Friday, December 30, 2011

Watching Daddy Work

Justin had a couple holiday tournament games at the local high school last night so we tagged along to watch. At first it was all very exciting, lots to look at etc....

But that lasted about two minutes. After that, she spent the whole time running down the battery on my phone playing her new favorite games, puzzles, and dot-to-dot.

I had fun watching Justin ref and it's always fun not to care who wins the game. That way you can just cheer for the good plays, not necessarily one team or another. :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Best Present Ever!

Are you ready for the best present ever? So good, it needed its own separate post?.... And no, I'm not talking about the dollhouse again.... Instead, I have something even better....

Wait for it....



WE'RE PREGNANT AGAIN!!!!! (and the teeny circle is the yolk sac, not a second baby; the pinto bean sized smudge is the baby) ;)

We found out on Thanksgiving and let me tell you, this has been the longest four weeks EVER! It's the longest we've ever waited to tell (although we did tell a select few people early), but still! We knew it would make the perfect Christmas gift for our families and I'm so proud of us for making it all the way until Christmas!

To tell them, we skyped with Justin's family and Justin asked them "You got our Christmas card right? Well.... it's already out of date..." They were quick to catch on and were so excited for us. My mom (who is too attentive sometimes) figured it out on her own a couple weeks early, but promised to keep it a secret from my dad. We gave him a card that said something like "A new little lamb to love, congrats on the newest little addition to your family" and put an ultrasound picture inside. His reaction was priceless. He immediately started crying and lunged over to give me a huge hug. It was pretty awesome.

So there you go! I'm due July 28th which makes me 9 weeks right now. So far the last couple weeks I've been sicker than I ever have before (probably sicker than with all other pregnancies combined). It at least gives me some confidence that all is well in there and we'll get to bring this little baby home!

Christmas Morning!

Christmas this year was with my family. We went to the movies on Christmas Eve and were going to see "The Muppets", but it was sold out by the time we got there so we saw "We Bought a Zoo" instead. Awesome, fun family movie. If you haven't seen it yet, I'd recommend it. We ate our big Dinner, buffet and paper plate style (that's how we roll) and played our traditional White Elephant gift exchange game with our good friends/family/neighbors. We ended up with a mini gumball machine, a ping-pong-like ball shooter, and honestly, I can't remember what the third thing was. The point is, at the end, everyone trades and plays with each others gifts anyways. It was fun.

After the kids went to bed, we played Bingo. My parents had bought an actual little set, complete with Bingo ball spinner cage. They bought ten prizes, so we played ten rounds. Justin and I scored two movie passes, a collage picture frame and a couple movies from the $5 bin. We could've gotten more, but my parents put a two win limit per person, so we got shorted ;)

Sunday morning we got all dressed up for church. At 8am.... Yuck.... But, it was a beautiful way to start off Christmas morning. Isac, Carrie, and Rose all cute and festive for church.
I was one of 6 "alumni" who have since moved out of the ward, but usually return for the Christmas musical program. I'm pretty sure my parents' ward will never be beat when it comes to that program. There was something like 35 choir members, 1 piano, 7 violins, 5 cellos, 2 bass, and 3 handbells.... The entire sacrament meeting consists of a narraration and well-orchestrated choir numbers. It's awesome. That's why so many of us come back to play with them every year. Though my fingers are often sore afterwards from my once-a-year meeting with my cello, it's always a delight.

Then it was back home to enjoy fruit and creme filled pastries and breakfast casserole. Carrie enjoyed hers at her new IKEA table from her Nana and Papa. She loves it already!

Since we'd gotten up so early to go to church, most of us changed back into pajamas afterwards to open presents and lounge around. My brother Jake got Spongebob pajamas from my parents on Christmas eve. Very bright yellow pants... And he thought it would be a good idea to pair them with a neon yellow shirt. He was quite a bright guy all day!

After breakfast, it was finally time to open presents. And Carrie had been eyeing the "biiiiggg green one" all morning.

Trying to rip away the wrapping...

It's her brand new, custom-made dollhouse!!!

I would say I'm more excited about it than her, but she very well may prove me wrong. She didn't want to open anything else. She played with it for a solid hour before she even turned to see about her other gifts.

It was very difficult, for example, to get her to step away long enough to wrangle up her stuff to take a picture! As soon as I took this, she grabbed everything out of the dollhouse and started playing again!

The after-Christmas tornado.... We like to call her Carrie...

A few things about this new dollhouse. You'll notice I said custom-made... With some serious help from my dad, we built this dollhouse just for her! In a week... it was crazy! My parents had built one for me and my sister when we were little and they still have it today. Carrie recently started showing interest in it and I couldn't think of a better idea for a gift for her.

Honestly, it ended up being made about 75% by my dad, 20% by me, and 5% by Justin. If you look closely, you'll find that it's modeled after our own house. Yellow paint, brown sectional, flat screen "TV" (which you can't see from this angle), switchback stairs, pink bedroom, and a blue couch in the loft that has an open railing to the first floor. Awesome right? The little "attic" with ladder was a bit of an afterthought from my dad. Definitely a good addition though. It's almost 4 feet square and takes two men to lift. And just in case that doesn't make enough of a point of how big it is....

Friday, December 23, 2011

High School Flashback

My best friend from high school, Elise (Morrell) Crane, was smart enough to coordinate a friends reunion over Christmas break when many now out-of-staters, would be home. We had a lot of fun. Munched on veggies and cheetos, watched our kids play with each other and talked, talked, talked.

Justin was nice enough to cart around a few of the kids in a wagon. They had a blast. What a cool husband I have! In this case, more like what a cool daddy Carrie has!

Shea, Carrie, Carson, & Claire. Not all the kids, but most that were there.

Carrie and Shea are the closest in age and they used to play with each other often while Shea's mom Chelsea babysat for me during my frequent visits to the specialist during Brigham's pregnancy. They discovered the four HUGE trees in Elise's parents' front yard and had a blast throwing the fallen leaves in the air; With help from Elise's husband Joel....

Such cute little pigtail buddies

My favorite picture from the day.... I clicked it about half a second before I meant to, and caught this gem. Joel's strange mid-run position plus the still-in-a-pile leaves hanging over Carrie's head leave me laughing out loud. I love it!

Sadly as I was going through pictures to post this, I realized I didn't get ANY pictures of me and my high school buddies! How lame! At least I have memories, I guess. Next time, I'll make sure we snap a picture though!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gingerbread, Grandma, & Santa

Last night my mom came to hang out and have a sleepover with Carrie. She brought all the fixings to make graham cracker "gingerbread" houses. Better her than me. I didn't want to deal with the mess. Does that make me a bad mom?.... Don't answer that.... Anyways, I snapped a couple pictures of them near the beginning and then I was off to help decorate Santa's corner for our ward party in the morning.

By the time I got back they'd created a masterpiece!! And apparently giggled a lot!

Tah Dah!! This is now the beautiful centerpiece of our kitchen island :)

She was definitely in a silly mood though. Maybe they ate more sugar than they decorated with.... She ended up crawling under the table and making her posed "grumpy face", which I think looks hilariously close to Zoolander's "Blue Steel"....

In the morning, it was off to have Breakfast with Santa! I made two breakfast casseroles and a big pan of cinnamon rolls to contribute to the pot-luck. Justin had to work, so he missed it and we missed him... But, the food and program were great and Santa was a hit! Carrie's been talking about him for a few weeks now. She was really excited to sit on his lap and tell him she wanted a pink candy cane for Christmas. If only it were that easy.... ;)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Random Days

In super exciting news, Carrie started potty training again yesterday and this time it's sticking! Finally!! I've tried two or three times before, and she just wasn't ready. She'd get it sometimes, but in reality, I was the one who was trained, not her....

Yesterday morning, however, a few minutes after changing her morning diaper she came in and said, with a very concerned look, "Mommy, I went pee-pee!" I changed her out of her wet diaper, but then she said she didn't want a new one. So I let her go around naked for a couple hours. When she didn't have any accidents, I thought, "Hmmm, maybe I'll try it again...." We put her in panties and she just totally got it!! It's been awesome! So much better than the times we've tried before!! So now the highlight of our day is sparkly stickers on her potty chart. :)

And now for a few random pictures:

Carrie has decided that the lazy susan makes a great place to store her toys lately... I often reach in to grab something for dinner and end up with a My Little Pony in my hand....

The other day before bedtime we were finishing an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and when Justin sat down on the bed, Carrie jumped over and snuggled right into the crook of his arm. She made sure she was as snuggly as she could get. It was too cute not to snap a picture of!

And I know this makes us look lame compared to most people who live in snow and ice in December, but winter is winter! I know it's only 50 degrees, but we're freezing! To us, this is as bad as a sub zero blizzard! So this is what Carrie looks like when she goes outside to play!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Perfection Obsession

I usually decorate the tree by myself because Justin knows I'm SUPER particular about it. He'll help me get out the box and put the pieces together, but then he sits back and watches for the next couple hours while I do my perfectionist work.

This year Carrie wanted to help... When we first got married and had our first Christmas tree, I went out and bought full sets of matching gold and red ornaments; Matching tree skirt and all. We have a few random ornaments that I either don't put on, or hang on the back because they don't match...

Carrie pulled a couple out of the box and wanted to hang them up. So for the first time in 6 years, I gave in and broke my obsession with perfection. Kind of.... I said to myself, 'ok fine, we'll put non matchy ornaments on too'. Except because we only had a few, I decided we needed to make more homemade ornaments so it would be balanced with the matchy ones. I decided to turn it into a fun-filled mommy/daughter project, but shortly after I started I realized a not quite 3 year old isn't all that interested in molding clay into stars, folding paper into cubes with pictures, or making layered felt snowflakes.... She did like to help paint the pinecone; Pink of course :)

Other than that, she colored for a couple minutes then left the table to play while I made a monstrous mess with crafty things and lots and lots of glue gunning.... The results were -Brigham picture cube - Yarn flower - baby Jesus in the manger - felt bird - 2d paper ornament shapes - felt ornament - felt snowflake - red chile peppers - three mini wreaths - clay star of Bethlehem - Carrie handprint Santa face - pink glittery pinecone..... etc....

Add those to our few random ones we already had and our tree is now uniformly matchy with gold and red ornaments, and uniformly unmatchy with plenty of fun random homemade ornaments. Only I could make unperfection have a perfectionist element....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Grinch Comes and Goes

Setting up the Christmas decorations is supposed to be fun, happy, put you in the Christmas Spirit right?.... Well it didn't work for me. I turned into a mega Grinch for a couple days while our house was in the mess that is setting up Christmas. First of all, we had to empty out the under-the-stairs closet to get to all the Christmas boxes way in the back. So the Family room was full of Christmas boxes and the Living room was full of all the other boxes from the closet. It was a mess!!

We had inherited a new taller fuller Christmas tree from my parents last year and I was so excited to get it set up, but when we pulled it out of the box, it didn't have a stand! I was antsy to get a tree up, so I decided we'd just set up our old one, it's not all the different.... Wrong again. Once I got it set up, I was so disappointed! It looked like Charlie Brown's tree! :( So because I'm crazy like that, I went to walmart, bought a new stand, set up the new tree, and transferred all the ornaments over. I decorated two trees....

Wait, make that three trees.... When I went to buy the tree stand, I saw this cute little two foot tree and thought Carrie would love having her own. And she did :)

Luckily for everyone who had to be around me, the Christmas mess-induced Grinch in me left the moment everything finally got decorated, boxes packed up and away, and the room freshly vacuumed! THIS is what Christmas spirit is supposed to feel like!!

At the beginning of the Christmas season last year, we owned one nativity scene. and the whole teeny scene fit on the palm of my hand. Over the course of gift giving and receiving last year, our nativity collection grew to add four more!

I'm feeling much more Christmasy now!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving trip to New Mexico to be with Justin's family. We drove seven hours on Wednesday to get to his sister Danielle's house. We'd had a lazy morning, including Carrie eating only marshmallows picked out of her cereal bowl, thanks to Grandpa Mark ;) She didn't really eat lunch, just drank her Capri Sun... We grabbed some cheetos and gummy bears at a gas station along the way.... You'd think we should have been expecting it, but we were still surprised when about 20 minutes before we got there, Carrie suddenly started throwing up... All over the carseat....

I considered it lucky that we were so close to Danielle's house. I stripped Carrie down, wiped her off with wipes, put her jacket underneath her and a thin blanket between her and the nasty wet seatbelt straps and toughed it out until we got there. Then started a load of laundry.... Of course. Fortunately, I think it was just the sugar. It didn't happen again. Phew!

On Thanksgiving Day, Danielle was bustling around making dinner (while I sat on the couch.... what a mooch huh?) I guess it wasn't getting done quite fast enough for Carrie though. She snagged a roll off the table about half hour early ;)

The meal was delicious, the company was fantastic, and the football on TV was loud.... We had fun. So much fun, in fact, that Carrie fell asleep about 5:30 watching a movie. When I tried to pick her up so she would wake up (so she would sleep at bedtime), it didn't work.... She was still zonked out. So I enjoyed about 45 minutes of snuggly time with my non-snuggly girl. It was awesome.

I braved WalMart at 10:00 by myself to snag a few little kid board games. I was in and out in 20 minutes. And I'm soooo glad. It was crazy in there!

Friday we headed down to Justin's parents' house (about an hour from his sister's). We went out for enchilada's for his dad's birthday, and I wimped out and got bean and cheese sopapillas with my green chile on the side.... What can I say, I have a weak palate....

Saturday morning we met with a guy Justin's dad knows who refurbishes laptops. And we scored big time! We got a very nice laptop, new to us, for $450. We'd been looking to buy one soon anyways, but we saved ourselves about $300 from our original "budget". Take that Black Friday deals! :P

Then the boys went golfing and the girls went shopping at the local outlet store and played at the park. We threw probably a hundred teeny rocks (pebbles, really) into the Rio Grande. Nana had told Carrie if we went down by the river, we might see some ducks. As we started to look for them, she started yelling out, "Duckies! Duckies!!", then turned to look at me really quick and asked, "Wait a minute! Is it your ducky or my ducky?"

It was hilarious. :) And I didn't know where she had gotten it until I heard her watching Finding Nemo today. Dory and Nemo are yelling, "Dad! Dad!" when Dory stops and asks, "Wait a minute, is it your dad or my dad?".... She's always loved that movie....

Anyways, I made some delicious chocolate cake muffins with glaze (baked, not fried) and we all pigged out. Pizza and Root Beer for dinner and a couple of board games before hitting the sack.
Carrie watched movies almost the entire time on her own little personal 19" TV with built in VCR. She's started to love the movies we grew up with. Pocahontas, The Lion King, Cinderella, Aladdin.... I love it, because I already know all the songs and can quote most of the lines. It's fun to reminisce :)

The driving was long, but we had fun. It was totally worth it! We don't see Justin's family nearly as often as mine just because they live further away, so it's always good to see them when we can. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are constantly reminded of how much we have to be Thankful for. What a wonderful life we live!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wannabe Park

Not it's not a park named after ancient Indians or anything... It's Wanna-be. As in, not quite there... But for now it works. Here's our wannabe park!
Lumpy dirt in the playground, no landscape rock, empty garden, and splotchy grass..... But Carrie loves it anyways. Someday it'll be a full fledged children's wonderland! ;)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Train Park Party

Yesterday Carrie and I were invited to her friend Jake's Birthday Party at the train park in Chandler. We had a ton of fun! The kids ran around on the HUGE playground for a while...

And then it was time to ride the train! Doesn't she look excited?!

First she did the cheesy face and then she did her new favorite, the fake grumpy pout... Looks like Blue Steel to me...

Once the train got going though, there was no stopping the smiles!

We got to ride the carousel a couple times too, woohoo!

We finished up the party with pizza, cupcakes, one last train ride, and more playing before she had to literally be carried off the playground. Sadly, I didn't get a picture of her with the birthday boy :( We had a lot of fun though! Thanks for inviting us to your birthday party Jake! Or, should I say, Jake's parents! ;)