Thursday, December 29, 2011


 Nicholas and Ellie's first time bathing together.  
The water is purple from Nicholas's tub tints.  Second best stocking stuffer ever.
First best?  The tube of 25 glow stick bracelets I found in Target's dollar section.  He. loves. them.

And a post-bath photo shoot of my chubsies.

She seriously gets cuter every minute.  I just can't get enough of my Ellie!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011

We had a joyous Christmas this year.  
Kent's parents came to have Christmas with us, and it was wonderful.

 After our dinner on Christmas Eve--ham, rolls, roasted red potatoes, vegetables, and some of the 12 bottles of sparkling cider Kent bought at Costco (he likes his sparkling cider!)--
Nicholas was able to open one present.  
He played with the train for almost an hour, and I wondered why it was that we were even giving him anything else. 
 Ellie enjoying Christmas Eve from my lap.  This is the cute face I see all day long.  

We made candy cane milkshakes and then we watched the Church's new nativity video.

Nicholas and Ellie left cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer.
 I thought Nicholas was too young to really understand the excitement of Christmas Eve, but I was wrong---he laid awake in his bed until 10:30, just talking to himself, reading his scripture books, and asking us for drinks.  
At one point, when I was leaving his room after giving him a drink, he whispered ever so sweetly, "Merry Christmas Eve, Mom!"  Ah melt me!

Christmas morning finally came, and Nicholas woke up crying so Kent got up and brought him out to see all the presents Santa brought.
Nicholas's reaction surprised us.  He started crying.
"But I wanted Santa here!"  
Oops. I guess he wanted to see Santa, not just have him leave presents.

Sometimes we regret the things we say to our two-year-old.

But Nicholas cheered up, drew on his chalkboard easel a bit, and then he saw the plate where the cookies had been.
Santa had eaten all but half a cookie, and the reindeer had taken a bite out of each carrot.
"This is not good.  Not good at all!"  he came running in to tell me.  "Santa didn't like his carrots!" 
And then Nicholas ate the rest of Santa's cookie.
This was our first Christmas in our own home since we've been married, 
so we tried to start a few traditions.
One thing we started (wish I'd gotten a picture of it) was what we are going to call "Noel Nibble."
Instead of stopping the present-opening fest of the morning to eat breakfast, 
Christmas breakfast at our house is going to be just a smorgasboard of finger-food that can be eaten while we open presents. 
This year we had fruit, mini cinnamon rolls, cream puffs, sausage, and juice. 
 And Nicholas attempted to add his pretend food to his breakfast. 
Kent got me a cocoa-latte maker (amazing hot chocolate and steamed milk, guys. Amazing.) and when I opened it I said "Oh it's just what I wanted!"
(My Christmas letter to Santa is an email with amazon links.)
And after that, every present Nicholas opened he'd say,
"It's just what I wanted!  Thanks guys!"

After we opened all the presents, the guys set up the remote-control racetrack in Nicholas's room.  We played some, went to Church and blessed Ellie, and had a wonderful, peaceful Christmas day.

For more about our Christmas happenings, Teresa's post about it is here.

a smile

I have a Christmas post coming...
but I just had to share these pictures.  

Nicholas noticed that Ellie had the same flower in her hair as her little doll;
"Take a picture Mommy!"

And when I pulled out the camera, 
this is what we got:

 A little scrunched in the first one.
I adjusted her a bit, then she smiled and smiled while I snapped away.

I guess she figured if it was going to be her first smile on camera, 
she might as well make it a good one!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

our Christmas blessing

 We chose to bless Ellie today.  Kent, as a holder of the Priesthood, was able to perform the blessing.  You can read more about this at this link.

It was a very special day for a baby blessing, 
and it was a very special, very sweet blessing.

Oh how grateful I am that Kent is able to do these things for our family.
I think that these are the times when I love him the very most.
And my Ellie looked pretty much adorable.

 The booties are the ones I wore when I was blessed as a baby, 
and the white blanket is the one that Kent came home from the hospital in as a baby.

 We were so glad to have both our dads and my brother join in the circle with Kent for the blessing.

Everyone came back to our little apartment after Church, and we had pulled pork sandwiches for lunch before my family headed back up home.

It was a very Merry Christmas, and we feel very blessed.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas at Temple Square

It is so great to be living here.  
We were able to meet up with my family in Salt Lake on Thursday night
so we could see the lights at Temple Square.
Nicholas had the time of his life--  
"ho ho lights," uncles and aunt and grandma and grandpa, gingerbread cookies from Deseret Book (their gingerbread factory window display is awesome!), a train ride (the TRAX in Salt Lake), and pizza and a pool party at the hotel my family stayed in.  What a night!

It was a chilly night,
but I think out of all of us, Ellie stayed the warmest in her bundle in the stroller.
She was just too cute with her little face peeking out from all the blankets.

We rode the elevator to the top of the Joseph Smith building to look at the lights from up there.  
This is Nicholas giving his "gangster pose."
Wonder where he learned it from?

He was thrilled to be on the train. 
When I asked him if he wanted to ride the train with Grandma and Grandpa, I was going to follow it with "or come in the car with Mommy and Daddy?" but as soon as I said the word train, his eyes lit up, and I knew what his answer was going to be.
It was such a fun night!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011


I don't know if it's just his age, or the new baby, or what,
but Nicholas all the sudden,
well he's not a toddler anymore.  He's a little boy.
And he's hilarious.  The things he says...he sounds like a little adult, and we are often asking 
where in the world did he hear that?

I wanted to write down some of the things he says so we can remember. 

Things he says all the time:
  • "Seriously??"  Said when he drops something or he can't get something to work right.  He got this one from Kent.
  • "How are you, Mommy?" or  "Are you good?"  He'll poke his head into wherever I am and ask this.  Just checking up on me.  I love it.
  • "Silly me!"  Whenever he makes a mistake or says something wrong he giggles and says this.
  • "Thank you Sho Much!"  He's super polite, always grateful, and he puts a funny little "sh" sound in there that is just adorable.
  • "Good job Mommy (or Daddy)"
  • "Wah!" This one is one of those I-love-to-hate things.  When he's about to throw a tantrum because he didn't get what he wanted, he starts out with a super whiney "wah!"
  • "I want to go home!"  He's been saying this for months, even before we moved from Texas.  I don't know where he thinks home is...maybe yogurtzone?
  • "It has yuckies!"  Anytime he finds crumbs or something is sticky or if he just plain doesn't want it.
  • "Let's hide!"  hiding under blankets is a favorite game.
  • "Show your smile! Cheese Click!"
  • "You'll never get it now!"  
  • "I do I do I do!"  Kent's mom sings a song that starts out "I love my Nicholas, I do I do I do." Kent starts the song and Nicholas will finish the line for him.
One timers:
  • "Oh crash, It's breaking my heart." While watching my siblings play mario cart.  Where did he hear that one??
  • "That's a nice kitchen!"  When we went out with our realtor here to look at houses, Nicholas had the time of his life, and he displayed a surprising sense of design, often pointing out the good features of a house even before we did.   
  • "Oh mom, I like that shirt!"  Thanks buddy.
  • He was pushing a toy gun across the floor at my mom's house. Sarah asked him what it was, and he shrugged and said, "I don't know...I just mopping the floor and I using it!"
  • When the song Jingle Bell Rock came on the radio:  "Jingle bums!?!  That's my favorite!"  It is his favorite song.
  • "I look so pressy" (his T's sometimes come out as S's)  This is the third time he's managed to apply my mascara.  I keep thinking surely he can't get into it if I put it here...and he keeps proving me wrong.
  • One morning he snuck into our bedroom without us knowing, laid down on the floor at the foot of our bed, and fell asleep.  When Ellie started to stir, I reached over to get her out of her bed, and Nicholas popped up at the foot of the bed.  "Are you awake, Mommy?"  Then he laid back down and about 15 minutes later he stood up again and said, "I don't sleep on the ground, silly me!  I sleep in my bed!" as if he was just realizing what he'd been doing.

december in photo

Saturday, December 10, 2011


We haven't decorated for Christmas yet. 
I am oh so anxious to put up the tree, hang the holly, and deck the halls,
but our stuff (still) hasn't arrived from Texas.  They said it would be here between the 5th and the 7th, and we just got word that it's coming in on the 13th.  Boo.

So for now, we've strung a strand of lights on our patio railing, and we're doing all we can to get a sense of Christmastime elsewhere.

On Wednesday night we went to our ward Christmas party.  Dinner, primary kids acting out the nativity, and Santa visit. 
When Santa arrived, we were out in the foyer and the moment Nicholas heard the "ho ho ho!" and the sleighbells, his eyes got huge and he shouted "Santa!" and ran in to the gym to see him.
He did not want to sit on Santa's lap.  But he liked seeing him from a safe distance.

Thursday morning Nicholas told me over and over that he wanted to see Santa again. 
So I thought, why not?  I was feeling brave, so I packed up the two kids and we went to the University Mall. 
Where we saw Santa.  Five times.  Nicholas had me walk back over to the Santa's Village every couple of minutes so he could wave at Santa again.  It was great exercise for me, and I was so proud-both kids were great the whole time. 
I mean, an outing with a two-year-old and a five-week old and no tears?  Beyond successful. 

Then, last night, we picked up Kent from work and drove down the block to the Riverwoods shopping center. 
They have lights that rival Temple Square's.  Amazing.
As we tried to bundle the kids into the stroller, both of them were crying inconsolably.
We just about gave up and went home.
But a pacifier and a few "hug-a-mommy's" later and we were on our way.  The lights were beautiful, we saw Santa again, got pizza,
and Nicholas got his first lesson in Why We Wear Coats 101. 
Hopefully soon he'll get the idea and actually wear his coat.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

one month

 My sweet Ellie is a month old already.
This first month has gone too fast.  I think it was all the craziness with the move,
but I just didn't get all the newborn snuggling adoring time that I wanted.
Another reason I'm glad to be in Utah now--more time to just be at home and enjoy my baby.

And she is a joy.
I feel so blessed to have such a sweet, easy baby.  She has a predictable routine of eating and napping, she's usually content to just lay and watch us, and she is a champion sleeper.
She doesn't like her carseat, and fusses the whole time we drive,
but as long as we aren't in the car, she's pretty much happy all the time.

She is starting to smile more too, and she gives us a grin a couple times a day now.  I get giddy every time.
And when she isn't smiling, she is really intent on our faces, always staring at us, watching us--she has been that way since she was born.

She is deliciously plump. It seems like every morning we wake up and she's bigger than she was yesterday!  I love love love those thighs.

She nurses every 2 1/2 hours during the day, 
but she takes a bottle perfectly if I need her to.
She kind of reminds me of a little piggy when she is hungry-
she starts to snort and grunt and wiggle when she wants to eat,
and then as she's eating she gulps and squeaks. 
She loves to grasp something as she eats,
and her fist is usually wrapped around the edge of my shirt or my finger.

Her favorite place is on my chest, with her head right up next to my neck.  She falls asleep almost instantly if I swaddle her and put her up against me.
And I admit, I love it.

She loves her pacifier, and Nicholas is always telling me,
"him dropped him pinky!" when it falls out of her mouth.

She sleeps.  Oh how beautifully she sleeps!  

She doesn't nap well; she's a light sleeper,
but what she lacks in day sleeping she more than makes up for at night.

If she wakes up, it's only once, usually around 3 or 4.  
We put her down at 11, she wakes at 4, and then not again until 7 or 7:30 when Nicholas gets up.  
And the past couple of days, even though she caught a cold from her brother,  she's been sleeping straight from 10 until 5.  
It's glorious.  I feel about a billion times better than I did when Nicholas was this age and he was waking up 4 or 5 times a night.

 Nicholas still loves his little sister; he snuck into this picture all on his own so he could tell her how cute she is.  
I'm often finding things in her blankets that Nicholas gave her--
toy cars, extra pacifiers, formula packets, pretty much anything he thinks she needs. 
He's really quite helpful, wiping her spit up, throwing away her diapers, and always trying to give her the binky.

And he gives me a constant narrative of what she's doing.
"Him have hiccups again, Mom!"  
"She sneezed like this-choo!" (he's slowly learning to call Ellie a "her" instead of a "him")
and my favorite "Baby crying Mom!  Baby crying!!"  as if I couldn't figure that out on my own.
We don't get much time to just sit and adore our little girl, 
but my favorite time is at night, 
when it's quiet and we're in our pajamas, cuddling on the couch, just holding our Ellie and watching her smile in her sleep.

This is the life.

Friday, December 2, 2011

we made it

 We did it.  We moved to Utah,
and yesterday, our first day in our new home, was the best day I've had in a very long time.  To not have "the move" hanging over my head, making me stressed/contemplative/sad/anxious...
I feel SO much better now.  

On the plane Wednesday night, I looked at my little family, the four of us taking up a whole row of seats,
and I felt strangely grown-up.  
Two kids, leaving our first home, moving to another state, changing jobs.  Big grown-up things.
The flights went better than we could have hoped for. The kids were wonderful, and they slept most of the way.

To move like this, though,
well it was super hard and insanely stressful.
I would never recommend it to anyone.  But we did it, and I survived, and today, being here with my dear sweet children, I kind of feel like I can do just about anything.
Waiting for our taxi in our empty house
Leaving was very difficult.
I took the kids over to my dear friend Allison's house so we were out of the way of the movers, and my other dear friend Allison came over.  The kids played, we talked, and we pretended like things were normal
and it wasn't the last time we'd get together like that.
When we came back, the house was empty,
and then we left.   I cried a little as we pulled away, but the thing about having two kids, you have to put on your big girl panties and be happy even when you don't feel like it, for their sake.

This is how Nicholas fell asleep yesterday--it was a long night getting here
Now we're here--tired but oh so happy to be here.
And really, I love Utah. Mountains!  Crisp winter air!  Macey's grocery stores!  I already feel like we've finally come home.

Last night my brother Josh came over.  We had a belated FHE lesson, ate ice cream, he played with the kids, and stayed for two hours.  I love this.