Monday, February 28, 2011

February Adventures

Greg and I got the flu this month---serves us right for not getting our shots. The kids had a minor form of it, and have precided to get better. I got a sinus infection from the whole adventure, first one in a long time. I even played mommy-martyr and didn't get my medicine until after Greg's birthday (so I could get everything done for that). Here's a picture from the worst day--- if I can remember, we spent the whole day on the couch.

Here's the kiddos at urgent care being told they just got over the flu--- Bellie also had a minor ear infection.
Annabelle loves to climb in the ottoman, a lot like her {older brother}. It's really cute.

Bubble Bath fun. They're starting to rub the soap on each others' faces, make bubble hats, etc.
They REALLY love it when Daddy's home (it's a good thing too because they're going to see a bunch more of just him when I'm off at rehearsals).

It's getting nice outside again, so we're going for more walks. Each walk we've had to change the position of one or both the kids because they're bugging each other... siblings.

With that said, they also have begun to prep the garden for us as we get ready to plant our second crops. :) Bellie finally got over her fear of grass and LOVES playing in the dirt.
Our latest attempt at taking a family picture. Even though it didn't turn out, I like it because it shows what our life is like right now. :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Beautiful Zoo Day

When we woke up Friday morning, it was the first morning in a while that we all felt good. After breakfast, while enjoying the bright morning sun in the playroom, I lost my mind a little. I turned to Jared and whispered this in his ear: "if you help Mama get ready, we can go to a special place." "Disneyland?" He quipped back. "No. How about the zoo?!?" When I saw his eyes light up and Belle toddle over to the stairs, I knew I crossed the point-of-no-return.

It was the PERFECT day to go. It wasn't too hot or cold. Just right. Both kids LOVED it. A couple moments to remember from this time:
  • Greg met us for lunch at our typical lunch stop. Jared even knows we like to stop there for lunch because as soon as we passed the elephants he said, "Mommy it's time to eat!" It was priceless to see the look on both Jared and Annabelle when Greg popped up from around the corner.
  • Annabelle is a monkey fan. A REALLY big monkey fan. Every time she saw one, she got all excited, pointed to it and said 'mon-mon.' She even giggled a couple times.
  • We went into the aquarium this time and Jared giggled out loud when he saw sea turtles, nemo-fishies, jellyfishies, and Bruce-shark (all his terms, not mine).
  • While looking at the Lions, Jared told him to roar. I don't think it works that way, son.
  • We actually saw the Hyenas get up and move around. Those things are HUGE!
  • I told Jared he could feed the goats, but when we got there, that part of the zoo was closed from renovations. So, we stopped at the huge pond and fed the fishes and ducks. Jared thought they were hilarious!
  • We went over to the toddler fish tanks and both kiddos loved it this time. Every time Jared got out without Belle, she would start exclaiming 'up, up' or 'ou, ou' (out). Jared called every fish a 'monster fishy'. This was my attempt to get a picture of them together...
We had a great time. I wanted to have a little outing with them because I know they're going to miss me lots of times over the next 7 weeks (until the play is over). Plus, our Zoo Passes expire at the end of March and we're probably going to get passes to a different place... Sea World, anyone? :)

When we got home, we all felt our bodies saying 'what a busy day and I just got over being sick--- sheesh' by passing out. I don't even think we left the zoo parking lot before Belle passed out.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Video: Chair Spinning

This was during our surprise Birthday lunch visit. The kiddos really love the chairs there.... I don't know if you can tell from the video.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gweg's Birf-day

Greg had a birthday on Monday! Woo-hoo! Honestly, it was REALLY hard to get ready for this birthday because of the sickness in our house the week before. The kids and I actually finished his last birthday present that morning. Whoops! Such is life. Jared grabbed the camera and took at picture of me mid-creation process.... just like I planned...

During our prep, we decided to semi-surprise Greg at work and have lunch with him. So, we stopped at HEB to get a balloon and treats and picked up some of Greg's favorite Mexican food on the way there. Jared LOVES going to Greg's work; it's really cute. He practically vibrates in his chair with each mile we drive closer. The minute he spotted Greg, Jared yelled "Happy Birf-day, Daddy' and really didn't stop the whole time we ate lunch.
My hidden agenda while we were there was to make sure he didn't pass through the work day without SOMEONE else there knowing it was his birthday. With an almost three-year-old on my side, the plan was destined to succeed, and succeed it did! The secretary in their area piped up with Jared at the end, 'yeah, happy birthday, Daddy.' My evil plan worked!

Later that evening, Greg came home to his 'mostly-traditional' birthday dinner--- Bacon Cheeseburgers. On our new 'you are special' plate--- since Jared broke the other one a LONG time ago.
Since all of our friends either just had babies or the flu, Josh and Caleb were the only ones to make it over for Homemade Key Lime Birthday Pie (one of Greg's favorite desserts). Recipe from my FABULOUS friend, Kim {here}.

Usually it's RIDICULOUSLY hard to surprise Greg with ANYTHING! Not this year, I bought and made him something he wasn't expecting (he tried to figure out what I made him and even asked if it's something he can wear to Florida--- dork). One was a "Professional Engineer" shirt, the present we worked on that morning.

And the other was {Bucky Balls}. These things are seriously toys made for men; they super magnets and the challenge comes in what you can create with them. Josh got some for Christmas and showed the guys, Greg casually mentioned getting some for his birthday and forgot about it because he was surprised to open them on his birthday. BWAH! It worked!

Caleb and Jared helping Greg open his presents. They were so excited for presents and kind of bummed they were for Greg, such is the life of a two-year-old.

Greg and Josh playing with the Bucky Balls.

Greg had a great day and I'm already excited to plan next year--- turning 29 the second time is pretty important after all. :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cuties

In getting ready for church this morning, I couldn't resist taking pictures of the kids...

With the day-before-Birthday Daddy...
Jared's new picture face = closing his eyes... not cool, son, not cool.

Look at how cute she is!

With painted toenails and EVERYTHING!

We sure LOVE these two goobers!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Video: Bathtime Singing

Here's a fun video, as long as you excuse Belle's nakedness. :) I couldn't resist putting this up because of a few things:
  • Jared 'helping' bath Annabelle
  • Annabelle singing "Pirate's Life"
  • Annabelle dancing
  • The Bubbles...which they're really into right now.
Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blankie Tent

We're not doing so well this week. We caught the flu/cold and we're doing our best to get over it before I have FIRST REHEARSAL on Saturday. Wish us luck...and health. :)

Lately, Jared has been on this kick pretending to 'go to the campout.' He'll take some of his kitchen supplies, back it in his backpack and exclaim, 'goin' to campout Mama!' As part of this whole 'camp' thing, he asked Greg and I to build a tent. We did. The problem came in his 15-month old sister and her attempts to join him in the tent. Let's just say Baby-zilla-3... Tent-0.

In order to keep the peace in the house, the next time we tried tent-building was at naptime---over Jared's crib. (yes, he's still in the crib we thought he'd be out a year ago--- can someone say birthday bed).

HE LOVED IT (it may not seem so in the picture, but he did just wake up). So much so, the next few times it was bedtime or naptime, Jared would ask for a tent. I guess we'll have to figure something else out when he finally does get a big boy bed.... at least it's fun!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Video: Couch Raspberries

The kids love to blow raspberries, as long as they're not spitting on each other or anyone else, we're okay with it.

On this night, they discovered what happens when raspberries meet our black 'leather' couch. Instead of stopping them, I went for my phone to take a video.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl 2011

As with every year, we had a Super Bowl get-together. It's something we like to do and sometimes we don't even watch the game. We used to go this all the time growing up and we love being able to invite the spirit of friendship in our home. Sorry, if you're offended, but that's how we feel.

This year, a bunch of our friends literally had babies within weeks (or days) of the Super Bowl AND we got back in town a few days before AND I had first auditions for Savior of the World in that time period to... so we weren't even sure it was going to happen this year. Our get-together ended up being us and our friends, the Baxters. We had a great time. Jared and Belle taught Alex the sign for Touchdown. Since he was born in Wisconsin, we taught Jared how to cheer for his natural team (Green Bay Packers). Greg and I even had shirts we dug out of the 't-shirt quilt' bin and wore.

This girl is ready for some football!
And he's got his game face! RAWR!
Jared & Mama watching the game.

The group saying, 'touchdown!'

Greg and I proud to be ex-Wisconsinites!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Disneyland 2011



Oh man, where oh where to begin.

When we woke Jared up that morning the first word out of his mouth were... "Did-knee-lan"... the kid was excited, and I really couldn't be mad because I was just as excited on the inside. We got up early to spend as much of the day as possible there. We arrived at the park just as it opened--- perfect timing.

Before we did anything, we got 'first visit' badges for the kiddos. So excited! Then, we met Goofy, Pluto, and MICKEY! Jared was so cute with all three of them. I think he was in shocked. Belle couldn't stop staring at Mickey, the closer we got to him the tighter her grip on me became. I was really glad she didn't start crying then and there--- but that's not really her m-o. After a few pictures, we bee-lined for Fantasyland.


*Since we've been home, Jared has asked to go on these rides. I guess those were his favorites.

A few stories:
  • We went on the Carousel and Dumbo twice. Once when we arrived and once right before we left. As the night winded down, we asked Jared what he wanted to ride again and those were his choices. He really giggled the first time we rode Dumbo, we got him to fly up and down and the culmination of ups and downs made his outright giggle.
  • Greg and I snuck off during naptime to ride Space Mountain, Indiana Jones and, later, Big Thunder Mountain. Since I've spent the better part of the last few years pregnant, I was really excited to ride all of these rides. I was literally bouncing and giggling when we waited for SM. I know, but Disney gets to me. I can still count on one hand, how many times I've been, so it's a bigger deal to me then to Greg (who won't even try to count how many times he's been).
  • When I say naptime, I just mean Annabelle. Jared was way too stimulated the whole day to sleep. When we got to the restaurant for dinner, Jared had a few bites and then asked to lay down in Mema's lap. Not two minutes later, he was OUT.
  • We realized too late that Jared is tall enough to go on the roller coaster in Toontown (and Matterhorn for that matter---what happened to my baby?). Next time, buddy. Also on the list for next time, Teacups--- he wanted to go and no one had the stomach, so we diverted his attention elsewhere. Oh and Critter Country and Small World, both were closed.
  • Jared also loved the Nemo submarine ride. While waiting in line for that we saw Darth Vader in the space pavilion and Jared FROZE--- he was shocked to find out Darth was real. While on the ride, Jared was glued to his porthole. He kept telling us about the fishes and got excited to see Nemo-fishy (that's what he calls Nemo and Marlin), Dori, and Crush.
  • Another favorite: Pirates. Jared sat with Mema and Daddy while Annabelle sat with Deda and Mama. When the ride starts in on the song, everyone starts to sing and so did BOTH our kids. Belle bounced back and forth in my arms. We hear that song AT LEAST once a day from the both of them now.
  • So--- The Haunted Mansion. We prepped Jared for the ride, the whole time in line and he was excited--- until we hit the doors. I picked him up and he wouldn't leave my side for anything. Afterward, we asked him if it was fun and he said yeah... so I guess there was no damage done... yet...
  • On the Jungle Cruise Greg pointed out the hyenas to Jared saying 'look the hyenas are going to get the man.' Jared's response, "no Daddy, hyenas fake." Can't fool him.
  • If he hadn't been so tired, Jared would have danced all the way through the Tiki Room. He loved the singing birds and crooning flowers and that's yet another song I now hear almost daily.
  • Since it was the kiddos first trip to Disneyland, we got them a souvenir and Mickey ears. Belle got a Princess Minnie, which she sleeps with now, and Jared picked out SnotRod from Cars. While getting their hats embroidered, we saw Mickey again which was a perfect way to end the evening.
  • We tried so hard to keep their hats on to get a picture, but they wouldn't really wear them until the next morning. Now, at home, they wear them all the time.
Like I said above, Jared passed out at dinner, but we were lucky to keep him awake until then. As soon as the car started, after dinner, they were both gone. The next morning, Annabelle having a rough night, was in bed with Greg and I. She decided then to say her first sentence, "wawa go did-did-nan?"

Seriously?!?! Apparently, she was listening too. I guess they had a good time, and the whole family can't wait to go again.

Maybe next time, {Cars Land} will be open in California Adventure. I bet I know a couple of kids who would like to go.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Arctic Blast: South Texas Style

Yesterday, we had something extremely rare happen in our part of Texas: it snowed. Not only did it snow, right before we had a little bit of freezing rain. It shut the city down. Schools closed. Highways closed (most of the night actually). Businesses closed until 12. CRAZY. The local news even called in an "Arctic Blast."

Now, having had our past experiences with snow {here, here, here, here, and here} it seemed a little excessive to shut the highways down through the whole county. I mean, Greg WALKED in two FEET of snow to get home in Wisconsin one winter. However, when you don't have the proper equipment to clean the roads, it becomes super dangerous. Especially, if you don't have 4x4 vehicles, like most in our fair city. So, we became fans of our small snow day.

We became fans because our kids were able to experience snow. Jared, being born in the land of snow, has seen and felt it before, but he was SO EXCITED this time around. He was running around the house yelling snow and giggling. How does he know to be excited?! While still in our jammies, we bundled up in what we had and went out in the backyard to see the 'snow.'

The first thing Jared said to us, 'whoa, it's coooold.' Annabelle just looked at it like it was a nuisance; that's our Texan baby. She fell, simliar to {the beach} and realized just how horrible this stuff was. Hilarious because she wanted inside from that moment on. Jared ran around for a couple more minutes until he gave into his morning hunger and that was it. Winter in South Texas. We're certainly glad to keep it that way.

Getting ready to go out.
Out in the snow and it's COLD.

Running to keep warm.

She fell and didn't like it.

Daddy to the rescue.
Hands in the snow.
See... it's snow!

Our front yard.
SIDE NOTE: Our friends/neighbors had a C-section scheduled that morning, when nothing was open. When we woke up, we thought of them and their non 4x4 van and realized what needed to be done. Greg drove them to the hospital to have their little girl a few hours later. Seriously, ladies, isn't my husband a CATCH?!?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Video: Double Feature

So--- since I've been a bad blogger, I have TWO videos today. They both happened in the couple days before California. Enjoy!

First--- the kids love music. They love to dance sing and all out have a good time. This is then when music is on. It's nice to know they're happy. I guess we're doing okay as parents. :)



Second--- we had LOTS of laundry to fold/put away/pack the night before we left. It was nice to have so many clean clothes, but it almost seemed like we were going to be one of those weird headlines the next day "Children orphaned, Parents smothered in Clean Laundry." Luckily, that didn't happen (it was a close call though), the kids did find a fun way to enjoy Laundry Day.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Beach Day



Every time we visit California it is necessary to go to the beach. I'm pretty sure it's written down somewhere in the 'must-dos' when going to the West Coast. Jared even knows it; our whole drive from the airport consisted of him saying he wanted to go to Disneyland and the beach. See, what did I say? That coupled with the fact that Annabelle had never been (go figure) and we needed a semi-down day after Disneyland, we took the warmest day of our visit and went to the beach.

The kids were so so HAPPY. I think Daddy needs to build them a sandbox or something because they were content to dig the whole day. Mema brought both a pail and shovel and then knew exactly what to do with it. Since they were happy and the beach was mostly empty, Greg and I did the cliche thing and went for a stroll. Even though it wasn't at sunset, it was fabulous. We talked and talked while attempting to find full shells to surprise the kids with. We even saw a few crabs.

After we got back to the group, all excited about our shell findings, we discover they did some shell hunting of their own. It's another must at the beach. After a sandy lunch shared with the local residents (the kids loved how close the birds got), we all walked down to the waves. If I hadn't been holding Annabelle's hand, she would have walked all the way out to sea. She loved the water. So much, in fact, she face and bum-planted in it a few times. It was fun, up until she realized it was cold. Jared was much more reserved. He wanted to hold Mema's hand and stay just far enough away so the water would only get his feet.

We capped off that day by having dinner with old family friends, the Stakers (minus sickie mom). It was a lot of fun and I feel idiotic for not getting any pictures. Greg and I then extended our night by going to a movie (a date is another 'must-do' when we go to Cali). True to parental form, we saw Tangled. and LOVED it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

California Days



We had so much fun on our week-long excursion to California! Here's how the week went:

Wednesday, Travel Day: For traveling with two toddlers, this went pretty well. Jared paid less attention to the DVD player this time; he had a 20 minute limit to anything we did. But, he was so excited to be on the plane, up in the sky, and going to California. Besides being really wiggly (which is her shtick right now) Belle was fine. She even kept her headphones on for five whole seconds! Our biggest problem came in the descent because Jared decided that would be the best time for a breakdown, which led to ear problems, which led to being even MORE upset. Poor kid, but as soon as we landed, everything was forgotten. We rounded out the day with an In 'n Out lunch and evening at the Park. Low key since we went to Disneyland the next day.

Thursday, Disney Day: This day will have it's own post, check back later.

Friday, Beach Day: See above.

Saturday, Mema's Birthday: Our whole reason to come out was to celebrate Mema's birthday with her. So, we did by letting her take us shopping {it's one of her favorite things to do, so why complain? ;) } Jared spent some time with her in the backyard picking oranges from their tree and looking for lizards, so cute. Annabelle then met her California great-grandmas when they came over for dinner. The kids really took to them and we have some great pictures of playing and reading. When it came time for cake and presents, Jared and Belle knew where to be--- hanging around Mema.

Sunday, the Sabbath: After church, we spent extra time with Mema and Deda before we drove down to the 'desert' to see more family/friends--- the Moniz/Green clan (missing a couple members). We had a great time; Jared and Addie greeted each other like long-lost friends (so cute). Greg even drove over to pick up Gramma/Auntie Elaine so she could see everyone and have dinner. We absolutely adore the Moniz clan and were so grateful to see them. It felt so natural and comfortable hanging out with Ash and Jer. Greg and I talked about how much we miss them; I have a hard time thinking about how much I miss Ash, so I try not to. :) We talked and even played a few rounds of Texas hold 'em--- and shocker of shockers--- I was the big winner (don't worry, we use m&ms). We even made tentative plans to celebrate the four of us entering the third decade in the next few years.

Monday, The Catch-all day: After going to bed way to late for being Toddler parents, Ash and I took a morning drive to gather donuts for the crew; we even accidently found the Redlands Temple on the way. It was very reminscient of all the times we spent in high school and college in those same places talking about oodles and oodles of stuff. It. was. awesome. Since it rained the night before, we let the kids run around together until it was time for lunch at Cafe Rio (which I had never been to before). The kids topped off the visit by playing in the fountain just outside before we had to make the trip back up to Camarillo. We seriously miss them and you can bet I'm going out again once new baby Green is born. :) Once back in Ventura County, we spent family time at the park. The kiddos were so cute and so BRAVE. Mema and I got them really excited about a tunnel slide and, for a few minutes, they did laps to go on it. Up the stairs, down the slide, make animal noises, repeat. We ended the night at a favorite pizza place right near the beach (so a tradition now---it reminded me of a place we used to go to in Ogden).

Tuesday, The Send-off:
Luckily, we didn't have a early flight because the main freeway to the airport had two huge accidents. We actually took our time and met Deda for brunch at IHOP. Jared tried to soak up every moment with Mema while Annabelle used the straws to perfect her walrus impression. The flight back was great; Jared was so excited to go home, he even asked for his friends when we landed.

Jared is already asking when we're going back... All of us definitely had a good time.

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