Monday, January 31, 2011

Anslie's Curls

I've discovered sponge rollers and all of the cuteness they can bring to a toddler's hair. Especially a toddler's hair that is straight as a stick! Anslie is really good about not pulling the rollers out, which I think is a small miracle! I loved her little Jerry-Curls so much that I had to take a picture of her, and to my astonishment, she actually sat still and smiled! I think I can count on one hand how many times that has happened in her life! And of course I had to take a couple of Zac for good measure...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Best Birthday Ever!

My 28th birthday celebration began with a visit from my dear friend, Diane, and her two kids on the Wednesday before. It was so wonderful to catch up with her and to get our kids together. Her son, Andrew, was born a couple months after Anslie, and her daughter, Catherine, was born about a week after Zachary. So fun! The kids played together wonderfully, which was a gift in and of itself. Diane treated me to a scrumptious lunch at the Spicy Pickle and then she had to get her little family home. This is a picture of all four of the kids (Catherine in the 3rd row of my car so you can't see her) packed into my car with their carseats. Remind me never to have that many kids in carseats at one time! :)
My kids gave me the GREATEST gift ever, and that was Zac sleeping from 9:30pm-5:45am straight, and then going back to sleep after nursing until 8:00am, and Anslie sleeping in until 8:00am. I savored the scrumptious sleepy present and opportunity to get ready for the day without two unhappy kids underfoot.
Around 10am, my friend, Amberlyn, picked me up and treated me to bananas foster french toast. Yummy! We had fun chit chatting over breakfast without kids (our husbands were watching our kids for us). After breakfast, Amberlyn dropped me off at a salon and day spa where Kevin surprised me with a facial and pedicure. DIVINE!!! Oh, my gosh! The facial was AH-mazing and the break from the kids was a much needed respite!
The next event I was surprised with was a fun dinner at a local teppanyaki restaurant with all of my friends and their hubbies...sans children! (that was THE best part of the whole day!!!) We enjoyed delicious steak, chicken, (some of us calamari), fried rice, and freshly cooked noodles and veggies. And of course, the preparation is always entertaining.

We finished the evening at a Country Western Dancing club and bar called the Stampede in Temecula. Oh, what a night! I haven't been line dancing since I was probably 10 years old! I even got to ride a mechanical bull -free because it was my birthday!!! Yippee! (or not) But most of my friends were good sports and did it too.

We met quite a few characters while at Stampede: The first was an older gentleman whom you would have thought owned the place. In fact, I'm pretty sure he thought he did. He was not shy telling our group where we could sit, dance, and eat. So annoying. I was about to get pretty sarcastic with him at one point, but I changed my mind when I thought he might punch me for doing so. You know those red-neck cowboy types :) j/k

Trisha and I were hit on by a couple of young boys (I almost said teenagers, but you had to be 21 to get in) and that was A-W-K-W-A-R-D. They wanted us to dance with them and didn't get the hint (besides the wedding rings on our fingers) that we were unavailable, even after I told the boy talking to me that I needed to ask my HUSBAND for permission before I could dance with him. At one point, I even yelled toward Kevin, "Honey - I've got a date! Is that okay with you?" They eventually took off after Trisha and I continued trying to learn the line dance on the sidelines and ignored their offers for partnership. Kevin and the rest of the group were having a good laugh at our expense, and then later commented on how high these guys set their sights with Trisha and I, compared to the ladies they ended up with at the end of the night :) So funny!

The last was a couple of girls who apparently forgot to get dressed before they came to dance. One was wearing short shorts, what I call cootchie cutters, and a corset that was laced in the front with nothing underneath - and there was about a 2-3 inch gap between the sides of the corset, so everything from cleavage to navel was exposed. Classy. Her girlfriend wasn't much better off. With possibly the shortest cootchie cutters I have EVER seen and a tank top that exposed half of her abdomen, one that was NOT tone at all (at least her friend with the corset was thin) decided to ride the mechanical bull. Watching her get on the bull was nauseating, most of the guys in our group heading back to our table so they didn't have to witness any more. Watching her ride the bull was gag-inducing. But the crowning moment was when she flipped off and landed on her back, spread eagle, knees to her chest, almost like she was giving birth, with little more than a small strip of fabric from her shorts covering the parts that count. We were dying laughing, and the groans roared through the crowd that gathered to the sidelines...probably in disgust of her choice in wardrobe and precarious pose. She looked so ridiculous that I tried to covertly videotape her bull ride, but accidentally took a flash picture of her instead. Way to be subtle.
We ended up back at my house to enjoy a yummy cake made by my dear husband -fudge cake with chocolate chips, cream cheese frosting, and chocolate drizzled over the top. I was in heaven! After our friends left, Kevin gave me some clues for a scavenger hunt he set up through the house where I found various coupons for service from him ranging from a weeks work of laundry, vacuuming, or dish duty, to a full body massage, foot rub, and night out with the girls. Did my man do well or what?!
This was definitely a birthday to remember! I had more fun than I have had in a long time! The day was perfect - time with friends, time to relax on my own, time to be with my sweetheart. I will always cherish the wonderful day that Kevin planned just for me!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Simmer Down!

On Christmas night, after all of the gifts were opened, wrapping paper tossed, toys played with, dinner eaten and cleaned up, and dessert devoured, my family and I settled down for a fun game of Catch Phrase. Have you ever played that game? It one of my family's favorites! The players consisted of Kevin and I, my mom and step-dad, and my sister, Audra, and her fiancee, Mike. We played several rounds, each time switching up teams. Finally it came down to boys vs. girls. I'm sad to admit that the boys won, so of course the girls wanted a re-match! My step-dad, Richard, wanted to place a bet. The bets were pretty benign, however, Audra wanted to place a personal bet with Mike. Mike agreed to her terms. The girls creamed the boys. Check out what happened to Mike.

How could I not love them back?

Late one afternoon when my friend asked me, "So what are your big plans for tonight?" I thought it a little random and then described the dilemma I had with a new recipe I had planned for dinner that night. She gave me a funny look and didn't really say much about it. But it was only polite that I asked her the same question in return. She described the New Year's party she and her family were attending and what she was making as a dish to share.

Oh ya. It happened to be New Year's Eve. Duh. 

New Year's is not a very celebrated holiday in my household. Even while Kevin and I were dating we didn't really make a big deal over a night where the main event was a count down; where you had to stay up to watch a ball slowly drop out of the sky, freezing your butt off in the cold. We have never been to a New Year's Eve party. And honestly, I don't really care if we ever do. I like my sleep. And staying up past midnight just for the sake of it does not sound like fun to me!

Our New Year's Day is usually just as common as our New Year's Eve. Just another day of the week and another date on the calendar. So I was super surprised when Kevin brought this home with him after work:

So cute, right? I don't get flowers very often, mostly because I think it's a waste of money. But I have to admit that I do love them as a gift "just because." And seriously, how could I not love my family back?! Just look at them!

A Forgotten Adventure

I can't believe I forgot to share one of the biggest things that happened for Anslie's 3rd Birthday!!! My sweet friend, Golda, was able to offer my family free admission to the park and it was such an amazing experience! Anslie is finally at the age to appreciate what Disneyland has to offer. She loved meeting some of the characters, riding the rides, and seeing all of the wonderful attractions. Her favorite rides were the Dumbo ride and the Casey Jr. train ride. She talked about riding the train for a long time after that. The highlight of our trip, besides that fact that Golda and her family and Kevin's parents were able to experience it with us, was a dancing street parade at the end of the night. Anslie just lit up with all of the music and dancing. She even got brave enough to join some of the performers in the street for a little shin-digging.  It was so awesome! What a wonderful way to spend your child's birthday!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Little Man and Other Things

Zachary is now 7 months old (!!!) and the sweetest baby EVER! He is so cuddly and cute, expressive, busy, and darling. Pretty much just think of every positive word that can describe a baby and that is him.

Zac is officially crawling and is even pulling up on things and starting to cruise around. It's the cutest thing I have ever seen. Kevin says he was walking by 10 months and I think Zac is going to follow in his daddy's footsteps! He also has four teeth, the middle two on the bottom and each k-9 on the top. (So he looks like a little vampire) Luckily he has never used his teeth on me!
Zac just had tubes put in his ears and two mucoceles removed from his bottom lip. The surgery went quickly and was successful. We are dealing with the post-op drainage now (yuck!) but I think we are going to have a much happier and healthier baby on our hands now. The doctor told us he actually had an ear infection, his 5th since birth, while they were putting the tubes in. Poor guy!
I am enjoying mostly restful nights these days! I can usually count on Zac only waking up once or twice a night. So awesome! And I'm sure he loves the rest too :) Zac has started eating solids so I'm sure that contributes to our good nights. I usually only feed him solids once a day, right before bed. He will chow down 7 ounces of baby food with rice cereal mixed into it to the consistency of mashed potatoes. And then suck a couple graham crackers down with it. And then nurse himself to sleep. No wonder he's such a big boy! (almost 19 pounds)
Anslie is such a great big sister to Zachary! Every now and then we have to remind her to share her toys, but other than that she is so loving and gentle with her little brother. Sometimes the two of them play together, Anslie making silly noises and getting Zac to giggle. It KILLS me it's so cute!

Kevin is still working hard, back on the line at work. He has been acting as a temporary supervisor which is wonderful experience for him. Kevin passed the supervisor's exam so he is now eligible to apply for a position if/when one opens, but I think he is going to do the test again to see if he can get a better score and improve his chances. Regardless, I am so proud of him and all of his hard work!
I have been busy trying not to be so busy lately. Life got really hectic last year (two moves, buying a house, having a baby, working hard on my photography business, etc) so one of my new year's resolutions was to kind of let things settle down and not push so much. Focus more on the happiness of my children and husband (and myself). I have to remind myself every day to relax, especially when it comes to my appetite for all things photography. I feel sad every now and then because I love what I do. But I remember my sweet little ones and it keeps me on track. I'm trying to figure it all out and manage my time appropriately so that everyone's needs are met. It's a learning process, but so far so good. Wish me luck :)

I think we are on track for a good year in 2011. I'm looking forward to all this year may hold, whatever that may be. We had a lot of BIG things happen last year, so it might be nice to have an easy, quiet year, just to focus on us.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

December Whirlwind

So, I have totally been blog slacking. Big time. I'm so far behind that I don't even know where to begin. So I will start with our big Christmas trip in December. We went to Utah to visit lots of old friends and family. It was a BLAST! We had so much fun catching up with some really awesome people! We drove from our house to St. George and stayed the night with the Rawson family, then from there to Salem to stay a night with the Kirk family. We got the chance to poke around Provo and Orem, where Kevin and I spent most of our dating years and the first two years of our marriage. So fun! After that, we met up with my long time friend, Melissa, and her family in South Jordan, and then camped out at my little sister, Audra's house in West Jordan for the next few days. We spent Christmas Day itself at my mom's house in Roy. Lots of driving, eating out, packing, unpacking, shopping, picture taking, and fun! It was the first family vacation we have taken in a year, so it was definitely warranted! These are my favorite pictures from our trip, taken with my awesome Christmas present...a new point and shoot camera.... and beneath that are some of the other great pictures from our trip!