Friday, July 25, 2008

Pioneer Day Baby

First of all, for those of you non-Utahns...July 24th is a state holiday here called Pioneer Day. It commemorates the entry of the first pioneer settlers into the Salt Lake Valley (on July 24, 1847). The Days of '47 are celebrated, among other things, with parades and fireworks. And - I happen to know someone that, as a little girl, used to think that all those big celebrations were for her! My mom! That is because the 24th of July is also her birthday. So, while we of course celebrate the pioneers & are grateful for all of their sacrifices...last night was all about Mom.

Josh & Mark manned the grill.

Matt started trying to teach Noah colors by quizzing him on what color each of the balloons outside were.

The food was delicious!

The flowers were bright & cheerful, and the drinks cold & refreshing.

...but most of all - we're glad that you won the croquet game on your birthday, Mom! Really though, Mom - we love you so much. Thank you for all that you do for each of us, and for the person that you are.

P.S. I had to include this picture of Noah from after the party...he toted this balloon around the entire house with him, including while brushing his teeth :)

Horses, and goats, and pigs - oh, my!

The other day my mom came down to run some errands and we decided to take the boys to Gardner Village. We spent most of our time at the petting zoo. Noah was really hesitant to touch the animals at first, but warmed right up to the idea after watching me pet a couple of them.

At first Noah stuck right next to either my mom or me...

...but it wasn't long until he got brave and started petting the animals on his own.

Lincoln was even pretty intrigued with the goats. They kept coming up to him and sniffing the stroller, and sometimes even him!

And apparently he found that pretty funny.

Noah even took his first pony ride! Of course he called it a horse - close enough as far as I'm concerned.

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At first Noah let me either hold his hand, or put my hand behind him on the saddle. However, towards the end of the ride it turned into, "seeeelf!" and so he rode without any help. It may have been a mellow ride (ok, super mellow) - but I was still so proud of my little Mr. Independent!

Noah was also quite fascinated with this pig. He decided that the pig was Pumba from The Lion King, hence the singing of "Hakuna Matata"...
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And, lastly, a picture of Grandma with her two grandsons. We all had a great time - thanks, mom!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Take a Hike!

So, on Saturday we decided to set out to find the perfect location to have our family pictures taken next month. For Mother's Day my siblings and I gave my mom a card telling her that we'd booked a photo session with a photographer that I love (while my brother & his family will be in town). A mountain photo sounded perfect to my mom, so we went looking.

And, since we would be looking anyway, we decided to make an afternoon of it and bring a picnic along. We started out by hiking (part of) White Pine Trail up Little Cottonwood Canyon, since we'd been there before & knew how beautiful it is. It has been way to long since I've gotten up into the mountains. It was therapeutic for me...the smell of the pine, the sound of the river, beautiful summer wildflowers in bloom (can't believe I only took one picture of them), and the warm sun on my face. I loved it. And, of course, it was a new experience taking Noah hiking. The last time that we went he was in the backpack.

Naturally, Noah set the pace of our hike. He trudged along as fast as a little boys legs can go. I kept trying to get a picture of him hiking, but as soon as I'd pull out the camera he'd put his face down so that his hat hid it, or cover his face with his hand. So, I gave up on that after a while.

It was lots of fun hiking with Noah though - he found a stick to carry along the way, and would stop periodically to point out bugs. Now and then he'd trip on a rock and fall down, but he'd get back up and keep going. In fact, in a couple of spots I'd lift him quickly over a more challenging area in the trail and he'd scream "SELF!" and promptly turn around, hike back down to where I'd picked him up from, and hike back up on his own. Yes, Mr. Independent is two. And, although it can be a tiny bit frustrating at times to wait for him to "do it self!" - I love it too.

Here's the spot where we threw down our blanket for a picnic. It was a nice picnic, but unfortunately I think it's also when Lincoln's arm got a bit of a sunburn as he let his left arm hang out of the backpack the entire picnic (as you can see here).

Here is Noah enjoying some yummy, cold watermelon balls. And, if you look closely you can see his flip-flop tan line too :)

And, of course, our good natured little Lincoln was an angel the entire time...
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Here I am showing Noah the river and explaining to him that he needs to hold my hand while we put our feet in the water.

This picture looks like Mark is torturing Noah by dipping him in cold river water. Nope. Noah loved the water...he just didn't want us to hold (or even touch) him while he was in it. "Seeeelf!"


Noah insisted that he could see sharks in the water. Aaahh...to have the imagination of a 2-year-old.
I will have you know that after a few hours of hiking, and no luck on finding a good photo location, we headed back to our Jeep where the kids both promptly fell right to sleep. Then, after driving a few miles further up the road we found the absolute perfect spot to do our pictures...right off the road too! I'll be sure to post a link to the pictures after we get them done next month and you can let me know what you think about the spot we found! I think you'll like it...

Noah & Michael

It's always nice when you find a good friend that not only has a child near your own kid's age...but when your kids get along well too. So, we lucked out when we moved to Salt Lake and moved in across the street from our friends the Donnellys (Claire & Ryan) - who had just moved in a couple weeks prior to us for residency as well. They've been great friends to us over this last year, and they have two adorable boys too! Michael (3 years, 9 months old) & Drew (1 year, 6 months).

Now, Noah is 2 years, 5 months old - so we joke about it being funny that Noah and Michael ended up as buddies, since Noah and Drew are actually closer in age...but you know how kids always admire the "big kids" that are older than them. So, it didn't surprise us that Noah thought Michael was super cool - but it's so sweet how sweet & patient that Michael has been with Noah! He always greets him with a big smile & "Noah!!", he takes him by the hand to show him things, teaches him how to do/play things, and is so good about sharing (even loaning) his toys with Noah.

So, I thought that I'd post a few pictures from a couple of our recent outings together. Here's a picture of Michael & Noah in the helicopter at the children's museum (Discovery Gateway).

Here they are at the park...
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Here's Claire, who Noah pronounces as "Kuck" (yeah...I dunno). Noah is often equally as excited to see her as he is Michael and Drew :)

Drew & Michael.

Noah.

And last, but not least, these are two clips of my brother Josh entertaining Noah & Michael when we all went to visit my family. We got a good chuckle out of this...and Josh got quite a workout too - it lasted for about 1/2 an hour (and N&M would've done it longer if we'd have let them)!
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...oh, and since that day - Claire has told me about twice that Michael has dropped to his belly in public and asked to be pulled around. Ha!

Little Animals

We have absolutely loved having a family zoo pass (it was a perfect Christmas present, mom & dad - thanks!). I know that I've already posted a few pictures from some of our outings there, but I've attended a couple of playgroup activities there recently. I forgot to take pictures at one of them, but here are some shots from the other one!...

Noah and Michael have been such cute little buddies lately. Here they are waiting for their turn to ride the train.

I stayed with the babies & snapped pictures while Claire took Noah & Michael on the train...

Some of the moms with their little monkeys (those that hadn't already bolted for the zoo's playground).

Lincoln will crash out pretty much anywhere. He doesn't get catered to quite like Noah did at this age...

Drew showing off his animal sipper.

Jessica & "Nader"

Michael & Drew.
I'm sure there will be more zoo pictures to come from another trip...

Friday, July 18, 2008

8 Months (& 5 days) old

So, I'm finally doing Lincoln's 8 month post. I'll start off with a picture that I snapped this morning of him in his pajamas. Well, they're not actually his, they are really Noah's. All of Linc's were in the laundry, but these fit, so why not? Lincoln's growth will have to plateau here pretty soon...

Lincoln may not have changed a whole ton physically in the last month - but he feels like he has grown up a lot to me. I think that him sitting up on his own, and officially abandoning the infant carrier makes him seem so much older to me. Here are a couple of those "oooooh, look how big he's getting" pictures...

Noah still thinks that it is pretty novel to have his brother come sit by him in the shopping cart car. The first time that I put Lincoln there next to him...we were in the middle of shopping and Noah looked over at Lincoln, hugged him, and said "I love you, Linc". My heart absolutely melted.

Lincoln actually prefers being on his belly to being on his back now. In fact, he's starting to do the shimmy, army crawl thing. It won't be long...

Other 8 month tid-bits include: His legs are strong & he's finally interested in standing now (doesn't just do spaghetti legs). He gets seriously upset if you take away something he's playing with (Noah has found that out). I weighed him on his actual 8 month birthday and he was exactly 23 & 1/2 pounds. He loves the doorway jumper now. If he feels like it, he'll give Eskimo kisses (which I call doing "noses")...and now it's evolved into being fun for him to just shake his head back and forth really fast. I sometimes use a bottle - and he will finally hold it on his own. He adores his brother. He added two top teeth to match his two bottom teeth. Noah naps more than he does during the day. He smiles almost all the time, and at almost anyone. Of course, there are different types of smiles. Here's the sweet smile...

This is his big, happy smile...

And this is his newest addition, which I like to call "the super-cheese". He'll scrunch up his nose, stick out his chin, and just grin so hard that it's like he's going to burst. Sometimes his whole body will tense up because he's smiling so hard :)
We love you, Linc!

Grandpa Cole

On July 5th Mark's grandfather, on his mom's side, passed away. Mark is very fond of his Grandpa Cole, and of the memories he has from time they spent together. One thing that I have heard Mark talk about many times is learning woodworking from Grandpa Cole. I am also grateful for the time I was able to spend getting to know this wonderful man, and someone who is so close to my husbands heart. Grandpa Cole flew clear to Utah by himself to attend Mark's and my wedding, and that meant so much to both of us. Also, years ago we were able to go down with other family members to Arizona for a milestone anniversary party for him & his sweetheart. And, when Noah was 6 months old, we took a trip down to Arizona to introduce Noah to his great-grandparents. Cole is even Noah's middle name. We are so grateful for the time we were able to spend with him during that visit. Here are two pictures from that trip...


And here are a couple of candid shots from our wedding. This one is of Grandpa Cole with Uncle Ron & Cousin Sara.

And lastly, our friend Debi securing Grandpa's boutonnière.
We will miss you, Grandpa Cole - but we celebrate the person that you are, and the life that you lived.