Monday, December 12, 2011

What a difference a year makes....

It is hard to believe that this little girl...
Has already grown into this walking, babbling, giggling, playful, melt-your-heart-with-a-smile BIG girl!

Happy 1st Birthday!
A rainbow cake experiment...
YUM!"Hey, this cake eating business is messy stuff!"
Trying to decide which is more fun - the tissue paper in the package or what might be lying beneath in the bag!
The rocking horse is a HUGE hit!
(of course, within 5 minutes she has already learned to climb on forwards, backwards, and ride standing up! eeek!!!)
I think I might be going through a "my baby is growing up" crisis! I know, she's only did she stop being a BABY so fast?!!?!??!?!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Fun

Here are my Halloween cuties!

After 2 weeks of insisting that he wanted to be a frog based on the fact that he had seen a frog mask we had while we were putting up Halloween decorations, Jaden would NOT wear the frog mask! But, a friend had given us a frog eyes headband and he did consent to that although I had to almost tackle him to paint his hair green! Alivia didn't really like getting dressed in her dalmation costume but, once it was on, seemed oblivious!

With a couple of big Jack-o-lanterns as parents!
It was Jaden's "job" to ring the doorbell and once Alivia heard it go off she would walk quickly up the walk towards the door. Even at 10 months she TOTALLY understood what this was about and when someone would say "Trick or Treat" she'd hold the bucket up.
Stephen's parent's neighborhood is like trick-or-treat central. I don't know HOW many hundreds of people show up. They had 4 giant bags of candy and we had brought 4 more and it ALL disappeared! Once the trick-or-treaters started showing up Jaden was so excited about giving candy to his "customers."

Every time there would be a break between trick or treaters (sometimes they were lined up the walk all the way to the street) he would see some coming down the street and do a little dance yelling "Yay...there are MORE trick or treaters coming!"

He also would comment on the costumes of the people he gave candy to and say things like "You'll like this one" as he carefully placed the candy in their bags. It was SOOOO funny! It was clear he had more fun giving the candy away than he did going door to door!
Of course, Alivia had to help!
She really wanted to EAT all the candy! Every time we'd turn around she'd be trying to knaw her way through another wrapper!
It was a SUPER fun night! And I just so happen to think that I have the most FUN kiddos ever!

Here were the decorations outside our house! I saw this cute idea in Pinterest but here's the direct link. Super easy and cute. After seeing one other house with these in our neighborhood I think next year I'll try white milk jugs instead of clear (although that would require buying a different brand of milk). Also, orange lights look really cool. Maybe next year we'll have pumpkins AND ghosts!
We also tried Ghost Jello Treats from here. I would say these take a bit of work to make really cute - but if you don't care about perfection and are okay with the below they are quite easy. Of course, Jaden wouldn't eat it! He just wanted plain jello!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Great Pretender

I've really been impressed with Jaden's pretend play lately. He's coming up with scenarios and acting them out all of the time.

Today, after lunch at Grandma H's house, Jaden went to the other room and loaded all the wooden blocks in the rolling suitcase he had brought with. Pretty soon he was talking about a fire and cooking. We all had to go sit on the couches because he declared, "the food is ready!!!!".

As we sat down he went over to a flashlight that he had set up on end, light shining to the sky, that had several blocks stacked on top of it. He grabbed a few blocks and gave some to each of us saying, "here are your strawberries. Here is your lettuce. Here is your white taco.".

After eating them, I asked for more. He replied, " I have to get some more food from the fridge (going over to the rolling suitcase) and cook it over the fire (Stacking them on the flashlight).

So, the big question is....
If blocks can be food
A suitcase can be a refrigerator
And a flashlight can be a cooking fire...
WHY did I build him a play kitchen???


So, today Jaden told Grandma H a new joke (that he learned from Mali)...

J: Knock knock
G: Who's there?
J: Banana
G: Banana who?

J: Knock knock
G: Who's there?
J: Banana
G: Banana who?

J: Knock knock
G: Who's there?
J: Banana
G: Banana who?

J: Knock knock
G: Who's there?
J: Orange
G: Orange who?
J: orange you glad I didn't say banana?

Then, he says, "wait.....I have another new joke for you."
J: knock knock
G: Who's there?
J: apple
G: apple who?
J: orange you glad I didn't say banana?

Cracks me up that kid!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Hike Near Home

A weekend in the mountains and the finally cooler weather inspired us to go for a hike in our local mountains the following week. Definitely less trees and more rocks here - but a unique desert kind of beauty nonetheless.

Taking a little rest

Daddy got the hard job!
Enjoying the view

having fun (and motivated by periodic snacks and races with daddy)
Alivia decided she needed to hike a bit herself

Need to Make Dinner?

Need to occupy a kid or two?

Grab a strainer and some pipe cleaners and see what kind of crazy creations they can make!
This only entertained Jaden for about 5 minutes - but I think on another day he could be interested for longer.
Since that was a bit hard for Alivia's dexterity I gave her a bowl with a bunch of plastic cookie cutters - and a strainer - since her brother had one that was what she really wanted!
Just as a side note - you have to be willing to have things ALL OVER your kitchen floor for this to be an acceptable activity. But, sometimes you just have to choose - clean floor or dinner made!?!?!

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Trip to the Mountains

Since it has been summer in the desert we were MORE than excited to head up to the mountains with the mariachi on a recent trip. The schedule allowed it so our family went up a day early to enjoy a little R&R with the pines.....

Of course, we had to explore the grass
Riding on Daddy's shoulders is ALWAYS the best place to be! SOOOOOO big!
I had a magnifying glass I had been saving for Jaden
to explore with on a special expedition and it was a big hit. He explored leaves, flowers, grass, trees......and said "WOAH, it's so BIG" every time he looked at something!
checking out the tree....
Alivia LOVED pinecones. Of course, just like everything, she wondered what they tasted like and tried exploring with her mouth too!
I still can't get over how ridiculous AND adorable these pigtails are!
Some friends let us borrow a baby carrier backpack and it was SO nice!
We didn't do much of a real hike but it was handy to carry
Alivia around as we did a little exploring!

We had a great day exploring but I joked with Stephen that if anyone had asked us what we did all day they might have thought we were pretty boring. He reminded me that perhaps other parents of 2 kids 3 and under might think it sounded like the perfect day as well!

We stopped by a little park/visitor's center for a short hike (aka about 2 blocks worth) and discovered a stream. Jaden had a lot of fun throwing rocks, leaves and pinecones in. We discovered that the pinecones were the most fun to watch float downstream!

Of course, you can only LOOK at a stream for so long when you're 3. So....While it was a bit cool it wasn't too bad and....who wants to try to keep a 3 year old boy OUT of the water when he really wants to explore!?!?!?

After a short nap in the backpack Alivia was ready to explore as well.

and keeping this girl away from water is near impossible!
Since we didn't have a change of clothes we had to get down to the diaper. It was probably a bit chilly for that but, we sure had a happy girl!
After the weekend events with the mariachi we stopped at a resort out in the mountains by a lake. Jaden got to go on his first pedal boat ride.
He thought it was fun for about 10 minutes. Then he wanted to get off of the "boring" boat and go on something a bit faster! No motor boats on this small lake though.
And, pedaling was a bit harder than I remember.
Maybe we'll wait until he can pull his own weight on the pedals before we try this again!

I sure do love this family of mine!