Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Tanner

One year ago today Tanner was born and our lives were forever changed.

I CANNOT believe its been a year already. It doesn't seem fair that life flies by when you're the happiest and drags on when you're sad. This past year has flown by with all the joy our little man brings into our lives.
Here are 12 little Tanner facts ( 1 for every month of his life)
1) He has a contagious smile. You can't help but be happy when you see that toothy grin. Somehow he always cheers me up. No matter whats wrong, Tanner is there to love on me and make it all better.
2) He is a mama's boy and a Daddy's best friend. He loves to snuggle me and give me kisses, and when he's hurt or sad he calls for "Mama" but as soon as Dad gets home he's off to help him in whatever man job he's doing. Tanner is Dad's little sidekick.
3) He loves his Nanny and Papa. He loves to chase and be chased by Papa all around the house, but when its time to go to sleep he loves to rock-a-bye with Nanny.
4) Tanner loves to play with his Aunts and Uncles. Even though he only had the summer to get to know most of them- he's grown very attached to them and every time he talks to them on the phone he smiles so big.
5) Tanner loves to figure out how things work. He will take his toys apart just to figure how to put them together again. He loves to find dials, switches, knobs and anything you can move to get a result.
6) Tanner has the cutest little bum. I love the way his little booty shakes when he crawls really fast. I laugh so hard watching him get around the house.
7) Tanner loves to dance. Whether its head banging or booty shaking- he loves to move with the music.
8) Tanner loves music- musical instruments really put him in a trance. He will just sit there and stare at them while the person plays. Its like he's trying to figure out how it works and where the sound is coming from.
9) Tanner is a genuinely happy child. I think I could learn alot from him. He is very content to just play and sit around with mom and dad.
10) Tanner loves to play with other kids. He is completely enthralled with them. He doesn't even really have to be involved in what the other kids are doing, he's happy to just sit close by and watch them.
11) Tanner loves the water. Even from a young age he's been a little fish. He never showed the slightest trepidation toward the pool or the lake. We've had so much fun taking him swimming this summer, I really hope he still loves the water next summer.
12) Tanner looks just like his Dad. I realize I'm a little partial, but I LOVE IT! My two favorite most handsome boys in the world!

So in case you haven't met Tanner, now you can feel like you have. He's the reason we smile and I can't imagine life without him. Happy Birthday Tanner-bear!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tanner's First Birthday Bash


We had Tanner's first birthday party on Tuesday and boy was it a buggy affair. At one point I counted 39 people at this party and we loved having every one of them there. We were so lucky because we got to celebrate with not only all of my siblings, my parents, Grams and other family that lives here, but a lot of my family from Arizona and California too.
All the cousins

We also had a bunch of friends from church and work. There were 12 kids total (including Tanner). It was so fun!

Tanner and his antennae

The party started at 7:00 pm. The weather Gods must have been smiling upon us because it has been in the upper 90's lately and the day of the party the high was only 88 degrees and that night it was in the upper 70's. Such a nice break from the heat! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! The party was outdoors so you can understand why I was so worried about the heat- especially with a bunch of kids. But the night was perfect and so we partied on.
Upon arrival everyone dawned a pair of buggy antennae. I think this is one of my favorite pictures. Isn't my Grams so adorable (and my sister is a babe!)But you gotta love the headgear!

We started by getting the kids into their seats and letting them play with their party favors. The favors were these bug boxes filled with plastic bugs, tweezers, bug nets, "Bug Bite" cookies, and bug bracelets. The kids had so much fun with their bugs.

Then everyone got their food and settled in to eat and chat.
After the kids finished their food and while the adults were eating- the kids got to go for a "Bug Hunt" and look for more bugs around the yard. I think they enjoyed that and they really enjoyed filling up their bug boxes.
Tanner enjoying his bug net

We had some family pictures taken too, since we couldn't resist the antennae shots.
My little bug family

My entire family

Then we had the kids all gather around while I helped Tanner open his presents. (THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!!!!)

We loved all of his presents.
Then we sang "Happy Birthday" to my big boy and he got to eat his cake.
Birthday boy and his cake

Watching him dig into his cake was hysterical. It was such a sensory experience for him. First he just poked the cake.

Then he grabbed a handful of it and crumbled it up.

After that he started shoveling handfuls into this mouth.
Yummy Cake

The end result being this...

Now onto the decorations. To say that I've been planning this party for a while would be an understatement. I don't know what is wrong with me, but I LOVE planning parties. From the food to the decorations- I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT PARTY PLANNING!
We had the party in our back yard. I used this sign to direct people to the party.

We lined the yard with Tiki torches which I had decorated with ribbons and sunflowers. We lit these later to keep the real bugs away-(I realize this is a little off theme- but I think everyone's bare arms and legs would thank me for this).

We had a kid table with individual place settings for the kids with their personal bug boxes marking their seat at the table.
Some of the kids at their table going through their boxes.

Then we had two round tables for the adults and other chairs around the yard. The centerpieces for the adult tables were these paper pinwheels I made and some balloons.

The food table was totally bugged out. I don't have individual pictures of each food, but you can kind of see the foods in this picture.

We had ant cupcakes on this cupcake stand I made using flower pots. Then we had "Mud Pies" made from crumbled oreos, gummy worms and chocolate pudding.

We had "mud covered bugs" which were really chocolate covered raisins and nuts. We had "ants on a log" which were raisins on celery with peanut butter. We had "Lady Bugs" which were quartered cherry tomatoes with olives on ritz crackers. There were "Buggy Friends" which were PB&J sandwiches cut out with bug cookie cutters. We also had "Caterpillars" made from grapes and toothpicks.And "Antennae" which were just pretzels. Then we had "Bug Juice" for the kids to drink and a Watermelon fountain for the adults.

Close up of the watermelon fountain

The centerpiece for the food table was the watering pitcher filled with cut out bugs and the number one. (I would have seriously killed for a cricut when I was making this because i cut each bug out by hand-YUCK)

The porch was decked out with bug nets draped across one corner and Chinese lanterns hanging across the front.

Plus balloons, the bugday banner and streamers.
The back porch after the party got started.

I really love how it all came together. It was a wonderful party and I'm grateful to all those who helped make it so special. I can hardly believe my little man is already a year old. Where has the time gone and what happened to my baby? He's looking more and more like a little boy everyday.
Sorry about all the pictures, but I couldn't choose which ones to post so I ended up posting most of them. Hope you enjoyed!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Richter Visit

My Aunt Lynnette and her family are down visiting right now from Arizona and California. Its so fun to have them here and their kids. We went to the lake today and spent the day on the boats. Because school is starting on Thursday here, everyone is getting ready for that and NO ONE was on the lake. It was a perfect day to be out there and we had it all to ourselves.
While we were waiting at the docks to get onto our boats, we fed the fish. Well I guess they're technically fish, but they are the size of miniature sharks and have monstrous mouths. They are carp and they're HUGE! They get fed alot and it shows. Tanner was fascinated with them.

I didn't get a decent picture of them, but here is a picture off some website. This should give you an idea of the size of those mouths. Ridiculous right? Now picture about 30 of those all grouped together gobbling up fish food.

Here is one of all the kids when the were feeding the carp. (Don't mind that I can't pose for pictures for the life of me)

We had three boats. Two pontoons and one deck boat. It was so much fun. Tanner loves being in the water anytime, but he really enjoyed the wind on his face as we drove to a cove to swim and tube.

Uncle Joe tossing Tanner overboard.

Here is one of my beautiful sisters and I.

Somehow my camera got set on Black and White- but I still love this picture

Tanner of course had to tube. He loved it too. He was laughing and clapping his hands. It was so cute. His uncles wanted to take him out on the tube and so I being the trusting mom that I am, let them. And they had blast. They are awesome with Tanner.

Here is another of the boys in the water with tanner

And then Papa and Tanner playing together. Papa would go under water and then squirt water in Tanner's face, Tanner would scream and laugh and then they'd repeat the process. It was so hysterical to watch.

Tanner loved helping Papa drive the boat. When we got to the dock to leave he was so sad to have to let go of the steering wheel. He's such a funny kid!

Now tomorrow is Tanner's big birthday bash. I cannot believe its almost been a year. Where has the time gone and when did my baby get so big?
I'm sure I'll post tons of pictures from the party. I've been planning this thing for months now, so rest assured I'll write all about it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Arizona- There and Back Again in 4 days

Tanner and I just got home from Arizona last night after a whirlwind of a trip. We hadn't planned on going because we didn't have the money to buy tickets and I hate traveling alone with Tanner. Chris couldn't come because he had drill and so we just decided not to go. But then my siblings all decided to go and since Mom really wanted us ALL there, Tanner and I joined the road trip crew.
So there was David, Joseph, Julieta, Sarah, Laura, Tanner and I. Keep in mind, Julieta is 34 weeks pregnant right now and they just moved here on Monday from Utah (another very long drive). But she was a total trooper.
So we left Wednesday night around 8:30 and started on the expected 18-hour drive. 18 hours??? YEAH RIGHT!
Because Julieta is so far along the doctor didn't want her going longer than 2-hours at a time in the car without getting out and walking around. So every two hours on the dot we'd pull over at a gas station and have her stretch her legs and walk around to prevent blood clots. Now this wouldn't have been a big deal except we also had Tanner in the car and he wakes up whenever the car stops for longer than 2 minutes. So every time Julieta got out to walk around Tanner also woke up. UGH!
But that wasn't even that big of a deal compared to what happened next.

It was about 3:30 am and my brother David is driving along I-40, when all of the sudden we hear something metal hit the side and back window of the car. We tell him to pull over and so he does. We get out and I run to the back of the car and look on top where are luggage was tied and EVERYTHING is gone. The roof of our car is completely bare except for the suspension straps we used to tie everything down. They are still intact.
So then Joseph and David find a flashlight and start scavenging the roadside for any trace of our luggage. They are fortunate enough to find Sarah's bag all wrapped up inside the tarp and mostly untouched. They also find Julieta's duffel bag still intact. David's bag was inside the car with us because he had the DVDs and games in his and we wanted those where we could get to them for the trip, so his bag was also fine. And that's about where our luck runs out.
They find Laura's backpack, open and missing all her t-shirts, but mostly OK. My suitcase with all of Tanner's baby stuff and my clothes and bathroom stuff is in shreds. Literally the lid is torn from the suitcase and the bottom of the suitcase is held together by a few leather straps. The suitcase is completely empty which means my stuff is all over the road. We couldn't even find Joseph's bag, but we did manage to find a few articles of his clothing.
So its 3:30 am and we parked on the side of an interstate that is teeming with semi trucks and we're watching our stuff get run over by those massive semi wheels over and over again. Julieta is having a meltdown because she is so sad about whats happened. She keeps trying to help run onto the interstate in between passing semi trucks and get stuff and I'm running after her trying to get her back in the car because she's 8 months pregnant and insane. But of course she doesn't listen to anyone but Joseph and so I'm having no effect at all on her. The boys are still out in the dark trying to scavenge some more of our stuff and Sarah and Laura are trying to sort out what little stuff survived. It was CRAZY!
About an 30 minutes later we pile everything we found into the car with us and decide to head to a nearby Wal-Mart to sort everything out and replace stuff we lost.
Luckily Laura found a few of her shirts and so she didn't loose much. Joseph and I however were not so lucky. I lost 3-4 shirts, underwear, all of my makeup and bathroom stuff, earrings, straightener, curling iron,phone charger, camera battery charger, two books I'd just bought, and most devastating- my scriptures I got for high school graduation. It may not sound like a huge deal, but they had all my notes, insights, highlighted verses, stickers and much more. I'm still not over that loss.
Because I was trying to save room and packed Tanner and I in the same bag, he also lost a ton of stuff including sleepers, a pair of jeans, 4-5 shirts, 3 pairs of shoes, a whole package of diapers, two cans of very expensive formula, all his bottles, bowls, spoons, and baby food.
Joseph lost all but two pairs of shorts, some underwear and a shirt I think.

Isn't that the most horrible story ever? luckily we didn't loose any laptops or cameras. We bought alot of stuff at Wal-mart but we're still missing a ton of stuff. The clothes we did salvage were covered in mud and dirt and something that smelled alot like cow poop. We could only hope that our hotel would have a washer and dryer. It was horrible.

That entire ordeal took about 3 hours to sort out before we were back on the road, covered in highway grime and exhausted. But don't worry- we sprayed each other down with febreeze to staunch the smell. We still had about 12 hours to go in the car together. I'm sure the people who watch Wal-mart security cameras are going to have a good laugh. Seriously, Febreeze showers? That's just how desperate we were!

After stopping every two hours the rest of the trip, we finally arrived in the beautiful mountains of Arizona around 8:00 pm which was 10:00 for us since we were on AR time. We were exhausted, smelly, a little grumpy and cramped. Since we didn't risk tying our stuff on top again, we stuffed everything in the car and had no leg room the rest of the trip. It was hysterical. When we arrived we couldn't help but laugh and relay our adventure to our family there. Luckily there was a washer and dryer in the cabin my mom was staying in so we got some laundry started, everyone took showers, said a few brief hello's to people and headed to our hotel room to pass out. The trip that should have taken 18 hours, took us 6 hours and about $350 more than we had expected.

And now that I've written a novel about our eventful trip there, I can give you a BRIEF- (I promise) rundown of our short family reunion.
Friday morning we eventually woke up and ate breakfast, played with our cousin's millions of kids and ate some more. Visited, played games, visited some more and finished our laundry so we'd have some clean clothes to wear.
Saturday morning we had a baby shower for Julieta and my cousin Kamala- they are both going to be first time mommies and both having boys. It was fun with all the girl cousins and aunts. Then we just hung out more and Saturday night was the talent show. The talent show is always the funniest part of the reunion because kids are SO DANG FUNNY! Then after the talent show we said our "good-byes" and load back up into our car and started that 18-hour drive home. This time it only took us 19 1/2 hours to get home. Much better!
Here are some pictures from our quick trip! Oh and I hope all you ARIZONA FAMILY know how much we LOVE YOU GUYS!

Tanner before we left for our forever long trip! Yeah, we busted out the big boy seat for the drive. I think Tanner would have gone crazy in his rear facing infant seat.

Tanner sleeping in his big boy car seat

Tanner loved the sand box. He's is such a little boy.

And of course he had to taste it.

Being a little boy again

Tanner getting to know his sweet cousin Jace. Jace loves to give kisses and Tanner loves to get them. Don't mind the tongue- I don't know where Tanner learned that.

Tanner and his buddy Grant. They're about a month apart and because they both have a head of dark hair, all the kids thought they were twins. It was so cute!

Seriously, could this picture be any sweeter? Tanner stared at this picture of Christ for honestly 10 minutes. It was like "Jesus, I know him"

Here are a few family pictures
Nanny and her boys, minus Chris and Dad.

Tanner helping his Uncles learn to walk.

Family shot. Too bad the lighting didn't turn out- so you could see the beautiful mountains in the background

One more Family shot with little Porter. He is the SWEETEST little boy!

Tanner and I. Yeah we're wearing sweatshirts. It was chilly there. Which is so refreshing because its SOOO hot at home!

Ok finally I'm done with the post. Sorry its so long, but I had to paint a clear picture of our adventures!