Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My girl...

I overheard Hallie talking with Hunter in the living room. Hallie asked him if he wanted his picture taken. She then got her camera and started posing Hunter this way and that way. I couldn't help but smile to myself thinking I had rub off on her a little. So of course I grab my camera to take some pics of H-man and Hallie is right behind me with her camera clicking away. She now has to take her camera everywhere we go...sounds like someone else I know!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The big 7 months...

This is his new favorite face. Squinty eyes, scrunched nose. I love it.

I can't believe this little guy is already 7 months old. He is just becoming more and more active as time goes on, we love it. Here are the latest highlights in his life...

Started crawling the week after he turned 6 months. Although he prefers the army crawl because he can get around quicker he has on occasion crawled on his knees. This means we're vacuuming much more these days!
He puts everything in his mouth- and drools all the time.
He's discovering his voice, and loves his high pitch squeal/giggle.
Went on his first airplane ride...didn't go so hot. He refused to go to sleep and I'm pretty sure everyone on the plane was praying for him to fall asleep.
Went to Arizona.
Went to his first baseball game, Cubs vs....I don't remember!
Doesn't really like the whole eating thing. We try religiously to give him food but it always ends up outside of his mouth- he has a very active tongue!
Fully wears 6-12 month tops (of course they're baggy on him because he's a skinny little guy), and 0-3 month bottoms...long torso.
Loves soft blankets against his face, it's our best defense mechanism when he's having a hard time sleeping.
Enjoys sucking his toes, he takes off his shoes and socks and goes to town.
Didn't particularly care for the Arizona sun- I'm convinced he just was unsure of the bright warm rays beaming across his carseat.
Still doesn't sleep great, but we still see a little progress. He is getting better.
Sits without help, and transitions into a crawl.
Hallie gets him to laugh better than anyone.
Loves toys hanging from his carseat, and is really discovering the fun of mirrors.

He is all over the place, crawling from one room to the other following me around. Which makes me realize even more how difficult it is to baby proof when you have an older child leaving toys/pens/paper on the ground. We need to the work on that.

We love this little guy and are so grateful for him!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cookie Woes...

Whenever we make cookies, we double the batch. We cook half of them and freeze the other half in individual balls (perfect for popping in your mouth). So Sunday we put half of them in the freezer, formed into balls sitting on the cookie sheet. It is now Tuesday, and I was just getting ready to start dinner, so I opened the freezer to pull out some chicken...and there I saw them. Naked. No ziploc bag to protect there sweet taste from freezer burn. How could I make such a big mistake? I took a bite out of one of them and realized they were beyond any sweet taste. They tasted just like the freezer (in case some of you have not tasted the freezer, I recommend you go straight to the kitchen, open up the freezer and lick the inside of the freezer door...you will then know, and never forget the taste!) So sadly, ever so sadly, I pulled the cookie sheet out, and pushed all 50+ cookie balls into the trash can. Steve is no doubt going to be disappointed, especially since there are only two cookies left from Sunday...I think I will go hide them!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Easter egg hunt 1 & 2...

These pictures are way overdue, so overdue I'm just going to post the pictures- no stories! Hallie participated in two egg hunts this year much to her delight. One with friends on Saturday, and one with family on Sunday. We colored eggs for the first time since we've been married, and I forgot just how much I like that tradition. Definitely one to hold on to moving forward!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Hallie and Annie Jo
Knox, Hallie, Hunter, Claire

Living away from most of our family, Hallie hasn't had a whole lot of interaction with her cousins on either side. We live close to three of them, but they're so much older than her (in college now) that she doesn't quite get that they're her cousins.
So you can imagine her delight when she could spend a week straight with her cousins in Arizona. The ones closest to her in age are a year older which seems like a lot at that age, but they were all so great and played well together.Some of Hallie's favorites:
The trampolines. "Jumpolines" Each of her cousins has one, and I've been trying to convince him we should get one. I have received a resounding no from Steve. Something about the crazy things kids do on trampolines. I'm not sure if he thinks she's going to be jumping off the roof on to the trampoline or what?! I've assured him she'll have a hard time climbing on the roof for a couple years at least. Still, no. She loved to jump, I thought for sure seeing how much she used them this trip it would be a go...looks like I need to work on him a little more!

Running around outside without her shoes on. She was in heaven! That is of course until she stubbed her big toe which we're still hearing about!
Sliding down the stairs at Dave and Shawni's in the sleeping bags. Who knew such a simple task would cause such laughs and squeals! Luckily we don't have a single sleeping bag in our home, so the task cannot be duplicated here!
Sleeping with her cousins. However, I'm not sure her cousins felt the same way! The last night we were there I had to go into the girls room multiple times to get them to settle down. The last time I walked in I noticed both of her cousins laying down the playroom. Claire was in tears. I thought for sure Hallie had been rough with her. So I asked her what happened. Her exact words, "Hallie won't stop talking and I'm really tired, I just want to go to bed!" That's Hallie for you. Our little night owl who goes to bed early, but talks and sings for an hour or two.

Being surrounded by her "friends" for a whole week. Much to her delight, she woke with her cousins, played and played all day, and went to sleep (kind of) with her cousins. The older she gets, and the more she gets attached to her cousins, the harder it is to leave!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Valley of the sun...

We're back from Arizona and boy was it a good time. We haven't been to AZ in a couple of years, and we chose the best time to go. Warm enough we could wear shorts and capris but not too warm. It was glorious! The sun is really starting to speak to me, I considered not coming home at all, but I knew my flower gardens would get lonely...

Our original plan was to stay a couple nights at each of his sibling's house and also one of our friends....after our first move, I decided that was not going to be an option, I'm not sure why either of us thought this would be a good idea. We ended up staying one night with Steve's sister and the rest of our time was with his brother Dave, Shawni, and their family. We've never had the opportunity to stay with either of these siblings before and it was so nice to get to know each of them on a more personal level. Steve comes from a large family and its hard to really form relationships/friendships with all of his siblings, but I think this trip really helped, at least for me. It made me start t

We had a great time, and here are just a few of the highlights:

The first night in town we attended the Easter Pageant at the Mesa Temple. Steve has been talking this pageant up since the day I met him, and it did not disappoint. We had some great seats, the weather was mild and we were able to enjoy it with a lot of family. As per my personal request, we went to a small local frozen yogurt shop I fell in love with when we lived there. It did not disappoint!Next on our agenda was swimming. Yes, I realize it's only the beginning of April, but one of Steve's high school friends has access to her parents *heated* pool which was perfect for Hallie. I mocked the idea of a heated pool in Arizona. I will mock no more. It was wonderful. Hallie was in heaven splashing around while I sat with Hunter. This is the day I started to see the Arizona way- and it was good! Thanks Amy for letting us hang out at your weekly Wednesday morning pool party.
We went out to dinner with Steve's friends from high school. Sadly no pictures, but it was great to catch up with everyone, and the food was delectable. It's amazing how close Steve is with so many of his HS friends, especially when we don't make it back very often. It's always good times to see everyone, their spouses and families.

We attended a Cubs spring training game. It sounded good/fun in theory. Steve had already been to a game the day before with a friend and loved it. So we gather up all the families and lather up with sunscreen and set out to watch the Cubbies. It was a little warmer than we had expected. Although our kids (well, really only Hallie) loved the sun, we're not used to this much sun, and it become somewhat draining for the kids. There were tantrums and tears, and fighting, and complaining. I finally had to head out early because we were passed the point of enjoying the moment!We celebrated my SIL Angela's birthday while we were there which was fun to be a part of. We had an adult dinner, which as a parent of young children, is always a treat. Great conversation, more good food.

My SIL Shawni had a book signing at Deseret Book while we were there for her book on motherhood which I was so excited to be a part of. I loved going to the store, taking her book off the shelf, and walking over to her sitting at her table and have her sign my copy. Of course we were staying at her house so I could've had her sign it any time, but for some reason it meant more, knowing I was having it signed at her first book signing. What an accomplishment! I'm so excited for her. We were able to go out to dinner with her and her husband after her signing which was fun. More good food, more great conversation. That seemed to be the theme of our trip.We were also able to see our good friends the Lundgrens who used to live next door to us in Milwaukee, before the betrayed us for beautiful weather and a new, larger home. Some friends!! It was so good to catch up with them. We did so much with them when they lived here and it was hard to watch them go. But it's good to know they're in a location we will frequent on occasion!

There were some not so fun parts of the trip:
The sun is quite draining. Something our children are not accustomed to. We had more tantrums this trip than any other time I can remember.

The sleeping schedule of our chidren never adjusted to the new timezone. So although they were going to bed much later than normal. They were waking up the same time they would at home, but it was two hours earlier in AZ. This was not good. I felt as though the majority of the trip I was just exhausted.

Hallie crying in the backseat as we drove away from Dave and Shawni's house to go the airport. She was convinced that her cousin Claire was going to come to our house tomorrow. I gently broke the news to her that we wouldn't see Claire for a while. I turn around to see large tears rolling down her cheeks. "I don't want to go home, and I want to stay here with my friends." It broke my heart. This is the first time upon our departure that Hallie has somewhat understood the concept of "leaving and not coming back for a while" and she was not happy about it.

The flight home was without Steve because he flew on to LA for work. So I made the 3.5 hour direct flight back home. It was my first time flying by myself with two children...it was the worst experience I've ever had traveling. Not because my children were bad because they were great, it was the all the insensitive people/security/flight attendents I had to deal with along the way. It's difficult to go through security when the wait is far longer than you ever imagined, you have to take the child out the carseat, fold down the stroller, manage the toddler running around, push everything threw the scanner without one person giving you help. When I asked the security person for help she kindly told me she couldn't help me for security reasons...granted, there were older people and wheelchaired people being helped left and right. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was traveling with two small children by myself, that's definitely a handicap in my book. The list could go on and on- barely making the flight because of the security issues, starving children, rude flight attendents, old man falling asleep on my shoulder as I'm trying to manage an infant. To top things off, as I was leaving the plane (the absolute last person on the flight) trying to corral Hallie along, holding a car seat and Hunter without any help, I trip over Hallie's bag that got caught on the corner edge as she left the plane. I fall forward, dropping Hunter at the feet of three flight attendents, and two pilots. Just standing there, watching me struggle. They were clearly annoyed I had dropped my child, as if I planned it. The only help at that point was a rude lady who picked up my child off the floor and refused to give him back to me until I had things "under control". It was bad. Really bad. I was furious. Such a great trip, such an awful flight. No joke, I'm considering the 28 hour drive home to Idaho in October, really considering.

As bad as the flight home was, I was so glad we were able to go to Arizona. Such a treat, especially in the spring!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Old Tree...

When we moved into our home three years ago, we couldn't help but notice the hideous, polka dot tree in the front yard. We wanted to have it removed immediately- however the cost of removing a 60 foot, 50 year-old pine tree was not something we were willing to include in the budget. So there it sat, ugly as can be. And as time when on we began planting and landscaping around the whole tree. It was a lot of work.

A couple weeks ago I was removing the Christmas lights. Yes I understand Christmas was three months ago. But when temperatures are as low as they were in January, Christmas lights just don't get taken down. We recently had a warm week, so I climbed on the roof and got to work. In this process I noticed how many pine needled and cones were sitting in the gutters, so of course I then start cleaning the gutters. I then notice large branches of the tree sweeping our roof, causing it to wear down prematurely. First thing I do upon getting off the roof is call someone to quote out trimming our tree. The trimming of a tree is an expensive service.  But something has to be done. As I was calling trimming services, it only made sense to also have it quoted to be completely removed, even though we did that once before and it was so expensive.

Sometimes a failing economy can work to your advantage, especially in certain service industries.  Tree removal being one of those. We could pay a hundred dollars more than the trimming service and have the tree completely removed. With how much we hated the tree, it was a no brainer! Within 5 days we had a whole crew working on our front yard cutting branches, mulching branches, grinding the stump. And although I'm ecstatic to have the ugly tree out of our front yard- the tree had so much character. 50 years of character in fact. Branches had been cut off through the years making it a polka dot trunk. I'm sure some of the old people in our neighborhood were distraught about losing the neighborhood tree, but I won't lose any sleep over it! I'll have to post some after pictures soon.

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