Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Thumbs up for ice cream & "hokey-pokeys"!

Thumbs up! That was Noah's show of approval regarding his first banana split. Leatherby's Creamery was the place that we went (while I was growing up) for ice cream on special occasions. There is a Leatherby's in Salt Lake, so a couple of weeks ago we took the boys there for ice cream! Yum! Noah was pretty excited to have his "own" ice cream (he shared with Mark & Lincoln)...and yes, this is the smallest banana split that they have! I got my "regular" - the Black & Tan...caramel & hot fudge over toasted almond ice cream. Mmmm!

Here's a clip of Noah trying out his ice cream:

Noah showing me the cherry on top!

Lincoln enjoyed himself too of course! In fact, this is the first time that all four of us have eaten in any restaurant when we've not had to wrangle one of the boys. It was smiles all around. I know that's because it was ice cream, but it was still a novelty for us! We had a great time.

If you watch any of the video clips on this post, this is the one you've got to watch! Noah started belting out the hokey pokey (which he pronounces as the "hokey pokeys"). It was so dang cute...although I have to mention that we were glad that there weren't too many people there since his singing got progressively louder & louder as the evening went on!

This is a quick clip of Lincoln. I love the way he lifts up his little eyebrows before he says "more" (referring to the ice cream of course) and does his sign for more.

I figured that I'd end this post with one last thumbs up. I got such a kick out of Noah doing that since I've never seen him do it before. However, I guess if there was a time to offer a thumbs up it was over this ice cream. Yummy!!!

Boys, Boys, Boys

This post doesn't contain any stories. It doesn't document any milestones. It doesn't proclaim any exciting news, or share a major life event. It certainly doesn't boast amazing photography (however the subject matter is pretty darn cute). It is just a few pictures of my everyday life with three boys - and I absolutely love it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Package from "Cole"

A couple of weeks ago, Noah received a Christmas package from his birth-mother, Nicole. Noah pronounces her name as "Cole" which is pretty funny since we talked about that when we met Nicole before Noah was born. We liked how the name "Noah Cole" sounded like "Nicole"...and that her nieces/nephews call her "Cole" (plus Cole is a family name for us). Anyway! Noah was really excited to get something in the mail to open, and he loved the gifts! She sent him some cute new pajamas, a wooden train, and some cute little board books. She also included a beautiful frame for the whole family to enjoy. Such a thoughtful package...thank you, Nicole!!

Here are a couple of quick clips of Noah opening his package. In the first one I absolutely crack up at Noah's expression when he opens the box. It's full of styrofoam peanuts and he looks up at me, and then back down at the contents, as if trying to figure out how exactly to respond to a gift like that...until he realizes that that there is more in the box!

Noah taking the train cars out of the package...

Thanks again for the thoughtful package, Nicole! We love you!

Monday, January 12, 2009

December Wrap-Up

So, it's time to do a wrap-up post for December (now that January is practically 1/2 over)! I'll start off with saying that ever since Lincoln started walking (right around his birthday) he's turned into such a little monkey. He climbs up onto anything he can. This picture is of him standing on our foot rest. He likes to try to use it to climb up onto the desk. In fact, a couple weeks ago he managed to push a chair into the toy room (which doubles as our guest room) right up to the bed and climb onto the chair & then on up onto the bed! Not bad for a 13 month old. I didn't get a picture of that because I was afraid that if I walked away to get the camera, that I'd hear the thud of him falling off that bed (it's fairly high off the ground). Anyway, he's a little explorer and his fun personality is really beginning to shine. He's a happy kid, unless you do something he really doesn't like...and then he is not afraid to be very vocal about letting you know what he thinks!

I suppose that I'm the one to blame for this behavior that Lincoln is modeling...walking around the house while talking on the phone. He loves to do that. I thought this clip was pretty funny...he's "talking" on the phone with his binky in his mouth and I think he sounds like an adult from a Peanut's cartoon or something. Enjoy:

Throughout Christmastime Noah was really excited about snowmen. He thought they were just about the coolest thing (no pun intended). Therefor, all I had to say to get him to wear the scarf that I bought him was that he could put it on before going outside so that he could pretend to be a snowman! Worked like a charm & isn't he cute?!

The night before Christmas Eve we went to my grandparents' house (mom's parents) with my brothers and enjoyed some pizza and time chatting together. Here's a quick cousins-photo of Audrey & Noah enjoying their culinary delight.

We had the pleasure, courtesy of my parents, of attending the Body Worlds Exhibit. It was amazing and I'm so glad that we had that opportunity to go! My whole family was able to go (Mark's parents watched Noah & Lincoln...thank you so, so much for that!) and we enjoyed doing something cerebral together. I highly suggest going if you have the opportunity. The exhibit (which focused on the heart) just closed here, but it will be presenting in Tampa this summer...and the exhibit which focuses on the brain is currently in Houston, and when done there moves on to San Diego in March. Oh, and I do suggest paying the extra few dollars to get the audio guide - you can start and stop it as you like while you work your way through the exhibit. Having Mark with me was cool too because he was able point out some things I wouldn't have noticed otherwise & he answered a lot of my questions. I gained a renewed appreciation for the beautiful complexity of the human body and how efficiently it operates (particularly when it's cared for properly). The more I learn about the intricacy of the human body, the more my conviction is strengthened of divine involvement with our creation.

After the exhibit we all went to eat at Fat Cats. I know, not the most health conscious way to demonstrate our renewed appreciation for our bodies. However, it sure tasted good. I suppose my resolution isn't to eliminate food like that, but perhaps to minimize it...

Lastly, here's a picture from a routine shopping trip at our local grocery store. I used to think that these gigantic car shopping carts were kind of ridiculous...oooh, man have I had a change of heart there. Love 'em. And, I love that the boys get free cookies from the bakery. I can always count on a few minutes of quiet shopping while they devour. And, as you can see, Lincoln is pretty happy to now be in on that part of our shopping routine!

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Night of Jazz with no Blues

One of the absolute highlights of the holidays for me was going to a Utah Jazz game. My dad surprised all of us on Christmas by telling us that he was taking us to the Jazz game the very next night! Now, this wasn't Noah's first game, but it was the first time that I'd attended a game with him. I had a lot of fun, and the Jazz played (and won) a great game, but I'll admit that Noah (and how much fun he had!) was definitely the best part for me! I wish that you could see the steam from Noah's & Mark's mouths in this picture. Since it was so cold outside we could see our breath. While we waited to meet up with my dad Noah noticed this phenomenon and yelled, "Mommy! I have smoke in my mouth!!" Then he proceeded to tell me that he needed a pipe so he could be like Frosty and Santa. I didn't even know that he'd payed any attention to the unfortunate habit of his two favorite Christmas time characters.

We drove to the game with all three of my brothers and my sister-in-law Chelsey, who snapped this shot of the three of us, with Noah blowing "smoke" at me. I mentioned that we met up with my dad at the Energy Solutions Arena, but my mom stayed at home and watched Lincoln (& Audrey). Thank you so-o much, Mom! It was lots of fun to be able to take Noah with us for a fun night & just focus on him!

Mark & Noah as the game began.

It's lots of fun to attend a professional sports game in person, and Noah had actually started asking to go to one after the new season started, since we watch all of the games on tv. He knows who a few of the players are and he'll yell out, "Go, Millsap! Go, Brewer!" or "Go! Get the rebound". One day when we were talking about muscles Noah asked to see mine, so I flexed my biceps, and Noah shouted out, "Wow, Mom! You're like Boozer!"(Jazz's currently injured power forward). Now, while I will admit that my arms are more toned than previously (due to carrying around my tank of a baby) I'm obviously nothing close to looking like a large, african-american, male NBA player & Olympian...and my muscles in no way resemble Carlos Boozer's. Thanks anyway though, Noah. :)

Chelsey & Chris at the game. Less than 20 weeks (and counting) until you guys move back out West!

Noah really enjoyed getting into the music at the game. Check out this quick clip:

Enjoying pizza at the game...and Noah even ate it hot! (Those of you that know Noah, are aware that he insists on his food being luke warm or cold)

Here's a picture of my dad, Noah & me. The best part of the picture (for me) is that the big hug that Noah is giving me was totally unsolicited. He is such a sweet boy, and I love him so much. Oh - and I got a kick out of how he kept turning his hat sideways like that. Ooooh, I just love having little boys!!

Quick photo after the game. Yes, it was late and Noah was still smiling and happy! It was a perfect night as far as I'm concerned. Thanks, Mom & Dad!
Now if The Jazz could just stop it with all of their injuries, and rack up some more wins to get them back into the playoff picture...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas Day

After what seemed like a quick nap (the night of Christmas Eve) it was Christmas morning! I was almost as giddy to watch the boys open their presents as I remember being to open my own as a kid! Before going down to open presents, we all waited upstairs in the living room until everybody was there. While waiting we pointed out to Noah that Santa must have enjoyed his cookies & milk since there were just crumbs left. He thought about that for a minute and then looked up the chimney asking where he was. I guess that he figured that Santa would be joining us for all the present opening festivities. So, we explained that after Santa brought our presents he had to leave to go bring all the other boys & girls their presents too. He seemed ok with that.

We tried to get a cute picture of the cousins in their pajamas before going to open presents. I just crack up when I look at this picture. Noah, who wants to play & pal around with Audrey (but can be a bit overbearing for her), is nonchalantly leaning his arm on her shoulder. Audrey has this disinterested look (and body language) of wanting to just be left alone. And Lincoln has the ultimate duh-look of all time on his face. Not exactly the look that we were going for with this picture, but I love it.

This Christmas for Noah was all about Toy Story & he loved it. The first present he opened was a new Buzz Lightyear costume (that has gloves, flashing lights, and wings he can put on by himself)! Next was the wrist communicatior. Noah donned both immediately after opening them, and put on quite an entertaining show for all of us...
"Come in, Star Command! Do you read me?!!"

Here I am helping Buzz Lightyear open another present while Audrey curiously stands by and watches.

Audrey is really into clothes & shoes (yes, at 2 years old) - so this doll with interchangeable clothes was a perfect choice for her (from my parents). She really concentrated as she would take the outfits on and off.

Lincoln opening his xylaphone, and Noah opening his Emperor Zurg toy (the only thing he asked for this Christmas), which was a perfect segue for his next gift...

...his Zurg costume! He was pretty excited about it, but it's a little bit too long. I found it for a steal, used online, a few months ago & bought it hoping that he could wear it next Halloween (we'll see). It is so cute & looks absolutely brand new too.

Lincoln wasn't quite as skilled at opening presents yet as Noah was (who was starting to tucker out by this point in the present opening extravaganza), but he still seemed to have a good time.

I absolutely love the expression on Lincoln's face here. He climbed up into this wagon (that we gave to him and Noah) and was balancing himself there carefully - with a bow still stuck to the back of his head. He had this impish grin as he stood there being so proud of himself, and he just looked from person to person waiting for somebody to tell him how cute he was.

This "space ranger" helmet that my parents gave to Noah is super cool! You can talk into a microphone inside it, there's a button that opens the visor, and there are buttons that you push that say things too. A perfect gift for a Buzz Lightyear idolizer :)

Somehow the stocking got saved for last this year. Here's Noah sifting through his...

Audrey and Noah chillin' in the wagon while Noah sorts through his new candy.

Lincoln's favorite item from his stocking...

I loved seeing my two boys hang out in the wagon (and I have to mention, again, how much I love classifieds! you can get some of the best used stuff there for super deals!!) I like how this wagon has these seats that flip up to lean back well as seatbelts & cup holders! Fancy schmancy!

That evening we headed up to Mark's parents house to celebrate with them. We had a relaxing evening there, and stayed the night there too. After the kids went to bed we even learned how to play a new (for us) card game called Spite & Malice. Lots of fun. Here is a picture of Noah opening one of his gifts from Mark's parents - a shirt that Mary brought back from South Africa with "the big five" (lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo & leopard) on it.

The boys loved sitting and reading this Christmas book.

And before bedtime, Noah found this little book that he enjoyed reading with grandpa.
We had such a wonderful Christmas. Thank you to both of our parents for the thoughtful gifts, and all that you did to make things so enjoyable and memorable for us and our boys! We love you!

Christmas Eve

In the past we have alternated (between each side of our family) staying over night on Christmas Eve. We always really enjoy it, but started talking before Christmas last year about feeling ready to have some of our own immediate family traditions...and think it sounds fun to wake up Christmas morning with our two boys in our own home. So! This was our last year spending Christmas Eve over night away from home, and it was my parents' year. Chris & Chelsey do the same thing too, so it was a lot of fun to all spend Christmas Eve & Christmas morning together! For dinner on Christmas Eve my mom had made some scrumptious chowder and some cheesy broccoli soup with salad & rolls. She had the table set all festive with Christmas china and all.

We couldn't talk Noah into eating any dinner, but he finally ate a roll at least. Little stinker. Seriously...he acts like he's two years old or something :)

Lincoln (who still has no issues with eating) is growing increasingly attached to his pacifier. Does anybody have any good hints on the best way to wean? (Noah never took one)

My handsome brother Matt.

I'm pretty sure that my mom's expression is self explanatory, but just in case...this is the "you aren't really going to take that picture of me, right?" look.

After dinner Noah and Audrey got all cosy in a chair together to watch a movie. Such cuties.

I like this picture of my two little Santa's helpers. At first I was bummed that Lincoln's arms were blurry, but then I decided that it actually helps document things more accurately!

Here are several photos (courtesy of Chris again) that I love of Noah & Lincoln inspecting and exploring the Christmas tree. The twinkling lights, the shiny ornaments, the beautiful ribbon. It's so nice to slow down and watch a child take in the simple joys of Christmas (and life in general)!

And even though Noah didn't eat much dinner, at least he didn't hesitate to chomp down on one of the "reindeer's carrots"...

With carrot and sippy cup in hand, Noah enjoyed decorating cookies for Santa!

Such a cute little guy. Moments like this one remind me of how little Noah really is. He looked so cute in his new pj's & slippers, standing up on that chair decorating Santa's cookies.

I sure hope that Santa likes lots of sprinkles!