to go ice skating so he invited Brady and Abbie came along. They had fun and were good sports even with the bumps and bruises.

Connor was adamant about McDonalds for dinner. Rick agreed but only if we went out later to somewhere a little more tasty.
Here's a picture of toothless Connor. He's had a tooth hanging by a thread for the last few days. He wanted to wait until his birthday before he pulled it out. So at 2:00 AM Connor was standing at our bed with his tooth in hand! His first birthday present.

Steph, Jake and family joined us at McDonalds and we had Talmage with us as well. His parents, Robin and Briton, are off gallivanting about on the east coast. At least I think that's where they are. Hope you are having fun. We sure are!

I had to include this picture of Talmage holding my 1-year olds hand. We were on our way home from McDonalds when he decided to make a move. You can tell by his expression that he was under the impression that he wasn't being watched when suddenly the camera clicked. Caught in the act! Talk to me again when Holly is 20 Talmage but I think this is starting a little young with the flirting.
Little side note: I took this picture while I was driving. I had to use the rear-view mirror to see the image in the back of the camera so I could take the picture. I was impressed with myself.
Just don't tell Rick-he hates when I do stuff like that.

After McDonalds the boys opened their B-day presents. Rick put together a very cool treasure hunt for Connor's final present. We were all very impressed with the awesome poetry and Connor was thrilled with his rip stick.

The expression on his face says it all!

Connor was glad to have buddy Brady around for all the fun. Such a cute picture.

After presents the boys got to enjoy their very cool Yoga cake. If you want a step by step of how this cake was made, you'll have to check out Stephanie's blog. Not that I think she's amazing. Heaven forbid!

By this point you might be wondering when Rick got to have his fun. Not that ice skating, McDonalds, treasure hunts and yoda cakes aren't fun! However, once we had made a big enough mess of the house and filled the kids with sugar, Rick and I ditched and left the kids with Steph. We split our favorite meal at Stanfords (we had already eaten McDonalds and cake but we were celebrating!) And then we watched Iron Man on opening night. Rick attempts every once in a while to broaden my horizons with these kinds of show. I tried to get out of it but with it being his birthday I had to go along with his plan. I was pleasantly surprised and once I got passed all the shooting (there was LOTS of that) I really enjoyed myself. Not so sure that's a good thing but it was fun. And, of course, Rick loved it. We came home to a spotless house and sleeping children thanks to Steph. I think the boys would say they shared yet another wonderful birthday.
As for myself, I have managed to waste away the past hour or more writing this post. I had almost finished it when I managed to lose it all and had to start all over. Arghh! The rooms are even messier then when I started but now these fun memories will be around forever. Maybe it wasn't such a waste. And I did it all while watching 7 kids. Ok-so I didn't actually do any watching but I'm around if someone breaks a bone! I'm just nervous to see the mess. Maybe I should try to get away with leaving the kids with Steph again. It worked for me last night!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Birthday Boys

Happy Birthday Rick and Connor!! I love the stories of both of these boys births so I thought I would share them with you on this very special day. Rick's story was written up in what looks to be the ward newsletter-written by the nurse who helped deliver him, Nurse Oram.

"Little Rick Ellis Bruno made his dashing debut into the world at 4:25 a.m. on May 2nd. It was evident from the beginning that this was no ordinary kid--he was an individualist in his own right. He chose to make his grand entrance at home aided by substitute doctor Richard Oram, and later nurse Sharon Oram. Daddy Bruno was on the phone during the entire event trying to get an ambulance and a doctor who could tell him what to do.

"His first attmpt for an ambulance, however, produced only a wrong number; and his attempt for a doctor brought an intern who obviously thought the stork still delivered babies.

"After baby Bruno made his entrance he was wrapped snugly in a large bath towel and transported to the hospital in an ambulance in the arms of nurse Oram--but not until she had sent Dr. Oram home for her contacts so she could see this precious bundle she was carrying.
"Mama Bruno, baby Bruno, and nurse Oram were met at the hospital by a group of very excited nurses and doctors. (Daddy Bruno and Dr. Oram were home rounding up a babysitter.) An hour later the doctor said both Mama and baby Bruno were just fine and had come through their spectacular event remarkably well."

Connor's story isn't nearly as exciting. How can you top that? But it was pretty special that he was born the same day as his dad. Here's his story, written by his doting mother the day after he was born.

"Yesterday was one of the most miraculous days of my life. Little Rick Connor Bruno was born into this world. I started the day off by going on a walk. We enjoyed seeing all the baby calves, the pony, and over 20 brand new ducklings...As soon as we got back from walking I headed for the store for groceries and balloons for Rick's birthday. I held Abbie at the balloon store and after the 5 minutes I was in there, I was exhausted. I went grocery shopping, had a few strong contractions but didn't think much of it.

"We got back from grocery shopping around 12:15 and I started unloading the car. Each trip I made to and from the car became more and more difficult and I was in more pain. Sam (my neighbor) offered to bring the groceries in but I jokingly told him that it might put me in labor, which would be a good thing."

(The rest of this is a very abbreviated version-I didn't want to bore you with too many details.)

I spent the next hour getting Abigail lunch, putting groceries away and wrapping presents. I took a bath to see if contractions would stop-but they didn't. Rick came home by 1:30 and we began timing contractions. They were 3-4 minutes lasting 45-60 seconds. The nurse told me to come into the office but I still had to get Abigail to the babysitter and pack my bags. We got out of the house by 3:15

We went to the office, where I waited way too long to see the midwife. They finally checked me and I was dialated to a 7. The office was right next to the hospital so I waddled over, stopping every few minutes for very strong contractions. It was 4:30 by this time.

Once we got situated in the room Rick gave me a blessing, the midwife broke my water and by 5:30 Rick Connor Bruno was born. Happy Birthday Daddy! Rick was promised if Connor was born on his birthday (which I was 100% sure was not going to happen) that Rick could name him after himself. So now we enjoy having two Rick's around the house.

For the past 7 years these two have been sharing this special day together. Rick is 34 today, Connor is 7 (3+4=7 Cool!!). Happy Birthday Boys!