Friday, January 24, 2014

Phone Pics Roundup

I hardly ever sync my phone and so this is my semi-annual cell phone pics recap post.  Probably I should break it up into more than one post but....

 The Frog wanted to be Ironman for Halloween and wore that costume day and night until Halloween, and by then he had actually outgrown it...  he was given Iron Patriot (aka War Machine) from his cousin for Christmas and now he wears that one and Peach will wear this one.
 The Frog has me take pictures of works he is especially proud of
 I ate this.  Ever been to Black Sheep Cafe in downtown Provo?  soooo good and unique!
 Peach is really getting the hang of the glider bike.  Unfortunately, she's almost too tall for it already!!
 Another work of art The Frog wanted to be remembered before we cleaned up.
 Peach's work of art.  no, she's not naked... just wearing her favorite outfit. :)

 Peach's work of Lego construction.

 The Frog was very excited about all these color coordinated spaceships he made.  He even made up some kind of game with them that Peach could play with him.
 The corn maze in Pumpkinland.  Believe it or not, out of about 12 shots, this was the best one...
I went to "Music and the Spoken Word" at the Mormon Tabernacle with my youth group one Sunday morning.

The Frog donning his Halloween spider hat he made at preschool.  It was taped to our front door after that...

The Frog had his first dentist appointment where he would actually sit in the chair and let them clean his teeth!!  He's actually been asking regularly when he will get to go back!!  They give little kids cool sunglasses to wear so they don't get splashed in the eyes :)

One of many leaf raking days...

Peach finally allowed me to put piggies in her hair!  Aren't they adorable!!  She'll ask for them about once a week now and has actually left them in all day more than once! love it!

Hazel had her first haircut in November.

Bye bye mullet!

A day at Thanksgiving Points Dinosaur Museum.  Hazel is finally old enough to dig for bones!

One day our neighbors cat followed us home...

Thank goodness they have cats we can borrow so I don't have to get any ;)

Sitting on Santa's lap at our church Christmas party.  The Frog knows he's not real and declined the invitation.  (mom, if I just stand next to him, can I still get the candycane?)

I got this picture texted to me one day while Peach was at our neighbor-swap preschool.  They are Kangaroos hopping around, finding Ks to put in their "pouches"

I know what you're thinking...  I thought it was a bum at first too... Those stripey knees are Peach's and I guess she thought this shot warranted 12 pics on my phone one day...
And that's it!  now wasn't that fun?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

McCarthy Visit!

I wish I would get back on the picture bandwagon...  I'm now remembering how if I want to get one good picture, I need to take 50.  (or maybe just get some skills...) and that completely didn't happen while Jay's family was in town.  

When you're holding a baby with grabby-hands, taking pictures is rather difficult.

Jay's little sister K did a report in school about the Anasazi, and she knew there were some in Utah (I didn't...) and wanted us to make a special trip to see where they lived.  My mother-in-law found a couple of places in Utah we could go- the Anasazi State Park Museum and the Fremont Indian State Park.  I called a guy at the latter to ask about each of them and he said the former was a small outdoor exhibit and the latter was a large indoor museum with a kids' area and a nearby short "hike" with a view of petroglyphs.  

We opted for the second, because it sounded better for our young kids and it was only 2 hours away, vs. almost 4 hours.

It ended up being really cool, and a totally doable day-trip for the kids (surprisingly... I'm not usually so brave to travel that far with them) BUT I somehow didn't realize, until I got there, that the Fremont Indians are NOT Anasazi.  (duh) However, a lot of commentary throughout the museum would compare the Fremont to the Anasazi, so I guess we did learn a bit about both afterall.
 In the kids section, they had a hut mimicking the kind of huts they lived in for kids to play in, with some activities much like their daily activities - weaving for one.  They also had microscopes set up with a lot of pottery, arrowhead, and other samples to look at.
 There was a huge window with a beautiful view of some rocks with petroglyphs on them, but you could also just walk outside and look at them fairly close-up.  The desk had a free guide you could take that would give you more information based on some numbers they had on the (.25 mile) trail.

 I didn't check my camera settings on this next one, so it's way over exposed, but you can kind of see people crawling down into a replica of what their underground huts looked like.  There was also a granary.
 All in all, it was very cool, and worth the $6 per car and 2 hour drive each way.  It also helped that the place was completely empty, until we were about to leave, and so I wasn't worried about my kids disturbing other people.

We ate lots of good food - including convincing the McCarthy's to deviate from their usual Chinese-food-on-New-Years' tradition by introducing K to the wonders of sushi.  (turns out, she's not a fan)  It's funny, they were surprised that we didn't have to order our food in the afternoon.  Apparently, Chinese food on New Years' Eve is a "thing" back East, so you have to plan ahead, or get your food closer to midnight.
 We celebrated the "New Year" at about 6:30 so our kids could go to bed on time. :)  K helped me get the supplies and she thought Silly String was an essential part of the holiday, much to my chagrin and the kids' delight.  ;)
K and I got to spend that entire day shopping together.  It was very fun and made me realize how long it's been since I've been shopping, girls only, without the kids.

K also was begging to go try out the ropes course at Provo Beach Resort, and so I said I'd go with her.
 It's hard to get a sense of what it's like, but you're either 2 or 3 stories up, trying to balance across various obstacles- the whole time being harnased.
 It was pretty fun and not really that scary, except when I tried to walk across things without using my hands-  then, all of a sudden my heart would race and I'd realize how high up I was.
 The kids had to, of course, ride the $1 carousel.  This was Hazel's first time on one.  I couldn't really see her face to tell if she enjoyed it, but she wasn't crying so....
 Peach, on the other hand, LOVED IT and begged for more.
We went swimming a couple of times and not pictured here is our second swimming session cut short because Jay was showing me his "dolphin" and swam across the entire pool underwater, with his eyes closed.  (that last part I didn't know until...)  And he swam straight into the cement side of the pool.  Despite urging from myself and his mom, Jay sided with his dad (also a doctor-phobe) and opted to not get stitches because the idea of spending 8 hours in an emergency room on a Saturday didn't sound fun.  I secured it pretty well with 2 butterfly bandages and he didn't touch it for the whole week he was out of town.  Now there is just a mark... we shall see if it scars or not.

Peach jumping in!

mmmm. chlorine...

As I briefly mentioned a couple of posts ago, we got to spend a couple of extra days with his family because their flight was cancelled due to a major snowstorm in Boston.  As annoying as it is to have a change of plans like that, we were all glad, especially the kids, for a bit more time with Nanie and Gampie :)

Will someone please please remind me to get a group shot of everyone next time we're together?!!

thanks :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hazel Update

Last weekend, Hazel celebrated her 444th day of life.  
In honor of her, I thought I'd record some of her milestones and personality blossoms from the past couple of months during my blogging inactivity.
It took me a long time to try giving her a sippy cup.  I think I'm becoming a more lazy parent has time goes on.  (or, more charitably, busier?)  As of November, she's been using one regularly.
As-of the end of November, she has been spotted standing hands free!  She, in the last week, has started taking a couple of steps on her own, between hand-holds, and can walk around pretty well while holding only one of my hands.  But she is still quite wobbly and not brave enough to try it on her own.  Not pictured, she is getting great at riding around on her "motorcycle", as we call it.  It's just a little blue wheeled push rider that is supposed to have a horse covering on it, but the kids always take it off.  The Frog used that same motorcycle to learn to walk, by pushing it around standing up, and Hazel does some of that as well.
We got Peach and The Frog these awesome bench-desks (which we didn't know, but it turns out they're made in Provo!  aaand I can't remember what they're called, sorry!) for them to do their "daddy school".  It has left quite an impression on Hazel, as I see her climbing up and adding her corrections to their work a lot. :)  Neither of my other kids had any interest in coloring until much much later.  (4 for The Frog and Peach still isn't really interested at 3).
Hazel also adores playing on the piano.  All of my kids have loved banging around on it a bit, but she will spend good amount of time there.  On this particular day, her playing was so entrancing, the other had to join in!
I can't believe how mature she is starting to look and less baby-like.  Luckily, she still has chunky baby thighs and I LOVE them!

We've had quite a bit of good snow for playing in this year, but by now, I have learned that if one can't walk yet, one doesn't often have fun in the snow (despite my past attempts) but on this particular day, Peach and The Frog went to my neighbor-swap preschool together and they thought it would be fun if I pulled them on a sled.  Hazel was sleeping at the time, but when I went back to pick them up, I thought I'd try her out and see how it went.
She actually really liked it!  She sat happily on the sled by herself and had fun running her hand through the snow at the sides.
However, once she had to share a sled with Peach (who kept pulling her back to keep her more "secure") she had enough.
Hazel has been babbling for quite some time- I don't remember my other kids babbling so much, but I feel like Peach must have, because she learned to speak so young... But Hazel manages to say things that sound exactly like phrases, not just words.  It's quite alarming!  We're still trying to figure out if she knows what they mean or not, but she seems to understand the right timing for them!

She has the typical "dada" and "mama" down, and lately has been saying "uh-oh" when anything drops to the floor.  (I think she often drops things on purpose, just so she can say it :D)  She also says "ah-duh" for "all done!" when she's done eating or needs help getting down from somewhere.  I'm pretty sure she calls herself "dah-dah", which makes sense if you know her real name :)

Before her nap, when I'm putting her in her sleep-sac, I usually have a little tickle session and say "tickle tickle tickle" while I'm doing it.  When I stop she'll grin and say "ti-ti-ti", asking for more :)

She is, much like The Frog, fascinated by lights and loves trying to flick the switches on and off.  She'll often point at lights around the house and say, "la!"

She is very conscious of things her sibling receive, or get to do, that she does not get to partake of and makes it very clear that she is upset about it!  Lately, she gets annoyed if I cut her food in smaller pieces than theirs.  One time, we all had leftovers for lunch- she and I had pasta and the other kids had soup.  She was really upset that she didn't get the same as them, even though she ate the pasta happily the night before with everyone.

I think she might be trying to go from 2 naps to 1, but her wake-up time has been very irregular, so I can't quite make the switch yet.
We sure adore this little chipmunk!  Every night, during family prayer, we go around the circle and all say something we're thankful for (to add to our prayer) and most nights, one or both of them says they are thankful for Hazel.  She is a little ray of sunshine in our family and I couldn't imagine life without her!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

How Did Life Get So Busy?

Hello everyone!  (if anyone is out there still reading...)

I keep waiting for things to die down to record the things I wish to remember, but it just seems like they never will!

We had a fun yet busy Christmas break - preceded by the whole family taking their turn with the flu.  Luckily, Jay, the last to pay his dues, was well enough by Christmas to eat a full meal and even dessert! :)  However, the unexpected sickness did put me behind and I still have a basket with undelivered Christmas cards and a couple of presents sitting on my desk...

What do you think is it even worth trying to deliver them at this point?

A couple of days after Christmas, we got to spend some time with Jay's family - for an unexpectedly extended trip after their flight was cancelled due to snow in Boston.  It was so great to spend time with all of them and to have an excuse to make big meals (and to have extra help making them :D).  I'll expand more on that later.  (hopefully later this week...)

Then, all last week, Jay was out of town at back-to-back conferences in Florida and then Chicago, meanwhile, I was trying to arrange people to watch my kids while attending a ballet class at BYU this semester- I'm finally trying to take advantage of my "professor's wife" status.  It didn't occur to me to make sure the class was not barely too early for any students to be out of school to babysit, and also so late that willing moms couldn't help out because they have to pick up their kids from school and there is not enough room in their car for all my kids and theirs...  Luckily, I have the best neighbors **EVER** and they were willing to go to all ends to help me out- including watching for increments and then handing the kids off elsewhere...  I don't know how the rest of the world gets along without awesome neighbors like mine.

Provo rocks.

Anyway, I feel a few weeks behind in all aspects of life, but it seems to carry on just the same.  and so do I.

Unfortunately, I haven't found myself taking as many photos lately.  I guess it's because we do mostly routine things that don't seem like particular "kodak moments"  (has that phrase been updated?  instagram-worthy moments? :D) BUT, I still feel like I have a lot of ruminations lately, and hopefully I can remember what they all are long enough to write some of them down.

I do have a few photos, though, and I'll start with those first.  I'd also like to do a little bit of a "kid review", because I feel like they have all grown up so much these past few months and I just don't want to forget about the changes they've undergone.  I feel a particular urgency as The Frog has lately been asking me a lot of questions about himself as a baby in watching Hazel and her milestones, and it makes me want to be sure to record some of the fun things from their childhood so that I will be able to have answers for his curiosity.

It never ceases to amaze me how when The Frog was a baby, I lived for every little milestone and rejoiced in every minute advancement, yet when he asked me the other day, I couldn't even remember what his first word was!!

Oh mother, I'm beginning to understand you more each day...  How you did it with 6?  I doubt I ever will fully.  It takes an amazing person.

So, if you hate those cheesey, "hurray! my kid can now perform another act of minutiae" kind of posts, you may want to skip the rest of this week. :)