Thursday, January 26, 2017

Bean Museum Field Trip

Yesterday was the preschool field trip to the Bean Museum on BYU campus! I dressed the girls in matching bright red shirts so they would be easy to spot, but it turned out to be pretty empty, which was nice. 

{Try to keep shoes and socks on these girls, I dare you}

We met up with the other preschool moms and teachers and watched while most of the kids just played around on the little slide and play area. One of the mom's reminded me how last year I spent the majority of the time chasing Lucy around while little baby Jane slept in the stroller and Norah climbed all over the exhibit railings. 

We spent so much time at the play area that we didn't even have time to look around at all of the animals before the presentation was supposed to start. 

We all went into a back room with one of the employees for a little show! The guy in charge was great with all of the kids and it was so fun to watch them.

He chose some kids to come up and open a drawer for different clues about the animals he was going to show them.

He pulled out a cute little turtle for all of the kids to look at. His little legs were wiggling the entire time and I wanted to just take him home to live with me!

Jane wasn't as interested in the animals as she was in the banana that Grandma Brand pulled out.

The presenter pulled out a giant beetle of some sort and told us that it can survive without it's head for 60 days before dying! bleh! 

The kids were pretty disgusted/intrigued with it haha.

Lucy was interested for a few minutes, but then thought it would be more fun to run around the room and climb on the chairs. I guess not much has changed since last year after all. ;)

The kids were all supposed to close their eyes while the last animal was being pulled out.

You can see Norah's little open-mouthed face in the corner, watching incredulously as he handles the snake!

All the kids got to give the turtle a little pat as they were leaving the room, and Lucy made sure to whisper sweet nothings to him before heading out.

I remembered the crazy ice cream emergency that happened last year after the field trip, so I decided to walk to the creamery with the rest of the school to get cones for the girls. There weren't any tables for sitting so everyone just stood around the store with their ice creams and yakked. Jane was offended that we didn't get her any, so I stole Lucy's cone and let her chomp on that.

The girls had such fun and it makes me want to go back another time so we can actually spend time looking around at all of the animals. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Kicking off 2017

I've said before how Winter has been so hard the past few years, and this year the blues seemed to come earlier than usual. Poor Ryan was probably so tired of watching me mope around, but he was a good sport and tried to keep my spirits up. As soon as the new year rolled around, the gloom seemed to settle in deeper, and I kept fantasizing about living in Arizona where it's warm all year. 

Ryan finally kicked me right in the fanny and proposed this be our "carpe diem" year. As cliché as it is, we've pulled out that phrase many times already to motivate ourselves to meet our goals. It's mostly Ryan motivating me, but I'm proud to say I've been sticking to a couple of personal goals and it's been so helpful! It's also been nice to slow down a bit and just enjoy being at home. 

Norah and Lucy both LOVE wearing lipstick. This was leftover from Norah's princess party. 

They like to apply it and immediately kiss the wall closest to them. 

I've had the girls dress themselves for preschool every day, and it not only saves me time, but I love seeing the combinations they come up with! Usually it works out pretty nicely, but something they have the funniest matches. 

My mom occasionally gives us books from her preschool that she doesn't use anymore, so when we got this big long book, Norah was excited to read it. It's about an elephant that throws a big birthday party for himself and makes a grand feast for all his guests. After playing 20 pages worth of games, all the animals finally arrive at the banquet hall to eat their feast, except to their great surprise, someone has stolen all the food. Everyone blames each other and they try to figure out who the culprit is...

We read the entire book, only to find that the very last page had been ripped out! Norah was aghast and I felt so incomplete knowing that we never resolve the great mystery. Nevertheless, she still has me read it to her. 

Jane is as sweet as can be and is a total daddy's girl. Sometimes she will cry if I try and take her from Ryan. She is either in jammies or naked 99% of the time. She loves making a mess when eating, so she's constantly getting bathed, which she loves. I'll probably have to do an individual update on her soon since it's been a while since my last one and she's grown so much!

I'm so glad that the girls go to preschool and get a chance to play out in the snow while they are there, because I haven't taken them out a single time. I kept meaning to buy some snow boots for Norah since she can't fit in hers from last year anymore, so maybe I'll get around to it soon and we can build a snowman or something. In the meantime, we love watching the snowflakes fall from indoors. 

It's been exhausting trying to find balance in life, but these girls make me want to be better.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Christmas Break 2016

I'm finally getting caught up about our Christmas Break. Though I haven't been motivated to blog about it, I know I would be sad in the future if I didn't write about it and had forgotten everything (because I have a terrible memory and would definitely forget). 

As soon as we got back from our trip to Rexburg, our house broke out in illness and everyone got bad colds and coughs. I lost my voice and it came and went pretty much every other day, which was frustrating. 

Norah and I both came down with some sort of stomach bug and I spent most of Thursday night in bed with a vomit bowl next to me. I was in bed almost all of Friday and had no energy to do anything except lay around, but luckily Ryan had work off so he took care of the girls and pampered me as much as he could. 

He and Janel went out that night to get some Christmas gifts since I hadn't done any shopping whatsoever and was completely unprepared. 

I just wasn't getting hyped up for Christmas like usual and I couldn't get into the spirit of things, so it was really lucky that Janel was visiting us and planning fun things to do. 

We took some pictures of the girls in their holiday attire for the Christmas card and then let them play around on their wiggle cars since it was pretty nice weather!

Here is how the card turned out. Pretty cute, huh? We sure did a lot of whooping and hollering to get them to look our way and smile. Jane was mainly interested in crawling away as fast as she could so it was a miracle we got a good one. 

On Christmas Eve I was feeling fully recovered from the stomach bug, but my cough was killing my voice and I kept going hoarse. Ryan's parents and Nick came into town to stay with us so we spent time together that evening and prepared for the next day. 

We ordered pizza (a tradition I am starting to actually like) and hung around the house watching football...or basketball? (a tradition I'm not particularly attached to, can you tell?)

When it was getting late, we got cozy in the living room and had the girls play fight over the nativity blocks while Richard read the nativity story. 

Growing up, we used to act it out, costumes and all, which was so fun! Perhaps one of these years we will resurrect that tradition and have the girls do it too.

Norah's face haha. It was a little chaotic and I'm pretty sure no one even heard the scriptures Richard was reading. 

I was feeling quite frazzled that it wasn't as calm and reverent as I envisioned. It's hard doing holidays differently than everything you know from growing up.

But in the end, I think the girls had a good time and maybe even know the story of Jesus' birth now(?).

We sang some Christmas hymns while Jane entertained us with her emu stance. I love when babies do this.

Janel had made a bunch of cookies earlier that day, so we set some milk, cookies (and carrots) aside for Santa and his reindeer. 

Once the girls were in bed, the rest of played games and ate lots of treats...including the cookies left out for Santa. After a couple of hours, we carried Norah upstairs to Lucy's room so Ryan's parents could sleep in Norah's bed. But she realized that the cookies were gone already and asked where they went. Before anyone could say something they shouldn't, Janel saved the day by saying Nick ate them and we would replace them before going to bed since Santa wouldn't even get there until we were all asleep. phew!

We wrote a note from Santa thanking the girls for the delicious cookies and wishing them a merry Christmas. The next morning was a bit crazy as we tried to make breakfast, open presents, and get ready for Church in time for a 10:30am meeting. 

We made Santa pancakes for the girls and we all ate breakfast before opening anything. The girls kept wandering in the living room, and since Lucy had opened all of the presents at Ryan's parents house the weekend before, we decided not to risk letting her near them until we were all ready. ;)

Everyone's stockings. Like the name tags? haha

Reading the letter Santa left for the girls. 

We finally started opening gifts. And more gifts...and more...and more. 

With so many family giving gifts to the girls, they had so many to open. 

This little tent was Santa's gift to the girls and Jane just wanted to crawl in and out.

When the front door to the tent was blocked, she snuck around the side and climbed in through the window. 

Such a sweetie. She was content just crawling around. 

Ryan's grandma got these dolls for Norah and Lucy and made a bunch of clothes to go with them. They each have a tub full of clothes and accessories. So fun and thoughtful!

Ryan and I promised not to get each other promptly he went out and bought me a several gifts.

Lucy's facial expressions when tearing off the gift wrap were so great. 

A little sibling rivalry.

We got the girls some Christmas dresses to wear to church that day and they all looked so darling!

The stockings were a big hit with all the candy stuffed in them.

Norah and Lucy each got a pack of girl power underwear in their stockings. My favorite ones are the wonder woman pair. ;)

We put Jane down for a quick morning nap before church, so she missed out on our family picture, but this was the only one that turned out so I suppose she won't care so much.

It was almost harder to get out the door on time with more adults at our disposal. ;)
It was snowing quite heavily and Jane had refused the nap after all, so she was acting kind of cranky. I was feeling frazzled before we even got into the meeting, but the girls did fairly well and the bits and pieces I heard from the talks were very good. I was feeling pretty sad that my voice was still gone and I couldn't sing any of the hymns.

The girls all looked so cute in their Christmas dresses.

Afterwards, we gave Ryan's family our house key and they went back to relax before heading to their Aunt's house for the rest of the day. And we went over to my parents' house for some crepes and waited for Dallin to call from Brazil while he is serving his mission.

I'm sad Jane's face is blurry in this photo because it's so cute of her and Ryan. She is definitely a daddy's girl. She was so tired and really needed to get home for a nap, so we took them all home for naps and then I headed back to my parents' house to talk more with Dallin.

After nap time, we had dinner at my parents' home and everyone crowded in. I drove back home to pick up a salad I forgot, only to realize that we never got the key back from Ryan's family and that we were locked out. They had left it on our kitchen counter, so no one had a key to get back in...back at my parents', Norah kept complaining about her ear hurting and I feared that she had an ear infection or something. So we left to take everyone home and hoped that we would find a way in. It totally reminded me of that time last Fall when this same thing happened and we had Norah break in for us.

Since we had finally boarded up that open window, going in through that way wasn't an option anymore. Nevertheless, we found a way and we made it into our beds at the regular bedtime hour. 

I went to bed that night feeling a little down with how the day went, but we made plans for a more simple Christmas next year and goals for how we wanted the new year to start. 

For New Year's Eve, we invited my sister and her husband, Brooklyn and Matt, to come for dinner and games! It was so fun and it was nice to keep it low key. We barely made it to midnight, and made sure to commemorate the occasion with lots of kisses.

I was happy/sad for the break to be over. It was sad having Ryan go back to work, but good to get back into the regular routine. We've made some good goals this year that are actually manageable and I'm glad we're starting off on a good note.