Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ammon Turns 5

Having your birthday right after Christmas can be sort of a drag. I felt bad for Ammon this year as his fifth birthday approached, and with me being so tied up with the new baby and life resuming normal pace after the holidays, extravagant birthday plans were out of the question. However, he's young enough that he doesn't know better and I can get away with less fanfare.

Luckily his birthday fell on a day that he goes to preschool - his favorite. That worked out in my favor. And honestly, until dinner, the rest of the day was business as usual. I guess that's life.

Ammon picked chicken patty sandwiches with jello for his birthday dinner for the second year in a row. After dinner, family came over to open presents.

Legos, movies, hot wheels, a leap pad, transformers, shirts, and more. At least he scored in the present department.

He even got his very own box of packing bubbles - another favorite. He was more excited to pop them at Christmas than playing with his gifts, so I decided to save up a bunch and give them to Ammon for entertainment.

He had a blast popping every single one right there in front of us. 

Lucky for me, he requested Yeti Yogurt rather than a cake, so after presents we left for froyo. 

Of course, the second that he finished his yogurt he declared, "Now I want some cake!" and I gave an exasperated sigh. That's Ammon to a T, working the system to get as much goodies as possible. Bottomless pit.

I feel like a broken record once again saying, I can't believe he's this old! Five?! Holy Moly! What happened to my first baby boy? Now he'll be starting kindergarten this year and that just hurts. He's such a playful sweetheart. Shy, easily distracted, good, smart, tender boy. He loves TV, and all things boy. Bad guys, firemen, cars, trucks, sirens, weapons, superheros, blue, halo, minecraft, games, food, etc. I'll let him tell you more about himself in his birthday interview.

Even though it was a simple birthday, I hope it was the best. I love you so much my monster man and wish I could freeze time to keep you with me always. You're turning into such a handsome, smart boy and I'm proud to be your momma. Happy Birthday Ammon!

Ammon's Fifth Birthday Interview
1. What's your favorite song? Nephi's Courage
2. What's your favorite thing to do with Mom? Play games
3. What's your favorite thing to do with Dad? Play with him
4. What's your favorite day of the week? Monday
5. How old are you? Five
6. Who is your best friend? Hyrum
7. What's your favorite thing to do? Play with toys
8. What's your favorite color? Blue - light and dark
9. What's your favorite food? Jello
10. What do you like to do with your family? Play games
11. What's your favorite toy? My new cars
12. What do you want to be when you grow up? A missionary
13. What makes you happy? Watching PJ Masks
14. What makes you sad? Getting in trouble
15. What's your favorite show to watch? PJ Masks
16. What's your favorite book? Superhero book
17. What do you like to learn about? Legos
18. Where do you like to go? Yeti Yogurt
19. What's the best part of your birthday? Getting presents
20. What's your favorite treat? Ice cream
21. If you could meet someone famous who would it be? President Obama
22. What's your favorite movie? Big Hero 6
23. What's your favorite game to play? The Shark Game (a version of old maid we have)
24. What sports do you like? Baseball
25. What do you like to wear? The same clothes that I always wear
26. Who's your favorite Superhero? Thor and Hulk

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Kendrick Is Blessed

Because all of my family was in town for Christmas, we asked special permission to have Kendrick's baby blessing while they were here. He was only two weeks old, but it was worth it to have family attending.

The blessing was short and sweet and he was given his name, Kendrick Nelson Tappana, and many promises involving loving God, honoring the priesthood, and having the Spirit with him. Apparently, he spit up right in the middle of the blessing and choked on it a little bit, making it really distracting for all the men standing in the circle, especially Brigham who was trying his best to focus on knowing what the Lord wanted him to say. Oh babies, you make life interesting.

After church, we had a small lunch I prepared for everyone, and took a bunch of family pictures. So enjoy an overload of pictures with commentary as the remainder of the post.

We have our standard family picture. We took about a billion different pictures, and of course we only came out with one good one. Kendrick is kind of slumped over and squishy faced, but really, with a newborn and two other kids, I was pleasantly surprised we got anything.

And then we have the individual takes of Kendrick with each family member.


Such a sweetheart and so adoring of this little boy. She begs to feed him and constantly squawks at him in her ear-splittingly high baby voice. It's adorable.


Oh these two boys. My days are filled with them while Lydia is at school, and I love watching Ammon with Kendrick. He isn't as hands on as Lydia, but he can't resist sneaking in kisses, and asks to have Kendrick sit in his bouncy chair next to him to watch him play. It's hilarious because I'll hear the baby crying, stop for a little bit, start again, and then suddenly stop... and it continues for quite some time. Peaking my head around the corner, I see Kendrick start fussing and then Ammon hurries and bounces the chair for a minute until the crying stops. Ammon continues playing, and then Kendrick starts up again and Ammon, unconcerned, bounces the chair again. And repeat. It's one of the sweetest, funniest scenes.

Yep, these three are my world and I am unashamed at how much I love them.

And of course we have mom and dad with the babe.

Brigham is such a loving dad and this new baby is no exception. I was so happy to finally be able to give Brigham another baby, knowing that he's been wanting one for just as long as I have.

 Next comes the grandmas.

I've loved seeing how much my mom enjoys Kendrick. She hasn't been able to be around my other kids as babies because we lived in a different state, and she was at a different stage in her life. Now with most of her kids grown and gone, she is enjoying being a grandma to a sweet new baby and it warms my heart.

Here she is with all of her grandchildren. I've got to stake the claim as sole grandchild provider for as long as possible.

We can't leave out great grandma - Grandma Busby. Pretty much one of my top three favorite people.

Four generations of awesomeness.

We took a couple other fun pictures of the rest of the family. Soon Katrina and Polyana will be adding more grandchildren to the bunch this spring. Their due dates are a month apart. And then I decided to jump in with my "baby bump".

My mom was captured with her new babies.

And here's everyone that was able to be there that day.

Only missing Kenny for the Nelson family. However, I was missing all the Tappana family that usually attends the baby blessings. In the past, it was only the Tappanas that could come and my family had to miss, so it felt a little weird and I longed for my kids' cousins and other aunts, uncles, and grandparents. I wish I could scoop up all those that I love and settle us all down in the same place together!

Now that the family stuff is done, I'll let you enjoy a million pictures of the main man.

 For some reason, I just love these pictures. They crack me up. Maybe it's because he slightly looks old-manish and like he's concentrating so hard on staying upright. (Really, he's concentrating so hard on trying to eat the collar of his outfit)

 The poor guy was constantly dealing with his collar riding up over his chin, sending his rooting reflex wild. I remember Ammon had the same outfit - bigger size because he was older when he was blessed - and had the same problem. So the day was spent watching Kendrick try to get his mouth to the thing rubbing on his chin. Because if something is touching the lower half of a baby's face, that means it's meant to be sucked on, obviously.

Remember when I talked about Kendrick making the best faces? Well, here are some pictures to prove my point. Enjoy.

That last one could be the new baby meme that floods the internet. Notice his strong neck muscles at work.

Well, I've posted more than my fair share of pictures of this boy (I actually have tons I that I left out) but after all, this was his main day. Kendrick was blessed, and we sure are blessed to have him.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Christmas Vacation 2015

With the exception of Elder Kenny Nelson, who is serving in Honduras, everyone was able to come home to Washington for Christmas this year. We felt like it might be one of the last times, with families starting and lives changing, so we decided to make the most of it. We had so many fun activities planned to keep us busy and having fun together during the two weeks of Christmas break.

We had a baking day making delicious Christmas treats, everyone that wanted, or could go, went and saw Star Wars with a Star Wars marathon in preparation. We had an amazing race put together by my dad where he set clues and flags out around Maple Valley and we had to solve riddles, complete tasks, and race around in cars to finish first. I put my team, consisting of Brigham and my sister and her husband, way behind by failing miserably at Mario Kart. All the other teams were able to rush off but we had to stay behind until I successfully completed a race. We made up time solving clues, and luckily finding someone that knew where a road was, when we weren't allowed to use phones or gps, put us back with the pack. I redeemed myself at the end by beating my brother at a Link Crossbow game, and though he had four attempts before me, I used my shooting skills clenching the win for my team. It was a grand time! Competitive teams, running through grocery stores, texting mishaps, and almost car accidents trying to block others from leaving kept it interesting.

One of my favorite activities was our murder mystery dinner. The theme was Greek/Roman so we all dressed up to play our parts and showed up for a lunch hosted by Kyle and Katrina, who were putting the activity on for us.

I didn't expect Brigham to really dress up, but he walked in early from work, and I cracked up. His costume was perfect, tucking leaves into his glasses. His character was named Bogus that predicted the future by reading animal entrails. Oh it was hysterical, and I like to still call him Bogus at times that seem pertinent.

I was Rotunda - a Vestal Virgin that protected the fates of the empire by guarding the eternal flames.

Ryan was a king, and we had Egyptian princesses, centurions, and more.

Kyle and Katrina slaved all morning and created a Roman/Greek feast with hummus, dates, goat cheese, pitas, and more. It was authentic. While we ate, we entered the scandal and intrigue of the murder and worked to solve the case and accuse each other of many devious debaucheries.

It turns out I was not such a vestal virgin after all and I liked the wine a bit too much...Lots of people tried to kill the dead man and it was fun to spread rumors and sort through it all. In the end, it was my Aunt Sandy who was the actual killer that did the victim in. It was a riot!

We also dressed up for the yearly tradition of reenacting the Nativity. This year, with a new baby, Brigham and I were chosen to be Mary and Joseph. It was fun to switch it up since I'm usually the narrator.

Scott and Taylor were the innkeepers

The puppies kept going after Baby Jesus and I had to push them away. Having a newborn during Christmas brought a special spirit.

Lydia and Ammon were shepherds and wisemen with Uncle Ryan. Kayleen was the angel and Kyle took over the narrating job for me this year.

It was a merry Christmas Eve with everyone all together! My parents were happy to have a new house that could fit everyone.

My kids slept over at my parents Christmas Eve, except for Kendrick. We took him home, swaddled him for the night, and prayed he'd give us a good night's sleep for Christmas.

He didn't.

However, we were still happy to wake up early the next morning and drive the couple of minutes back to my parents to start Christmas.

The kids were up and ready to head downstairs, but as per tradition, they waited for the signal that it was time.

Santa brought the kids a new Kindle to share together, ready with a snazzy Frozen case and games already loaded. Dang, Santa is good. Ammon was quite excited about the army men, or "Lamanites", in his stocking.

Baby Kendrick wore his Santa outfit and enjoyed the promise of what was to come based on the empty bottle in his baby stocking.

Keeping with tradition, after looking at our stockings, we ate breakfast and then opened presents from each other, one at a time.

With fifteen people, it is quite the ordeal and took three hours with lots of boxes and paper and happiness for each other. I love opening each present one by one and watching what each person is getting. It adds to the spirit of gratitude.

This year, snow started falling as we opened presents and it was magical to watch it through my parent's big picture window Christmas morning. It rarely snows in Washington and having a white Christmas is something I always long for. It was beautiful!

The rest of the day was spent tinkering with gifts, and having fun in a white elephant gift exchange put on by my aunt. We won a Chromecast thanks to my aunt's pity when she took the hideous University of Utah hat I happened to open, allowing me to steal from someone else. I was grateful my cousin came, because he spent hours helping Ammon set up his new legos.
During the rest of break we played game after game, and yet I feel as if I wasn't able to play all the games I wanted. We ate lots of junk. I was finally able to see Mockingjay part two, thanks to my mom watching the baby. Those that could, went and volunteered at the assisted living center. They went to Christmas lights, went hiking, and also played sports at the church. For most of the activities I had to stay home because I am recovering and have a brand new baby, and I was ok with that, but I really wished I could have gone and played basketball at the church. It's one of my favorite activities to do with my family. I also really missed going to the temple and doing sealings together. But my family was great, planning activities at home so that I could participate, and offering to watch the baby at times so that I could go. I was able to go to the family history learning center. Did you know I'm the direct descendant of a King of Scotland? 15th great grandfather - I have royal blood and you may all now bow to me :)

Baby showers and family discussions, dinners and my son's baby blessing, skyping with Elder Kenny and passing around the baby so that he's so used to being held he's completely spoiled. We did so much. In fact, it was somewhat exhausting for this new mom. I felt overwhelmed at times and just wanted to stay in bed and rest for days, but it was a happy exhaustion and we have so many fun times to remember. Especially since it will probably be our last Christmas all together.

Merry Christmas from this Tappana family. This is our first family picture all together. It was a joyous season for us with our new little addition, and celebrating the birth of another baby that came to save us all. I'm so grateful for Mary and Joseph and their faith and sacrifices. I'm so grateful that little child was born and lived a perfect life to suffer and die, and then live again, so that I may live again and be with these beautiful people forever.