Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Walk

This week has been cold and snowy. School was cancelled for the last 3 days of the week bringing an early Winter Break. We've been able to get out of the house here and there, but we're feeling a little bit of cabin fever. We've wrapped most of our Christmas presents, played lots of Uno games, played Zooreka and Balloon Lagoon, put puzzles together, watched movies, vacuumed (no excuse when I'm stuck at home), done laundry, and lots of blogging.
Here are some pictures from a snow walk on Thursday. The snow was coming sideways, so poor Miriam finally turned her head into her hood and fell asleep. Snow is not as exciting when you're only 8 months old. Ryan's dressed Miriam in her all-white P.J.s. He's calling them her "snow P.J.s." Anyone remember KSL weatherman Mark Eubank's "snow coat?" Same idea. I know, Ryan's pretty funny, isn't he?

Hannah and Emma's snow angels.



Last night we had a big storm with strong winds and snow. Church was cancelled today, so we're snowed in on Sunday again. Right now we're watching it snow and thinking about making cookies.
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Oh Christmas Tree. . .

We traveled over the river and through the woods to Ace Hardware to get our tree this year. Usually, we support our local Mom and Pop hardware store by purchasing our tree there, but $15.99 for a Noble was too good to pass up. Can you believe it?!
After taking down the birthday decor (except for a few surviving balloons seen on the wall in the background) we decorated our tree. This is always soooo exciting for the girls and a little frustrating for Ryan and I as we always find one of our cheap-o light strings is no longer working. Would it really be Christmas without a malfunctioning light or two?
My friend Betsy reminded me that the tree is for the kids, so I tried my best to restrain my almost overwhelming desire to have the tree look perfect. They put whatever ornament the wanted where ever they wanted and I didn't say a word. I haven't even moved one ornament from it's original location. I may have asked Ryan to move one or two. Maybe.

Emma taking her turn placing the star.

Hannah placing the star.

My babies in front of the tree. I LOVE this picture.

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Snowed in Sunday

The day after Emma's party, we got snowed in. Ryan was able to get out of our neighborhood for his early morning church meetings, but three hours later we couldn't. I thought we'd be able to make it out and got all of us dressed and ready:
Unfortunately, no dice. We sat in the car and watched the hill, but after watching the four-wheel-drive cars sliding sidways and backwards down the hill, I decided to head back home.
Once home and changed back into our P.J.s and slippers Hannah read Emma stories from the Friend magazine.

Meanwhile, Miriam listened and played with the Little People.

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Oh Birthday Tree, Oh Birthday Tree . . .

In an effort to keep Emma's birthday special and to prevent it from getting lumped in with Christmas, we have always purchased our tree after her birthday party. This year, we got the tree before the party. (I'll post more about that later.) Emma was very excited about the tree, but I still had Mom guilt about it. So, in an effort to make the tree fit in with the birthday decor, we created the birthday tree. Next year I might add lights to make it more fun and sparkly.
We had a lot of family come over for Emma's party. Here's my sister and and her boyfriend Teddy with my girls and their cousin Gracie. Gracie's family (Ryan's sister Kristin and her husband Antonio) is in town from Texas for Christmas.
I love Hannah's expression as Emma opened up this gift.
Thanks for the cute jeans Auntie Julie and Uncle Dave! (And thanks for the fab flower hair clippy from Auntie Staci and Uncle Greggy!)
As requested, the Rainbow Fish Cake.


Me lighting the candles, Greg snapping pictures of the festivities.

Grandma Kane (my maternal grandmother) and Grandma Vreeken (Ryan's maternal grandmother) watching Emma blow out the candles.

Emma, Hannah, and Gracie eating their cake and ice cream. Or, the icing off the cake in Emma's case.
Thanks to all our family who came and made Emma's celebration extra special!


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Santa's Lap

Emma's preschool program was last week. She was excited to be the one on stage performing while Hannah sat with Mom and Dad watching. Hannah really liked watching and thought all the "little kids" were really cute.
After the performance Santa comes to take pictures with the kids. Miriam was really tired by this point in the evening, so she was really wiggly. At least she wasn't crying. Hannah was the only one who didn't want to sit on Santa's lap. Luckily, one of her best school friends was behind us in line, so we could use the power of peer pressure. Neither of the girls could think of anything to ask Santa for (!), but Emma did manage to tell him "we have a Christmas tree!"
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A Quality Producer

Hannah's teacher chose her to be a Student of the Month for December. As a reward for her work, our family got to go have lunch with her.


During lunch her principal gave out the awards. Hannah and Emma both think the principal is pretty much a rock star. Hannah was so excited to have us at lunch, she forgot to get her own lunch box from her class basket! I had to go track it down. Ryan and I very much enjoyed being in the school cafeteria. Elementary school kids are endlessly entertaining.


As a side note, one of Hannah's best friends was chosen as the other Student of the Month from her class. He and Hannah sometimes play Star Wars during lunchtime. His mom tells me that he likes to play with Hannah because "she knows all about Star Wars and most girls don't!" She can thank her Dad for that. I'd never watched Star Wars until I started dating him. Another game Hannah and her friend like to play is "John McCain and Sarah Palin." Hannah tells me that her friend pretends to be John McCain and she pretends to be Sarah Palin - with her new glasses, of course. Not sure what they actually play....
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

The world through rose-colored glasses

Hannah got glasses yesterday! The frames are, of course, pink. The sides are adorned with sparkly "gems." Did you expect any less? To top off the girly-factor, they came in a hot pink case with handles that make it look like a purse! How did they know that a girl who wants pink bedazzled glasses would want a pink purse case to keep them in?! Amazing.

Hannah feels sort of so-so about wearing glasses. She really likes the pink fru-fru fancy of them, but not so much the having to wear them part of them. Last night she kept taking them off and leaving them all over. Emma would then find them and put them in a "special place." Unfortunately, Emma's special places are not places that the rest of us know about. Our TV remote went to one of her special places once and we haven't seen it since.

Today is Hannah's first day wearing her glasses to school and I'm just hoping she'll keep them on. I know it's hard to wear glasses as a kid. Ryan and I were both in elementary school when we got glasses. Here's hoping the other kids will be kind and she'll just be able to forget the glasses are even there.

Anyone watch the dog show?

We had a very nice and quiet Thanksgiving and hope all of you did as well. We watched the Macy's Parade on TV and even part of the dog show that follows it. Surprisingly, the dog show was funny! Not intentionally, but nevertheless quite amusing. Who knew? I may even tune in next year.

Despite an apparent hunger strike over the Thanksgiving Holiday, Miriam has decided to eat solid food again. Hannah got to feed her the other day and loved it! Emma hasn't fed her with a spoon yet, but regularly takes it upon herself to stuff Miriam's mouth with Cheerios. We're working on that, don't worry.
Miriam isn't spitting up nearly as much as she used to. !!!!! It's so nice. Occasionally she still tags us, but that's okay. We've gotten really good at stain removal. The Bleach Pen is a wonderful invention. I firmly believe one should be included inside each package of white baby onesies.
Miriam continues to love her baths. She starts squealing the minute she enters the bathroom. She would dive into the tub fully clothed if we didn't hang on to her. Usually, all the girls take a bath together, but sometimes she gets the tub all to herself.
When Hannah was in Preschool, Emma and I used to walk her to school most days. I hadn't been making the trek this year, but decided to start. You know, now that the weather is cold and rainy. I don't mind walking in the rain and, thanks to my friend Ashlee, we have a great jogging stroller that has a rain cover! The girls stay warm and dry.

Here's Miriam napping with her Teddy bear tucked under her arm. I often find her sleeping like this. Thanks Teddy! She sleeps much better now, in case anyone is wondering. She will fall asleep on her own for bedtime and naptimes. She still wakes up to eat once during the night, but I'm not up to fighting that battle yet.

Ah, yes. I tried to take some pictures of the girls in their Christmas dresses. Some pictures turned out better than others. I just liked this one because of Miriam's facial expression. My second favorite has Hannah and Emma smiling perfectly, but Miriam leaning way forward trying to lauch herself off of the couch.

Fantastic 4

It's been said that the twos are terrible, but I would disagree. Three has been my hardest year with both Hannah and Emma. And so, it is with great excitement I announce that


EMMA IS NOW 4!!!!

Yippee! We have left the land of timeouts in triplicate and temper tantrums. Mostly, anyway. She seems to have decided, after much testing, that when Mom says "if you do ____ again, you'll get a timeout" Mom really means it. And repeating that behavior WILL land her on the naughty mat. Hmmm. Better to just heed Mom's warning than sit in the timeout.
So, before we had our little birthday celebration tonight, I interviewed Emma:
  • Favorite color: red
  • Favorite movie: Barbie's Princess and the Pauper
  • Favorite thing to do: play with Hannah and Miriam
  • Favorite thing to do at Preschool: play legos with Jolene and Caitlyn
  • Favorite song: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • Favorite church song: Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam
  • Favorite food: Mac and cheese
  • Favorite book: The Twelve Dancing Princesses
  • Favorite place to be: Preschool
  • Best thing about having a birthday: presents!

So, here she is, opening some of her presents:

When Emma opened up the scissors, Hannah said, "oh yay for cutting out coupons!"
Emma had a great day. She was convinced that she was taller and heavier than she was the day before. Hannah picked her up and confirmed that, yes, she was heavier. She tried on some of her new clothes and an admiring Hannah said, "oh wow Emma you look FIVE in that outfit!" (That is, of course, one of the highest compliments she could give.) Emma responded, "no, I look 16." Oh, boy.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turley Lurkey Doo and Turkey Lurkey Dap

Emma's still wearing her turkey hat from her Preschool party earlier this week. She plans to wear it while singing "Oh I'm glad I'm not a turkey" at Grandma's house later this evening. We'll see if she follows through on that. She likes to talk big.
I had to take a picture of the cute cupcakes from Emma's party. The one pictured is already partly eaten, but let me tell you, these were the cutest things. Fruit roll ups cut up to look like the turkey feathers! !! Emma liked it so much she ate not just the frosting, but the entire cupcake. Now you know it must have been good.
Hannah seemed a little sad that she didn't have a Thanksgiving party at school. She's a big first grader now and life is tough. Kidding aside, she loves school. The other day she asked me, "Mom, do you know what I don't like about school?" I told her I didn't know, though I might have guessed that her least favorite part of school was having to use the school restrooms. She said, "Nothing!! I like everything about school!" Whew. During her recently-completed science unit on sea life, she decided she wants to become a scientist. She's taught me all sorts of things about the ocean that I never knew. For example, since the word "twilight" has been a frequently-used word around here lately, she told me all about the twilight layer of the ocean. Then, she asked me if I knew what bioluminescense was. (I can't even spell it. Thank goodness for Google.) I still can't define it as well as she did, so I'll refer you to my friend wiki for a definition.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Eric Tweaks Twilight

I'll admit it, I didn't love the movie version of "Twilight." I really really (yes, really really) loved the book, but the movie... not so much. Maybe I'll like it more if I see it again, but when I watched it the other night I spent much of the movie irritated because Edward was too mean and scary, Jacob was wierd, there was too much Charlie, Carlisle was too pasty white, etc. I kept leaning over to Ryan and whispering, "that wasn't in the book!" Pepper spray? Really? Maybe the squealing teenage girls sitting all around me in the theater had something to do with my annoyance with the movie? I expected excitement from the crowd, but not squealing through the ENTIRE movie. Wow.

Admitedly, I hyped the movie up in my head too much and disappointment was inevitable. I know I'll see the movie again and probably enjoy it more now that I've got more realistic expectations.

I may be the only Twilight fan who didn't think the movie was great. That's okay. Whether or not you liked the movie, you may enjoy Eric Snider's take on the script here. If you were at BYU back in the late 90s, you probably know of Eric. He wrote a "Titanic" screenplay for BYU's Daily Universe that was excellent. His sarcastic non-P.C. writing is, in my opinion, hilarious and his Twilight screenplay is no exception. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Meanest Mom

Someday, when my children are teenagers, they may suggest I'm the meanest Mom. This picture may be used as evidence:Here's my defense: I haven't had a full night's sleep in months. I'm tired. Mostly, I'm tired of getting up every two hours with a baby who shouldn't be getting up that often and certainly shouldn't need to eat that often. So I'm imposing the tough love/cry it out approach to sleeping. I've had very little success so far, but my desire for sleep keeps me trying. Tonight, I put a very tired Miriam in her crib. She'd been recently fed, diapered, and swaddled. She'd only slept one hour all day (her choice, not mine) so she was probably over tired. Once I left her, she cried which is normal. She got pretty upset at one point, but I was dealing with a Hannah and Emma wrestling match downstairs at the time, so I didn't go check on Miriam. By the time I'd separated Hannah and Emma and cleaned up the Halloween candy that they'd thrown all over the family room like it was confetti, I noticed Miriam was quiet. Good. Once I'd started Hannah and Emma on getting ready for bed, I peeked into Miriam's room to check on her. The picture above is what I saw. Apparently, Miriam's more urgent cries started when she realized her arm was stuck in the crib's bars. Hmmm... I guess it wasn't that uncomfortable because she ended up falling asleep that way. Right? Right. And, after I took the picture, I did move her back to her normal sleeping position. This, of course woke her up and more crying ensued. Fortunately, she fell asleep more quickly this time. Hopefully, all her limbs are in the crib this time.

Trunk or Treat

Our ward's Trunk or Treat and Halloween party got off with a bang... or a siren, I suppose. The Young Men (leaders?) were in charge of the Spook Alley and their smoke machine set off the church's fire alarm. This brought out the local fire truck and Ryan had to explain what had happened. Never a dull moment around here! It was actually kind of convenient that we were already at the building for this fire department call since we usually get late night phone calls to inform Ryan of fire alarms or other building emergencies.

Since all the partygoers were already out in the parking lot, we had our Trunk or Treat before the inside party.

Here's Miriam as the Great Pumpkin. Though she's incredibly cute, she did not love her costume. Once in it she proceeded to spit up and chew on the green collar for most of the night. Spit up, chew on it, spit up, chew on it.
After the fire "drill" and Trunk or Treating, Hannah and Emma were frozen so we wrapped them in some blankets.

Hannah was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Emma was a cat, and Ryan was the "Candy Inspector." (Not pictured: Ryan's "candy inspector gadget" also known as a wall stud finder.) Here they're participating in the cupcake walk. Hannah got a white cupcake.
Emma chose a chocolate cupcake. She, of course, ate the frosting and then was done.
Here's the Halloween family.
And here's Miriam in her Jumperoo because she loves it and she's just cute.