Sunday, September 11, 2016

Andy: Age 5

I just realized it's been a whole year since I last did an Andy post! Time to catch up on writing about one of my favorite people.  He's truly a joy and such a blessing in my life. He may have been a crazy hard baby and toddler, but he's sure making up for it. So many days when I think back on the day, my favorite part was something Andy said or did. A few things about this special boy lately:

  • One thing that's always been a constant is his enthusiasm for absolutely everything in life. Everyone comments on it--his various teachers, friends, and family members. Everything is "the best!" and every activity is the coolest thing ever. It makes life in our home really fun to always have someone so excited. 
  • He's really excelled the last year in preschool and now starting kindergarten. I'm constantly impressed by how bright he is and by how much he loves learning. He especially loves to do math and is pretty advanced with that. He's doing well with reading too and can sound out most simple words. 
  • He started piano lessons about two months ago with Grandma Jean and he's doing SO well.  I really struggled the last year knowing when to start him with lessons--he didn't quite seem ready. We started him right after he turned 5, and I think that was perfect for him. I'm impressed with how quickly he picks things up, how hard he works, and how rarely he complains. He's always the one reminding me we need to do practice piano. He's got lots of little boy wiggles and silliness but generally does great at focusing for 45 minutes or so. 
  • I'm so impressed by Andy's work ethic and initiative. Most mornings he wakes up at 6:30 (before Cameron and me) and gets going on all sorts of tasks. By the time we wake up, he's usually fed himself breakfast, gotten himself dressed, cleaned his room, and started on some sort of job he's thought of. He's just very task-oriented in general. He's always coming up with little tasks he needs to do. Even when he's playing--he'll line up every car and give them a car wash very systematically. I can't wait to see where he goes in life. 
  • He loves people. He is always making things like cards for friends and insisting we deliver them. He's always remembering people we need to pray for (baby sister, Grandpa Mark when he had a "stone" (kidney stone)). He's always looking out for someone who might need help. He has a friend at school who really struggled the first couple days missing her mom; Andy took it upon himself to be her little buddy and told her mom, "Don't worry--I'll take care of her." He's got a very sweet heart. He's always willing to share and do kind things. 
  • He and Max are starting to play together well occasionally.  Most of the time Andy loves to tease Max and is typically annoyed with him. I think it's somewhat normal sibling rivalry? He is incredibly excited for his little sister to be born next month and always talks about how he's going to take care of her and bring her toys. And how he wants to show her everything in the world and take her on lots of trips. 
  • I'm always impressed with the way Andy handles new things like starting kindergarten. He's 98% excited, but I can see 2% of him that feels a little nervous and apprehensive. I can almost see his brain decide to take it on and move forward. He always thrives doing something new and looks for the best in it. 
  • He is totally a class clown. He's a true Lee and his goal is to make others laugh. I had him come to a piano masterclass last week with my students and he spent the whole time trying to get laughs out of the other students. :) He always does lots of silly talk and thinks potty humor is hilarious. Typical boy, I guess. 
  • He's as handsome as ever. And continues to be big and tall--always near 100% for height and weight. 
  • Not a shy bone in his body! He's constantly talking to everyone, whether he knows them or not. If we're out getting food he marches up to the waiter and tells them exactly what he wants. 
  • Loves to sing and loves listening to music! Six months ago or so we got him a CD player for his room and got him a bunch of old disney CDs. He's still obsessed and listens to music in there constantly. He goes through favorites where he listens to pretty much nothing else for a while. He was obsessed with Into the Woods for a while and knows pretty much every word of that. And then Peter Pan (the musical version). And we're always checking out CDs from the library that he loves. Usually "Disneyland Music" (Disney songs). 
  • He loves soccer and is very dedicated to it lately. He just started with a new team. At his game yesterday he'd rush over to us to grab a quick swig of water--we'd try to talk to him, but he'd hurriedly tell us he needed to get back to his team. 
  • We recently introduced the concept of earning money. He gets 25 cents a day for doing his jobs. He has really taken to the concept and is always talking about his money and what he wants to do with it and how he can earn more. 
  • He's very into planning. He always knows how many more days until the next things he's excited about: a sleepover at grandma's house, a trip, a holiday, a birthday party, etc. He recently discovered the concept of a calendar and loves the idea of writing down when he has plans. He's always asking me some form of "what's next?!"..."what's after nap time?" "what are we doing for friday funday?" And he's very good at getting you to schedule things he wants to happen. "Mom, when are we going to Chucky Cheese? In 2 days?" when we have no plans whatsoever to go to Chucky Cheese. 
  • He loves to do art and is constantly drawing pictures of things. He's gotten really good and I'm impressed by the detailing and diligence he spends working on a picture. 
  • He's always asking me to take pictures of him, so I have tons of pictures of him doing really random things. 
How we love this sweet boy. I pray every night about how grateful I am to be his mom and have him in our home. He really is an absolute joy. Aside from his occasional lack of listening and obedience is such an "easy" kid right now. 

Handsome boy was just a model for a bow tie shop.
When did he get so grown up?!
First day of Kindergarten! We're so grateful he got into a fabulous charter school (Legacy Prep) the week right before school started.
A poster with some details about himself for his new Kindergarten class. 
One of his pieces of art. This is a prehistoric fish we saw at the Dinosaur Museum.
He loves working at his new desk.
I think Andy was more excited for Cameron's birthday than Cameron was. Andy got up early and helped me get donuts and wash Cam's car. Andy was very stressed we wouldn't be back before dad woke up. :)
I took Andy on a little date to see Peter Pan. He LOVED it. So much that he felt out of his seat at one point. 
First backpacking trip with Cam. He loved every second of it.
His very first piano lesson with Grandma Jean. His lessons are usually at her house and not in his pajamas. :) 
This is a note Andy wrote to me when I was in Denmark. It says something like, "Andy Heavenly Father I hope mom can be safe love Mom." 
Love him and the millions of love notes he writes to me.
Andy singing a solo with Sylvie at his preschool program. He nailed it! I was such a proud parent, tearing up with pride.
Preschool graduation day!
He hangs up signs and pictures alllll over his bedroom. I try to appreciate and enjoy it even if it's not my decorating style. ;)
Field trip with his preschool class! He loves them and his teacher so much. He talked all summer about how much he missed his teacher. He even shed a few tears after his final preschool party and said, "I just have a little tear in my eye. I'm going to miss my teacher so much."
He loves to work and is always asking me if he can do the "spray job." 
With Aunt Rachel at her BYU graduation. We told Andy she graduated in Math, so he went up to her professor and started telling him some math he knows..."Did you know 1+1=2?"

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Disneyland Trip

We took a trip to Disneyland back in May and had the BEST time! It's one of the first times we've done a trip just our little family, and we had a blast. We stayed a night in Vegas on the way there and a night in St. George on the way home. We did four days in the parks and a day between them at the beach and taking naps to recover from the park days. :) Both boys had a blast, and we're so glad we could go! Although---we swear we're going to fly next time.

Pictures are out of order, but here we go:
Peter Pan made another appearance this Disneyland trip!
Andy refused to go on Splash Mountain despite my best bribery attempts.
Meeting characters was a highlight this time mostly for little Max. He LOVED them and really feels like they're all his friends. It was the cutest thing ever. He was so excited to give them hugs and kisses.
Max and I were buddies a lot while Cameron and Andy went on the bigger rides my pregnant belly wouldn't allow me to ride on.
This leash saved our LIVES. And I promise it made Max happy too.  He loved the freedom of not being in the stroller and not having to hold our hands.
We love Donald!
Mickey is Max's absolute favorite.

We did a Character Breakfast for the first time and it was SO fun and worth it. The boys loved it. Especially Max. 
Chip (or was this Dale?) was clearly a huge hit.
The sweetest shot.
The boys loved Max.
Max at the end of Day 1. We couldn't get him to wake if we tried.
The Disneyland exhaustion.
Andy got to do Jedi Training and he still talks about it. Cutest thing ever. He was so scared he'd have to fight Darth Vader. He almost had to, but another villain stepped in last minute. :)
World's cutest Jedi.
Our friends were at Disneyland at the same time as us! We got to do dinner, some rides, a show, and a parade together. Andy LOVED hanging with his pal Sylvie.
We went to Mickey's house on the first morning, and it was the cutest thing I've ever seen.
It was magical watching Max meet Mickey.
First morning group shop!
On our way into the park the first morning.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Europe: Barcelona

I'm super late on this (this was back in January), but we had THE best time in Barcelona after our few days in Rome! I think we all agreed the Barcelona days were our favorite. Maybe that's because our beds weren't rocks there like they were in Rome? I had been to Barcelona 10+ years ago, but my memory is bad enough it felt like a whole new experience.

The Barcelona trip started with a slight delay when they decided to bump us to a later flight because it was overbooked. This is a picture of me throwing a fit until they changed us to a sooner flight and gave each of us a chunk of money for our inconvenience. 
We started our first morning with the Segrada Familia. Seriously, it is stunning. You really can feel the spirit there. You can sense that Gaudi really loved the Lord and dedicated this to Him.

Inside the Segrada Familia.
One of the Gaudi houses we walked by.

After debating for forever if it was worth the money to go inside Casa Batllo (another Gaudi house), we decided to do it. SO cool and worth it! 

Being tourists inside the Casa Batllo.
On the roof of Casa Batllo.

More Casa Batllo. Such cool architecture!
We went to a Flamenco Show! Cameron volunteered to help keep the beat.
Seriously the dancers were amazing!!! I loved it.
Doing our best flamenco stance.
We ate a ton of interesting food in Barcelona! Cameron was in heaven! I enjoyed it for a day or so...then I reached the point I was ready to have "normal" food again. :)

Yummy churros and hot chocolate one night! And we had the funnest conversation with the barista who served us--a really nice circus performer.
This is somewhere in the middle of our million mile walk to get to Park Guell. I guess we took the incredibly long way. We never thought we'd make it. I think it seriously took us an hour when it was supposed to be five minutes? But we got there!
Park Guell!

After Park Guell, we headed to the market (La Boqueria) for lunch. I was all fooded out, so I got Walk 2 Wok around the corner while Jason, Kasee, and Cam all indulged in all sorts of fun foods!

We headed to the coast one afternoon and loved seeing that part of the city. 
We even took a fun boat ride.

We stumbled on a Kendall Jenner appearance at a Mango Store, and I immediately turned into a crazy fan girl. We waited for an hour for our sighting, all while trying to get more info out of the guards. 
Probably my favorite picture of the whole trip? This is Cameron standing in the back of the crowd eating his waffle because he couldn't care less about Kendall Jenner. Or maybe because he cared so much about his waffle. :)

SUCH a fun trip. It was nice to get back to our boys after, but it really was so fun to have a break and get to explore europe with some of our best friends.