Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sticky and Happy

At the beginning of January (when I was finally putting away the rest of our Christmas decorations) I had to decide what to do with the boys' gingerbread houses. I couldn't bring myself to just toss them, so I let the boys just have at 'em! Not only did Lincoln love indulging in the candy-eating and mess-making, but my tired little guy got slap-stick silly laughing at his big brother. Enjoy:

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiti

I'm sure that we have all been humbled by the suffering in Haiti. If you are still looking for a reliable organization (that has 501(c)(3) status) with which to entrust your donation, then take a look at Partners in Health. If you haven't heard of them...they are a reputable organization that has been working on the ground in Haiti for over 20 years. You can click here to take a look through their website, or here's a link directly to donate with them:
Stand With Haiti
"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little."
~Edmund Burke

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sledding, Bowling, and Story Time

We started off 2010 with a really great day! On New Year's Day my parents came down and we all had lots of fun. First we hit a park near us and went sledding! This was Lincoln's first time sledding (of course he loved it), and although Noah wasn't very keen on it the last time we went...but he loved it this time! And, being the almost 4 year old that Noah is - it was all about him being big enough to do it himself. Somehow Noah knew that the character on the his tube was a Yeti, and he thought that was really cool! So here's Noah truckin' up the hill with his Yeti tube.

Me and Lincoln before heading down the hill on a sled:

(That's Mark & my dad at the top of the hill)

Wheeeee!

A quick clip of Mark taking Linc down the hill:
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Noah enjoying going down the hill...all on his own.

A quick clip of Noah zipping past on his tube:
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He was so proud of himself...and we were pretty proud of him too.

I think Noah was a tad bit nervous the first time that he went down on the sled (versus the tube). It was pretty fast, but once he got to the bottom of the hill he was all smiles.
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My mom taking a run with Linc.

Mark heading down the hill with Lincoln.

Me and Linc.
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Lincoln quickly realized that going down the hill was great, but that it got really tiring to walk back up. So, Mark and my dad implemented this way of towing him up the hill. Linc loved it.

And this was Noah's method of getting his tube back up the hill. Makes sense to me.

My dad and Lincoln.

Noah following Noah's lead and eating the snow...

Sledding was great! Not only was it fun, but it tired the boys out for naps. So, while they slept, Mark and I played cards with my parents! Then, after that it was off for some bowling! Here's a quick shot of Mark with Noah and his ball.

Noah took things quite seriously actually. Here he is after sending his ball down the rails...

Me with Linc.

Continuing his "I'm big enough to do it myself" theme...Noah loved getting his own ball out of the ball return and carrying it over to the lane:

And here he is cheering for himself after getting all but one pin down! A funny thing to mention is that Noah kept saying, "Slap down, takeoff!"...that's what he was yelling here with his fist in the air. (I have no idea where he got that from)

Once our day full of New Year's fun was over it was time for bed. One of the boys' favorite bedtime stories lately is Where The Wild Things Are. I had to snap a couple of pictures since it's pretty fun to watch. We like to "roar our terrible roars" and "gnash our terrible teeth" along with the wild things...
With the first day of 2010 being this great...I have a good feeling about this year.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

December Wrap Up

This post is just a small smattering of random pictures that didn't make their way into another post during December. First of all, I don't normally have fix-it guys that work on my house in their underwear, but this guy was just too cute to say no to:

Brothers cuddling and watching a show:

Noah getting creative with putting together something to play as Santa Claus. Yup. It's a masking tape beard.

It's been a while since I actually had the correct number of candles on a cake for my birthday...there are (count 'em!) 32 candles on this cake! The cake actually put off some heat while my parents & Mark sang to me, and the flames even actually began to arc toward one another. I thought that was actually pretty fun - thanks Mom and Dad!...and thanks for watching the boys so Mark and I could go out for dinner too!

A couple of days later Mark's brother and parents came to celebrate my birthday too! We had some tasty food and this really yummy cake:

Toward the end of last month Lincoln started breaking out in this weird rash. We had a pediatrician look at him (our friend that's a peds resident)...we tried a couple days of Benadryl at naptime and bedtime, but didn't have much luck getting rid of it.
Any guesses on what ended up being the cause?
It took a few days to find out what was going on, but on Christmas Eve we bought a different brand of diapers and tried putting him to bed with those on. In the morning the rash was almost completely gone! Christmas miracle? Maybe...so we put the old Huggies diaper back on while he opened his presents - and after just that hour or so the rash was back. Weird. So no more Huggies for Linc (and we haven't seen the rash again).

And, for the last picture of this post...cousins pulling silly faces. Gotta love it.
Goodbye December. Goodbye 2009.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snowshoeing

Mark & I love snowshoeing, and we don't do it nearly often enough. However, if I were to picture a perfect snowshoeing day...it would look like this picture. In the mountains. Sunny. Crisp enough to keep you cool under all those layers while exercising. Lots of powdery snow...just crystallized enough to shimmer and sparkle back at me from under my snowshoes. Aaaah. And guess what? That's just what we got last week! We planned to take the boys and go shoeing on New Year's Eve with Mark's parents & then just crossed our fingers for good weather. It was gorgeous.

We headed to a place up Little Cottonwood Canyon that we've been to a couple of times. In fact, here is a link to a post from almost a year & 1/2 ago when we took the boys on a hike & picnic there! Anyway, here we are getting started at the trail head.

This is just a really quick clip, but I had to include it. Not only because it's cute to watch Noah walk in snowshoes, but because of what Noah says. He said "Fires of London!..." (quote taken from Fireman Sam) It's just so funny to hear that come out of a 3 year old American kid's mouth:
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Mark with Linc on his back. Lincoln had a huge smile on his face, but wasn't willing to give up his binky at the moment.

Not too far into our excursion is a bridge that is a beautiful place to take pictures. Here are Mark's parents. Aren't they fun & sporty grandparents?...and a handsome couple too, of course!

And our little family of four! Oh, how I love my boys.

A little way into the hike we decided to head out into the meadow (where we'd previously had a picnic). It was fun to walk out into some untouched powder. Things were a tad slow-moving since Noah was walking on snowshoes himself...but watching him with poles and shoes was the highlight of the event for me. Anyway! While out in the meadow Mont fell backwards into the snow, and Noah quickly followed suit...

Of course Noah enjoyed munching on snow. He loves the snow, and he particularly loves eating the snow (check out this post from 2 years ago).

I liked this shot because you can kind of get an idea of Noah handling his poles - so cute.


Me & Noah.

A nice lady (from Russia we found out) was passing our group as we were headed back to the car, and she stopped to ask if she could take a picture of all of us together. How nice, huh? Oh, and (click on the picture to enlarge it) check out Noah's expression in this photo. He insisted on holding his pole up like that and making that face for the picture.

Earlier when we'd taken pictures on the bridge, Mark & I took our sunglasses off for the photo. Afterward, I couldn't find mine and realized that they must have fallen out of my pocket. We looked all around (including in the river below) and couldn't see them. However! On our way back we checked again...and this time Mark spotted them in the river! So, he and his dad fastened poles together, and then fastened a bungee cord (that has a metal hook) to the end...and they were eventually able to fish my glasses out of the river!!! Wahoo - I was really happy about that!

At the end of our trip we let Lincoln out of the backpack to run around for a few minutes. This is what he thought about that:

Me with my sweetheart.
On the drive home both boys fell asleep. Then, Mont & Mary picked up some really yummy soup for us at Zuppas for dinner! Mark got called into work for a bit, but we were able to get away to go see a movie (a HUGE thanks to Mark's parents for watching the boys so we could go)! We saw Avatar (I loved it). What a perfect day to end the year. Thanks for everything, Mont & Mary!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas Day

We stayed up late on Christmas Eve playing cards with my family and wrapping presents, so we were able to get a couple pictures after we put all of our gifts under the tree and after Santa had come...very early on Christmas morning. I was so excited to get to bed so that Christmas morning would come and we could watch the kids open all of their gifts, but it was also nice to sit and look at things in the quiet of the night for a couple of minutes before running off to bed. Everything is just over in such a whirlwind on Christmas morning.


It was so fun to have both boys at ages where they enjoyed anticipating what was inside each gift, and that they could (usually) open them on their own. Here is Noah opening a tire case to hold his die cast cars.

This harmonica was a big hit!

This clip is of Lincoln opening a car (Tex)...and of Noah enjoying his harmonica. I thought it was so cute how he'd request for us to sing various songs while he would "accompany" us on his harmonica.
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That Santa is such a thoughtful guy...since music has been a big thing around our house this last year, he must have thought sliding whistles would be perfect in the boys' stockings!


Lincoln was excited about anything Buzz. He thought these candies in his stocking were awesome.


Linc smiling about his miniature slinky dog.

Nicole (Noah's birthmother) sent Noah a really thoughtful package too. We waited to have him open it with everything else on Christmas morning, and he loved it! Thanks, Nicole - we love you! Here is Noah opening two books from that package:


Noah playing his harmonica (again) while Lincoln opens a book from mom & dad (us). I highly recommend it too (The Gruffalo) - it's a fun book.

Noah opening his lasso throwin' Woody.

I have to mention how sweet both boys were while opening presents. That may sound silly, but I worried a little bit about it being too much stuff & the boys getting greedy or fighting over each others toys...it ended up being just the opposite. They got excited about each other's gifts, and used their pleases & thank yous the whole time. I was a proud mama! I mean, just look at that sweet face...

Lincoln playing with his karate chop action Buzz...
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I wish that I could remember what it was that they were opening here...Noah was excited and jumping up & down...

I just have to mention - I ended up getting these one piece matching pajamas for the boys (obviously)...but it was really weird that I ended up needing to buy them in the same size (3T). You can really see how close the boys are in size in this picture.

Lincoln opening his Buzz Lightyear ornament...

It's not very often that you get to open a gift that's taller than you are!

Noah wearing his "hard Buzz Lightyear wings" (the only thing he asked for all season), and his Handy Manny tool set that he loves.

Once all of the present opening was done, we got dressed and headed up to my parents' house. Mark's parents ended up going out of town for Christmas, so we were unfortunately unable to see them...but we had a great time with my family, and we got to see Emily for a little bit too! Noah gets a tiny bit shy around Emily. He used to call her princess Emily (I think because she's pretty), and he still acts a little bit "aw shucks" around her.

Lincoln and Emily.

Perhaps the main attraction of our visit to my parents was the phone call from my brother Josh (who is on his mission). We hadn't talked to him for 5 months, so it was great to hear his voice! Here are my parents talking to Joshy.

Noah chatting it up with Uncle Josh.

Lincoln saying hello from under the kitchen table (and behind his binky).

Me talking to my baby-est brother!

And, of course, Emily getting to talk to Josh!

Mark pulling his cheesy "ta-da" face while whipping up crepes for our brunch. A huge thanks to our good friends (The Rhodenizers) for introducing us to the idea. We used to enjoy crepes with them at their apartment in Des Moines, and after hearing that they were doing crepes on Christmas morning we decided to copy them. They turned out delicious, and were surprisingly filling too!

Here's Noah after enjoying one with Strawberries, Nutella, and a bit of whipped cream!

Lincoln preferred to eat his bananas, strawberries, and crepe each separately.

My mom & brother Matt enjoying theirs...

And, if the day hadn't been perfect enough...after eating, both boys went down for naps and Mark and I even crashed on the couch! My mom snapped this picture (which I found on my camera later), and it made me giggle since we have several just like it from back when Mark & I were dating. It was so nice to just be able to relax together by their tree and drift off to sleep for a while.

Next it was off to my mom's parents house! We were able to put on one of the boys' new movies (UP) and play cards while they watched the film. What a nice ending to the day. Here are the boys rough housing by their Great-Grandpa Paul...

...and with their Great-Grandma Shirlene.

So, Noah started doing that little Russian dance where they say "hey!" (from Pinocchio maybe?) and my grandpa would act like it scared him...Noah about fell to pieces with laughter. The routine quickly shortened to just the "hey!" part and Lincoln joined in. Finally I thought to grab my camera. Here's a quick 25 second clip of the mania:
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A quick shot of the boys with my parents. Lincoln did not want to be held (as is evident), and Noah insisted that the picture would be "really cute" if he put his finger in his mouth:
We had such an enjoyable Christmas. I want to wrap up this post with one of the highlights of that day for me. After present opening was behind us, and we were enjoying our crepe brunch with my family, Noah dreamily said, "I sure didn't know that this was going to be such a lovely day!" Me either, buddy. (Oooh, couldn't you just eat him up?!) He was really surprised when everyone made a fuss over him saying that too. So he made mental note of that, and has managed to incorporate it into conversations several times since then. I love that kid.