Thursday, May 29, 2014

I take a lot of pictures :D

Okay. Are you ready? I put up a lot of pictures. 41 to be exact. (unless the uploader is wrong, then I don't know how many, but a lot still)

Here is my update. Through pictures. Read it. Glance through. Whatever, just love it. :D

Okay, when this little sweetheart isn't crying, she has got to be the cutest little girl I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. Plus, she does some pretty good smiles now. But she makes ya work for it unfortunately. Unlike Adam- he gives him like pretzels. :D
 These next few are from the aquarium! It was so fun. We really only went because we wanted to get bounce back passes haha. But we went, were there for like half an hour and it was great. Mikey and Adam loved all the animals and Natalie didn't cry so she obviously enjoyed it too.
Adam is like the worlds biggest parrot. He sure loves sit up on his dad's shoulder. That would probably break my shoulder but Jake seems to do great with it.

This terrified me but the boys loved it. I was so proud of Mikey, going through it. You couldn't pay me to do that. Seriously. I'm a chicken. Also, note his adorable hat, which we lost in Georgia. It's sad.

Sometimes with three kids, our house feels really small. So we go sit on the back porch and you know what, it's great. They mostly just attack Jake but every so often I get some mama love which is perfect.
Natalie is starting to appreciate stuffed animals.. or bugs, whatever. So fun for me because I L-O-V-E love them!

We bought these avengers blow up toys at the Dollar Store. Best two bucks I ever spent. One is a shield and one is a hammer and they love them. Sadly, the shield has been punctured but still. Good buy.

Once Adam realizes I have the camera, it's all about mom. But how cute is he? Really.

Adam has learned how to open doors. But he is a little too short. So here, he took some laundry off the table, made a little pile and opened the door and proceeded to eat almost an entire box of crackers. He was happy, nothing was broken, a few clothes were dirty again but that woulda happened anyways so I was happy. Sometimes, I just don't rock the boat.
 On May 4th we blessed our little girl! (this is a religious ceremony we do in our church! To learn more, go to this website- you won't regret it.) Seriously, I am pretty sure that Jake gives the most beautiful blessings. I bawled like a baby during Natalie's- seriously, tearing up right now just thinking about it. And Natalie looked so beautiful. Here is the deal with the dress. Before my mom passed away, one of her very best friends Karen Merrill, brought a bunch of little suits and dresses that babies could be blessed in and my mom picked a little white tuxedo and a little white dress for all of her future grandbabies to be blessed in. And I love it. It is so special to me for them so have this tie with their Grandma Jill. And man, did she pick well. The tux is to die for and the dress is gorgeous. It is long and flowing and the tux, don't worry- it has tails. Natalie looked like a little angel and I cried. (apparently, I am a little emotional- weird)
Jake, Natalie, and Grandma McKinlay

The Logans. Check out Lina working it for the camera. Wait to go. (Sadly, Adam was sleeping so he missed the picture... well not so much sad as bittersweet. We are never sad for a sleeping baby)

My Family! Evidently, pants are optional. Adam is seriously rocking the whole risky business situation. 

Aunty Shelly. Okay for reals, she is probably so buff after spending three weeks with us. Adam is obsessed with her and every time he sees her, no matter what he is doing, he needs to go get picked up and get a hug. It's adorable. I love all my kids so much but there is just something about Adam's smile that makes the whole world a little brighter (this is obviously not a good example of said smile)

The Proud Parents.

Shelly graduated from USU and we did some graduation pictures at our house the next day... or the day after rather.
Anyways- this picture is truth. Jake just hanging out with a baby in the crook of his arm. Mikey telling me a story, Adam screaming for Shelly, Arianne wiping Hayden up, James being helpful with the babies and Dad just hanging out in the middle. This is a good depiction of my whole life, when I am lucky enough to have extra people around to help out.
 Now for the big picture section! We went to Georgia for the Mike Merrill Family Reunion! We rented a lake house which was huge and gorgeous (and yet kinda old and dirty- it was confusing) and all 24 of us played for 4/5 days. Why Georgia you ask? Because my brother Jeff graduated from Mercer to be a pharmacist. Yeah, way to go big bro.
Here are some pictures from the grand event- and grand it was.
This was not planned. But adorable.

Shelly and James just hanging out at the lake. It had a nice little wall to sit on and kick your feet.
So the house was right on the lake and we spent the whole time in swimsuits (which makes me uncomfortable) and the kids ran around in life jackets all the time (apparently Adam fell in twice. Awesome. Good thing someone was there to fish him out and he was wearing a life jacket) Honestly, I was terrified that the trip was going to be utter chaos and we were all gonna be grumpy the whole time but while it was chaos, the kids loved playing together and running around all crazy and the adults had a great time catching up. It was so great and I can hardly wait for the next one, which will on be crazier because us Merrill's can't seem to stop popping out those babies (yeah there were 11 under 6 and my brother and sister in law announced they were expecting) Go us. And also, go Dad. He is kicking butt in grandkid competitions haha
The triplets! Scarlett (Jordan's third), Alicia (Malcolm's first), and Mikey. (my first) They were together so much, it was adorable.

Me, Whitney (Jeff's wife), Molly (Jordan's wife) and Ivy(Jordan's fourth). Ivy was so cute but not very social. I don't think I got to hold her which is actually okay. Notice ^^ I am not holding a child- this is not normal.

Grandpa Don! Grandma and Don crashed the party and it was fun to have them there too!

Faith (Jordan's first) is a little sassy pants and I like it. The end.

Jordan comes into the house and is like Emmy, the girls are going to sun bathe on the dock with Shelly, go get a picture. So I did. That was my job- photographer- I happily accept. (the order from top to bottom is Shelly, Scarlett, Michelle, Celeste (so shy and so cute- Jordan's second), and then Faith.

I'm not sure why or how this happened but it's funny. Also, my kids are rarely completely clothed. Jake says clothes are unnecessary, my dad says it's their Polynesian blood but I think it's because I am too lazy to fight their way into clothes when it's warm enough to not. Any or all of those could be correct.

The Twins! Levi (Malcolm's second) and Ivy
 Shelly and I decided to make tshirts for everyone for the reunion as a little momento thing and before we gave them to everyone I said "This is a big deal and it took us a lot of time so if you are not adequately enthusiastic about them, I will make you open them again until I get the response I want." Good news. We didn't have to do that. As for the colors- when we were growing up my parents color coded all of our stuff. Our cups, towels, tv tickets, sometimes clothes. So obviously when Shelly and I were figuring out the shirts stuff color coding by family was easy to do. Obviously Jeff is green, Jord is blue, Mal is red, Shelly is yellow, I am orange, and James is purple. And Dad and Michele's shirts are brown because my dad says brown is his color (haha he's a goof) and Grandma and Don are black because if you know Grandma at all you know she loves her black clothes. Anyways, the shirts are really cool. We bought fabric vinyl on ebay and borrowed my sister in law's cricut and we bought a really fun cricut cartridge and made each shirt different but with in each family there was a theme. Grandma and Dons were swimming, Dad's said relax Michele's said party, Jeff's was ocean animals, Jord was sun, Mal's was beach, our's was Hawaii, and James' was ships and Shelly's was a seriously cute light house. And on the left sleeve they said 2014 with a little M by it and the back said their name and number. The numbers were the order they joined the family. So whether they were born or married in. So Dad was 1, Mom was 2 (but we didn't make a shirt for her, just included her in the counting), Jeff was 3, and so on. It was cool. I didn't get a picture of all the backs which is too bad but maybe one day.
The Whole Gang.
Levi, Malcolm, Val, Alicia, James, Arianne, Hayden, Don, Grandma Jan, Dad, Michele, Shelly, Jeff, Mason, Whitney, Jake, Mikey, Adam, me, and Natalie, with Celesta, Jordan, Scarlett, Molly, Ivy and Faith in the front.

I just love this picture.
 Dad wanted a picture of him and all his grandkids so he could show people at work because whenever he would talk about his 11 grandkids people were just amazed so here are two of them. I took a bunch but these are my favorites.
Mikey kept running away so Jeff would try to get him back in place, Ivy wanted her parents, and I don't know what Adam is doing here but I love it. It was honestly so much fun.

This is not the best one we got but it's so funny. Alicia is trying to lift her shirt up and Mikey won't let her. Mason is being perfect, Adam is running to Shelly, I have no idea what Faith and Celeste are doing but truly- this is an excellent picture.

We're awesome.

Dad and Malcolm are twinners. In so many ways, but here we are especially noting the dress.

These kids kill me. They are too cute.
 Also, while we there I took family pictures for everyone. Luckily Jake brought his laptop that has photoshop so I did a little editing and got everyone their pictures before we flew out. Which is awesome because it would've sucked to have to mail them all over.
Malcolm, Val, Alicia, and Levi

Jordan and his girls! All 5 of them. Wow way to go. Celeste and Scarlett on Jord's lap, Ivy with Molly and Faith standing in the back.

These girls. So fun. So crazy. I love them all. 

Here is an example of the back of the shirts. Cute right? And Ivy looking at the camera. Oh man, frame this one guys, it's too cute.

James, Arianne, and Hayden.

Jeff, Whitney, Mason, and Baby Boy Merrill 2. (which I think should be named Dixon. Get it? Mason and Dixon and you live in Tennessee. Just corny enough to be awesome I think)
Georgia was wonderful and I am so glad that we got to go and spend all that time with my family. It's pretty rare for us to all get together so this was very special.
 Now just some pictures from my life.
I just love his hair.

This is so cute. For Mother's Day Jake got me Sherlock, Mikey got me a Batman shirt, Adam got me a teddy bear and Natalie got me headbands. On the "card" he said they were sharing their favorite things with me. So cite and adorable.
Also for breakfast we had a delightful fruit plate of apples, strawberries, mango, and pineapple which is in the picture too!

I turn around for two seconds and Mikey's pants are off and they spill m&m's everywhere.

Mikey checking the chicken. He loves to help cook.

Well that's that. Hope you enjoyed the pictures.
Thanks for reading!

Adventures in Potty Training, Part 2: The Ultimate Potty Training Chart

Oh geez. Potty training. Not fun. Before we started for the third time, yes you read it right, we tried twice before with no success- and I mean no success unless success means a wet floor, a crying child, and at least 3 pairs of wet superhero underwear with no extra fluid in the toilet, unless my tears count. Uhm.. tangent alert. Anyways- so before we started again I read a TON of blogs and such. For reals. One day I was at Seagull Book and they had this little pamphlet thing about potty training and I just stood in the store for 15 minutes reading it because Jake doesn't believe in buying things like that. And what did I learn from it? Uhm, first that Mikey must actually be an alien that doesn't potty train or belief in sitting on the toilet because that is just where toys go to play (and tick Mama off) and second, that I wasted 15 minutes reading a stupid pamphlet. Gah. Now don't get me wrong. I am sure that book worked for somebody but not this body. I read other mommy blogs (which I try to stay away from because they bug me but that is a story for another time) and googled it and asked advice from friends with multiple potty trained children, cause I mean really, they've gotta have done something right. And what did I learn? Every kid is different. I have a niece that took to potty training like it was her life calling and another one that is so stubborn, she pees her pants just because her parents want her to sit on the toilet and she doesn't want to. All of the blogs and advice I read talked about constant encouragement and positivity and rewards like cookies or m&m's or bubbles. (I'm not a big fan of the bubbles. They seem to flip this switch in my boys heads which makes them completely uninterested in anything besides bubbles and I do not have that much patience- but once they can successfully blow them themselves, I am confident I will love the bubbles) 
Well it turns out those typical rewards do not matter to Mikey at all. We would clap and cheer and do a bathroom dance when he would sit on the toilet and, I kid you not, he was like whatever mom, rolled his eyes, and walked away. Way to make a grown up feel 2 inches tall little man. Kudos. That deserves a cookie. I would give him a cookie for peeing in the toilet or let him pick a sticker- and not just any sticker- my expensive scrapbooking stickers and no matter how many times I told him it was a reward for the bathroom going he didn't get it, or he chose to screw with me and pretend he didn't get it. We got him "pee books" to read so he would sit on the toilet- yeah, he just dropped one in so we nixed that quick. NOTHING worked. I cried. A lot. Jake rubbed my back and told me that we didn't have to do this yet. He could wait. But I was sick of changing 18 diapers a day. He was getting better but not by much. It was like he was throwing us a bone once a day just to see us freak out and cry tears of joy because I didn't have to scrub the carpet. And then, we turned a corner.
We got the Ultimate Potty Training Chart from Victoria Chart Company which, I'm not gonna lie, is not my kind of thing but for some reason, this worked.We had tried regular paper, sticker books, putting stickers on the wall- nothing. But we found a perfect combination of putting shinies (coins) in the piggy bank and using the chart and oh man am I glad for it!
The chart is actually pretty cool. It has 7 different categories (6 are constant and the last one you can change) and if they do any of them they get a sticker. Now maybe, I'm daft but I didn't think that I should give Mikey a sticker for flushing the toilet but it's a spot on the chart and he LOVES to flush now. It comes with happy face stickers and gold star stickers so they can get special stickers for different levels of achievement I suppose and honestly, Mikey was so excited when he got to use the gold star stickers. Another really awesome thing about this chart is it's reusable. The stickers peel right off and if you are careful and don't let the kids put them directly on top of each other (like Mikey did) you can even reuse the stickers. Seriously friends, check out the chart. Buy it even. It is totally worth it. I have a potty trained child and I honestly believe that this chart helped.

Now the next thing on my kids to do list- teach Mikey that pants are cool. It's a tricky one but I think I am up to the challenge.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Four Years Baby! Four Years!

(Just in case you didn't catch the title, I was playing off the episode of Friends when Monica tells Chandler that they are getting married in four weeks baby, four weeks!)

JAKE AND I HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR FOUR YEARS! (here's a fact- first anniversary we have had where I am not pregnant.) What?! I know. Crazy. And what an eventful four years it has been. But before I get into that, I am going to share all about how we celebrated!
So for our actual anniversary we were in GA at the Merrill Family Reunion which was so fun. On the 8th (the actual day) my brothers rented a boat and jet ski so we spent a lot of time doing that. Also, I took a nap. Probably my favorite part of the day. The boat and jet ski, not as much. I am terrified of water. Like oh geez I am going to drown just by being too close to the water terrified. The only thing that scares me more- deer. But more on that later I am sure. A rant about that has happened once or twice. Anyways. So the boat was great. Mikey fell asleep on my shoulder and it was wonderful. He never does that anymore and it is so sweet when he does. The tube behind the boat- terrifying. I only went on it because Jake asked me to but now I am done with those, probably forever. The jet ski was scary but so fun. Jake is not a great driver on it but I'm sure with some practice he would be great. I, however, am not planning on ever learning how to drive one.
Since we were traveling on our anniversary and Mother's Day, Jake said that we were just going to move the celebrations back a week. Which is pretty exciting. So last night, Abby babysat the boys- we took Natalie, yay for her first anniversary celebration!- and we went to WingShak in American Fork which is so good. Oh man, they have these hot parmesan wings and my mouth has pretty much been watering for them since I finished. They are incredible! If you haven't tried them, do it now. Seriously. You'll be a better person for it. ;) After the delightful dinner we went and saw The Amazing Spider-man 2. It was so good. I cried. Twice I think. But still, amazing! (haha, get it? Punny pun pun!) Then of course, we stopped at Walmart because we always have a list a mile long of errands we need to do. But it was such a fun night! It was relaxed and a total throwback to when we were dating/engaged- except last night I was nursing a baby a lot, that didn't happen while we were dating. :D

Okay. Here is going to be a highlight list of the last four years. Ready? Well probably more like the last 5 but still. And we are off!
September 2009- we met at work at BYU. I thought he looked familiar, he was excited because the new girl was pretty  (that was me!)
October- he sent me a package for my birthday. I had been trying to get him to come to my party but he wouldn't. I remember getting home from class and my roommate Annie was totally freaking out because there was the package- She had spent the better part of the last two months trying to convince me Jake was interested in me.
November- we started dating. He took me grocery shopping and to the Pizza Factory. I said something stupid about the wall looking like a topping-less pizza when I realized that he was hoping it was a date. Awesome.
December- I went to Hawaii to meet his family. :D
January 2010- he proposed- on my mom's birthday. It was very sweet and special. And I was completely floored. He told me that he couldn't get the ring for at least another month and then later that week, he proposed. What!?
February- He went to Alberta to meet my family. Well, he has already met my dad.
May- we got married! In the Provo Temple. We had three receptions- ridiculous, by the way. One in Alberta, one in Utah, and one in Hawaii
June- Jake started a new job- it was sad to no longer work with him but it was okay because I got to LIVE with him. :)
August- we went to Disney World for our honeymoon. 12 days of wonderful. I loved it there- minus all the humidity- blech.
December- Our first Christmas. Plus we found out were expecting our first baby!
March/April- (I can't remember for sure) We found out it was a BOY! And on the way home from the ultrasound I said, Jake we are going to name him Michael Ma`iola after you and his grandpas. Jake looked a little surprised but I stuck to it and that's what we got!
May- one year. it was seriously exciting. But don't ask me what we did, I have no idea.
August- Mikey was born. 39 weeks and one day. It was the best and most terrifying experience I had had up to that point in my life.
November- went to GA for thanksgiving to see Jeff and Whitney. That was pretty fun. Mikey was so little and I remember it being so hard to have baby but now looking back, I think I was crazy. Mikey was such a good baby and so easy. (unlike his sister. geez man)
December- we went to Hawaii for Christmas and to see Jake's brother get home from his mission. Gideon told us that Christmas that when he left on his mission we weren't even dating yet and when he got home we already had a baby. haha. We're awesome like that.
April- I started my internship at the Springville Museum of Art. And I found out I was pregnant again. And we were so excited, but also kind of tired.
May- Two years. :D
August- we walked for graduation! It was so exciting to get to check that off my life goals. I know that sounds silly but man, it was pretty great. We had so much family here because James was getting married so the Merrill's came and Gideon was getting married so the Logan's came.
September- went to MO for my grandpa's funeral which was so sad but it was so nice to get to see some many of my family. Also, it was really sweet to get to tell people we were naming our baby Adam (my mom's maiden name was Adams and it was her dad that passed away so the name seemed more special somehow)
October- Jake started his new job at Moki Networks LLC, which later became MCubed Labs. His first big kid job. We were so proud.
December- Jake finished at BYU. And Adam was born! December 29 at 4:08a. 41 weeks prego. Our little Adam Poki`i. (I use the word little as an ironic twist) Also, we had a Logan Family Christmas- Utah edition. It was so fun but honestly, I was miserable because I was 40 weeks pregnant on Dec 22 and Adam wasn't born until the 29th.
April- I officially graduated from BYU- BA in Art History. :D
May- went to Calgary. It was so great to take my boys to Canada! Celebrated three years! Wahoo!
June- went to Ward Camp in Hawaii. Oh yeah, I also found out I was pregnant. Again. I already knew though, it just became official because I peed on a stick.
September- we bought a house and moved. What! I know, who does that so young? Turns out, we do. Crazy. Also we found out Logan #3 was a girl! And oh man, did we ever have a hard time picking her name. Geez. We went through Haley, Isabell, Natalie, Emma, Isabell again, Ryley, Skylee, Paige, and then finally landed on Natalie Paige. It was tough.
January 2014- Natalie graced us with her presence. 39 weeks and a day. Natalie Paige Kapilialoha. She came out screaming and has pretty much not stopped in the last 4 months. (oh, so Ma`iola (mikey's middle name) is a blessing of generous posterity, Poki`i means beloved brother, and Kapilialoha means daughter of many nations- just an fyi) My dad and step mom stayed here while I was at the hospital which was wonderful. Because then Jake got to stay at the hospital the whole time.
March- Jake lost his job because the company wasn't doing well. BUT! No fear! He got a new one in two weeks. Way to go babe!
April- Started at AndSeven. Plus we went to St George for training. It was delightful.
May- went to GA for a family reunion. Celebrated 4 years. Go us!

We have had a great few years with lots of ups and downs and so many new experiences, honestly, most days I feel like it's been enough to last us a lifetime. But I know that we have many more to come.

What a great life!

Thanks for reading!