Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Chicken Dancing

Grandma Carlson captured this Chicken Dance on her camera. If you look carefully, you can see the yellow chicken on the floor. He's providing the music the girls are dancing to.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Let it Snow

We don't get a lot of snow in almost sea level Seattle, so when we get even a dusting we make big deal of it. Yesterday we got our dusting, so the girls had a snowball fight and built a snowman.

Emma's holding a snowball, probably one that Ryan threw at her that bounced off her heavily-padded body and she picked up to throw back at him. Hannah is holding an "iceberg." This is a boot print that compacted into ice. Hannah called them icebergs.


Hard at work constructing a snowman.

Here's our Frosty. He lasted a few hours and then fell over. We told the girls he was sleeping. Our snow's gone now, but it sure was pretty and fun while it lasted!

A Self-Directed Learner

On Friday, Hannah was honored as a Student of the Month. Her teacher nominated her as a Self-Directed Learner.

Emma and I were able to come eat lunch with Hannah and watch her get her certificate from her principal, Mr. Terry. Emma was so excited she couldn't eat a bite of lunch. We all got to sit at a special table in the lunchroom with fun decorations. Hannah got her picture up on the screen in the lunchroom (sorry for the poor picture).

She got to wear a special badge with a purple ribbon attached.

Emma was sad to say bye to Hannah when lunch was over and it was time for recess. Emma tried to chase after Hannah to go play, but I redirected her in the direction of the parking lot. Once we were in the car driving home, Emma was able to calm down enough to eat her lunch.

Hannah was very proud of her award. The other night, when I was putting her to bed, I told her how proud I was of her. "You're such a smart girl, a good big sister, and so kind," I told her. She nodded her head and said, "And self-directed?"

While Mom & Dad Are Away...

Hannah and Emma stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Carlson while Ryan and I went to Utah. Here's some highlights from their visit:
Auntie Ann took them to see "Mr. Popper's Penguins" at the Children's Theater near Ann's school. The girls loved the play and are now enamored with all things penguin. They still walk around and "talk" like penguins. I didn't know penguins talked.
Grandma Carlson took the girls to visit Brother Call's farm. They were amazed at ALL the pumpkins and varieties of squash. Brother Call sent them home with a trunk load of squash.

The girls always love to color.
Grandma's backyard is inhabited by a number of well-fed squirrels. The girls threw peanuts out on the back porch, then watched at the window as the squirrels collected and burried their peanuts.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dental Drudgery? Not for these girls.

Who says visiting the dentist isn't fun? Ok, I do, but only when I'm the one sitting in the chair. My girls seem to love their dental appointments. I think we have flouridated water and tooth paste to thank for that. NO CAVATIES! I always take pictures when the girls are getting their teeth cleaned because I think it's so cute. They're quite brave and cooperative with the hygenists and the dentist. Emma wasn't always so fond of their dentist. The first time she saw him, knowing he was coming to visit her teeth after Hannah's, she leaned in to me and said, "I don't like him." Thankfully, they have a very gentle and kind dentist who knows that Sleeping Beauty is also known as Aurora. This knowledge made him instantly acceptable in Emma's eyes. Here's pictures from last week's visit.

Safety sunglasses in place, Emma's ready to "ride" the chair up and back. Six months ago, she refused to be reclined in the seat. The seat went back, but Emma stayed rigidly upright. They also tried to raise the chair up, but she about jumped off, so they let that go too. This visit she was very brave. No chair or mouth instrument issues. She even allowed them to take X-rays. When they told me they were going to attempt this, I laughed and wished them good luck. But Emma watched Hannah have "mouth pictures" taken and decided that was OK for her too. She looked a little nervous in the X-ray room all by herself with the heavy cover on and the camera wedged under her jaw, but she did it. Whew!

Here's brave big sister Hannah, in the seat next to Emma for her cleaning. Thank goodness for big sisters who experience things first so little sisters can watch and want to follow their example.

Emma "kissing" the suction tube thingy to get the rinse water out of her mouth. She liked that thing so much the hygenist had to ask her to "open" over and over. She just didn't want to let go.

Hannah, during cleaning.

I just had to snap this picture of Emma. She's so small in the seat! And you should know that this is a pediatric dentist's office so the chairs are small to begin with! Her feet don't even come to the chair's knee bend area.

After the dentist's final inspection, the girls got their new toothbrushes, "good patient" princess stickers, and a small toy for good behavior. No wonder they love the dentist - look at all the great loot they get!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Provo: Food, Football, Fun

Ryan and I visited Provo this weekend and had a wonderful time. The girls stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Carlson and also had a wonderful time. We'll see if we can get some pictures of their weekend on here in a future post. In the meantime, here's some highlights from our Utah getaway.

I'll start this posting with a confession: Before this trip, Ryan and I had never eaten at Cafe Rio. Yes, that's right. Shocking, I know. Honestly, we're not sure if Cafe Rio existed when we were at BYU. Furthermore, when we were in college, we were financially strapped and rarely ate out. If we did eat out, we went to Los Hermanos wearing our "free drink" T-shirts. We loved Los Hermanos and, most of all, our free Brisa de Mora Negras. So it was only under intense peer pressure that we stopped in at Cafe Rio in Provo. We waited in a line that went out the restaurant's door and asked the guy in front of us what we should order. He said he'd been to Cafe Rio "over 100 times" and gave us some good suggestions. In the end, we were very impressed with our dinners (Ryan: steak enchilada, Laura: Pork Barbacoa Salad). The food was super flavorful and SO fresh.

The next night, we went to our old favorite: Los Hermanos. Both of us packed our old Los Hermanos "free drink" T-shirts in our suitcases, but not wanting to look like old school fools, we called Los Hermanos before we donned our shirts. Ryan's phone conversation with the girl at Los Hermanos went like this:

Ryan: Hi, do you still honor the "free drink" Los Hermanos T-shirts?
Girl: Do you mean the "eternal coupon?" [I can't even type it without laughing.]
Ryan: Uh, yes, I guess so.
Girl: Yes we do!

Ryan and I laughed for a good while after that. Only in Provo would it be called "the eternal coupon." So, we went to Los Hermanos and enjoyed our free Brisas and dinner. It was only after finishing and seriously contemplating our dinners that we reluctantly decided that .... we liked Cafe Rio better. I feel bad saying it, like I'm letting down an old, faithful friend. But, we couldn't deny that Cafe Rio was much more flavorful and fresh. Nevertheless, when we want a free drink, we know where we'll be going... eternally.

We did do more than eat, I promise. Below, we're at the BYU football game. It was so beautiful and HOT! We had to go back to our hotel at halftime to change into cooler clothes.

Here's a shout out to my sister Julie, former BYU band member and horn player. Horns Rule!

After the game, we went to Brick Oven. Does Cosmo the Cougar always go to Brick Oven after football games? We seemed to be the only people surprised to see him. In our college days we weren't post game Brick Oven regulars. We probably went home after games and ate Hamburger Helper. We took advantage of our Cosmo celebrity sighting and took this picture.

We spent a lot of our time walking around campus. We visited the new JFSB for the first time. It replaced the SFLC building from our college days. I won't say what everyone REALLY called that building. Those of you who were there already know. It would be hard to call the new JFSB any gross name. It was so beautiful, well planned, and spacious. We also walked through the buildings we once worked in. My JSB was exactly the same as far as I could tell. Ryan's Testing Center was mostly the same with some technological updates. We like the huge flat screen that told which tests were being offered, what late fees were being charged, and what the average testing time was for each test. "Yes, I love technology." We tried three times to visit the new Hinckley Visitor's Center. Unfortunately, we kept getting there after hours. Regardless, we were very impressed with the exterior alone.

We walked through Helaman Halls and my old dorm. We took the following picture standing in front of my dorm window. What a great view I had! The mountains, the Y , the Cannon Center, the grassy meadow (NCMO Meadow? After dark it was anyway.) And now, the Hinckley Building is in view too. I was interested to discover a new Cannon Center being built behind the old one. That probably explains why the old Cannon Center hasn't changed at all since I was a freshman.

We spent a little bit of time in Salt Lake visiting Temple Square. We saw the newly refurbished Tabernacle and listened to the "acoustical demonstration" there. I'd never heard this done before and was most impressed by the pin drop from the podium. We heard it perfectly from our seats in the far back. Back at our car, we discovered someone had left a pass along card under our windshield wiper. This was amusing, but made even better because this well-intentioned person had stamped "I Love You" across the picture of Christ on the card.

Overall, we had a great weekend. We love BYU and love any time we get to spend there.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

H-A-double L-O-W-double E-N spells HALLOWEEN!

Did anyone else sing that song in elementary school? "Halloween means ghosts and goblins, scaring the people who open the door...." To this day, I sing it to myself when I have to spell "Halloween." I always thought it was a cool song, but I sang it to my girls and they were totally unimpressed.

Our Halloween began with a couple of parties last weekend including our ward's Halloween party. We ate chili, cornbread, and hot dogs. Someone made these cute little critters from half a hotdog wrapped in a biscuit with Chinese noodle legs. Emma was suspicious of eating something with legs, so we told her they were aphids. Ladybugs eat aphids, right? So... She ate it and said it was a great little aphid.

Emma and the half-eaten aphid.

Here's Ryan wrapping the girls up in the mummy wrapping contest.

Final product.

Halloween night was CRAZY, as always. Did you know that the busiest pizza delivery day of the year is Halloween? I believe it. Dinner is kind of an afterthought when you've got costumes, makeup, candy, parties, pictures, etc. to think about.

As you can see, Hannah was Sleeping Beauty and Emma was a ladybug. They loved their costumes and are already planning what they're going to be for the next two Halloweens. We had the girls dressed in layers as it was in the 40s during trick-or-treating time. We tried to walk quickly between houses to keep warm. At least it wasn't raining.

Although they were so excited to trick-or-treat, they were a little timid at first. Hannah wouldn't knock on the doors for the first block or so. Emma would get so enchanted/scared by the other kids costumes, she'd just stand in the doorway, mouth open staring at costumes. So much for "trick-or-treat." One little boy's Spiderman costume was particularly scary to her. Ryan's "spiders eat bugs" comment didn't help the situation.

We trick-or-treated until their buckets were full (I gave myself a pat on the back for choosing small candy buckets). Back at home, they looked over their loot and literally danced around it. Hannah wanted to know what each kind of candy was. Emma would have eaten it all that night, if we would have let her. This morning, the first thing she wanted was more candy. We had to have a talk about when we eat candy and when we don't. Before 9:00 AM is a time we don't.

Hope everybody had a great Halloween!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stinky Pumpkin

We carved our Halloween pumpkin last night. Though Emma was very excited about this, she changed her tune once the carving began. Ryan pulled the stem/lid off the pumpkin and ...

Emma immediately did this:

She covered her nose! She didn't like the smell of the pumpkin "guts." She's always been super sensitive to smells (like her mom), but a pumpkin? I kind of like the smell. It brings back happy childhood memories. Nevertheless, Emma covered her nose, or made some sort of face for the entire carving.

Meanwhile, Hannah was not fazed by the smell or guts. She drew pictures of "pumkenz" while Ryan carved.

Emma, continuing to be disgusted.

"You put your hand in THAT?"

Hannah decided she would touch the pumpkin seeds and carved chunks.

Emma liked the final product and managed to forget about the smell for a minute.

Amazing how things can change in one year's time:

2006 pumpkin carving photos: Yes, that's Emma with her hand -gasp- IN the pumpkin!

Emma dumped the pumpkin guts while Hannah cowered in fear behind her. Total role reversal from last year to this.

In-N-Out Menyou

This past weekend, Ryan returned from a week-long business trip to L.A. While there he ate at the famous In-N-Out Burger. He brought the girls home their own burger-flippin' hats and they had a pretend drive through restaurant. They used their play food and kitchen stove, with barstools serving as the drive through window. Ryan helped Hannah write the menu pictured below.

Hannah: Dad, how do you spell "menu?"
Ryan: M-E-N
Hannah: Got that.
Ryan: U
Hannah: Ok.

She hears "you," not the letter U. Kindergarten spelling is endlessly entertaining.

Friday, October 12, 2007

No. 3

Baby #3 is due in April. Here's the 12 week ultrasound photos:

Baby's head is on the right, knees are up by tummy with feet in the air... in case it isn't obvious. I'd never had an ultrasound taken before 20 weeks, so I wasn't expecting to see much on this one. Despite being only 7 mm long, we could see facial features, detail of the spine, feet, hands, legs, bladder, stomach, and both hemispheres of the brain. It was absolutely amazing.

Here baby's knees and feet are pulled in, head's still on the right. :) This one is a little more blurry, but they turned out pretty well considering these are pictures I took of the glossy picture the ultrasound machine printed out. Who needs a scanner?

Monday, October 1, 2007


The coolest pop up book EVER! Hannah and Emma love this book about dinosaurs ("Dinosaurs" by Robert Sabuda & Matthew Reinhart) because each page has multiple pop ups and they're so intricate. Thanks Auntie Ann!

Meanwhile, in potty training land...

Emma is making progress. She wears big girl undies all the time, unless she's sleeping. I'm not ready for wet beds yet. We still have occasional accidents, but she's doing so much better!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Loose Tooth + Pillow Fight =

Yes, that's right. Hannah lost her first tooth during a pillow fight. It was quite loose before the pillows started flying. My Mom, in fact, said she "could have had it out of there" the day before, but she didn't want to rob us of the opportunity of pulling it ourselves. Since loose teeth and - heaven forbid - having to pull them out, make me sick to my stomach, I would have been OK with Grandma pulling it. But, Ryan wanted to be the one to do it. Yuck.

In the end, Hannah pulled her own tooth out... sort of. While playing in the living room of Grandma and Grandpa Mattson's house, under the watchful care of Uncle Greggy, a pillow fight began. Who started the fight is any one's guess (cough, cough: Greg). By his own account (and feel free to comment/defend yourself if I'm misquoting you), Greg lobbed a pillow at Hannah. The pillow hits Hannah in the face/mouth. Hannah recovers quickly and, laughing, says something to the effect of "hey, you're going to knock out my loose tooth!" Greg, having forgotten all about the loose tooth until now, decides he'd better make sure the tooth is still there and not somewhere on Grandma's white carpet. Upon inspection, he confirms the tooth has not come out. Hannah says that the pillow loosened the tooth more, so she grabs it between her fingers and - yank! The tooth is out! Both Greg and Hannah think this is very cool, so they exchange high fives and run into the kitchen, where the rest of the family is. Greg and Hannah are both running with their hands up in the air, over their heads. One of Hannah's hands is holding her tooth. She's smiling broadly with blood from her gum starting to drip onto her lip. After we mopped up the blood and found some Tupperware to hold the tooth, we had a good laugh. I wonder if she went to school the next day and told her friends, "My uncle knocked out my tooth with a pillow!"

Sweet Hannah told my Mom that she was hoping to get "a shiny penny" from the tooth fairy. The tooth fairy must have been feeling generous that night, because she got four quarters. Ryan walked by the girls' room the morning after the tooth fairy's visit. He overheard Hannah whispering to Emma, "It's 6:53 Emma. I can't wait until it's 7 so I can show Mommy!!!" Many of you probably don't know that Hannah is required to stay in her bed until her digital clock's first number is a 7. So, she was awake (for who knows how long) sitting in bed, waiting for her clock to get to 7, so she could get out and show her fairy loot.

Do the Puyallup

This past Saturday we went to the Puyallup Fair. I LOVE the Puyallup Fair. Does anyone else dream of Elephant Ears? Here's some pictures from our visit.
Hannah & Emma with the pig "Annelise" in the background. We found out that this pig was named after the character in the girls' current favorite movie "Barbie's Princess and the Pauper." Emma even sang the pig one of the songs from the movie.

Each year at the fair, it's our tradition to find the mama and baby pigs. These pigs were only three days old. Hence, the mama's passed out in the corner.

Ryan and the girls "milking" the "cow." Another yearly tradition. The girls must have enjoyed it because they played dairy instead of princesses that evening.

Ryan and Hannah on the swings. Emma was too scared to ride.

This ride was more Emma's speed, though she still wasn't too excited about it.

And this ride, the Kiddyland Train, was my speed. No spinning, twisting, racing, or tipping.

The final ride was the river canoes. After enjoying our Trans-fat Free Elephant Ears, we headed home. Until next September, Puyallup!