Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kiddie pool

Here are the kids playing with Brigham, in his kiddie pool. Maren got some cool action shots with her camera and sent them to me. Thanks Maren! Elisabeth wore Brigham's goggles/sunglasses and Annabelle wore Benjamin's sunglasses.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The garden

We extended the area of our garden this year. Not by a whole lot; probably by seventy-five to one-hundred square feet. But we hand tilled that area(with some little tools of course), so it took a couple of Saturdays to get it done. Here's what we've got growing in the garden right now:
strawberries, peaches, onions, peas(2 different kinds), tomatoes(4 different kinds), zucchini, carrots, potatoes, green beans and pumpkins.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial day hike

We love long weekends! Scott and I were able to get a lot of yard work done. The kids helped(aka, threw dirt, dug holes and tried to keep Annabelle from eating too much dirt) too so it was a family event :). Monday morning, we told the kids after we did a little more yard work, we could go hiking. So that's what we did.

There was a spot in front of the shed that was full of weeds and very little grass.
We dug them all out and, soon enough, we'll spread mulch over top
Scott digging out weeds near the garden

Once we finished pulling out all the weeds from three trouble-spots, we packed up some snacks and our gear, and took off for Donut Falls in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It was about 2 miles altogether, and a pretty easy hike; a good one for the kids. This was Elisabeth and Charlie's first time hiking on their own. Last time we went hiking, Annabelle was in my tummy, and we each carried a kid in those hiking backpacks.
getting ready to hike
Charlie eating a sandwich before we began our hike

Pretty water in the background. We got to cross over a small bridge here, which the kids enjoyed.
Everyone did really well on the hike. Scott and I each held one of the kids hands during most of the time because it was a little muddy and slippery in some spots because the snow is still melting up top. Once we got to the end, where the Donut Falls are, there's this steep rock, only about 10 feet tall(that's my estimate), that you have to climb down. Once you're down, you walk along the edge of the water, and then step onto a trail of rocks that are mostly under water, to get a little further out so that you can see the falls. As we got to the steep rock, we watched a family in front of us, struggle a little, to get down. We could see the running water from the falls, just not the falls. That's when I said to Scott, "I think this is good. What do you think?" But he said he'd like to try and go down still, so that we could actually see the falls. So we carefully climbed down, helping the kids climb as well, over the slippery and muddy rocks. That was the scariest part. Climbing back up wasn't as bad. And the falls were very pretty. We held the kids close as we walked, because we didn't want to lose anyone to the rushing water. Water always makes me nervous, mostly because 1.) the kids can't swim, and 2.) they don't have enough sense to stay fact, they are drawn to the water; just like they're drawn to fires. But anyways, the kids did great, Annabelle was on Scott's back in the backpack the whole time, and I gave Charlie a piggy-back ride for part of the time when he got a little tired. I'm so excited that the weather is warming up so that we can go on more hikes!

You can see the people down below in this picture. We're standing on the rocks that we're about to climb down so that we can see the falls. Pretty falls
On our way back down the trail, we stopped on flat ground and let Annabelle walk around. And we shared some apples.

Later that night we ate dinner at Arctic Circle. We love that they give free courtesy cones. Annabelle already likes to hold her own. And she can finish it, cone and all.
Daddy trying to take a bite of Annabelle's cone.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial day cupcakes

Saturday evening we went to a BBQ at a friends house. We all brought our own meat, and something to share. I got a new cake decorating tip last week that I was wanting to try out on's kind of a cupcake tip. This tip makes those giant swirls on the tops, that make cupcakes look like ice cream cones. So it's a lot of frosting for one cupcake and since not many adults like to have a lot of frosting(well, besides me...and maybe my mom), but generally kids do, I thought I'd bring it to the BBQ, because there was going to be lots of children there. I decorated 1/3 of the cupcakes in red, 1/3 in white and 1/3 in blue icing, and then I arranged them on the carrying tray, like the American flag. And I was right; they were a hit with the kids and were gone pretty fast. There's just something fantastic about eating a cupcake that has this giant colored swirl on top. I know I was excited! And I get so excited every time we walk into Peterson's Market bakery area and I get to see all the wonderful cakes they have there, with TONS of frosting! It makes my mouth water just thinking about it :).The only downside of these cupcakes(in my opinion) is that the blue and red ones change the color of your teeth and tongue. But that's only a very minor setback, and one that is easily remedied with a toothbrush and water.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bob and Mary

I mentioned last month that I brought an Easter cake to my old boss from BYU. Well, we didn't get time to chat much since we were on our way to a Grazzini family get together, so we invited them over for dinner this past Friday. We had such a nice time visiting with them. Bob was like a second father to me. I knew him mostly in my single and early married years, and he gave me lots of good advice. And he took care of me when I was pregnant, but still working and attending school. He'd bring food to work, for me, almost daily, and he also brought in mouth wash for me to use whenever I had to run to the bathroom to throw up, which I did everyday for a few months. I'm not sure if he brought the mouthwash more for my benefit or for his(who wants to talk to someone with puke-breath, right?), but either way, I was very grateful. He was always wanting me to rest and always very aware of my needs and what he could do to assist. He's a great man. And of course, I know his wife Mary because we got together with them a few times, for dinner for dessert or some other activity while I was down at BYU.

Anyways, I hadn't seen them in a couple of years until last month, and I wasn't sure what the kids reaction would be to them, but they loved them. Elisabeth was all over Bob. I think she was on his shoulders most of the evening: while we sat and visited, while they walked around in the backyard, while they walked downstairs to Elisabeth's room. And I tried a couple of times to get her off, but Bob would always say, "No, leave her. She's good here." Alright, whatever Bob, it's your back :). We're so glad we got to visit, and hopefully we'll be able to get together more often.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fun with the sprinkler

This last week, it got up to 90 degrees, so we dusted off the sprinkler and got it running for the kids. Elisabeth and Charles had a lot of fun with it. Annabelle, on the other hand, kept a very safe distance.Notice our garden in the background. Scott is an excellent gardener!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Annabelle is 15 months old

Annabelle turned 15 months on Saturday. Here are some fun things about our Annabelle:

She loves to dance and play with her baby. When she dances, she either stomps her feet in place very quickly, or she'll lift one foot up, back in the air like a ballerina. Annabelle likes to go in her room, sit on the floor in her closet and try on lots of shoes. She also loves pushing babies around in strollers and playing with her siblings. She's now at the age where she can tell us with words or gestures what she does and doesn't want/like, and she does this often. We love our little Annabelle! And little, she is. Here are her statistics from our trip to the doctor today:
Weight: 19lbs. 3oz.-5%
Height: 29 1/2 inches-23%
Head Circumference: 17.5in-14%
They checked her height twice, so I think that's a fairly accurate measurement. The head circumference, on the other hand, could be off because Annabelle was super wiggly, and kept shaking her head from side to side while saying, "uh-uh" which means 'no', while the nurse was trying to take that measurement. So Annabelle is growing, and her weight percentile has gone up by 1%, so that's good. On the charts, percentile wise, she went down in height and head circumference, but I really don't think that's very accurate because of how wiggly she always is, and they usually only check the measurements once. So anyways, she's still small, though all our children have been pretty small....she's just the smallest.

She still wears some of her 3-6 month old clothing, but can also fit into 12 month attire; it's just a little baggy. She wears size 2, in baby shoes and she just looks so adorable walking around everywhere because of how little she is. It's just plain cute. She still uses her infant car seat and faces backwards, but the Doctor told me today that they're coming out with a new front-facing requirement: you have to be 2 years old now, instead of one year and twenty pounds, before you switch to front-facing. Apparently they found that children under 2 facing back, are 5 times safer than those that face forward.

Annabelle loves to eat, and she eats a lot. Here are some of her favorites(but she'll eat about anything):
hard boiled eggs, hot dogs, chicken, refried beans, black beans, pinto beans, bananas, oranges, apples, steamed veggies, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, popcorn etc.
Here's a picture of Annabelle pigging out on her black beans
I'm still nursing Annabelle, though we're weaning. We're down to about one feeding every other day. I have hardly any milk left because of that, but she still wants to nurse, mostly for comfort I think. But I still want to nurse, as well. The weaning process has been harder on me, emotionally, this time around, maybe because I nursed her for longer than the others. I just love being able to comfort her and be close to her in that way. It's relaxing and peaceful for me as well, and gives me at least ten minutes of down time each time I nurse. But I think if I keep nursing her, it'll be even harder to stop later, so we're going to quit, and soon. I think we'll be all done by the end of this week.

Here are some of the words she says:(the words she says most frequently are in bold)
"ba"-ball, and also means she wants her water bottle; so we just need to be aware of the context. If said in kitchen, she's thirsty. If said outside, she wants the ball :)
"ea"-eat; but she usually just says, "um, um, um" when she wants to eat
"this" and "dee" she'll say this and point to something she wants
"Ba-bee"-bye; we think she might be saying, 'bye, baby' because that's what we say to her, but we're not sure.
"da-doe?" said with both palms raised upwards-where'd it go?
"eh-uh" or "uh-uh" she'll say this while shaking her head- it means no, and she says it just like me.

Words she signs:
more, please, thank you
I think Annabelle has a fear of heights. Either that or she just doesn't like to be in motion at a height. For example, she hates going down escalators, she hates when people try and toss her up in the air(and she's so light and little that it's a temptation for many:)), she doesn't like to go down slides, and she doesn't like to swing. Our neighbors gave us their old baby swing and so I've been working with Annabelle, trying to get her to sit in it for longer periods of time, with very soft and gentle pushes. At first she sat for about 2 seconds, then we worked up to 10 seconds and then a minute. Now she'll sit in there for a couple of minutes as long as you're right in front of her, smiling the entire time and giving her words of encouragement.

Girls night and garage sales

Once the boys left for their camp out Friday, we had a girls night out. Here's how our night went:
1. Library- we checked out a few movies and books
2. Arctic Circle- we ate dinner here and then Annabelle and Elisabeth played on the indoor play equipment they have and afterwords we each got our own little courtesy ice cream cone. It was Annabelle's first ice cream cone to herself and she LOVED it!
3. Kohl's- I got a $10 gift card in the mail from Kohl's to use on anything that is at least $10. Since Elisabeth's birthday is next month, I told her she could pick something out for her birthday and we'd use that card to go towards the gift. She picked out a pretty dress(of course! She LOVES dresses and wears them almost every day. It's a good thing she has tons to choose from), that was normally $22, on sale for $11, and with the gift card we ended up paying $1.07 total. I love getting a good deal.
4. Put Annabelle to bed
5. Painted Elisabeth's finger nails and toe nails
6. Made marshmallow popcorn
7. Watched one of our library movies: Curly Top with Shirley Temple
8. Went upstairs to bed-Elisabeth slept in my room in a sleeping bag on the floor. Before we went to bed we read and wrote in our journals together.

The next morning, Robin(my sister-in-law) called and said she found a water bath for canning at a garage sale for $2 and wanted to know if I still needed one. I did, thank you Robin! It was about 10am now and me and the girls had already mowed the lawn and got dressed for the day, so we decided to check out some local garage sales. We were able to get Elisabeth and Charles some clothes, a 14 inch bike with training wheels, a little baby stroller for Annabelle to push, a book, puzzle, and cars/dump trucks for Charles. All together we spent under $10. I had been keeping my eye out for a bike because Elisabeth will out grow hers by next year, so I was happy to find this. It's a boy bike, but our outdoor toys are not gender specific; the kids ride and use what ever is their size for their age. So next year, Charlie will probably be riding a pink bike :). Or I may end up spray painting them all silver or blue; or any color that's versatile. Oh, and Elisabeth was able to find two ballerina outfits. They fit perfect and are in excellent condition. The only problem is we're having a hard time convincing her that she should wear other clothes during the day and only wear her ballerina outfit when it's time to do ballet or play dress-up. Hopefully, in a few days, she'll be over the excitement of it all, and go back to wearing normal clothes, for most of the day.
In the pictures below, she has layered another ballerina skirt underneath

I had so much fun spending time with the girls and getting some one-on-one time with Elisabeth. We did this last year as well, and I'm sure it'll be something we look forward to every year.