Wednesday, May 27, 2009

3 generations

I have always wanted a professional 3 generation picture done of myself, my mom, and her mom. Several months ago a photographer that we've used (and love) was running a special & I decided that there was no time like the present to get that photo! So, I booked the session & told my mom & grandma that it would be my Mother's Day gift to them - and myself! I was set on wanting to shoot in an orchard with the blossoms...so after needing to reschedule several times (due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts, rain, losing blossoms at one orchard, and them not being in bloom yet in another) we finally made it down an orchard in Santaquin (South Ridge Farms). I was a little nervous when we arrived because it was pouring rain, but after only a couple of minutes it blew over and the weather was perfect for us! We had such an enjoyable session, and Tiffany did such a fabulous job! Check out her blog's post on our session here. And here are a few more shots from the session (I'll post them all at the end of this post individually):

Thanks to Tiffany for the beautiful photos...
...and thanks to my mom & grandma for being the beautiful women that you are. I am so much better of a person for having you in my life. I'm so blessed to have you to emulate as I have begun my journey as a mother myself. I love you.

For my own documentation purposes (I print out my blog annually) and so the vertical photos can be viewed better, here they all are individually. Just click to enlarge...










Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pre-Easter Celebrations

Last Easter, Lincoln was a smiley little chub of a 4 month old. So (obviously) he didn't participate in an Easter egg hunt. That made this year his first time doing one...and he ended up having three Easter hunts! The fun thing is that each hunt was a bit different. During the first one they hunted for plastic eggs filled with candy, the second hunt they just searched for scattered and hidden candy, and the last one (on Easter) was for real eggs. So, here are some pictures from the first couple! The very first one was held at my mom's parents house with our relatives. Does it look like Lincoln was enjoying himself? Yup! He was.

Noah loved it too of course. Here he is (just after starting the hunt) showing me his basket - with the smile he plasters on for posed pictures. I still think it's absolutely adorable though, and I love that he's starting to allow me to ask him to wait while I take his picture now!

At the beginning of the hunt Linc would find an egg, hold it up and say, "Ooooooh!"
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Noah wasn't all about running & getting as many eggs as possible. Instead he found a couple and was more interested in starting to enjoy the candy inside them. After some encouragement he did mosey about and pick up a couple more, but we just decided that as long as he was having a good time that we should just drop our "agenda" and let him enjoy himself. He did.
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I'm pretty sure that running around with a basket was the highlight for Lincoln.

However, he did seem to catch on to the "thrill of the hunt" a bit more as things progressed. He thought the eggs were balls though, so when he would find one he would either hold it up proudly and yell, "ball!"...or else he would throw it.

Mark & Lincoln.

Me with my boys. Noah was giving me a kiss on the cheek - he's such a little sweetheart.

After the hunt was over Noah was excited to run and show the grandmas & grandpas his eggs!

I couldn't resist taking this picture of Noah with my grandma's bunny before we drove home. He really liked the bunny, and it was cute to see him standing next to it (the same height...minus the ears) in his pajamas. There's that picture-smile again, but this time with a little head tilt. I don't care how posed it is...I think he is just so cute that I could eat him up!

My dad's side of the family holds an annual Easter egg hunt (at Aunt Sharon & Uncle Dave's home). They have an absolutely beautiful property, and hide candy all over it. The kids (big & small!) love collecting their stash. It was a lot of fun to see everyone, to watch the kids, and to enjoy some yummy food together!

Here's a photo of some of the cousins and aunts/uncles (yes, I said some...this isn't all of us) with Grandpa Bennion & Grandma Dorothy.

More than anything Lincoln loved being turned loose in a new place to run and explore, especially with other little kids running around. I think he would have been just as content to seek out the candy and throw it, but once we let him taste some then the hunt was on!
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And I just thought this was funny...
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Thanks, Grandma & Grandpa and Sharon & Dave for hosting such fun Easter celebrations and hunts! It was so good to spend time with family at that time of year. We love you!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

18 Months (yesterday)

What?! Lincoln is 18 months old? Crazy.
It's funny how it can seem like just yesterday that he was born, while still feeling like he's always been a part of our family. He is such a happy, curious, ball of energy and we love him to pieces.

This little guy is ALL BOY. He loves balls, cars, trucks, trains, airplanes, getting messy, running, playing in water, and most recently - sword fighting (aka chasing & hitting with foam swords). He also loves to wrestle and rough-house, and can definitely hold his own...unfortunately he's not to the age yet where he understands that not every other kid wants to play rough. So, lately that has often translated into several other kids getting pushed or hit by him at playgroups that we attend. He doesn't do it angrily or aggressively...it's with a smile on his face, anticipating ensuing rough-housing, but that obviously doesn't make a difference to the unsuspecting kid who is attacked...and he doesn't understand yet to stop when the other kid starts crying either. So, we're working on that. *sigh* I'm glad that Lincoln generally doesn't go after kids younger than him, but just because the kids are older doesn't always mean that they're smaller...Lincoln is a big, boy (and fast) and I hear all of the time that he looks quite a bit older than he is. Speaking of his size, here are his most recent stats from his check-up yesterday:
  • weight: 29.1 pounds (86th percentile)
  • height: 33.27 inches (78th percentile)
  • head: 20.28 inches (still off the charts)

It's a good thing that physicians have a pretty good idea of what's indicative of child abuse, otherwise I would have been pretty nervous bringing Lincoln in for his appointment yesterday...the rough & tumble kid is always covered in cuts and bruises. Luckily, when his doctor saw him (and immediately noticed skinned up knees) he said, "That's what I like to see! An active boy!" *Whew. He gets it*

Now, all of that being said...Lincoln really does have a super sweet and calm side to him too. Really. He is our little cuddle bug and he will sometimes just ask to sit on your lap or be held. Linc loves being read to, and has recently started sitting and reading books on his own also. He readily gives out hugs and kisses. Sometimes he'll just stop what he's doing for a minute to give a nice soft hug, and then run back to whatever he was doing. My favorite new "soft" thing that he does is stroke my face and hair. Mark & I love to do that to him when he's getting tired. Lincoln must like it, because recently he has started climbing up onto my lap out of the blue, then softly stroke my cheeks and hair, followed by a hug. It melts my heart and sometimes is exactly what I need.

As for a few more things that Lincoln likes right now...
  • He loves to climb. He climbs anything and everything fearlessly, including his way out of his crib (on the lowest setting of course) last week. So, he's already in a big boy bed. It's weird not having a crib in the house.
  • He is good about eating, but by far his favorite food is fruit - particularly berries. His vocabulary has gotten pretty good, but he seems to have slacked off a little bit lately since he learned that he can point and say "Some! Please!" and get whatever he wants.
  • He loves his binky. "Bink, bink!"
  • He adores Buzz Lightyear. Gee, I wonder who he learned that from...
  • He's nuts about his daddy. When Mark gets home he runs to him squealing and jumps into his arms (he seems to think that I'm ok too).
  • Like lots of younger siblings (at this age anyway), he thinks that his big brother is pretty cool. He mimics a lot of what Noah does & says. Since they're interested in a lot of similar things now that naturally creates more fighting over toys, but it also means more playing together...and I love that. My favorite is when they chase each other and laugh and laugh.
  • Lincoln loves all of his grandparents, and we feel so blessed to live so close to them & be able to see them so often. He calls them "mama & papa" and is always happy to see them.
  • He loves animals and their associating noises. There are several that he likes, but his top favs right now are monkeys, cows, and lions.
I wanted to write this up now, but I'll be posting Lincoln's 18 month pictures later when I have them. In the meantime I'll continue to enjoy my fun little 18 month old rough and tumble sweetheart.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Music & Paint

Noah has always been crazy about music, and he loves doing a project...so you can imagine how much he loves the two together. My friend Claire made Noah an art box for his birthday, filled it with paints and other crafts and even made this adorable smock. Since Lincoln wreaks havoc on Noah's paint-time (or just tries to eat the paint if I let him try), I wait until days that the boys' nap times don't coincide and then I pull out the craft box. It's been fun to have a little one-on-one activity for Noah & I...so thanks, Claire! I thought that I'd include some photos and video clips of a couple of our little paint sessions during April.

In this clip you can hear the song "I'm Different" sung by Butterfly Boucher. It's my new favorite kids' song! And that's saying a lot since kids' music is pretty much all that I listen to these days! Turn up your volume & click here to listen to it (give it a second to load & it will start playing on its own)! It's a fun, upbeat song & I really like the words too!
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Now, the surgery cap has nothing to do with painting...it's not like we need something holding his hair back or anything. Mark just brought it home for him from work. Noah loved pretending to be a doctor and wore it for a couple of days straight. Anyway! Noah got this little Buzz Lightyear canvas for his birthday and he thought it was super cool to paint on.

Don't you just wanna smooch that face?!

Noah giving his brush a good rinse. And notice the adorable smock...I am just nuts about sock monkeys!

As you heard in the previous clip, Noah seems to like the smell of the paint. When I asked him what it smelled like though his response was pretty funny...
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Now on to my favorite part. As mentioned in previous posts, Noah's favorite song is "Ode to Joy". While he was painting he asked me to play that song (and replay it over & over). So, here he is painting and singing along.


Alright, I'll be upfront. This clip is a whopping 1 minute 39 seconds in length. I just couldn't bring myself to cut the clip, he's just so cute! He just cracked me up how into the song he was getting, and how pleased he seemed to be to have an audience. I have to say though, I do think that he carries a pretty good tune for a 3 year old...even if he does make up the words.
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This clip is less than a minute. It's more of the same thing, but I get such a laugh out of his little wiggle dance, his falsetto & hand gestures toward the end of the song, and how he can't figure out what to do with the paintbrush at the end of the song so he can clap.
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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Basketball Fever

Yes, I'm well aware that the season is over for the Utah Jazz. Hopefully next year we can manage not to go into the playoffs as the 8th seed in the west - pitting ourselves against the number one team. However, we enjoyed the fever while it lasted, so I figured that I'd put together a post of our basketball related photos from April. Mark & I were able to attend a few regular season games, and even a playoff game (thanks, Dad!!). Noah got into the excitement by knowing a few Jazz players' names, and got pretty good at yelling "Go, Jazz!" and "Defense!" and "Get the rebound!!" It was so cute how Noah enjoyed sitting on the couch watching the games & cheering with us. I do think that he realized how much we liked it though, because I'm pretty sure that he played that cuteness card several times to delay his bedtime when a game was on TV.

Mark came up with idea of getting one of these little basketball hoops to set up for Noah during the games. It was, as you can imagine, a huge hit.

This is a short 4 second clip of Noah "dunking" the ball. My favorite part is his concentrated face as he preps for his shot...
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Like with anything Noah watches on TV, he likes to memorize and act it out. So, now and then Noah would try to replicate moves he'd see on a game. We got a good chuckle out of that. And, like any boy that I know (of any age) he loved to be cheered for.
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Like father like son.

This was prior to the playoff game that Mark & I attended, and Noah got to stay home (along with Lincoln) and watch the game on TV with Mark's parents! Thanks Mont & Mary!
To wrap this post up - we're enjoying watching the rest of the playoffs, and are especially pleased that LaBron James received the MVP award...both because he deserves it, and because we were so happy that Kobe didn't receive it!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Last two zoo-pass trips...

Our year-pass to the zoo expired at the end of April, so we were sure to fit in visits before then. Here are a bunch of pictures of two of those trips...
With my mom in early April:

We packed a lunch & then enjoyed ice cream! The boys had just one cone to share, so Noah got things started first. I may have sneaked a lick or two myself...that orange cream flavor is pretty good!





When it came time for Noah to share, he was surprisingly willing...and it was really cute. So, I snapped a whole bunch of pictures. Here are a few:

I love how you can see Noah's long tongue in this one, and how Lincoln's hand is on Noah's arm while his mouth is open and patiently waiting.


Sweet Noah.

One last taste for Lincoln before Noah finishes things up.

I had to include this photo for Noah's expression. It's his face that says, "I'm trying to be really patient with all these pictures, Mom. Here's my smile, now please hurry and take the picture so I can finish this ice cream".

There is a little "hut" in the Asian highlands area of the zoo. Lincoln thought this drum in there was pretty sweet.

Lastly, we rode the carousel. Even though Lincoln isn't in focus in this picture, I had to include it. His little scowl just cracked me up. He wasn't thrilled about being set up on this lion, and was giving us some pretty good glares.

Noah continues to choose the peacock bench. We always try to talk him into riding one of the animals that goes up & down, but he won't hear of it. He loves this peacock.

Lincoln warmed up to the idea of riding on the lion once the ride and music started. Here he is (with my mom) looking back to make sure that I hadn't run off or something.
Thanks, Mom! We had a fun time at the zoo with you!

Visit in late April with the Donnellys:

Michael & Noah sitting on the elephant statue. When weather is hot in the summertime the elephant sprays water out of its trunk.


Look at their sweet smiles in this picture. Noah and Michael requested that I take these next two pictures...I'm not about to say no to a request like that!


I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!!!
Oh, and for documentation purposes...you can see Noah's pull-up under his shorts in the above picture. He had been wearing those when we went places, and called them his "travel underwear". He's wearing "regular underwear" when we're out and about now!

Noah & Michael enjoying their ice cream.


Lincoln & Drew enjoying their ice cream!

I don't think that Lincoln had ever enjoyed his own ice cream cone before...

Drew.

Noah just chillin' with his ice cream cone.

We weren't able to get a picture with all four boys looking at the camera, so I almost didn't include one...then I thought, "Are you kidding? This captures what things are really like with four boys 4 & under!" You should really click on the photo to see it larger for full-effect :) So, here you go - messy faced Lincoln putting his foot up on Drew's stroller, Drew holding up his ice cream while making a hilarious expression, Michael looking away while making some sort of pretend-angry face , and Noah taking off running. I have decided that I love this picture after all.

These two pictures are for you, Claire. Documentation that I let my kid get totally messy while in our stroller.


While we were exploring the bird and reptile building, this lady was walking around with a barn owl! When she saw that we were interested she set up her portable chair and talked to the boys about it. Noah stood there (in what I refer to as his "dude-stance") with his hands on his hips while assessing the situation.

After the woman pointed out the owls long talons Noah was a little bit reserved, but still very interested.


Drew (keeping an eye on that owl) and Lincoln in our stroller.

Michael & Noah after checking out some pythons (top of photo).

And, to cap the trip, a train ride. I noticed that the boys were seated by age in this picture...1,2,3,4 years old! Cuties.

Last stop on the way out of the zoo was this giant ball in water that the kids love to push. Noah was delighted that I said it was ok to get his hands all wet.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was that none of the boys threw a fit about leaving...we must have tired them out enough or something. We had a great time - thanks for going with us Donnellys!