Thursday, April 25, 2013

Puppy love

When we first got married, every time Husband would say, "I got you something" or " I bought something" I would always excitedly ask if it was a puppy. Not that I really wanted one at the time, but just to be obnoxious. Then for my birthday he got me this little stuffed dog so he could say that yes, he did get me a puppy.

J has latched onto this particular stuffed animal and can make the most realistic puppy yip. Not that she has heard a puppy yip, but the timbre of her voice just sounds like a pup.

It is enough to remind me why I don't want a puppy.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Crochet bows

I received an adorable baby gift from a friend in the coolest packaging. She had a onesie and pacifier clip in coordinating colors and packed it in a plastic to-go food container with a cute tag.

I decided to do the only ecofriendly thing possible and completely steal the idea and recycle the container for the next baby shower I was attending.

I told my friend to go on pinterest or google and find something crocheted she liked for me to make her. She was too boring and said she'd just like a white hat. No monkey or bear or owl, just a plain white hat.

I obliged but I decided to make a bunch of bow clips to jazz it up along with a orange polka dot onesie to give it some more color.

I think I need to head to Costco for more of the versatile packages.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A few pictures with me actually in them

My cousin Josh got hitched to a lovely girl named Brooke. Aren't they cute?

I didn't even bring my camera, but my lovely Uncle James did and he snapped all of these photos. I figured I'd post them for my dear old mum and any out of town family to see.

This is my Uncle Jeff (whom my daughter adores and asks for constantly) and my grandpa. Poor Grandpa is suffering through three broken ribs and still made it out. Normally he has quite the smile.

J had fun running around her with her cousin Lyla  (1st cousin once removed, if we want to be technical, but they sure do look alike).

Lately J has been channeling her inner Anne of Green Gables and enjoys walking along precariously narrow paths, such as retaining walls. I joined her one day in the backyard ("Keep walking, Mommy, keep walking!") and I did a fancy, arm-swinging dismount which J deemed necessary to copy at every chance. This picture makes her look a bit like a flying monkey with invisible wings, but you can imagine it.

You can also see a nice profile of my 38 week stomach. I'm pretty sure my boobs and belly enter a room 5 minutes before the rest of me gets there.

They were having a blast together though. I mean, check out this face!

And can I just give a little love to Lightroom? I'm always amazed how editing helps counteract our AZ sunshine. Here is the before picture.


And since I had my husband with me, my daughter actually wearing clothes, and a willing photographer, I asked James if he'd snap some family photos of us at the luncheon. He was kind enough to oblige and now you can see what  our 3.5 member family looks like before it becomes 4.

If only I had bothered to look in a mirror and fix my bangs before. Thankfully, this little one always steals the shot anyways.

Why yes, astute observer! She is wearing a different dress than earlier. I anticipated the first accident.and brought another dress. Too bad I didn't catch the 2nd one in time either. Is one obligated to clean up pee on the sidewalk? If so, how?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Baby take a bath

J got a really fun dolly on her birthday date with Daddy back in December. Its giggle when it is grabbed around the waist has led to many a late night startle.

The blinking eyes have malfunctioned so now only one works, increasing the creepy factor as it cries or laughs.

The neighbor friends even found you can make it have a sort of seizure if you put the magic bottle in just the right spot on its head.

Of course, J loves baby all the same. She carries it around and tells her, "You are too heavy!" like a certain pregnant mother has been known to say. The other day she decided baby needed a bath. I didn't want to see the results of immersing the deteriorating electrical system so I busted out the infant bath from the closet of little brother's room.

I figured I would teach her the art of a baby sponge bath with a wet baby washcloth, something she could do in the comfort of the family room while I attempted to finish dinner. She seemed enamored with the process and I mentally patted myself on the back for giving her an activity that 1) helped prep her for siblinghood and 2) kept her out of my hair and entertained.

I go back to the kitchen and continue for five minutes when I hear the water in the bathtub running.

At least she understood the baby was supposed to stay in the infant tub, even though she relocated it. Her hands are shiny because apparently baby needed  baby soap, soap that required some climbing and successful navigation around glass apothecary jars.

So much for my brilliance, hers is outshining me.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


J is in a big girl bed and can open doors. We solved this bedtime problem with a switched doorknob and just locked her in. Potty training has thrown a wrench into this because we have had several accidents on the carpet right inside her door when the door has been unlocked. She just thinks it is locked if she can't open it on the first try.

So we've been trying the super nanny thing and what my favorite sleep book recommends, returning her to bed without eye contact or attention. 1 billion times each night.

My stubborn child didn't exact follow there 5 night time table, but it is improving.

The hardest part is not laughing. She has adopted this idea that if she can't see us, we can't see her so she comes out looking like this.

The part that really kills us is how she runs into things because she can't see. Husband even caught a video of it.

I was in the adjacent room keeping watch when I caught her just outside the door. In her panic she dropped her beloved white blankey. She looked at me. She looked at blankey. She mentally calculated the amount of time it would take me to reach her and  the amount of time it would take to retrieve blankey from two feet away. All of this done in a heartbeat, she decided to leave her love behind and bolt as fast as she could. Again, I tried so hard not to laugh.

She doesn't quite think through her action plan, runs more on instinct. This means she keeps running while her pregnant momma tries to keep up. Eventually she runs out of path to run on and ends at the pantry. 

Silly girl, she will have to learn like generations before her, there is no escaping your mother.

Of course, it does mean we have to shove the door open against the surprising strength of a stubborn two year old. It has me regretting the orientation of the door, especially since she can lever her self against the food storage while laying down. She also manages to squish blankey underneath the jam to make the process even more difficult. That's when I have Husband take over.

This all happened about two weeks ago. After so many days of fighting, we decided the lock was just plain easier and we'd try again some other time. (p.s. we were careful not to give her attention or make it into a game for her. I snapped these pictures very subtly, and only once. I even avoided eye contact most times, which she responded to with trying to force my face towards her with her little hands as I carried her back. Lots of fun. Yet this week we have had some sort of developmental milestone. 

She has learned how to negotiate.

Well, how to accept a bribe.

I mean, she understands the benefits of the positive reinforcement of consequences.

I say something like, "If you don't cry when I drop you off at the gym, we might be able to have a popsicle when we get home." And then she doesn't cry. It's amazing. Of course immediately after picking her up she asks for her popsicle. A purple one specifically. And it's not just food. She was freaking out after leaving her friend's house and I said if she didn't cry, maybe we could have Penny come over the next morning (this was dangerous as the excursion was already planned) and boom, the crying stopped. 

Then last night, we had her ready for bed and I told her I would leave the door open a bit if she stayed in her room, but if she came out that we'd lock her in.

I'm pretty sure it was a fluke, but Friends! It worked!

The future is bright.

Until baby brother comes, then I'm pretty sure all hell will break loose. Until then, it's bright folks, very bright.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Conference breakfast

 My husband pointed out that we will only have three conference breakfasts without my parents. Time goes by fast when you think of it that way. I thought I'd post some pictures of it for them all the same.

Uncle Eric is at the bottom of this pile on.

As I'm typing this with J on my lap, J says, "Kensee hold Benjee." I should just post one, but the outtakes make me laugh.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Who really wears the pants

Post gym excursion, my toddler was pulling on my clothes, demanding something when she noticed an uncanny relationship. The harder she pulled, the more the pants moved down my rear end. After exploring this cause and effect through the full course, I found her prancing around like this.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


A few weeks ago Husband surprised me with a bit of a staycation. We stayed a night at the Montelucia Resort and had a lovely time while J stayed at her Auntie Marcie's house.

People, we need to do this more often. I can never justify the expense in my head. I always figure it would be better to save the moola and go somewhere cool later. Why pay to stay in a hotel in town?

Because it is awesome and you still feel like you are on vacation since your to-do list is inaccessible. There is also something awesome about spending that many consecutive hours with your spouse doing everything together. At home we tend to migrate to our individual activities.

Plus, we ate at restaurants we've been wanting to try but always seemed too far away when you are tired on a Friday night. We ate at Le Grand Orange and Delux. I highly recommend Le Grand Orange, they gave me a cookie free since they were out of the dessert I wanted (I was pretending I wasn't diabetic for an evening).  My loyalty is easily bought with free baked goods. Delux was a bit expensive for a burger. Of course they tell you what sustainable ranch the beef comes from and mix it with gruyere, but it still tasted like a burger. The fries came in mini metal shopping carts though and the decor was awesome. Especially the bathroom. Bathrooms really affect my ambiance rating of restaurants.

We decided to get room service for breakfast because we had an early appointment for massages. Eggs Benedict and French Toast. And $8 hot chocolate because we wanted to see what $8 hot chocolate tasted like.

Overpriced. That's what it tasted like. The metal carafe was pretty though and it was nice to have something to drink as we lounged on the patio. A glass of water just isn't the same when you are pretending to be rich people.

Speaking of pretending to be rich, let's just talk about how fabulous prenatal massages are. Fastest 50 minutes ever. Seriously folks, this spa was crazy awesome. As in "release your energy into our giant quartz stone" kind of awesome. Of course I couldn't hang out in the sauna, hot tub or steam room, I passed on the cold water deluge, but the aroma therapy relaxation room was fair game, as well as the private pool on the balcony with this fantastic view.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Neighborhood Egg Hunt

My friend Kristine runs a fantastic Easter egg hunt at the little community park nearby. She has it down into an organized art. Everyone who wants to participate brings a dozen filled eggs per child. When you arrive, you put your bag of filled eggs on the folding tables in the correct taped off section. They are labeled with rough age groups like 3 and under, 4-6 years old, etc. She also has a bunch of side walk chalk and a "guess how many candies in the jar" thing going on while people are amassing. Then five minutes before go time, several adults go hide the eggs while the other adults shepherd the kids into age groups on the grass. The 3 and under eggs are all hidden close and easily, while the older groups get more difficult locations. Then the kids are released by age group to go get eggs. Each kid collects 12 eggs.

Seriously, the most well thought out, casual event ever. It accommodates LOTS of kids or very few with about the same amount of work and there is no unaccounted for eggs or cost to the organizer. I like how we can just invite anyone and not have to plan ahead or RSVP or anything complicated like that. Although I need to get J a basket because I never have one on hand. She loves her purse though.

As I'm typing this with her on my lap, she is pointing at the pictures and saying, "J pick egg!"

I'm still impressed she collected her 12 before digging into the candy.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lehi Days

When I was 5 we had an exchange student from Japan named Noriaki. I still remember what a good sport he was when my sisters made him play school with us. And not just school, but we were playing Japanese school. He had a hard time speaking pretend Japanese with us since he could only speak real Japanese. So we let him ask his questions in real Japanese and the teacher (my Big Sis was always the teacher. So unfair) would answer in pretend Japanese.

For some reason he couldn't understand what we were saying in pretend Japanese. 

He also didn't understand why we were so excited to play in the rain. You would think rain is an every day occasion in Japan, not the event of the summer like it is for a desert child.

He really was the nicest 17 year old boy you could ask for. I thought he lived with us forever. My Big Sis swore it was for 6 months. 

It was actually 1 month.

I had seen him about 10 years ago when I visited Japan. We actually stayed in his sister's apartment in Tokyo. Since then he has gotten married and now has a 4 year old boy. He had a business trip in Minneapolis and we are facebook friends so I convinced him to come to AZ and defrost for a weekend. 

While he was here, we decided a rodeo would be a good Arizona experience and Lehi Days was just the thing.

I mean, do kids try and put bloomers on goats in Japan?

And do three people ride a horse while trying holding an egg, cup of water, and a watermelon anywhere else?

And who could miss the army of children chasing goats to grab the money stuck to them?

 J was more interesting in applying sunscreen and eating discarded snack from under the bleachers.

This is actually a snack we brought, but it was a constant battle trying to keep her from eating stuff off the ground.

Nori even found J when she disappeared on me in the pony ride line. This little girl is a bit obsessed with horses since we live next to horse training stable and she LOVED getting to ride one. She may get to take lessons someday since it is a 3 minute walk from our house.

Her cousins liked it too.

J just fell in love with Nori and snuck onto his lap when she was supposed to be napping. Nori couldn't believe how different little girls are since his son always vaults onto his lap at a full speed run.

We had so much fun having him here and can't wait for our kids to go on exchanges someday. Or at very least have an awesome family vacation.


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