Thursday, February 28, 2008

Disneyland With Two Girls!

Finally, the post on Disneyland. I didn't want to do multiple posts and had major technical difficulties on the video, so it was slow in coming! To see the ridiculously long video (two girls and a new camera made for an excess of pictures) click HERE or on the above picture to view.

New Favorites
We discovered some new favorites this trip.

Rides: Laura's new favorite ride now that she is tall enough is "Soarin'" in California Adventure. She came off the ride saying, "I flew. I really flew just like the Birds." We think that Sara's favorite ride was "Peter Pan's Flight". She was just enraptured the whole time in the ride and this is how she looked after we got off. Yes, she couldn't understand why it was over.
Experience: We fell in love with the Character Breakfast "Minnie and Friends". The girls loved interacting with the characters and we loved the food. It was an excellent breakfast buffet and so much fun! Look at these faces and their fascination with characters.
Food: We discovered that the Carnation Cafe really has some of the best food in the park. And, they take reservations.

Technology: We used a cool computer program called RideMax to get on as many rides as possible. It was EXCELLENT for Magic Kingdom. (Not so much for California Adventure, but we don't spend much time there.) We got on everything quickly (including long line rides like Dumbo and Peter Pan) and had an amazing morning of like 13 rides in 2 hours.

Disney With a Baby
Sara was remarkable. She loved being outside and with her family constantly. The double stroller was our salvation with her. She slept there and was always happy sitting next to her sister. Sara loved the rides and parades and got healthy being outside in warm air. We brought tons of supplies to make her comfy (blankets, food, bottles, clothing) and it seemed to work. Our one mistake was not having connecting hotel rooms instead of all just staying in one room...we'll fix that for next time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


After getting over my ridiculously bad reaction to antibiotics (fainting anyone?) I felt well enough to have both sets of our parents over for dinners. We really enjoyed having J's parents over for his Dad's birthday. Laura helped make the cake for Grandpa and also helped him blow out the candles, well, candle.

Both the girls were also happy to see my parents. Their calling and our illness has made it so we haven't seen enough of each other lately. And Sara was happy to discover new foods - she loved salmon, chocolate cookies and yogurt. "No more of this baby food crap, guys."

The dinners turned out really well, so I'll include some of the recipes here. Thanks to my mom for help on the salmon recipe and to Sandra Lee for the initial idea on the Orzo:

Preheat Grill (no smell in the house) or Oven to 300
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt

Place the salmon on shiny side of greased aluminum foil. Drizzle olive oil over top side then sprinkle lightly with salt, paprika and oregano. Wrap completely in foil and bake/grill for 14 minutes.

Lemon Orzo
1 cup Orzo
Juice of 1 lemon
pinch of lemon zest
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp chopped Cilantro

Cook Orzo according to package in highly salted water. Drain. Mix with other ingredients. Serve as a base for salmon or as a side dish.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Jazz Jazz and All That Jazz

Jason and I got to go out on a real date for Valentine's to the Jazz vs. Warriors game on Tuesday. Jason was kind enough to give up his seat to the ballet Cinderella so Laura can go. So, we went to a game instead of the ballet for our Valentine's date this year. Thanks to Jason's folks who watched the girls so we could go out.
It was a great game and I loved going with my favorite cheering companion. It's always great to go to a game, but it's even better to go with Jason!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How Much Fun Can You Have With A Box?

Today, both my girls have been entertained for hours by boxes. Laura got creative and used one of our storage rack boxes to make herself a rocketship. She used glue, stickers and markers and just went to town. It kept her busy almost all day. In fact, my floor is still covered in the remnants of her project and she keeps making additions while playing Rocket and Space. I love her creativity and imagination!
Sara is really into sitting on the floor, or moving to her belly, to play with toys. Her favorite thing seems to be when I get out the box of toys and just let her go to town ripping them out of the box and tossing them everywhere. Isn't she darling?!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy and Healthy

Finally we are healthy. After months of RSV dealings, we are thrilled to all feel good. The warm, outside air really seemed to cure us physically as well as mentally. Sara is happy to be eating again and seems to have her appetite back!
Laura and Sara are happy that once again they can have friends over to play. Laura is particularly happy about that!
And Sara is even happy getting out of the bath these days. Check out this awesome hair!

Let's Go Bowling

We girls hadn't all gotten together since Andrea's cruise. So, we got together on Saturday and all went bowling. I sucked, as usual, but we had tons of fun! We played one round normal and one round silly. Yep, I got a significantly better score on the silly round than on the normal one. What does that say about me? Check out some of the hilarity!

Later that night most of us went and saw 27 Dresses (a show enthusiastically endorsed by our husbands that we see with girlfriends) and laughed like crazy again. It was a great chick flick and I enjoyed myself immensely. You girls and the laughter you bring are good for my soul...I love you ladies!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sara at 8 Months

So, I forgot to change the lens and white balance on the camera from the trip for the first few pictures and they're not the best. But, naturally Sara is the cutest in them. Here she is showing off how tall she is and her beautiful grin and goofy crooked smile - a new development.

She is very into talking and being expressive right now. In the bottom picture she is saying "hi" and waving. She also does that for "bye" or "buh," rather. She is still fascinated with all things "Lala" and really misses her when she is away. She sits like a champ now, but there is no more movement on the crawling front. However, she spends tons of time on her tummy these daysand has turned into a tummy sleeper just like Mommy and Laura, so I'm hopeful this time will turn into forward motion soon.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day Most Perfectest Girl in the World

I am the luckiest boy in the world! I have the most incredible wife in the entire world. And on this Valentine's Day I have to list many of the thousands of reasons why she is and always will be the love of my life.

She is the best mommy I have ever seen in my life. We have the most amazing little girls I have ever seen and it's all because of her teaching them a love of learning, of compassion, and of tenderness.

She is always looking for ways to help and take care of friends, family, and even just people in the ward. She is my best friend in the entire world and she makes normal mundane things fun and exciting. I can't imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else.

She is also the most gorgeous, sexy, and brilliant woman I have ever met; let alone dated. I am so lucky to have someone to talk to, to bounce ideas of off, and to plan our futures with. I love you more than words, my Love. Happy Valentine's Day. Always and Forever my Perfect!!!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Going, Going...

We are really excited to be on our way to Disneyland. The bags are packed. The reservations are made. The house is clean. (I have a thing about coming home to a clean house.) And we squeezed in some fun preparations as well.

Sara tried out the stroller and the baby carrier. Wonderfully, they were both big hits. Check out my big girl in the carrier (and isn't her Dad cute too?!).
We also played a lot of "Disneyland" and watched the videos of past vacations. Let's hope Sara likes the vacation experience more than she likes the Minnie hat.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Breakin' in the House

The house finally felt done enough to invite someone other than our parents over for dinner. We invited Joe, Deborah and Jacob. It was kinda important to get them in quickly because Deb is expecting their second baby in just a few weeks. I also used it as a good time to give her the baby gift. I have to say that I really enjoyed making it for her knowing that she too appreciates a handmade gift. (She gave me a beautiful blanket and burp cloths for Sara.) Here she and Jacob are opening it.
We had good food, great conversation, and played a lot. The kids played on the floor and the adults played the Wii. I must say that the layout of the house worked perfectly for a dinner party. We will be having more of these. It was a great time and they are great friends and dinner guests.

How 'Bout Them Jazz

My brother Todd and I finally hooked up for a Jazz game on Monday against New Orleans. I was excited for the Deron Williams/Chris Paul match-up especially since Deron got snubbed once again on the All-Star team selection.

It was an incredible game of 3-point shooting and Deron proving why he is the premier point guard in the West. Thanks T for the ticket and I can't wait to do it again.
I know that Melinda and I are huge Jazz fans and that Laura is very quickly following in our footsteps, but I had no idea that Sara would bet in on the action so soon! That's my baby girl! Go Jazz!


Either time is flying or the girls are growing up faster than usual. There are some big things going on in our house.

Most of Laura's growing has to do with independence. She is starting to get some of her own snacks, dressing herself completely and playing more independently. One of her favorite things to do on her own is play on the computer. She turns it on by herself, loads the game she wants to play and starts playing all by herself. Her current favorite games are Reader Rabbit, playing with her own photos on the Disney Software, and Blues Clues Treasure Hunt. And she keeps asking for a typing game so she can type fast like Mommy.
She has also started reading really well. She is reading everything around her and getting really fast and good. Here she is reading a book to Daddy and Sara.
She also loves to take baths (wonder where she got that from?!) and is starting to do a lot for herself there as well. I wash her, but when she is done playing she'll clean up her toys, drain the tub, dry herself and put on her bathrobe. This is how I find my darling girl when she's done bathing.

Sara is growing up so fast it's scary: physically and mentally.

I think the kid really wants to MOVE. She's gotten great control of the walker and moves forward and backwards all around the kitchen. She'll chase after Laura and haul around for a taste of grownup food - bananas, broccoli soup and chocolate are the favorites. This has really increased her leg strength. She is starting to stand alone at the edge of places, particularly the edge of the bathtub to get to Laura. And she is also starting to move her feet to walk with parent support.
She is really starting to communicate her wants and needs. She's added some more words - baba for bottle, and duh with the sign for done, to her vocabulary. Also, she is babbling all the time. Looks like she'll be a verbal gerbil just like her sis.

Sara is absolutely fearless when playing. She loves to fly in the air and we love to toss her. She also loves to fly on our legs. Unfortunately her weight prohibits us from doing it too much!
Sara is also sitting really really well on her own. I feel comfortable placing her almost anywhere she'll have a soft landing. She adores having a pile of toys and being able to sit and play with them. I adore the freedom that 40 minutes of playing with toys gives me. Laura likes being able to play with Sara and the toys too. My favorite thing in the whole world is seeing my two girls playing together. Sara has gotten so much more interactive and tough that she and Laura play together all the time. I am one lucky Mommy!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Coke Kitchen

We decided to continue the Coke Kitchen in this house as well. But now it looks all grown up. (Just like us...kinda.) We've had a Coke Kitchen since the moment we got married because both Jason and I independently had Coke stuff we brought into the marriage and merged it in the kitchen. Check out how we used much of it on the cabinets. (Thank you, Mom, for your advice and getting us going on these.)

The dining nook turned out significantly better than I expected. I was thrilled to discover that the curtains I made for the old house fit here as well. The runner on the new table and all the old tin signs just work perfectly. Now we can start having people over for dinner.

The only remaining items here in the kitchen are the backordered (until March, oddly) barstools, decorating the tops of the two huge end cabinets, and installing the third pendant light. Not too bad!

Noot Balls - Lindor Balls

Laura loves Lindor Balls. She has loved them since she was tiny (like barely a year old) at which time she named them "Noot Balls." The name stuck. So, we used this love of noot balls along with a chart to instigate some new habits. We picked some things that she is very successful at already along with other things we wanted to work on. It was a wonderful tactic. She is now sleeping through the night and the rush to get the basement finished isn't quite as severe. She also is feeding and dressing herself completely. Here she is with her completed chart.

We made a special trip to get her noot balls on Saturday. She has been loving them and we have loved the changes in the house and how simply they were instigated. No nagging is a wonderful thing in my world.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Faces of Sara

I have been experimenting with my new camera today. Thank you, my Jason for my early Valentine's present. I love it and you so know me so well! (And thank you to Steph for helping him select the perfect camera.) Since Laura was off playing with Grandma, Grandpa and Kiki, Miss Sara was my subject. I think I caught almost all of her moods - and hairdos. Check out this adorable baby!

Laughing ... the true belly laugh

Standby ... when nothing else is going on

Laura's Smile ... she gives this smile to Laura, only Laura, when Laura plays with her


Stoic ... what is that baby thinking?!


Whatcha Doin'?! ... usually with a babble

Half Smile ... I think this also means content, but she doesn't say


Snuggly ... this girl loves affection and it shows