Back in December, when we had our last ultrasound done and found out the baby was going to be another girl, I had a lot of emotions run through me. I put a lot of them into words, but the most important one I described here. I wrote about how I had come to the realization that although we wanted another son, I shouldn't dwell on that and that I needed to be grateful that I had the opportunity to raise a son. It changed my total outlook as Ethan's mother and I have had such a different outlook on life since then.
Not long after that, I was getting pretty exhausted with my calling as Wolf Scout leader. I was having to take five kids to the church each week, and try to lead a group of adorable (and energetic) young eight years olds in all kinds of projects, etc all the while the girls were running around the church, Paisley would play in the nails for any wood project we'd do, I was miserable and pregnant and I was struggling balancing Ethan's scouting things as well as being a leader. I finally asked to be released back in February.
After that, this huge weight was taken off my shoulders and Ammon and I threw ourselves completely into scouting with Ethan. We spent many late nights up in our bed, working on things with Ethan, many Saturdays hammering projects and lots of Sundays and Mondays having Family Home Evening lessons on the things Ethan needed to cover. I realized that since we have one son, we never wanted to look back and regret not enjoying every part of it.
We'll the three of us worked hard and it paid off! Ethan's last month of scouting, April, was such a rewarding one with three separate special evenings to honor his (as well as the other boys) and their achievements.
The first night (three weeks ago) was in recognition of Ethan's Arrow of Light Award, the highest award you can receive in Cub Scouts. The leaders worked hard to make it special and I spent three hours making two giant arrows for Ethan and Alex as a reward for their hard work. (Tutorial coming tomorrow). I ordered a special cake from a bakery and my friend Stephanie made it a great night in honor of the boys.
The different balloon colors represented different parts/awards in cub Scouts...
There was even a fake fire...
Ethan and Alex...buddies since they were three years old....loving their arrows! Did I mention I put arrowheads on the end? The boys thought it was awesome...I don't know about the parents... ;-)
His special Arrow of Light Award...
The next week (two weeks ago) was the annual Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. It was a second evening where Ethan received the rest of his activity pins and awards..his hands were full that night! He also received his Religous Knot award, another one that we worked particularly hard on that coincides with the Faith in God award and is another prestigous Cub Scout Award.
Ethan's many awards that night!
This years derby car was a particulary special one. Ammon asked Ethan if he'd rather a car that looked good or a car that was focused on being fast. Since Ethan won first place last year, he chose in favor of a card that looked awesome. He had his eye on a jeep. Although Ammon had a busy week and was somewhat sleep deprived and exhausted, he put his full efforts forward and for three days the boys chistled, sanded and worked hard on this little jeep. I was so proud of them and grateful for Ammon. That little car ended up being pretty fast after all and pretty darn amazing looking too.
They named it Gryffindor, painted it the Harry Potter house colors and even had golden money like from Grigott's in the back.
It wouldn't be a Pinewood Derby without Brother Mills and Brother Harston...
Ethan's buddies...Ammon, Weston and David
Love this group of Cub Scouts..with all their high energy, fun personalities!
These boys are great examples in Ethan's life...Spencer and David
And last week, three days before his birthday (and the baby's birth!), Ethan finished his last night in Cub Scouts with a special Crossing Over Ceremony for him and Spencer Cook.
Sister Atkins (pictured below) said some wonderful things about the boys and then their new leader, Brother Robinson (also pictured), welcomed them into Boy Scouts... I was tad bit emotional here!
He had the boys describe things they loved about Cub Scouts as they jumped from each stump and things they were looking forward to in Boy Scouts (Ethan said Campouts!).
Lol..and yes he made it to that final stump even though it doesn't look like it.
Officially a Tomahawk!
Spencer and Ethan (just two days apart in age)
And he has now joined the ranks of the 11 year old Boy Scouts...time has flown by.
Ethan's first camp out is in two weeks too! From navy...to khaki.
I am so grateful for these last three Cub Scout years. It has been a special bonding experience for me with Ethan and I'm thankful for all the things "boyish" that he's had a chance to learn and for a special group of boys to associate with that have the same beliefs and ideals. I am very grateful for Ammon and the time he has taken over the years to help build Pinewood Derby cars, projects and help teach Ethan different things he's needed to pass off. I will never regret these years because we totally threw ourselves into it and enjoyed the entire experience. I am also thankful for a legacy in our family of Ammon, his dad, his grandparents and brothers, as well as my brother and brother in law, who have placed such a high priority on Scouting and achieving. I am so totally grateful to have a son.
Now deep breath, time to get through the move and then full force ahead toward his Eagle Scout award...that will be one exciting day too.
As we near one week away from having another child join our family, my thoughts have turned a lot to this little girl, who's now officially 15 months old and will soon not be the baby in the house anymore. I remember thinking when I first got pregnant this last time about Paisley and what she would be like around the time when the baby came...
The last few weeks have definately changed this little girl. She started standing about 11 months, and could take a step or two about 12 months, but it wasn't really until the last four weeks that she took off with walking. We even had to do "walking" practice with her daily across the family room to help her gain her confidence and now...off she goes...everywhere!!! It's a great thing this didn't happen sooner, or this very pregnant mother would have been in bigger trouble than she is now!!! ;-)
She has blossomed into an independent, untimid little thing that is now WELL AWARE of her siblings and what they may/may not be doing with out her. She notices the moment they head outside and she'll sit by the door or window and cry and cry until someone comes to get her and takes her outside. She loves to walk wherever we go and feels that strollers are somewhat confining. Although the only real words she speaks are "hi" and "yea", she can understand almost anything and will often babble a string of complete unknown sounds and words trying to communicate. Although her talking is coming slower, it is fun that anything I ask of her or tell her to do, she knows exactly what I am saying. I love that she is such a smart, intelligent girl who's been alert from the moment she was born and communicating with her all that more easy.
I've been better about recording things the last few months through my phone unfortunately, so some of the pictures below are grainy or through Instagram but here are pictures from the last few months (twelve through fifteen)...it's fun to see how she's grown, how much longer her hair has gotten and how old
she looks now!
P.S. Dressing her is one of my most favorite things in the world!
Twelve months old...
Months twelve and thirteen were all about going from playing with toys, to learning that her siblings bedrooms contained a lot more fun things than toys-like candy, perfume, lotion,
underwear drawers, legos, etc! She got busted several times by getting in their things.
Fourteen months old...
Loved the day that I could start putting her hair into TWO pony tails!
Paisley is well loved by all the kids that know her and is "famous" at the kids' school...teachers, children, the secretary...everyone seems to know who "Paisley" is and she is greeted by lots of people whenever we go to the kids school, which is practically everyday.
We've learned we definately have a littler artist in the house and she is never without a pen, crayon, paper or pencil in her hand. Our walls have seen better days since Paisley has come along...I wonder if she'll take this talent with her as she ages.
Paisley's favorite things besides drawing, are playing in the jeep with her sisters and being outside, as well as anytime it is time to get a snack or a meal. She is the happiest, most content little thing unless she's hungry and then it's a whole other story. This girl needs her tummy fed!
She has learned to feed herself in the last couple of weeks which has been a messy process but oh so nice...I am enjoying my meals again!!!! The pictures below were taken about six or seven weeks ago and boy was meal clean up HUGE but that was part of the learning process. She does pretty good about meals now and not getting too messy these days! Love, LOVE that she is getting more independent!
She is still a great little sleeper which I am so grateful for!!! She takes one two hour nap a day but will sleep for a solid eleven hours at night. She goes right to bed as long as she has her binkie and has made life so easy in that sense. It's weird looking in her playpen now...I've had this sensation with all five kiddos when they were little. When you look in the crib and remember how tiny their little bodies once were and you glance now and see how long and stretched out they've gotten and how much of the crib they now take up. Our little girl isn't baby anymore and it's hard for me to admit how grown up she's getting..
love this sweet face.
She loves carrying a purse as she goes anywhere...this was her at Kidfest last week....
Did I mention that I love dressing her!?
Paisley has a love for music and dance that I've never seen before with any of the girls. She LOVES going to dance with her sisters, and often will put on their huge ballet shoes and stand just inside their classrooms, hanging on the bars, standing on her tiptoes and trying to dance. The teachers get annoyed I'm sure, but all the little ballerinas love it. I wonder if she'll dance like her sisters someday...
Thirteen months old...
Fifteen months old...and watching Karli's class.
She took her third little plane ride with Daddy back in March and went to Las Vegas, Nevada with him. He had a trauma conference and Paisley spent the week with Great Grandma, Grandpa and Grandma Rasmussen. They took such good care of her and while I missed her a ton, she was in great hands and I'm glad she had that time with her grandparents as well as her Daddy. I'm going to have to track down more pictures of this trip...
She loves when Ammon gets home and says..."Daaaa, daaaa" until she finds him for a hug.
We love this little toddler, and she still has each and every family member wrapped around her finger-especially Ethan. I am curious to see how she'll respond to the baby but I want her to always know that she holds a special place in my heart and I have loved the last 15 months of getting to know her, raising her and seeing her little personality grow and mature.
Ammon and I are busy, surviving residency, ever learning, loving life, majorly in debt!, happily married, young at heart, surgeon in the making, crafty, many times tired and devoted parents to four wonderful children. Our blog is our way of sharing how we are enjoying our journey.
I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and non-existent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey -- now.