Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sissie's 3rd Birthday!

This is the last of my catch up posts! Yay!

Our little miss turned three at the beginning of the month.

Since she had just gotten a bunch of Christmas presents, I thought it would be fun to have more of an "experience" for her big present. So we went to Build a Bear. Well, as usual where kids are concerned, this "experience" didn't turn out quite like I hoped. One of the main problems was that Elizabeth had never even heard of Build a Bear and had no idea what it was. So there wasn't really any excitement or anticipation involved. In hindsight, I realize I had this big fantasy about how great it would be and how much she would love it. For instance, I had visions of a precious bear or bunny (that's the one I really wanted her to get). Well, the minute she saw Frosty the Snowman, that's all she wanted. My kids love the Frosty movie and so this shouldn't have come as a big surprise to me. I figured, her b-day is really close to Christmas, so it did have some significance, and it was her birthday, and Frosty was on sale, so I gave up on the bunny dream and let her get the tacky, lights-up-and-makes-noise snowman.

Around this time, Nate had to get out of there because the whole thing was just making him sick. I tried to explain to him how it's more about the experience than the actual stuffed animals (of which we've never been big fans), but he couldn't handle it. So he and Harrison went to play video games or something.

Most of you probably know the drill.
You stuff it.
Kiss the heart. Watch it get sewed up.

Wash it.

Dress it.

I was REALLY glad Nate wasn't there for this part. It was even killing me. I honestly spent more on this outfit than I usually spend on her outfits! And that was just for the basics. A shirt and a skirt. The cheapest shirt and skirt they had. We didn't even think about shoes and/or accessories. Maybe it should be spelled excessories.

Not to mention the fact that we were putting a snowMAN in a pink shirt and skirt with rhinestones on it.

Name it and register it. Doing the computer was her favorite part. Of course, she named it Frosty.

And that was the "experience."
Main lesson learned: Wait until your child knows about and is dying to go to Build a Bear before you pay $27 for her to make a stuffed animal.

We had a really busy day, so we quickly made the cake. Here are the traditional kids-licking-the-beaters pictures.

She still talks about how I was upset that I accidentally put the yellow part of the egg in the cake. I was trying to make a pink cake (her request), but I didn't want it to be strawberry (even though I'm sure that would have been fine). So I used a white cake with red food coloring, but then forgot and dropped a yolk in. I was afraid I was going to have a peach cake, so I dug out most of the yoke. I guess all the drama left an impression on her. Disaster averted -- the cake was pink and not peach. I know you're all breathing a huge sigh of relief.

This picture is so Elizabeth.
It is also a great picture to follow the last paragraph.

So after a cousin's baptism and feast, everyone came over to Obaachan's and Ojiichan's for the birthday celebration. There were four little girl cousins, which worked out perfectly with the pack of 4 princess crowns we found at Wally's.

Such a genuine smile.

Much more convincing. Cute Carrissa probably helped bring that out!

Another classic Elizabeth face.

Most of the people in attendance. I'm taking the picture (of course). Nate was dead to the world that whole night. We think he was fighting off an illness or something, he really could not stay awake for more than a few minutes before passing out on the couch again. And Obaachan and Ojiichan were there too, although they aren't in this picture.

Opening some presents. She needed a new "fushy" (squishy, as opposed to hard) baby, because she cut open her last one and removed all the stuffing.
If she repeats this violent act, I will not be replacing any more squishy babies (even though
they are only $4).

Trying out her color wonder set from Obaachan.

Loving all the attention they got from Uncle Andrew. He was so sweet to play games with the kids all night. Catch, Red Light Green Light, and Hide and Seek.

So, I'm stealing a tradition off of a blog I stalk. They take a picture like this every year on their kids' birthdays and I think it's super sweet and cute.

A few notes on this three year old girl. (Knowing me, it will be more than just a few. It's for posterity's sake, for pete's sake. Honestly, I'd just stop reading, if you haven't already.)

She doesn't like to be laughed at ("don't waff" and "no waffing" are frequent demands), or labeled -- even if it's a positive label. If you make any sort of blanket statement about her (you're funny, you're silly, etc.) it is met with an emphatic, "No I'm not. I'm cute and prettiful." Apparently cute and prettiful are the only labels she's comfortable accepting.

She has very recently developed a cute little accent that I can't really describe other than saying it's a funny short a that is most apparent when she says Dad and Pat Pat (Elizabeth has recently discovered the wonderful world of Little Einsteins and Harrison had renewed his former toddlerhood love affair with the show known as Pat Pat in our house). She also says "you see," in the cutest way. I think she gets all of this from our little Polish neighbor girl who is her best friend. Another thing she gets from Natalia is always referring to our house as "our home." "Can Natalia come play at our home today?" She would play with Natalia (who she calls Matalia) all day every day if I let her. It's sometimes "annoning" (as she says it) when she CONSTANTLY want so play with her, but when they are playing (especially when they are playing at her "home") it's really quite lovely. I think every child needs a nice neighbor close to their age. Harrison certainly needs one. I honestly feel I prayed this one into our lives, I'll just keep praying for another one.

Back to Elizabeth. She says r's and l's as w's, in the most typical and darling little kid way (which will only be darling for another year or so and then it's got to go -- by kindergarten at the latest.) It's especially cute when she refers to her buwuddow (brother -- 3 syllables). Speaking of her buwuddow, she has progressed from calling him Heson to Hewwison. She still calls herself Zibis or Zibisamika, if she's including her middle name. The last name is Tahbay (Harrison used to say Ahtahbah). My name is Mi-chel, like a Latino might pronounce it. (Harrison said it Lichelle, like another race might take the name Michelle and adapt it into an original name).
And Nathan is Nafan, in a similar vain as Lichelle. Wow, sorry to get so racial all the sudden.

Have=hag, store=stew, door=dew, toys=taze, boys=baze, girls=gills, kitchen=chicken, paino=plano. I'm sure I'll think of all sorts of other things that she has her own funny way of saying and when I do I'll come back and add them in, because really these are things I don't want to forget.

She continues to be a delight, as she has been since birth. She's fairly easy going and easy to please. She's as rational as a three year old can be. When she's in the mood she can be very helpful and she grasps concepts like the fact that I can't bend over because I have a baby in my tummy. She'll say, "Oh, I get it fo you, because you can't bend ovo because you hag a baby in yo tummy. I'm just a witto gill, and I just hag eggs in my tummy." (This pregnancy has brought on a few pre sex ed discussions).

She can talk a blue streak (is that a saying?). I think she gets that from her Obaachan, her mother and her brother.

She doesn't nap regularly, although she still needs to. So a few evenings a week she crashes around 5. Sometimes she's out for the night (which sickens me when I realize she ate very little lunch and no dinner), and sometimes she's down for three hours and up till 11 (like tonight). Speaking of eating, she doesn't really do much of that. And it shows. She is SO petite. Which I guess is fine, considering she's a girl. I just hope it doesn't effect her brain cells too much. And she needs to grow a bum so her pants will stay on and quit chaffing her poor back melted into legs area, which is always red.

For the record, she does like, blueberries, bananas, pears w/o skin, pineapple, baby ownjies (Mandarin oranges), ramen, pasta (w/red sauce, white sauce, mac and cheese, buttered with parm, plain), rice, nori (seaweed), kikikaka (furikake -- Japanese stuff you sprinkle on rice), meatballs (Italian and Teriyaki), beans and rice, chips and salsa (I attribute these four to being born in Santa Maria), cereal, yogurt, chicken nuggets, fries, potatoes, lasagna, salmon (was just reminded this week that BOTH kids will eat fish -- I am going to start making it more often!), "cold quesodillas" (raw costco tortillas), actual quesodillas, "macaroni" pizza (pepperoni) some breads/rolls, all manner of crackers, chips, pretzels, cookies, candy, fruit snacks, ice cream and any other junk food I've missed (most likely the reason she doesn't eat a lot of "real food.") Notice, not a single vegetable is on the list. I blame her father for that one.

She is definitely my special girl. We're going to have to really stick together since we're about to be outnumbered. Although, both children frequently mention "Annie," our next baby. I seriously hope that we aren't all disappointed. If we are, we'll mostly likely be having 5 kids. But I don't want to say that too loud.

Wait, this is really supposed to be about Elizabeth. I adore her. She makes me laugh a lot, she's so stinking cute in all of her facial expressions and mannerisms. She is a joy and such a wonderful addition to our family. I honestly pray that Jonny is as easy as she has been. Don't get me wrong, she has colored on the couch, the windowsill, and her shirt all this week, and ruined various other possessions of ours throughout her life, she can throw fits, and be grumpy and stubborn, and quite sassy and sneaky, let's not forget the kleptomania (which has actually gotten a lot better), but overall, she's a dream. It's so fascinating how I love both of my children so much, yet so differently. I'm very curious to see how this next one pans out. I know I'll love him just as much as the other two, but it will be interesting to see his personality and how our relationship unfolds.

Holy stream of consciousness. I've literally been rambling on for hours now. The later it gets, the longer I go on. And I don't have it in me to proofread this, so forgive the typos. Give me half a Unisom and put me to bed (it's the only way to go now, with the extra bad, end of pregnancy insomnia).

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth. I love you!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Help - Need Opinions

Do anyone of you love or hate your baby swing? Why? What is the brand and model? I am looking to get a baby swing for Jonny. (Elizabeth LOVED hers, and then a certain 2 1/2 year old boy sat in it and broke it, so we need a new one). I did research on-line last night until I was cross eyed and still don't know what I want. I'm not wanting a top of the line one with all the bells and whistles, just a safe, reliable swing that works and lasts and doesn't go through batteries too fast (I'm considering a plug in one, but some people say they don't have much power.)

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bringing in the New Year with my BFF!

The main reason I agreed to our "Western Tour Christmas Vacation" was that we would get to drive through Las Vegas and see my best friend, Kelly. Kelly and I lived on the same floor in the dorms at BYU and the rest is history. Here are Nate and her sweet husband, Erik, with the Ahlander's adorable twins, Addie & Berklie.
Here are Harrison and Parker waiting to be seated at the yummy pizza place we went to.

I love that our kids' genders and ages line up perfectly. We were thrilled to see how well all the kids got along.

They loved the cotton candy that the restaurant sent us home with.


My kids (all kids, actually) adore Kelly and I wish we lived close enough to share more everyday moments like this. P.S. Parker, who was almost 6 could read this chapter book flawlessly. Am I comparing? Yes. Am I jealous? Yes.

We left the kids with a sitter and went to two fun New Year's Eve parties. Fondue was eaten, games were played, sparkling grape juice was sipped, kisses were given.

I've always dreamed that Parker and Harrison will live together at BYU like Kelly and I (and our little brothers, Travis and Brad) did. When they both had on BYU shirts, I thought I should take pictures to hang in their future apartment.

Kelly and I have been through lots of major milestones of life together. We both majored in Elementary Education (took lots of the classes together, student taught at the same school), we graduated at the same time, got married the same summer, taught 3rd grade for three years (one of those was 2nd for Kell), and we both had our first baby boy in 2004. Here we are pregnant for the first time. She was almost due (look how tiny she is!) and I was barely pregnant.

Next we were pregnant with girls. Except, this time she had twins and I only had one. She was 7 months and I was 4 months.

Now we are pregnant with boys again! For once, I am ahead of her (which makes sense considering this is my 3rd child and her 4th!) Here I am at 8 months and she's 4 1/2 months.

Isn't that the cutest little bump? The sad thing is, we both want 4, so she'll be done and I'll have to do it by myself next time! It has been so fun to share all the excitement and woes of pregnancy together. Plus, the experiences of raising children who are the same gender and age.

We had so much fun visiting the Ahlanders! Thanks guys for accommodating and entertaining us. We love you and wish we could see you more!
Here's to a terrific 2010!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sandy Wego

Lots of pictures in this post! The kids and Nate were excited to go to "Sandy Wego," as Elizabeth called it. Nate thinks San Diego is the best place on earth. Literally, he has a whole speech about it. I seriously beg to differ, and have quite a speech I could give about that, but I'll spare you. I was really glad that my kids got to spend time with Nate's brother, Tim's, kids who they rarely see.

Watching my husband and daughter walk toward me across the beach was one of the highlights of the trip for me.

Tim and Nate having a handstand contest. Guess who won?

Harrison always has and always will LOVE the beach!

A somewhat decent family picture.

I think it was supposed to be a heart that said "luv."

Always wanting to do what her brother does.

Kristen, Uncle Tim and Harrison.

So him!

I'll admit, the beach really does provide endless hours of entertainment.

One day we went to a little amusement park on the beach. Harrison and his cousins rode this bumper car ride over and over!

Kristen and Harrison on a different car ride.

Harrison always needs to warm up to the more daring rides. By the end he was ready to go on this one with Kristen, Jacob and Ian.

He really liked it. (So did Ian, even though he looks kind of miserable here!)

Another day we were supposed to go the San Diego Zoo. I was nervous about this, because it would entail a lot of walking and after the Vegas experience, I knew I wasn't up for that. The plan was to push me in a wheel chair, which I had mixed feelings about. We ended up getting a flat tire and long story short, I didn't go to the zoo. These little monkeys went and had a great time.

Harrison really loved his cousin Ian!

Giving the gorilla a hug.

Daddy/Daughter self-portrait!

Everybody loves Uncle Jayson!

The other highlight of the San Diego trip for me was eating at this really yummy Mexican restaurant, Santana's. I got a carne asada and shrimp burrito that was delicious.

On a completely different topic, I would like to hear if you have an opinion on repeating Kindergarten. Harrison has a late birthday (July) and I was torn as to whether or not to start him this year. I decided to go ahead and try it with the attitude of possibly repeating. Things have been so-so. I get good behavior reports 3 or 4 out of 5 days a week. The teacher says that he has a lot of trouble getting his work done. I enrolled him in a charter school for Kindergarten for next year and just found out today that he got selected in the lottery. It's supposed to be an excellent school. So now I have to decide, repeat Kindergarten at the charter school, or move on to 1st grade in his current school. The other thing about the charter school is that now I have my foot in the door and all of my children would be able to go there. Do I want to pass up that opportunity? It's a two part dilemma. Repeat Kindergarten? Go to a charter school? Let me tell you, this decision is not helping my pregnancy insomnia at all! Any thoughts?