Monday, October 19, 2009

Welcome to the family, little guy!

I ripped this picture off of my brother's blog because I just had to brag really quickly about my cute new nephew! My brother & his wife just had their second child, Ezra Grant, on the 16th. He's such a cute little peanut and I can't wait to meet him in a few weeks (they live out of state right now)!

Congratulations, you guys! He's beautiful & I'm sure that Audrey will be such a wonderful big sister to him too. We love you!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Different Perspective

Last week the four of us went out for dinner. As we were leaving, Noah yanked his hand out of mine and bolted toward the busy parking lot. I grabbed his wrist just in time, and then proceeded to lecture him with the, "How many times have I told you..." kind of things. Of course I'm grateful that nothing happened, but I still felt frustrated and angry. Since that adrenaline was pumping I had Mark take things over. He asked Noah why he did that, and Noah said it was because he saw a piece of candy in the parking lot. So, Mark went on to explain why we can't run out into a parking lot or street, how especially at night cars can't see someone little like him, what would happen if a car hit him, etc. etc. etc. Finally, to be sure that Noah had understood their little conversation, Mark asked Noah, "So, Noah - why was it that mom got angry?" There was a long, thoughtful pause and then Noah responded with full sincerity, "Because she didn't see the candy".

Aaaah, the perspective & priorities of a three year old.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cowboys Rock!

This is a picture of Noah from last week. He begged to wear that shirt and the neckerchief. He has pretty much always loved cowboy stuff. In fact, because of that he got a set of Woody & Jesse dolls (Mark hates that I call them that) for his first Christmas. His love for all things cowboy held on strong well past his second birthday party (see pics here) before it was matched by his love for Buzz Lightyear and all things space (which became his 3rd b-day party theme). He seems to waffle back and forth between his cowboy and spaceman obsessions (recently interjecting his additional interests in dinosaurs and firefighters). Perhaps the fact that Toy Story brilliantly showcases both a cowboy and a spaceman is why he loves that show so much...or maybe the chicken came before the egg? Either way he's been getting really hyped up about seeing Toy Story in the theater this weekend! So, this week, cowboys it is! And, since he's also really into music and singing lately I wasn't too surprised today when he donned his cowboy hat, started "playing" his guitar and singing to some of his favorite tunes. He requested that I make some "bid-eos" (aka videos) of him singing. Just as an FYI, these clips are longer than most that I usually post (but those of you that love this kid as much as I do will enjoy them). This one is about 3 minutes, and the other two are about 2 minutes a piece. Here's the first one "Real Gone" (be sure your sound is up obviously):

The second song is "Life is a Highway". Both of these songs are from the movie "Cars" (which he and Linc both love). Noah used to love this song so much that my mom downloaded it to use as a ring-tone when we called her phone. I love his "Whooooh!" (right on cue) at the beginning of the song:

Since Noah wasn't really singing anymore I stopped taping and he got really upset. He asked me to continue filming, so here's the rest of the song. I had to laugh when during the song he starts giving me a list of people to be sure to show this video to...Daddy, Isaac, Shauna, Grandma - as well as when Noah says, "My hands are gettin' busy" (I guess that's what he means by that he's playing the guitar while singing? I dunno).

Friday, October 2, 2009

September Wrap-Up!

Wahoo! I'm caught up on my blog! I know it's not a big deal to anybody except me, but I'm sure happy. Anyway, the only things that didn't make it into another post that I wanted to include are these three video clips! You definitely need your sound turned up while you watch them. The first one is from a day where Lincoln was having a late lunch and was soooo tired. Noah was making him laugh and it was really funny. See for yourself:

The next clip is 30 seconds of Mark horsing around with the boys. This time it's Noah doing the laughing. Mark is doing a "bum drop" (and later a slobber attack) to Noah. You'll have to watch:

Lastly is a 15 second clip that I took one night while the boys were just running around wearing firefighter hats. The funny parts of the clip though are Lincoln noticing me filming and stopping to give the camera a quick "cheeeese!" followed my Noah noticing a stinky smell (Lincoln's diaper), giving it a sniff and yelling out "eeeew! gross!" Only amusing to their mom? Maybe. But I get a good chuckle out of the spontaneity (and everyday-ness) of this clip anyway.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thai Food

I was excited to include a post on this dinner from a few nights ago. It was, hands down, the best eating out experience that we've ever had with both boys. We were a little bit hesitant how things would go with finding something on the menu for the boys at a Thai restaurant, but it was great! I don't mean to make it sound like they sat there with their arms folded, but Lincoln's fussing was pretty minimal and Noah really was close to perfect...Mark and I just kept looking at each other in disbelief with raised eyebrows. Anyway, my friend Jenny passed on a coupon from where we were able to buy a $25.00 gift certificate to this Thai place for just $1.00! So we decided to go out (cheaply!) and try this place (Thai Garden). We used to do Thai a lot while living in Iowa, and with the link that smells have to memories it was kind of fun to take a little trip down memory lane that way.

The food was great (I loved the yellow curry) and the servers were friendly. Noah was even excited about ordering some "noodle soup with chicken" and to eat it with chopsticks!

Lincoln loved the egg rolls.

And, very most of all, Lincoln was quite protective of his cheese/shrimp puffs. This clip is pretty funny - at first he is smelling the "sauce" (he loves that word), and then he is laying claim on his plate of food:

So, we'll definitely keep an eye out for another good deal for Thai Garden and go there again! Yummy food, great service, and even a huge fish tank in the middle of the dining area to amuse the kiddos. If you live in the area - give the place a try and let me know what you think. And, I've been encouraged to continue expanding the types of foods my kids try (we found out that Lincoln not only tolerates, but enjoys food with a little bit of spice)!

Wheeler Farm & Splore

Saturday was packed full of fun...Owen's party was that morning, and then that afternoon my mom came down. We hadn't seen her for about a month (since she's been helping to take care of her parents), so it was nice to see her. While Lincoln was napping we took Noah to Wheeler Farm. While we were there, he sat on a tractor...

...and on a horse saddle. Here he is giving a loud "yeeeehaw"!

Cool cowboy.

We brought two cars since I had to leave early to come home and get ready for an event that night. So, my mom stayed with Noah for another hour or so and played. She told me later that when he figured out that it was time to leave that he kept running away and up into this playhouse where she couldn't come after him. Turkey.

My mom watched our boys during the event we attended that night (thanks so much, Mom!). The event was a benefit, held at the Fine Arts Museum, for an organization called splore. Splore is a local non-profit that provides recreation programs for people of various ability levels (meaning people with and without physical or mental disabilities). My friend Claire was able to go on a rafting trip of splore's and was enthused about their cause, so as we were winding down working on the Ebony & Ivory Gala this summer - she started working on this event. She ended up taking on most of the event herself (as a volunteer), and her mom kindly came to her rescue and moved in for a few weeks to help with the kids and things at the house as Claire put in 50+ hours a week of volunteer work for this event. I explain all that for a couple of reasons. One, because although I did volunteer several hours of my time to package items for the live and silent auction, it was nothing compared to the time that Claire spent on the event. So, even though I was excited to attend the event (since I knew it would be fun and to see the fruits of some of my labors), I was also anxious to go as support for my friend who had poured herself into this event.

Here is a photo of Claire and her husband Ryan at the event. Claire is always super resistant to having her picture taken, so I insisted that she had to that night...both because she looked so pretty, and also because I feel like it's important to document aspects of your life that occupy your time and your passion - and this was one of those for her! The event was fantastic, Claire - so hip, hip hooray for you...they really could never have pulled an event of that caliber off without you.

Tickets to the event were sold at $65.00 per seat, and Mark & I were lucky enough to have somebody sponsor our seats! They wanted to donate to the event, but couldn't attend - so we were able to. We sat with a couple that recently moved to Utah for the husband's (Darren's) cardiothoracic residency. Sarah is actually a practicing physician herself (they met in med school). We enjoyed sitting next to them at the dinner and had fun getting to know them better.

I didn't take any pictures of the meal (which was delicious), but I did take this photo of the dessert. How cute is this? Chocolate canoes and paddles with chocolate mousse (and the blue "water" was even a tasty berry sauce). The dinners were an eclectic combination of things cooked in actual dutch ovens - stew, macaroni & cheese, spicy shrimp, chicken gumbo, etc. Very unique and really delicious.

The entertainment for the event (besides the silent and live auctions, which I thought were a ton of fun) was provided by Rosi Galan. She is an up and coming star who lives in New York, but is spending a good amount of time traveling and touring right now to promote her music. Her music has been featured on such shows as "Grey's Anatomy", "The Practice", "One Tree Hill", and the film "The Notebook". I'll be honest that I hadn't heard about her until through Claire while working on the event, but I think that she's really great. I enjoyed her show, and was even a big enough of a nerd to ask to get my picture taken with her afterward.
Not only was the event a great success down to the little details of the table centerpieces, but it was a financial success as well (which I'm sure goes hand in hand). It was the most successful Harvest Moon benefit that they've ever held (per guests & staff alike) over the 27 years that they've hosted it! So, hurray for that too!, splore, I really think that you should offer Claire one of your paid positions :)

Owen's robo-party

My friend Erin's son had his second birthday party last Saturday (this is where I giggle uncontrollably at being only a couple of blog posts away from being caught up!). Anyway! Owen had a really cute robot birthday party, and it was really nice weather to have it outside too. They had this cute little robot for a beanbag toss - of course Noah was much more interested in becoming the robot.

Michael, being the oldest kid there, caught on the fastest to the concept of standing in line and taking a turn tossing in a beanbag. Here he is in action.

After tossing bags for a while the kids all just found their own way to entertain themselves with the robot.

And, what would a kid's birthday party be without a pinata? Here's Lincoln taking a whack at it (with a pretty heavy stick, I may add)...stand back.

Then there was the adorable cake! Claire's mom (who has been in town for a few weeks helping out) made the cake, and Claire decorated it - doesn't she do such fantastic work?! It was so cute and yummy!

Owen blowing out the candles.

And the birthday boy chowing down his piece of cake. There was no tearing him away from the concentration on that task to get a picture. I did think that the robot head on a plate was pretty funny though :)

And, of course, present opening time!
We had a great time, McAllisters - thanks for the invitation! And just think...the next kid's birthday party you host will be for your other two little peanuts & you'll have all three of your boys in attendance that time! Wahoo!

Isaac, Anna & Henry

Here are three kiddos that are important in our lives right now, that I wanted to be sure to fit pictures of them into a post...the first one is Isaac (his mom is a close friend of mine). I did a post from his birthday party a couple of months ago actually. Anyway, he and Noah play so cute together. We had him over to play last week, and here are the three boys enjoying lunch outside!

Isaac & Noah with their "picture smiles" painted on (Allison informed me that really is Isaac's picture smile). Funny boys.

Next is Anna. This petite little gal has been lots of fun to have around. I babysit her 2-3 days a week, and it's been really different having a little girl in the house. Besides the more obvious physical differences, there just really are inherent differences between boys & girls. She is a dainty little 15 month old though (dainty being something I've never dealt with), and other than her little adjustment period that we had at first (where I experienced the difference between a girl-scream and a boy-yell...) she is really mellow (very different than my high-energy boys). Not that there aren't high-energy girls too, but I'm telling you that it's different (I know there's still a lot to the "nurture" side of things, but I am more and more convinced of how strong the "nature" side is as time goes on too).

The boys always look forward to having Anna there, and are really sweet to her...sometimes they are a bit much for her though and I have to enforce giving her a little bit of space, or no more hugs. She's getting more used to their volume level and the way they play though (isn't she cute? I love those curls)...

Something that Anna does share in common with my boys is a love for being outside. Thank goodness for our fenced in yard, right?

Lincoln is usually running around too fast to interact too much with Anna, but Noah loves showing her everything and trying to teach her how to say things. She has had a verbal explosion lately too, and is picking up on things very quickly. So, that's a little bit about Anna - who's a big part of our family these days!

And last, but not least is cousin Henry. Mark's sister has lived (with Ryan & thier son Henry) most recently in Colorado until Ryan finished residency. Then they took off to Italy for a couple of months, and then they were in town here for a week before moving to Oregon (where they have taken jobs). So, it's a novelty for us to get to see the three of them. Henry is such a cute, observant little guy and it was fun to get to spend some time with him - and his parents too of course :) We had a little shin-dig up at Mark's parents house when they first got to Utah (that's where this picture was taken)...

...and then we had a little get together at our place later that week. Here is Mark drawing on the sidewalk in our backyard with the boys.

Henry and Noah playing firemen...Noah is very into assigning roles or characters to younger friends right now, and Henry played along nicely.

Sometimes Noah got a bit bossy though - wanting to do what he wanted, regardless of what his playmate getting on the back of this bike (I thought it was amusing that Henry kept looking at the camera while pushing back Noah to keep him off the back of the bike). Ha!
We're lucky to have so many wonderful people in our lives...and that includes these 3 kiddos!