Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Oh man, am I behind. December got super-busy, as always. We are now in Utah on the beginning of our Christmas Vacation that I have named "The Western Tour." We are going from here to Vegas, to San Diego, back to Vegas, back to Utah, and finally back to Colorado. All driving. 7 1/2 months pregnant. Guess whose idea this was?

As of right now, I am at Nate's parents house without Nate's parents or Nate. They are in Hawaii and he is in California, on one last business trip for the year bringing the grand total of days Nate has spent in California this year to 58. Yep, that's almost 2 months. As my mother-in-law pointed out, at least we're not ALL in California 365 days a year. Tu Chet. (Sorry Cali Lovers). We miss Nate and are excited to welcome him back home just in time for Christmas, on the morning of the 24th. In the meantime we're trying to enjoy time with cousins, friends, and all of consumerism that Utah has to offer (really not too much of that, but who can resist going to IKEA where they watch your kids FOR FREE while you shop? All I ended up getting was some Swedish chocolate, but I'd go back in a heartbeat and just sit on a bench for an hour. Why doesn't every store have this wonderful service??!!)

Anyway, going way back to November, we kicked off Christmas the night before Thanksgiving with a trip to downtown Denver to see a dress rehearsal of The Nutcracker. Nate's company had tickets.

At the suggestion of friends, we showed our kids the Barbie Video of the Nutcracker to familiarize them with the plot and music. Super Why (a kid's cartoon) also happened to do a Nutcracker episode that morning, so that helped too.

One of the most exciting parts for the kids had to be riding the light rail into Denver.

It was perfect for our kids to be at a dress rehearsal, because it was a much more relaxed atmosphere and we didn't have to be uptight about their behavior. Although, they were surprisingly into it (especially Harrison). Only about half the dancers were in costume, the others were in sweats, but I don't think the kids really noticed. It was also cool to see an insiders look into the process. The director would call out notes to the dancers every once in a while. They left the curtains open during set changes, and the director answered a bunch of questions during intermission.

During intermission we also entertained ourselves with several elevator rides and taking silly pictures. Here's Harrison showing of his newest Bakugan shirt that I made with freezer paper.

We left a little early, because Elizabeth had had enough. Harrison was pretty disappointed to leave. At least we stayed for "Waltz of the Flowers," a song they do in his music class. He sung/hummed along to the entire thing. So cute. I love that he has interest and ability in music.

We went to Chili's for dinner. I hadn't been in years. Now I remember why. I would not be disappointed if that was my last trip to Chili's ever.

While waiting for the train to ride home, Harrison popped the "Asian Squat" in the train station. Nate and I got a good kick out of that. For those who don't know, this is a very common sight to see all around Asia as people wait for things. I guess it just comes with the genes!

It was a really fun night with the family. One I think we'll all remember for a long time. I hope to be able to provide more cultural experiences like this for our kids. I love that when we're out in stores and they hear a song from the Nutcracker they recognize it!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cutest Christmas Present Ever

This post has been a work in progress for about 10 days. I have repeatedly tried to upload the second video and have not had any success, so I'm giving up.

Elizabeth had her first dance recital. I must say it was one of the highlights of my life as a mother thus far. I know that may sound a little dramatic, but it was so fun to do her hair, put make-up on her, and then go watch her dance on stage. She didn't have one bit of stage fright or hesitation. She is in the youngest class, and as you can see, she's one of the littlest ones. They were so stinkin' precious!

They were supposed to be Christmas presents. Adorable!

She did the whole thing with a broken arm too! (You can see a bit of her new purple, sparkly cast -- a separate post on that later).

Here she is showing how to hold your hands in whatever position that is!

Here she's showing how she's taps her foot at the beginning of the dance.

Claire and Elizabeth. I always think that Claire is the blond version of Elizabeth, they make the same facial expressions and remind me of each other (this picture isn't a good example of it).

Here she is with her dance teacher, Miss Mindi. We are sad that Miss Mindi won't be doing dance again for at least a year. Elizabeth has grown to really love it and look forward to it, asking everyday if she has dance today.

Unfortunately, I was the only member of the fam who could come support our little dancer. Nate is out of town and Harrison had a birthday party. (He did get to come to the dress rehearsal). When he realized he had missed the recital he was very disappointed. But honestly, I think it was more enjoyable for both of us for him to be at the party!

A friend of mine gave me some of the roses out of her bouquet for her daughter to give Elizabeth. Good thing we're not all slacker moms!

Okay, I rarely watch videos on other people's blogs. They take too long to upload so this is mostly for Daddy and Grandparents/Aunties! If you do watch it, listen for the beginning when she says, "Why is all them still talking out there?" AKA don't they know they are supposed to be paying attention to us?! Also watch for how concerned she gets that there is an extra present and how she is so conscientious about staying right on her spot.

The tap dance was to "If You're Happy And You Know It." At one point they were supposed to shake their hips and Elizabeth still sings around the house, "If you're happy and you know it, shake your bum." And then she chants, "SHAKE YOUR BUMS! SHAKE YOUR BUMS!"

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Time sure does fly during the holidays. I am happy that this is my second baby whose pregnancy has been hurried along by holiday happenings.

Thanksgiving week was fun. We went to a celebration in Harrison's class. They each took a turn saying what they were thankful for. Harrison was thankful for his mom and dad. Pretty sweet. Then they sang some songs and he was really embarrassed as you can see from these pictures.
It was crazy hair day, so that's why his hair is red.

Then we had pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, and egg rolls. I know, random, but delicious. I've been happy that Harrison's class is pretty diverse (our town is very homogeneous, so we must have all the other races in this one class). One of the Asian moms made egg rolls.

I was trying to get Harrison to look up and Elizabeth said, "He's busy eating, how about one of just me?" And then proceeded to do her new signature picture face.

Her other new thing for pictures is a hand up, usually in front of the face. Arg.
We've been lucky to have a student teacher for the first 14 weeks of school, and she's super fun. Both my kids adore Mrs. Kozmata. You can see why kids would like her -- she's fun and silly.

This was her second to last day and we were all sad to see her go. Harrison worked really hard on a book for her called:

I Love Mrs. Kozmata Bekuz. . .

-I love her.
-She is funy and sily.
-She is butiful and fanse. She wars mak up and julre.
(He is so funny. He often told me how fancy she was that she wore make-up and jewelry. It cracks me up that he notices stuff like that. He also told me he's really going to miss looking into her beautiful eyes. His primary teacher just told me that when she told the class that they were getting a new teacher next year he said, "I'm going to miss looking at your beautiful face." I think we have a ladies man in the making.)
-I wil mis hr a lot.
-So wil my sistr.

Elizabeth really will miss her too. Mrs. Kozmata has been added to the list of people she pretends to be or wants me to pretend to be ("I'm just tending" she tells me.)

Thursday morning began with a pumpkin pancake breakfast. My family tradition was to have this for dinner the night before Thanksgiving, but we were downtown that night, so we did it for breakfast.

(Note the hand up I mentioned previously.)

Here's some of my silly kids at the Tibbitts house for Thanksgiving dinner.

He kept giving her kisses while I tried to take pictures. Sweet.

His new thing in pictures is to put up a three. I don't know if it's a modified peace sign or what!?!

The Tibbitts are like family to us. Cindy and my mom were college roommates and we've kept in touch since. So being with them was the next best thing to being with my own family. It was fun to have Julia and Gloria in from Utah.

The food was DELICIOUS!!! Cindy and her girls are excellent cooks. Some of the best stuffing and sweet potatoes I've had. I had to bring my own mashed potatoes because I can't have Thanksgiving without these certain mashed potatoes (cream, cream cheese, butter, garlic salt and green onions). I was the only one who ate mine, because the Tibbitts are as opinionated about food as I am and they are mashed potato purists.

I was proud and grateful that I was able to have enough self control not to be miserable by the end of the night. The last time I was really pregnant at Thanksgiving I ended up purging at midnight because I was still so full and uncomfortable that I couldn't sleep.

So much to be thankful for. The gospel of Jesus Christ, family, a helpful husband, sweet and funny children, friends, health, employment, food, technology (internet, cell phones, texting, DVR, blogging), reliable cars, a comfortable home, epidurals (thinking ahead here), an easy pregnancy (so far, knocking on wood), I really could go on and on.