potty trained

I've been putting it off for a while now... the much dreaded potty training.  I've had all sorts of good reasons and excuses.... I was too sick in the early part of pregnancy, we've had a few little vacations planned that required a lot of driving and I didn't want to make them miserable for all of us with a newly potty trained toddler, Zion broke his finger and refused to use his hand while the splint was on so he wouldn't be able to pull down his pants.... see good excuses.  Ok, really I know that none of them are all the great, and really it just came down to me being lazy and liking how convenient diapers are when we are out and about so much.  I finally decided it was time when I realized that we were down to less than 3 months until the baby was here, and as much as I've heard people say that it is an absolute no-no to potty train right before a new baby is born because the child tends to regress once the baby comes, but I didn't really have any other option if I want him to be able to start preschool in August.  I read a bunch of different tutorials on different techniques to potty train and then took bits and pieces from each and put together my own game plan.  We ended up doing the straight to underwear method with the exception of a pull up at night time, and it worked amazingly.  The first day he had 4 accidents, the second day he had 2, and the third day he only had 1 accident.  He woke up dry every single morning so we decided to switch him to underwear the 4th night and get rid of the pull-ups all together.  Thankfully going #2 was just as easy for him as #1.  It's been over 3 weeks now and he is doing awesome.  He hasn't wet the bed yet, and since the third day I think he has only had 1 accident.  The first 2 weeks, we were just taking him to the bathroom every couple hours and he wasn't really communicating when he needed to go, but this past week he has been telling us every time he needs to use the potty.  Here are a couple phone pics of how excited he was when he peed on the potty for the first time.  He got a mini race car as a reward and he was thrilled about it.
Since we started on a Monday, and he pretty much had it down by Saturday, we spent Saturday celebrating his success and doing some of his favorite things to reward him for his big accomplishment. Plus it gave us the opportunity to brave public restrooms, which he handled like a champ.  Our day of celebrating included Kneader's for breakfast, an afternoon at the park, Five Guy's for a late lunch, a trip to the Disney Store, and Cold Stone ice cream in place of dinner.  Not a healthy day by any means, but they are all of Zion's favorite places, and this day was about rewarding him.  I'm so proud of how well he has done, and aside from the first few chaotic days where I literally did not leave his side or do anything besides potty training, it really wasn't that bad.  Good job little buddy!  You are such a big boy and mommy couldn't be more proud of you!


bridal veil falls picnic

A couple weeks ago we decided to take advantage of the beautiful spring weather and head up to Bridal Veil Falls for a little picnic.  We told Zion that we were going to go up the mountain, to a huge waterfall, and have a picnic and he got so excited and then disappeared upstairs.  Me and Zac were busy cutting up fruit and getting the cooler ready, and a minute later Zion came back downstairs with a little basket full of his plastic food and dumped it in the cooler.  He was so proud to contribute to the picnic.  Zion was in heaven when we got up the canyon, and we had a nice afternoon relaxing and spending time together.

tulip festival

Every year, as the ground starts to thaw a little, I start looking forward to the tulip festival at Thanksgiving Point.  I know it's such a funny little tradition, but I absolutely love it.  The gardens are just so beautiful covered with thousands of tulips.  It's not just the beauty of the gardens that I love, it's everything about spring and what it represents to me.  I wrote a little bit about it last year, so if you want to read it go here.  This year we invited our friends Jeremy and Andrea and their two daughters Ellie and Aunika to come along with us.  It was a perfect afternoon!


hogle zoo

We went to the Hogle Zoo a few weeks ago.  As we pulled up Zion was so excited to see the animals.  We asked him what animals he wanted to see and he excitedly said horse, cow, pig and sheep.  We laughed and then explained that we weren't at the farm and that the zoo had more exotic animals.  To which he excitedly said he wanted to see a kangaroo.  Unfortunately the Hogle Zoo doesn't have a kangaroo either, but he was still excited once he saw the elephants, giraffes and tigers.  The polar bear stole the show, though.  He was hilarious and such a show off.  We can't wait to go again.

surprise baby shower

I have some of the sweetest girlfriends ever!  The group of girls I play bunco with surprised me with an early baby shower.  When I first joined the bunco group, I was the only girl who's husband didn't do summer sales for Elite.  Now there are a few other girls who's husbands no longer do sales, but the majority of the girls still leave for the summer.  This year a few of the girls went out early so we decided to cancel bunco in April and a few of us decided to just get together for dinner before the rest of them left for the summer.  At least that's what I thought was happening.  I rode with my friend Juliann and we met a few other girls at the Trolley.  After we got done eating, everybody parted ways and we drove home.  Jewels said she wanted to stop by her house really quick because she had a little gift for me, since she would be leaving that weekend and wouldn't be back until after the baby was born.  Not thinking anything of it we went back to her house.  When we walked in, I was totally surprised to see all of the girls that were at dinner with us plus a few other girlfriends there to surprise me with a baby shower.  It was so unexpected and very much appreciated.  They made some delicious desserts (Juliann's chocolate cake and Candice's fruit pizza... DELISH!), spoiled me and baby Kasen, and then we played a very clever game that Juliann made up.  It was so much fun to hang out with the girls one last time before everyone left for the summer.  Thanks to all the girls that came.  I definitely felt the love and I'm going to miss you this summer.

quick trip to idaho

The beginning of March our friends, the Barker family, moved to Meridian, Idaho which is just outside of Boise.  Bobby's parent's own Olson's Greenhouse, and they are expanding their company with new greenhouses in Idaho so they sent Nate to be in charge of all of them.  As happy as we are for the great opportunity for Nate and Bobby and their family, we were so sad to see them go.  They love to do stuff with the family as much as me and Zac do, so when we met them a little over a year ago we instantly became great friends.  The good news is that both Nate and Bobby's families live here in Utah County so they will be down a lot to visit.  We gave them a few weeks to get settled into their new place and then we decided to take a little trip up to Idaho to visit them the second week of April.  Zion was so excited to see his "best friends".  They have a little girl named Kennedee that is 7, and three boys, Brooks is 5, Beckam is just a month older than Zion, and Hudson is just 5 months old.  Zion plays so well with their kids, which makes it so fun to get together with them.  We spent the first night just visiting at their house.  Saturday we went and explored the new greenhouses, watched Brooks soccer game, went to a place called Wahooz! which is kind of like the Provo Beach Resort here, and then left the kids with a baby sitter that night and went out to dinner with just the adults.  It was a quick trip with lots of driving, but it was totally worth it to see how excited Zion was to see his friends, and for me and Zac to be able to catch up with ours.  We took our camera, but the only pictures I ended up taking were a couple quick phone pictures one morning when the boys were playing on the bunk beds.


easter weekend and little z's first broken bone

Easter weekend started out with a bang... a not so good bang.  We went out to lunch on Friday and Zion stood up on a chair and tipped it over smashing his finger between the solid wood chair and the cement floor.  It was horrible.  We rushed him to our doctor's urgent care clinic because there was a lot of blood that we couldn't get to stop and the fatty tissue of his finger tip was bulging out of a deep cut on the end of his finger.  Sure enough his finger was broken and it also needed stitches but because of the angle of the cut the doctor couldn't get them in his tiny finger.  For the next 3 weeks he had to wear a splint that had to be changed every day because of the cut underneath.  It was so sad to see him in so much pain.  The night time was terrible for about a week because he would roll around in his sleep and bump it and he would wake up screaming multiple times a night.

We tried to take his mind off of it and continue on with life as normal.  First thing Saturday morning we got up and went to the Spanish Fork egg hunt.  Zion's ibuprofen had worn off during the night so he was a sad kid when we first got there, but he cheered up after a little while.  Getting to sit in the Firetruck helped make him happy, and also winning a little tricycle in the egg hunt.  Plus, the Barker family came down from Idaho and went with us, so he was happy to see his "best friends".

That afternoon we went to my granny Houtz's house for her annual egg hunt and bbq with all of my family.  Zion had fun finding eggs with all of his cousins.

Sunday morning was pretty low key.  The Easter bunny had bought Zion a new bike, but since he won the tricycle at the SF egg hunt, decided that it would make a great birthday present in July.  We went to the park for a couple hours in the afternoon and stopped by my parent's house for a little while, but mostly we just relaxed as a family.


papa's 50th birthday surprise

My dad turned 50 on March 26th, so we decided to throw him a surprise Birthday party.  He requested sushi for his birthday dinner which worked out perfectly.  While he was at church we decorated the house, and then he went straight from church to Happy Sumo to meet us for dinner.  We all ate our sushi and had a great time visiting.  My dad didn't suspect a thing.  We had to stall a little bit because the guests weren't arriving until 6:00 and we were done eating before then.  A couple people ended up ordering extra rolls, and then my mom pretended she had an upset stomach and needed to stop at Walgreens to grab some medicine on the way home.  Me, Zac and my sisters drove separately so we went straight back to my parents house to get the final few things set up.  We had all of the guests park at the elementary school by my parents house so that there wouldn't be any cars when my mom and dad pulled up.  When my dad walked in the door he was absolutely shocked to have over 80 people yell "SURPRISE"!  We pulled it off perfectly and it was so much fun to be able to surprise him.  I think he was shocked at how many people were there.  My dad is so humble that I don't think he realizes how amazing he is and how much people genuinely love him and are grateful he's in the their lives.  It was such a fun evening and I'm thankful that so many people came and supported him on his special day.
surprised face

laughing once he figured out what was going on

my dad and his mom

some of the desserts

ball of fire

just a little bit of smoke

some of the guests

dad and mom

dad and his daughters

zion giving papa the picture he drew for him