May 24, 2013

Preschool graduation and the zoo!

Toby had his Preschool Graduation last Wednesday. He's attended The Ranches Preschool the past 2 years and loved it. He has learned a lot and grown so much thanks to his fabulous teachers Miss Katie and Miss Jen. :)

The graduation was awesome. All the little songs and awards were just adorable. Toby clammed up again this year, but Miss Jen was nice enough to keep him busy with holding signs while the kids sang so he still felt involved.
 Also, I had a two-year-old with me so getting pictures was just a little challenging.

Whose kid is that running in the alley way?
Yeah, that would be mine.

I've been blessed with super active kids. Every other child around Aspen's age was happy to sit on their parents lap with a sippy or snack or loved playing with the cars and toys just adjacent to the graduation. Yeah, that doesn't work with my kids. As soon as they see an opportunity to explore or escape they will take it. Sometimes I get the "oh that's just the age" vibe from some people which can really irk me. I want to say, "Hey how 'bout you take my kid to the park for an hour and test that claim? I guarantee while the other kids are content with slides, my little one will have you running laps around the neighborhood." Yes, part of the busyness is the age (as Toby is finally happy to play at the park for longer than 10 minutes), but mostly, it's just how my kids are wired. They have an innate love for exploration and a constant need for "what's next?" 
And that isn't a bad thing - it just keeps me on my toes from ages 1-4. :)

Oh yeah, I tried this ^ tactic of confinement. It worked for about a minute.

So that was a tangent. I have a tendency for those in my posts.

When the kids received their diploma, the teachers described one aspect of their personality in one word and then asked them what they wanted to be when they grow up. Toby's award-winning personalty trait and his shy, little answer didn't surprise me one bit (check out video below).
I love that little guy so much.

We had to bolt from the graduation a little early because my parents were taking Toby and my sister and her kids to The Hogle Zoo! It was such a perfect day. In the beginning, we were bumping and dodging all the kids from school field trips. By 2 pm, we almost had the place to ourselves. Not to mention it was a tad overcast and we had a slight breeze to cool us off. 


Little, sweet Emery. No pic of Catherine because she kept turning her head when I tried to snap one.

Oh yeah, and almost ALL the animals we saw were up and walking around. We loved it! 

Wild cats: my favorite. :)



(If you're wondering why Nick and Aspen are MIA: Aspen has a cold and Nick wanted to take a nap with her so they stayed home). 
It was fun day. I'm grateful to have such wonderful parents who are good at spoiling me and my kids. :)

May 16, 2013

Yet another birthday post

If you haven't noticed, most of our birthdays are in the spring. Toby in March, Aspen in April, Nick in May. Followed by Mother's Day and our anniversary in June. A couple years ago though, Mother's Day and Nick's birthday fell on the same day. That was not good. It ends up being an all day struggle of trying to pamper the other person but still feel celebrated yourself: "I'm glad you were born/you are a mother, but when do I get a nap?" They really need to be completely separate days.

So back to the birthday post. Nick turned 33 on May 8th. A few days before his birthday, we went out to Red Robin with my family to celebrate his and my bro-in-law's (Carlen) birthday - which is on May 5th. On Nick's actual birthday, I decorated the house with balloons and a "happy birthday" banner but failed to take pictures. I wanted to make a cake, but we're not really cake eaters in our family. Plus Nick is Mr. Particular on pretty much anything edible. So I sprung for some donuts. And that night I made him his dinner of choice - sloppy joe's (it's actually a really yummy recipe so click here if you'd like to check it out). Also Nick's coworker made him two cheescakes from scratch (just like he did for mine)! They are so very delicious, but alas, WAY too much cheesecake for two people (Toby and Aspen aren't really fans) so we ended up giving most of it away. And there is STILL some in our fridge. The final day of Nick's bithday week was last Friday. We went to Texas Roadhouse with a bunch of awesome friends. I did happen to take pictures of that event, though the lighting made the pics turn out a little weird.

Another weird thing was the seating. Apparently they weren't sure how to accommodate a party of 14 so they put 4 people comfortably in a booth and made the rest of squish together on a separate booth and table. It was a bit too cozy, but still lots of fun. Have I mentioned how much I love the people who surround us?  I do. I've never felt more at home than I do with my current neighborhood.

In the end, Nick had a great week of celebrations. I think he felt the love.

Mother's Day was wonderful. Nick took the night off, he wrote me a sweet letter, we hung out with my parents and siblings...and it wasn't Nick's birthday. It was a perfect day.

That pretty much covers the birthdays in our fam. Stay tuned for our anniversary post! :)

May 5, 2013

Oops...a late April post

No post in April. Wow, I am slacking. 

Our sweet Aspen turned 2 on April 18th. We celebrated at Nick's parents home in Hyrum, UT. Nick's sister and family live just down the road from his parents so of course they joined in on the party.  We had a little BBQ, cake, presents and fun with cousins!

Aspen had to poke her finger in each balloon on her cake. 

As a little side note, we had great timing with our little excursion. We arrived on the same day that my nephew, Jordin, received his mission call. So after Aspen's party, we ran down to Tonee and Mikes home (Nick's sister and bro-in-law) to be apart of the excitement of him opening his call. We also all made guesses on where he was going. So where is he going? Washington Federal Way mission - a brand new one that just opened up, apparently. And who was the closest on their guess? Me! I guessed Portland, OR. :) We are ecstatic for Jordin and his fam.  He will make a great missionary. This is my 2nd nephew to be called on a mission this year!

 So back to Aspen.

I can't believe my little darling is 2! Yes, she has entered the I-get-into-everything-and-throw-tantrums-at-the-slightest-provocation-and-everything-is-mine stage...but it is still so much fun.
She's sweet. She's stinkery. She's busy. 

She loves to climb. Anything. Everything. All. the. time.





She also loves Loki. She climbs all over him, body slams him, pulls his ears, sits on him when he eats his food and for the most part he just takes it in stride. 

She likes going on walks with him too.

 She is very attached to the binki. *cough*

And my hair. It is basically a second blanket to her. She gets her fingers all tangled in it, pulls on it, and tickles her face with it.  Good thing I have no plans on cutting it because it that would be a very traumatic day for this little one.

She kills us with her facial expressions. 


For the most part, she and Toby get along. But given his short temper and her sneaky, passive-aggressive ways, they can have some pretty heated - sometimes hilarious - fights. 

I absolutely love these little moments though. ^

And I'm still at a loss with her Charlie Bucket hair (Charlie Bucket...Willy Wonka...the one with Gene Wilder). I don't even know how to do my own hair, so trying to make something cute out of her short, wispy strands is probably one of the most intimidating things in my life right now. Nick keeps saying things like, "So...ya think you're ever going to do her hair?" 
Yeah, maybe before Kindergarten. Maybe.
But right now I'm kind of enjoying the moments of singing "I've got a golden ticket!" when her hair is super fluffy and wavy. :)

Aspen is also not saying a whole lot of words right now. I try not to let it bother me, but when I watch videos of the T-man at her same age jabbering on and on or hear other kids her age speak in almost sentences or when I can't figure out what on earth she is wanting...that is when I struggle with the lack of vocabulary. She does understand everything I say to her though. *sigh*
Oh well. It will happen when it happens right?

She is the best cuddler on the planet. And having those little arms around my neck is very therapeutic. Brings me down and helps me to not sweat the small stuff. For a few minutes anyway.


Happy 2nd birthday, Aspen. We are so lucky to have your bright smile and sweet spirit in our home!