Wednesday, January 30, 2013

better late than never

As I was organizing a few photos on our computer I noticed that there was a fair chunk of pictures from December mostly that I never blogged about. My first thought was that this wasn't a big deal, the few people who read my blog don't need to see every picture I ever take haha. But I do hope to print my blog at some point as a journal/scrapbook and I don't want to leave these things out. So here's a post full of random old pictures and happenings.

The first batch is full of pictures of Tatum when we got out all the Christmas decorations. Christmas (and all of the decorations that go along with it) is magical and it was fun to decorate with Tatum's "help" this year.

My mom made this cute felt tree for the wall so Tatum could take the ornaments off as much as she wanted to. She still made a habit of taking the ornaments off the real tree but I think she will really enjoy having her own little tree as she gets older.

Around this time Tatum learned how to blow bubbles. We would frequently hear her going "mmmaaaaaaaaaaa-maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" over and over as she made bubbles with her mouth. I'm not sure why she felt like she had to make noise the whole time she did it but it was pretty cute. Here is my attempt to capture it on camera.

On the first weekend in December we got together with our friends, the Jensens, for some crepes and orange julius (brilliant menu planning! ;)). Then we headed up to Cedar Rapids for the nativity display and to hear my mom's harp group play. They add a new awesome feature to this event every year I think. First it was refreshments and now it is a kids' room! We took the girls in there and when we saw they had costumes to wear and do a live nativity we just couldn't pass it up.


Do we look awesome or what? haha. The best was definitely Brennan's shoes, they certainly completed his genie shepherd outfit.
We also went to our ward Christmas party early in December and Tatum got another chance to sit on Santa's lap. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit impressed and proud that she managed not to cry every time she sat with Santa this year. She was probably just a little too young to get scared.
The night before Tatum's birthday we met up with my old friend and neighbor, Grant, at the mall for some dinner and catching up.  We even convinced/forced him to hold Tatum.  It was fun to see him!

And last but not least we had my family over sometime between Christmas and New Year's and we played a little Just Dance on the Wii.  Always makes for good photo ops, right?
I love this one because they all seem to be doing a different move. Too funny.

Good times, good times.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

life after vacation

It is always hard to come back to real life after vacation. This time it was even harder because Tatum was a big grump after we got home. She was incredibly attached to me and not sleeping the greatest (she ended up in our bed more often than not during the first week home). We finally looked in her mouth and saw that she was working on all four top teeth at once. Ouch! I guess she might have had an excuse for her grumpiness. One tooth has definitely cut through now, maybe even two and she has been much happier so I assume her pain has diminished.

We really haven't been up to much. We enjoyed the last week of Brennan's vacation from school but with a week and a half of the new semester under his belt, it doesn't look like this semester should be too awful.  After he gets his grad school applications in anyway. We dog sat for some friends of ours and Tatum loved it. It made me want to get a dog just so she could have a little playmate. When I would go to get her out of her crib she would go "ah-ah" right away, just so excited to see the dog again. It was kind of sad when she woke up and he was gone. :(

My parents were kind enough to come and babysit for us and some friends of ours so we could go on a date to see Les Miserables. Despite all the rave reviews I must say it wasn't my favorite. It was good, just not super awesomely fantastic. But it was nice to get out and do something we don't normally do and have a little break from the wee one, so thanks mom and dad!

Tatum has started to form an attachment to the monkeys and blanket she sleeps with. Sometimes she will ask us to get them out of the crib and then she insists on carrying all three. If one falls she will stop and rearrange things until she get them all in her arms again. It is pretty entertaining to watch.

That's about it around here. We have gotten together with friends and family a few times which is always fun. Oh, and Tatum fell down the stairs today. I can't forget to mention that highlight of our lives. It was sad and I might have been freaking out a little on the inside but I thought I managed to stay quite calm and composed on the surface. Luckily she only cried for a minute, and really not very hard. She is one tough cookie and I am so glad she didn't get hurt!

I'll end with a few cute pictures of the Tater Tot. On one of the nights she was having a hard time sleeping because of her teeth she ended up out with us in the living room about an hour after going to bed. Just in time for our dessert. She wanted nothing to do with dad, until she saw that he had some yummy cookie. Then she was more than happy to hang out with him on the couch!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

San Diego: days 7,8 and 9

Well we have almost made it to the end of our trip! Friday was our last full day together as a family. When we went to bed Thursday night we had plans of getting off to a comfortably slow start the next day but that all changed around 7:30 a.m. Suddenly we changed our minds and we were leaving NOW. No one got left behind and we made it out the door in record time I think (maybe slightly stinky and disheveled though. :)) Where were we headed in such a hurry? To get donuts and go to Point Loma. The donut shop we stopped at did make phenomenal donuts. I don't even like donuts but as I type this I am totally craving a chocolate one with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. Yum.  Point Loma was pretty neat. We got to see a submarine heading out as well as a hospital ship. We explored a lighthouse and enjoyed the spectacular view of the ocean. Sadly we weren't there at the right time to see the impressive tide pools that are there.

Much of the gang at a look out point.
 The submarine.
 Me and Tatum. Tatum is probably busy looking at the man who asked if she was a girl or a boy. The giant bow, pink pants and pink shoes were evidently not a giveaway.

 Brennan and Tatum in the lighthouse.
 Jade checking out the view from the lighthouse window.
 Me and Jade
I am wearing my winter coat in that picture. So sad. I actually meant to leave it in the car at the Des Moines airport but forgot to. I was super mad at myself until I was freezing my tail off in California. I have never been more grateful for being forgetful!

After Point Loma we headed back to Coronado for one more frolic on the beach and to rent a 6-person bicycle.

The first group. I love Libbie's face in this picture.
 The brave passengers.

The 2nd group-I'm there in the back. This was quite an adventure let me tell you. We even had to come back to get re-instructed on where to go. And we had to make a potty stop! I think some of the kids were wishing they had gone with another group.
 Another group. Claire was happy to ride in front any chance she could.
 We played on the beach while we took turns on the bike. Gavin got completely buried.
 And Crystal worked hard to bury Henry but he had a harder time holding still.
 A local guy came up to Brennan and started telling him all about how the tide was going to super low that afternoon and about how when it gets low sometimes you can find clams. I guess if they are big enough you are allowed to keep them. So Caden and Brennan were on the hunt. And much to my surprise they were successful! Here they are with their clams.
 When we got back to the resort Brennan cooked his up. Here it is after it opened. He was quite disappointed that no one wanted to try his clam. Haha, can you blame us??
Friday night we played some more games and just spent time together. Saturday morning dad flew out at 6 am. Nathan and Caleb's families left around 8 a.m. That just left mom and the girls. In the morning Mara got all packed up and Crystal and I had to move from our rooms to the unit that was still reserved for one more night. Then we all headed to Jamba Juice and a park. We might have chosen the wrong park...but it was still enjoyable. At least Jade thought so:

Mara and Mom left from there to drive back to Arizona. Then Crystal's family headed to the coast and Brennan, Tatum and I headed back to Coronado to spend some time with Melanie. We hung out at her place for awhile, walked around by the bay and then headed to dinner. She took us to a super delicious mexican restaurant with a great environment and awesome staff. We were impressed.

Tatum and Grandma M at the restaurant. Tatum was not a super happy camper that day. It was the start of a long week (or 2 or 3 or however many it is going to be) of teething.
 After dinner we spent some more time at Melanie's place letting Tatum entertain us. She finally climbed on Brennan while he was laying down and he started pounding her back. She would just go "ahhhhhh" because she liked what it did to her voice. But it only took about 2 minutes before she was passed out. She must have been super tired because she almost never falls asleep on us-especially Brennan.
The last picture from our trip. Sniff, sniff.
Sunday morning Crystal's family (minus Caden) headed to the airport bright and early. We had the joyous responsibility of taking care of the gobs and gobs of food that was left in the room before checking out. Then we headed down to San Diego to go to church (we avoided the Spanish ward this time).  After Church Melanie took us to the airport. And then our adventure really began. We still had the airport's loaner car seat since they brought us ours while we were out. But of course they wouldn't take it from us at the ticket counter. They thought it would be a better idea to send Brennan on a wild goose chase. The security line was pretty long so Caden, Tatum and I got in it without him, expecting him to be back momentarily, but he never showed. That left me to get the three of us through security myself. Tatum may or may not have screamed the whole time and I may or may not have been a ball of stress by the time we got through. But we made it and so did Brennan. No one fought over seats or fainted on the return flights and none of us had ear pain. But our first flight was delayed leaving us, yet again, with an unbelievably short layover in Denver. Not fun. We got into Des Moines early though, around 10 or 10:15 at night. And then proceeded to waited over an hour for the baggage to come out so we could get the car seat and stroller. I was about ready to freak. We went the wrong way leaving the airport, adding a few minutes to our trip, drove Caden home (2 hours away) and then drove to our place after that (half hour more). Brennan did have to stop once to get out in the cold air to wake himself up and he did need me to drive the last leg. We rolled into the garage around 2:30 a.m. It was a long day. Oh, and did I mention Brennan had to work at 8 a.m.? We were definitely exhausted but can't complain. What a great trip! It was so fun to get together at a time when we wouldn't normally see each other and in a place we wouldn't normally be. And so fun to be able to celebrate our awesome mom! She does so much for all of us and I think it's safe to say we are all eternally indebted to her. We love you mom! Happy Birthday!

the end. :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

San Diego: days 5 and 6

On Wednesday morning we took family pictures.  It was quick and efficient and we got a few good shots with minimal tears. There are a lot of kids to keep happy! The rest of the morning we just enjoyed the sun. We laid in the sun, we walked in the sun, we gave swings in the sun, and drew in the sun. Everything is better in the sun.

Then we decided that since we enjoyed the beach so much the day before why not go back? This time we headed straight west to find (what we thought was) a closer beach in Oceanside. It actually took us just about as long to get to this beach and then when we got there the beautiful weather we had enjoyed all morning was gone! It was cold and foggy. We still hung out for awhile and some even played some football on the beach.
 Our little sailor.
That night we did cake and ice cream for mom's "birthday" and we gave her her new iPad. I think most of her grandkids were just as excited as she was about it.
Thursday was a choose your own adventure day. Crystal's family (who came Tuesday night, I don't think I included that in Tuesday's activities) headed to Disneyland. Caleb's family went to Legoland. And the rest of us (mom and dad, Nathan's family, Mara's family, and us) sat around trying to decide what to do with our day. We considered going to Sea World but in the end we decided against it. We ended up heading to Temecula to go to Pennypickle's Workshop, a children's museum. It wasn't as good as its description sounded but it was entertaining for awhile. Our favorite part was definitely the maze with a black light that made Jade's face look filthy. We all got a good laugh from looking at each other in there.

Papa, Mallory and Tatum playing the crazy piano.

 Libbie in the hot air balloon.

 On the earthquake simulator.
 In the black light.
 Hahahaha. This pictures makes me laugh everytime. Mom was making a crazed face to show what she looked like in the black light but then the flash went off so she just looks crazy. :)

 Libbie trying to control the crazies.
After that successful choice we headed to another great place got Queen Califia's magical garden. It was just a bunch of really random sculptures in the middle of a park. It was a little strange and quite freezing.

We headed back to the resort after that and played a game or two. Then we got the report from Legoland and then the adults headed to the overpriced resort restaurant and the kids stayed in the room with pizza and a movie. It was nice to have some quiet for awhile.

Jealous yet? :) More to come!