Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween 2015

We started off our Halloween festivities with our annual photo shoot out on the front porch before heading off to the church for an early trunk-or-treat.  Here is my darling Lia dressed up as Princess Anna of Arendale.  Although we had bought Lia's gypsy costume last November on clearance, Lia decided a few days before Halloween that she really wanted to be a Disney princess for a FIFTH year in a row!  So, luckily, we were able to borrow her friend's costume two days before Halloween.  I thought she looked adorable in her braids and dress.

My sweet, baby Ella dressed up as a BYU cheerleader.  Lia wore this exact costume when she was eight months old...and Ella is exactly 19 months old today!  This just shows you how different in size they are.

My crazy boy, Logan, showing off his shark costume--complete with the head that he refused to wear most of the night.  It was amazing that I got this picture...

and this picture.

The only problem with our ward having their trunk-or-treat so early in the afternoon was that it required me to wake both Ella and Logan up from their naps.  Ella did just fine with this abrupt transition, but being true to Logan's form, he was NOT happy about being woken up and forced into a costume and pushed outside for some pictures.  As a result, this was the best I could get out of him after a massive tantrum in the house and on the front steps.

You can imagine my annoyance as we showed up to the church and learned that they had decided to start the trunk-or-treating early (we decided to skip the ridiculously early chili dinner at 3 p.m.).  As a result, the entire thing was done when we got there a little after 4 p.m.  I was so mad.  It took me a good hour or two to get over this one as I could have just let my babies sleep a little bit longer and avoided the entire drama with Logan if I had only known.  We went inside the church anyways, and the kids got candy from a total of three people as we walked around the "loop" which was a total disappointment to everyone.  Here is baby Ella checking out her tiny stash of candy.

Logan and Lia munching on some left over cornbread muffins before leaving the church.

Logan promised me on the car ride home from church that he would try to take a better group picture on the front steps after we got back.  This was as good as we could get.

Ron and the kids then watched Disney's old version of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" while I made dinner.  After dinner, we headed out about 6:30 for about an hour and a half of trick-or-treating.  Like previous years, we only made it to the top of our road and back down again before the kids threw in the towel to go back home and answer our door.  Since it had been a really rainy day, I had managed to buy Logan his own umbrella that he was thrilled to bring with him and use (even when the rain stopped).  Here are Lia and Logan heading up our street at the beginning of the evening.

Mama and the gang.

Papa and the gang.

Logan running up to ring a doorbell.

Logan and Lia waiting for Donna (the sweet, elderly lady who lives a few houses up from us) to answer the door and give out her giant-sized. candy bars.

19-Months Old Today!

This little, sweet pea turned 19 months old today!  It's hard to believe how fast this little girl is growing up.  She continues to be a nonstop, bundle of energy that is everywhere, into everything, and tries to do everything her brother and sister can do!  Her greatest discovery of the past month is figuring out how she can push the white chair from my kitchen desk anywhere in the kitchen.  She then climbs up onto the chair and can reach anything on our kitchen counters or kitchen island.  As a result, nothing is safe from her in this room and I can never turn my back for too long for fear of what she is getting into!  Oh Ella.  Ella loves playing with her brother and sister and wants to go with them where ever they go.  Whenever it is time to leave to go somewhere, she will run to the laundry room, grab her shoes, and bring them to me.  She is devastated if someone in the family leaves without her!  Whenever Ella is truly happy, she runs around the house shouting, "Weeeeeeeeeeh!"  She also calls for Lia after she goes to school every day by shouting, "Weeee-uh!" at the top of her lungs.  It's so cute.  Ella is still taking one, afternoon nap a day at the same time that I put Logan down (which I love) and sleeps for about 11 hours a night.  The big change is that we lost our fabulous, voracious eater.  After months and months of eating everything on her plate and then wanting food from our plates, she has turned picky. As a result, there are several food items a day that she refuses to eat.  As sad as this is, experience has taught me that this is just a phase.  Ella continues to learn a few more words this month.  To date, these are the words Ella can say:  uh oh, mama, papa, Weee-uh (for Lia), ya-ya (for pacifier), more, hi, hello, bye bye, no, eye, bee, uh-uh, thank you, "there you go," poo poo, pee pee, upee (for up), go, baby, quack quack, meeow, mooo, cheep cheep, the buuny sound (sniffing), and the elephant sound.  She says, "uh-uh," several times a day when resonding "no" to a question.  It's quite funny.  Ella stills loves to cuddle her soft, pink blanket and any soft animal.  She also has really taken a liking to baby dolls.  She loves being read to and enjoys any one-on-one attention she can get.  She loves taking baths with her siblings and never wants to get out at the end of bath time.  She also loves reading books every day before her nap and bed time.  She is also doing a really good job in the nursery at church and will quickly run off to play with the toys when we first bring her into there.  We sure love our Ella Avalon!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Carnvial

Since Ron had football supervision tonight, I attempted the impossible and took all three of my kiddos to Lia's gymnastic's Halloween Carnival.  Since Logan and Ella are about as wild as it can get in a large room full of people and gymnastics apparatus, it was a crazy night trying to keep track of both of them...but we all survived and made it home in one piece.  We met my friend, Mariah, for dinner at McDonald's before heading over for two hours of jumping in bouncy houses, swinging on ropes and bars, climbing under a giant tents, and trunk-or-treating.  It was a fun way to kick off the Halloween weekend!

Logan, Gabriella, Mollie, Lia, and Ella at the beginning of the party.  Don't they all look so cute!

Lia getting ready to jump into the bounce house with a wishful baby Ella looking on.

Logan and Ella playing on the teeter totter.

Princess Anna swinging from the monkey bars.

Ella and Logan found this giant fort made from a large tent hanging over a bunch of balance beams.  They spent many minutes crawling around underneath this tent before popping out on an exit and reentering through another entrance.  It was a bit of nightmare trying to keep track of these two in here! 

Logan refused to stop and pose for a picture while playing inside the fort.  This was the best photo I could get of this crazy boy.

My sweet girl occasionally stopped to let me take a picture.

Wild child Logan coming out of the tent!

Lia and Mollie swinging on some of the big, team bars with Logan looking on.

Logan and Lia swinging away with Ella looking on.

The group of kids trunk-or-treating in the parking lot outside the gym.  

The kids getting more candy.

My sweet, little cheerleader following the group around from car to car.

Logan, Lia, and Gabs finishing off the night!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Carving Pumpkins!

We gathered around the table tonight after dinner for our annual FHE of carving pumpkins.  For the first time ever, both Logan and Lia were able to assist with the scooping out of their pumpkins which was a big help.  I'm not sure at what age it is safe to have them help with the carving of pumpkins, but we'll take what we can get at this point!  We had a good time carving a scary face for Logan and a happy face for Lia while Ella walked from one chair to another (have I mentioned how crazy this girl is?).  Anyways, we all survived without any injuries and had fun lighting the pumpkins and turning off the lights at the end of the evening.  The only sad part was that we had to put the pumpkins back into our garage instead of out on our front porch since some rotten teenagers filled our street with smashed pumpkins on Saturday night.  Amazingly, our pumpkins (that we had just bought that day) were left untouched, but we aren't willing to take any chances and are keeping them in our garage until Halloween day!

Logan scooping away!

Lia doing the same.

Sneaky, baby Ella wandered up to her room and fished a sucker out of her crib before returning downstairs to join us for the carving.  I decided not to fight that battle and let her happily wander from chair to chair while sucking away.  Oh, that girl.

Ron working on his behemoth pumpkin that he picks out every year.

Lia photo bombing the picture I was trying to take.

The complete line-up in the dark.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Annual Trip to Spooners

We headed out this afternoon after the little ones' naps and Lia's multitude of activities (primary program practice, soccer game, and a friend's birthday party) to Spooner Farms for our annual trip to the pumpkin patch.  Although the farm was super busy, we managed to weave our way around the crowds to pick out our pumpkins and do a few of the fun other activities at Spooners.  This is always one of my favorite fall activities and a great way to kick off the holiday season.

All three of the kiddos piled into the wheelbarrow for the first time ever and enjoyed being pushed around by papa.

Papa and the kiddos.

Busy body Ella enjoyed running wild among the pumpkins once we let her out of the wheelbarrow. 

Big boy Logan showing off his new haircut!  I can't get over how grown-up he looks.

The three kiddos posing inside the pumpkins.

Lia chasing the other two around the giant spider.

Lia and Ellie Bellie.

Our traditional, family picture inside the pumpkin house.  

Lia joined Logan for quite some time at the duck races.

And Ella enjoyed drinking about half of Ron's and my delicious, pumpkin smoothie.  Oh, that girl!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ella's 18-Month Pictures

I took Ella in yesterday morning for her 18-month photos.  Like her one-year photo shoot, she was very shy at first and wanted nothing to do with posing for the photographer.  So, I ended up on the floor with her in my lap for several pictures before I was eventually able to slip out of the way and get behind the photographer.  Ella eventually warmed up to the camera a little bit, but struggled to ever produce a true, natural smile.  Fortunately, I was able to find one or two poses that were worthy of enlarging.  Here is what we came up with for my baby girl!