Saturday, November 26, 2016

Princess Norah Turns FOUR!

We celebrated our sweet Norah today in honor of her FOURTH birthday! This has been the strangest transition for me since four all of the sudden seems really old and she can't really pass for a baby anymore. :( I told her the other night that I wanted her to stay a baby forever and she said, "I'll just grow up and be your baby." :)

She has been looking forward to this birthday since November 27th of last year. haha! But's been almost a constant conversation about her "'nother birthday". We didn't have a party for her last year due to the fact that I was blubbery crazy post partum Hannah, so we have been talking for MONTHS about what she wanted to do for her party this year. Of course, she decided on princesses, though she considered a Zootopia theme for a while. So I told her she can help me plan it this week for her party next Saturday. We were going to have family come, but decided to make it just a friend party instead, and I think it will be more fun for her that way. We will be doing all the fancy princess things like lipstick, and nail polish, and cucumber sandwiches haha.

Side note: Ryan's mom gave these boots to the girls a few months ago, and every time we go out of the house, without fail, these boots are walking out on a tiny pair of feet as well. They are good about sharing and take turns wearing them. When Norah decides to wear them, Lucy wears Norah's snow boots from last year.

Norah is such a kind and thoughtful girl. She is a great hostess when friends come over to play and is so good about sharing and making sure everyone is happy. She remembers that one of her friends really likes Winnie the Pooh, and so whenever she comes over, Norah is quick to pull out our Pooh bear and piglet stuffed animals for her to play with. It always makes me feel so proud. 

She loves watching movies, but she is starting to get better about letting me turn it off without whining, even if it's in the middle of the movie. Her favorites rotate, but she has really liked watching Cars 2 lately. 

She still naps every day for 1.5 to 2 hours and has been a champ sleeper since early on in life. She loves snuggling up with her special polka dot blankie and won't sleep without it. 

We've been learning to read, and sometimes I can tell she gets frustrated that she can't remember the sound of the letter very quickly so she will sigh and slump on the couch. I try to keep it positive and she usually jumps back in. She gets SO wiggly when we try to read and it sort of drives me batty, but she really enjoys it, especially when she blends the letters correctly. She'll shout out to Ryan in the other room after each word and tell him what she just said. It's adorable. 

She loves preschool, and her best friend is Gwen. She always tells me how she loves painting and I'm glad she gets to do it a lot while she's there. She knows how to write her name, but since we haven't gone over it in a while, she's a little rusty, though she wrote it today without any prompting!

She is getting so big and tall and her hair is growing long. I've been really debating whether I should cut her bangs again or not. I've been letting them grow out for a year now, but now I'm thinking of trimming them again. She said she doesn't care either way. 

I took Norah to Joann's with me yesterday to pick out fabric so I could make her a princess dress, but after choosing everything, I suddenly felt overwhelmed and asked her if we could just go to the store and pick out a dress that was already made instead. She was a little teary-eyed, but agreed. I really wanted to get/make her a princess dress for her birthday since all of ours are hand me downs that have been loved and worn to pieces. So we got to the store and chose a sleeping beauty dress, which she wore around most of the day today and paraded around for those who facetimed to say 'happy birthday'.

I really want to make a few princess dresses for Christmas for both of the girls, or at the very least get them some princess barbies. They are at such a fun age and they are both princess obsessed and I think the time frame will be way more manageable.

Last night, Ryan and I hung balloons from the kitchen ceiling, which blocked the top of the stairs, so she would have to walked through them when she woke in the morning. She thought it was pretty awesome when she saw them hanging there for her. 

It was a pretty low key day, but Norah seemed to have a fun time! We just hung out at home all morning and read lots of books. So after naps, we decided to go to McDonald's for ice cream cones and playing in the play place. 

Norah and Lucy were both so excited, especially when the ice cream cones were delivered!

I told Ryan to get kiddie cones, but he didn't realize there was a difference, so they got regular size cones, lucky ducks. 

I love this photo. Lucy looks like she is really enjoying that ice cream. haha!

Norah is a clean eater and was good about wiping her mouth if anything started to drip. By the time Lucy was done, it was down her arms and on her legs haha!

We let Jane try some. Here is how it went down:

Haha! She cringed and then laughed after every bite, it was actually fun to let her eat it. 

Lucy chowed down her whole cone faster than anyone. She was going so fast that she had eaten part of the cone wrapper before I noticed and could take it off for her.

Norah would eat her ice cream, then tell us to guard it for her (#lifewithsiblings) while she went to play for a few minutes before coming back to get another taste. 
There was another little boy playing there while we were there and Norah made sure to tell him it was her birthday and then asked him to come play with her. 

We came home and, per her request, had oatmeal for dinner. haha! Then Norah chose some books and we read until my eyes were droopy and my voice dozy. Before sending Norah down to her room, I had her come snuggle with me in bed and told her how much we loved her. 
Despite it being a pretty typical day for us, she said it was such a fun day and prompted Lucy in her prayer to say, "thankful we could have such a fun day!" :)

She is our easy going, princess loving four year old and now it's only 364 days left until her 'nother birthday'! ;)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving was such a fun and relaxing day. Ryan took the baby monitors to the kitchen so I could sleep in, then we switched so he could take a nap. Norah and Lucy found their swimsuits and puddle jumpers in the closet and decided to go swimming in the living room. 

We read books and listened to Christmas music. After reading a few books to Norah, I asked if she wanted to help me make a strawberry pie for our Thanksgiving feast. As soon as I asked her, she gasped and said that she had to run and get her apron. She bounded in the next room to tell everyone, she was SO excited!

I let her cut the strawberries and let her learn how to use a real knife. She even asked me to take pictures of her, she was so proud!

It was so sweet to watch her use all the techniques I was explaining to her about using a sharp knife. She kept her fingers back and sawed back and forth so carefully.

We planned to get together with my family after nap time, which meant I had time to slap on some makeup and make some pumpkin pasta. 
We headed to my parents' house and everyone was immediately ordered to sit down and write a letter to Dallin on his mission in Brazil. Norah and Lucy colored pictures while the rest of us gabbed and munched on some appetizers. 

It was a low key dinner and a pretty small group, but it was so nice to be able to chat with everyone. Sometimes it's hard to get a chance to talk with every person when the whole family is together at once, though I really missed everyone who couldn't come. :(

Since we were already all together, I decided to make a dessert to celebrate Norah's birthday, even though it wasn't for two more days. She remembered how I made a strawberry pie for her birthday last year and always talked about it, so I made another one. When it came time to sing "happy birthday" to her, I forgot to bring candles, but found some in my mom's cupboard. It wasn't until Norah started fiercely blowing that I realized they were actually trick candles! It was so funny and everyone was laughing as she tried so hard over and over to blow them out.

We had to go home to put the girls to bed, so everyone migrated over to our house instead for some games and ice cream! We played one round of Super Smash bros (lol), which greatly confused my mom ("why do you guys think this is fun?"), then got out Telestrations. If you haven't played that game, get it now! We laughed so hard, my whole body was sore and my eyes were watering. 

It was the perfect day, and it makes me excited about Christmas coming up where we'll have even more family around.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Moccasins & Gobblers

I love any excuse to do a fun little photoshoot of the girls. Last year, I was hugely pregnant and then had a teeny new baby during Thanksgiving, so I don't even think I took a single picture to commemorate the occasion. So I thought I'd make up for it this year. I used this pattern and tutorial to whip up the tent with extra fabric I had laying around and not being used and it turned out so cute (though the tutorial says to get 6 poles, when it really only needs 5. hmm). It came together pretty darn fast and ended up only costing me $10 (less, if I hadn't bought the extra pole haha) and the girls were so excited when they saw it set up taking over our entire living room yesterday morning! win.

I put together their Indian dresses and headbands and just reused the Turkey outfit I had from our Thanksgiving shoot 2 years ago. I think it always helps them smile/be excited for photos when they have something fun to wear or do.

Norah and Lucy loved popping in and out of the tent. We were playing in there all together before bringing it outside and even Jane thought it was fun crawling in and out. So funny!

They were all troopers. It was really cold out and the grass was still damp from the night, but I didn't want to put off taking pictures since it was supposed to rain in the afternoon. None of them seemed to mind at all, and they were all barefoot!

She always tries to pull hats/headbands off when I put them on, so I have to be extra sneaky sneak when doing it. This hat was pretty obvious, but she thought it was funny and didn't try too hard to get it off. She's the sweetest baby turkey. 

Norah, pretending to keep a lookout for John Smith.

We broke off some sticks to use as arrows haha. They loved pretending to shoot.

Turkeys are friends, not food! 

I sure am grateful for these three beautiful babies. They bless our lives every day and I love being their mom. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

{pan}Cake Smash!

Today our Jane is ONE! She has been sick the past couple of weeks and extremely fussy all day every day, but this morning she seemed to be in high spirits so I think she is finally on the mend.

She has grown into such a sweetheart and we can see her little personality peeking out. She is usually a very calm and sweet baby. She has recently started snuggling me and it is the sweetest thing. 

Every night, when I rock her before laying her in bed, she rests on my shoulder and then pops her head up to laugh and poke my nose. It's like she knows that I love it so much that I won't want to lay her down. ;)

She spends most of her days wearing pajamas, and takes 2-4 baths every day after eating like a savage.

We are so blessed to have Jane and can hardly believe there was a time before she was with us.

I did this same idea with Norah and Lucy for their first year. I definitely could have done better at taking these at the same time each round to get even lighting, but it's just a miracle I remembered in the first place. She's grown so much and, as you can see, she couldn't even roll over in the one I took this morning for her 12 month shot. She was not amused.

I can hardly believe she was a teeny little 6lb 12oz baby at one point! Here is the link to her birth story. Read it, then take a nap. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Wild About Turning Uno!

I'm psycho and have been wanting to do an Uno party for Jane basically since she was born. But when it came down to planning, I procrastinated for a long time. I wanted it to be simple, as long as I got some cute pictures of her first. ;)

I just printed out this Uno logo and ironed it on her shirt using transfer paper, and voila! I was done. 

Of course, I couldn't resist doing shirts for Norah and Lucy as well. 

My wild children.

I have been so busy the past couple months with my photography business and just the every day hustle and bustle of raising three kids, that I resolved to keep the party really low key. I sent Ryan to the store for chips and salsa...and he came home with way more than what was on his list. Costco will get you every time.

 I was just planning on using the uno cards on string that I had used for the photoshoot as the party decorations, but I had forgotten them outside during a huge wind/snow storm and they got completely ruined. So we just taped cards straight on our ugly wall and called it good. 

As far as the cake, I was just planning on doing an easy square cake that would come together really fast. But then the day before, I was about to head to the store for some ingredients when I looked up a couple of ideas...probably a mistake, because it changed my mind and I decided to change my cake plan and make something a little more fun. 
A friend asked me to help her decorate two of her cakes while I was doing mine, so we made a party out of it. Though I ended up going to bed way later than I was hoping, I was happy with how it turned out. 

So the morning of the party, I was so tired and cranky. and feeling behind on everything in life. But we managed to throw everything together before guests arrived and Jane looked as cute as can be. 
As soon as people got there, I stopped worrying and just tried to have fun. It was nice to mingle and have a little break from all the responsibilities. I didn't even try to keep an eye on how much sugar Norah and Lucy kept sneaking haha 

We sang Happy Birthday and let Jane Ryan blow out the candle. ;)

I haven't really given Jane many sweets except a couple of suckers, so this was really her first experience eating something really sugary. I think it was safe to say that she enjoyed it.

The cutest messy face ever!

We let her take a bath in the sink so she didn't have to leave her party.
I don't think many other people could get away with doing that. ;)

We let Jane open a couple of gifts from grandparents and Lucy was determined to help her.

Lucy kept ripping things straight out of Jane's hands so she could inspect them herself.

Lucy wouldn't even let Jane have a turn, so we had her step away for a minute. And she wasn't very happy about it.

As soon as we let Lucy back down on the ground, she tried to sneak the toy back, all while checking to make sure the coast was clear. Her little tongue in her cheek is exactly what I used to do as a kid whenever I was lying.

Norah showing off Jane's cute new jammies.

We love our Jane and I'm so glad we got to celebrate her first year! We made it!