Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Decor and Traditions

I love Christmas. I love the lights, the music, the shopping, the baking, the present wrapping, the ornaments, the decorations, the traditions - I love it all. I especially love the real reason for Christmas.

We put up our tree last night. It was...an interesting kind of fun. Try decorating a tree with the "help" of a 3 year old and an almost 11 month old pulling on everything.

Unfortunately, the angel on top no longer lights up. Bummer. She's a bit heavy for our tree, though. I think it's time to get something that fits better. My vote is for a star. I'm a traditionalist when it comes to tree toppers.

But it's up and it looks awesome:

Christmas tree

We've already had one ornament casualty.

Now the trick is keeping it down to the one.

My current "How to Keep the Baby Out of the Christmas Tree" setup:

How to Keep Your Baby Out of the Christmas Tree

Unfortunately, it has the side effect of "The 3 Year Old Can Now Reach the Top of the Tree." Which I think is how that ornament got broken in the first place...

What I really need is one of these:

play yard gate thing

I just added it to my Amazon wish list. I'm not really willing to shell out that kind of money for it right now. Maybe if we had more money. I should check out Craigslist, freecycle, and the like.

Or some wealthy benefactor could always buy it for me ;) *coughcoughparentscoughcough*

Just kidding.

Sort of...

Aaaanyway. I digress. We got some other decorations up now. I need to track down my pretty JOY letters I made 2 years ago. They're around somewhere...

Other decor:


I really want a Christmas village. I have such fond memories of putting one up every year. I've always loved that. I'm probably getting the Dollar Tree one for our anniversary :D

And the Nativity:


Emma keeps getting into it and running off with Baby Jesus.

Playing with the Nativity

Aaah, the fun of kids + Christmas decor. We're getting excited! I just love this time of year! It'll be SO fun to see the kids open their presents and get all excited.

I just wish it wasn't so insanely cold. I want to move back home, where it doesn't snow very often. And when it does, everyone freaks out and stays home. Now that's what I'm talking about. None of this 5-month winter garbage.

I'm looking forward to all the Christmas traditions. Some are from our families of origin, others we've adopted on our own.

Our traditions include a super yummy breakfast Christmas morning: cream cheese and chocolate chips rolled up into crescent rolls. Yum. And don't forget the holiday baking. Mmmm. Cookies, fudge, peppermint bark...

We also do the opening of one present - Christmas PJs - on Christmas Eve. My family always opened all the presents on Christmas Eve. I don't really know why. But we did. I don't want to do it that way, though. It kinda makes Christmas Day anti-climatic. John's family does the more traditional opening of gifts on Christmas. So, to sort of combine those, we adopted the one present PJ thing. At least for the kids. John and I don't really get enough to make opening one gift in advance worth it. But our gifts tend to be more pricey, like the 1 TB external hard drive I got last year.

We plan to take the kids to see Santa for the first time. Officially, that is. My dad looks a lot like him...;) I'm so signing my death warrant for that one. Uh...I've been good this year? :D Love you, Dad!

On the Santa note, both of us grew up in families where we always knew Santa wasn't real. We plan to teach our kids that Santa is just a fun thing for Christmas, but that gifts really come from people who love us, like parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. They'll know he's not "real," but they'll still get to enjoy the magic of Santa Claus. If that makes sense. That's how John's family did it, and we both really like that. In my family, we just knew it was fake and that's it. I feel we kind of missed out on the fun part of it in some ways. But I want my children to know it isn't real so that they don't ever feel like we lied to them about it. Because if we lied to them about Santa, how would they know we're telling the truth about more important things like the Savior?

On Christmas morning, we like to read the scriptural account of His birth. We usually do this while the chocolaty goodness bakes. Then we eat and open presents. We talk a lot about the real reason for Christmas all throughout the Christmas season. I don't want our family to get too caught up in the commercial - albeit fun - aspects that we forget about the true meaning of Christmas.

I also like to read George MacDonald's The Gifts of the Child Christ on Christmas Day, but I think that's one I'll have to read on my own or just with John. I doubt the kids have the attention span for that length of non-movie story.

Oh, and Christmas movies. Can't forget the watching of cute Christmas movies.

And of course, we do stockings. We put candy and a few small toys in them.

I grew up doing the chocolate advent calendars. You know, the ones you buy at the store. John's family had a homemade one. We haven't done anything like that with our own little family yet, but I'd like to. I'm not sure what we'll do yet. I saw some at the dollar store; maybe I'll pick some up next time I'm there (which should be this week, since I ran out of birthday wrapping paper and John's birthday is on Sunday).

We also like to decorate gingerbread houses. So fun. Sometimes we use a kit, sometimes we do the home-baked approach, and sometimes we build them out of graham crackers. However we do it, it's always lots of fun!

Another tradition is looking at Christmas lights. I always LOVED doing this as a child! We went several times each year because Lisa and I loved it so much. We even had a favorite neighborhood (one particular house where they went all out, really) and everything. We didn't end up going last year. Probably because I was too preoccupied with trying to go into labor.

Someday I'd love to have a family tradition of going Christmas caroling, but it isn't very practical at this time for us. The kids are still so small and it's SOOO cold outside. But Emma already knows some Christmas songs and sings them all day long. She'd love it, but I think this is one tradition that will have to wait until our family grows, our kids get older, and we move out of the arctic.

Which reminds me. One of the songs Emma sings is, "We Wish You A Merry Christmas." She's got the chorus pretty much perfect - except for the end. Instead of "and a Happy New Year" she always sings, "and a Happy New You." SOOO cute! And in a way, it's very applicable, since most people make some sort of self-changing resolution at that time of year. I love it. I know I'll miss her singing it this way as she gets older.

I think I've covered all of our traditions, including the ones we want to add. I may have missed something. I probably did; I always do.

I'm always looking for more fun things for our family to do together. What are YOUR Christmas traditions?

Oh, and I made a new holiday themed desktop, using geniaBeana's Merry and Bright:

Merry and Bright desktop

Yeah, so I pretty much stole my blog header for it. But I love it! I get to see it all month long :D

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gearing Up for Christmas!

Yeah! Now that we've pigged out on Thanksgiving food and birthday cake, it's time to get ready for Christmas!

Ok ok, so technically I had pretty much all of the kids' presents purchased before Halloween...

But that's beside the point.

When you have a late November birthday, an early December birthday, a 4-days-before-Christmas anniversary (I still don't know what we were thinking with that one...), and an early January birthday in your household, you gotta start early.

By the way, Emma had an awesome 3rd birthday. She plays with her new dollhouse ALL day. Well, other than when she's playing with Play Doh. And she watches Tinkerbell or the LeapFrog DVDs all day long.

We tried playing Candyland with her a couple times, but about 5 minutes in she just wanted to play with the pieces. Oh well. She'll be more interested in actually playing it later.

In the meantime, John and I can play...

Emma and I baked a cake together. I let her decorate after I frosted it. Oh. My. Goodness. I have never seen so many sprinkles on one cake. She literally dumped a whole container of sprinkles - and then some - on it.

Sprinkles Cake!

The birthday girl, proud of her creation. She's gonna give Aunt Rebecca a run for her money ;)
Proud Decorator

And guess who else liked the cake?
Mmm, yum

More birthday pics coming later.

Now, I get to decorate for Christmas! The tree and everything would be up now if I didn't have it all packed away in our storage unit. We've been meaning to get it out all week, but it just hasn't happened. Crazy snow and all. Hopefully we'll get it all out tomorrow (uh, today I guess). I want to set it up for our FHE activity.

In scrapping news, geniaBeana has an awesome new kit out. You may have noticed a blog LO change. I used her new kit, Merry and Bright. It's full of fun, bright, happy Christmas colors. Check it out (image links to her shop):

Merry and Bright

And here's what I did with it (shhh, it's our Christmas card this year...which we're probably just going to email to everyone).

Christmas card 2010

I also used one of her new templates:

Simply Stated v.2

And, if you stop by geniaBeana's blog, you can get a Cyber Monday coupon for anything in her store. Everything's already on sale for Cyber Monday, but you can get an extra 20% off. Have fun with it!

As for me, I've got a busy day ahead, full of errand running and a 3 year well-child check up. Time for bed!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday Emma!

Wishing a very happy birthday to my favorite little girl. Emma has brought so much joy to our lives in her 3 short years. I know she'll continue to fill our lives with sunshine. She truly is a joy.

Emma, I love you SO much! You are the sweetest, cutest, smartest, most precious little girl. Happy birthday, sweetheart.

I'm a funny mix of excited and emotional. I vacillate between the two extremes. Sometimes I get super excited about all the fun birthday stuff. But sometimes, I get emotional. My baby is 3. Three years ago, I held my tiny 6 lb 11 oz baby in my arms. Now, she runs, talks, plays, knows all her letters and their sounds, and uses the potty. She's changed so much. It's hard to imagine her as that tiny, helpless baby she once was.

It's strange to think I've officially been a mother for 3 years.

At the moment, I'm excited. I'm excited for her to open her presents. I'm excited to see her face when she unwraps the dollhouse I made for her. She's seriously going to LOVE it. It's all set up with the furniture and everything. Progressive photos posted on Facebook. Here's the finished product:

Dollhouse - finished

And wrapped up, with the other presents on top:

Dollhouse - wrapped

She's also getting a Play Doh set, Candyland ($5!!), some clothes (thanks Mom!), a LeapFrog DVD set (Letter Factory, Talking Words Factory, etc), and Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue ($10 Black Friday find! And no, I'm not crazy enough to do the whole before-the-butt-crack-of-dawn Black Friday shopping thing. John works retail and since he was there anyway, he perused the movie selection...and got this).

Yeah, she'll love her presents. I can't wait to see it! Being a mom is SO fun. I just love getting fun things for my kids that I know they'll love. I love to watch them discover their new toys. Seriously, so fun.

We had her friend party last week. We figured most of her little friends would be out of town for Thanksgiving, so we threw the party a week early. It was so fun. Naturally, it was Tinkerbell themed.

First, we dug into the snacks while we waited for everyone to arrive. Then we played pin the wings on the fairy. I made a pinata out of card stock (why spend the $15 on the official Tink one when I can make one out of things I already have?).

It's funny how boys and girls are so different. The girls were very meticulous about putting the wings in the right place. The boys, however, just slapped them on wherever. The girls barely touched the pinata when they hit it. The boys...well, they still didn't hit very hard (after all, they're 2), but they definitely put more into their swings than the girls did.

Then Emma opened her presents. It was...interesting. The presents were all great. Don't get me wrong there. She loved all of them. But it was difficult to get photos because the other kids kept getting in front of me. And...we had some drama with other kids wanting her presents. But, again, it was a house full of 2 year olds. And some babies and a 1.5 year old. Sharing isn't exactly their strong point. They're old enough to know what presents are, but not necessarily old enough to understand that they're for another kid. Must be tough, being 2.

After presents came the cake. Of course. I got a Tinkerbell cupcake cake. Yum. It didn't look at all like the picture I ordered it from, though. Oh well. No big deal. It tasted good and it had Tinkerbell on it, so Emma was happy. I have no idea why they chose to use RED as the accent color...*shrug*

All in all, it was a fun, successful birthday party. And that night, when Emma was supposed to be falling asleep, she sang the birthday song to herself. Soooo cute.

As for actual birthday plans, we're opening presents first thing in the morning. John has to work at 11 and won't be home till around bedtime. So, presents in the morning, play all day, then dinner and cake in the evening. Emma requested pizza for dinner. I'm not sure what I'm doing for the cake quite yet. I'll let Emma pick which cake mix to use. I'll make it sometime during the day. Should be interesting.

Oh, and other plans include me going to bed sometime soon ;)

Happy birthday, Emma!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy {Belated} Thanksiving!

Happy {belated} Thanksgiving! I'm usually too busy enjoying a holiday to blog about it until after the fact. Thanksgiving was no exception.

We celebrated with Nathan and Jessica this year, over at their house.

And, of course, there was LOTS of good food. Mmmm. John and I were in charge of bringing rolls, cranberry sauce, gravy, sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, jello salad, chocolate cheesecake, and homemade hot apple cider. Yum. Nathan and Jessica had the turkey, pumpkin pies, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.

For breakfast, we made orange sweet rolls. My family makes those for breakfast virtually every holiday . And any other random time we feel like eating them ;)

I got some cleaning in before I started cooking. Of course, that means I need to clean a bit again since I spilled sugar on the counter. Ah well. It happens.

Anyway, long story short, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The food was excellent, and the company was even better. It was small; just us and one other family, but it was really nice.

Emma had a blast playing with her cousin Noah. Oh my goodness those 2 are crazy when they get together. Both had multiple time outs. Hyrum and Anna crawled around a bunch. Getting Emma to eat was challenging. Hyrum, on the other hand, was absolutely obsessed with all the yummy Thanksgiving food. He loved it!

It was great spending Thanksgiving with Nathan, Jessica, and their adorable kids. I love that they only live 15 minutes away.

I am so grateful for the many blessings in my life. I am grateful for the gospel. I am grateful for my wonderful husband. I am grateful for my sweet adorable children. I am grateful for my friends and family. I am grateful for the freedoms I enjoy.

I am grateful to live in a day where I don't have to hike out into the snow in the middle of the night to the bathroom.

No really. I'm not kidding. I am so grateful to live now, where I have electricity, indoor plumbing, heat, refrigeration, dishwashers, washers and dryers, microwaves, electric stoves and ovens, KitchenAid mixers, food processors, computers, Adobe Photoshop, internet...

I have much to be grateful for. Despite being monetarily poor, I can't help but feel rich. We truly live a blessed life.

Happy {belated} Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nemo is Dead

Emma's goldfish, Nemo, died on Wednesday. I knew it was only a matter of time. After all, it's a goldfish.

And...well, we've been neglectful fish owners since having Hyrum. Poor fish only got fed every couple of days and...um...we didn't clean the tank at all since we got him. Like, 6 months ago.

So it's kind of our fault. We'll probably have an army of deceased goldfish come after us when we die.

It wasn't unexpected. I periodically check the tank for movement. Usually a couple of times a day. Just to make sure I don't have to do a fishy funeral that day.

But on Wednesday, I did.

I did my usual glance for movement...and saw nothing. It was early in the morning and Emma was still sleeping. I didn't want to deal with it yet, so...I left the fish where it was. I called John and left him a message about it.

And then, in my clean-for-tomorrow's-birthday-party frenzy, I forgot about it.

Until Emma saw her fish. Her dead fish, upside down in the tank.

I heard her say, "Nemo is...Nemo is..." And she didn't know how to describe it. Poor girl. All the other times we've lost goldfish, we quickly flushed it before she knew. She never saw them floating upside down like this.

I had to do a little more explaining this time. Last time, she noticed the fish was gone, but I think we'd already flushed it by that point. I explained that her fish went to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus, got a new one, and that was that.

This time, however, she saw the dead fish.

And I had to explain death to my almost 3 year old. At least a little bit, in terms a 3 year old can understand. I told her he died and went to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus.

She took it amazingly well. She didn't cry, she didn't get upset, or anything. She really seemed to understand.

Granted, you can't get as attached to a goldfish as you can to say, a dog or a cat. Or a person. But still, she took it way better than I anticipated.

She said, "Nemo's all gone. It means he's dead. He needs his mommy and his daddy and his brother. The boy one is all gone. Next time we get a girl one. He's with Heavenly Father and Jesus."

Anytime someone is upset, sad, etc, she says they need their mommy and their daddy, and sometimes she adds brother on there. She talks a lot about mommies, daddies, and brothers. I know it's because that's what her immediate family consists of.

She also said, "My fishy is dead" and "I flush my fish in the potty, in the big potty." I let her flush him down after I dumped him in the toilet. I think it was good closure for her.

At one point, she also said he was with Dory. Ah, the hazards of naming a pet after a movie character.

Now, she wants a a white "girl" fish. Haha, as if I can tell with goldfish. When she talked to John on the phone after, she said, "you get a new one, when you get home."

The plan was for John to pick up a replacement fish after school/meetings. He had to pick up her birthday cake for the party anyway.

Of course, the one day we need a new fish, Walmart is completely out of goldfish. Everything else they had requires a heater. I don't think a heater would work in our tiny 1 gallon tank...and they require a different kind of food. No, that just won't work for us.

So we have to wait until they have more goldfish. We hope to try today, but the roads are all icky and covered in snow (and it's still snowing), so we're playing it by ear. Hopefully they plow the roads soon. Not that likely, but I can still hope. I have some grocery shopping to do.

In any case, we'll be sure to get a white "girl" fish next. Hm, I wonder what Emma will name the next one? Dory? ;)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cleaning: Is There Any Point?

I often feel like all my efforts to clean my house are in vain. As soon as I fill a bin full of toys, my son dumps it out. Or he'll do it mid-fill. On purpose, of course. He loves to empty things.

I seriously think he crawls around to mess up whatever I just cleaned.

Emma can be the same way. Of course, toys are more interesting once Mom puts them away, right? But at least Emma knows how to pick them up again. Not that I'm consistent with making sure that happens...which is why it rarely does unless I'm the one doing it.

And I don't do it as much as I should because it seems a pointless venture. Cleaning in general seems that way. The toys especially.

I spent ALL day Wednesday cleaning my house last week. ALL DAY. I swept, mopped, vacuumed, scrubbed the counters and stove, cleaned the toilet, picked up toys, tidied, etc. Basically everything but my bedroom and the tub. And I still haven't done them. They're kind of the last-to-be-cleaned places around here. But now, I need to do everything all over again. And it hasn't even been a week.

Why can't homes come with a self-cleaning button? You know, like some ovens do? Mine, of course, does not.

John and I joke about the self-cleaning button being on the money tree. If only we could find it.

I am not one of those must-clean-all-the-time people. I like having a clean house, sure, but I don't want to spend my life cleaning. I'd rather do other things like play with my kids. It'd be better if my house could just magically get clean and STAY clean.

So, my house was nice and clean on Wednesday. Guess what happened Thursday?

First, Hyrum made a HUGE mess with baby food. I let him have the bowl by himself. He scooped baby food into his mouth with his hand. Of course, he also got it ALL over himself and the table. Naturally, this necessitated a bath...

During said bath, Emma purposefully dumped a HUGE cup of bath water on my freshly mopped floor. Oh, I was MAD.

Then, I discovered that a garbage bag had leaked onto the floor. Yuck.

And THEN Hyrum got ahold of one of Emma's crackers at snack time in the 2 seconds I wasn't looking and started choking on it. He's fine. But he dislodged it by throwing up on my kitchen floor. Thankfully it was on the tile. But he got a little on the carpet where it's fraying.

Sidenote: I put in a maintenance order for the fraying carpet and the window latch in the kids' room that doesn't work properly. I put the order in a few weeks ago. They haven't come by to even LOOK at it, so last Monday I went down to the office to ask about it...and the managers moved. Like, the manager's apartment is completely empty. So...I can't help but wonder if/when my request will ever happen. I don't know when the new managers are moving in, but you better believe I'll pounce on them when they do.

Also, the people who built our apartment were either stupid or too cheap to care about fraying carpet. Or both. If they installed it right, it wouldn't fray like that...and Emma wouldn't have cut her big toe on the NAIL that was supposed to hold that stupid fraying carpet down.

Aaaanyway. I digress. Back to cleaning stuff.

On Friday, I let Hyrum hold the jar of baby food while I got the spoon out. You can see where this is going, can't you? Yeah...he dropped it. It shattered. Green beans and glass ALL over the kitchen floor.

Of course, this is all on top of the normal daily living messes like dishes and toys and such.

Emma's birthday party is this week. I need to clean for it, of course. But right now, there's not much point until the day before or the day of.

Maybe I should work on the not-so-immediate areas that get neglected. Like my bedroom. Our room always gets trashed. Everything we want to hide when company comes over goes in there. I have so many papers to sort through and organize. Some to file, some to throw out. I'm also hiding the kids' birthday and Christmas presents in our room, along with the supplies for Emma's party and all the wrapping paper and such.

*sigh* I should probably get working on that. Or maybe start on some dinner instead.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Digital Scrapbooking Day

Happy DSD everyone! I don't think I'll get much scrapping time this weekend, but that's kind of how life is right now. 2 young kids + husband in school/working part time = very little scrap time. I did get Emma's birthday party invitation done late last night. It turned out super cute.

Not to mention the fact that Christmas is right around the corner...and between Thanksgiving and Christmas we have 2 birthdays and our anniversary. And right after Christmas we have another birthday. Ah, fun stuff.

Thankfully, I'm DONE with the kids' Christmas and birthday shopping. Well, almost. I need to get Hyrum some PJs and other 18 month sized clothes. And candy for the stockings. But other than that, I'm done with their stuff.

Now to finish John's shopping...I have his birthday present and I have a couple things in mind for anniversary and Christmas gifts.

Aaaanyway. Back to digiscrapping stuff. geniaBeana has an absolutely gorgeous grab bag out for the DSD. It's full of all brand new stuff - a beautiful new kit, cardstocks, scatters, journal bits, and templates - all for only $4.99! SUCH a steal. Full retail value is over $19. Check it out (image linked to her store at Scrap Matters):

DSD grab bag

Isn't it gorgeous? If you click on the link, you'll be able to see previews of the individual pieces you'll get. I personally don't like to buy unless I know what I'm getting; with this one, you get to see it first :) But you gotta hurry; they'll only be bundled up like this for a week.

And here's the page I did:

Fall 2010

Aw, aren't my kids the cutest ever? And no, I'm not at all biased ;)

And look, I made a template! Ironically, right after I announced I was taking a break from template making. I hadn't made any in months, either, so the irony is...well...ironic LOL. I decided to leave the shadows on this time. I think it looks better that way. Of course, feel free to change them to your own preferences. Out of curiosity, do you prefer templates with shadows or without?

Template 64 is a 12x12" template in PSD format. Here's the preview:
Template 64

Click here to download. Enjoy!

Happy Digital Scrapbooking Day!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Project 365 and General Update

You know it's time to post pictures when your parents mention it every time you talk to them. So, Mom and Dad, this is for you. And for anyone else who wants to see pics of my cute kids and all the fun (and not so fun) things we've been up to.

The not so fun things? The kids've been sick lately (boo). Ear infections, chest congestion, nasty cough - basically the nastiness that's going around here. Literally every child I've seen in public lately has this cough...thanks people. Really, thanks.

Of course, that's kind of hypocritical of me to say since I took my sick kids to Walmart...but it was just to pick up their prescriptions and I kept them confined to our stroller the whole time. It's not like they were coughing on a shopping cart or anything.

But I did still take them to the Halloween party at church. I know, bad mom, bad mom. But they'd been on antibiotics for 48 hours at that point anyway. At least I kept them home on Sunday, right?

It stinks that they got sick right before Halloween. I really wanted to take them trick or treating this year. We'd have gone to friends' homes in our complex and such. Ah well. Maybe next year.

They were still super cute in their costumes.

And we only got 3 trick or treaters, so guess who got all the candy? Haha, me. I ate most of it...but John and Emma got a bunch, too.

Oh, funny thing. We took the kids to the dr last week. Emma weighs 26 lbs 7 oz and Hyrum weighs 18 lbs 8 oz. So, 2 years apart and only a weight difference of 8 lbs. I'm just waiting for him to outweigh her. He's slowed down a lot since he discovered mobility, so who knows when that'll happen. But getting Emma to eat anything even remotely healthy is like pulling teeth these days. She'd much rather play.

Emma's birthday is this month. She'll be 3 on the 27th. 3! Wow. To think I've been a mother for nearly 3 years. It's gone by so fast.

I have all her birthday (and Christmas) shopping done. I think so, anyway. I also have most of Hyrum's birthday and Christmas, and John's birthday done. Anniversary and Christmas for John I'm still working on, but I have some ideas.

I'm having a harder time with gifts for Hyrum. We already have a ton of age-appropriate gender neutral toys from when Emma was that age. My mom and I both got him some cars, but what other boy toys are fitting for a 1 year old? It's sooo easy to come up with things for Emma. Partly because of her age and partly because I'm a girl. I want to get them an even amount of stuff. I know Hyrum doesn't care yet, but I do. I did already get his big/main gifts for both birthday and Christmas. I just know he'll love them. LOL, and I think Emma will love his gifts, too ;)

I've updated my Amazon wishlist to reflect gift ideas for all of us, if you feel so inclined ;)

Anyway, shopping tangent. Sorry.

I think it's finally safe to say Emma is 99% potty trained during the day. I'd say about 50-75% at night. She's been at this point for a couple of months, but getting sick off and on caused some regression during illnesses. This time, though, she's done great with using the potty while sick. For the most part. She still tends to hold it in forever, but she definitely lets us know when she really needs to go. She's better about going in public than at home. Go figure. I think it's because she'd much rather play than sit on the potty.

Sometimes I have to make her sit on it. Like if it's been 7 hours since she last went. She fights me, but then once she's on, she goes. And then insists that she needs to go some more and stays there for 20 minutes or more. Funny kid.

Emma is our little budding artist. My goodness can that child draw well. At least, for an almost 3 year old. Yesterday, she drew Mr. Potato Head. I took a pic and posted it on Facebook. I made a new album there for her artwork.

She now knows all the letter sounds. She can recognize a lot of letters by sight. She might know all of them and I just don't know it. I'll have to quiz her. Knowing Emma, she probably does. She's a smarty.

Oh, and...she no longer naps. Bummer. I've pretty much given up on it. I'd like to give her "quiet time" in her room, but the time I'd like to do it is when Hyrum naps. Doesn't quite work when they share a room. Honestly, fighting her on it just isn't worth the stress and frustration for me. So, she just plays in the living room during what used to be her naptime. Every now and then she'll pass out on her own, but then bedtime gets all messed up. Especially when it happens at 6 PM...

I finally finally finally was able to pull out almost all of the 18 month girls' clothes. Yay for going up a size! I've heard some people say their kids jumped straight from 12 month clothes to 24 months/2T. Emma? She was in 18 month clothes for a year. Now that she's almost 3, she's finally moving into 24 months/2T.

I haven't posted any Emma-isms in awhile. Oh do I have a ton. Here we go:

- "My hand's in time out."
- "Hyrum thinks Emma's funny."
- "There's a fire in my hand." - one hand was the wood, the other was the fire
- "He's in time out. He was pushing me." - it was Elmo...haha
- "I eat underwear."
- "We don't eat ants. We eat food."
- "No no no Hyrum, don't go after the castle."
- Emma: I made a big present. Me: who's it for? Emma: Mommy
- "I wanna cry!"
- "No I don't want to calm down!"
- Me: you're doing great. Emma: I am great.
- "Let's read a book to Hyrum."
- Me: Emma, are you awake? Emma: No!
- Emma: I wanna go bike, too. John: Maybe when you're older. Emma: I older now!
- Emma: I need them. Me: They're all gone. Emma: Let's get some more.
- "I made a letter. I made an 'I'" - yep, she made the letter I. With blocks.
- "Maybe when he's older and he can stand too, and he can walk."
- "I wanna see Noah in his house."
- "I have no hands."
- "Let's look for my birthday."
- "Mr. Waternoose needs a time out."
- "I make a cake with Play Doh in nursery."
- "I make a snowman. I make him tall tall tall."
- "You want to color her shirt pink or red? You want red? Ok." - talking to a doll while coloring
- "I wanna watch Abitar. The froggy one." - referring to Avatar (Last Airbender) series. She wanted to watch the episode with the frozen frogs.
- "Fire needs a time out. With the door closed." - meaning the Fire Nation of course
- "I'm not a butterfly. I'm just Emma."
- "No I don't want to go to bed!" - LOL, she said this in her sleep!!
- "We can't go to Noah's house cuz we're still sick."
- "Mommy, don't be quiet." - I was whispering
- "I need to wear a necklace." - um, she put her underwear around her neck...
- "Mommy's birthday's all gone. We eat it all." - apparently birthdays = cake
- "No I don't want to eat poop, ok? I just want to eat cereal." - when I ask her what she wants to eat, I usually have to go through several suggestions several times. I usually throw something gross like poop into the suggestion mix, just to tease...and no, I don't actually offer her poop to eat...that's disgusting.
- "I want to eat my kids." - LOL, she was mad that we had to go get dinner when she wanted to play with other kids and this kind of slid out.
- "There was a spider and Daddy killed it."
- (to Hyrum) "Did you say mama? Good job! Did you say mama again? Good job!"
- "They're going to the temple, to get married!" - about her friend's parents (who are already married)
- "I need that. Brownie."
- "2 Lily's. I have a toy Lily and a friend Lily." - right before a play date with friends. One of the LeapFrog frog toys is named Lily, too.
- "Lily had to go home with her mommy and her baby." - after the play date :)
- Emma: I made 2 presents. One for Daddy and one for Emma. Me: Can you make one for Mommy and Hyrum? Emma: No, not for Hyrum. He's too little.
- "Mommy, we need to clean."
- "I don't like the letters. I just like the food."
- "I'm not getting tired, I'm just sleeping."
- "We have no money." - she wanted a green Tinkerbell dress for Halloween and we told her we didn't have enough money to buy it. She had a pink fairy costume from last year that still fit anyway, so we told her Tinkerbell got to wear a pink dress :D
- "It's a big pumpkin, and a little pumpkin. It's a family."
- "I miss Hyrum." - aaaaw. He was sleeping.
- "I need go potty in your lap." - um, no. Don't worry, she didn't.
- "I need some cuddles from my daddy." - she woke up crying for John but he'd already left for the day. Poor little girl; she was so upset.
- "I'm pretending to poop." - with bean bags...
- John: I'm going to feed Hyrum. Emma: Daddy doesn't have food there. - 2 or 3 times, then she pointed at his chest and added, "Mommy does."
- Me: Emma, should we make cupcakes tomorrow? Emma: No...I want them now.
- "I have hands. I have fingers. I have a little one, a big one, another big one, another big one, and another little one." - pointing out all of her fingers.
- "Daddy's taking a shower. He needs his privacy."
- "Emma's gonna to get married, too." - eep! Scary! Give me another 20 years for that one, ok?

Oh, she also likes to hide things behind her back and say, "it misappeared." Heehee, I love how she says disappeared. So cute.

Phew, that's a lot of Emma-isms. It's been too long!

Hyrum's turn!

Hyrum now crawls for real! He's pretty much dropped the army crawling. It's so cute. He crawls all over the place. He follows me everywhere and gets into everything. He pulls books and movies off the shelf, gets into the bathroom garbage while I'm washing my hands (totally deja vu here - Emma did the exact same thing), shoves any little thing he finds on the floor in his mouth, etc.

He stands up against everything. He can climb a bit, too. He can cruise a little, but he hasn't really been all that interested in it. He prefers to crawl everywhere. Probably because most of the interesting things are on the floor or way out of his reach.

Hyrum is such a little begger. If you don't want to share food with him, you'd better hide it so he can't see. He is obsessed with table foods. We let him try most things in teeny tiny pieces. He'll pretty much eat anything. He is no respecter of foods! Even foods he used to not like. He'll scarf it down.

He grew out of his wheat intolerance! YAY! Oh my gosh this makes me so happy. The prospect of going wheat/gluten free...yeah, no thanks. One of his favorite foods are Gerber Puffs. He loves those things. But I have to break them in half for him. I know they dissolve and all, but he just shovels them in. He's choked on them a few times, so breaking them in half is necessary.

Hyrum is getting so good at saying mama. I love it. I really do think he says Emma now, too. He seems to associate them with the right people. He still refuses to say dada though. Poor John. He now says babababa and rararara. But no dada!

I think I've got it all?

I have a couple of new pages to post as well, using geniaBeana's Queen for a Day. The kit is actually a revamp of one of her earlier kits. The new version is SOO awesome. Here are my pages:

August 13-19

August 20-26

And my latest group of P365 photos:

September 20
Some cute bows I made for a baby shower gift.

September 21
Going on a walk!

September 22
Root beer float day :) A family tradition.

September 23
Homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner.

September 24
September 24
Oops, chocolate milk everywhere!

September 25
September 25
Emma accidentally knocked a metal kid-size shopping cart on my toe the previous night. Ouch! I think the whole store heard my "OOOOW!" LOL, good thing I don't swear! I wondered if it was broken; thankfully it wasn't. But it sure had a nasty bruise!

September 26
September 26
Oo, ladies man. He's got yet another dolly girlfriend.

September 27
September 27
Emma made our family with blocks ♥ Notice how Mommy and Daddy have "feet?"

September 28
September 28
Playing with blocks together...ish. More like Hyrum watching Emma play.

September 29
September 29
Bath time! Apparently shower curtains are a delicacy.

September 30
September 30
Our awesome friend Vicki took family pics for us. This was my favorite :)

October 1
October 1
We went to the farmer's market one last time. They had an outdoor concert featuring various local bands.

October 2
October 2
Emma sleeping on the floor...

October 3
October 3
Victoria and Adam :) We had them over for Sunday dinner along with Nathan and Jessica.

October 4
October 4
My baby turned 9 months old! We went to look at the fish after his well baby check up. Hm, is he going to eat Nemo?

October 5
October 5
A bunch of flies got in since we had the door open for awhile. It took awhile, but we finally got them all with the fly swatter. Emma wanted to help. She got scared when the flies got near her food and such.

October 6
October 6
Mmm, donut in one hand, cookie in the other. Yep, he's definitely our son! (it's play food, if you're wondering)

October 7
October 7
THIS is what woke us up this day. At 7 AM. We had to wake up the kids and evacuate. Not cool. Someone burned their breakfast. Seriously, who cooks a burn-able breakfast at that hour?!

October 8
October 8
Hyrum's new car seat came!! He outgrew the infant seat so it was definitely time for an upgrade.

October 9
October 9
We let the kids play with the car seat box for a few days. They loved it!

October 10
October 10
More car seat box escapades.

October 11
October 11
Lovin' the fall leaves over the canal.

October 12
October 12
Fall photoshoot! We collected the leaves the night before and brought them to the park with us :)

October 13
October 13
This is how I spent most of the day.

October 14
October 14
Impromptu walk to the park...all in our PJs!

October 15
October 15
We went to an awesome straw maze. It was so fun! The kids both loved the straw and we loved navigating our way through the maze. We had dinner at Big Judd's after (featured on Man vs Food for their 1 lb burger). We got normal sized burgers, fries, and a grilled cheese sandwich for Emma.

October 16
October 16
Sleeping on the floor again...it's a pretty normal thing around here.

October 17
October 17
All dressed and ready for church! Sooooo cute!

October 18
October 18
We had lots of fun with friends! Playdate and babysitting :)

October 19
October 19
We walked over to the nature park. It was soooo beautiful and peaceful. Both kids even fell asleep! All the fall leaves, the water - it was gorgeous.

October 20
October 20
Playing at the park! Enjoying the nice weather while we could.

October 21
October 21
Uh oh, Hyrum's standing in the fridge! And going after the minced garlic!

October 22
October 22
We went to the pumpkin patch! So fun! The kids with our big family pumpkin and their individual little pumpkins. Emma picked both the little ones. I think it's hilarious that she picked a bigger one for Hyrum.

October 23
October 23
Walking to the grocery store...with kids in PJs :) It was cold. Bye bye nice weather :(

October 24
October 24
Emma artwork :)

October 25
October 25
We carved our pumpkin for FHE. Emma wanted a kitty pumpkin. Here it is all lit up.

October 26
October 26
John and the kids playing "dress up" with Emma's hats. Their Halloween costumes are in the background.

October 27
October 27
Ah yes, look what we got. Amoxicilin for both kids. They had ear infections and chest congestion. Yuck.

October 28
October 28
Emma wanted Hyrum to wear her pink bunny ears...I know it looks like he's crying, but he's actually laughing/squeeling happily. You can see his cute little teeth here.

October 29
October 29
Hyrum in his Halloween costume. Cutest little knight ever!

October 30
October 30
Emma in her "pink Tinkbell" costume. She wanted to be Tinkerbell, but she could still fit into her pink fairy costume from last year and we didn't want to spend the money on the official Tinkerbell costume. Not when we already had something that fit! So, we told her Tinkerbell could wear a pink dress this year :)

October 31
October 31
Mini Halloween cupcakes! Yum! I made waaay too many so we brought some to friends. I'd already given a dozen away before I took this pic. 60 mini cupcakes in all!

November 1
November 1
Playing with their pumpkins. Emma kept asking me to draw kitties and doggies on hers. She also refused to take off her jacket after we mailed our ballots.

November 2
Hyrum found the root beer! He kept pulling out cans and trying to drink them. Funny boy. Please ignore his mismatched clothing.

Phew! All caught up on pics now :) And that's all for tonight!