Monday, February 23, 2015

Max at (almost) 16 Months

What can I say about our sweet little Maxie? He's just that...soooo sweet!  And happy! And such a tease!  How we love him.  My heart is full when I think about what a giant blessing our Max is.  
  • He loves his brother.  He thinks Andy is hilarious. And Andy is sometimes nice to him.  ;) 

  •  Poor little Max had this rash.  All the way from October until January, when it randomly went away one day, thank heavens.  We tried all sorts of things, including allergy testing.  (No allergens, thankfully!) And then all of a sudden, it went away mid-January.  

  •  Feeding Max is a real trial in my life right now.  No, that's not a joke! He's always been crazy messy when he eats. But lately he's in this throwing phase and throws all of his food on the ground.  Even if he's hungry.  And he screams and whines the entire meal time. (Max, if you're reading this, please stop! ;) He's got some mature taste buds.  He loves our green smoothies.  He loves casserole type dishes.  And soups.  But try putting some cheese and turkey on his tray?  No way, Jose. Also, he hates milk.  So I feel like I'm constantly trying to get enough calories and fat in him.  But don't worry, he downs an expensive amount of yogurt every day. :) 

  • Back in December is when he really started standing and holding onto things.  

  •  A sleepy Max on a bowling day in December.  I love when he'll cuddle me.  It's not very often anymore! :( 

  •  His teeth finally started coming in right after his first birthday!  And they've been one after another, poor thing.  I think he's got 5 now.  But you can seriously see about 4 more coming.  His gums look disastrous.  He has seemed a little less "chill" than usual since then.  I don't know if it's a new part of his personality coming out or if the poor thing is uncomfortable.  

  • He is into EVERYTHING.  Everything imaginable has a child lock on it.  Unfortunately for me, he's even figured out how to open the dishwasher.  (Tips, anyone?)  Sometimes I let him play in the dishwasher, when there are a few harmless things in there.  It's his favorite thing.  He also loves to play around in the pantry.  (But I'm less willing to let him do that since he dumped out an entire case of oats.  It just depends on how desperate I am to keep him occupied.)  If you leave the bathroom open, he WILL splash in the toilet.   The funniest thing about him is that he does a lot of things just to tease.  Like go into our bathroom.  He always looks over his shoulder to see if I'm watching, and then crawls as fast as he can in there, giggling the whole way.  Yes, he wants to play in the toilet, but he mostly wants to tease me. :) There are few things in life that make Max mad: eating (see above) and when you shut the dishwasher/bathroom door/pantry door/favorite bathroom drawer.  Watch out! 

  • See those two front teeth?  Cutest things EVER.  They're big and there's a big gap between them.  Double whammy of cuteness.   

  • LOVES his dad.  Whenever Cameron comes home, he crawls to the door as fast as he can, giggling, saying, "Dadadada," crazy excited.

  •  But the good news is, he still loves me more.  ;)  Total mama's boy.  And I LOVE it. 

  • He loves the park lately.  There's a park by us where the ground is bouncy and he can crawl around.  It's his favorite.  He's obsessed with slides too.  He can even climb up them now!

My favorite thing right now is Max's face when he crawls to the top of the stairs at the park and is ready to go down the slide.  Sheer delight!  And pride!

  • STILL not walking.  Despite my best efforts to get him to walk by Disneyland.  As of this week, he's at least taking some steps!  He'll consistently take 3-4 steps.  Cameron's seen him take as many as 8. He's gaining confidence and desire, so I bet it'll be soon that he walks consistently.  
  • He's smaller than Andy was, and it stresses me out.  But the dr. assures me he's fine.  I don't remember his weight?  23 or 24 lbs?  It's like 25th percentile.  And his height is 40th percentile or something.  He's getting into 18-24 month clothes now.  He's wearing the clothes Andy wore in Amsterdam, which is crazy to me.  How is my baby that big already?! Andy seemed so old to me back then, but Max still seems like a baby.  
  • Much to my dismay, he's in the process of dropping his morning nap.  :(  But he sleeps like a champ for his afternoon nap and all night.  I usually have to wake him up in the morning at 7:30 or so.  
  • He is tough!  I watched Andy throw something heavy at his face the other day, and he didn't even flinch.  I guess you've gotta be tough with a big brother like Andy.  :)  You know if Max is crying, he's really hurt.  
  • He's very social.  But in a different way than Andy.  Andy at this age would wave to everyone.  And he's still that big presence in the room!  Max is a little more subtle.  He won't be in your face about it, but he loves to connect.  He'll look you in the eye and smile.  He smiles and flirts with strangers all the time.  
  • He can finally clap and wave.  And play peek-a-boo.  His chubby hands smashed on his face with his eyes peeking through is the cutest.  
  • He's got a few actual words! Dada, Uh oh, and Hi.  Other than that, he babbles all day long. 
  • Everyone always comments on what a sweet, happy baby is.  And it's true!  He's great at playing by himself.  He's very content and is an absolute joy.   We love you, Max!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Disneyland Girls' Trip

I went on the BEST TRIP EVER with my mom and sisters.  We got back a couple weeks ago, and I still think about it a few times a day.  That's how fun it was!  It was so wonderful to spend so much time with my mom and sisters.  And, I love my boys...but is it horrible that I didn't really miss them?! It was just so nice to not have to worry about anyone but myself.  And it was so nice to be able to chat with my mom and sisters!  We usually have husbands and kids around these days, and though I love them all, it was nice to be able to have more one-on-one time.  Many, many thanks to my uber-generous parents who made it all happen.  Many thanks to Cameron, who took over all weekend.  And to Kathy, my mother-in-law, who was Cameron's co-parent for a few days.  And to my dear friend Lindsey, who watched Max for a day.

The travel-log: We left early friday morning and flew to LA.  Christine met us there from Chicago, and we enjoyed Disneyland/California Adventure all day.  I hadn't been to Disneyland in years and had never been to California Adventure, so it felt so magical to me.  I'm a lover of "real" rides, so my favorites were Tower of Terror, California Screamin', and Space Mountain.
Awkward selfie on Main Street.

Saturday morning, I got up early and went to practice the piano at a local church building.  When we got back, we headed back to Disney for a full day.  I lost count of how many cookies I bought at Candy Palace.  And of course, we had to have a few dole whips.  So much good food!  And we road our favorite rides a bunch more.  We saw the "Fantasmic" show that night...SO GOOD.  I cannot wait for Andy to see it in a few weeks when we go back!  I was like a giddy little kid.

Sunday morning we went to church.  (Speaking of which, it was one of the more awkward sacrament meetings I've ever been to.  The speaker had the congregation close their eyes in silence for an entire two minutes to point out that that's how long opening prayers should be. ???)  After church, we headed to Laguna Beach.  I'm not sure if any of us even touched the water?  We just sat and talked.  But it was sooo nice and relaxing.  We made a stop at Cheesecake Factory for dinner.

Monday, I went for a nice run in the morning.  We packed up, checked out, then headed to Hollywood for a Hollywood Homes Tour.  We didn't really have anything planned for that day.  I think it was Rachel who said, "Well we haven't really ever seen Hollywood...why don't we go there?!"  It ended up being so fun.  Our tour guide was hilarious. And it was crazy to see so many houses of famous people.  Up close and everything!  Some people's houses we saw: Katy Perry, Drew Barrymore, Julia Roberts, Justin Timberlake, Aaron Paul, Bruno Mars, Leah Michele, and lots of others.  A perfect way to end the trip.  We headed to the airport after to fly home and got home late on Monday.
Aaron Paul's house!  Considering I was Jesse Pinkman for Halloween last year, I was pretty thrilled.
You can see the Hollywood sign very small in the back left. :)
I hope there are many more girl trips in my future. :)

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Isn't December the BEST month?! So many fun traditions.  And so fun to share them with Andy and Max.  Here are some things we did: 

We went to see the Festival of Trees with Andy's Joy School group.  Andy loved it!  This was the tree he picked to be pictured with.  I thought he'd pick the Frozen Tree or something, but what do I know. 

I had the best mommy date with Andy!  I got to take him to the symphony for the first time.  They had a cute children's Christmas concert on a Saturday afternoon.  Even Santa made an appearance! Andy mostly cared about them playing Frosty the Snowman, his favorite Christmas tune.  Thankfully, they didn't disappoint.  We had great box seats so Andy could see all the instruments really well.  He LOVED it! I went to the Utah Symphony all the time growing up, so it was fun to share the magic with Andy.  And we got ice cream after, just to make sure he liked it. 

Christine and Sam came into town for Christmas, so we got to play with them quite a bit!  We went to Discovery Gateway and made sugar cookies with my mom.

Sammy and Andy.  Also pictured is Andy's "new" watch.  (It's my old running watch, but don't tell him!) 

We had a super fun Texas party when some Texas friends came in town!  Check out all these cute kiddos.  Hard to believe there are this many now.

Love, love, love these ladies.
 We had a Back to Bethlehem ward party.  It turned out so well!  I got to play a small part it putting it together...I helped make the water well.  Andy was pretty excited to dress up.  He kept calling it his Jesus costume.
 My sweet mom took me to see the Nutcracker.  We had front row seats!!! And I ate lots of red vines.  All in all, a magical night.  

We decorated a gingerbread house.  As you can see, Andy loved it.  I'm not sure which he loved more: decorating the house or eating half the frosting. ;)

We went to go see Zoo Lights with Cameron's parents.  It was our first time going! So fun.  And we went to The Pie after--Greg and Kathy's first time.  Why is that place sooooo good?!

We went to see the lights downtown.  We always went for a family night in December growing up.  I remember getting super bundled up and thinking it was the most magical, beautiful thing ever.  I feel like it's the first year Andy really LOVED it.  Despite his decision to absolutely NOT wear a coat the first 30 minutes, even though it was freezing cold.  Eventually he gave in. :)

We had the funnest morning with Cam's family a couple days before Christmas.  We went to breakfast at Market Street Grill then went to see all the decorated windows at Grand America.  The windows were a first for us, and we loved it!  We'll definitely come back next year.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Christmas Festivities

We had the most wonderful Christmas!  It was our first time we were really in our own place on Christmas morning--we loved it.  And I think Andy's at an age where he really got into everything, which made it all super fun.  Here's what we did the few days surrounding Christmas:

On Christmas Eve, we went to my Aunt Ann's house with my mom's side of the family.  We used to get together all the time when we were younger, but the family has grown so much we don't see each other often enough.  It was so fun to all be together.  The food was delicious. And, as tradition requires, we played the chimes.  We came home later that night and read the Christmas story with Andy under the tree. We left out cookies for Santa and sent Andy to bed.  Cam and I stayed up getting Christmas all ready and watching Elf.
Andy joined in on the chimes this year!
Christmas morning was magical.  Andy asked Santa for a trampoline and a tic-toc (clock).  The tic-toc was a relatively recent Christmas wish, so Santa may have had to stop at Walmart on Christmas Eve.  For some strange reason, he was very excited about having his very own clock in his room.  We kept it pretty low-key.  Andy got the trampoline, the clock, a preschool readiness book, a puzzle from Max, and some new slippers.  Max got a couple new books.  (We already have so many toys for a one-year-old boy, we didn't see the need to buy a lot more.)  Cameron got a massage gift certificate, a new cell phone case, and a jazz ticket to go to a game with his dad and brother.  I got a massage/facial gift certificate and a new running headband. 

One of my favorite things we did was letting Andy pick out presents for everyone at the dollar store.  Our immediate family, grandparents, and all his aunts and uncles.  The presents were pretty hilarious.  I'm not even sure what to call my present...some sort of hot pink decorative centerpiece?  He got Cameron a paddle ball game.  And he got Max a coloring book.  Some of the other gifts he got everyone: Brendan got hangers, G.G. got a mini skateboard, Sara got one of those giant crayon banks, my dad got a pirate mask, Abby got fairy wings, my mom got a gumball machine.  It was so funny to see what he picked out for everyone.  And he loved helping me wrap them all up.  It was really sweet to see how excited he was to give things to people.  He could NOT understand the concept of how things were supposed to be surprises.  He second he saw Abby, he told her, "Abby I got you fairy wings for Christmas!" I reminded him it's supposed to be a surprise, so then he whispered, "Abby I got you fairy wings."  :)  

Anyway, after we opened up our gifts at the house, we headed up to my parents house to watch Abby open up about thirty presents of clothes open presents and have breakfast.  So fun to be all together Christmas morning!  My parents pretty much give us money and then we buy what we want.  We got a Blendtec this year.  We LOVE it.  Andy got a leap pad, and Max got some musical instruments that he loves to play with.  
Cute Andy and Sam on Christmas morning.
We headed to Cameron's parents house later that afternoon.  We opened up presents all together.  The boys got so many fun toys!  I think Andy's favorite is his new remote control cars.  Max loves the new shape sorter he got.  Greg and Kathy were so generous with Christmas money for us and then lots of fun other presents.  We're so excited about our tickets to Hale Center Theater! Kathy's side of the family came over later that night for a big Christmas dinner and celebration.  We had a little Christmas concert.  Cameron and I played a duet, Cameron sang a song he'd sung in church on sunday, and even Andy played a few numbers.  We practically had to drag him off the bench--I think he would have been happy to play for us all night.  We slept over that night and had a great time.  
Andy got to ring the bells.
Andy playing for everyone.
And here he is bowing.
We spent the two days after Christmas with my family.  Everyone was all together!  It was SO fun.  It doesn't happen very often since Christine and Ben live in Chicago.  We got sitters for the kids and saw Unbroken.  (Loved it.)  And then we went to Five Guys.  We hung out at the house a lot watching sports.  I'm not even sure which sport we were watching (basketball?  football?) which tells you how much I was paying attention.  We did our annual Gingerbread Man decorating contest!  The bakery messed up and made sugar cookies instead, but it all worked out.  Except that I took second place instead of first, which we need to choose a more competent judge next year.  Andy got to decorate one this year, so that was fun.  We also went bowling and to Cafe Rio.  We snuck in a trip to the mall.  So many fun things! 
My Elsa=perfection.
My mom did a traditional gingerbread man, my dad called his creation nut man (?), Sara did Cogsworth (1st place), Cameron did Brobee, and Ben's is a map of Jenny Lake and the Tetons.

A close up of Cameron's Brobee.  Pretty impressive! He got fifth place this year instead of his typical last place, so he's pretty thrilled.
I think this looks like a mermaid, but Andy says it's a pirate.
Jordon did Batman, Rachel did the joker, my Elsa, Christine did Olaf, Andy's pirate, and Abby's smoky the bear.

We love bowling with the family!  We always divide into teams and make it a competition with a prize.  I think our team won! Andy LOVES bowling. 
Proof Max and I were there.

The big fail is that we never got a shot of our little family all together! Next year we'll be better.  We're so grateful for the wonderful Christmas that we had, for the chance we had to celebrate the birth of our Savior.  What a wonderful time of the year.