25 April 2011

The Tea Party

Wow! What a day! I stayed up way too late last night waiting for Amelia's cake to bake, it went in the oven around 9:20 and was not baked until after 11. This morning was so fun to talk about Amelia's birth, look at photos from her first few months, and snuggle on the couch. We had a fun little photoshoot inside this year since it was...SNOWING outside. She chose green paper for her backdrop! So cute.

Amelia wanted a special lunch with Daddy and Ella at Old McDonald's. Amelia insisted on wearing polka dot tights and rockstar shoes! Back at home the girls helped me set up the table for a tea party with real teapot, cups, and saucers. Phillip slept through her entire birthday party. Amelia invited over three friends to join in the fun. We danced to Princess music. Then had a tea party with pink lemonade, tea cakes, and strawberry rolls. The girls talked about princesses and dinosaurs with a smattering of dragons. Right at 2:20 the sun came out. Blessed day! I sent the girls outside to blow bubbles and chase each other with party blowers. Justin came home just in time to help with the pinata. Ella sure packs a strong hit, she ended up breaking open the pinata. The other girls were pretty sissy hitters. Justin lined up the girls with their bags opened and shook the pinata over the bags. Next we had cake and ice cream. Stella said the Cinderella cake looked awesome. I was glad Cinderella looked more like the Fairy Godmother, she needed to gain some weight. Thanks to frosting for that effect! This year Amelia only opened six gifts, three from friends and three from family. It was perfect!

Once the girls left Justin brought out her big gift from us...a bike! She was speechless! It took her a couple tries to get the pedaling down, after 30 minutes we followed her as she rode around the block. I was so proud of her...no fits or tantrums until bedtime. She shared her toys and played so nicely with all her friends. She even let Phillip play with her new toys without complaint. That is pretty amazing. Happy Birthday little one. We sure love you.

Miss Amelia is FOUR

I CANNOT BELIEVE IT! My little baby girl is four today! She is the most amazing little creature alive. Her language skills are pretty amazing for a four year old. She is one of the most imaginative little girls I know. I am at a loss of words to describe how I feel about her. Simply put, I love this little girl so very much. Her well child visit is on Thursday so I will expound more at that time about her milestones and such. We are throwing a little princess tea party tomorrow afternoon. Her greatest wish and desire for tomorrow is:

A Cinderella Cake
A Princess Scooter (we got her a Rapunzel bike instead)
A Tea Party...and
A Genevieve Doll (from 12 Dancing Princesses)

It is so hard to realize 4 years passed away. Four years ago yesterday I was playing a Wii game for the first time at James and Miekka's home. My huge belly rocking back and forth as I played some racing rabbit game. My mom made it just in time to attend Amelia's birth. She stayed with us for about a week, spoiling the heck out of us. Our first memories of Amelia include:

*When the Dr put her on my tummy she reared up, waved, and gave me the most intense, comprehending stare I've ever seen in a newborn child
*She was a crier and non-sleeper from the first moments of life. All she wanted was a close snuggle and to hear "I am a Child of God"
*She faints when overwrought
*Her love of music was evident from about two months old
*Poor kid had more ear infections than a baby should ever had, put tubes in her ears at 10 mths old. One tube is still in her ear!
*Said her first words at 6 mths old (shoes, uh-oh, ma-ma, da-da), could talk in complete sentences by 18 mths old

24 April 2011

He is Risen


 Easter Sunday! We had a blissful, wonderful day. Amelia helped me make resurrection rolls for breakfast. Justin said that he had to cut open his roll before eating it per Amelia's instructions. Indeed the roll was empty...and gooey. I struggled to find clothes to cover my belly and still look sort of cute. Not so fun. Justin did not have meetings so we got to church with time to spare. Amelia snuggled with Justin on the couch watching LDS clips from the church's website. Amelia really wanted to wear her Easter dress from last year so she did not wear her birthday outfit (besides discovered the outfit did not fit so well, it needs some fast tweaking before tomorrow). Phillip looked like a little Oxford professor. He needed a pair of horn-rimmed glasses. Our ward had fast and testimony meeting so the spirit was strong. Phillip was a goober loudly jabbering away to whom ever made eye contact with him.

We all got a nice Sunday nap/rest after church. The Easter Bunny decorated our sideyard with colored eggs, little gifts, candy, and such. Phillip was a bit groogy after his nap so all he really wanted to do was eat some chocolate and hug his monkey-duck. Amelia enjoyed every antic of our sneaky Easter Bunny. Her lovely peals of laughter rang out as she discovered a new silly hiding place.

The Webb family invited four other families over for Easter Dinner. The kids had so much fun climbing the Webb's "mountain," rolling down the hills, running, and admiring their plethora of barnyard animals. What a spread! We enjoyed turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad, berry salad, sweet potatoes, and hot rolls for dinner. Dessert was over the top: cheesecake with fresh berries and a chocolate torte. Thank you, thank you for inviting us to join in the fun. Now, the tired and over-sugared kids are in bed. Tomorrow is almost here. My baby is growing up, she turns four tomorrow. What a memorable four years.

I leave you with the words of Elder McConkie:

I feel, and the Spirit seems to accord, that the most important doctrine I can declare, and the most powerful testimony I can bear, is of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.

His Atonement is the most transcendent event that ever has or ever will occur from Creation’s dawn through all the ages of a never-ending eternity.

It is the supreme act of goodness and grace that only a god could perform. Through it, all of the terms and conditions of the Father’s eternal plan of salvation became operative.

Through it are brought to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Through it, all men are saved from death, hell, the devil, and endless torment.

And through it, all who believe and obey the glorious gospel of God, all who are true and faithful and overcome the world, all who suffer for Christ and His word, all who are chastened and scourged in the cause of Him whose we are—all shall become as their Maker and sit with Him on His throne and reign with Him forever in everlasting glory.

23 April 2011

Ward Easter Egg Hunt

Our Primary hosted an impromptu Egg Hunt this morning thanks to Amy, the 2nd Counselor. The community has an egg hunt that lasts about 30 seconds and is not so fun for the littler ones. Amy planned several crafts and coordinated volunteers to provide filled plastic eggs. We ended up with over 730 eggs for about 30 kids. The Elders and YM hid the eggs outside while we helped the kids do crafts. I dressed the kids in their cute outfits for the event since tomorrow Mia wants to wear her Birthday dress. Phillip soon learned the eggs opened to reveal candy. He caught on to the fun faster than normal. He was not so happy because he woke up at 5 am unable to sleep. Amy, you did an amazing job! Thanks for letting us help out! Our primary rocks!

Dyeing Easter Eggs

Me at 33 Weeks

Easter eggs. A simple statement....and ever so fun. The wind forced us inside this year. Phew, it was so windy the screen door hinge was ripped out of the frame, our BBQ grill blown over, and the slide blown over into the rocks. My greenhouse still stands!! I was not too excited to color eggs inside with Phillip but turned out I made the biggest mess! Amelia was enthralled to color princess eggs. Yes, please excuse the princess smock on Phillip; figured that kid is boy enough to wear pink and princesses at the same time. Phillip enjoyed sucking the vinegar off the eggs and dyeing his fingers. I tipped over the blue dye onto Justin and the floor trying to help Amelia mix colors. Within seconds the grout was a purty blue color.

On other fronts: Phillip learned how to open door knobs, not consistently but enough to surprise me. He found my stash of Q-tips and is often found with q-tips in his ears and nostrils. Scares me to death. He also learned how to open the dishwasher and empty our more fragile dishware onto the floor. He is a true monkey. Last night he really did look like a monkey covered in hair while I buzzed his head. I think his eye teeth are coming in. Once again he is not sleeping very well due to pain. Poor kid!

Amelia learned some hard lessons this week. We are having her do chores lately. If she doesn't do her chores within a required time frame and I do them there is a consequence. Last night she didn't put her clean PJs in her drawer. I scored her pretty Easter Basket for my treasure chest. She was so frantic I almost lost my nerve to laughter. She could not think of a way to pay me back and earn her basket so I gave her three choices: clean room, clean bathroom, or sweep the sidewalks. She chose the bathroom. This morning she was up bright and early asking to clean the bathroom before the ward Easter Egg Hunt. Awesome! Amelia is having a hard time sleeping again. Trying to be inventive I told her if she wakes me up at night I'd put her in the basement to sleep all by herself. Course she woke up so I plopped her down in the basement and went to bed. Little stinker loved sleeping the basement. That did NOT go how I planned. Two weeks ago I installed limo tint over the kid's windows to reduce the early morning light. Last night I removed the tint from her window and she slept all night. Maybe it was too dark in her room. My next tactic is for her to pay for a babysitter so Justin and I can go to a hotel for a good night of sleep. Hopefully, that will not be necessary. Gotta love that "LOVE and LOGIC" program.

Yesterday Amelia helped me with a photo shoot for a little 6 mth old. I am in love with my new photo paper! Check my Apple Green Photography site soon for updates. She is becoming quite the assistant! I got her a little toy camera so she'd leave mine alone. She is constantly trying to pose us: put your arms around each other, cheeks touching, chin down, smile like a princess, etc. Phillip can be heard saying "cheese" mimicking her toy camera. My kids are so funny.

All week we've worked on going through resurrection eggs, or 12 plastic eggs filled with items representing the story of Easter. We started off watching the Lamb of God on Monday and are doing 2 eggs per evening. Amelia is learning so much about Jesus and Easter through our little talks. My mind was riveted by the talk in April's Ensign by Elder D. Todd Christofferson on, "Always Remember Him." I constantly find myself pondering his words during this Easter season. The next talk happened to be the classic talk by McConkie on the Savior a couple months before he passed away. So much to be grateful for!

Joy School

Monday and Wednesday we hosted Joy School. Last week we finished going through the ABC's and started on numbers. It was a good week for a break. We originally talked about making an ABC book for the kids but never came to fruition. Yep, changed that up on Monday. It was a grungy day so while the kids played in the play house Rose helped me snag kids and arrange them for photos. Everyone was excited for about the first 5 photos, the rest were like pulling molars. Amelia and Lily ended up in most photos since they were pretty willing to pose (hummmm). Little Bryn would have nothing to do with the photos so she is not in any of them. Sniff.

Wednesday we made kites out of paper, dowels, tape, and string. The kids spent a good amount of time outside trying to fly their kites and eating no-bake cookies. It was perfect!

17 April 2011

Wrassling Monkeys

Thursday and Friday were a little challenging for me! The weather brought snow, wind, and cold temps keeping us cordoned into the house. After a couple weeks of spending at least 2 hours outside staying the house was driving us all nuts. Phillip especially turned the naughty streak on. He cleaned out all my cupboards, learned how to open the dishwasher all by himself, and got stuck in the dryer on Thursday during the time I made dinner. Cleaning up the clutter was like fighting the tide!

We attended a fun math show at the library early Friday morning. Ella came with us. A local lady wrote a couple books geared to teaching kids math at an early age. She had a bunch of fun props for the kids to use. Phillip and I wandered the library for an hour. Then the kids stayed and played with the library toys for another 45 minutes.

Saturday Justin worked the morning at Cabela's while the kids and I finished laundry and cleaning up the house. We drove to Sterling, CO for a Home Depot trip. I purchased too many bags of vermiculite for the garden so we returned that and got a shop vac instead. Yes! Justin and I enjoyed a delicious lunch at Santiago's while the kids snacked on rice and lemonade. Phillip was groggy from a nap so did not make a fuss until we were almost ready to leave. We stopped at Walmart for couple items. The kids played at the park for a while before we drove home. It is amazing how much a short trip can recharge your batteries.

Phillip learned how to count 1-2-3 then race across the kitchen floor. He tries to count with his fingers like Amelia, which cracks me up. He makes the funniest faces when he tells himself "no, no, no" or my favorite, "Ohhhhh, nooooo." I keep trying to capture his conversations with me on video but he is no performer. I wish that I could capture those small moments forever.

This morning was a challenge. Justin left for his meeting at 8:30 am. By 9 am Phillip accomplished the following:

dumping his bowl of cooked oatmeal on his head, stuffing the grain into his ears and nostrils
discovering my spice drawer and unscrewing then dumping cinnamon powder and chili powder with a
     smidgen of ginger all over the drawer, floor, etc
taking a black marker (thankfully washable) and drawing all over the cabinets
brushing his teeth with hemorrhoid cream
hitting Amelia four times earned 6 time outs in half an hour

His enthusiasm carried over to sacrament meeting. Boy it was tough to wrangle the little monkey.

Amelia is quite amusing with her new discovery of adjectives. She saw a red dot on the sidewalk and exclaimed how "wondrous and deliciously adorable" the dot was. We made a paper chain, the most amazing chain ever, to count down the days to her birthday. She is ever so excited!