Saturday, September 26, 2009

Babies, babies, babies...


No, I'm not announcing anything.

But I did want to post our pictures of our latest trip to the zoo.
Turns out we have a ton of new zoo babies. I didn't get all of them. But here are some of my favorites.

The baby orangutan was adorable!! He looked to be about the same size as Leah!


The mom and dad giraffes were walking around all fun and happy, but this little guy and his sibling wouldn't budge from their spots. I think they were a little camera-shy.


This little baby elephant was born just a few weeks ago! I remember seeing Rosie when she was a baby. So maybe this is her baby now? I didn't ask about the stats and who the baby belonged to.
But it was sooooo cute!!!

Up next on the Cat Walk were the baby Snow Leopards. We didn't get to hang out much to watch the two little ones romping around and pouncing on each other. There were signs asking for quiet and Leah was shrieking and Monica couldn't contain herself either. We were getting a few dirty looks thrown our way, so we didn't hang out for long.

My little sweetie pies. Behind them are some of the baby zebras.

In between all the baby fun, we caught the polar bears on THE most playful day that I have EVER seen them!! They were tossing their big rubber things and jumping on them. Every time they landed on one, it echoed throughout the cave and to the park area.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lee-lee Leah

When Emily and Julie were visiting, Julie would call Leah, "Lee-lee" and it has stuck around a bit.
I thought it would be a good idea since the last few posts have all been about Monica, to post a bit about Leah.
Her personality is really starting to come out.
She is a daddy's girl through and through!
Anytime she hears a door open or close, she runs around the house with a huge grin saying, "DADA!! DADA!!" I LOVE it! Especially because it was kind of hard to see Monica as a baby not respond the same way to her daddy. He came home from Iraq when she was almost 18 months old. And then it took until a few months after she was 2 for her to being allowing him to comfort her. So it has been fun, especially for Ryan, to be around all of Leah's milestones. I forget sometimes that this is the first time he is experiencing a first tooth, or first steps, or first words. In many ways, he is still a new dad, but with some of the experience and understanding of more seasoned father.  
 
Leah has also found her voice! She loves to sing when Monica is singing. And she loves to yell when Monica is being particularly loud. She LOVES her big sister and is always trying to get as close to her as Monica will let her. Her favorite thing this week is to get really close to her target and then belly flop onto them!! It's hilarious!! And if you mention the word 'popsicle' in front of her, you'd better be prepared to give her one, NOW!

Leah is still on the small side of the sizing scale. It's not particularly surprising since I'm technically not even 5'0" yet. (Notice the yet? I'm still holding on to the hope that Heavenly Father has one last growth spurt in store for me...) But she is still wearing 6-9 month clothes as she nears the 15 month mark. I'm thinking it's about time for her first haircut. These pictures from this morning have convinced me I may have waited too long!

Anywho, we love our Leah. She is an absolute joy! She is mild mannered, sweet, and loving. She is curious and helpful. She is obedient, even now. I can't wait til she can really start talking more, but especially because Ryan and I envision the best and funniest conversations between Monica and Leah.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Someday her prince will come...


Monica was playing dress-up one day but was so distressed that she didn't have anyone to play her prince that Ryan took pity on her plight and offered to dance with her. If you can believe it, they were actually dancing to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" when I caught this little gem. My camera died before I could get a picture of a wobbly Leah running to dance with her daddy too. She's actually gotten much better at walking and running in the last 3 months. But she does still fall over herself. I'll try to get a video of her soon, but she throws her arms in the air and puffs up her chest when she gets really excited and runs towards her target. It's too cute!  

More Chalk Fun

About a week ago, Monica asked if she could watch TV. It was about the 15th time she asked that day and I, in all my motherly frustration, sent her outside to play instead. She came back in sulking that she was bored, so I knew it was time to get off my rear and play with her. Leah was napping, so we pulled out a few of her coloring books and I asked her which ones she liked. So she picked out the My Little Pony first. Then I led her outside and we pulled out the chalk! I taught her how to keep her lines the same direction and smudge the chalk so that it spread into the cracks in the sidewalk and smoothed the look of the lines. Here she is next to her work. I drew the pony, and then she colored it all in.

Next, she picked out Tigger. I have to say, as an artsy fartsy mom, I am really excited to have an artsy fartsy child. I love being able to create pictures with her and watch her face light up as she recognizes what I'm drawing. And I LOVE her stamp of approval when she asks to take a picture with it.
We're also doing piano lessons. I'll have to take a picture of her playing. She is really adorable. But I want to avoid her being compared to me. I think a lot of well-meaning people ask her if she's going to be a pianist just like her mom, and while I don't think there's anything wrong with it, I don't want her to feel pressured. Or any of my children. Music will be a part of our lives. I just don't want any of them to feel it forced down their throats.

Our little singer...

Monica LOVES to sing! And lately, she's been all about Primary songs. She has loved "I Am a Child of God" for a long time, so we caught her on the way home from church one day. She was totally bummed that the CD we were listening to didn't have it on it, so we asked her to sing it for us. I posted the video on Facebook of her not knowing we were taping her. But this one she sang it again for the camera.



video


This last week we were on our way to the zoo and she decided she wanted to learn "Book of Mormon Stories" by herself. So she asked me to play the song on the CD, then let her sing it. Then play the CD again, and then it was her turn again. It proved pretty effective! I was impressed that it was her idea to keep singing with and without the music to test herself of what she knew. But what really impressed me was when she asked me to sing it with her REALLY slow to make sure she had all the words. What a smart little cookie!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fly Like Tinker Bell!

The other day in the car as we were driving around, Monica picked a scab and it started bleeding. I'm not sure what started the meltdown. Perhaps it was the sight of blood. Or the lack of a nap that day. Or it really was THAT painful, but she started crying. No. No, it was really more like shrieking.

Anyways, we tried to get her to calm down. We didn't have any tissues in the car and my purse with wipes was in the back of the Blazer. So Ryan told her to blow on it so that it would scab faster.

That just made the cries louder.

So I had her take some deep breaths and finally when I could hear myself over her cries, I told her to flap her arms. Ryan chimed in, "Yeah, Tinker Bell flies really fast when she bleeds so that it won't hurt. Can you fly like Tinker Bell?"

In the cutest little voice, Monica complained, "No, Daddy. I don't have any wings!"

Good Luck, Spencer!

Last weekend we went down to Silver City to visit Tricia and Spencer since they are about to embark on a journey as some of the newest members of the military family community. Spencer is going to boot camp next week and we wanted to hang out before he took off.
We had a blast! We went to the Penny Park, which is this awesome park that apparently the kids of the community raised the money to build. How often do you find that in big cities? We also made some rockin' salsa, went to a ballet class that Monica LOVED, and learned a way fun card game. Ever play Russian Rummy? Well, we're totally like, pros now and we love the game. But actually, I think what really made the game fun was the company.

Ryan and Spencer had a chance to go shooting a bit one day, and since I wasn't there I can only report that they said they had a good time. I'm glad they got to spend some time together.

Tricia and I had fun hanging out too! I got lots of fun new ideas and loved talking with her. All I need now is her Hootin' Annies recipe. You should try them. Especially with salsa, even though they are meant to be eaten with syrup. :)
Good luck Spencer! You'll do great at boot camp. And when you come back inhaling your food in 10 seconds flat and serenading Tricia with cadences, Ryan will be right there with ya. Love you guys!!! We're excited for you. And we can't wait to find out where your first duty station will be!!

We are in COUSIN WITHDRAWALS!!!

This has been such a fun summer! First we had Emily and Julie here for a few months and Monica loved having Julie to play with pretty much as close to whenever she wanted. And let's be honest. Leah liked it too!!
They played in the water...
Went for Uncle pony rides...
Got their toes painted and watched movies together.

Went to the zoo...
I love this picture because you can just tell there was something really cute in Leah's expression that tickled her aunty pink!

Luckily, we get to keep Melissa, Jessy and Mikey and see them once a week.
It's our cousin fix.
What would we do without them?

I loved watching Julie and Ryan get down with their bad selves.
But alas, as many good things do, Emily and Julie's visit came to an end.
*sniff*
To understand what Emily means to me, I direct your attention to a few posts down. I laughed when I first read what she wrote, but now it's really true. And I miss her. A lot.

But we couldn't be depressed very long because the same weekend we went to Silver City to visit Spencer and Tricia! Once we told Monica she would be seeing Dakota and Sailor, it was all she could do to keep from asking, "Are we there yet?" for the entire 5 hours we drove.
Leah and Tagert.
I thought it was funny that they both have their 4th finger next to a goldfish and pretty much the same expression on their faces when I held up the camera to take a picture of them. They are a little less than a month apart.

Dakota, Monica and Sailor.

Think they had fun together?

Dakota started the "pose".
Then Monica had to try.
Then little Sailor!
These girls had fun playing all weekend long and when we got home, Monica asked if we could go back because she missed her Dakota and her Sailor. Then, when Ryan was doing a merit badge interview with one of his scouts, Monica ran to the door and came back looking dejected. I asked her what the matter was and she answered in her saddest voice, "I thought it was Daddy and Uncle Spencer."
Silly girls!