Sunday, October 21, 2012

A day late and a dollar short

This whole not having a camera cord thing is getting to be a real nuisance, as I am finding it extremely hard to keep up with all of our amazing awesomeness without it. I'm sure you feel the same way about the situation. Because you are cool people--like us.

I laid Patton on the couch so I could go get ready one morning, and when I came out this is what I saw. These two are too cute together. Patton lights up whenever Bennett is around, and Bennett loves Patton almost to the point of suffocation at times. Bennett's new thing is to "hug" Patton (a little scary) and yell "I love this guy!" at the top of his lungs. Brotherly love at it's finest. I am one happy mommy.

Last weekend (actually, the same weekend as the fish pictures from the last blog post. This is getting all out of order in my head) Matt noticed that it was getting cool enough at nights that we probably needed to start covering the pumpkins we are trying to grow in our garden to protect them. And since he knows me well enough to know that I would never think to do this with blankets on an individual basis, he simply decided to make a temporary greenhouse. Matt is a smart guy (who married a lazy woman with no interest in gardening).

This is the beginning of the greenhouse. Bennett was very involved in this project and had his own tools out so he could work as well. I realized on this day that Bennett can name almost every tool Matt owns, what they are used for, and how to properly care for and store them. Boo-yah! Take that pre-school!

This is the middle of the project, and as you can tell, both Matt and I are in this picture...which means Bennett must have taken this picture when we were too busy to notice he had the camera.

 The inside from the door.

 Our okra plants and tiny baby pumpkins, all safe and warm. And yes. This is the best picture we have of me and Bennett together. Sad.

Because gutting a fish and building a greenhouse is not enough, Matt also made a fishing pole holder for the back of his brother's truck, who was very generous in letting Matt borrow it for the fishing trip weekend. *Patent Pending*. Thank you, Joe!

Right after Matt left us for another week in San Antonio, I came down with this horrendous cold thing which totally laid me out flat for a day and took my voice and energy for several more. It was pretty bad. But we made it through with the help of neighbors and friends and a lot of Tylenol, and now we are back to our normal selves. And just so you know, raising a three-year-old while having no voice is like telling a mime to train a pit bull. Scary.

Bennett is really into Halloween this year, which is unfortunate because my Halloween spirit seems to have fled the scene. I have no idea why, as this is usually my favorite holiday. I think maybe I am just too tired to be scary...or maybe I am so tired that I am already scary enough. Hmmmmm. But being the excellent mom that I am, I have faked my way through and still created a great experience for our boys, who should never miss out on free candy and carving pumpkins just because of me. Here are a few halloweenie things we have done:

Bennett's favorite part of Halloween is wearing costumes. And the boy can make some good ones. Here he is wearing all of my necklaces and all of his play necklaces (yep. Our son has necklaces) being a "witch." He has also discovered the joy of wigs, and has found that layering as many pairs of pants as possible creates a great costume, as well as simply wearing no clothes at all. I'm sure our neighbors appreciate this last one.

Last Thursday I took Bennett on a date to McDonald's for dinner and to see the movie, "Hotel Transylvania". We met up with my friend and her little girl at the movie and they had a great time together. Bennett tried to wear his "witch" costume inside the theater, but I convinced him that maybe it would get in the way of watching the movie and we should leave it in the car. He was a little disappointed, since (he told me) "All of the people will say, "Oh no, Bennett! You forgot your witch costume! And you look so awesome in your witch costume! You need to wear that more." High self-confidence runs in this family. The movie however, was perfect for him without too many scary parts, and he actually sat through the whole thing. Hooray for screen time.

Bennett and Aspen getting some dessert after the movie in our favorite ice cream parlor. These two crack me up.

My mom and dad sent us a Halloween package, and inside was a "Sid the Science Kid" DVD, which just happens to be one of Bennett's favorite shows, and which we just happened to have watched twelve times already. Ugh. On the movie, the kids make green slime (aka: cornstarch and water mixed with food-coloring) and this is one of our favorite Halloween activities now.

This weekend (which is still trapped on the camera) we went to our traditional pumpkin patch and picked out our jack-o-lanterns, which I cannot begin to describe how excited Bennett is about that, and finally decorated our house, which in Bennett's world translates into the fact that we are throwing a party. (I should really decorate for things more often.) We have also practiced eating lots of "trickortreat" candy, which is my favorite part of Halloween, hands down.

And last but not least, we got to go on the Story Time Firehouse Tour. This, obviously, was not a Halloween related thing, but I wanted to put it on here anyway. Bennett's little friend was there with us, and they were pretty cute holding hands through the whole tour.

Bennett and Harper. Halfway through this guy's speech about fire safety Bennett suddenly sprints to the middle of the circle, stopping the guy from talking, and loudly announces, "Hello! I'm Bennett! I'm three!" It was one of those moments when you are torn between pride and embarrassment for your adorable, yet highly interruptive child. I tried to err on the side of pride...

Inside the ambulance.

Showing his "Super Fireman Muscles"

My two firefighting magoos. I have discreetly removed myself from this image so as to save your eyesight and my personal pride (it was pretty gross, as I was still getting over that cold thing).

So that is what happened LAST week, not to be confused with THIS week, as those pictures are still trapped on our camera. Pretty much just a jumble of random events, but that is what makes up everyday life around here.

Everyday. Awesome. Life.
May it always be so.

Monday, October 15, 2012

That Handsome, Fisher-Guy

So you may be asking yourself, "Hey? Isn't Haley married?"
And the answer would be, why yes. Yes I am.
"So whatever happened to that great guy?" you may be thinking.
Well here. I will show you...

 Matt with his Career Course group in San Antonio. He is the second one in from the left. Every once in awhile they go out to local touristy places (The Alamo, the River Walk, the capital building in Austin, etc.) since most of these people are from all over the World and may not ever be in Texas again. Matt has seen these landmarks all his life, but takes great joy being free from schoolwork for a day while they see them. On that note, I feel it is important to mention here that Matt is super good at what he does, and he just had an interview with the General who told him his resume was "perfect" and that he was going to personally make sure Matt got where he wanted to go in his career. I married a smart guy :)

Matt on his motorcycle, about to head back up to San Antonio after visiting us at home one weekend. On that note, I feel it is important to mention here that this is the last picture we have of this motorcycle in the pristine condition that it was in, as Matt was in a (minor) accident this Friday, and we now have a very scratched, dented, and broken motorcycle instead. However, Matt is totally fine excepting a few bruises, and that's the important thing. Our insurance will cover the damages, and we are now in the process of car shopping. Oh life.    

Bennett "chasing" Daddy as he drives away. On that note, I feel it is important to mention here that Bennett chases anybody who comes to our home down the street until he can't see them anymore. Like a Labrador. This is why we don't need pets.

While the boys and I were in Oklahoma visiting Griffin and Ashland, Matt took a day off school to go on his traditional fishing trip to the coast with his friends. I wasn't there so I can't say too much about it, but I know that he had a great time and caught a lot of fish.

They actually go every year to the same little island that we just vacationed at a few weeks ago. Here is a shot of the pier that they spent their days on.

 Matt and a friend catching a fish. I don't really know any of the people Matt went with on this trip with, except one man I met while we were living in San Antonio three years ago--he is in his fifties. Matt has an old soul.

Matt and his buddy, showing off their fish. These are called "red drum fish" (maybe) and they are really big. (You know, Matt is going to be very disappointed when he reads this blog. I'm sure he has a lot more to say than what I am writing. Sorry, Mattie!)

Bennett and Matt's "frisch" (why Bennett says fish in this way is a mystery to me). This guy, head to tail, was bigger than Bennett. Pretty cool. Bennett thought so, too. As you can see, he is holding Frisch's hand in this picture. They were great friends.

Bennett touching the fish's eye, because it was slimy and he liked that. He also gave this thing a kiss before I could stop him, and I got it on video and it was awesome. I just can't upload the video for some reason, so you'll have to imagine him planting a big wet one on it's head, and then me gagging in the background. Good stuff.

Time to filet our friend. This was our "between Conference sessions entertainment". Despite Bennett's worried look in this picture, he actually loved helping Matt do this and was very involved in the whole process. Between all the hunting and fishing Matt does, Bennett is definitely aware that food does not grow in the grocery store.

In the end we got about ten pounds of fresh fish out of this, and since I now know that I really like fish when it is fresh, I am excited to eat it...once Matt comes home and cooks it for us. I am still learning that part.

And this is just Patton. Because he is a part of our family too, and we love him. 

So Career Course is halfway over now, and in another month and a half you will no longer need to assume that I am a single mother of two. And I will no longer need to feel that I am a single mother of two. And we will all be very happy. Because Career Course is a great, essential part of our career, but I really like having a husband, too.

Way to go, Mattie. 
You are amazing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


This last August my entire Hazard family came down to our home for a fun-filled time of togetherness. You might not remember this happening, since I never wrote about it in great detail on this blog. Because I'm good like that.

Anyway, when everybody left, Matt and I looked around our house and realized we had an assortment of leftovers in the form of shoes, jewelry, blankets, golf clubs, camera chargers, etc. So we mailed everything we could to the appropriate owners...but you can't mail golf clubs (well you can, but it's a little pricey). Luckily, they were Griffin's golf clubs, and they live just a few hours up the road from us in Oklahoma. So Tuesday morning last week I loaded up the car with enough stuff to supply a small island and we headed that way.

The trip there was excellent. Being by myself on an 8 hour trip with two boys--one of whom has a bladder the size of a kidney bean, and the other who is eating every three hours on the dot--was a little bit daunting to me at first. But you never know what you can do until you try, and so we tried. And we succeeded. The ipad was converted into a movie theater, Bennett's bladder held out until all major rest stops were made, and Patton slept and ate like clockwork.

Super mom :)

We arrived at Griffin and Ashland's in time to eat some great dinner (Ashland, I still need that recipe!), take a walk, and let the kids play before bedtime.

 Patton and Darcy, practicing their "smile and wave" routine.

Bennett and Zoey, practicing their "Look sorry so they'll let us off of timeout" routine. (Zoey is picking her nose because she got in trouble. It's sort of a nervous habit with her. Love this girl!) 

The next morning we re-packed my car with four car seats, three adults, two strollers, and a healthy dose of excitement, and made the trip into the city to go to the Tulsa State Fair.

 Excited Fair Face!

  We went to the Expo Center first to see all the cool booths and get free samples of ice cream. They had this massage chair there was on a fabulous sale from $6,000 down to $3,000. Griffin almost had me strap it to my car to take back to his home, but Ashland put her foot down. However, we did take advantage of our adult status and asked the guy if we could sit in it. And. It. Rocked. This thing scanned your body so it knew exactly how hard to press and where, played music, and had a remote control the size of a dinner plate. Well worth a measly $3,000.

 C'mon, Ashland! You know you love it (and I want to visit you...)

The next stop was a giant warehouse that had pigs and sheep giving live birth. But we decided to forgo that aspect of the fair and headed straight for the petting zoo. Which was pretty cool, since they just let you walk around in a big cage with all the animals loose, including llamas, pigs, goats, chickens, ducks, sheep, and even a kangaroo thing. It was the most impressive petting zoo I have ever been in. But, of course, even with all the cool animals there were to choose from, Bennett and Zoey liked the goats the best.

   Why is it always goats..?

Darcy and Patton were a little too small for the goats to recognize as humans and not as food, so Griffin stayed outside with them. What a good dad/uncle.  

"Smile, Zoey!"

After that, we found another warehouse that was full of nothing but kid's activities. They had several fenced-off areas, and each area had a different thing to do inside of it. Bennett and Zoey loved this place so much we ended up spending most of the rest of the day here.

The bike area, where Zoey and Bennett unleashed their inner Hell's Angels.

The block area, where Griffin and Bennett built a giant tower, and where Bennett will probably go when he dies if he lives a good life. 

Griffin said all he did was show Bennett how to put the pieces together, and then Bennett made the rest. It was pretty impressive, and they had a small audience gathered when they finally knocked it over.

The nursing area, where Patton and Darcy shared a discreet lunch.

All fed and ready to roll. 
You can see the play place type area behind Ashland.
The sandbox area, where Patton discovered he loves the feeling of sand between his little toes...also the area where Bennett threw a fistful of sand in a kids face, and we decided it was time to go. Oh Bennett.

After a talk about why we don't throw sand and a sincere apology to the little boy and his teacher (he was on a school field trip), we headed back outside to the vendors and found ourselves some lunch. And then it was time to head home. Before we left though, I told Bennett that he could choose one ride to go on, and he immediately chose the ferris wheel. ("Like a fair, Mom! Fair, ferris wheel! They rhyme!") But the good ferris wheel happened to be clear on the other side of the fair, by our car. And it was a long walk. And we were ready to go. So I convinced Bennett that the Sky Ride, which was like a ski lift gondola, was way cooler than the ferris wheel, because it took you even higher than anything. And it was true--the Sky Ride was way cooler than the ferris wheel--it just also happened to land us directly back at the entrance near our car. So we all hopped aboard and Bennett was a happy little boy.

The view of some of the fair from the Sky Ride. It's a pretty big deal.

Bennett loved the ride. He was just a little bit nervous whenever we went over the cable wheels because it made the ride bump. He insisted I hold on tight to his hand the whole time, and would giggle a nervous little laugh each time we hit one. It made me smile.

Zoey, however, had no fear whatsoever of the ride, and had her head out the window the whole way.

Once we landed we chased Bennett down (who was making a break for it back into the fair), made it safely back to our car (after Bennett almost got hit by a truck because he wasn't listening), and took long naps (all except Bennett, who has boundless amounts of energy). It was a very busy day. That night after the kids were in bed, we stayed up late talking and I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that nobody was sitting in timeout or in need of my attention. That is my new definition of a "vacation."

We spent one more day in Oklahoma, doing nothing really but having fun doing it. We went to Story Time at the cute little library they have, watched a movie, took naps (all except Bennett, who has boundless amounts of energy...oh, and me. Because I'm his mom) and had the missionaries over for dinner. At some point we decided we were being too lazy, so we kicked things up a notch with some yoga and Zumba off YouTube, and then Griffin made us all do push-ups and sit-ups for one minute. We are some buff people.

Griffin "coaching" Ashland, who I am pretty sure is telling him to keep his coaching to himself in this picture.

Friday morning I packed the car again and we said good-bye. And then we started to drive. And drive. And drive.

And drive. For some reason the trip home took FOREVER!! Bennett and Patton were both awesome and slept almost the entire first half of the trip (which is when I decided that if Bennett sleeps so great in a car seat, then it could certainly come inside the house when necessary. Best decision ever). But it just seemed so slow to me!

Finally, around the Dallas/Fort Worth area, we were passing the Texas Motor Speedway when we suddenly saw about four planes flying in formation with colored smoke trailing behind them. Then they started doing all these crazy tricks and stunts. It was awesome! I guess they were the NASCAR air show people practicing for the next event, and even though I don't really care about NASCAR, I would pay money just to watch these guys again. It was lunchtime and both boys were awake now anyway, so I decided to take advantage of the situation and we pulled over next to the highway to have a little spontaneous picnic.

Bennett and Patton on the McDonald's/Flying J gas station front lawn.

One of the airplanes. These suckers move fast, so this was all I could get. But just so you know, it was awesome. And really, really loud.

Lunch and a show. No better break from driving than that!
(As a side note, I just realized Patton's onesie says, "Mommy's Big Guy" and Bennett's t-shirt says, "Property of Mom". I guess I was feeling particularly possessive on this day.)

It was super fun...but then we had to get back in the car and back in the traffic and we went at a snail's pace through all of Fort Worth and all of Waco and at a few other littler cities in between. Ugh, it was terrible! At one point, Bennett started saying things like, "Well, Mom. I guess we better start walking." It was bad. We did finally make it home TEN HOURS LATER though, and it felt soooooo good to go to bed that night!

Because we always love visiting our family and our friends, but we always love coming home, too.

And the important thing is:
the golf clubs were returned.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Yes, I did this

And you would too, if you were me.

Gotta love that kid.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Insert Clever Title Here (I am really tired)

Bennett has become quite independent lately. He has to do everything by himself. Taking a bath, getting dressed, getting in and out of the car, putting away his toys, opening food containers, brushing his teeth, setting the alarm system...everything. So it was no surprise when I came out from changing Patton's diaper one day to find this...

Bennett laying out everything he would need to make his own lunch. The great thing is, he actually created a very nutritious, balanced meal for himself.

A peanut butter sandwich, baby pickles, Ritz crackers, an apple, two different types if applesauce, apple juice (Bennett really likes apples), teddy grahams, and an Oreo cookie. My job as a mom here is complete.

 Last Wednesday my friend, Sarah, called to ask if we wanted to come with her and her kids to a USO Sesame Street live performance showing on base. Of course we said yes, because we love our friends and we love Elmo. It was a pretty cute play with a good message for military families about moving away from friends, but mostly I think Bennett just liked playing with the free light toy they gave him and dancing to the music. An afternoon well-spent either way.

 Elmo and gang.

Patton, getting in on the USO doo rag action.

Bennett and his friend, Camden, playing with their Elmo lights and dancing. I actually have a really funny video of this, but we haven't uploaded it yet. Maybe I'll come back later and add it. These two have got some moves.

 I could just eat this little face right up!

Last weekend was the General Relief Society Meeting. On the morning of the broadcast, our stake did a 5K run based on the theme, "I can do hard things." Originally I had planned on missing this event because we would be visiting Matt in San Antonio. However, things worked out to where Matt was able to come up to see us instead, and I entered myself in the run last-minute. I told myself that I didn't care how fast I went, the goal was to never stop running until the finish line. And I did it! Granted, my cross country days are long behind me and I almost threw up after I was done, but I did it! And not only that, but I came in pretty close to the front of the pack, too. I was so proud of myself! I think I will make it a standing rule from now on to only race when the competition is a bunch of women pushing strollers and who are over the age of fifty. It was a real ego booster. 

 Bennett and Camden again, sharing an umbrella in the downpour before the race started. It was pretty wet the whole day, but I would take that any time over the heat that could have been.

You'll have to click on this picture to really be able to see it, but this is the starting line. Bennett ran with me until he reached Matt (holding the camera) and then I was on my own from there. Matt said that after I was out of sight though, they started walking the course and Bennett ran almost all of the way. Apparently we might have another runner in the family. Which is good, because Bennett could really benefit from letting his energy out in a productive way.

Trying not to throw up at the end. Yay me!

Have a great week!