Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chop, chop, chop!

I decided Saturday morning that I was tired of my hair... so CHOP! Now I'm sportin' the bob. I also decided to donate my hair to The Children With Hairloss Foundation (which is the same concept as Locks of Love) being it was long enough. The thought of being able to provide some self confidence to one of these sweet kids with my hair makes me so happy.

It took me three years to recover from my last chopping incident (can we say pixie?!). But this one I like much better.

And it's a heck of a lot cooler!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

1st Year - Well done!

You did it hun!! You survived your first year! Not only did you survive it, but I'd say you did a freaking AMAZING job. You were thrown into an inner city school where the gang rate and poverty level was extremely high. You didn't have a mentor. Your team leader up and quit 3 months into the school year. 2 other teachers just up and quit because of how hard the students/administration were leaving YOU as the team leader of the entire middle school training TWO new teachers who came in only 4 months after yourself. Ummm... wow. And guess what - you run that middle school and it has transformed into a much more positive place because of you.

The other teachers come to you for discipline. The students come to you in confidence. The students look to you with respect in their eyes and admiration whenever you give them ANY amount of praise. You are a wonderful role model to these kids and they are so lucky to have you. I am so proud of you Mason. It's been such a roller coaster of a school year - combining your first year of teaching without any student teaching experience, starting your first year in your Master's degree, and having a new baby that you didn't get to see nearly as much as you wanted to, having an hour long drive from work, and fulfilling a somewhat demanding calling. You have done amazingly well.

So here's to your first year! You did it!

I took these pictures the week before school started. I think this was the first day Mason had gone into his classroom. Here is a before picture:

These were taken just this past week. And the after:

As I said before... I really am so proud of you Mason. I love this picture below. Again it was taken that first day when he got the key to his room. He was terrified and completely overwhelmed with feelings like, "What the fetch am I doing? Where do I even begin??" And I love his one little box of supplies sitting on the desk. From that one box Mason, you created a beautiful learning environment and touched a whole lot of lives.

Good job Mister.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Garden

We planted a garden back in February and it's doing surprisingly well!! I always thought that gardens were impossible in AZ. But Mason, my little farm boy, has proved us all wrong!

We planted green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, beets, eggplant, zuchini, cilantro, carrots, watermelon, squash, green beans, roma tomatoes, celebrity tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes. Everything has grown except for the lettuce and beets - which is weird because I have some friends who got a TON of lettuce. Hmmm...

Arizona is cool because it has 3 planting seasons. And I'll tell you what... fresh tomatoes from the vine - especially cherry tomatoes - are absolutely DELICIOUS!!

This was a before picture of the area where we put our garden. I wish I would have taken an after picture when everything had sprouted and looked pretty. Now it just looks wild again, but atleast there is produce in that wildness!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

8 Months Old

So I've reverted back to the small pictures because my picasaweb account was just about full due to the size of the pictures I was uploading before. Dang it. I don't like uploading them with blogger because they are small, grainy, and I swear they only upload the originals and not my edited ones. Anyone have any solutions??

My little man is now 8 months old. That sounds SO old to me. We're going to be celebrating his one year birthday in no time! I have been so blessed with this little spirit who I love more than life itself. He is my purpose, my life, and I am so thankful that Heavenly Father blessed me with him.

He's grown so much so quickly. He is becoming a little boy. I can see it in his face. He is on the move nowadays. He hasn't started crawling on his knees, but he is a professional army crawler. This little guy can move - and quickly too!! He loves to follow me from room to room and sometimes he get courageous and will venture off on his own.

One of our favorite games is for me to hide from him and make a noise. He looks all around the room until he finds me. Then he'll laugh and I'll hide somewhere else. He's really good at finding me... even if it is just a portion of my face peeking out. I really need to get my house baby proofed. It almost is, but there are somethings he is still able to get into. Like just last night he pulled a little cactus we have on a shelf off because he wanted the water drainage dish below it. Don't worry... there weren't any thorns... just dirt all over.

We have a really awesome playpen that I think I'm going to sell for a lot of money when he out grows it. Yup... it's a Huggies diaper box. He loves it and will sit in there and play.

Here he is demonstrating 'all done' for you. I had to laugh because yesterday before church Mason was feeding him his oatmeal. Mason wanted to stuff him nice and full so he would be happy at church. Well Boonie did 'all done' a couple of times to Mason - but apparently Mason wasn't 'all done.' But the trick worked!! Boone slept all through sacrament which hasn't been working out so well the past couple of weeks.

He claps. And waves bye bye.

We are always finding him in all kinds of strange sleeping positions. I love looking at him when he is asleep. He is just so sweet.

Here are just a few other things to note:
  • He is terrified of the vacuum and will cry until I'm done.
  • There isn't anything that he has eaten that he hasn't liked - although his little body doesn't like it when he eats bananas.
  • He likes to watch the birds in the backyard.
  • I have to give him rings to hold on to when I am changing his diaper or else he wants to help out.
  • He gives kisses that are very wet and slobbery, but I love them.
  • When he is giving those kisses he usually has my hair in a death grip holding my face to his.
  • He likes to hang on to the back of my hair when I have it in a pony tail. It makes a great handle.
  • Every time I put him down in his play area he goes straight for the trash can - which is gross - so we build a barricade with the couch pillows.
  • He had is first cold this week with a little cough. Luckily that's all it was, but it was still sad to hear it. He's fine now.
  • He is down to 3 naps a day and his internal clock is set to only take 1 hour naps - to the very second.
  • He's perfect.

Friday, May 20, 2011

This week...

This week has been a crazy busy one - but I love it! It's funny how I tend to go from absolutely nothing but watering the garden to a crammed full week.

Monday I had a newborn baby shoot at 3:30 and found out around 10:00 am that Mason wasn't going to be able to come home right after work to watch Boone. So this worrisome mommy freaked out because she's never left her baby with anyone but her own mom, it had to happen sometime I suppose, called basically every person I knew, got no answer, left lots of messages, and then my sweet friend Melissa called me back a gladly volunteered to watch him. She even made us dinner!! How nice is that!? She snapped a couple of pictures of him and her girls playing that I gladly stole.

Boone and Paisley (one of my nursery girls):

This is the first time he's seen a cat. I'm sure he loved it and glad he didn't hit it over the head like it looks like he's going to!

So that was Monday.

Tuesday Mason asked Stacey and I (and Boonie) to be a chaperone the as the 7th graders went to the Arizona Science Center. We were in charge of a group of 7 kids. I loved the science center and wish I could have read everything there. I'll have to go back sometime when Boone's a bit older. The kids loved meeting Boone and a bunch of them wanted to hold him.

It was great to see Mason with the whole 7th grade. He sure is the authoritarian amidst the whole group but you can see the respect in their eyes. My favorite part of the day was towards the end. There is a pulley tug o' war there where one side of the pulley the rope is tied towards the top and the other side is tied towards the bottom. It's there to demonstrate leverage but all the kids got on the side where it's on the bottom and only Mason got on the side where it was on the top. I'll tell you what... it was a close tug o' war but Mason ended up winning!! I missed the picture by like 5 seconds. :) It was fun to watch him interacting with his students. They were so sweet and not nearly as scary as I thought they were going to be.

Wednesday I had a date with my mom and Stacey. I just finished reading 'Jane Eyre' and loved it. Loved it so much! Why has no one recommended this to me before?? Are there any other Jane Ere lovers out there in my blogging world? Anyway... I had a date with these two, as they are both fans as well, to go see the new Jane Eyre movie playing in only one theater in Phoenix. So we drove over to Scottsdale and enjoyed it. *Le sigh* I'm kinda obsessed now and want to see every version ever made.

Thursday Mason asked if I (Boonie stayed home with G-ma) would chaperone the 8th graders on their field trip to Sunsplash. Yes please!! Basically this meant that I got to lay out all day with Mason on the beautiful 78 degree day that we had yesterday! It was so fun and relaxing.

Now today, Friday, thus far I have watered the garden, grass, plants in the house, and changed two diapers. That's considered busy too, you know. It's a good life.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Parent/Tot Swimming Class

Stacey and I signed up for the parent/tot swimming class they offer through the city. It's a 'class' for the babies to get use to the water and just to have fun. It has been a lot of fun. We have been practicing getting in the pool, trying to kick, blowing bubbles, singing songs, and just having fun.

It's a two week class. My mom came on Monday and took pictures. She wanted to see her two water babies!

Pretty much anything Boonie gets his hands on ends up in his mouth as so:

The coveted water ball:

We have dunked them a couple of times and I'm proud to say that my baby was the only one that didn't cry! He's a stud. Here he is about to get dunked!

On the boogie board:

It's been 100 degrees each day which has felt AMAZING, but Monday it totally dropped in temperature and I think the high was something like 80. So it was a bit chilly after we got out. Here are the freezing babies. Boonie's lips were blue and his tiny little goose bumps were on high alert! They would usually sit there and just stare at each other wrapped in their towels on the warmer days.

How sweet are these eyes? Poor freezing Darci.

I'm excited to take Boonie swimming all summer in my mom's pool. He loves the water!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Desert Botanical Gardens

Friday it was National Garden Day (or something like that) and my sister-in-law Stacey heard that it was free admission at the Desert Botanical Gardens. So we all decided to check it out after the boys got out of school. It was pretty! They also had a butterfly exhibit set up there. That's where we went first being it closed at 5.

I was surprised at how much Boone was watching the butterflies. He would watch them until they flew out of his sight. He has been watching all kinds of things lately that just amaze me. He watches an ant crawling across our counter and just Sunday he was watching a jet fly across our sky in the backyard. He's so observant.

If I were a butterfly this is where I would hitch a ride too...

This picture makes me smile. I love those chubby cheeks!

He even watches them upside down.

Photo-op time!!

The Darci bug:

I don't really take pictures of butterflies and flowers or things like that... but this lizard was HUGE! So I had to include him in the memories.

I'll tell you what... my little chubby bunny is getting a bit too big for his baby bjorn. My back can't take much more!! (Look at those ham-hawks! I love to chew on 'em!)

I loved this old oak tree:

Cute baby:

So Boonie plays this game that I like to call 'The Cyclops Eye or Alien Eye.' We go head to head and he'll stare into my eyes. Not only is he absolutely adorable with his one giant blue eye staring at me... but it always melts my heart. Mason got a good shot of it.

Another cute little baby:

Kyle, Stacey, and Darci:

Boonie and his daddy. I think he's starting to look more and more like Mason everyday!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pretty Excited...

So I'm pretty excited about a couple of things and you being my closest friends... I'm going to share 3 of them with you.

I'm pretty dang excited about my photography business. Like REALLY! I did my first in studio newborn session last Friday and it went amazingly well. It was so much fun! I just have to keep talking positively to myself that I am legit. In my mind a little voice keeps telling me that I look silly... but then I see the pictures and another little voice tells me otherwise. I'm not bragging... I'm just letting you know my inner thoughts (or multiple personalities as Mason would call it). So I have created a blog that is linked to the website and vice versa if you want to add that to your blog roll where I will be posting after each shoot. It's www.leflerphotography.blogspot.com.

Then the other thing I'm SUPER excited about is the fact that I just signed us up to take SALSA dancing lessons through the city. Oh man I'm so excited. In case you didn't know I use to go salsa, country, ballroom dancing just about every single weekend (sometimes weekdays) in college. My dancing shoes had officially been hung in the closet... but don't worry ladies - starting June 6 you are back! I also got Mason to sign up with me. I don't really need the lessons but he has never danced before so I'm going to have him learn so that we can dance together, which is something I've been begging him to do since we got married. I told him this is what I wanted for our anniversary. It only took me 4 years of convincing. I think the final selling point on the salsa class was the fact that we are going to...

(excitement #3) ...Cancun this summer!! Mason served his mission there and has been wanting to take his parents and I there ever since. So his parents made him the deal that whenever he got into his Master's program they would take him back to his mission. SO... I said, "Mason, let's take salsa lessons and go salsa dancing in Cancun!!" It just fits right? Well to me it does. Probably not to him, but atleast we will be able to put our newly learned skills to use. Whew.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A sense of closure - thank you.

These images bring tears to my eyes. I love it when our country unites. Especially since all the hard times everyone has been going through.

I'm thankful for all these smiles.

I hope those poor suffering 9/11 families feel a sense of closure today.

Well done Mr. President.