Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Move and March Madness

We moved!


We're renting a wonderful home from my parents. It has an amazing backyard that I am so excited to use (if it ever stops raining).  I love Lebanon! It's the perfect size for me. Has just enough of everything we could need while having short lines and scant traffic. Every week we aren't sick we enjoy story time at the library, a playgroup at the church, and a music makers class at the church. Everyone seems so friendly in this town and it's so easy to find places when we go somewhere new.

We bough a car last month. Same make, model, and year as our other car; just a different color. I had been feeling really trapped. Even though Lebanon is pretty small it was too difficult to bike everywhere I needed to go with all the rain and I couldn't visit family or get to the doctor if there was an emergency (which happened and contributed to the speed of the purchase).

Here are the wonderful things I want to remember that my boys have been up to lately:

Ammon learned how to crawl and has an unusual way of doing it. He moves his arms as you might expect but he plants his right foot flat on the ground and drags the left one under him. His left pant leg gets dirtier than the right.
 
Ammon often has toys hanging out of his mouth. He has started to pull himself up and loves to stand. Quin thinks it's really funny when the baby is standing up.

Ammon LOVES baths. Being put in the tub instantly soothes him if he's grumpy or tired, even if there's no water in it. As soon as he hears the water turn on he starts kicking his feet trying to splash. His favorite toy is a yellow cup that we use in the bath to rinse hair. He will choose that cup over any other toy it seems. He tends to prefer playing with things that aren't toys. Toilet paper tubes, spoons, cords on daddy's computer, and especially paper. He is a book eater! His favorite toys that are actually toys seem to be legos. Also, EVERYTHING. He is such a jolly little guy with a ready smile and enthusiasm for life. He's is such a delight and pleasure to have around and we are so lucky to have him as part of our little family.

When he's in a stroller or shopping cart he happily kicks his legs most of the time. It almost looks like he's propelling it Flinstone-style.


 Ammon likes to watch me eat and tries to share his food with me by holding it up to my mouth. He can crawl up to us when he's in distress or needs a hug, which is really useful. It makes Michael really happy when Ammon crawls up to him.



Reading up on how to be a superhero
Quin's current obsessions are monster trucks and superheroes. He wears a cape and a mask almost everywhere we go. 100 times a day he says "I love monster trucks. Do you love monster trucks, momma? They are so amazing" and "Look at this giant monster truck!" while holding up his monster truck toy for me to admire. His favorite song is the "Blippi Monster Truck Song." He constantly asks me to sing it.

Any truck with big enough tires is a monster truck to Quin and he points them out excitedly during walks and in parking lots. 
He likes to identify the parts of machines. He points out the cab, tires, and engine of our car (although he usually gets the location of the engine wrong).

The superhero fascination is actually kind of handy for me. If I say "superman, I need your help!" he is always eager to find out how he can save the day. And after he helps he repeats "I saved the day!" He saves the day by putting diapers in the garbage, dirty dishes in the sink, and giving toys to Ammon. We all had a stomach bug and Quin wanted to climb on me while I was laying on the couch. I really wanted to be left alone so I said "please don't climb on me. If you want you can kiss me right here" and pointed to my forehead. He kissed my head and jumped up and down saying "I saved the day da kiss your head!"

His favorite primary song is "I am a Child of God." He calls it "I am a Child in God." It's his bedtime song, so I've literally sang it almost every day of his life. He likes to hear me play it on the piano and will sing along. When I get done playing he climbs up on the bench and tires to immitate what I do on the piano, including trying to use the pedal and singing while he plays. I put the pedal on a yoga block so he could reach it from the bench. I love it when he makes up words to songs.

Full costume at the park
Quin frequently asks "what is it called?" and "what is that?" I can tell the left hemisphere of his brain is kicking into gear with all these questions. I'll have to keep reminding myself of that when I feel annoyed with the constant "what's that? but why? what are you doing?" questions that are sure to increase in the next few years.

Ammon was bothering Quin at one point. After hearing lots of "no, baby!" and screaming from Quin I came out of the bathroom to find Quin had set up a DIY baby gate around himself so Ammon wouldn't touch him. I was so impressed and proud of his critical thinking and problem solving skills!
When Quin doesn't want to do something he sometimes runs upstairs and flops down on the bed saying "go to sleep" or "take a nap!" to try to avoid it. A pretty clever strategy but it doesn't always work.

When I was changing Ammon's diaper Quin exclaimed "Thank you da take care of da baby Momma. You are so much helper!"
Unprompted, random things I hear from Quin throughout the day: "I'm so pwowd of you, Momma!" "It's okay, Momma." "What's wrong Momma?" "How your days going?" "What a doing, Momma?" and "I wuv you, Momma!" He wraps his arms around me with the last one.

Quin is so loving and affectionate. I can tell Ammon is learning by his example. He already knows how to hug back with his arms and often gives us wet open-mouthed kisses.


February Fun

Quin loves opening packages. He calls everything a "surprise." While I was in the shower he had a blast opening some "surprise packages" that turned out to be feminine hygiene products :/

I ordered the original Wallace and Gromit shorts with my Christmas money. When the package arrived, Quin was really excited to open it. He exclaimed: "Thank you so much!" He loves the part where Wallace is riding the motorcycle with the sheep. He wanted to eat some cheese like Wallace so we had a picnic in the living room while we watched A Grand Day Out. Ammon joined us and really enjoyed crushing the leftover crackers and muffin. 

 Quin translations and quotes:
"I don't bathroom!" = I don't want to put on my bathrobe
"Give you up!" = pick me up. I usually Rick Roll him back
"It's dark in da air" = It's dark in here
"So souwicious" = so delicious
 "Batman Biel bike" = a ride on batmobile toy
"I bloke dat" = I broke that. He says it with confidence and no shame.
"spicy saurus" = Spinosaurus. He can identify a surprising number of dinosaurs.
"nudicycle" = motorcycle
When I ask "are you a girl or a boy?" He enthusiastically says "girl!" He thinks it's funny.
At the Dr. a medical assistant smiled at Quin and said "Hi! How are you?" In a level tone Quin responded with "Paw Patrol." I guess he saw some Paw Patrol stickers a minute before?
I took Quin to the dollar store to spend some of his birthday money and I think that was a mistake. He is constantly begging to go back and buy more junk. After saying "no" repeatedly he said "I've an idea. Let's go to the toy store! Hooray!"
Quin likes to take care of his baby brother. The other day he was trying to take Ammon away while I was nursing him, saying "take care of Ammon! Turn wif Ammon" He always points it out if Ammon is sitting in his high chair without cheerios on the tray. "Baby da eat some cheerios?" He will sometimes spontaneously give him toys and snuggles. Ammon has a shrill happy sound that he makes when he is tired. It makes Quin laugh and Quin says "that's so squeaky!." Ammon is always so happy when he sees Quin for the first time in the morning or after a nap. 
"reading" to Ammon

Super boys

Quin likes to identify the parts of Ammon's face


Quin says "oh no" at inappropriate times. Like when he decides to go into the bathroom he says "oh no, the bathroom." Or when he's happy to see someone he says "oh no, it's momma!" He also says "that's terrible!" when there's nothing terrible happening. It cracks us up.

Quin got really interested in spelling lately. I would like to thank Blippi for this awesomeness. Quin can spell his name, Blippi, cat, and zoo. He likes to read the letters on things, like billboards and cereal boxes (o-a-t-s, cheerios!). It was funny when he read the letters on Ammon's shirt "h-u-n-k." He loves to arrange the fridge magnets into words. This was from before we started working on spelling his name:
Now he can arrange the letters into "Q-u-i-n."
Ammon cut his first tooth around January 15th. He is working on a couple more currently and is not happy unless he has something to put in his mouth and chew on. His babbling is more complex and adorable and he can roll, pivot, get on his hands and knees and rock, and will be crawling any second.
He likes to be on his side so he can grab toys easier and see what Quin is doing. We call it his "picture by the pool pose." It's funny when he puts his hand on his hip and looks over at us like he's posing for a magazine cover. He spends a lot of his time in this pose! 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Salt Lake City Trip

We flew to Salt Lake City for Uncle Jason and Aunt Isa's wedding. A week before the trip I was telling Quin that we were going to ride on an airplane. He calmly responded "no, I'm going to ride on a spaceship." After talking about it some more he decided he would ride on an airplane if it was red and blue.
We woke up to find it snowing, the first time it has done that in Springfield this year. It was very slippery getting to the airport. We counted 7 cars and 2 trucks on the side of the road on I5. Some of them were in ditches. We had to drive pretty slow during the first part to keep from sliding around. I was worried we were going to be late since we were going 40 instead of 65 for several miles.  
When we finally parked and got all our gear out Quin had a blast riding the shuttle from the parking lot to the airport. He jumped up on the shuttle and picked out our seats.
Check in and security were surprisingly fast for towing along 2 little kids. We got a window seat at our gate and it was fun watching the airplanes taxi in to the gate. Quin was impressed by the vehicles that transport luggage to the airplanes. He told me he wants to drive the tractor when he grows up. I think he also wants to fly an airplane.
Quin and Ammon both did really well on the plane ride.

Here's Quin enjoying an escalator ride. He had a hard time leaving the airport when we got to SLC because he wanted to keep riding the "excavator." 

Quin really liked the cats at Aunt Velvet's house. He followed them around saying "hi kitty. Meow" over and over. He wasn't too crazy about Harold at first but he warmed up to him and pet him.


Quin was really impressed with the snow. He got to play on a slipplery trampoline at Uncle Keith's house and Aunt Velvet's house.

So much fun to play with Uncle Curtis!

He was okay. He slipped a lot on that trampoline and just got up again. He started screaming after he took his gloves off, against my insistence that he keep them on, and fell in the snow. His hands got so cold!
Quin was really impressed by the dwarf goats at Uncle Keith's house. He kept saying "hi goat. nice goat." He thought the goat hutch was pretty cool and climbed in a few times. Uncle Keith pulled us in a sled behind a 4 wheeler. It was really exciting and kind on terrifying!

We also enjoyed saying hi to Velvet's chickens.

Quin loved the Christus statue. He kept wanting to go back to it and "see Jesus."

 It was really cold at temple square. Quin liked seeing the temple up close. Mom and I attended Isa's endowment. Michael tried to come but didn't make it in time so he went with my dad to hang out at Jason and Isa's new apartment.

 Uncle Jason is so much fun!!!
Quin really liked Jason's long board. He called it a "keyboard." He liked standing on it and jumping but his favorite was when Grandma Dodge pushed him around the kitchen.

Jason and Isa's wedding was so beautiful! I was so happy to see the pure joy on my brother's face. I've never seen Jason so happy. It was so sweet to be with my eternal family in the temple. The greatest peace and happiness I have ever felt has been in sealing rooms while the sealing ordinances to bind families together forever were being performed.

Waiting for the bride after the wedding.
Ring ceremony complete with viking ring exchange on the tips of swords

The reception was SO MUCH FUN!!! Music and dancing and amazing food and awesome people to hang out with. Quin had a really good time dancing. I sewed bow ties for the boys so they would match and look awesome in pictures. However, church clothes were forgotten in the stress of transporting kids back and forth from Velvet's and getting to and from the temple. He's still cute in sweat pants and rain boots.
Ammon got passed around a lot. I think he enjoyed it.

Uncle Keith groovin' with Ammon
On Sunday we had a birthday party for my mom. It was so nice to have a family reunion with Dodge people! We found out Mike and Brenda were on the same flight as us so they took me and Ammon to the airport while Michael and Quin dropped off the rental car. Mike and Brenda helped us a lot at the airports. We had a lot of stuff to carry!
When we finally got back to Oregon it was late, we were exhausted, and we were so disappointed to find our car encased in ice.
The road was really slippery and it was hard to even walk there. It took about 45 minutes to get the ice off and then we drove very VERY slowly through the parking lot and through Portland. We got home around 1 AM.

The next day we were happy to see there was still some snow in our backyard. Quin had a really good time playing in it.

We miss our Utah and New Hampshire peeps and look forward to our next visit!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Year in Review 2016



January
2016 went off with a bang as Michael was laid off and then re-hired for a new position at the same company. He works for Copytronix at U of O as a copier technician.
Quin quotes: He likes to sing the alphabet song but is unsure about how the very last part goes. So he sings "xyz. Noah, Noah, Noah..."

Quin "helping" me pack
Quin helping Great Grandma pack some books


February
We moved to Springfield!
Had a nice visit with my mom when she stopped in Oregon on her way to Hawaii with her mom, sister, and aunt. Highlights of the trip:
  • Portland Zoo
    • Quin's favorite part was doing baby parkour on the the ramps, stairs, and walkways. He also thought the elephants, penguins and ducks were pretty cool. 


  • Eugene Children's Museum
  • Hiking Spencer Butte

Cool Quin stuff: Likes to beat box, dance and play the drums. Sometimes all at once. 

March
Quin quotes: He celebrates the things he loves by saying "hooray! Da momma! Hooray! Da daddy! Hooray! Da two! Hooray! Da sheep!" ect ect. He throws both arms in the air at each "hooray!" He also will say "oh no! Da ____!" in a soft, high pitched voice. I think it's mostly when something falls down.
We were sick a lot in March. Colds followed by pink eye followed by more colds.


April
Quin memories: Quin is very social and enjoys talking on the phone. He will talk about cows and numbers and sometimes throw his head back and laugh during a "conversation." When he wants people to come over he knocks on our front door-from the inside. He loves the fish at the pet store and says "hi fish" to each tank.

I planted a garden.


May
Chocolate milk at the park!

Quin loves coloring. Especially with markers


Baby shower

Enjoying the new backyard

Showing off finished quilt and nearly finished baby bump

 Fun memory: When I ask him to give the baby a kiss he pulls up my shirt and gives my tummy a big "mwah!"

June
Trip to Enchanted Forest for Jessica's 24th birthday! And, you know, to take Quin too (but it was mostly for my birthday). It got up to 95 degrees but the park is mostly in the shade so it wasn't so bad. We brought a cooler full of otter pops, ice, capri suns, and sliced fruit and veggies to beat the heat.
Quin's favorite parts were the dwarves cave and Goldilocks and the 3 bears. We got ice cream cones at the end :)








Ammon was born! 
Quin enjoys hearing Ammon hiccup. He calls them "pickups" and likes to imitate Ammon.  Quin also thinks it's funny when Ammon cries in the car and will copy him with a flat-toned "wah. wah. wah."

Newborn photoshoot:




 July
4th of July with the Brewster clan!


Quin helped himself to some stray watermelon on the table
August
Carl's memorial service and the Olsen family reunion at Rockaway Beach




Got to meet my soon-to-be sister-in-law, Isa. We love her so much!!!

Uncle Jason hanging out with Ammon



September
I read some Shel Silverstein poems to Quin recently. When we got to one about pancakes Quin got really excited and wanted to eat pancakes. I had nothing better to do, so we made pancakes together. I would measure and hand the spoon or cup to Quin to pour into the mixing bowl and we took turns stirring the batter. While the pancakes were cooking, Quin kept licking the batter off the whisk saying "yummy yummy pancakes!" 


Since then Quin has been really into helping me cook. And taste test, of course.









October
 For Halloween Ammon was Squirt from finding Nemo and Quin was superman. He made a pretty good man of steel. He tripped and fell on his face and got back up without a fuss and kept on trick or treating! 



Ammon loves the Johnny Jump up. When Quin notices he is in it he'll go over there and bounce him,  spin him around, or push him like it's a swing at the park. It requires supervision and intervention when its too fast or rough, but I'm so happy he likes to take care of his little brother. 

November
 He says "happy momma?" when he can see that I'm upset or unhappy. He wants his happy momma back! When daddy gets upset Quin says "see momma?" Meaning he wants to be with momma. 
Quin could tell I was getting frustrated when I couldn't find something in the pantry. He came up to me and asked "what's wrong, momma?" I instantly felt better :) Later daddy got soap in his eye and Quin noticed daddy was in pain. He quietly asked "you okay?"
Sometimes when Ammon is crying Quin says "Ammon sad."



December
We celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary by doing sealings at the Portland temple and then wandering through IKEA, dreaming of our future home. 


The boys are really impressed by the Christmas tree. 

2016 was an exciting year for our little family! We have a lot to look forward to in 2017, including a move to Lebanon, Oregon in February. 

Wishing the best for you an yours this new year!
Love,
The Brewsters