Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Decorations 2010

For some reason, I just can't stop collecting Christmas decorations. The most fun addition this year has been individual trees in the girls' rooms. They selected their favorite color trees (pink and purple) and decorated them completely by themselves. Sara made sure that Eliza couldn't reach any of her ornaments, hence the decorating style you see below.
I got the silver ornaments, tree skirt, and star topper to fill out their trees. They loved putting their own ornaments that they have been collecting each year from Grandma and Grandpa on their own special trees. Laura also put ornaments that she made herself on her tree and decorated it just like a designer. Yep, that's my little pink perfectionist.
This year I added new candles (courtesy of my mom's garage cleanout) and a new advent (so much for my grand plans of making an adorable advent - I bought the house from Kohl's) to the hearth. It is probably my favorite part of Christmas decor.
I was finally able to find something I have wanted for years - a HUGE ornament to hang in my entry archway. My mom helped me with the bows, I strung it with fishing line and I just love how it turned out. I reused the hook from Pickles the witch and it makes me happy each time I see it.
Though I had the apothecaries last year, I updated them with new candy favorites for this year. Eliza adores the candy cane kisses that she eats in just one bite. Sara loves the Kit Kats and we all love candy canes in our hot chocolate. The candy has been so adored that one of my jars has gotten chipped. That just means I made good selections, right?!
Finally, the girls decorated the downstairs tree almost completely by themselves this year - with help from a step stool. It made decorating so much fun instead of a bit of a chore. They were adorable and I love that the tree turned out just like they like it, instead of decorator done. (The decorator tree is upstairs.) It makes Christmas seem more like it should - all about the kids!
Oh, and all my Christmas shopping is done - phew. Time to enjoy the season and feed people! Okay, I still have Christmas Cards and neighbor gifts to tag, but that's not much since it's not quite yet December!

Riding Hood v. 2

Sara took it into her mind that she wanted to be "Little Purple Riding Hood" and deliver treats to Grandma and Grandpa. So, she filled her basket with leftover halloween candy, got dressed in all her purple (including her new favorite purple shoes) and off we went. This kid is awfully smart at getting what she wants - seeing grandma and grandpa in this case.
She was absolutely adorable at the front door and reminded me a lot of her big sister. Grandma was equally receptive of "Little Purple Riding Hood" as she was of "Little Red Riding Hood" four years earlier.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

This year we were on schedule to celebrate Thanksgiving with Jasons family. It was great. Somehow the majority of his family got off rotation with us and it ended up a smaller party, but it was calm, wonderful and a fun time!
Thankfully (bad hormone day) most of my food had to be done the day before - Jello and frozen chocolate pies - so we had a great and relaxed morning waiting for the feast. We went to IHOP for breakfast, looked at ads, and played with the girls. Eliza showed us all how big of a turkey (seriously, that girl is a huge tease) she is while wearing Sara's gobbow showt. We were all in stitches.
I successfully transported the house (pies, jello, green beans, board games, camera, serving pieces, etc.) to Jason's mom's house and the dinner was delicious and lovely. Jason's mom made me my own celery-free stuffing that I devoured. Isn't she sweet?!
Jason loved being with his brothers. He also was with them the next night at the Jazz game - yes, the one where they spanked the Lakers, lucky duck. The girls loved spending time with their big cousin Hannah. Sara had one table laughing while Eliza entertained the other table. Laura, loved seeing Grandma Great.
It was a lovely holiday!

Well, At Least I'm Not Crazy

I have been sick for years. I have an auto-histamine disorder. Yes, my histamines are attacking the linings of my body. I hate it. However, I used to function pretty darn well and had learned to manage it (yay allegra and CLEAN living) comfortably. Since Eliza's birth, I haven't been my usual self.

After a bazillion trips to my GP and urologist, I finally broke down and cried to my GP because I was so frustrated. Those two doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong. I was beginning to think that I was crazy - some kind of bizarre hypochondriac. The docs only knew that I had a ton of internal bleeding (coughing it up, throwing it up, and you know) and were trying to stop it. I had tracked my symptoms for months and found them cyclical and figured it was worth a trip to the OB/GYN despite my frustration and desire to quit searching.

Bless my OB/GYN. He found an answer for me. I am not crazy. I have endometriosis; really severe endometriosis. Yep, that's why there is blood everywhere and pain cyclically. Now I am working through treatment options. They have been really unpleasant so far and I have kindof fallen off the face of the planet. Sorry to all my family and friends for my absence. My body does not like uneven hormones. But, I am confident that there will be a solution and that soon I will feel better than I have in years.

November Catch Up: Anniversary

It's been 8 years since Jason and I got hitched! They've been amazing. Not hard I suppose when he is so amazing! I am a lucky girl to have found Jason and to still love nothing more than holding his hand and chatting and laughing with him. I had no idea that marriage could be so awesome!

We didn't do much for our anniversary, because of my health. My wonderful parents watched the girls so we could go out to sushi and it was a huge treat. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

November Catch Up: Second Grade Thanksgiving Party

The two second grade classes partnered for the Thanksgiving party. As one of the room moms, I did a lot of planning. The other room mom took the lead on the food and I took the lead on the activities.

We had a true feast in the classrooms. (This was made remarkably tricky due to some serious peanut allergies affecting a kid in each class.) We stuck with mostly finger foods to keep it easier and cleaner. There were turkey and cheese sandwiches, apples, potato chips, olives, carrots, celery, wassail to drink, and pumpkin pie for dessert. The kids loved it!
My job was to be in charge of the activities. This stressed me out because it was going to be a 3 hour party. It began with a wordsearch for them to work on while they were eating or waiting to be served.
While they were finishing up eating, the kids read their letters. I had arranged with the teachers beforehand to have their students write a letter as if they were the turkey pleading with the farmer not to eat them for thanksgiving dinner. The letters were hilarious! I gave prizes to 2 students the teachers selected as doing a noteworthy job.

Then we had a dad volunteer to do some storytelling (Timpanogos Storytelling Festival style) about the first thanksgiving. The kids did remarkably well in the story as he worked really hard to involve all 50 of them.
Then we went outside for games. I had 5 stations that we rotated the kids through in about 7 minutes per station. I had gunnysack races, fruit basket with Thanksgiving pictures, clothespin drop, Indian Corn passing without hands, and pumpkin rolling. Since we had the party on the Friday before Thanksgiving, the weather was beautiful and the kids had a great time getting out all their wiggles.

Oh, and there was a live turkey. Yep, the other room mom keeps turkeys and brought one of them to show the kids. It was WAY cool!
I had nixed the idea of making graham cracker turkeys (stupid peanut allergies) but that worked out fine because we didn't even have time for the movie. Yep, I worried so much about the time that I planned too much.

I loved being able to spend that special time watching Laura interact with her classmates and getting to know all the kids that she talks about to me at home.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November Catch Up: Zoo

Cool, but not cold, weather is our favorite time to visit the zoo. Animals are active; parents are comfy; crowds are less; it is just better all around. We managed two trips before it got REALLY cold. One trip was with Deb and the other was with Daddy.

Everyone, but Eliza enjoyed sitting on the Elephant. Eliza particularly likes watching the elephants. She doesn't say, but we think it is her favorite part of the zoo.
The animals are more active and therefore more fun to watch. We dance with the monkeys and watch the big cats. We even will escape to the stinky reptile house that is horrid in the summer, but fun in the fall.
The carousel is always a big highlight. It's a REALLY big highlight where the two big girls generally get to ride their favorite animals: Laura a zebra, Sara a panda, and Eliza just likes to ride.
We just love having a place to go with lots to see while we spend great time with family and friends!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Christmas Pics of the Girls

Okay, I'm a freak. I know it. I took the Christmas pictures of the girls already. Yes, their dresses were purchased and I didn't want to wait in a long line for my cards at Costco, so they are done. The weather was good and the lighting was pretty, so before church Jason and I hauled the girls outside and took these. For us being a bunch of rookies, I think they turned out great!

If you want a Christmas Card from us and didn't receive one last year, please let me know. Also, here is a preview:
The second one of Eliza is the one that will be on the card. And I adore that you can see her tooth in them.
The first one of Sara is the one that made the card. It was amazing how well Sara did for me!
Laura, of course, was perfect. She picked the first one to go on the card.
Remarkably, I did get this good one of all three of them that will make the wall downstairs and be in each of their rooms.

And yes, I am a superfreak and put the lights up on the roof this weekend too...I really didn't want to fall off a wet roof.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Eliza @ 15 Months

Eliza is 15 months old! Getting a comparison picture was very VERY difficult. So, there is only one of her looking at the camera and there are eight of her climbing off the couch. Well, it captures her at this stage.
Her 15 month stats are as follows:
Weight: 21 lbs 9 oz (50th percentile)
Height: 31.25 inches (75th percentile)
Head: 48.5 cm (25th percentile)
Teeth: 1.5 (she has one real tooth on the bottom and half of it's neighbor)
Eliza is very VERY busy. She cruises, climbs, sorts, dumps, follows, stands, dances, reads, grins, hugs, blows kisses and charms the socks off you! She is still a very happy and content person - as long as she is busy or allowed to move. And, she adores outside. She would rather be outside - ideally walking on your fingers on riding on her trike - more than anywhere and will let you know her discontent when you bring her inside.
A big new skill of Eliza's is going DOWN stairs. She has had the up for months, but down has been elusive until just recently when she and I spent almost an hour together working on the stairs with the landing at Grandma Linda's house. She loves being able to follow her sisters downstairs and is very proud of this new skill.

Eliza is also taking her first steps. However, she still doesn't seem particularly interested in walking as a form of transportation, only as a form of entertainment. That's our easygoing Eliza for you!

Eliza is still not a big talker (around 20 words), but she will try almost any word and knows that speaking will get her what she really wants. So, a favorite word is "Baas" which gets her a bath at around 3:30 pm every day. She is a smart little thing and will follow rather complex instructions. She is also a big tease and knows she's doing it. Mostly, she is a love; she comforts sad sisters, gives amazing hugs, blows kisses, and waves goodbye! There's no way not to love her back!!