Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Shhhh - kids sleeping!

One of the biggest challenges new parents face is lack of sleep.  It usually starts during pregnancy... and soon you find yourself celebrating a 3 HOUR stretch of sleep like you just won the lottery!

Both of our boys slept great from about 2 weeks old until about 3 months old.  Then.... they turned on us! 
With Colby we finally tackled the sleep monster at 16 months old.  It took 3 REALLY rough nights and 3 more fairly tough nights... but we persisted and soon ALL of us were sleeping better!

We vowed we would tackle this issue much sooner with subsequent children.... and  9ish months later Brendan was born!  (Haha.... yup.... I figured people could do the math so I'd just make it easy on them!)
So.... have we followed through?!  Yes!  But I truly have no clue if we can really take credit for it.... I kinda feel like we just lucked out.

After we got back from our recent trip to Utah we decided it was time to set uo Brendan's crib... in our guest room (doubles as his room).  We figured we would not change anything except his sleep location at first - then we'd tackle the many-times-a-night wake-ups, etc.  But we were surprised by what happened!  In the pack-n-play in our room Brendan woke many times a night between 7:30pm when we'd put him to bed and 7ish am when my boys are ready to tackle the day (and often earlier).  In his crib in the other room?  Twice a night.  Usually about the time we'd head to bed (10ish).... and then once more (sometime between 2am & 4am).  AMAZING.  That lasted a few days..... then he went to only waking ONCE! 

It has now been a few weeks and we are SO happy with how well he is doing.  Most nights he wakes once between 7:30pm and morning wake-up time.  Last night he woke a couple times between 7:30 and 11:15 when we went to bed, just being fussy (Jimmy would go in, pick him up, sing him a song, and he'd be back out) - and then he slept until 7am - no wake-ups to nurse!  Wow!

So.... for now, we are going to enjoy the sleep we are getting and not do anything different.  I mean really, why mess with a good thing?!

Oh and a super adorable new routine we have - when Brendan wakes up Colby likes to go see him.  The last few days he's requested to get in brendan's crib to snuggle / say hi.  OF COURSE I say yes!  Because then cute stuff like THIS happens....

Monday, March 11, 2013

Clam Digging!

This weekend was one filled with lots of family time, a little bit of work, and clam digging!

One of the upsides of living where we do now {near the WA Coast} is the opportunity to dig for clams!  Last spring when we lived in Aberdeen for a bit, we went clam digging a couple times with friends and family, and had a great time.  We lucked out and got AMAZING weather each time we went (not expected for the WA coast!).

Fast forward to December - we tried a night clam dig.  FAIL.  Turns out, trying to find clams in the dark with a toddler and an infant is just about as difficult as it sounds.  The legal limit is 15 clams per person (meaning you can keep the first 15 clams you dig / catch).  When we went clam digging in the Spring of 2012, we got our limits in an hour, max.  December?!  We got 5 clams.  And two very angry kiddos.

So... we decided to give it a go this weekend.  There were low tides in the late afternoon / evenings.... but at times when we could go clam digging in the daylight.  We packed up the kiddos.  We got out our rubber boots.  We met friends on Saturday and we drove to the beach.  And we DUG!

 Colby ready to dig - Saturday

Colby, Jimmy, {and Brendan} - out on the beach! 

Happy boy!!!  Brendan liked being outside!

We had a GREAT time, enjoying beautiful weather, and got our limits (three limits, 45 clams, 15 for each of us - Jimmy, Colby, and Me) pretty quickly!  Colby enjoyed digging / playing in the sand (and re-filling the holes we created).

 Our friends - digging for the first time!  LOVE the action shot with their daughter "helping" - she was giggling so loud!!!
Family photo on the beach!  So much love!

That night, Jimmy and I stayed up and cleaned all the clams (blah.... can't we just EAT THEM now!?) - then the next day, we fried up a few for lunch... and decided we would definitely go again Sunday!
Yummy - lunch!  Cocktail sauce not necessary..... but Jimmy likes it with his clams.

Sunday's weather wasn't quite as nice weather-wise {sunglasses not necessary} - but it was still successful!
Brendan was ready to head back out!

I LOVE this boy - makes me smile every day! 

"Digging for clams" - who says he can't dig his limit?! 

:)  Mommy-son photo op!

Brendan's patience was a bit shorter this time around.... but it was colder out, and he was hungry.  So Colby helped entertain him a bit....  Yes, Jimmy is Superdad!

All in all - lots of family time, a great weekend, and we've got all these tasty clams cleaned and ready to cook.  I'll be busy making clam chowder soon.... we also breaded and froze some of them.... and then we'll just freeze them to be able to fry / make into tasty dinners and lunches and appetizers..... Yay!
 Sunday's clams!
The boys with our cooler full of clams!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

2 years, 2 months, 2 weeks

Ever since I decided I would get back into blogging I realized I really should do some sort of "update blog post" - so here it is.  I promise it will be long.  But I have two years to cover since I was last actively blogging (really, 2 years and 2 months)!

{2 years}
The last two years have been CRAZY - here is a "quick" synopsis:

Colby has changed a bit.....
February 2011
1st Birthday - September 2011

February 2012

February 2012

September 2012

March 2013

We lived in 6 different places {yes, SIX}....
Lake Stevens, WA (HOME)
Silverdale, WA (in a hotel... for a job... for a few months)
... then back home for a while
Aberdeen, WA (another hotel, for 3.5 months)
.... back home for a bit
Aberdeen, WA (hotel for a few weeks - with two kids)
Cosmopolis, WA (moved permanently to the Aberdeen area)
Montesano, WA (where we call home now - also the Aberdeen area)

 Photos from Silverdale hotel living

We traveled... a bunch!
San Francisco, CA (K&C)
Salt Lake City, UT (all)
Pittsburgh, PA (K only!)
Salt Lake City, UT (all)
McMechen, WV (K&C)
Las Vegas, NV (K&J)
San Francisco, CA (all)
Salt Lake City, UT (all)
Beaverton, OR (TONS!)
Salt Lake City, UT (all FOUR!)
 {San Francisco Trip - October, 2011}

  {Utah - October, 2011}

 {West Virginia - January 2012}

 {Las Vegas - February 2012}

Our family grew.....

{Brendan Clifford - born 9/20/12 - 7lbs, 13oz}

Eggo in the Oven just kept growing {750+ separate sales in 2011 - most for more than one item}, and busy busy during 2012....
And I'm SURE I'm missing other big things that happened over the last 2 years.  It's been crazy, amazing, busy, a HUGE learning curve, and SO rewarding.

{2 months}
The last two months (or so) has been a BLUR.  In November 2012 we were told on a Friday that Jimmy needed to report to a job in Aberdeen, WA (about 2.5 or 3 hours away from our house) for work on Monday.  It was a "temporary" assignment - for a few months.  We had done a temp assignment in Aberdeen about 6 months back, and the three of us {Kim (pregnant), Jimmy, and Colby} lived in a hotel for the 3.5 months.  Now that our family had grown, the thought of living in a hotel room for months as a family of four was NOT ideal.  By Wednesday of that first week, we found out we would be here "permanently" {meaning not just months, but likely year(s)} - so we started looking for rentals.  We found a house that seemed like the perfect fit (there are NOT many houses for rent here.... and many are... less than ideal).  We moved in at the end of November.

Unfortunately that first house was a HEADACHE {to say the least!}.  Maintenance issues, etc.  So..... almost exactly 2 months {aka, just as we got all the boxes unpacked} after having Jimmy's company move us to that house (with movers, it was GREAT!) - we decided to look for a new rental.  We found one and with the help of our AWESOME friends and family, we moved.... again..... and this time we had to pack the boxes!!!

We are now *almost* settled in the new place - and while it was a PAIN to make the move we 100% know it was the right move.  The new place has an AMAZING basement that has room for a playroom / family room AND my sewing room.  We spend TONS of time there!

{2 weeks}
The last two weeks have been busy and fun!  We visited Jimmy's family in Utah last weekend - for an extended weekend.  It was GREAT to see his Mom, Dad, and Sister.  We spent the weekend playing, eating, and just hanging out.  Colby continues to be an AMAZING big brother - and his vocabulary?!  Ridiculous.  He speaks in full sentences.... sometimes {often} paragraphs!  

Brendan seems to be hitting this FUN stage of developing / growing / learning / discovering.  His little personality is really starting to come out - and he is working so hard to learn to crawl {so he can catch his brother!}.  He just started solid foods over the last few days and he's LOVING them.  He LOVES his brother {seriously, he LIGHTS UP whenever Colby plays with him / holds his hand / kisses him / tickles him}.  He is now sleeping in his own crib (he was in a pack-n-play in our room... but we made the big move yesterday and he's LOVING it so far!)

Life is crazy.  Life is fun.  Life is frustrating.  Life is unpredictable.  Life is AMAZING.  I love it all!!!!

So... there is a quick {really, it was, I mean that was 2 years smashed into one post!} update on us.  There are SO many more photos / stories / experiences..... but I'm just going to "reset" and will just keep up with the goings on from now on!

.... I am impressed if you got this far!