Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Why We Don't Let 5 Year Olds Vote

Hannah: Mom, who are those people? Why are they always on the news?

Laura: They want to be the next President of the United States so they have to let us all know why we should vote for them.

Hannah: What are their names?

Laura: [insert all candidates' names here]

Hannah: I want John McCain to win.

Laura: Oh, really? Why?

Hannah: I like his name.

Laura: Ah... yes.

[It should be noted that 20 minutes later, Hannah decided she actually wanted Hillary Clinton to win. Why? Becuase she likes her name, of course.]

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Snow-qualmie Falls

For MLK day yesterday we decided to spend part of the day doing something out of the ordinary (ordinary = home, Barbies, church, My Little Ponies, cleaning, babies, cooking, princesses, washing, vacuuming, etc.). So, we drove up to Snoqualmie Falls to see the sights. Though we were able to see the falls, we weren't able to hike down to the bottom of the falls, by the river, as the trail was closed. Bummer! We did walk around the park at the top of the hill, by the Salish Lodge (seen to the left in the above picture). It was 20ish degrees outside with snow on the ground and wind. Despite our layers, we were frozen.

We ate our lunch in the car and thawed out for a bit before driving to a nearby neighboorhood's park. At the park, Ryan spun the girls on this cool... well... spinny thing. I don't know what to call it. But it was so fun that the girls wanted to go again and again. Each time they'd get off, they'd fall over from dizzyness. As you can see in the pictures, it was snowy and cold there too, so we didn't stay too long. We had a fun time and enjoyed our small escape from the ordinary.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm a Model, You Know What I Mean

(Why is it that whenever I need a title for a blog, song lyrics come to mind?)

We interrupt this December recap, to post some current news and information:

Baby Mattson #3 is...

a girl! I have the pictures to prove it, but I won't post them on here. You'll have to just trust us, there's no doubt.

These are pictures from our ultrasound last week. According to the sonographer (ultrasound technician?) Baby/I scan very well. During the ultrasound, the sonographer kept saying, "Wow, what a pretty baby, these are great images." I thought this was one of those things that sonographers just say to everyone. But after she'd said this at least three times, she said, "You know, if you're interested in ultrasound modeling, I could connect you with a company that will pay you for your time." I thought she was joking and must have given her a look that said as much, because she said, "Really, you scan very well and this company will pay you to be an ultrasound model for them."

So, she gave us a name and a number of a local company that makes ultrasound machines. I called them, still wondering if I might be on Candid Camera, and what do you know? She wasn't joking! Two days after this original ultrasound, I was getting another ultrasound, but this time getting paid for it! I had trouble not laughing as three different sonographers spent one and a half hours scanning Baby. They too said Baby/I produced beautiful images that they will use in their marketing brochures. You'd be amazed at how fascinated they were with Baby's liver, bladder, heart, brain, and most of all, diaphragm. Go figure. I asked them why I scanned so well, or better than anyone else, and they just shrugged. They couldn't say for sure. I don't know either, but I'll happily take my modeling paycheck.

Thanks to my sister Julie, for her email titled: "I'm to sexy for my sonogram."

We have begun thinking of names, though we won't be spilling the beans until Baby is born. We've been asking the girls what they think we should name the baby. Emma usually suggests names of characters from the movie "High School Musical." Hannah suggested Lily (because she loves the character Lily from the Kevin Henkes books), but then decided she liked Lillian. Emma said no to Lillian, and Hannah reminded her "Mommy and Daddy get to choose, not you!" Yikes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Christmas Day: the Presents and the Purpose

In the past, Ryan and I have packed up the girls and taken them around to our parents' homes AND our extended family gatherings on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The racing around town(s) from one gathering to another was lots of fun... until we had kids. After much consideration, we decided to stay home on Christmas Day. We love being able to leisurely open our presents and even play with them as we go. We eat a hot breakfast (nothing fancy though) and then open and play more. We remove toys from packaging (this takes forever, am I right parents?), put games together, and have a great time. We all take naps and watch a movie. This year, we acted out the Nativity (something that was getting lost in the shuffle in previous years) and hopefully reminded the girls of the REAL reason we celebrate Christmas. Here's a few pictures:

Here's Emma opening her gift from Hannah: play oven mits.

And Hannah opening her gift from Emma: a Disney princess calendar. I was so happy to see how excited the girls were to GIVE this year. The gifts they wanted opened first were the gifts they were giving, not the gifts they were receiving.

Hannah got a flute for Christmas, so she and Emma had a Christmas morning duet. Love that dollar store for simple pleasures.

We acted out the nativity in full Mideastern garb (be thankful I was the photographer and there aren't any pictures of me). This year, Hannah was able to read part of the account from the scriptures. It was even more special to hear her little voice read those familiar words.

Emma was a shepherd with her shepherd's crook (golf umbrella) and baby lamb.

Hannah was a wise man. Both girls presented gifts to baby Jesus.

We hope the real reason we celebrate Christmas and give gifts was impressed upon the girls. During our Nativity, Emma spontaneously snuggled baby Jesus. Maybe, even at 3 years old, they understand what Christmas is really about.

Christmas Eve in Sequim

We traveled to my grandparents' house in Sequim, WA for Christmas Eve this year. Because Sequim is on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, we take a ferry boat to get there. Here's Ryan and the girls braving the cold wind on the front of the ferry.

I like the inside of the ferry better. The girls love the adventure and magic of ferry rides. They had very wide eyes as we drove our car onto the ferry and as the ferry docked.

At Grandma and Grandpa Eby's house the girls played blocks with Natalie. Well, Hannah played nicely.

Emma, working on a too-short nap, chose to hoard blocks and prevent Natalie from touching them. Not a proud parenting moment for us. Luckily, Natalie's too young to realize that Emma's not sharing.

Here's my Mom (far left) with two of her sisters and her Dad (Grandpa Eby).

Before heading home, it's tradition to take familiy pictures in front of the tree.

The girls were so excited to get home and go to bed so Santa could come. Thankfully, they were exhausted and fell asleep quickly.

More time with the Duncans

We visited Bellevue Square to see the decorations and let the girls play on the boat. Natalie loved it so much she didn't want to stop climbing to pose for the picture. She was fearless, despite the gobs of older, bigger kids swarming around her.

Here's Natalie's face! Hannah loves her cousin.

"The three hermanas!" (to be sung to the tune of "The Three Amigos") Ann, Julie, and me at Mom's house.

And, the next generation of "Carlson" girls. Maybe someday there will be a boy....

Hannah and Emma have waited many months for Natalie to visit so they could teach her all about Barbies. There's so much to learn. First lesson: don't eat the Barbie shoes.

Ryan and I hamming it up for the camera. I like this picture because it reminds me of a picture we took 10 years ago when we were dating.

Emma loved eating breakfast sitting on the stool at my Mom's kitchen island. I think she discovered a whole new world up above the counters where she normally can't see. She sat up there and ate and played with the salt and pepper shakers (in the foreground) forever. She wanted to eat every subsequent meal "on the stool."

Hannah and I snuggled on the couch while watching BYU beat UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Duncans Descend!

My sister Julie, her husband Dave, and their little girl Natalie flew from Rochester, New York to visit for Christmas. We had such a fun time with them, here's a few pictures:

We went out to lunch with Grandma and Grandpa Kane at the very cute and cozy Issaquah Cafe. Hannah had chocolate chip pancakes for lunch and thought it was the best meal EVER.

The next day, we went downtown and ate dinner at Westlake Center.

After dinner, we rode the Westlake Holiday Carousel. The girls LOVE doing this every year, and it was even more fun with more family.

Dave and Julie held Natalie on her pony so she could experience her first holiday carousel.

Westlake Center with the tree all lit up.

After the carousel, we walked to the Sheraton hotel to see the Gingerbread "house" display. These amazing confection creations are put together by local architecture firms. I'd wanted to see this for a few years, so it was fun to finally get there.

Circus peanuts are one of those things: you either love them or hate them. Dave LOVES them.

While we waited for Ryan and Dave to get the car, Natalie crawled around on the Sheraton's shiny lobby floor. Hannah and Emma decided to follow her around.
More Duncan adventures to come!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Emma's 3rd Birthday Party

Kudos to those of you who kept your blogs up to date during December. I barely checked my email, let alone updated the blog. So, here's what we did during December, starting with...
Emma's Birthday!
Per Emma's request, I made a Dora cake. It was an adventure. I'll leave it at that. Emma loved her cake which made it all worthwhile.
Here she's blowing out her candles. (Thanks to my Mom for taking some of these shots.)
Opening gifts from faraway family was very exciting. Especially when they put Star Wars stickers on their cards. The girls love Star Wars. Yes, this is Ryan's influence.
By the time her guests were leaving, Emma had collapsed in a tired heap on the floor. Birthdays are so tiring!
A few days later, on her actual birthday, we gave Emma our presents and, much to her delight...
she got a flute! Still don't know why she wanted one so much, but she loves it. (Thank you Dollartree!)
Blowing out birthday candles is too fun to do only once. We sang again and enjoyed ice cream.
Happy birthday Emma! Our "baby" no longer. (Oh, man - there's no crying in blogging!)