Saturday, March 24, 2012

Look-A-Likes x3

All three of our boys in the same outfit...
Nolan Bradley

Heath Tyler

Brooks Wesley

Think they look alike? None of these are the most flattering shots of them at this age. But I think it's fun to compare them at the same age, in the same outfit. Brooks definitely has the darkest hair, that's for sure. But they all have the same big, blue eyes and button noses.

It's fun to see how each of our boys is so unique. God has given us three, precious gifts. We are blessed.

Monday, March 19, 2012

"pa-pa, NO, NO, NO!"

It's been over a month of no paci for Heath! (And I'm just now getting around to blogging about it!) Heath loved his paci, but it was time, because really, I think WE loved it more. His "pa-pa" could always calm him down and silence the screams! Ha! We told him that only babies like Brooks have pacis and he would always say, "pa-pa, NO, NO, NO" and wave his finger. So it was time to bite the bullet and just get rid of the thing.

Nolan gave his up about this same age. So we just decided one day to be done with it! When Nolan gave up his paci he went to Target and "bought" a toy with it. He paid for his Cars and gave the cashier his paci. So we decided to do the same with Heathy. We headed over to Toys 'R Us one Saturday morning for the big goodbye.

We let him wander all the aisles in search of the perfect toy/reward to "buy" with his paci.
It was so cute watching him check everything out!

Of course, he would have LOVED it if we let him get this Lightening McQueen Power Wheel.

As we walked up and down every aisle, nothing was really jumping out to him. (Except, of course, another Buzz Lightyear, but Daddy drew the line at roughly 14 of those in the house!) There are a million toys in that store and they would have been happy to take just about any of them home. But with Christmas and their birthdays so close we have just about filled up our toy space in the house. There really is about nothing that we NEED. We didn't want to just buy something just to buy it.

So we walked out of the store empty handed, well except for a few Skittles from the gum ball machine. The boys were just fine with waiting for the "perfect" toy to trade his paci in for.

We had been looking to buy "Criss-Cross Crash" for the boys for Christmas, but it was all sold out at the time. The boys have lots of Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars and a few smaller rampways, but no "Big Boy" race tracks. So we thought that this would be a great toy for them to play and grow with. So we found it online and ordered it. When it arrived in the mail, Heath was finally able to throw away his paci, which by that point he hadn't used in weeks, and be rewarded!

Heath and his big brother both LOVE watching the cars whip around the track, crash, and fly off!

Other BIG boy news...
Heath has been doing AWESOME at going on the potty! He is by NO means fully potty trained, but is going on the potty a couple of times a day. He often tells us he has to go and does a great job going right away. Mommy just needs to buckle down and spend a few days at home working on it and I'm sure he'll be potty trained in no time! But it has been nice to not have to change poopy diapers and go through less wet ones. I can't wait to only have to buy diapers for one child! In this picture Heathy is showing off his Potty Chart! (Us sneaky parents kind of double dipped the reward- Criss Cross Crash ended up being a special gift for BOTH giving up his paci and filling up his chart, which happened at about the same time!)

We just LOVE this big boy and are so proud of all of his recent accomplishments!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I just love creating special memories for my boys on holidays. So even though we are not even a wee bit Irish, St. Patrick's Day was a fun day for our family!
When the boys woke up they found a cute little treat at their spot at the breakfast table. Nolan thought the leprechauns left it for him!
When he saw me the first thing he did was pinch me! Ha! I wasn't wearing any green! His Daddy taught him that little trick. Despite the pinch, I AM SO LUCKY to have him! And Heath and Brooks too! Not so much lucky, more like incredibly blessed! What a treasure they are!

Of course they had to wait for their sugary treat. But we made breakfast pretty special as well. After a mess of a first batch of waffles (I didn't know you have to mix the batter differently when making waffles, instead of pancakes and they turned out all crumbly when I tried to get them out of the waffle iron!), this time they actually turned out! Green waffles and green milk...yum!

It was a beautiful day so later on we went to the park to play and have a picnic!

We've spent a lot of time here the past week or so!

Nolan pretending to be a chicken! What a silly boy!

After lunch we went to McDonald's for a Johnson family St. Patrick's Day tradition- Shamrock Shakes! They are so good!

Heath guzzled his down and almost finished it by the time we got home! The kid has a serious sweet tooth!

We sat outside in the sun and enjoyed our treats before nap time! Look what popped up in our yard already due to this gorgeous weather we've been having!

That evening we went to the Leensvaarts for a St. Patrick's Day party! These two little leprechauns sported their green for the day!

The kids always love a party at the Leensvaarts! They watched Shrek, you know, the big GREEN ogre, while us adults hung out and drank green beer!

Us girls chatted away in the kitchen while the guys watched NCAA basketball.

And we prepared our favorite "Cleveland Sandwiches"! Delicious!

We had so much fun and stayed up late playing Times Up!

The boys were such good sports and were completely wiped out from a fun day! Heathy fell asleep on the floor next to me as we played the game.

I was really glad St. Patrick's Day fell on a Saturday so that I could spend the day with my family, and NOT with a bunch of pinching 6 year olds!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

3 months

I just can't get enough of this little guy! He is still just the sweetest thing! Eating good, sleeping through the night every night, cooing, barely crying, behaving for Oma & Opa while Mommy is at work, and smiling all the time!

Just love those chubby cheeks and big blue eyes! He makes the cutest quizzical expressions!

All dressed up to go out to dinner with Mommy, Daddy, and the Leensvaarts to the Melting Pot for 5280! Thanks Sloothaak family for the adorable onesie!

He enjoys tummy time and likes looking all around and watching his big brothers zoom by! At about 2 months he rolled over, but it was probably just a fluke. Last night, he did it again! From tummy to back! We just love seeing him grow and change as the months go by!

One thing that hasn't changed, yet, is his hair color! It's still dark like mine! When my Dad sees him on Skype he says, "Hi, little Abby!" People say he looks like me! I love it! What do you think?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rhettson James...

I feel like this blog is a place where we document our lives. Our entire lives. Most days it is filled with happy, cute, fun things that happen in our lives. But it is also a place to be real.

And reality hit our little family hard last week. If you follow my blog then you know that I have written many times that we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of Brooks' best friend, the son of our dear friends, James and Lindsay Cottier. I had mentioned how Mark, James, and Rick had grown up together, gone to school together, played sports together, and were now going to be father's of sons together. I told you all about how we could not wait for "Thing 3" to join our boys.

Well, oh so sadly, last week God had other plans. Plans that we can not even fathom or understand. Plans that we are mad at and heartbroken over. Plans that were most definitely not ours.

On March 1, 2012
Rhettson James Cottier
was born.

He did not take a breath in this world. He went straight into the loving arms of our Heavenly Father.

Rhettson is a beautiful boy who looks like both his Daddy and Mommy in the most perfect ways. He is Jack and Brooks' best friend. He is our sweet "nephew". And he will always hold a special place in our hearts.

We never got to hold him. We never got to watch him play with our boys. We are so sad to let go of our dreams for our little pal. And we are SO SAD to watch our beloved friends go through pain so unimaginable.

We attended the burial and memorial for little Rhett. We cried with and for our friends. We watched them get up in front of a full chapel and pour their hearts out for the loss of their first born son. And we were inspired by their unwavering faith even in the face of such tragedy.

We may never understand why God unfolds His plan in the way He does. We may always ache for the life that had so much potential. But more than anything we know and trust that God's will was done, that lives will be touched by Rhett's story, and that one day we will meet him in heaven.