Monday, December 21, 2009

25 and yes I'm alive

For some reason I haven't been able to make posting much of a priority these days. Almost every evening I think I'll sit down and update my blog . . . but somehow something else comes up. So . . . here is a list of the 25 things I SHOULD have posted by now:
1) Annabelle caught her first fish, with my dad in Colorado.
2) Asa started eating foods. His favorite so far is sweet potatoes.
3) The kids dressed up as bugs for Halloween this year. Well I guess technically a spider isn't a bug, but you get the idea.
4) Asa started sitting up really well and passing toys from on hand to another.
5) I made homemade pumpkin pie again this year. Except I used pie pumpkins. Never again. The shells were really really hard to cut through. Next year I'll grab a jack-o-lantern before they sell out.
6) We closed on a house. Whoo-hoo! We are officially homeowners.
7) The weather finally started cooling down here. I am really looking forward to the next couple of months of playing outside and going for walks. Asa seems to like stroller rides a lot.
8) Annabelle got school pictures taken. She looks adorable. I am launched into feeling closer to 30 than 20. Which is technically true as well!
9) We painted the first level of our house, I really wanted to do the upstairs as well, but we closed a week later than I thought, so I had to prioritize . . .
10) I started having fun walking through home improvement stores. A strange new experience.
11) My mom, Nona, Jake and my Dad came to help us with the move. Their trip involved sleeping on air mattresses in our hot apartment, listening to my neighbors party, my kids cry at night, catching our colds and then waking up to scrub our new house (which unfortunately was pretty dirty). We could have never done it without them. Seriously, I think I would have had some kind of break down. They saved me. Thank you.
12) We skipped the traditional Thanksgiving meal this year, as we had moved into the house the day before and went out for Mexican. Oops! It doesn't mean we weren't grateful, just tired.
13) Asa now has two toofers. He cut his firth tooth on Thanksgiving Day. Super cute, but also very sharp. Ouch!
14) We started cleaning up the backyard. I think it will be fun. I asked Santa for a hedge trimmer thing this year. Yes, power tools!
15) We started cleaning out the garage. I have tons of baby girl clothes that someone left in there. Any takers? They are in really good condition.
16) I like our new ward.
17) I miss our old ward too.
18) We bought a crib. Sounds like odd timing right? Well Asa didn't seem to like sleeping in the pack and play. We never had a crib for Annabelle. Sorry no pictures yet, but it is just a regular crib, just use your imagination :)
19) We decided to forgo a Christmas tree this year (hey, don't judge, we already skipped out on Thanksgiving) and I bought a really pretty garland that we hung our favorite ornaments on. Yeah, no pictures of that yet either. . .
20) Asa wants to crawl. So far he is up on his hands and knees a lot and then melts down to the ground. I can't blame him, the chub was over 19 lbs and his 6 month check up. It might take a while to build up the muscles he'll need.
21) I decided I wanted to decorate our living room with aqua, burnt orange and a nicer than lime green. Doesn't sounds as good typed up, maybe once I actually get some decorating done I'll put up some pictures of it. What do you think of that color scheme?
22) Annabelle made a gingerbread house at school. Mike took off of work for a little while to go help her. She loved it. And I love that she lets me snitch candy off of it.
23) I have made 2 types of fudge, cream puffs, chocolate ginger bread cookies, cornmeal sandwich cookies and a cheese ball so far this month. And Mike has been making dinner! Ha ha, I guess sometimes I just have to prioritize.
24) I might be ready for Christmas, maybe. The last 3 weeks have really flown. I can't believe Christmas is really this week. How wonderful!
25) Merry Christmas friend and family! (or whoever might still be looking at this poor neglected blog!) I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Can't Sleep? Need a two minute Babysitter?

Let Annabelle read you a book (wink wink).


For anyone who is interested, my dad, my siblings and I are trying to get better at photography, so we started a photo blog. We use it to show our photos to each other because it is easier than emailing them around. so enjoy it if you would like!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mike's Colorado Photos

Here are my favorite nature/landscape pictures that Mike took on our trip to Colorado earlier this month:
The first several photos are from an ice storm that hit so early in the year that most of the trees still had green leaves, there were flowers in bloom and vegetables on the vine in the garden. For a day or two everything was covered in ice as if nature had forgotten that it was still mid-autumn and not yet winter. The beauty and frigid temperatures didn't last long however and the sun came out, the ice melted and autumn resumed.

I was surprised that the delicate structure of both the flower and the spiderwebs held up against the weight of all the ice.
In many places it was easy to see which direction the wind was blowing because the ice engulfed only one side of the plants.

A day later and 2 hours away Mike went camping with Alma (his best friend) and my dad.
They enjoyed the luxuries of staying in the Sherwood TeePee. They stayed warm and of course took advantage of the scenery.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Triple Crown

'The Triple Crown' as my dad refers to it, has become a family holiday. Traditionally our family and my parents get together to celebrate the birthdays of my mom, Annabelle and I. We three share a birthday and it has made celebrating really fun. This year we got together in Colorado.

Traditionally we have cheesecake, which is my all time favorite favorite. My mom enjoys trying out different recipes. Which has worked out every year with the exception of my 7th or 8th grade year when she tried a recipe with gelatin in it. I had some friends from school over and my mom began to serve the cake. By the time we all had a piece in our hands and she headed back into the kitchen the cake reached room temperature and began to melt, leaving little clumps of gelatin that looked like boogers as the only solid on the plate. Upon reaching the kitchen to eat her own piece of cake my mom noticed the mishap and ran back into the party. My friends were sitting there politely trying to scoop up the delicious tasting mess with their forks. They insisted that the cake tasted great but we have laughed about that cake ever since.
Last year I went with a store bought cake as I was hosting the triple crown. I had bought a chocolate cheesecake from this particular store before and it was so delicious that I was sure that the fact that it was store bought could easily be overlooked. When I went to the store to buy one however, they did not have the chocolate version. I bought a plain and raspberry cheesecake instead. Of course they tasted like cardboard and I am determined to bake my own cheesecakes from now on.
This year my mom found another recipe that included gelatin. We excitedly agreed that THIS was to be the year that we conquered the booger gelatin cake. As my mom sat down the night before our birthday to read the recipe she realized that it had eggs in it even though the cake was never baked, only refrigerated. Grossed out we all opted for an oldie but a goodie: Cheesecake with chocolate ganache topping! The topping tastes like the inside of a chocolate truffle and my mom describes it as "wicked good"! Jealous?

Besides cake the birthday bash was fun. Annabelle wanted to go to Chuck E Cheese's and so we made sure to go. Annabelle had requested of my mom that she have a "king, queen, princess, castle, pony, unicorn, rainbow" birthday cake. My mom did her best and found a cake with a rainbow and three princesses. Annabelle was satisfied. Our friends Alma & Nicole met us at Chuck E. Cheese as well. Their little Jagger and Annabelle enjoyed the arcade and the pizza.

Another memorable circumstance of this year's celebration was the INSANE cold front that hit Colorado right before we got there. Who would have guessed that we would have had snow and sooo much ice on our birthdays?
Mike got up early one morning and took some beautiful pictures of what autumn looks like when frost comes early. We'll post those along with some of our other favorite landscape pictures from the trip soon.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fat and Happy

Our Asa is four months old! He still has his happy little disposition. He has learned to fuss but pretty much only does so when he is hungry or tired, which is understandable. He is tickelish. He loves it when we sing to him, especially Annabelle. She is so animated that he gets really excited. He giggles and coos when we talk to him. He loves sitting with us at the dinner table. He'll squawk at us while he watches us eat. He loves kicking and splashing in the tub. He can roll over and is getting sturdier at sitting up. He is at the stage where is wants to put everything in his mouth. If I leave a burp cloth on his lap I'll look over to see him shoving it into his face trying to get a good taste of it. I am convinced that is how he learned to roll over, he was really just trying to get a taste of the floor. He is still pretty snugly which I appreciate.

Asa's most striking feature is his blue eyes. People always seem to comment what a bright blue color his eyes are. I hope the color is here to stay. His dark hair is disappearing for the most part (with the exception of at the nape of his neck). And there is a lot of blonde hair coming in underneath. It is still too fine and light to really capture in a picture but I'm sure in the next few months it will be more visible. Other than that he is just a happy little chub.
We went to his 4 month check-up today. He weighs 17 and half lbs. and is 27.5 inches long. That places him in the 90 and 95 percentiles. I'm allowed to start him on solid foods at this age, but don't feel any real rush to. We'll see, I think he would enjoy it.

Most people say he looks a lot like Mike. I have a hard time seeing features in my own kids. A friend told her husband she thought he looked exactly like Mike and his response was "Yeah, except with less hair, and shorter and fatter." Who knows but I love both of my blue-eyed boys!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm Sitting here

Mike is in the kitchen getting Annabelle something to eat and I just heard her say "Bad guys can eat cream sneeze". I'm guessing she wanted a bagel.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Travel Log: Maryland

Earlier this month we were able to spend a week in Maryland with Mike's older brother Sam and his wife Kristin and my hilarious nephew Isaac. Neither Mike nor I have spent much time on the east coast and we thought it was beautiful! Almost as soon as we left the airport we seemed to be surrounded by green. The weather was perfect, cool and refreshing.
Our first Sunday in Maryland we drove to the Washington D.C. temple and met up with my Aunt DeeDee and her family.

After touring the temple grounds we all headed to a picnic in the park where a friendly passerby serenaded us in spanish while we ate. He explained that he gets bored and so he likes to play for people in the park. We were the beneficiaries. The major highlight of the outing was chatting with my Aunt and seeing my adorable cousins. I think they like snuggling with my chubby Asa.

Our Labor Day was spent discovering D.C. It felt so surreal to walk around the National Mall and actually see the great monuments in person. The kids loved riding the metro, running around the mall and playing at the Smithsonian. My favorite was the World War II Memorial, I felt a beautiful peace as I thought about the great sacrifices made by those who were being memorialized. I was impressed with how well my sister in law Kristin knew her way around. From the moment we stepped out of the metro and I was completely disoriented until we got back on it several hours later she knew right where to go and the quickest route to get there!

Another evening on our trip we went to the beach! Annabelle has never been to the ocean and she loved it! It didn't take long for her to jump right in and enjoy the warm water. Isaac and Sam showed her how to dig trenches along the beach for waves to fill up and wash away. Asa must have enjoyed the soothing sounds of the waves because he slept the ENTIRE time.

Our timing in Maryland seemed to be perfect as Gala apples and raspberries were in season. I think raspberry picking might have been my favorite part of the entire trip! I couldn't seem to stop picking. I kept reaching in the bushes to get just one more.
Before we came out to Maryland Isaac had made the request to his mom that we have a pirate party. So that is exactly what we did! Kristin made cupcakes and let the kids decorate and devour them until we thought they might get sick. Isaac made me laugh so hard as he would slap some frosting on his cupcake, bite it off, do it again and again before just eating the icing off of his knife and then once that wasn't getting into his mouth fast enough he started going for it with his fingers - all the while muttering "mmm, yumm yumm, mmm" to himself. It was hysterical!
Another day it was rainy so we ventured into Baltimore to visit the Children's Museum. As to be expected - it was a blast! Here is my favorite shot from the day:
And what would a vacation with Mike be without a nature hike? Mike loved his walks through this forest.
Here are {some} of Mike's favorite shots from the trip:

THANK YOU Sam and Kristin SOOO much for letting us come and crash with you for a week. You were wonderful hosts and tour guides. We loved visiting with you and getting to see some amazing places out east!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Travel Log: Colorado

Mike posted his favorite pictures from our trip to Colorado last month and somehow I never ended up writing about our trip. We spent a wonderful week in Colorado with family. Mike did do some photography hikes and I spend quite a few hours scrap booking with my sisters in law - thanks to my thoughtful father-in law :). We all enjoyed playing with the kids (all 5 grandkids were in the Sherwood house) and having some fun family outings as well. Highlights of the trip for me were:
A BBQ at the fire pit at the Sherwoods house with my family and our good friend's the Smiths over as well.
Good food, s'mores, friends, family, great weather and a Teepee are a recipe for a great night.

One day we took the kids to the North Pole. The North Pole is this amazing little amusement park for kids up in the mountains behind Pikes Peak. Most of the rides just go around and around but there aren't lines, Santa (the real one with a real white beard and twinkly blue eyes is there) and we had a blast.
The kids enjoyed an afternoon playing with hoses and Papa Zeke filling up his canoe to act as a swimming pool of sorts out on the driveway - somehow I didn't get any of those pictures on my computer but it was great to watch them try to drag their heavy hoses around and get tangled up with each other.

Bowling hasn't been much of a family tradition but with a rainy afternoon with all the Sherwoods together we needed an activity and had a great time knocking down some pins. The kids lasted just barely into the second game - so we did the responsible thing and let them run around while we took their turns!
Mike's mom had also arranged for us to have family portraits taken. Joyana who took our McKean pictures last year, and her friend Heather took the pictures this year. It was fun, they were so great at making us feel relaxed and making sure we got the pictures we wanted taken. I love them - so many great ones, here are just a few (I really did narrow it down):