Friday, November 5, 2010

Our missionary is HOME!

 My dear brother Nick is home from his mission as of this past Tuesday. He was called to the Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia mission. He served there for over a year, but due to issues with the church (and all religious institutions) not being able to renew American 'work' visas, he was sent to the Portland, OR mission and has been there the past 6 months. 
Reading Nick's letters and watching his testimony develop these past 2 years has been such a blessing in my life. He worked so hard and served the people on his mission with such diligence and selflessness. I know what he did was not easy (as with all missions) as he battled bitter cold, terrible food, rejection, and I am sure days of feeling lonely and homesick, but he did it with such a joyful and humble heart. I want to thank Nick for his great sacrifice and example. Daniel is already excited to serve a mission like his big uncle Nick! Love you buddy and can't wait to see you in a few days :) 

"I believe there is nothing in all the world that can compare with the joy that a man feels when he realizes that he has been the instrument in the hands of the living God of reaching some honest heart, inspiring in it a love of God and the desire to serve Him."
Heber J. Grant 

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Daniel has been potty-trained since the beginning of Sept. and it has been so nice not to change 2 sets of diapers! I didn't so much mind the baby ones (James's) but Daniel's seemed man-sized!!! (yes...this is so gross). 
I think one of the huge motivators was underwear. He saw his cousin Jordan wearing very cool Cars, Toy Story, Nemo, and Walle underwear, and he just had to be part of that fun. He soon realized that when he went potty in the toilet, he was rewarded by wearing underwear, and did not have to put a diaper on. I had no idea how motivating this could be!! So we started (as way of encouraging him) asking him "what cool underwear do you have on today Daniel"? He would proudly reply, and wearing the magical new underpants seem to keep him dry all day. 
So a few weeks ago we where at Wegman's (a fabulous grocery store) and the women at the check-out offered Daniel a sucker. I turned to him and said "what do you say to the nice lady?" and he thought for a minute and said "what underwear do you have on today?". I almost died!!!!!! 

Here Daniel is modeling his new winter look. I am sure he has on some very cool underwear.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Halloween!!

 Our crime fighting duo, Batman and Robin, had the best Halloween! On Saturday we went to the Trunk or Treat at the church, and Sunday night we walked around the block as a family, stopping at some of our wonderful neighbor's houses for a little Trick or Treat. Daniel could not have been more proud of his awesome Batman costume (made with love from by Grandma Bigler), and James made one cute little Robin! It was a great weekend.
Saturday afternoon Daniel and I made some Halloween crafts

Daniel loved the little spider we made

Batman + Robin are ready for the Trunk or Treat!

Look at this handsome Batman!

We tried to have Robin wear his super-mask, but he was not so excited about it

Daniel even tried to get him to wear it

Trunk or Treat!

Daniel's buddy Lucas showed up as Batman too! They both thought that was awesome.

And Lucas's little sister Olivia was Robin too! 
The pumpkin face toss

Cake Walk

So many adorable kiddos!

After church we carved a pumpkin

James was not loving it. He kept sticking his hand on the gooey insides of the pumpkin and then crying.

But he did love finding the Halloween candy!

Getting ready to go trick or treating- Rochester style. It was snowing, so both boys wore 3 layers each!

Then Batman jumped on his partner Robin

And we had to have a super-hero time out

Robin in his favorite ride- the red wagon. Superheroes can still fight crime with a binky in their mouth- right?

Then Batman had a melt down right as we where leaving

But he quickly perked up when we mentioned candy

We had a great night. Our neighbors were so sweet. One of them even purchased 'baby cookies' especially for James and 2 others invited us in for treats and to warm up (it was snowing). We live on the friendliest block! Hope that you all had a great Halloween too!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Things are pretty much back to normal at the Richards's house. Daniel seems to be almost 100% and James has decided to work on some tricks to get more attention (Daniel has been getting most of it these past 2 days). We even took them on a short wagon ride to the grocery store today to drop off a redbox movie. Bryson is back to work tomorrow, but the good news is I think Daniel will be able to participate in all the Halloween festivities this year!! My mom made him the coolest Batman costume, and I was disappointed when we had to schedule his surgery so close to Halloween. Probably no crunchy candy this year for Daniel, but a sucker and some chocolate should be fine. I am sure your kids are getting excited for this weekend! I hope you all have so much fun!

A video of silly James

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Surgery Update

Daniel's surgery went well today and he seems to be feeling great! 
Daniel was so cute putting on his hospital pajamas and had a great time walking around looking at all the other patients in his Spiderman slippers. Before he was taken back to the OR, they gave him a small amount of midazolam (to calm him) and before we knew it he was laughing, blowing bubbles with his mouth, and acting as though he was intoxicated or something-it was pretty funny. 
When they picked him up to take him to the OR I became a little emotional. I did not expect to start crying, but I could not help it. It was very difficult for me not to go with him. Luckily, Bryson was there to comfort me. 
An hour later he was done! It was successful and Daniel had no problem waking up from anesthesia. The only thing he kept saying was "my eyes don't work!". The gave him some more pain meds and he calmed down and asked to watch a movie. Soon after he reported to me that his eyes where working just fine. He even mentioned to me while in our post-op room "Mom, this is a great room! We should come here again".

And he has been doing surprisingly well today. He finished off 8 servings of red jello in the matter of a few hours, ice cream, popsicles, and gelato. He was even jumping around the house this afternoon (I am sure this was an after effect from all the sugar). He did want to eat bread and cereal tonight, but we were able to make him happy by getting him a milkshake. Hopefully he feels this good tomorrow! We are so grateful that things went so well- what a blessing :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Super Hero

My little super-hero is having surgery tomorrow morning. He is having his tonsils and adenoids removed due to sleep apnea and obstructed breathing. We realized this Spring that he was struggling with this when we noticed him snoring like an old man and waking himself up at night. The pediatrician recommended that Daniel undergo a sleep study, so the two of us spent the night in a sleep center in August. Daniel was hooked up to a bazillion monitors and still amazingly fell asleep (I am sure the movies, chocolate, and popcorn he was allowed to eat in bed helped a little!). The results came back that he indeed needed to have the surgery.
I have been dreading this day for weeks and weeks! His doctor performs dozens of these surgeries every week, so I know he is in good hands, but I still cannot help feeling very anxious. I think I am most worried about the anesthesia, but again, he is going to well taken care of. Please just keep him in your prayers tonight,and I will give an update in the near future about how our little 'mr. incredible' is doing. 

from the night we slept at the sleep center

Monday, October 25, 2010

Grandma & Stokoe Pumpkin Farm

We are so grateful that my mom flew all the way from Las Vegas to spend a few days with us and to celebrate James's 1st birthday! She came at one of the best times of year in Rochester- Fall. My new favorite place for the kiddos is Stokoe farms. I discovered it when Shannon & Jordan came to visit and had to bring my mom there. Fall is my favorite season and there is no better place to be than Rochester!
mom & daniel with the pumpkins

the burlap sac slide

the cutest little piglets

And today we went to James's first year check-up. Here are his stats:

height: 31 1/2 inches
weight: 23 lbs 10 oz

Despite all the 'stomach issues' that he has had since birth, he is growing so well. Luckily he has been doing much better (he seems to be growing out of it) and continues to be our happy little guy :)