Sunday, November 30, 2014

8 Months Old Today!

My baby girl turned eight months old today!  It's hard to believe that she is officially two-thirds done with her first year of life.  The time is sure flying.  Ella is such a busy baby--I just can't believe it.  She is nonstop.  Ella crawls everywhere.  She pulls herself up onto everything.  And she walks along furniture all the time.  Ron even found her sitting on the landing of our stairs (six steps up) the other day when he was working on his Sunday school lesson in the other room.  Ella loves getting into the dishwasher whenever it is open, digging through the recycle bin, and chewing on shoes.  She also makes a mad dash for the basement stairs whenever the door is left open.  It's amazing that one of us has been able to stop her from tumbling down them every single time this has happened.  Ella is still one happy, bubbly baby who thrives on attention from anyone--especially her sister, daddy, and me.  She is doing a good job eating any kind of baby food we feed her and has also been introduced to baby puffs, tiny pieces of bread, and pear slices.  She hasn't really gotten the hang of eating these more solid foods and will typically spit them out unless we place them inside her cheek.  The big news of the month is that Ella just popped her two front, bottom teeth this weekend.  After feeling them for a week or so, I just noticed that they had actually broken through today.  Feeeyoooh!  We made it over this first hurdle.  And the sad news of this past month is that Ella caught her second and third cold back to back.  She has been as healthy as can be since her first cold which she caught from Lia and Logan when she was only three weeks old.  So, we had a good, healthy run while it lasted.  But unfortunately Lia got a really bad cold from the girl we carpool with to school and then she passed it onto me and then to Logan and then to Ella.  The poor, little baby has been so congested and has slept horribly for the past two weeks with only a three day break in between colds.  As a result, I am exhausted.  I hate how the common cold totally wreaks havoc on a baby's sleep AND mine, too!  Oh well.  We'll get through this.  Until next month!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

First Snow Day of the Season!

It was so fun to look out the window this morning to see snow flakes falling!  What a fun treat to have this happen over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Although less than an inch fell before it stopped snowing after breakfast, Lia and Logan bundled up and headed out this morning before it started to melt away.  They had a fun time climbing around on the play set, building a ramp at the bottom of the slide, and being pulled around in the sled by papa.  I just love snow days and I hope that there are more to come this winter!

Climbing up the ladder!

Lia sliding down onto the snow ramp they built.

Logan's turn!

Logan's "graceful" finish on the snow ramp.  This kid just cracks me up.

Another graceful landing by Lia.

Pig pile!

The little "Olaf" that the kids built with papa's help.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Issy Girls Reunion

We had so much fun spending time together at our 20th high school reunion in September, that my group of girlfriends and I decided that we needed to hang out more often.  So we quickly set a date in November when Kristina would be back in town for Thanksgiving and made it happen yesterday.  We met at Bridgette's house in Seattle for a Thanksgiving style lunch and, boy, did the ladies pull through in the food department!  From a full on turkey to stuffing to homemade rolls to multiple salads and delicious desserts, we ate like queens around Bridgette's dining room table.  We had a great time rehashing the reunion and even pulled out Bridgette's old yearbooks for a fast and easy reference whenever someone couldn't remember a name or face.  Lots of laughter and screaming and reminiscing summed up our afternoon together.  Good times were had by all!  I hope we can keep this tradition alive on annual basis.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sisterly Love

This is the kind of stuff that melts my heart.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lia's First Gymnastics Meet

After participating in the recreation gymnastics program at the YMCA for two full school years, I cancelled Lia's membership and pulled her out last June in order to enroll her at the closest, legitimate gymnastics facility in our area.  Although Lia loved her time at the Y, I did not.  Their recreational gymnastics program is a J.O.K.E.  I quickly started calling it "romper room" due to the fact that the coaches (who change every month) do not teach any proper technique, form, or skills.  It's a great chance for little ones to exercise, socialize, and have some fun, but they really do not learn any real gymnastics.  And although several people thought I was being an over-the-top mom, I felt really strongly that if Lia was going to participate in a sport, she should actually be taught properly and progress throughout the months.  As a result, we walked into Roach Gymnastics last June and quickly fell in love with the facility, their coaches, and the preteam level where Lia was placed.  Over the past five months, Lia has really started to blossom.  She has gone from only being able to do a somersault, to doing cartwheels, handstands, pullovers, and backward rolls with confidence.  I am so proud of how hard she has worked at the gymnasium and at home and the progress that she has made.
Last night she competed in the Harvest Show--her first competition held at Roach with the other members of the noncompetitive gymnastics program.  Lia got to wear her new team leotard for the first time and looked darling!  She competed in all four events--vault, bars, beam, and floor and performed a memorized routines on all of them.  Although Lia was super nervous all day long about competing in this event, she was brave and did a great job!  In fact, her overall score was the highest out of all of the girls in her preteam level.  Afterwards, her coach told us that it is due to the fact that Lia is such a good listener that she has progressed quicker than the other girls who started out more advanced than she was this past June.  Lia had such a great time and loved getting her medal at the end of the evening that she ran up to me afterwards, gave me a big hug, and said with a giggle, "Are you ready to celebrate?!"  (We had promised her an ice cream cone from McDonalds after the competition to help motivate her to do this).  It was the cutest thing.  Good job, Lia!  We're so proud of you!

A nervous Lia waiting to begin their warm-up in the gymnasium before the competition began.

Lia and her fellow teammates stretching.

And some more stretching.

Luckily we found seats near some unused mats and bars which allowed our crazy, two-year old to run around wild during most of the competition which kept him entertained and Ron and I happy.

Lia and her teammates walking in to start the meet.

Lia waiting for her first event--the vault.

At this level, the girls jump off of the spring board and onto a huge mat instead of an actual vault.  Here is Lia "sticking" her landing...

and going into a handstand before finishing her "vault."  This was her highest score--she got a 9.2 on this event.

The preteam girls competed on the bars next.  Here is Lia waiting her turn to go.

Lia competing on the bars with the help of her coach, Cadence.

Next Lia performed on the beam.  She did such a good job remembering her routine and took it so seriously.

Lia working her way down the beam...

and finishing up with her dismount. :-)

Lastly, Lia and her teammates ended the night with their floor routine.  Lia has been practicing this every evening for many weeks in the open area at the top of our stairs while I gave Ella a bath.  It's been fun to watch her improve so much.  Here is Lia going up for a handstand at the beginning of her routine.

Look at those pointed toes and straight arms!  The ballerina in me just loves this attention to technique that Lia is being taught.

Lia finishing up her routine and walking back to...

salute the judges!  Good job, Lia!  You did it.

Lia and her other teammates posing on the award blocks at the end of the competition.

A close-up of Lia as the entire group gets ready for a picture.

Lia with the coaches and the rest of the group that competed in the Harvest Show.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

3 Generations and Disney on Ice

Lia and I headed up to Kent this morning to attend our fourth Disney on Ice with Grandma.  We really had a fun time sharing this experience with my mom for the first time.  The Disney folks did not disappoint with their princesses, villains, and comic characters skating around on the ice!  Overall, it was a great grandma-mommy-daughter date and a fun way to spend a Saturday morning.

Grandma and Lia perusing one of the many kiosks loaded with Disney goodies.

Mom and daughter getting ready to head into the arena.

Waiting for the show to begin!

Mickey and the gang kicking off the performance with a colorful and festive number.

Alice and the Mad Hatter having an unbirthday party on ice.

Jasmine and Aladdin doing their thing.

And Cinderella and Prince Charming, too.

All the princesses and their beaus skating around the fountain.

Mickey rocking out with Tiana and the rest of the New Orleans gang.

Wrapping up the show with a festive, Christmas display!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Logan's 2 3/4 Years Old Report

Logan throwing one of his MANY tantrums today after he decided that he was done playing outside in the sunny, 30 degree weather (we lasted less than five minutes).

This is what I get from Logan after asking him to smile and say "cheese" on our way back into the house.

What I get when Logan isn't sure if he is going to smile or cry for me.  Oh well, at least he "tried."

Well, my boy hit his three quarters mark through his second year of life today...and I will admit that I am a bit relieved by that.  Earlier today, I was rocking Ella to sleep in her room and was afforded a few quiet minutes to myself to actually think.  Shocking, I know.  Anyways, I started thinking about Logan and how challenging his behavior has been lately and how I will actually be totally at peace with him turning three instead of being sad at the fact that he is "growing up."  I then wondered how many more months I have until his third birthday and immediately started calculating it in my head.  It was then that I realized that today was his official 3/4 mark.  Holy Cow!  Since I have always done quarterly updates on both Lia and Logan from their second til their fifth birthdays, I am used to anticipating this for quite a few days.  Well, not this totally snuck up on me.  It just goes to show how tired and busy I am with three little ones.  In my opinion, the transition from two children to three children is the transition from busy to crazy.  And I digress...

So, this post is supposed to be about my boy Logan.  Oh my crazy, temperamental Logan.  Physically, I think this kid is the cutest boy around.  His big brown eyes, thick, dark, brown hair, and beautiful smile make my heart melt and stop strangers in their tracks.  No joke.  He can be the sweetest, cutest, funniest little boy around if he chooses to do so, BUT on the flip side, he can be so cranky and awnry.  He still cries a seemingly uncountable amount of times each day due to throwing tantrums, hurting himself, or being teased by his sister.  Logan is wild and loves jumping off of couches, sliding down stairs, running around the house, etc.  He is super active and only sits still when watching T.V. in the morning or sleeping in his crib.  He can be very sweet and obedient, and he can also be extremely disobedient and argumentative.  I never know which way he is going to react to any situation throughout the day which is the main reason why I do not like leaving the house with him.  He has thrown some wicked tantrums (yes, screaming and kicking on the floor) at stores, in parking lots, at church, etc.  However, Logan does have a huge love of life!  He gets excited to do almost anything.  He loves his sisters, reading books, coloring and painting, looking for trains and scoopers everywhere we drive, playing with his little cars, running around outside, watching Bob the Builder, Thomas the Train, Cars, Toy Story, and Elmo.  He still takes an afternoon nap like a champ and sleeps for 11 hours or so each night (although he has "night tantrums" from time to time).  Logan still has a really good appetite and eats most foods.  Logan has really started to learn his ABCs and 123s, but often times confuses the order or skips one.  He has become extremely independent and wants to do everything himself.  Logan still loves any type of tool, machine, etc. and wants to push every button in sight and take everything a part or to bed with him.  Oh, you should see the strange things that end up in his crib on a daily basis!  Although we got rid of the pacifier in September, I am yet to move Logan out of his crib or high chair because I just like being able to trap him as much as I can.  And I haven't even begun to think about potty training.  After my experiences with Lia, I won't even consider doing this until after his third birthday.  Until then...

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween Night

We wrapped up our 3-night Halloween run yesterday.  We started out with some trick-or-treating in our neighborhood and then came back home so that Lia and Logan could answer the door for about 45 minutes before heading off to a Halloween party thrown by some of our friends in the ward.  It was a busy night and we didn't get home until 9:30 which is late for this bunch, but we sure had fun.  Lia and Logan were so excited to go trick-or- treating and to answer the door.  In fact, part of me was sad to leave our house and head out to the party because we were having such a good time at home.  Regardless, it was a good week and we now we have hoards of candy to eat in the weeks to come!  Oh joy.

Our precious, baby Ella back in her adorable owl costume.  She is so cute in this picture that I just want to squish her! :-)

Crazy boy Logan in his skeleton costume.

Our graceful Lia in her beautiful, Elsa costume.

My three kiddos all dressed up and ready to go!

Starting our trick-or-treating on our street.

The gang working our way up the hill...