Monday, December 6, 2010

Abby's imaginary friend

I think it started at the beginning of this summer (2010) when Abby started talking about her friend "Jenny." I just assumed it was a friend she knew through Primary, but then as I started asking questions about Jenny I soon realized that Jenny was Abby's imaginary friend. When I or anyone else asks the following questions about Jenny, this is what I am told. Sometimes the details vary, but mostly they stay pretty much the same:

How old is Jenny?: "5"
Where does Jenny live?: "in town"
What color of hair does she have?: "purple and pink"
Does Jenny have a Mommy and a Daddy?: "no"
Does Jenny have any sisters or brothers?: "Yes, 11, one of her brother's name is "Thackerhea" and her sister is "Freakethera"
Does Jenny have any pets?: Yes, her dog's name is "Brucho" and her cat's name "Brenzelum."

Abby is always telling us about the adventures she has with "Jenny", she is always saying, "Mommy, the other day Jenny and I......." or when she is getting in trouble about something she did, she will sometimes say, "Well Jenny does that." The best is when she calls Jenny on her Cinderella phone and they set up playdates, and today she topped it all when she said, "Mommy, I just texted Jenny on my Cinderella phone." So apparently our daughter is quite creative and high tech! ;)

Monday, June 14, 2010

You can say that again!

So Abby has a new phrase that she continues to use over and over again, "You can say that again!" I have no idea where she heard this or picked up on it, but there have been a couple of really cute situations where she keeps using it.
Jake's mom was telling her how silly she was because she was playing with her and Abby was being funny and Jake's mom said, "Abby, you are so silly, your sense of humor is so funny", and Abby replied without missing a beat, "You can say that again!" We all laughed so hard because it fit the situation perfectly and it was hysterical. Then this morning she was helping me with Tate and I said to her, "Thanks Abby, your are such a good helper, you're the best!" and again she turned to me and said, "You can say that again!" What a cutie she is, she is getting so big and starting to look like a "big girl". She is growing like a weed, in fact now that it's really starting to warm up we pulled out all of the shorts and sundresses that I had put away for this summer that I bought last year for her to wear this summer and a lot of the stuff is too short! She has hit a big growth spurt and is getting so long and I had kind of noticed, but it didn't really hit home until shoes and clothes started not fitting.
We also had her dance recital last week that I will post pics and video from, but before it I was going through tapes for our camcorder and trying to find one that had some space on it and I got caught up watching footage of her when she was a baby, her first birthday, Christmas, etc. and she just looked so little, even in last year's Christmas footage she looked so little so it's crazy how time really has flown by. We love our Abby girl she is such a character!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I apologize for the bad lighting, and the semi-messy kitchen (I swear my garbage isn't always that full) but I wanted to share this video. Tate has discovered he loves to squeal especially when we play peek-a-boo with him. I also want to document his first words were "da, da" and "ma, ma"which is normal, but he also says "bee" for our dog Bree, and "up", "yeah", and said a mumbled version of "book" a few times. He is really starting to jabber and his personality shines through more and more each day.

Tate is One!

I can't believe that our Tate is now 1-year-old!! He is such a cute and smiley boy and makes everyone happy when he is around them. He honestly has been such an easy and mellow kid up to this point and I hope he turns out to be a pretty easy's to hoping. :) We really enjoyed celebrating Tate's 1st birthday this month. On his actual birthday Jake was out of town so I made cinnamon rolls for his birthday treat, and then the Sunday following his birthday we had family over to have cake and ice cream. Our family was so generous and gave him some fun gifts and it was fun to celebrate with them. I wanted Tate's cake to be chocolate, but when I went to make it I didn't have any chocolate cake mixes left so we went with rainbow chip. Tate didn't really know what to think of it, but finally dug in. He is still as big as ever, and not really crawling or walking at this point. He is doing an army crawl and shuffle backwards thing, and I am sure he will be crawling like crazy in no time. At his 1 year checkup he was:

Height: 33 inches--90th percentile
Weight: 25.5 lbs.--95th percentile
Head circumference: 19 cm--99th percentile

We love you Tater-bug, here's to many more happy birthdays!!

enjoying the candle on his birthday cinnamon roll.

The birthday cake (thanks to Daddy it looked great!)
Tate trying to get Mommy with his messy hands

Mommy and Daddy with the birthday boy!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Abby's tonsilectomy and adenoidectomy

Abby has had enlarged tonsils since she was about 2 years old. Any time she would go in to see the doctor they would look in her throat and say, "Her tonsils are pretty big!" So after watching them for over a year, having her get sick multiple times, and continue to have problems with sleeping and eating we decided it was time to get them taken out. So on March 18th we went in to get them taken out. I will be honest I was pretty nervous because I knew the rehab could be rough and let's face it, Abby can sometimes be a whiny child so to add to that could pretty much put me over the edge. But more importantly this would be the first time Abby would be put out completely with anesthesia, and that is always scary to me. We talked a lot with Abby before hand about what to expect so it would hopefully go smooth. We told her how she would get to wear a "cool mask" and a "fun nightgown" and then afterward she would get to eat lots of popsicles.
Jake gave her a blessing the night before we went into the surgical center bright and early at 7:00 in the morning. Well when we got there she was fine until they brought us back to change her clothes. We got her changed and she started telling me that she didn't want to lay down and she didn't want the mask. I tried to cheer her up about it and when it came time to take her back I felt bad because the nurse took her hand and they went through the doors and after the doors shut I could hear Abby start crying and saying "I want my Mommy!" which broke my heart. So I went to the waiting room and after about 45 minutes the doctor came and spoke with me and told me she had trouble going down with the anesthesia because she didn't want to wear the mask, but everything else went great.

They took me back to see her in the recovery area when she was coming out of the anesthesia, and as I was walking up to where she was laying I could hear her whimpering to the nurse and saying, "I want my Mommy." Luckily this time I could see her and when she saw me she started crying more, which I guess is to be expected. She was still pretty groggy from the anesthesia so I just layed with her on her bed and told her stories to keep her mind off the IV in her hand, which was bugging her quite a bit. She was so sweet and she told me, "Mommy, I didn't like the mask" which made me laugh. We were only at the surgical center for about an hour after her surgery and then headed home. The first day she was home was actually not bad at all, she just layed on the couch and watched movies and started to perk up a little that night. All she wanted were popsicles, cheetos and a little bit of pudding, so that's what we gave her. She was up a lot that first night, and had a rough second day and threw up a couple of times, but the worst has been the nights. It may be because the wounds are scabbing or for some reason I think she panics when she can't swallow or something but she would wake up crying and sometimes screaming. One night it was so bad she didn't sleep more than like 3 hours the whole night, but last night went really well and today she woke up almost back to her old self, although she has a little bit of a higher voice now, which is pretty cute, but we don't know if that will last.

Today we went to see the doctor for Abby's postop appointment and on our way there Abby was telling me how she wanted to push the button on the "elligator" (which she loves to do of course) and I corrected her and said, "No honey it's called an elevator, with a "V". Abby then replied, "No Mommy, it's like alligator, but it's an elligator". I laughed so hard, that girl seriously cracks me up! What an experience this was!!

Here she is kind of dopey on her pain medicine chompin on cheetos......hey, whatever keeps her happy!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas card and letter 2009

We sent some of these in the mail, but missed some family and friends so I thought I would post it here along with our letter. Jake came to me one week before Christmas and said, "I think we should do a Christmas card and letter." Seriously dude a little heads up would be nice! I thought we just weren't going to do one this year, but I am glad we did. You see I have a love hate relationship with Christmas cards/letters---I love to get them, but don't necessarily love to put them together to send them out, especially since my master mailing list was on our previous hard drive so I had to start from scratch! Also I don't like sending out things telling people how great we think we are or how perfect our children are, because we all know that is the furthest from the truth....ok maybe my kids are semi-perfect :) hopefully our letter didn't come across that way. Jake really chipped in and was kind enough to write the letter and I hurried and ordered cards so we could try to get them out before Christmas. If we missed you we are sorry, and if you would like one sent to you via mail next year, leave me your address so you can be added to the mailing list :)
I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and has a wonderful New Year!!!

Merry Christmas! December 2009
We hope that this letter finds you and your family enjoying the holidays and celebrating a successful passing of 2009! Indeed we have enjoyed 2009, and are looking forward to a great 2010! The biggest thing that has happened to our little family in 2009....remains the biggest thing in our family! THE TATER-BUG!!! "And in the blue corner...weighing in at 9 lbs at his introduction on earth, March 4, 2009....Tate Speed Barben!!" (Middle name after his Grandpa who is nicknamed "Speed.") With a rough start in the NICU, our little champ fought hard and 9 months later has come back with a bang! Currently weighing in at 2 lbs and sporting 18 month clothes...yes...for those of you who did the math there, he is twice the size he should be and commonly receives comments such as "Good Heavens, he's a tank" or "What are you feeding this kid?" Perhaps its the weight he carries, perhaps his older sister steals his thunder, whatever the cause he is the easiest and happiest baby ever. Seriously, if we would have had him first we would be ruined for life! He is quick to smile and loves to snuggle. He loves his Jumparoo, which is great because he needs the workout...although in reality it's the Jumparoo getting the real workout! They don't make bungees that strong! He loves our chocolate lab Bree; it is a common thing to see the two of them snuggled up n the front room floor together while Tate plays with her hair. I think the feeling is mutual on both sides; our lab is so tender with him and fun to watch. Tate is sitting up now, jabbering like crazy, and of course with the most obvious...eating anything and everything that gets in front of him! That said, his favorite thing of all is playing with his older sister is so fun to see them interact and giggle at each other, obviously this won't always be the case so we are enjoying it while it lasts!

Abby is now 3, potty trained, and becoming such a big girl! Honestly there are days that Allison and I are just amazed at her growth and personality development. It is truly an honor and privilege to be a witness to our children's lives. For those of you who know Abby personally, you know that "calm" isn't in her vocabulary. She has two speeds: 100 mph or asleep. Her mind works so quickly and she is full of questions about everything we do and see, she truly never stops going! We love her to death and hope that she continues to always have a desire to learn new things. She is without question the comedy in our home. I could finish this letter with one-liners and anecdotal stories about her easily, but you can find all of that on our blog or Facebook instead. She has developed a true love of music and it is common to hear her singing constantly throughout the day. She has also been taking dance lessons and loves it. Her favorite thing to do however is play dress up. She has several princess costumes that she must try on 3-4 times per day, and she never forgets to accessorize with earrings, necklaces and bracelets, followed with, "How do I look?" However, despite her "girly" nature, she also loves to go on rides with Dad on the Rhino and she is the first to greet Dad when he returns from hunting to say, "Whatcha get Dad?" She shares my love of the outdoors and the wildlife in it. We took several trips to the mountains this year together, seat-belted into her seat on the Rhino, it wasn't uncommon to do 100 miles in a day with her. She loved it, just as long as there was licorice, juice, and high speeds everything was peachy!

As for Allison and I , we have spent the year just enjoying the heck out of our kids. We did a lot of family things together this year including camp outs, boating, trips to southern Utah and California, long Rhino rides through Utah's mountains and more. It has been so much fun. Allison has really developed her talent for cooking this year and has experimented with several things, and I must say I have been very impressed with what she has come up with! She is a great cook, which is important because I love being the taste tester! She works from home in the evenings as a medical transcriptionist and has also been involved with daily activities with Abby and Tate. They have play dates and visit parks, libraries, museums, the zoo, and go swimming together while I am at work. Although I would love to join them, I am grateful for a wife that is determined to share experiences with our children. I know that it has its challenges, but it is important to her so she does it. I am still working for Marketstar, and grateful to have work at all. Today's economic situation has not been kind to some of our close friends so we count our blessings every day that we have work at all. This year has been one of travel for me personally. Work has taken me many places, and though it presents its challenges while I am away, it has also given me some perspective on the world and makes me grateful for what I have at home and the lifestyle I have chosen. When work isn't keeping me busy, the Young Men's program in our ward have. With Sunday morning meetings, Wednesday activities, fundraisers, camp outs, service projects, Court of Honors, and many other things, there is never a dull moment for me when I am not working. That said, I wouldn't trade it for the world. My Young Men have taught me far more than I could ever teach them.

May we all remember our Savior as we celebrate his birth and try to be more like him in this coming year. We love and think of you often! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

---The Barbens