Saturday, July 10, 2010

Eat Mor Chikin

Yesterday was Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-a, so we took advantage of the "holiday" and dressed up as cows for some free dinner! David even got to make good use of his old Halloween costume from last year (huge back then equals tight but manageable now). Funny kid, I can't understand why he would possibly want to lose the pajama-ish long pants, long arms costume in this hot summer heat before we got the camera out, though...

I love a good Chick-fil-a sandwich, they're so yummy. And we had a fun dinner with some friends we met up with at the restaurant. We'll definitely be waiting for Cow Appreciation Day next time again!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Family Pictures

We had some family pictures taken a month or so ago by a friend from the ward. I just love how they turned out! It's nice to have a family picture for the wall finally, too.
Here are some of our favorites.









If you live in the area, give April a call for your next photo session!
http://photosbyaprilwilliams.blogspot.com/

Happy 4th of July!



O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fortunately...

And at the end of the day, we made up for the fail of the morning! The sun came out, and we loaded the stroller and walked to the pool for a nice hour and a half swim. Just long enough to get all nice and raisin-y in a good way, of course, and all is right in the world again for the little ones.

Oh, but during the rain, we also made popcorn, played Uno Attack, watched a movie, and ate lemon bars to cheer up the sadness of no swimming. I'm pretty sure Anna and David had the best day they've had in a while. Lucky kids.

The pool really did feel great, though. Many thanks to our friend, Allison, who came and helped in the pool with the kids. Good day!

Fail

Ever have those days where you just have Mom "fails"? No? Shoot, I'd better work on this.

There are all kinds of little things, like when Anna asked for a popsicle the other day. That's a special treat, mostly because I don't like dealing with the mess, and I said yes. She literally squealed in excitement and hopped up and down. Upon searching the freezer, however, I could not find the last popsicle that I KNEW had been there. Try substituting apple slices for the yummy popsicle she'd built up in her mind.

FAIL.

And then slightly bigger ones.
Last Saturday, 10:30 a.m. I had a wonderful, lazy, sleeping-in morning as Dan was heroic enough to get up and turn on a movie for Anna before lying back down and falling asleep. Miraculously, David was still sleeping. Movie over, Anna excitedly came running into the room asking, "Mom, is it time for my a-tivity at the church?" My eyes pop open as the realization sank in. It's not so fun telling your 3 almost 4-year-old sunbeam that the 9:30-11:00 Primary "a-tivity" will be over before you could even drive her to the church.

FAIL.

Last night, in an effort to be Super Mom (why do I even try?), I promised Anna and David that we could walk to the neighborhood pool to swim this morning. I woke up to an overcast sky this morning, but held out hope that it would just be a nice, less sunny swim. Murphy and his law must have gotten a good chuckle out of that one, and sure enough, as we were finishing getting dressed for the pool a little while ago, the skies opened and buckets started pouring.
David is still blissfully ignorant of the loss for the most part, not fully understanding why he's dressed in his blue and green alligator swimming trunks. But poor little Anna knows and feels so greatly the insult-added-to-injury of walking around the house still dressed in her cute blue suit while not being able to go swim. Or at least swim yet? Here's hoping the rain will blow over soon so I can have a little mother-redemption. (And after typing that, I just went to weather.com and checked out the forecast for the day--thunderstorms all day. Yeah, I'm not liking Murphy very much today.)

FAIL.

I hope I get this week turned around and quickly. Man, life sure is getting harder as Anna is getting older and remembers more. Because I really don't like being the one to crush this cute little spirit.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Are You My Mother?

We love Dr. Seuss at our house. This is one of Anna's favorites. Yesterday she pulled it out, and I started to read it. Anna reprimanded me and said that she wanted to read it to David instead of me reading it to her. It made me smile because I can remember "reading" my favorite books before I actually could read them, too. I still have one of my favorite childhood stories, "A Home For a Bunny", mostly memorized when I read it to Anna. I'm glad she has a love of reading already too!
video

Sunday, March 28, 2010

An Addition

Welcoming the newest member of the family!


Isn't she beautiful? How about a little close-up?


This beauty joined the family this week after Dan and I recently started shopping around more seriously for a piano of our very own.

When we moved to Texas almost 3 years ago, we were so thrilled to be able to bring the old family piano with us for a little while as Mom had just purchased a brand new Kawai grand piano that spring. Knowing that the piano would eventually be passed on down to my younger brother, Jon, we got to be the interim home for this much beloved old piano. The last 3 years have been wonderful having a piano in our home after living through college without one, and it's also been fun being able to play so much on the piano that I grew up with and learned to play on.

This piano has a legacy of its own. Every time I've called a piano tuner to come and tune the piano in the last few years, I feel a little sense of pride to hear how impressed they are with the condition of this over-100-year-old piano. It's definitely well-loved and played, and does not play quite as well as it used to, but they can tell it's been loved and well taken care of as it's held up through the years. I'm not sure how many lives it has had, but I do know that it belonged to my great grandfather, spent some time in the basement of a church in Idaho, made a cross-country journey to Kansas City pulled by my grandfather in a trailer out to my family probably before I was born, moved back to Utah when I was 9, and had a nice 3-year stint with us here in Houston. Now it will be on to San Francisco to live with my brother and sister-in-law, Jon and Carrie, and their baby Shayla on it's next life. I'm sure all of my siblings feel a bit nostalgic about this piano, learning to play from Bastien, Music Tree, and Alfred methods, playing duets of "Heart and Soul", hiding and/or finding Easter candy left behind by the Easter bunny 3 months earlier that somehow was missed during the hunt and was well-hidden and forgotten under the music holder. I feel privileged to be a part of some of the many lives that it has seen.

But the time has now come to get ready to pass on the piano now that Jon is finishing up school at BYU and they're moving to California this summer. I didn't want to end up without a piano for a period of time if I could avoid it because I'm attached to piano ownership now, and I'm also teaching lessons, so Dan and I started shopping around in the last month or two. When we found our new Kawai, I fell in love with it. It's a used 30-year-old 52" full upright, but newly factory-refurbished, straight in from the factory in Japan last week, so like new. It plays like a dream! And of course it looks like a dream too, and I love the shiny black finish. Anna and David, of course, like to touch it as much as I do, so I'm learning quickly the tricks to polishing off the fingerprints. But I'm so excited to have our own piano that I will teach them to play on when they're older. I hope that our new piano will be as well-loved through the years and will become a legacy in our family as we grow with it.

And in the meantime until June or July, I am the lucky owner of 2 pianos in my front room! So anyone up for some fun duets or quartets, come on over for some fun jam sessions!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Park fun

This was a week and a half ago, still definite jacket weather, but a gorgeous sunny day! So we had our regular weekly preschool class at the park and let the kids run around. We loved this "tire park" that our friends introduced us to, so I'm sure we'll go back for more fun this spring and summer.







Another one bites the dust


courtesy of David, resident 15 1/2 month old Captain Destruct-o.

Dan and I got this set of 8 glasses when we were first married almost 6 years ago. David has managed to, in the last month and a half, break not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 of the 5 remaining glasses we owned still intact. This most recent break was engineered by his diabolical plot carefully orchestrated by waiting until the dishwasher was only "fake-closed" and unattended, then pulling the door down, climbing up, and innocently emptying cups and bowls from the top rack onto the kitchen floor. Poor glass never saw it coming. Thank heavens for Corelle-ware that withstands toddler tosses. I guess we not only need locks for the cabinets, but also the dishwasher. Do they even sell such a thing? Oh wait, it's called the self-locking door already there. Note to self, Always push dishwasher door fully closed to lock so your 1-year-old can't "help" anymore. Or I could of course be better about emptying the dishwasher the second the dry cycle is complete so David has nothing to empty for me... oh who are we kidding? Do I ever empty the dishwasher that quickly after it's done? Please tell me I'm not the only one who grabs plates and silverware to set the table for dinner straight from the dishwasher--when it was run over 24 hours ago?

In the meantime, looks like I get to go shopping for a new set of drinking glasses. Thanks, Destruct-o Davy.

Chattering Anna

I'm constantly amazed at the things that Anna says these days. There is power in words, and Anna is learning the beauty of communication. Here are a few lessons she's learned.

"Mommy, can I have..." Anna spies my tall glass of water and grins, "I can have some of yours, Mommy?"
"But Anna, I want to drink that since it's mine."
"That's ok, we can share!" says the little imp.
Yes, we have the art of sharing down well. As long as we're sharing something that wasn't Anna's to begin with.

"Mom, you're a nice Mommy." followed by a hug and big grin. "Can I have some more pretzels?"
also
"Mommy, you can give me a snack if you want to!" followed by another big smile.
I love it when Anna gives me permission to do stuff. Hmm, she seems to have manipulation down pat too.

Not to mention the constant correcting of her parents.
At bedtime when we're tucking both little ones in:
Dan: Night, big girl. Night, little boy.
Anna: Da-a-a-d, we're called babies.
Don't forget the eye-roll. Where did she pick up on the eye-roll already, anyway? She's only 3 and a half, for goodness sake.

And then there are other equally adorable and very sweet things too.
"Mommy, you're my best friend!" paired with a big bear hug.
or
"You look so wonderful!" after I've brushed my hair in the morning. Anna loves using the word wonderful.
And everyone needs a 3-year-old to tell them that they look wonderful. It does the heart good.

And I must say that my favorite part of the day is when Anna wants to sing with me, whether we sit at the piano and sing, or when we sing before she goes to sleep at night. There is nothing sweeter than hearing her break out into "I Am a Child of God" when we're driving in the car.

Love our sweet, growing, talkative girl!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring









How we've missed you!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Felt Heart Wreath


This is for Katie, Melissa, and Tammy, and anyone else who wants to know how to make the Valentine wreaths I posted here.

I first read about it on the blog Be Different Act Normal here.
The original idea came from the blog The Idea Room here.

They're really simple to make, just take some time to cut out all the felt circles. I roped Dan into helping cut some of them out while we watched a movie. For the 9" wreath I used 2" diameter circles, and for the 12" wreath I used 3" circles. And the best part is it is so inexpensive to make, especially if you use a 40% off coupon on the strofoam wreath.

Enjoy!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hair

When Anna and I were able to do this to David,


Dan said, "Enough's enough!" and it was time to do this.


First haircut! My boy's looking mighty grown-up with all of his little baby wisps gone. He's looking very cute, but I can't help but sniffing a bit when I see him walking all over looking more and more like a toddler everyday. Love our little boy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Hearts Day!

What makes a better Valentine's Day than heart-shaped jello jigglers?




Don't forget the "heart footprints" as Anna so excitedly called the remains in the pan. Creative, that girl is.

Ok, maybe I wasn't really feeling like pulling out the rolling pin for sugar cookies. But at least we used cookie cutters. And we had fun!

Last night Dan and I got a sitter and had a blissful 3-hour date night out without the kids. We had dinner at Olive Garden along with apparently half of Houston, considering the hour wait, but that chicken alfredo was definitely worth it. We did end the night by stopping at the grocery store for milk, cheese, and eggs. That's a lot cooler than it sounds, of course, since I can't remember the last time we've been in a store together without the kids. Ah, the little things.

Oh, and I have to post about the fun wreaths I made this year! This has been floating around all the craft blogs I haunt, and I fell in love with it and had to try my hand at it. Simple, elegant, and I love it!
Anna helping me model it


I couldn't find a 12" wreath, so I bought the 9" one for the first go around. Then when I found the bigger one, I had to make another to fit the front door better, so now the 9" is hanging over our mirror.

Happy Valentine's Day! Hope you all had a fun weekend!

Monday, February 8, 2010

He Walks!

David is finally starting to walk! He took his first few steps a week or two ago, and now is starting to take off already. We're proud of our new little walker! He's pretty pleased with himself too. He's getting pretty good at walking laps back and forth across the room.

video

I'm afraid he's going to literally be giving us a run for our money now that he can walk. There's no going back now that he knows what he's been missing!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sorry

We haven't fallen off the face of the Earth. We're just catching up on a little of this

and some of this.

The Experiment is yielding very satisfactory results! There of course must be a margin of error in all experiments and statistics gathered, I suppose, so it is normal to not expect perfection yet (I hope normal!). But in the meantime, I think we're definitely going to keep up this shared bedroom status. Anna and David both are sleeping better over all, David seems to be learning how to fall asleep in his bed much easier with Anna in the room, and Anna is learning how to sleep better with a room buddy. We've greatly reduced the number of nights one and/or both of them wake up in the night and make it into our room. Hooray!

And Dan and I are catching up on the less-evasive sleep we love so well. Ah, sleep, how I've missed you!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Experiment

The Players

Neither child has been sleeping well at night lately despite each having his/her own room. Both usually end up in Mommy and Daddy's room (read: bed) well before dawn breaks, much to said parent's chagrin and sleep-detriment. The aforementioned sleep-deprived parents, out of sheer desperation/exhaustion, will attempt the daring, the bold, the unthinkable, the hopefully-not-sleep-defying placement of 2 tykes in the SAME BEDROOM! Will they survive? Will said mother and father finally get to lay their soon-to-be-14-month-old down in his crib just once at bedtime without him crying out in fear of his solitary confinement? Will the 3-year-old ever stop talking to the 13-month-old in the dark so they can finally fall asleep? Will both children sleep through the night without forcing their way into the unwilling "family bed"? And will the whole family finally get some much needed zzzz's?

Only time will tell...

Tune in next time for the gripping continuation of "Sleep, My Children"!