Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Baby is 3!

Last Friday was Brayden's 3rd birthday! I still can't believe that it has been 3 years since he joined our family. We have been talking to Brayden about his birthday for weeks and he had been anticipating it everyday. Finally the day came when he woke up and asked, "Is today my birthday?" and we got to say, "YES!" We quickly ate breakfast, got ready, and headed out the door. Josh had to work, so Rachael came with us to Gymcats for their toddler open gym. The last time I took Brayden was about 9 months ago. All he did then was jump on the tramp the entire time. This time, however, he was all over the place. This time he LOVED the foam pit. Usually he doesn't stay in it for very long, but today he probably did about 100 supermans and cannonballs into it.
Brooklyn did pretty good. Her molars are coming in so she started getting extremely ornery towards the end. As soon as I let her have her bink and pup she was much better. Thanks Rachael for coming along!
On our way home I told Brayden he could decide what we were going to have for lunch. Of course, he picked pizza. So we grabbed a pizza, ate, and went down for naps.
While the kids were napping my mom stopped by to stay at the house so I could go shopping. I wanted to get some balloons and some other stuff for the big party. Josh's dad got us some free passes to Jungle Jim's, so we invited our family and friends there for Brayden's party. When we walked in Brayden's eyes were wider than I've ever seen. We've never been there before and he doesn't really remember Lagoon. We quickly set up our party table and started going on rides. Brayden was pretty hesitant at first, but quickly fell in love. It was fun to have Jaxon and Aubree there for Brayden to play with.Brooklyn also loved the rides. She kept pointing to the carousel over and over again. As soon as it would start moving she started laughing and squealing with excitement. I showed her how to wave to people as we went around, and everytime we passed the ride operator she started waving and giggling. SO cute. Btw, take a look at the bottom left picture. This is Brayden focusing on trying to hold up 3 fingers. Brayden loved the games more than the rides. By the end of the night he was going up to everyone asking, "Do you any moneys?" Of course he was so cute that most people gave in and got him some tokens. It's a good thing Natalie and Mike gave him a money bank for his birthday so he can save up to go to Nickelcade. Thank you to everyone for coming and for all the wonderful gifts. Brayden got so many fun toys and games we'll be busy for quite some time, I hope. Here's Brayden playing all the games.This is the moment that made my entire day. Everyone had left and we told Brayden he could do one more ride. He wanted to ride the rockets with Brooklyn. So we found a worker, since we were the last ones there, and he let the kids go for their last ride. Josh and I watched them have so much fun together and I got a little emmotional realizing that these are OUR kids and we are their parents. It's hard to explain what I felt at that moment, but I love them SO much it is overwhelming. We packed up all our stuff and headed home. We had one more surprise for Brayden waiting for him - a new bike! Eventhough it's too cold outside now, he still loves sitting on it and is learning how it works. Finally a bike he can reach the pedals on!!! Yeah!Happy Birthday Brayden! Your mom and dad love you SO much. You bring us and everyone around you so much joy. You continue to amaze us at how smart you are and how quickly you are learning. I still can't believe you can sing the entire BYU Cougar song. We hope you had a wonderful birthday and hope you know that we will always be here for you and love you more and more each day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gateway Children's Museum

This is one of our favorite places to go, so when my brother called me up and asked if we wanted to go with them on their day off I didn't hesitate to say yes. I was able to find a couple of 2 for 1 coupons online which helped b/c it is overpriced in my opinion (I mean who charges a one year old the same price as the adults?!) N-e way, we got there in the morning and had a blast. Here is a recap using more pictures than I probably need to post:
Brayden loved building towers and knocking them over. I'm wondering where I can buy fun blocks like this:
Brooklyn LOVED this swan and stayed on it for about 15 minutes. She kept giving it hugs and giggling:

Brayden hanging out on the couch. When he first got on it he asked me where the TV was. Hmmm...do we watch too many shows at our house?!The kids always spend a lot of time playing with the ping pong balls in the water. I was a lot smarter this time and put an apron on Brooklyn. Of course it wasn't until we weren't about done with the water that I realized they had different sizes of aprons. Oh well...the huge one didn't seem to bother Brooklyn:Paige and Brooklyn:The kids actually both sat on the teeter-totter at the same time!

Funny story...Justin sat down with Brayden at the news desk and started rambling off some news story about the woman who swallowed the fly. He talked in a deep voice and kept rambling as Ali and I watched on. Ali was very confused and couldn't figure out how he would know so much off the top of his head about this nursery rhyme. Then she realized he was reading the teleprompter. We couldn't stop laughing. I love this picture b/c Brayden was trying to copy everything Justin was doing (ie holding his hands on the desk) and was enthralled with the moving words on the teleprompter.
Looks like all we will need from now on is a blowdryer and some paper cups. Kept them entertained for quite some time:

We had a breakthrough. This was the first time Brayden would actually sit inside the helicopter. It's pretty loud and it's always scared him. Yes, he held his ears the entire time but he did make it inside:

After a few minutes he was done and this is where he stayed the rest of the time:Brooklyn and Paige loved being in the pilot's seat. These two sure seem like they are going to have lots of fun in the coming years:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Jazz

I haven't posted much about our dog, Jazz. She continues to have way too much puppy energy but is fun to play with. I'm holding strong to insist that she stay an outside dog, which is working out just fine. Because we live on a corner and have a half size chain link fence, everyone walking by plays and talks to her. The school bus stop is on our corner so the kids all stop by twice a day to say hi. She's growing too quickly but is a fun part of our family. Here she is playing in our first snowfall:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Trees and Shrubs

We decided to hurry and landscape in front of our house before the snow hit us. I started checking the local nurseries and they were all clearing out their stock at fabulous prices so we started looking around. My grandma and aunt found out my plans, luckily, and offered to help me since I didn't know what I was doing. After much running around to different nurseries we ended up at Homestead Nursery, which is a guy that turned his backyard into a nursery. His prices were about half of what all the other nurseries were (and he guarantees all his stuff in case anything dies.) Here's Brayden at one of the nurseries hanging out on the cart:
I started digging up all the weeds and laying the bricks to get ready to plant. Here are pics of the house before we planted:
My grandma came with me in her truck to help pick up all our trees and shrubs. I was just planning on digging holes and plopping them in. I had no idea my grandma and aunt decided to spend their afternoon helping me. Thank goodness they did. I really had NO idea what I was doing. I had to re-do all of the bricks I had done b/c they weren't even close to being level. My aunt taught me how to prep the soil, lay out the plants, dig the holes, pour root starter on them, and smooth it all out. Besides everything you can see in the pictures we also planted tulips, irises, daffodils, and I'm not sure what else. My grandma had brought a bunch of stuff from her yard we planted. Overall, I am VERY pleased with the outcome. By the springtime the bushes will be bigger and blooming with flowers popping up all over. Here is the final product:The bush on the left corner will grow to be 8-10 ft tall and the one on the right will be about 4 ft tall. I'm really excited to see how it looks in a few years. A big thanks to my grandma and my aunt Cindy. I really don't think I would have gotten it done if it weren't for your help. I learned so much and feel confident I could do it again if I ever needed to. Thanks!!!

Post-Halloween Festivities

Two days after Halloween we ended up going to Engh Gardens to look at some trees and shrubs for our front yard. I had been trying to take the kids there the entire week of Halloween to go through the maze and play on the pirate ship, but we never made it. I couldn't believe it when we walked back and saw everything still in tact. The kids LOVED playing in the pirate ship, so much they didn't really care about going through the maze. Here we are enjoying the crowd free Halloween festivities they had to offer:
Brooklyn was very curious of what Brayden was doing:
So naturally she had to have a turn:
Brayden had fun running around putting his head through all the openings:
It's great that saying "Halloween" causes Brayden to smile. I had no problem taking pictures with his cute smile.
Brooklyn, on the other hand, was not so easy:
The leaves were much more interesting:

Shhhh...Baby Sleeping

I realized while I was looking through all our pictures that I took a lot of pictures of Brayden sleeping. I have not, however, taken many of Brooklyn sleeping. So I decided to grab the camera and click some pics of her sleeping so peacefully. Of course I picked the two nights that she was wearing Brayden's old pj's. Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't let myself get so behind on laundry! I thought it was so funny that her little leg snuck inbetween the crib slats.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween

Halloween turned out to be a beautiful day. We had a normal morning and put the kids down for early naps. We weren't sure how to do everything we had scheduled - Josh had a party downtown he had to stop in at (one of his clients) and I wanted to take the kids to my parent's ward that was having a carnival/trunk-or-treat. We ended up waking the kids up early and I took them to my parents. Josh stayed home to get ready and head off to his party. I called him at the end of the trunk-or-treat thinking he would've already been on his way, but he was just leaving. So he stopped at the freeway and we met him and headed downtown together. It turned out great! Here are the kids at the carnival with my dad. Brayden had a lot of fun doing the cake walk with my dad's help, throwing the beanbags, and tossing the rings on the pop bottles.

Brooklyn loved walking around looking at everyone. She had this somewhat confused face the entire time:Here's my parent's truck:
The kids were too distracted by all the candy to smile for the camera.
The party downtown was pretty random. One of Josh's restaurants was hosting it so he wanted to stop by to show his support. Since we don't drink, there wasn't much to do. Brayden's favorite part was watching the mariachi band and using a plate as a tambourine/drum. It was impossible to get the kids to look at the camera at the same time with so much going on, so the bottom two pictures are cute pics of them one at a time.
After the party we headed over to Josh's parent's house to go trick-or-treating. The kids
loved it.One last attempt to get the kids smiling and looking at the camera. Didn't work out so well. We thought if we gave them each a piece of candy they would smile and look up. Nope - almost every picture we took had their mouths full of candy, drool going everywhere. Oh well. This one is good enough: