Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Traditions

I used to think that we weren't very good at doing Christmas traditions, but as I listened to my kids talk (well, actually just Abby talk) about all the things we do at Christmas I realized that we do have some traditions.

We decorate outside. Granted, it doesn't take much effort, but the kids love it. (I think I warned all of you about this at Halloween.)

We go to the same tree lot every year and pick out a tree. The kids always get a picture in front of the giant Santa and the picture is always washed out because of the sun.

We always go to the ward christmas party and the kids sit with Santa. Madison has always been fascinated by Santa and she sat on his lap about 6 times this year at the ward party. It helped that we were right on time and there was only one other family there. Whenever we couldn't find Madison we looked over by Santa and there she was either on his lap or watching his every move from about three feet away. When Santa left and we started to eat dinner Madison was very curious about where he was.

madison and her BFF, aka- Santa.

We have some other traditions too, like Gordon's work Christmas party (where Santa comes to visit too), neighbor gift delivering and Christmas eve pizza. But those things haven't happened yet.

If I get any good pictures I will post about those things too. So far it's been pretty fun and the kids are getting excited. I am excited too. I think I did pretty good on gifts this year, especially for Gordon. I think I might even see him excited! It's hard for Gordon to show excitement about gifts, but I think I might have done it this year- and no, it's not a Caribou Hunt or a Ford F-150, although those would be guaranteed to elicit some excitement from him. I'll let you know how I did. What are you most excited for this Christmas?

Thursday, December 4, 2008


So, I have been lucky enough to have a nanny helping me out for the last year and a half or so. I wish every mom could be so lucky. A few months after Chase was born we had Mimi come and work for us. She came every day for a few hours, which was great because she was able to stay with the kids when Gordon and I went on a trip together, and she came when I had surgery to have my tonsils taken out. She was just what we needed at the time, but we knew it would just be for a few months. After Mimi we had Courtney come to work for us. Again, Courtney was just what we needed at the time. Courtney is married and lives close by. She started by coming two days a week, and then she just started coming one day a week. She is wonderful, amazing and she provided the sanity I desperately needed. She took care of the kids, cleaned, did the laundry, made their meals, took them to the park (all in one day). I swear that girl never takes a rest!

BUT, guess what! Yesterday was Courtney's last day. So, so , so Sad!!!! I have to hand it to her though. She worked until she was 37 weeks pregnant. And she continued to work hard through her whole pregnancy. We will miss her, but are totally excited to meet her daughter Kristen when she makes her way into the world (hopefully not on Christmas day- even though she is due Dec 24th!)

So now I am totally help-less!!!! (I did used to have a cleaning lady too- I know I'm spoiled, but I swear my kids are HARD!!!) Life is much easier now though. Madison's therapy session are still 4 days a week, but are here at Abby's elementary school instead of in Walnut Creek. The kids are doing chores, which actually really helps out. We have gotten used to Gordon's travel schedule and long hours.

Anyway- we just wanted to give a shout out to our wonderful nannies, without whom I would have for sure had a nervous breakdown. Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping our family when we needed it most!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Madison, our daredevil.

Madison's birthday was on November 15th. She turned 5. 5 is a big deal at our house because it is the first year we do a "big" birthday party. Madison got to choose where she wanted to have her party and our little redhead chose the "rock climbing place."
She has been to a couple of parties at this place and has been on the rock wall almost the whole time. There are also big jump houses and slides, foosball tables, and other activities, but Madison loves the Wall!
That's her up there on the right. She mostly just liked the freefall off the wall.
So on Friday November 14th, twenty of her friends, neighbors, cousins and classmates joined us at her favorite party place to celebrate her 5th birthday.

She had a blast. Can you tell? She totally deserved an amazing over the top birthday party and we are just so glad so many of her friends were able to come and celebrate with her. She works so hard in all her therapy and she has made so much improvement. We love her so much and are happy she is part of our family.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Halloween Edition- only 11 days late!

So, I am a little late. But, here are our Halloween cuties. Princess Fiona, Tinkerbell and Thomas the Tank Engine all hope that you had a great Halloween too. Princess Fiona did not know her own name, only that she was the Shrek Princess (a movie which she has never seen by the way.)
Tinkerbell acutally picked out a Daphne (from Scooby-Doo) costume, but decided at the last minute that grabbing something from the dress up box was just easier than a wig and weird shoe things. Thomas the Tank Engine didn't want to wear a costume, including the hat, but once the candy thing got going he completely forgot about it and was just about as excited as a three year old can get.

This is the best picture I could get of the three of them. Seriously. They had a great time on Halloween and loved every minute of the few pieces of candy they got to eat. What's even better is they rarely asked for the candy after Halloween. I had to get rid of most of it just so I wouldn't eat it myself. My favorites this year were twizzlers, milk duds and kit-kats. I think I overdid it on Butterfingers last year, as they held no appeal for me this year. We do need to train Chase a little better though, he ended up with about a dozen almond joys a handful of mounds. No one in this house will eat those! But, if any of you out there enjoy them let me know and I will save them just for you next year!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Who potty trained that kid?

This is how to thoroughly confuse a little boy when potty training.

1) insist that he sit backwards on the potty when first learning to go.

2) realize that he has to completely strip from the waist down to sit on the potty backwards

3) realize that stripping from the waist down will not go over so well in preschool.

4) insist that he stand up to pee, but of course with the seat up

5) bribe and beg him to stand up to pee so he can go to preschool

6) try to have him sit forwards on the potty so he doesn't have to strip and can still go to preschool

7) have him pee all over you, the nanny and the floor while sitting forward on the potty

8) bribe and beg again for him to stand up to pee - preschool is really important people!

9) let him decide how he wants to use the potty

10) be happy that now he stands up to pee, but still sits backwards to go #2

I can just imagine the thoughts in poor Chase's head.

Chase thinking- "I need to pee, so I stand up and put this seat thingy up. Wait, I actually need to go #2, so I guess I'll just sit down. Wow, this feels different and what is this seat doing here in front of me. I thought I was supposed to sit on it. I guess I still can sit on it , if I can just get it over my head. Oh now what do I do? I thought my legs were supposed to be under this thing. I guess I just put it back up. Oh great, I think I am......."

Chase screaming- " Mooooommmmmyyyy, I is stuck!!!!!"

He's not going to preschool until January. I guess we still have some time.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Behind the Scenes

In an effort to reveal what life is like here at the Beckstead's I thought I would give you a quick peek into our life.

Every morning after the girls are at school Chase and I come home to a kitchen that looks like this.

About half of the time, I decide the Kitchen takes priority and we turn it into this
But, sometimes the car takes priority, especially since one of my children (I won't name names.... mostly because I don't really know who did it.... but I have two guesses) decided to do this.
and this....
So we get out the hairspray and now we have this.

Most of the days we have faces that look like this. Especially, when one of them gets caught doing something like what we have above.

And most days we have silliness that looks like this. Which is a stage that I know won't last forever, but sure does create mountains of laundry.

So basically we have daily messes, frequent art in unwanted places, multiple emotional meltdowns, and excessive silliness. Someday I will have to post the movie I made of the day the girls dumped out all the rice, cereal and noodles all over the kitchen floor and then moved on to pull out all the tinfoil and saran wrap and leave it in a heap in the living room. Unfortunately, I don't have a movie of the time the girls decided to have a picnic in the kitchen and got out all the pots and pans, filled them with water and then took out ALL the spices and started making "soup."
The thing that still amazes me is how fast they are in their naughtiness. Someday they will be amazing artists, chef's, actresses or whatever they choose, but getting through the NOW is the challenge.

It's been a long, full day here- school, Occupational Therapy, a two hour IEP meeting, stress and worry about our little Madi, playing in the cul-de-sac with neighbors, dinner out as a family, the ever difficult bedtime routine, the one child still awake refusing to go to bed.... I think I am ready to give in to the fatigue and say goodnight.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I've been tagged!

I've never been tagged before. It's such an honor (I think!). I didn't actually think my friend Stacey in Washington was referring to me when I read that she tagged Amanda at the end of her post. I figured she had another friend Amanda. So, Stacey- thanks for thinking of me and thanks for the email that let me know that you did mean me!

So here goes. I am supposed to post the fourth picture in my fourth folder in my pictures file.

Wouldn't you know that this little guy's mom is the link between me and Stacey! This is my little nephew Hunter. His mom, Heather, is my sister in law and one of Stacey's friends. This picture was taken when Hunter was about 5-6 months old and was admitted to the hospital for respiratory issues. He was in the hospital for a few days, and now, 3 1/2 years later he is just as cute as he was then. Hunter is such a funny kid. He is the youngest of three boys, and he is the youngest by four years, but Hunter believes he is just as old and big as his older brother. The last time he spent the night here I had to convince him that the pj's I was going to have him wear were not actually Chase's pj's- because of course Chasey's jammies would naturally be waaay to small for him seeing that Chase is a whole year younger than than him (a whole year younger and just little bit bigger!) So I convinced him that they were actually left at our house by Owen (a mutual friend, much older and much bigger than both Chase and Hunter) so they would fit him perfectly! He was satisfied and slept cozy and comfy in Chasey's rocket jammies. Ooops, I mean Owen's jammies. Sorry, Heather, for lying to you child. He is just too cute and funny!

I tag April. You're it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

We like Halloween!

We decorated a few weeks ago and the kids were so excited. It was very fun. What do you think of our pumpkin heads?

Yes, we do have a tacky big blow up thing in our front yard. But, it seems to have developed a big hole in the top, that only keeps getting bigger (with help from the kids) so we may have to retire the big blow up thing in the yard. Chase will be crushed. He loves that thing.

Don't worry though. We do have another big tacky blow up thing for Christmas. We love them- oh, I mean the kids love them! What we love is seeing the kids so excited!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lightning McABBY

It has been a lot of fun watching Abby play soccer this year. For about half the time she is on the field she looking at the clouds, doing pirouettes, or lost in some deep thoughts. The other half of the time she is amazingly focused, FAST and very skilled at getting the ball in the net. She just waits until the ball is somehow kicked out the pack of girls, then she takes off with it and no one can catch her.
She's been scoring around 3 goals a game (of course last time two were for our team and one was for the other team- oh well, you can't win them all!) She really is fast, but that isn't much of a surprise. There isn't much that Abby does that isn't done in hyperspeed!

We are excited to see how Madison does next year. My guess, she will either be crying because she doesn't have the ball, or she will be trying to hug everyone of the field. Cute Madi!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The little man is 3!

Chase turned 3 on Saturday. On the agenda for the day- Breakfast at Country Waffles with all his best friends- Abby, Madison, Mommy, Daddy and Hunter. Cheering at Abby's soccer game - his favorite part is kicking the ball with Daddy during half time. Toys R Us - to pick out new Thomas trains and tracks. Dinner - Steak, steak, steak (that is all he ate! it is his very favorite food.) Cupcakes and presents! What more could a little guy want. He is in absolute Thomas Train heaven!

(this is Chase's warning look- the girls better beware if they get too close to the tracks!)

(there really are 3 candles, you just can't see the third one)

Happy Birthday Chase! We love you!

The Report

First, DC.

It was amazing! The weather was perfect, the time alone was relaxing, being back in the city was exciting. I even rode my old commuter bus from Foggy Bottom to my old stop and then walked to my apartment. I stood in front of my building, in awe that I actually owned and lived in this cute apartment just a mile up the road from the heart of Georgetown. It brought back so many memories, especially of when Gordon and I were dating. Going back to the old stomping grounds was a highlight of the trip, but all the yummy food, good company and book reading time wasn't too bad either.

Second, camping.

Yes- they did it. I even left my camera here for them to take photos of their adventure, but Gordon didn't take it and I have yet to see any proof that they actually went. I am pretty sure they did, but I will have to wait to see the pictures that his friend Jeff took. They went with Jeff and his son Matthew (who apparently was a little overwhelmed by the noise and commotion our three bring!), and luckily for my family's sake, Jeff provided all the food and cooking equipment. So with that taken care of, along with the fact that I laid out clothes for the kids for every day, Gordon had it pretty easy, but even so, Kudos to him for taking them. I'm pretty sure I would have just stayed home!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm off to Oz, the Emerald City

That's right - I'm DC bound this afternoon. What? You didn't know that the Wizard of Oz was just one big metaphor about the Gold Standard Debate in 1896? You didn't know that the Emerald City represented Washington DC and that the wizard was supposed to represent the President? Well, if you didn't- just know that I am lucky to have a big brother who has filled my head with all sorts of useful knowledge over the years- some of it based on fact and some of it based on his own unique way of thinking about things. Such as his conviction that you should brush your teeth with warm or hot water because they will get cleaner.

I am just about to burst from excitement for 4 days without the gang! Just me! How lucky am I? I am heading out with my sister-in-law. We just hope the husbands can handle it. Gordon is planning on taking the kids camping! WHAT! Without me, for the first time ever. Yes, that's right. Our children have never been camping before, and Gordon is going to try it solo! Wish him luck! I think his biggest challenge is not really the camping part, it will be getting everything ready to go camping!

I'll report back about DC and the much anticipated camping trip when I return on Monday.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The 5 Senses

We all remember the five senses right? Sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. (an embarrassing confession - I had to look them up, I kept forgetting taste.) I was just thinking this afternoon how useful the sense of smell has become in my day to day parenting experience. For example...

This afternoon:

Abby-"Mom, Madison ate all of the cinnamon bread. She did, she ate it all gone."
Me- "Let me smell your mouth."
Abby - (without letting me near her face) "Well, I just had one piece, and Madison had like five pieces."

This morning:

Me-"Madison, did you brush your teeth and hands?"
Madison- "Yes."
Me -"Let me smell your mouth and hands."
Madison- (as she runs back to the bathroom) "Ok, ok, ok, ok..."

A few days ago:

I smelled the ominous smell of some sort of cleaning supply, and I was clearly not cleaning. I ran upstairs.

Me- huge gasp, "Chase, what are you doing spraying Goo Gone all over your feet." and all over the carpet by the way...
Chase - "I'n just cleaning them."
Me- (in a panic, how on earth did he get that!) "Did you put it in your mouth?"
Chase- "Um no, um yes, um no."
Me- throwing him in the bath tub "Open your mouth this instant and let me smell"
Chase - "Ok"

He opened his mouth wide and I was more than relieved to smell nothing more than Cinnamon Toast Crunch on his sweet breath! What a relief. Time to childproof everything again, especially since Chase has a certain attraction to knives, scissors (see the following pic), sticks and, apparently, cleaning products. He looks so innocent. Do not be deceived!

Anyone else have close calls with cleaning products, unwanted haircuts, or tricky ways to get the truth out of their little ones? Please share.

Hello blogland!

(aren't Madi and Chase cute holding hands!)

Well, after months of spending countless hours reading all about the lives of strangers in blogland, I finally decided to take the plunge and start my own blog. My husband will laugh and say he knew it was just a matter of time. My kids will be further neglected, and someday they will probably be embarassed that their crazy adventures will be posted for all to see. But, there is often too much humor and craziness in our life to keep to ourselves- we just need to share!

You are probably wondering- why the title -"Where'd they get that hair?" When I think about how the general public responds to us as a family when we are out and about, this is by far the most frequently asked question we get. Do all families get asked questions by perfect strangers when they are out? Maybe or maybe not, but we certainly do. When we are out together (with or without Gordon) we generally get one of three responses by many people we come in contact with. The most frequent is the question, "Where'd they get that hair- you have one of each. Brown, Red and Blonde" Why yes we do! The second is, "Where did they get those curls?" Poor Chase just gets forgotten in those moments. The last is "Boy, you have your hands full." And, most of the time I literally do. Full of two curly topped girls, one red head and one brown, and one blonde little boy!
What questions/comments do you get when you are out?