Friday, May 31, 2013

Family Picture Outakes

Just a few outtakes from our family picture time. I love the outtakes, if I was a photographer I would include them with the nice ones when I handed over the pictures to the families.

She wanted to wear her hat

Me trying to stay in one place to mark our spot since we were using a tripod and timer to do it ourselves, while also trying to keep the kids in place. Micah actually did pretty well sitting still, his eyes just wandered all over the place.

It was the other one who had problems sitting still.

I think we're missing someone

Another time we almost lost her, I did manage to pull her back this time

This one is best viewed as a gif:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cake and Presents with Julia

We celebrated Julia's birthday at home with just our family. She had a pinata that she got from my Mom a month earlier that we broke for her birthday. Since Robert got home late from work we just hung it up in the living room and let them go at it. They're little, so it worked. Micah wasn't really interested in hitting it so much as hugging it and chasing it. 

 Julia requested a pink strawberry cake, and then strawberry cupcakes as well. So that is what she got! She fell asleep while I made the cake and when she woke up she asked if her cake was done. I said, "Yes, you wanted a chocolate cake right?" I think I almost broke her heart for a split second before I said, "just kidding."

 Afterwards she got to open a few presents.

Julia is 4!

 Julia turned four on April 12! It's hard to believe we now have a four year-old, it sounds so old. Like she should be dressing herself and going to preschool old. Oh, yeah, she is (well, she starts summer preschool next month). Some things about Julia right now:

Her current obsession is bugs. I got her a dollar store bug catcher and now she is always asking me when we can go outside and catch bugs. The first day we got it I went inside for a minute to grab something and came back outside and Julia excitedly showed me the first bug she had got and put in her bug catcher. It was a bee! I asked her how she got it in there and she said she just picked it up and put it in. After that we had to lay some ground rules about nice bugs and mean bugs and we should only catch bugs that we know are nice bugs. She catches a lot of potato bugs, but her favorite bugs to catch are ladybugs.

She often wants to put her bug catchers (she has three of them now) by her bed when she goes to sleep. One night while she was in bed and just falling asleep the home telephone rang, which is pretty rare because people usually call our cell phones. The noise scared her and she jumped out of bed, grabbed her two bug catchers next to her bed and came racing into my room, bugs and all. They are that important to her.

Half an hour later she had fallen asleep in my bed, so I moved her back to her bed. When I returned to my bed I found the doors to both bug catchers wide open! I hurriedly counted how many bugs were still inside them and breathed a sigh of relief that all the bugs were still inside the bug catcher and not crawling around on my bed. Now we sometimes tape the lids closed when we are inside to prevent any escapees.

Her biggest struggle is continuing to potty train. We probably don't need to go into detail on this one, but it's sufficient to say that it has been frustrating on both her part and mine.  Let's just say it's been complicated and we're all hoping to be done soon.

Julia is one brave little girl. She has a book about feelings and one of the feelings the book talks about is "I'm feeling shy." Julia had a hard time understanding what it meant to be shy because I don't think she has ever experienced it before. Whenever we go to the store and the cashier starts talking to her she has no problem telling the cashier about everything she has done that day. She also loves to make new friends at the park and loves it when friends can come over to play. 

On Mother's Day, when it was the primary children's turn to go up and sing to their mothers, Julia walked right up to the front by herself (even as other sunbeams were crying that they didn't want to go up) and joined the kids. She didn't know the songs because we had been out of town the previous two weeks (and she was too little to read the words on the sign that they had to help the kids) so she just stood up there and smiled.

She will hop into the pool and swim all over without fear. The one thing she won't do however, is jump into the pool because she hates to get her face wet.

She is also pretty sweet. She had two pages of stickers in church on Sunday and instead of using them all she saved one so she could give to to her friends when she got to class. She will also randomly tell me I look pretty or give me a hug. Like I said, just sweet.

She loves to dance to music. Her big obsession for a while was Taylor Swift. She listened to her so often that I started getting nauseous every time I heard a Taylor Swift song, so we've had to lay off the Taylor Swift for a while.

She has the typical adore/annoy relationship with her little brother Micah. She loves him to pieces but she hates to share toys with him. He will pick up a toy she hasn't played with in months and suddenly it's the best toy in the world and she has to play with it right away. But she is very protective of Micah and usually sounds like a mini-me talking to him about what he should and shouldn't be doing because "it's dangerous." If he starts to go up the stairs she will drag him down off the stairs before he can get too far. If he gets too close to something he shouldn't be touching (like the mousetraps we used to have in our kitchen) she will stand in between him and the object and block his way.

Overall, she's your typical preschooler. Loud, picky (I have the hardest time getting her to eat her food), easily distracted and very active. She's mellowed out a bit recently, which has been nice. She doesn't have quite the crazy tantrums she used to have as a three year old. She can sit still for longer periods of time and can sit for an hour practicing using her scissors by just cutting up junk mail.

Here she is asking for more whipped cream and marshmallows for her hot chocolate. She ate all the whipped cream and marshmallows, left all the hot chocolate.

She loves to help me out in the kitchen. It usually takes longer for me to get things done, which can be frustrating for me when I have a lot to do, so I'll find little things that she can help out with. Like putting the thump print on the Nutella cookies.

Learning to be independent means she is learning to dress herself. Every morning she goes into her room and chooses her own clothes and dresses herself. It is a matter of utmost pride for her to be able to say she did it all by herself. I made a picture list of things she needs to do in the morning and she loves to go through the list and do as much of it on her own as she can (brush hair, make bed, go to the bathroom, eat breakfast).

Here she wanted to wear her new hat for the family pictures.
She is going through a phase where she will often wake up at two in the morning and yell for me. Then she just wants to talk about random things. She is quite lucid and sounds very grown up. Last night she woke up and told me she was excited for Tuesday because that's when we were going to the Ranch. I never told her that, I think she just overheard it from when we were talking to my parents earlier in the day. When Robert's parents were here she woke up and told her grandpa about how she didn't like primary (There is only one other girl in her class and she had been out of town for the past month).

What a sweet four year old!

Thursday, May 09, 2013


I was listening to the radio on March 27,  Robert's birthday, and heard the cue to call for Stagecoach (a three day outdoor country music concert in Indio, CA) tickets. I don't usually call in for things but I thought "That would be a great birthday surprise for Robert if I won." So I called in and actually won! And when the DJ heard it was my husband's birthday they called Robert on his cell phone while he was on the train to wish him Happy Birthday and tell him about his birthday present.  Here's what they said on the radio about it.

One month later we headed out to Palm Springs/Indio for a weekend away with no kids! Robert's Dad came into town to take care of our kids for one night and he got backup the next day when Robert's Mom came into town.

It was my first time to Palm Springs. I've never seen so many windmills.

It was so nice to be able to go out to dinner and not have to gobble down our food before the kids start to get bored. After dinner we made it for the headline singer for Friday night, Toby Keith.

The next day was suppose to be 100 degrees so instead of going to the venue at noon when it opened and cook in the heat we opted to just show up for the big names in the evening and relax at the hotel pool and go out to eat again before heading out. I actually got to sit by the pool and read a book! It was awesome!

Rodney Atkins is up on that stage somewhere...

Robert and I are not much of party people so we did a lot people watching between acts. Very interesting  the California redneck crowd.  This was the view looking towards the back from our seats and the view from the very back of the main stage towards the front.

Everyone in the general admission area just brings camping chairs or blankets and sets up where ever you can find a spot. We were only in the sun for like an hour once we found a spot, but it was a pretty warm for that hour. We were glad we didn't come when the sun was really hot.

The actual view from our seats, but there was a giant TV screen just to the right of us where we could see. We could just see a teeny tiny performer when we stood up from our seats. We also saw Dierks Bentley, who totally rocked it. We liked him the best and I was surprised at how many of his songs have been really popular country songs. He could of been the headliner! After Dierks we saw Lady Antebellum, they have great songs but they weren't as engaging with the crowd as Dierks was.

Robert wasn't as into people watching as me. Here's his attempt to take a nap. By the end of the night we were both pretty tired since I usually go to bed by 9 or 10 o'clock and we didn't get back to our hotel until almost midnight. It was a party for us! The next morning we headed home to relieve the grandparents so they could take off to Hawaii. I think after spending two nights with Micah and Julia they deserved it!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Julia's Disneyland Birthday

Last post about Disneyland for the year, well, unless someone comes with us and we take cute pictures in the next year. But last post for a while at least.

For Julia's 4th birthday we decided to skip a birthday party with friends and go to Ariel's Grotto in California Adventure instead. Julia was really excited that she was going to get lunch with the princesses for her birthday.

A few rides before lunch.

The main event for the day, lunch at Ariel's Grotto to meet the princesses. Apparently the parents of every other 4 year old had the same idea because it was every little girl's birthday who was eating there. I've never seen a higher concentration of Disneyland birthday pins. Julia was really excited to meet Ariel and so Julia could show Ariel her changing color Ariel shirt.
At Ariel's Grotto a bunch of princesses come by while you're eating and to take pictures and chat a minute.

For being so excited about it Julia was surprisingly nonchalant every time a princess came by. She seemed more interested in her food sometimes which is weird because she almost never eats when she's excited. Here she is with a giant piece of food in her cheek that she stuffed in her mouth right before she got up to take the picture.

Micah surprised us by drinking a full glass of milk, but behaved himself pretty well.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Baby Hannah's Baby Blessing

On Easter we went to see Robert's cousin's baby get blessed. Julia calls her Baby Hannah and I think she thinks her name is actually Baby Hannah. 

Micah got a birthday present. Trucks! We've had to add a new category to our toy baskets since Micah started getting more toys- cars.