Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day 5

Friday, the dreaded last day...we just relaxed and enjoyed a good time. Since I haven't been able to take any pictures of Leah in the bath, we took some of her being bathed in the sink. In the afternoon we went to eat lunch with and meet Ryan's other stepbrother, Keith, and his girlfriend Kristin. It was fun to talk to them and then it was off to the airport. Monica and Leah were such good travelers both ways. I am so proud of them! Upon landing in Albuquerque, we all had to sit back down and a cop got on the plane and escorted two people off the plane. I sat there and thought, "yep, we're home!"
So all in all, we had a GREAT trip! One of my favorite parts had to be when Brock was stroking Leah's hair and told me. "I like your baby." And then later when he wanted to trade babies. LOL! He was so cute!

Day 4

Day 4 we went to the beach. Ohhh yeah! WE LOVED IT! We didn't get to spend nearly as much time as we would have liked there, due to a late start, but we know better for next time. We had our lunch on the harbor and then walked past the rocks to get to the waves. Monica liked picking up the seashells and letting the waves wash over our feet. If I watched too closely, I got a little dizzy watching the water recede from the shore as a wave would come up and crash up against us. Monica got knocked over a few times and it's a good thing we were holding hands so tightly because she just might have got washed away! So Ryan took over holding onto her. Leah was a sleepy girl, so Karen watched her on the blanket and read a book while the rest of us played in the waves. After all that fun, we met up with Scott and Ivona...Ryan's stepbrother and fiancee. It was fun to meet them.

Day 3

Day 3 started out nice and lazy, and then we had lunch with Aunt Alison and Uncle Tim. It was so much fun catching up with them and hearing about their quad adventures.

After lunch we went back to the house to hang out with Wendy and the kiddos! We had a fun BBQ for dinner and the kids all had fun playing in the pool with daddy/Uncle Ryan. Ashleigh and Courtney are little fish! They are such good swimmers and had a good time being tossed in the air by Ryan.

Kate and Leah got to check each other out. They are only 5 months apart.

Before swimming, Monica and Brock played Monster Bowling and had fun!


Day 2 was all about Monica. We went to Funderland and Fairytale Town and she had a blast! It was pretty hot, but I think we all had a lot of fun in spite of the heat. We had a picnic lunch before we played, and then went on all the rides. I think because of the heat, and most likely because school started, the places were pretty dead. So we got to go on any ride as many times as we wanted!

After all the fun, we got back to the house and jumped in the pool to cool off. Monica and her imagination came up with the idea of "fishing" with swimming noodles.

Here she is casting her "line" waiting for a bite.

She pulled it out and...

She proudly shows off her catch!

California Love

Last week we went on vacation to beautiful, sunny, HOT Sacramento, California. And it was wonderful! We had a blast and got to do a bunch of fun things.

The first day out we played in the pool in the backyard at Ralph and Karen's (Ryan's dad and stepmom), had dinner at Red Robin and then saw movies. Ryan and Ralph saw a shoot 'em up movie, and Karen and I saw "The House Bunny". I have to admit, going into it, I knew there would be a little bit of crudeness, which there was, but I also thought it might have been a movie that all the good parts were in the previews, but still funny.

It was H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!!! I haven't busted a gut that hard in a while. One of my favorite parts was when Shelley, Anna Faris' character, takes her new sisters to a bar to meet guys and one girl hits on a guy and goes, "Hey, can you tell me where the crapper is? I need to go drop some timbers." He shrugs off, and she goes back to Shelley all disappointed. So she tells her that guys like girls to be mysterious and sends the awkward girl back to the guys and she gets close to another guy and goes,"Hey, do you know where the crapper is? I need to go do something know, drop some timbers." HAHAHAHA!!!! Don't ask why that was a favorite...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beauty queens!

My little beauties! I had to re-cut Monica's hair, because after a couple days I started to see strands that were MUCH longer and some of the un-evenness. I also cut it a little bit shorter in the back than the front. I think it turned out pretty cute! She has this natural wave to her hair that I LOVE! But it can be deceiving. When her hair was wet and straight, everything was even, but then it dries and the wave pops in and it starts looking a bit disheveled and uneven. No worries, though. I have a few hairstyles up my sleeves to combat it. I love that Leah is holding her head up more and more. I never thought I would love being a mom, but I do!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Memories and Dedications

So--I was trying to come up with a playlist and as I was finding some OLD SCHOOL songs, memories came flooding back. The more I thought about people and events, specific songs came to mind and my playlist is a dedication to the people in my life. If you are reading my blog, chances are there is a dedication there for you...

"Huckleberry" goes out to my sweetie pie, Ryan. When we were driving home from St. George one day after we were engaged, we listened to like 50 songs trying to find the song that spoke to us both to be "our song". We agreed on "Huckleberry" by Toby Keith and I can't say how happy I am that we have two little huckleberries added to the mix! Every time I hear this song, I think of our whirlwind romance and how much fun we had dating!

"Let's Hear It For the Boy" also goes out to Ryan. It sounds so silly, but I hear this song and I start bawling! Well maybe not bawling, but I choke up EVERY time! When he came home from Iraq the second time, they played the Footloose soundtrack to get everyone pumped up. The last song they played before they marched in to "Angry American" was "Let's Hear It For the Boy". All the anticipation for that moment that we could finally be together again comes flooding back and I am reminded of how much I love my sweet husband and what it was like without him, and the joy when that moment finally arrived and they marched into the gym!

"One Step At A Time" goes out to my girls Monica, Cristine and Natalie whose husbands are deployed to Iraq right now. I hear this song, and I remember that sometimes the only thing that got me through two deployments was to take it one day at a time. I think of Natalie on her first deployment and my heart goes out to her for that experience - hers 3 times as long as my first. And Monica and Cristine on their third deployments, and I am amazed at their courage and strength. You inspire me with your optimism and grace.

"Casanova" goes out to Aunty Sarah. I remember driving in her car on her way to the UNM Alpha Chi Omega sorority house and listening to this song! We had so much fun and I looked up to her so much. Still do!

"Superstar" goes out to sweet little Monica, who is our little superstar. She is a great little dancer with natural hip-shaking skills, and singing skills, and making-us-laugh skills. Who- at bedtime--told her daddy, "Daddy, you're a super guy!"

"Baby Mine" goes out to our precious Leah. She is such an easy baby! She sleeps for 7 hours at a time in the night and has the cutest little voice when she coos. She has the sweetest smile with beautiful little dimples. I could hold her and stare at her ALL day!

"Kiss From a Rose" goes out to my Dad. The thing I will always think of most about my dad is how he treats my mom. He set the standard for how I wanted to be treated by my husband. I have never heard him raise his voice towards my mom, and he always went to wherever she was when he came home from work. I can remember them dancing to this song in the kitchen. One time, Matt, Emily and I tried to find this song to play just so we could see them dance. Thank you, Dad, for the most beautiful example of love!

"Never Wanted Nothing More" goes out to my mother-in-law, Kris. I had a great opportunity to live with my in-laws when we first got married and Ryan was in bootcamp. For a lot of people, that would have been a nightmare, but it was what I needed and we developed a great bond. I know miscommunications may happen, but one thing I will never doubt is that I have a friend in Kris. She is a loving mom and I am glad that Ryan has the kind of relationship with her that he does.

"Poison" goes out to Emily. Yeah, baby! "Never trust a big butt and a smile" because she'll tell all your embarrassing moments and torture you with dead moths. But she'll also hold your hand til you fall asleep from crying, and make you laugh so hard you pee your pants. This girl is one of the most talented dancers I know. And I remember her bustin' a move to this song so many times, that it is actually my ringtone for her.

"Du Hast" goes out to Matt. Everytime I hear this song I think of him and his Mortal Kombat games. I loved dancing in the living room with him!

"That Thing You Do" goes out to Christina. I think we listened to the movie soundtrack almost EVERYDAY we drove to West Mesa. I know I was pain in her side a lot, but that time driving to school really meant a lot to me. The days we had fun singing and talking were special to me.

"Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?" goes out to Aunty Theresa. I remember driving to one of Granny's appointments at UNM-H and her telling Granny that she sings this song to Jesus. It touched me so much, that many times I find myself thinking about this song, and Granny and find myself praying these words. Because, seriously, how long has it been since we told Him we loved Him? It was a special moment to witness a mother and daughter bond.

"Cover Girl" goes out to Maggie. Remember playing Barbies and making them rock out to this song and all of the New Kids On the Block TAPE! HAHA! That was such a fun summer!

"1234" goes out to Kimmie and Jodi -- because this song is cool just like them! I love hanging out with them, for how laid back Kimmie is and how passionate Jodi is.

"Mmm Bop" goes out to my Mom. I remember that she bought the CD single of this song and we put it on the stereo system in the living room and blasted it! I loved dancing and singing this song with my siblings and Mom would shake her hips and do a cute little dance into the kitchen. So cute!

"Summertime" goes out to Miriam for two reasons. Number 1- New Kids On the Block were still hot when we met and Number 2- When I transferred to Cibola and wasn't at the same school as my bestest friend, it was hard on me for a while. I loved the summers when we would go running and I had my alone time with her. She was the best listener, and so fun! She could always make me laugh!

"Every Time We Touch" goes out to Lesa. I remember the welcome home ceremony when the Orlando Magic Drill Team came and we saw them dance to this song. We both started dancing. I never could remember what it was called. Then, when I was trying to make a mix CD, I found this song AND Halloween-lo-ween! She was the only one who got as excited as I was!!

"Good To Go" goes out to Spencer and Tricia. This song makes me think about southern New Mexico and going to school in Las Cruces with them. I was excited when Ryan and I started dating to be family with them because it took a lot of pressure off since we were already friends!

"Wild Wild West" goes out to Uncle Paul because I remember this song being played LOUDLY and how much fun Emily and I had, and how cool we thought we were because of this song. LOL!

"Dance Me If You Can" goes out to Melissa and Jessy-- two of my cool cousins I am really enjoying getting to know better!

"Stand" goes out to my Baumholder peeps and Travis and Wendy. This song was my anthem when Ryan was deployed and we were apart. It got me going when I felt like I thought I couldn't hold on anymore. It's about being stronger than you thought you could be. About doing more than you thought you were capable of. It's about having courage.

"Walkin' On Sunshine" goes out to my friends at NMSU and UNM. College would not have been the wonderful experience it was without all of them. I made some great friends and had a blast!

"We Rock" goes out to the Volcano Cliffs YM/YW group from 1994-2000 (and Taylor Ranch and Paradise Hills from 1998 on.) I think it's a testament to what a great bunch of youth we had by how many of us keep in touch! We had the best parties and activities. Testimony meetings were awesome. I survived my teens because of my friends!

"Fresh Prince" goes out to my new Albuquerque friends. When we moved back, I expected to know all sorts of people in my ward because I knew Paradise Hills. NOT! The ward has been split twice since I graduated and most of my friends' parents are in the other wards. This song is about a new beginning, and I am loving getting to know all these wonderful people who have made Paradise Hills what it is!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Can I just quickly say how glad I am that Shawn Johnson got the gold on the balance beam? I love how cute and perky she is!

Monday, August 18, 2008

New haircut

After two straight weeks of Monica complaining that I was brushing her hair too hard (I promise I wasn't!) I asked her if she wanted me to chop off her hair so that it looked like Daddy's and she goes-"yeah, I look like a boy hair"! Well, I wasn't going to cut it that short. But I did cut off about 5 inches. I even created some layers!

Although you can't really see them in this picture..I just liked that Leah looks a little happy at the same time as Monica!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


OW OW OW!!! We knew it would happen. 8 gold medals in one Olympics. Amazing.

The best part is- he's still young enough to compete a few more times in the Olympics and increase his career gold count so much that no one will ever compare. This guy is a hero! I loved watching every second that he swam.

And we gotta send a shout out to Dara Torres. The woman has a two year old daughter(...which is enough to motivate me to get off my tush!) and she medals in the Olympics. What an inspiring woman! Yeah. She rocks!

Then- did anyone watch the men's 100 meter dash? The guy started celebrating before he was even halfway through!! I LOVE IT!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Obsession Tamed

Yes, it is true I have been somewhat obssessed with watching the Olympics. Ok, maybe a lot obsessed, but I have done things also that will prove I am not just a nut.

Last night we had a princess/dress-up tea party for dinner. Monica loved it! We went out and got her one of those little disney makeup kits and she loved "getting pretty" for the tea party. Even Ryan joined in on the fun! No, he didn't wear makeup, but he did put on some suspenders, a hat and a tie.

I also caught a few smiles on camera from Leah. She's starting to respond to me laughing ridiculously! I LOVE IT!

P.S. Did anyone watch the men's 4x200 relay? I sat there laughing in amazement at how far ahead the US team was....seriously- 5 seconds til the next team touched?!! I LOVE IT!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bronze, Silver and Gold

More greatness. More excitement. I can't get enough!! I tried to find a picture of the US men's gymnastics team too, but couldn't find one. I love watching the medals ceremonies because you can see who is truly appreciative of their medals even when it isn't the gold. I really loved watching Vanderkaay because you could see the emotion on his face. The gymnastics team was so pumped and so excited! And Margaret as excited as I am about the athletes who get the gold, I am just as excited for the ones who get silver and bronze too. I don't believe in first loser or second loser. People who say that are pessimists. Anyways--


Monday, August 11, 2008


Ok, is it just me, or is everyone else yelling at their TVs? Last night had to be the best race EVER! Ryan and I were on the edge of our seats the whole time...and jumped off the couch when Lezak touched the wall first. HELLO! I know I'm no swimmer, so I can only imagine how pumped people who really follow swimming outside the Olympics were. There are only a few sports I really like to follow in the Olympics --swimming, volleyball, gymnastics, and short distance running. They're so fast paced and I love watching records get shattered.
I think I've cried at least a dozen times since the games started. Ever since living in Germany and since Ryan was in Iraq, I can never hear the national anthem without crying. It stirs a huge emotion of pride in my heart and I just can't hold it in. I love the Olympics because these men and women athletes are inspiring. As representatives of the US, they make me so proud to watch them. I might otherwise be really embarrassed to yell at the TV, but it is so fun to get in to the races and competition. So, til they end-

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Parenting Lessons Learned

So yesterday was a FUN day! Most of it anyways. It started out alright...we went to the pediatrician for a checkups for both girls. I decided they are growing way too fast! Leah is already 9 lbs 12 oz! And Monica - 32 pounds and 37 inches tall! Anyways, after the appointment we had lunch with Aunty Sarah and Melissa, which was a lot of fun. Then I took Melissa home with me and she helped me out with holding Leah so I could clean. Monica's room was spotless when she went down for her nap. Gradually, each time I checked in on her, the floor was messier and messier til finally after two hours it was hard to find a place to step. I thought maybe since she was quiet for all that time, she didn't need to sleep after all. Mistake #1.

I took Melissa with me to the store and we had fun shopping. Monica loves pushing the little bitty child-size carts that they have and I love watching her get stuff off the shelves to put in her little basket. It was going very nicely until Monica decided to try and eat the handle bar. I told her twice to stop and then I took her to the pharmacy chairs to have a time out. Mistake #2.

I promised her when we left our house that if she was good, she could have some pez candy. Well, after her fit on the pharmacy chairs, I said she couldn't have candy anymore. Fuel to the fire. Mistake #3.

So she started screaming this high pitched scream that makes your ears ring. I tried to get her to calm down and she would NOT! So since our shopping was done I decided maybe if we stood in line she would calm down. Yeah. Mistake #4. The candies in the aisle just reminded her she couldn't have them and the shrieks got worse.

I was sooooo embarrassed. There were so many angry stares!! I wanted to just leave, but we needed food! So i stood in line, and I have never seen a cashier and bagger complete their tasks faster! If they did that for every customer, there would seriously be no lines in the store! It was like they were Popeye and had just eaten their spinach.

So why didn't I just spank her? I wanted to. But I was in public, and I also decided I need to not spank because I get irritated a LOT sooner now that I don't get as much sleep. It's not fair for her to just be a three-year-old and I have no patience so I spank her. This situation may have warranted it, but was my fault for not being more adamant about her nap.

Lessons learned?
1.Monica must always have a nap.
2.Do not go out in public if ever she doesn't have one.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Say 'Cheese'!

A couple days ago we received one of the sweetest gifts. Our friend, Ashlee, made the girls matching dresses! So today I thought I would take some pictures of the girls together and got some really cute shots of Monica and Leah. Monica is definitely a proud big sister!