Ryan’s 3rd Birthday

February 10, 2014

IMG_2378Ryan loves animals, so for his birthday, we invited family to join us at the zoo. I have a good friend that is amazing at face-painting, and she did all the kid’s faces before we headed over to the zoo.


It was such a hot day that the kids (and parents) were sweating like crazy. It was absolutely necessary that the kids didn’t touch their faces since the paint was water-based and would rub off.  Noah and Caylor ended up washing their face off before we got to the zoo since we were all playing in the park while we waited for everyone else to get their faces painted. Their paint was mostly rubbed off by the time we were ready to leave. Amazingly, Ryan and Olivia’s faces were somewhat still recognizable as a “puma” and “tiger” at the end of our trip to the zoo. 1185315_10151813909056355_1889363120_n

IMG_2406We got to see a good portion of the animals before heading back to Trent and Shannon’s house. (Trent and Shannon were nice enough to have us over to their house for the birthday party since our house was “on the market” and we never knew when someone might want to stop and take a look at it).

We had a great evening with food (including raspberry cake) and presents. I have such a fun family that I am so glad we got to live close to for a while.

IMG_0802Ryan is such a joy to have around. He is an amazing big brother and is so helpful and kind. We love him so much and were so happy we got to celebrate him in our lives.


2013 Summer Trip to California

February 10, 2014

We went to see Adam’s family this past summer and got to do some fun things. Since I have not been keeping up with posting events then this will just gloss over the events of our trip. We had a really great time and really enjoyed the time we got to spend with family there. We got to spend a whole day at the beach visiting with Adam’s family and extended family. The water was a bit cold and so we spent most of the time burying Ryan or Adam in the sand. IMG_0416

We also visited the San Juan Capistrano Mission. They had two koi ponds there and we purchased some fish food. Ryan had a blast watching the fish munch on the food. The mission was neat to see and it brought back a few memories of seeing it as a kid with my own family. IMG_0381IMG_0397

We took a day trip to go wake-boarding and tubing on the lake. Ryan had a great time, and Heber was surprisingly good. Adam got to brush up on wake-boarding, and I always enjoy tubing. photo 2 (2) photo 1 (2) photo 3 (2) IMG_0453

We also visited Sea World while we were there. Ryan loves animals and loved getting to see some of the larger sea animals like the killer whales, dolphins, pilot whales, walruses, and beluga whales. IMG_0439 IMG_0444 IMG_0450

We also checked for low tide and got up extra early to see all the fun stuff at the tide pools. (notice Ryan’s pjs under his clothes. We threw some clothes on, grabbed some fruit and headed out the door to see everything). We found a bunch of hermit crabs, star fish and Adam was sure he saw an octopus. IMG_0419

We are so lucky to have family that live in such a beautiful place.


February 10, 2014

Yes, Adam should be writing this post, since he was the one who went on this trip, but since this is as far as he got on the post,

“As part of my MBA program there are several classes offered that mainly consist of an international trip.  I wanted to go on one, but the ones I wanted to go on were scheduled during spring break which is when Heber’s due date was, so I decided I wouldn’t be able to go on one.  Then, after many of the trips already happened, they announced another one going to Israel, so I jumped on it.  The title of the course was “Doing Business in Israel”, and focused on the business environment in the country.  It was a 10 day trip, spent mainly in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.”

then I will finish it.

Adam had an awesome time and got to see some really neat things. He also said he loved the food. Hopefully, someday he will come back and add to this post. Along with the companies he visited with his MBA program, he also got to do some sight-seeing. He said he was amazed at how there is a church on top of everything now, and nothing is how he ever pictured it. The mount of olives is covered in tombs and the garden of Gethsemane is a few olive trees inside the courtyard of a catholic church. He was amazed and humbled at the opportunity he had to visit there and gained a new perspective on the culture and heritage of that area. In a letter her wrote to me he said,

“The longer I’m here, the more I realize that this country only exists because God willed it to exist. The day they had their independence, with a few hundred thousand population and hardly any weapons, five neighboring countries with organized armies declared war on them simultaneously and have continued to do so. They live in a desert without any natural resources to speak of. They have not only survived, but thrived, and there is no explanation I can see other than divine intervention, just like the establishment and growth of America.”

Jerusalem is on an extremely short list of places I would really like to see someday, so Adam promised to take me back there sometime if we ever get the chance. IMG_0172IMG_0204

Weekend Adventure

May 19, 2013

photo (18)With the weather finally warming up, we recently were able to get outdoors and go on a hike. Adam and I were both really impressed that Ryan walked the whole time. The hike took a bit longer than we expected since there were a few “Ryan” detours, but it was really fun. We got to see a snake, birds, spiders, worms and more.

photo (25)We also went to an exhibit at the Krohn Conservatory called “The Butterflies of Morocco.” It was so much fun! I really like going to the conservatory anyway and went last year with Meg when she came to visit. I love seeing so many different plants and flowers. So in addition to seeing all the neat foliage, there were hundreds of butterflies that you could hold. We had a blast trying to get the butterflies to land on our fake flowers. They also had some really interesting tidbits on Morocco, and I learned some things about argan oil and spices.photo (27)photo (24)photo (26)

photo (22)Updates on the kids: Ryan is doing awesome with potty training. He is really getting the hang of it, and although he is in no way independent and able to do it by himself yet, he is successfully wearing underwear all day. I also recently got some puzzles (25 pieces) and Ryan loves to do them. Not only is he great at putting them together, the puzzles are helping him to learn all the states and letters.photo (20)photo (19)

Heber recently dropped his middle of the night feeding, so he eats at 10 pm and wakes at 6:30. I am loving the 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Heber has a great disposition and loves to smile. photo (21)photo (15)

photo (28)photo (16)I find myself frequently reflecting on my fabulous family and how much I enjoy spending time with them. Oh, and this was my Mother’s Day breakfast and it was delicious.

Dead Sea Scrolls and Family Visits

April 24, 2013

photo (9)For my birthday, I had asked Adam to take me to see the Dead Sea Scrolls which were on exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Life was a little bit too crazy during my birthday, so we were finally able to see them the second to last week the exhibit would be showing. I might not have gotten to see them, but Adam suddenly got very motivated when he decided to do a trip to Israel for his MBA program to fulfill a class requirement. We went to dinner beforehand where we were thoroughly entertained by Ryan dancing to the background music while he enjoyed his salad. Then, we went through the exhibit which was amazing to see. photo (12)

Meg recently got married, and although we weren’t able to make it out to the wedding since we had just had Heber, they came to visit us! We got to go to the museum and aquarium, and we celebrated Meg’s  birthday. Ryan really loved having them here.

Heber recently had his baby blessing, and Adam’s parents flew out from California. They flew out a little early, and so we went to the museum and zoo together and had lots of fun. Trent, Shannon and my dad were also able to make it to the blessing.

photo (14)Heber just went to his two month check up and he is now 23.25 inches long (68th percentile) and 13 pounds, 15 ounces (88th percentile). photo (13)He is sleeping really well. He only wakes up once during the night and he frequently does a 6 hour stretch at night. He is a very happy baby and gives the best smiles. He does have a death grip though which made it necessary for me to cut my hair if I ever wanted to wear it down again.


Heber is 5 Weeks Old

March 29, 2013

photo (7)Heber turned five weeks old this week. Last week, he had his one month appointment and his height was just over 21 inches (35%tile), his weight was 11 pounds and 3 ounces (82%tile) and his head circumference was 14.75 inches (55%tile).

photo (5)Heber was a very hungry baby for the first two weeks (he was a little jaundice, so the constant feeding helped with that). We also think he had some tummy troubles which was the real reason for the frequent eating. After two weeks of almost constant feeding though, we had a happier, fatter baby.

At four weeks, he was finally getting on to a predictable schedule of eating every 2.5 or 3 hours. Multiple times this week he has only had one feeding at night, so he is sleeping 4 or 4.5 hour stretches at night which is pretty wonderful. He is a very smiley kid, especially when he is beginning to fall asleep, but every once in a while he will look right at me and give me a big grin. photo (6)

Ryan has been really good though this whole process. He has his moments of disobedience, but in general he is doing really well. We read books while I nurse Heber, and Ryan is an awesome big brother- always trying to be so helpful and kind.

Ryan is starting to show some progress with potty training. We had really only introduced the potty to him before the baby was born, and he was very uninterested in the whole process. However, in the last two weeks we have started putting him in underwear. We still have a long way to go, but we are getting there slowly.

Heber Maxwell Barrus

February 26, 2013

photo (6)Monday, February 18th went like just about any other day.  I went to work, Dawn was home with Ryan.  We had dinner together, had FHE, then I left to give a ride to a family who needed to see the doctor at about 7 pm.  They had 3 sick kids, so it was taking a while.  Around 9 pm I called Dawn to let her know we were still there when she, as an afterthought, mentioned she was having some contractions.  Since Ryan came about 24 hrs after she first started feeling anything, I asked if I should run home or if it was just beginning.  She said it was no big deal and she was fine.  We hung up but I was worried about her, so I called about 30 minutes later to see how she was doing.  She still said she was fine, but I felt like I needed to get back.  The doctor was saying that one of the kids would need to be transferred to the hospital, so I took two of the kids back to their house and rushed home.  I found Dawn cleaning the house, but pausing every few minutes as a contraction came on.  They were pretty close together.  We immediately called a friend to come stay with Ryan and left for the hospital, but by the time I had finished taking the kids home, got to Dawn, and got our friend to come over, it was 11 pm when we left.  The drive to the hospital got more stressful as time went on.  The contractions were getting worse and closer together.  I could tell we should have been to the hospital already, but I tried to stay calm for the both of us and get us there as quickly as possible.  We arrived at 11:30 pm, and the staff was in no hurry at all to get her in and checked out.  I am sure they see tons of people who aren’t very far along that come in.  By the time they check her out and realize how far along she is everything changed.  Nurses were running around getting things prepped, IV’s were placed, gurneys were brought, and we were rushed off to a delivery room where we spent maybe 10 minutes before the baby was born at 12:03am Tuesday morning (February 19th).

photo (5)Looking back now, everything worked out surprisingly well.  We got to the hospital on time.  It was a very fast labor, and though she did not have time to get an epidural like she had wanted, it was mercifully quick and over with.  Dawn’s doctor was on call that night and was there and ready to deliver the baby.  Heber wasn’t due until March 3rd, but since I had my spring break from school starting February 19th, I told the baby about every night that it was welcome to come 2 weeks early so I could be home and focus more on him and the family.  He couldn’t have done better.  Despite being 2 weeks early, he was still 7 lb 13 oz and 20 inches long, which is almost right on the average for those who are born on time.

We had struggled quite a bit to find a name for him.  We had lists of names that we were narrowing down and got down to just a couple, but they didn’t feel right.  We couldn’t settle on any of them.  We were at the temple one night and I was thinking a lot about it and had the name Heber come to my mind.  Once it came it wouldn’t leave.  It’s a good name associated with some great latter-day apostles and prophets, but I wasn’t in love with the name right at first.  I tried to think of other names, or put it as a middle name, but it became clear that this was his name.  Dawn also was not in love with it when I told her.  After  a while though, she felt that it was the right name.  We have come to really like it and feel that it was definitely the right name for him.photo (7)

Baby Heber has a fantastic big brother.  His morning routine before he was born was to run into our room, climb on the bed, and snuggle with Dawn’s tummy and talk to the baby and count down how many weeks were left before he came out.  I brought Ryan to the hospital Tuesday evening and despite being excited, I could tell he was a little unsure what to think about the whole thing.  When we walked in the hospital room, he slowly came around the corner and saw Dawn in the bed holding the baby.  He walked up to her and we picked him up next to her and introduced him to Heber.  He instantly became such a loving and gentle big brother and couldn’t get enough of him.  He has been very gentle, likes to hold the baby whenever he can, and gives plenty of hugs and kisses.  He wants to help with everything, which can be hard to accommodate at times, but his heart is in the right place. We are so blessed to have such an amazing family.photo (8)

Update: Heber is one week old today, and is so much fun to have around. He is smiling constantly and he eats ALL the time. We went in for his one week appointment today and he is 6 oz over his birth weight (He weighed in today at 8 lbs 3 oz). The doctor said that was pretty unusual and weighed him again just to make sure it was right. Heber is such a sweet, patient little boy and we love having him around.photo (9)

The Holidays and More

January 11, 2013

photo (1) The holidays were very busy, but very fun. We attended our ward Trunk-or-Treat at the end of October, where Ryan dressed up as a lion. Then on Halloween night, we took a treat to many of our neighbors with Ryan all dressed up in his costume so that they could see him.
photo (3)

In early November, we were spending our weekends doing family-friendly activities that Ryan loved. We went to a place called Totter Otterville, which Ryan enjoyed since he got to ride a train, dig in sand, play with all sorts of toys, watch a puppet show, and climb around in a large playplace. Another weekend we visited a pumpkin patch. photo (2)Ryan loved the corn maze, petting zoo, and cooking fresh pineapple over a fire. Not to mention, he got to pick out a pumpkin and go on a hayride. We spent Thanksgiving weekend down at my Dad’s place and had a great time with family. Blaine, my brother, was super awesome and took some family pictures for us. We were really happy with them.Family Pic on stump 2012Close up on tree 2012 (1)
Family close-up 2012
The following week, my sister, Meg came out from Utah to visit for two weeks. We had a blast. We spent lots of time with family.Photo Dec 07, 1 25 17 PM We went to Olivia’s birthday party and while hanging out at Blaine and Sierra’s house, we also went to Shakertown and Mammoth Cave. We went to the zoo, aquarium, museum, conservatory, and art museum. Photo Dec 12, 11 06 24 AMOne night, we even got to see a garden decked out with tons of Christmas lights. But the best part was that Ryan made a really good friend. He snuggled with his Aunt Meg almost the whole time she was here. He could hardly wait to see her in the morning (sometimes he didn’t wait and would sneak into her room in the morning). The time went by too fast, but we were so glad to have her. Photo Dec 12, 11 19 51 AM

After Meg flew home, Adam and I started to pack for California. We spent the Christmas holiday there. I came down with bronchitis upon arriving in California, but luckily I didn’t pass it to anyone else during the holiday. We had a great Christmas, and we had a lot of fun with Adam’s family. We even got some more family pictures taken.

During our stay in California, Ryan was sleeping in our room and would try to sneak in bed with Adam and snuggle during the night. Adam let him do it a few times (until he realized that he wouldn’t be getting much sleep like that). Once during their night of snuggle, Ryan put his arms around Adam’s neck and whispered, “I love you, Daddy.” When Adam told me about it the next morning, I told him I thought that was the cutest thing. Adam said it would have been a lot cuter if Ryan hadn’t kept him up for the next hour or so rolling around on top of him trying to get comfortable.

bathRyan loved taking baths in his grandma’s bathtub. Her tub has jets and so with a little bubble bath, Ryan was practically enveloped in bubbles. Also during our trip, Adam and I were able to go to the Newport Beach Temple with some family. Another day, we all went to a petting zoo where Ryan got to play in a corn box, feed rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, llamas, goats, and sheep. He also got to ride a horse.Horse Ride

We also got to go to some tide pools, where Ryan got to touch starfish, crabs, and anemones. We went to Disneyland with Adam’s entire family and spent 14 hours there; it was a long, but very fun day. We also spent a  few mornings at the beach. One of the mornings, we did a beach walk- which was really beautiful. Another morning, Ryan and Adam dug huge holes in the sand. Ryan was wet and completely covered in sand by the time we left, but he loved it. 
tide pool

beach walk

Ryan is getting so big. All of his molars have finally come in, so he now has 20 teeth. He is a stellar sleeper and has finally fully transitioned to a twin bed in preparation for the new baby. He loves to sing and knows many songs, but can still be caught making up his own version of a song to a tune he already knows (he got that from Adam). We love this kid so much.

photo (4)The new baby will be here in less then two months. Adam and I are very excited. We still don’t have a name, but we have just about everything else put together. It is kind of nice that we are having another boy. Life is good and we can hardly wait for our little boy to arrive.

More Weekend Fun

October 14, 2012

The last two weekends have been so much fun. We finally got out to do a hike. The hike we did was just over the river in Ohio that had a gorgeous view. We picked a really easy trail in case Ryan decided he wanted to walk, but he ended up spending most of his time in the hiking backpack.  It was such a nice day and the trail was really serene and beautiful. Halfway through the trail, the trail opens so there is a view of the Ohio river valley. It was just awesome.

After the gorgeous view, the trail led past a stone bench. We stopped to read an informational sign about the area, and while we were there, Ryan became very interested with the stone bench. There were a handful of daddy long-leg spiders and roly polies to be found on the bench and so we stopped for a while to check them out. Ryan was fascinated, and when Adam and I started on the trail again, only then did Ryan decide to follow, but he kept asking to see more spiders.  We did get to see a few more spiders before we got back to the car. Overall, it was a really great hike with really great people. I sure love my boys. 

The following weekend, we went to the gardens of a museum located just down the road from us. It was so much fun. I had been to parts of the garden before, so I started off by showing Adam the carnivorous bog. Just as I was telling Adam this and pointing out some of the plant life, Ryan decided to walk off the raised platform into the bog. The grass in the bog is a bit deceiving since it makes the drop from the platform look quite minimal. Ryan stepped in expecting this short drop, but then kept falling as the ground was much lower then it seemed. He ended up on his back with a very surprised look on his face. Adam pulled Ryan out immediately and luckily, Ryan was just a little wet and no damage was done to the plant life.

We then moved on to the koi pond to see the fish and then took the rainforest trail to a suspension bridge that overlooked a pretty waterfall. The whole area was beautifully landscaped and really spectacular. Adam and I both agreed that our next family picture should be taken here since it was so beautiful.

We headed on to the petting zoo where Ryan got to see and feed all sorts of animals. There were peacocks, wallabies, chickens, bunnies, goats, llamas, sheep and much more. They even had a camel. We spent all our change on buying food to feed the animals, and Ryan loved it. 

We weren’t sure how we were going to get Ryan to leave the petting zoo, but we had seen some ducks on a trail that wrapped around the lake, and so we were able to talk him into going to see the ducks. We wished we had saved some of our change as soon as we got down to see the ducks since there was food there to feed them too. However, there was a nice family that let us take a handful of their pellets to feed the ducks and fish. We finished walking the trail around the lake, but not before stopping and smelling the flowers. It was a great way to spend the weekend. 

Adam’s 29th Birthday and More!

September 24, 2012

This last weekend, we celebrated Adam’s 29th birthday. Adam took off work on Friday so that Ryan and I could spend the whole day with him on his birthday. After enjoying a breakfast of waffles and fruit, we headed to the museum in the morning, and we got to see bats fly and crawl around. Then we played in sand, and climbed though tunnels and other small cervices before checking out the dinosaurs. We had a blast. We were hoping to get to see an Omimax film that morning too, but they didn’t have any morning shows that day. We left the museum and headed for lunch. We enjoyed some Italian food before heading to pick up Adam’s car (we had dropped it off for an oil change). Adam just dropped me off to get the car and when I went in to get the car, they informed me they had tried to get a hold of me, but that apparently I had left my phone at the museum. <sigh, I am really good at losing it>

That evening, we went to the temple. It was the perfect ending to a really fantastic day.

On Saturday, we went back to the museum! This wasn’t so bad since that meant we could go see the Omnimax film, “To the Arctic.” Not to mention, I got my phone back. This was Ryan’s first real movie experience, and it went super well. The first few minutes he looked really nervous, since the screen is huge and the volume was pretty loud. He just curled into a ball on Adam’s lap and scowled at the screen. However, once he saw the polar bears, caribou and walruses, he was totally into it. He would frequently ask for “more caribou” or “more bears” when the scenes would change from what we had been watching. After the movie, we headed out for Italian again, but this time it was a place right next to our house that I hadn’t been to before. It turned out to be some of the best Italian I have ever had. It was super tasty. We headed home and spent the evening together just playing with Ryan- he is just too much fun.

On Sunday, we finally had the chance to officially sing Adam “Happy Birthday” and let him eat some cake. Ryan helped me make the cake by taste testing everything I did. He enjoyed the raspberry, blueberry and blackberry filling, and ate about half the strawberries before they made it onto the cake.

I had such a great weekend that I told Adam it could have been my birthday. I am just so grateful for a family that I love spending so much time with.

In other weekend activity events, we recently took Ryan to a petting zoo, he got to touch a turtle, a rabbit, goats, donkeys and a gecko. We also got to ride on a tractor too, which Ryan really enjoyed.