Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day this year was a much needed date night. In fact, it was our first date night since Jacob was born. We really didn't want to ask Scott's parents to watch the boys (since they watched Alexander last year), but when we were casually talking about it, they volunteered and we were thrilled! So we decided to just keep the night simple and go to dinner, but we will get to that later. First, I should share with you my surprise!

The morning of Valentine's Day, there was a knock at the door. And who could it be? None other than a flower delivery guy! My sweetie had ordered me flowers and chocolates to be delivered. Though I think he spent way too much on me, it sure was sweet. Alexander enjoyed trying to eat all my chocolates too! When I finally hid them from him, I decided to have some candy hearts (that I had bought earlier). After finishing the hearts, I left them on the dining room table, and changed Jacob's diaper. Well, my little man, Alexander, is getting so big and tall, that he reached up on the table and pulled down the bag of hearts. They fell everywhere, and he started shoving them in his mouth by the handfuls  Luckily, I was able to rescue some of them. Oh my silly little boy! Speaking of my little boy! We got another surprise that day! A nursery leader brought Alexander a little valentine with some jelly bellies! It was so sweet and he was so excited. They stopped by to say they have been missing him and hope to see him again soon. It was super sweet of them!

In preparation of Valentine's Day, Amy got me a cute nail painting set. So, on one of my "fun nights" I painted my fingers and toes. It was a lot of fun and they turned out really cute. Below are pictures of them:

During the afternoon, on Valentine's Day, I loaded up the boys and went to the office at our complex. They were having a little party. We had sandwiches  juice boxes, and cookies. They even let you decorate your own cookies. I had super fun decorating mine, but Alexander preferred his without the frosting (pick little eater)! We hung out there and enjoyed treats until Scott came home from work. It was way fun, though Alexander had one too many juice boxes! He kept stealing mine. The office staff was cute too, they even gave him a valentine. It was super fun!

Anyway, on to the evening. Scott's family came, and they had just returned from traveling. So they had brought us a whole bunch of souvenirs. So we opened our fun gifts from them before we left. They got us cute shirts that we can't wait to wear. Scott's says, "The Father of all things," mine is "The Mother of all things," and Alexander has "Thing 1" and Jacob has "Thing 2." We are even thinking we might wear them for Halloween. Anyway, after our gifts Scott and I headed out for dinner and dessert. At our office party they gave us a coupon book, so we got dinner and dessert half off! We had a nice dinner at Applebee's, and then went for dessert at this ice cream place called Sub Zero. They do this neat freezing process with fog right in front of you. It is super cool! Well, during dessert I thought it would be fun to take turns telling each other what we love most about the other person. We did it during the entire time at dessert and it was nice being reminded of why I love him, and why he loves me. I do have to say that after almost 3 years of marriage, I am still completely head over heels in love with Scott. I really feel blessed to have such an amazing husband and father of my two sweet boys. Well, that is all for now. Tune in next time for Fabulous February :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Brotherly Love

Lately, people are always asking, "How is Alexander adjusting to being a big brother?" It really is a legitimate question, so I figured I would devote a post to how things are in the Richins' home with two boys under 18 months. Since Alexander was born on August 11, 2011 and Jacob was born on December 28, 2012, that makes them 16.5 months apart. I have to be honest. Before having Jacob, I didn't imagine that they could really play together for awhile, or that Alexander would even grasp that he is a big brother. Boy was I wrong!

Alexander is adjusting quite well, and it is obvious that he loves his brother, Jacob, to pieces. From the moment he met Jacob at the hospital, he has been curious about who this little boy is. He even started petting him at the hospital. I say petting because it is the only way I can describe it. Whenever Alexander would pet the family cats at grandma and grandpa's house, we would always say "soft" or "gentle" and he would pet them softly. Well, that is what he does to Jacob too!

Another fun thing he does, happens in the mornings. Scott is great at helping out, and usually gets up Alexander in the mornings while I catch a few more minutes of sleep, or feed Jacob. Every morning, when Alexander is all ready, they come in the bedroom and the first thing Alexander does, is look for Jacob. As soon as he spots him (in either his bassinet or our bed), he squeals with delight and tries to touch him. It is so cute.

I thought it might be fun for you to see some of the moments I have caught on my camera of his curiosity surrounding his new little brother. Here they are:

Of course, Scott makes sure they have a lot of fun together too! He will play with them,  hold them together,  try to get Alexander to hold his brother, and even put Jacob on top of Alexander. Here are some fun moments they have already had together"

Of course every moment isn't all fun and games. There are moments when Alexander gets jealous of Jacob and climbs in our lap while we are holding him. Or he throws a little temper tantrum because he wants something, but can't have it at that moment due to us taking care of Jacob's needs (usually while Scott is at work and I am feeding Jacob). And there are times when Alexander is a little rough with Jacob, or tries to climb on top of him (like while Jacob is lying on his activity mat). Do we are still working on teaching him to be more gentle. And sometimes, having a newborn in the house is just tough. Newborns cry, and take up a lot of time. One day, while Jacob was having one of his crying fits (he is a much grumpier baby than Alexander was, but we are adjusting), I looked over at Alexander and saw him in the high chair covering his ears. It cracked me up so much, that I had to take a picture. Sometimes, we all feel the need to have some ear muffs, but we are adjusting. We all know that this too shall pass, and it wont be long before Alexander realizes that Jacob is truly his best friend. We just love them both, in those good moments and even in the tough ones too.

I do have to say that Scott and I are amazed at how much our little boys look alike! When Alexander was only a month old, we took a picture of him on his grandpa's shoulder, and we ended up loving the picture. Well, we decided it would be fun to take a picture of Jacob in the same position. When you look at the pictures together, it is amazing how much they look alike! Scott says that they were actually twins in the pre-mortal life, but decided to come separately so I wouldn't go crazy. Anyway, you can see for yourself the resemblance:

Alexander is on the left, and Jacob is on the right! The resemblance is astounding! We will just have to wait and see how much they look alike as they get older. Well, that about wraps up this post. We have two small boys, who mostly adore each other, and we adore them! Tune in next time for Valentine's Day :)

Jumping January

To be honest, January was a bit of a blur. Every new parent knows that sleep is pretty much non-existent for the first few months of their newborn's life. Well, I guess some families are blessed with children that sleep through the night right away, but that is not our luck! Anyway, the month of January was mainly spent adjusting to having a newborn and another child under 18 months. It has been an adventure to say the least, but all in all, we love our little boys and they have brought us more joy than we could have possibly imagined!

As Jacob was born, we were told by multiple pediatricians not to take him out anywhere for at least the first two months. He was born at the peak of flu and RSV season, and this year was the worst recorded flu season in years. So, although I hate being cooped up in the house, we have done our best to take him out as little as possible. On Sundays we even alternate which parent takes Alexander to church. And we only stay for Sacrament meeting so that Alexander doesn't pick up anything in Nursery. I have to say that though I hate being stuck in the house, I am glad we have taken these precautions, because everyone I have talked to has been really sick lately. Anyway, this has made our activities pretty minimal.

Near the end of the month, we just had to get out of the house, and Xander needed some fun. So we decided to go sledding! I mainly just took pictures and carried Jacob in the carrier, while Scott and Xander sledded down the hill. It was so much fun watching them. I even took a video of the first two times they went down the hill (this happened to be Xander's first time sledding). He seemed okay with the first time, but on the second time down the hill he got covered in snow. He wasn't too happy about that, and from that time on he wasn't interested in sledding. Scott tried taking him a few more times, but he just said, "" Scott still took him a couple times, but after that we just gave up on the idea. At one point I sat in the sled with the two boys while Scott pulled us around on flat ground. Xander really seemed to enjoy that! Below are some pictures of our fun sledding:

Another fun thing we did in January was celebrate National Popcorn Day, which falls on January 19th! I bet you didn't even know that such a holiday existed. Well, neither did we until I got a free Harmon's calendar. When I saw it was a holiday, I knew it would soon become a Richins' family tradition! The Richins' family (Scott, his dad, and many others) are practically addicted to popcorn. So I thought it would be fun to celebrate it. So we bought some kettle corn and caramel popcorn, and Scott made some buttered popcorn with his new popcorn maker that he got for his birthday. I have to say I was surprised at how much everyone preferred caramel corn to the regular stuff! But I enjoyed having a little of everything. It was super fun and super yummy! Below are some pictures of our fun:

I guess now we should talk about the boys' milestones. This month Alexander has been really trying to say more things. You can tell that he is trying to talk and make new sounds. He points to different body parts and tries to say the words. He will point to your head and say "he..he.." and to your nose and say "no" and to your eye and say "eye" and to your mouth and say "" It is so cute! He even tries to point to our facial features (including Jacob's)! It is adorable, though Jacob isn't always a fan of it. Alexander also started saying "yeah" to try and say yes to a question that is being asked. So cute! He is signing more, and signs please and thank you much more frequently. He is also starting to eat more of the foods that we are eating. This is exciting because he generally wants only a few types of foods (fruit, breads, cheese, cereal, and yogurt). So we are excited to see him branching out more. This month, Jacob has started to lift his head and smile. He coos a lot too. He is a very active baby. He is constantly kicking his legs and moving his arms around. It makes sense why I felt his kicks so much more and so much harder than Alexander's kicks, while pregnant. Below are a few fun pictures we got of them this month:

Well, that about wraps up the month of January! I know it was a ton of pictures, but I just can't bear to miss a moment of their lives. I hope you enjoyed it all. Tune in next time for Brotherly Love :)