Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Ellie turns three at the end of the month. 
That means I'll have to start paying for her entry to places also.
So we've decided to visit as many museums and attractions as we can before then. 

We're having so much fun, though, that I'm pretty sure we're going to have to keep going even after I have to start paying for her.
There's a new children's museum near our house. We've waited all summer to visit because we knew it would be a madhouse during the summer with all the big kids out of school.

We loved it.
And here's what they looked like before I took away their joy and told them to smile normal:
Nicholas dressed himself this day. It's a super awesome stage.  
I figure any other mom who has had a five-year-old will understand and know that it wasn't my idea for him to wear that.

The whole museum was amazing, but my favorite part?
This genius water table, meant for the babies:

Seriously. We're coming back when my little guy is old enough to sit up, no question.

We also loved the bubble organ: it releases bubbles and lights in these pipes when you press the keys. 
I want one of these in my house. 
A few days before the museum, we went to Farm Land, where we got to pet baby horses, ride ponies, take a wagon ride, feed ducks, learn how milk is packaged, and enjoyed our very own boxes of chocolate milk. 

Look! He's got a normal face on!

Next up: Dinosaur Museum, the Zoo, and probably a few more visits to Farm Land and the children's museum. 
We've got one more week until her birthday. Let's see how many things we can do in it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nicholas and Ellie speak

Kent was teasing Nicholas about wanting to eat him.  Nick's protest? "But I think I'll taste like old fish."

I was looking at a picture of a baby on facebook. Nicholas saw the baby's chubby belly and asked, "WHAT?! That baby has a baby in his tummy too?" I tried to explain that babies just get chubby sometimes, but Nicholas kept asking me what "chubby" meant. I finally decided to pull out a picture of Nick when he was a baby:
"Oh!" he said, "Chubby means cute!"

Drinking a Sunny D for the first time in his life: "This tastes like every fruit in the world!"

One night he took a pair of clean underwear from the laundry pile, arranged it into a little heap, stepped back, tilted his head to examine it, then declared, "It looks like an eagle crying."

"I'm as tired as a tumbleweed!"

"I'm glad we're getting a baby instead of a puppy, because babies don't bark." 

One morning I asked the kids what we should do that day. Nicholas answered without looking up, "Eat teeny bites of stuff."

A few days after watching Pocahontas for the first time, Ellie found a wide shiny string and wrapped it around her wrists.  Then she started saying something about the bracelet.  It took me a long long time to decipher the word, but I finally realized she was saying, "Look Mom, I'm like a savages!"

She came to Relief Society with me at Church one Sunday (she's kinda really attached to me and still won't go to Nursery alone.) The Sunday School teacher was leaving the room. He saw Ellie and gave her a big, sweet smile and waved at her. She shyly waved back, then turned to me in delight and said, "Mom! That man is President Monson!"

While talking to my sister Sarah one day, Ellie stopped mid-sentence and said, completely unrelated, "Sarah. Feel my hair. It's really warm!"

I was explaining to the kids that they needed to clean up their toys, then eat their lunch, and then we could go to the park. Ellie looked up at me in surprise and protested, "But I can't drive!"  
Had I asked her to?

And finally, what has become our new family motto: 

"Don't freak out!"

Sunday, October 19, 2014

afternoon picnic in the canyon

Last Saturday we drove up into our canyon to see the colors.
I'd been watching the trees on the mountainsides all week, and I  knew that this was going to be the perfect time to go.  
I was right. It was incredible.

We took a "picnic" of cheese and crackers, juicy green apples from my uncle's tree, potato (or "tomato" if you're Ellie) chips, and banana pudding for dessert.

After a healthy dose of freak outs when we got there (it was windy, the sun was too bright, their shoes didn't fit right, their jacket zippers weren't done up right, etc...) the kids calmed down and decided it was fun after all.

After we finished our food we took a little walk around the lake, saw lots of doggies, threw rocks into the river, made a mini dam to see if we could stop the water (we couldn't), and found a little lane that made Kent and I want to build a house right there right then.  Can't you just picture a sweet little cabin here, with a cozy porch and a wood-burning fireplace? 
I just love fall.

Nicholas found this gross decaying leaf that he insisted had to be worn on his head.  He said it meant he was a hunter. 
I think the neon orange jacket could have done that well enough without the leaf on his head.

I love this little family of mine. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

conference coloring party

Last weekend was the semi-annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

This means that twice a year we get to attend, watch on tv or the internet, or listen to ten hours of living prophets and apostles speak to us!

Conference weekends are my favorite.

This time we decided to drive up to my parents' house to be with the whole family.
The weekend was perfect:
warm beautiful fall weather
my brothers teaching Nicholas how to throw a football on the front lawn
getting to watch Jonah's marching band competition (SO awesome)
soup, pumpkin pancakes, mini frittatas, apple cider bundt cake, and 
better-than-Rudy's-or-anything-else-I-ate-in-Texas brisket; basically meat candy (thanks again, Josh!)
dessert party with the cousins
late-night taco run
laughing, conference-watching, snuggling under blankets,
filling our hearts and our minds with the precious words of God's servants,
piano playing, nerf battles, kids shouting, happy chaos,
and everyone quietly coloring together in the living room between sessions.

We've been here for over two years now, 
but I'm still just so very happy each time we get to make the short drive home to be with family. 
Now if only I could figure out a way to buy that private jet so that Kent's family and home could be just as close...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

It's a.....

Nicholas is thrilled. Ellie is a bit disappointed but mostly indifferent, and catching on to the excitement by the minute.
I am surprised. I was certain it was going to be a girl this time.  I knew I'd be delighted either way, but since I was right about the first two's genders, I thought I knew for sure this time. 
But nope, we've got another darling little boy headed our way,
and I couldn't be happier.

We took the kids to the ultrasound. It was so fun, so happy. Will probably become one of my favorite moments of my life, just as seeing my other babies in the ultrasounds have been. This is when it becomes real. Baby brother even waved at the kids partway through.  

And because we're keeping it real here, 
 After the delight about the baby being a boy, Nicholas proceeded to throw the biggest meltdown tantrum about his balloons. Strings were too long. Then not long enough. The bow I tied on his wrist wasn't right. Then it came untied. Then he decided the balloon Ellie had was meant to be his...and so on.
Overexcitement?  Perhaps.
We just can't wait to meet you, little brother!
Also, I guess "Girl-O" is out...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

the good news

The weekend after we got back from Hawaii, Kent and I told the kids about the new baby.
I waited a while to tell them,
both because I knew it would be too hard on them if something happened early on,
and also because these two are really easily excitable.
The ten days leading up to Nicholas's birthday were insanity. Their wild anticipation just about drove them (and us!) bonkers.

I knew that whenever we decided to tell them, it was going to be a long, long wait until the baby actually arrives.

I contemplated not telling them until March when I was on my way to the hospital,
but realized that was unrealistic. Ha.

And now that they know, I'm actually really glad we told them. These kids? They're excited in the most adorable way.

Nicholas talks about the new baby frequently, making surprising observations.
"When the baby comes, we'll have to be sure not to turn on this (crazy loud and obnoxious) robot toy. It might scare the baby."
"When the baby is in the car with us and we drive Daddy to work, the baby will probably sleep the whole way!"
"When the baby is here we'll have to be very soft and gentle with him or her."
And my favorite, upon his finding a single diaper in the gift we gave them to tell them the big news: "I think we're going to need more than just one diaper...."

Ellie is to-die-for sweet about the whole thing, kissing my belly and telling me that the baby is so cute as she rubs my growing bump. She tells everyone we meet that "we're getting a baby in our family!" and she asks me several times a day if the baby is still in my tummy. She's obsessed with trying to understand how big the baby is, and I'm kinda thinking she's confused, because she recently told a friend that when the baby is born it's going to be the size of an apple...

Our close friends had a new baby girl a couple of weeks ago, and we got to meet the darling tiny (just over 5 lbs!) beauty last week.
Ellie was in heaven. 
She held little Cosette for the longest time, talking softly and sweetly to her, and then after that she sat next to me while I held the baby, 
gently stroking her fingers, telling me all about how tiny the baby's hands were, how cute her toes were, how little her nose was, how pink her bow was, etc.
Ellie is going to be the best big sister, and I'm just so excited!

We find out tomorrow (! How am I so far along already?!?) if this baby of ours is a boy or a girl.  Either way, the kids have already given us some stellar name ideas:


While I'm grateful for the suggestions, I have been careful to make it clear that in the end, it's Mommy and Daddy's job to name the new baby. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

five year olds are hard to photograph

Some of my recent attempts:

 Visiting a nearby petting zoo/farm.  And look, Ellie's following his example closely.

 They ask me to take a picture of them next to the kool-aid man every time we shop.

And because these are examples of what all of my simply everyday photos of him look like lately, I took him out last night to take some pictures, and I very carefully instructed him to smile nicely, happily, etc. 
This is what I got:
 After about a hundred of these kind of shots, he gave me this sweet, head-tipped loving look. 
I guess I'll take what I can get and maybe next time try to catch him with a picture before he has a chance to "pose." 
Or just keep taking these wacky pictures.  They'll be fun to pull out when he's in high school.