Saturday, January 25, 2014

Park Addicts

It has been so cold lately that the kids and I have rarely left the house. But the cold weather combined with only one car has made me go a little insane. No strolling the mall or taking the kids to McDonald's to play on the playground. As soon as the weather seemed even mildly acceptable to be out in, we were out.

We have been to the park several times this week and we love it. It gets us out of the house and allows the kids to play and have some fun. It's amazing how much a little thing like getting outside for some fresh air and sun can affect moods and make everything seem so much better. I can't wait for some warmer weather when we can be outside most of the day, every day.
Blake has always loved being outside, but it seems like her love has grown 100 times during this past week. The first day, she mostly wanted to be held and didn't really do much. By the end of the week, she kicked and screamed when I picked her up because she just wanted to be left alone to play.

She started going down the slide normal, but now she prefers to go down head first. And it doesn't stop there. When she gets to the end, she keeps crawling until she front flips off of the slide into the tire pieces. And she does that again and again and again.

She also really likes putting those tire pieces into her mouth. I'm not sure if she has swallowed any yet, but it seems I am constantly fishing them out of her mouth. 
Our last trip to the park was a bit rough for Will. After getting hurt several times, we decided to go home and watch a movie. When I put Blake in the stroller, she threw a fit. She was having a ball playing and was not ready to leave.

As the weather warms up, I'm sure we will be spending much more time at the park because WE LOVE PARKS!

**If you are having trouble viewing the video, maybe try in a different browser. Sometimes I've noticed my videos only play on internet explorer, or a certain browser. Sorry, not sure how to fix it.

Weekend Visitor

We had our first real "visitor" this weekend and actually had a use for our spare bed. I am constantly thinking that I want to take it down and maybe use that room for a toy room or something, but it's times like this that I'm really glad we have it up. 

Lance's sister, Meslissa, came to town on Thursday for a friend's wedding. The first two days she was here, she was pretty busy with wedding stuff, so today we decided that we needed to go and do something fun before she flew back home to Arizona
We decided to go to the Treehouse Museum in Ogden. From their website, the " Treehouse Museum serves children and families by providing interactive, hands-on exhibits and programs focusing on family literacy, children's literature, the arts, and the humanities. Treehouse seeks to be the magical place where children 'Step into a Story'." 

Basically they have a lot of different little areas that have activities and things for the kids to do. They had lego's, craft stations, music stations, tons of dress-up clothes, books, computer games, blocks, etc. It's one of the few places where the adult admission is more expensive than the kids, and adults must be accompanied by a child.
It also happens to be directly across from the new temple they are building. 
While we were waiting in line to pay, Will saw this huge train. He was basically jumping up and down with excitement and wasn't too happy about having to wait until after we paid. It is apparently new and still in the process of being finished.
Right by the big train were several small train tables with tracks and magnetic trains. We have a very similar set-up at home. He really wanted to play with those, but we wanted to go look and see what other things they had.
All Aboard!
He was a good sport and tried playing with other things. But after every activity, he asked if we could go back to the trains. We kept telling him in a few more minutes.
He didn't like the horse as much as I thought he would. Not sure if it was because he legitimately didn't like it or if he was just too distracted by the trains.
Blake also got to ride the horse, though she didn't quite know what to think of it.

These were supposed to be used to make an arch, but Will was mostly interested in just stacking them.
When it got a little out of his reach, he improvised.

Finally after we had a good look at what they had, we let him go to the trains and he was happy to spend the rest of the time there. Figures - put him in a place with hundreds of new toys and exciting things and he wants to play with the one thing we have at home.

Blake enjoyed the trains as well. At home, Will doesn't let her touch his trains, so I think she took advantage while she could.

I think Blake had as much fun as Will, though she often got in the way.

Her favorite thing to do was to sit on top of whatever he wanted to play with. When I tried taking her out and having her stand next to it, she just tried to climb back in.

Will absolutely LOVED having Melissa around. He somehow even tricked her into letting him sleep with her both nights. She said she enjoyed the cuddles, but I know from experience how much of a bed hog he can be.

We have always offered our place as a place to stay if someone ever needed so it was really nice to have someone take us up on that offer. We enjoyed having you here, Melissa, and thank you for spoiling us with fun and delicious pie. 

Fun in Boise

My oldest brother Tony lives up in Boise. He and his wife Cindy work quite a bit so they aren't able to make it Salt Lake very often. It had been over a year since we had seen them, so Lance and I decided to plan a trip. 

We left Thursday right after lunch and came home really late Saturday night. We would have stayed through Sunday, but with my new calling in the primary presidency, I didn't feel I could miss church. 

We also invited Aspen along with us. We warned her that it would be pretty crowded in the back seat, but she was happy to come along. Shortly into our trip, the backseat was pretty quiet and snuggly. Not only was she great company, but she helped a lot keeping Blake happy and giving her what she needed. Thanks for coming along, Aspen.
There happened to be a winter storm warning that day and I was debating if we should even go or not. Driving 20 mph in a blizzard the whole way did not sound like fun. Roads were a little rough for the first little bit, but once we got into Idaho, it was blue skies and clear roads, and we made really good time. 

The kids did really well and we didn't have any problems until we were about 20-30 min away from Tony's. But by then we were all getting a bit cranky. Cindy called and warned us that she was still at work, but told us just to go in. She was so paranoid that she didn't have time to clean before we got there, but it seriously looked pretty darn clean to me. 

The next day (Friday), the boys were in school and both Tony and Cindy had to work all day. Lance decided to ride along with Tony while I went to the office with Cindy. They have tons of toys, computers, games, basically everything you could need at the office. Will was happy to chill there and play. Aspen had some homework to catch up on, so she spent most of the day doing that. She seriously spend most of the trip working on her classes. I was very impressed and proud of her dedication and hard work. 

That night they took us out to eat at Carl's Jr. Their playground was huge and Will was so excited he could barely sit still long enough to take a bite of food. 

For whatever reason, Blake had two very rough nights while we were there. She was up several times during the night, then up for the day by 5am. Lance and I were pretty wiped out. Yay for naps.

They took the day off on Saturday and we just hung out at their house. They kept asking us what we wanted to do, but we were happy to just relax and talk with them. Tyler and Hunter were so nice to Will and he was in heaven playing with all of their toys, but especially their train set. He played with that from sun up until sundown.  
He also had a lot of fun with Tony's dog, Nike. He loved throwing the ball and having Nike bring it back to him. He thought it was hilarious and would just laugh and laugh.

We really enjoyed being there and wished we could have stayed longer.  
 Love you guys!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

11 Months

Another month has passed and this little beauty has continued to grow. She is always on the go and is so full  of personality. 

One of Blake's favorite things she has learned to do is wave. Whenever someone says hi or bye, she will happily wave. 
Sometimes while she is waving, she gets distracted by her own hand and becomes strangely fascinated with it.
I still feed her jars of baby food and rice cereal, but she is eating more normal foods and probably prefers them. Like Will, she is a big fan of chicken nuggets and vegetables.

She also really likes pretzels and crackers.
When I put headbands on her, she instantly grabs them and tries to rip them off. The only way I can get her to wear them is to distract her while I'm putting it on. Even then, it is usually pulled off within a few minutes.

She refuses to learn how to walk though I am convinced she could if she wanted. She walks along the furniture and can stand and balance. She will even take steps when you are holding her hands. But the second you let go, she tenses up and wants to sit down.
Blake also still refuses to come down the stairs. I have taught her how, and she has even done it a few times so I know that she is capable. However she simply refuses to do it most of the time. She sits at the top of the stairs and screams until I go get her. I often just stand at the bottom of the stairs and try to make her come to me. But then she just kicks her feet and gets even more upset when I don't get her.

The times she has come down, she scoots down one step, then turns around and sits. When she sees she isn't to the bottom yet, she'll turn around and go down one more step before she turns around again.
She has learned what it means to be told no. And she does not like it. When you tell her no, she instantly stops what she is doing for a moment. Then she tries doing it again. If you tell her no more firmly, then her lip starts to quiver and she gets her little feelings hurt.

She likes when people play with her and she loves to laugh.

Her hair is getting long enough that I can start trying some new things with it.
Since there aren't many any girl toys at our house, Blake has taken a fancy to cars, trains, etc. Basically she likes to play with any toy that Will doesn't want her to play with. This was a rare moment when Will was playing in a different room, and Blake was able to play with some of his toys without being mauled.

Unfortunately that didn't last long. Will was in the shortly, "playing with Blake". He uses his cars to run her over, drive on her, crash into her, etc.

Notice her desperately trying to get away.

She still only has her two bottom teeth, but I did barely notice one of top teeth is starting to poke through her gums.
Blake loves putting things in her mouth. She doesn't try to eat them or swallow them, she just likes something in her mouth. I try to keep small choking hazards away, but she always seems to find something.

Looks like she found a better place for her headbands.

She has this strange obsession with diapers and loves to play with them. It can be difficult to change her diaper because she tries to grab it and play with it. Sometimes I'll just grab an extra for her to play with while I am changing her.

She enjoys music and likes to stand up to the piano and hit the keys whenever I try to play.

Blake has to be within 2 feet of me 90% of the time. It's driving me crazy. Friends at church as if they can hold her, but if I am sitting there close by she doesn't want to be held by anyone but me.

Even though it is cold, we still try to go outside as much as possible. She loves sitting in the stroller either going on walks or just watching Will play outside.
Blake still takes two naps each day. Some days if she wakes up early, she might take a third short one. She tends to sleep shoved into some corner with her face smothered in the blankets. 

Blake sure is changing fast. It's weird to look back on pictures of just a few months ago and see how much she has grown. She definitely has her hard moments, but we love having her around.

Still crazy for me to think that she will be one next month.