Monday, October 31, 2016

Sweetest Ghouls Around

Happy Halloween! We've been busy around here preparing our costumes for tonight and enjoying all the fall activities while we can. I was feeling overwhelmed this month and didn't feel motivated to do a Halloween shoot of the girls, but then one morning I just decided to pull everything together last minute, which happens a lot, and I'm so glad I did.

I used this same cauldron for the St. Patrick's shoot I did in March, but Jane just fills it out a little better now. ;)

I really should have used my tripod for this, but it honestly didn't even cross my mind. I had barricaded off the kitchen with all the chairs until I had everything set up. The girls were just itching to sit in the pile of candy themselves and would occasionally sneak past me and grab a piece as if I didn't see them. When I finally let them have at it, it was complete chaos trying to get them to tear their eyes from the candy. I stomped my feet and hollered all sorts of silly words, so you better believe I was a sweaty mess, as per usual. 

As soon as I got what I needed, they shoved as much candy into their mouths as they could before I was able to take it away. haha
I swept and spot mopped before setting everything up, so you bet I just dumped it all back in a bag to save it for later. We'll take candy in any form.

We can't wait for trick-or-treating tonight and these girls are going to look too cute! 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Cat's Meow

This past Monday, I was in my room during nap time when I heard a knock on our door. It was our sweet neighbor who explained that she kept hearing what sounded like a cat meowing in and around our yard. I hadn't heard any meowing myself, but we went out together to see if we could find anything. I told her that I would keep a lookout and even put a little bowl of milk out in case it was hungry.

A few hours later, my sister, Brooklyn, and her husband came to roast s'mores in our backyard after all the girls were asleep. We were sitting by the fire when we suddenly heard the cutest little meow ever, and it definitely sounded like a little cat. 

So, Brooklyn and I immediately sprung into action to try and locate the kitty and see if we could help it. We poured some milk and put out a tin of tuna, but we both couldn't think about anything else while we sat by the fire, so we went to investigate some more. We flashed lights and then noticed a little kitten by the yard fence. We tried to inch the tuna closer, but then it spooked and skidded away...which made us both very sad. :(

After a long night filled with sad kitty dreams, I checked to see if the milk and tuna were gone, but I only noticed a little bit of the tuna was missing. I told Norah and Lucy about the cat and they were so excited that Norah didn't even want to go to preschool, and that is saying something! Just before we left for preschool, I thought I heard some meowing coming from our garage, so I put out a tupperware of milk (which may or may not still be in there, now that I think about it) and then loaded up the car to leave. 

My sister, Danika--an enthusiastic animal lover--was at my parents' house, so we chatted and I told her all about the kitty. After preschool, she and my mom both came over once all the girls were down for naps and we decided to see if we could catch the kitten. I noticed that a lot of the milk in the garage had been eaten, so we looked around and lifted cardboard boxes to see if it was hiding. Danika and I thought we heard some rustling under one box and so we took a very small box and started to pull out some wrapping bubbles only to be startled when a tiny kitten sprang out and tried to run away. But we weren't going to let something that cute get away if we had anything to do with it. We cornered it and Danika was able to get a hold of it. The poor little thing was shivering and frightened to death! We tried to give it some milk and it seemed really hungry, so we took it inside to calm down and see if we could get it to eat. 

These pictures just don't show how little she truly was.

Danika and I both kept looking at each other and saying how we wanted to cry, she (we realized it was a girl) was so cute and little. She was so hungry and drank almost a whole plateful of milk. Once Danika and my mom left, I hung out with her in our bathroom while all the girls were still napping. She would explore for a bit, but then want to come play on my lap or in my arms.

I heard Norah waking up and standing outside the bathroom door, so I called for her to come in. She walked in and didn't even notice the cat sitting in my arms until I pointed her out. She just said, "Woah! How did you get it in here?" Norah was pretty nervous at first, and I wasn't surprised since almost every animal/insect scares her to death (yes, even flies get her hysterical), but she warmed up to the cat fairly quickly and even wanted to pet her.

Lucy was so funny. She wanted so badly to hold and play with the cat, but she was also a bit scared as well. This first picture of her is just too funny. She was thrilled to be holding it, but whenever the cat moved, she made this face. She got over it quickly, and wouldn't leave the poor kitty alone!

Every picture I have is of just Lucy holding the cat because she wanted to hold her 24/7 and kept asking me to take pictures of her. 

I didn't know whether to tell Ryan about the cat, or wait until he got home and surprise him haha. So I just sent him a picture of her and said, "Oops, how did this get in here? (smug emoji)" ;)

He wasn't quite as amused as we were and wasn't exactly thrilled I had brought her in the house, especially since our lease doesn't allow any pets. wah. We even named her Luna in hopes that it would help change Ryan's mind and we could just be sneaky about keeping her. But alas, his mind was made up. So I posted asking if anyone wanted her and then went straight into mourning.

I was really sad that we couldn't keep the cat, but I also understood why. It was a lot of work just keeping the cat alive when all three of the girls kept trying to pounce on her and carry her around the house. I told Norah that we were going to have to give the cat away and she was baffled at why we couldn't just keep her. I said Kurt (our landlord) didn't want  us keeping animals in the house and this is how our conversation went:
Norah: "WHAT? Okay, I don't want to give away the kitty. I want her to stay here! If we bring an animal here, we have to keep it. Do you understand me??"
Me: "I know, it makes me sad."
Norah: "That makes me mad. That makes me mad at Kurt. I'm going to call him and tie him up."

I was especially amused/surprised that this came from Norah, but she grew quite attached to the kitty and it made me feel so glad that she was able to have a positive experience with an animal since she usually screams and runs away.
Here is a video of when Norah and Lucy first came into the bathroom after I found the cat.

Whenever I had to keep the cat in the bathroom by herself, she would meow and meow for a couple of minutes. It was so sweet and sad. Lucy was just as distraught about the fact that she was in there by herself.

Jane LOVED Luna and tried to follow her everywhere. Whenever she saw her, she would bounce and laugh/cry because she wanted to touch her. It was so sweet. I love this video of her chasing Luna. Norah went to wake Lucy from her nap and Lucy immediately charged out of her room to hold the kitty.

I have about 15 more videos of Lucy doing this same thing. She was either holding Luna, or crying because she wanted to hold Luna.

If you can't tell, we all loved her!

I was nervous that I would't find anyone to take her and that we would have to take her to a shelter (which had some really bad reviews), but then my friend said she would take her and I felt so much better about it. The girls still ask about Luna and if we can go visit her. As I was doing laundry the other day, Jane kept crawling to the bathroom to see if she could find the kitty and it broke my heart a little. I'm so glad we were able to find her and get her into a good home. It was such a fun experience and I think one that made a big impression on all three girls.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Birthday Boy!

Ryan's birthday was last week, yay! This month was already feeling too full and busy to put together another party like last year, as much as I wanted to, so Ryan and I just celebrated by getting a hotel for a night. 
His mom drove down to watch the girls for us and he took a half day from work so we could explore Salt Lake together. It has been almost two years since our last night away, so I was both nervous and thrilled to leave the girls. We learned how to swindle priceline and got a great deal on our hotel room, which is probably why we were placed in the room next to the incredibly loud, vibrating boiler room. So after trying to decide whether we could really sleep through the noise or not, we concluded it was far too loud and called to be switched to a new room...which happened to be on the sixth floor with a beautiful view from the balcony. Not too shabby!

We walked all around downtown and (I) ate WAY too much pizza at the little restaurant From Scratch. We walked up to the Madeleine Cathedral with incredibly full stomachs and enjoyed all the unique depictions of Christ before the lights suddenly went out. So we called it a night at 7:30 and trekked back to our hotel. We decided we had racked up enough exercise time to keep us solid for another few weeks months. It's embarrassing how quickly I got a cramp in my side from just walking, guess it's time to finally get my fanny into the gym.

It was so nice to get a full night's sleep and, come to find out, Jane slept through the night for Jeanne too, so perhaps this refreshed feeling will last.
Such a great time to get away and I'm already looking forward to our anniversary in a couple of months where we can hopefully extend the time a little longer.
Happy Birthday to my sweet, handsome man! <3 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fall Memories

I am just so dang lucky to have these girls. They are growing so fast and so slow at the same time, I don't know what to do with myself. People say all the time that I'll look back on the toddler/baby days and long to rewind. I envision them as tweens and teens and I get excited and terrified and then happy that they are still little. But I also look forward to raising them and watching them grow into thoughtful, curious, strong girls. 

Norah is still loving every day of preschool and she adores going to dance and having something special to do on her own. She is an observer and catches onto this very quickly. I am always amazed when she recalls a memory from months and months and months ago, without any prompting from me, and remembers details that seemed insignificant to me.
Norah is SO excited for her birthday coming up and has told me on several occasions (every single day) that she wants to invite everyone on the whole earth to her party.
She loves carrying Jane everywhere she can and tests my patience when it comes to "helping out". She loves all things fancy, sparkly, and pink. Especially when all those are combined into one.
Whenever she wakes up from a nap, she sneaks so quietly up the stairs and stands outside my door, staring at me, until I notice her. She is still attached to her "polka-dot" blanky and won't sleep unless she has it. Trying to sneak that thing in the laundry is pretty tricky some days.
The whole "threenager" attitude is really hard some days. I try to be conscientious of when she's reached her limit of wanting to obey, and we often have talks of working together to not be so crabby with one another.
She loves to steal snacks and apples and nibble on them throughout the day. She loves when I let her pour her own cottage cheese or yogurt or cereal like a big girl. She loves church a primary, and I often hear her quietly singing songs that she has learned to herself. We have kind of halted our reading/writing progress, but she knows a lot of her letters and is interested in learning.

Lucy makes us laugh every day and has enough personality to fill the whole house. She is sassy and sweet all at the same time and has the loudest cry/scream you'll ever hear. She loves copying everything Norah does and is her little echo whenever Norah is trying to tell someone something exciting. 
Lucy loves saying the prayer and wants to do it every time we ask whose turn it is. Her prayer is always the same. "Fahder (Heavenly Father), go-dins-day (thankful for this day), bwessings, daddy go to work, mommy take pictures, norah go to preschoo/norah go to dance cwass, watch wreck it ralph (I always laugh when she says this), Dallin mission, Jesus Christ, AMEN!" Then she always tells us how she blessed Dallin on his mission. She never forgets and it's so sweet. 
A couple months ago, she started growling at us when she was mad, followed by yelling "ROAR". I tried not to laugh, but it was always so funny when we tried to discipline her and she would growl in reply. 
She asks for milk every day, and loves pretending to be a crying baby so Norah will feed her and take care of her. She loves sucking her thumb and will often start sucking and then lay down on the matter where we are. 
She loves going potty and will go every time we put her on the toilet, but I am just really not ready/motivated to start training her. 
Every time we go outside, she finds a stick and carries it around, trying to sneak it into the house when we go back inside. 

Jane is sometimes the one thing that keeps me sane some days. She is so smiley and sweet. She went through a phase of not wanting to drink hardly any of her bottle and it was so stressful. But she is sleeping better and eating better and her top teeth are growing out so much that she is starting to look so old. :( I finally weaned her off of the soy formula and she is now on just regular formula, which actually isn't that much cheaper, but she doesn't seem to be having any issues, and it actually is helping her little plumbing system to not get so backed up so it's a win win!
She loves charging at you when she is crawling around on the ground and she gets the cutest fit of giggles when you chase her around. She does not like when Lucy and Norah pummel her, so I'm excited for when she is a little bit bigger and can defend herself more easily.
She loves watching her older sisters play around her and smiles with her whole body. her arms and legs bounce frantically up and down when she is excited and her tongue pops in and out of her mouth as fast as she can.

These girls have been so patient with me as I figure out balancing life right now and I'm so lucky to call them mine. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hee Haws Preschool Trip

We went to Hee Haw Farms for Norah's preschool field trip on Friday. My mom has been doing preschool for 20+ years and every October she has taken the preschoolers to the Vineyard Garden Center where she snapped this classic photo of me as a toddler.

So when we found out that they had closed permanently, I was a little sad, especially since this is my mom's last year teaching...but as soon as we got there, I realized how much more enjoyable Hee Haws would be for everyone. 

We started out in the petting area with the goats, chickens, and pigs. Norah and Lucy were terrified, of course.

But Jane loved it! she was squealing and kicking all limbs when we put her close to any of the animals.

Their giant slide was so fun! Norah was dying to go down, but needed a little reassurance at first. So Grandma went down with her first, then she was good to go!

Lucy was really hesitant, but she followed us to the top so I forced her to come down with me so she wouldn't be stuck up there by herself. She wasn't happy and cried the whole way down, but I don't blame her entirely, it was pretty fast!

Norah was so cute to watch going down the slide. She looked a little stunned each time she went down, but then as soon as she stopped, her emotions caught up with her face and she raced back up to go again. 

Once we were able to convince Norah that there were other fun activities to check out, we meandered toward the corn maze, but not before stopping and checking out the animal train. It wasn't running while we were there, but the girls still enjoyed sitting in each one.

We took a quick pb&j break while they gave us instructions about the corn maze/pumpkin picking and then headed to find the perfect carving pumpkins.

We came across a skinny, stray cat that was really interested in Jane's sandwich.

The pumpkins were a little on the wee side, but the girls didn't seem to mind. In fact, they took a quick gander and then ran off to find sticks and throw dirt.

I had fun pulling out their Halloween outfits from last year and getting them excited about the festivities.  

Sweet baby Jane was absolutely loving being outside. She kicked her legs as we pushed her around in the stroller and loved watching everyone play around.

My mom helped me keep the girls under control and even pushed the stroller for me through the bumpy dirt road.

We all jumped on the "hay wagon" and took a ride around the field. Again, Jane was so happy the whole time! 

It was so bumpy, which made taking pictures nearly impossible, but Lucy was having fun ticking Jane and making her laugh.

There were so many fun little activities all around the farm. These horse swings were so fun for the girls. I'm excited for when Jane is old enough to join in too. She would love it!

An outing with all three girls wouldn't be complete without some sort of set back. I pulled Jane out of the stroller and realized she had completely wet through her diaper and clothes. Luckily, I had a dress in the diaper bag. And extra lucky that it fit her because it was size 3-6 months. 

We finished off with the giant corn pit and it was a big hit. Everyone loved taking turns being buried and flinging the corn all around.

Jane and I couldn't hang out in the pit for long because she was determined to eat all the corn within her reach.

Also, Jane's new face is this kissy face and I haven't been able to catch it on camera until now. Love this girl.

We walked out of the farm all the way to the far field where we parked before I realized that my coat, which held my phone and my keys, must have fallen out of the stroller somewhere while we were walking around from activity to activity. So I ran back all over creation trying to figure out where my coat went. Unfortunately it was tan, so it camouflaged right in with the hay bale that someone put it on after finding it somewhere on the ground. 
My mom was a good sport and hung out with the girls at the car so I didn't have to drag them all over again to find it and then pry them from the farm once more. 
I finally found my coat, ran back to the car looking like Chewbacca after a tornado, and got home to realize that Lucy had also completely wet through her diaper and clothes...I'm sensing a pattern here. So it was baths all around and an extra long nap for everyone! 

I'm already wanting to go back again as a whole family before the season is over. It was such a fun day and I'm glad the weather turned out to be absolutely perfect!