Sunday, December 19, 2010

Carter D. Todd is Six!

Carter's birthday started out with pancakes and smoothies for breakfast before school. My favorite thing about our birthday breakfast tradition is the look of joy on the face of the child whose birthday it is not when they give the birthday child a gift. Teaching children to be generous and unselfish can be difficult but these little moments add up in a lifetime. This picture shows my point.

We got Carter a lamp for his bed to read at night and he has used it every night since!

William covered in breakfast.

Carter decided he wanted to go ice skating for his birthday. This year we decided he could invite a few friends to join him. He chose his good friend, Sam and his "best cousin," Ryan. Here are the three of them elated for ice skating:
(Sam's sister and Claire's good friend, Lucy, is just as excited in the background)

Before we could ice skate, though, we had pizza and this cute cake.
I asked my mom to help with the cake because I knew I wouldn't have time to make one myself and she went to a lady in her ward who made this ice skating cake which, I might add, was delicious!

And, there were presents to open as well.
Carter insisted on inviting Monique, a very special young woman who occasionally helps out our family, to his party. Daniel and I have a few hour overlap when I work and Monique watches the kids. She is such a sweetheart and we are sad she is leaving to WA next month but excited for her (thankfully, she has a younger sister who can take over for her:) )

With Lucy and Sam
Cute cousins, who both look so, so sweet in the picture! Ryan is wearing a helmet for ice skating, BTW:)
Ella and Carter with Claire and Lucy getting in on the photo as well!
Carter with Nana. Boppy was busy during the party but took Carter out for a birthday lunch earlier in the day and gave him his first set of golf clubs. They are so cute and we are excited for him to try them out.

Grandma and Papa got Carter his first pair of roller skates and he has been a roller skating maniac since then! Well, he doesn't really skate...but he rolls a little.

The boys took the ice with super trooper Daniel. I give him props, I would have definitely fallen especially trying to help the boys! They all hit the ice more times than we could count, but there were no tears. These are some tough boys!

I really didn't get any great shots of Carter, but he had a great time. He thought he was going to be able to go out there and skate with no problem. Instead, he fell a million times and refused help as much as possible. By the end, he literally crawled off the ice! He loved it though, and wants to do it again. Ryan and Sam both started off a bit more timid than Carter but ended up skating well by the end!

We are so grateful for friends and family who join us on the journey of raising this sweet boy, Carter. Here's six of his greatest attributes:
--he is SMART!
--he is CURIOUS!
--he is KIND!
--he is HELPFUL!
--he is CUTE!

Melissa & Jeremy with Noah in hand Maddie in tummy:)

Uncle Eric & Aunt Sydnee

Kollin & Asher--such cute boys

We love him and are so blessed to have him as our oldest child. Thank you to all of our family and friends who are not pictured here (Julians, Alemans, Brobergs, Ottosens, etc.) who made his birthday special. So, despite the weather, thanks to everyone who came and helped us make Carter's day special.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My son the artist

Carter's newest hobby is collecting trash as he walks to the car after school and turning it in to art. We did have it on the living room wall but he moved it to his room today. I decided we better document it for posterity's sake! For his explanation, go here.

Big Bear in July

We decided this year to start an official tradition. We wanted to go camping somewhere we could easily return to every year, just our family, no matter what our plans with our extended family are. We went to Big Bear first in 2006, but our trip was cut short due to an ectopic pregnancy and emergency surgery for me! We returned in 2008 when we stayed outside of Big Bear but spent the day on the Alpine Slide and in town. We took Carter to the Moonridge Zoo on our first trip to Big Bear and then returned there in 2009. With our history there, we decided to camp for two nights and have Big Bear be "our" spot.

We are so glad we did! I'll be first to admit that camping with a baby is very tiring, but it was very worth it. The first day we arrived, set up camp, went for a bike ride with the trailer that we forgot a piece to for the third time, cooked and ate foil dinners I made at home and had a campfire. I think my children's favorite part of camping is the campfire. That night we also had a Team Todd talent show complete with karate and joke telling from Carter, dancing from Claire, cheerleading from me and masterful storytelling from Danny. Danny used his phone to find some kid-friend scary stories to tell as well. Unfortunately, the story he read was pretty poorly written and Carter was scared of people in the forest after that;)

I love William's "Elvis smile" as I call it (it looks like one lip turns up).

Claire excited about nature!

Making s'mores!

Carter enjoying his s'more in the bike trailer/seat.

Perfection--with dark chocolate Hershey's--yum!

The next morning we ate breakfast and then went fishing.

We then spent some time at the Big Bear Discovery Center and went for a very small hike. We are breaking the kids in slowly. It was pretty hot, too.

Inside the Discovery Center.


We decided this will be the place we can take a picture every year and watch the kids, especially, change over time.

Just because he's cute!

After lunch, we took the kids to a public swim beach. They were too little to go out very far and kept getting cold anyway. The crazy thing that happened while I was in the bathroom was that a tornado (small one obviously) came through and picked up a ton of people's stuff and broke our new umbrella! I heard everyone screaming when I was in the restroom and came out to see lifeguards taking boats out to try and retrieve things that had been dumped in the water!

We then went to the Village to get ice cream and walk around.

That evening, both Danny and I went on our own bike rides since the trailer wasn't functioning (we forgot the piece that goes on the bike!). The campground is on the north side of the lake and the bike trail is right by it. It was very beautiful and peaceful to go riding there. We had another campfire that night and went to bed a little earlier. The next morning we got up, packed and headed home fairly quickly. We were all pretty exhausted.
Our little campsite

We will never forget the Chinese couple staying between us and the bathrooms who watched our children go by a million times a day and brought us purple yams to eat our second night there--they were delicious! Also, Claire zooming around on the scooter and our decision to say calm and happy no matter what happens, including sleeping on the ground because of a hole in the air mattress, not catching any fish, thinking we lost the keys to the bike lock so getting it cut off and then finding the keys, numerous meltdowns, nursing all night long to keep William quiet, etc. Being together and working through problems together truly does bring us closer!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Many Firsts at the Todd Pad

Today is little Claire's first day of preschool. She did fabulously at drop-off, ran right to the play house she is familiar with and wouldn't budge for a kiss good-bye so we settled with blowing kisses. William is asleep and my chores are (half) done. I am hoping this is the first of many more blog posts what with 5 whole hours a week with just one child. (Claire goes to school from 9 am -12 pm Tues/Thurs but Carter gets out at 11 pm on Thursdays).

Outside the Bouncing Bunny classroom

Our little Beary girl, we only had a slight meltdown when choosing her first day outfit. This girl is par-tic-u-lar. I have no idea where she gets it from!;)

Carter started kindergarten 3 weeks ago and is doing very well. We like his teacher but he has 37 students in his class. His report from the first day was, "Mrs. C yells a lot and there are these little teeny kids who just cry and cry. They cried the whole time!" He is learning a LOT and a new teacher should be hired within the next week or so and the class size will do down to 25. I have awesome friends and we organized a swap with our younger children so I can go in and work in the classroom on Wednesday mornings. I really enjoy being there, watching Carter and getting to know his classmates. Last week I got an invite to play Xbox at Arturo's house and to go swimming at Pamela's, so yes, I feel pretty cool!:)

All ready for the first day!
We know, this backpack is huge, but it WILL last until he is an upper grader:)

Danny went in late so we could go together

Sitting at his desk
This is right as we are about to leave, his eyes got a little watery and I will admit, so did mine! I left my baby with wolves (or so it felt).

On Carter's first day of school, William cut his first tooth! He now has two on the bottom and although he slept through the night five nights in a row last week, I think a new tooth must be surfacing because he is FUSSY!

Happy boy William

On that same day (Aug. 23rd) William wore the duckie outfit for the first time. This is significant because all of our children have worn it and I love the way they have all looked in it. Anyone see a resemblance?


Other news of note: I will be running my first Rangar Relay in October. Although I just finished saying I want to reserve my away time from the kids for BYU Women's Conference in May, then the opportunity to run the race came up and since Amber is turning 30 that same weekend we are doing it together as a "coming of age" adventure.

Daniel continues to work hard for his money and we are grateful for a good job with all the cuts recently, especially in education. He also works hard being super dad and husband and we are all appreciative of all he does!

Now, look forward to some exciting posts: Recap of Summer and Things we are Enjoying. And, maybe you'll get to see photos with me in them, braces and all! I am off to pick up Claire. This is going to be great year!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The "Ooh-la-la" Girls

After William's blessing, when all the family was together, Ella (Heidi and Ned's daughter) and Claire had a ton of fun dressing up. We are big fans of the Fancy Nancy books at this house and so Claire has learned to say "Ooh la la." The girls got these outfits on themselves and then came out to model and said "ooh la la." It was too cute. These girls sure love each other. Cousins are fun!

Ready for action

The "Belle" of the Ball

Love the glasses

William's Blessing

William wearing the blessing outfit both Daniel and Carter were blessed in

Outtake #1 of group photo

Outtake #2--where did Claire run off to?
Outtake #3-notice Carter and Claire

This is the best one we got:) April, Wes, Annette, John (washed out from the sun), Heidi, Ned, Ella, Asher (in Danny's arms), Hayley, Ryan, Sue, Jeff, Danny, Sarah, Carter, Claire, William, Robbie, Laura, Eric, Sydnee and Kollin
Grandma and Grandpa Ottosen were there but had to run off so they missed the group photo, with Eric and Sydnee in this one

William and his great grandparents

It was such a great day to have our families with us (minus Jake and Amy) and to be spiritually fed at the same time. Danny blessed William and it was beautiful and we enjoyed a fun afternoon and evening together. I love the group photo because it shows how many people are there for William and will continue to be throughout his life. What a blessing that is! At the end of the night I realized we hadn't taken any photos of just us with William and Claire took some of me with William before church but they turned out bad. Oh well!