Monday, December 28, 2009

Birthdays, Rashes, and Christmas

The beginning of the month started out with us celebrating both Aidan and Parker's birthdays. Aidan turned four and Parker turned one! We had a joint birthday party (where I didn't get any pictures of the kids opening their presents or blowing out the candles. I was too busy videoing.) Matthew however, did get some not so flattering ones of me, one of which I posted :) The only redeeming factor is my ADORABLE new little niece Jocelyn. Then, mid-way through December, amongst colds, ear infections, and coughs, we had a chicken pox scare. Emma turned up one night with spots covering her from head to toe. We assumed they were chicken pox because they looked just like them. However, when we took her to the doctor we found out that it was not in fact the chicken pox, but an allergic reaction to something she either touched, ate, or breathed in...very specific, I know. We still don't know what caused it, but after about a week the spots went away. And most recently, we celebrated Christmas with our families. Santa was good to us all this year, and we most certainly can't complain. Aside from the gifts we received, we were actually all healthy this year. Something I was very grateful for! We hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas and will have a safe, happy, and healthy new year!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Polar Express

Aidan and Emma with Mrs. Claus.

The kids playing in the Polar Room.

Daddy and Parker!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

On the train!!!

Eating their cookies.

Aidan anxiously awaiting his turn with Santa.

Emma with her bell...Santa gives every child a bell, just like in the story.

Exhausted baby. Within in seconds of the picture being taken, he was out for the count.

Old habits die hard. My New England upbringing came rushing back to me, as I scraped the snow off the car.

I have had a few friends take their kids up to Williams, AZ to ride the Polar Express in years past. I was very excited that this year my kids were old enough to go (and hopefully remember the experience.) The only date left when I went to book my tickets just happened to be Aidan's birthday. I thought it couldn't be more perfect to celebrate Aidan and his special day, than by taking him to ride on a train. He is rather obsessed with them. We left Saturday morning the 28th at about 11:00 am, got to Williams around 3:30 pm, checked into our hotel, went to a restaurant, where we let the kids get their OWN meals (we typically have them share because it's a waste of money otherwise--no one ever finishes.) But, Aidan really, really wanted the spagetti and Emma really, really wanted the mac & cheese, so I gave in. And to my surprise they both finished every bite! After that we headed to the train station to get our tickets. We then spent the next hour walking around looking at the lights, browsing the gift shop, and playing in the Polar Room with Mrs. Claus, and writing our letters to Santa. It was a bit stressful at times trying to keep my eyes on all three kids at once (we didn't bring the stroller this trip) but the kids were well behaved, especially in the car, and that made it easier overall.

The train ride was AWESOME. We had hot chocolate and cookies, had the Polar Express story read to us, saw the lights and the houses of the "North Pole" out our windows, met Santa, and sang Christmas Carols. Aidan and Emma participated, listened, and were over the moon that they got to shake Santa's hand. After the train ride, we went back to the hotel and crashed. We got home Sunday around 3:00 pm and had naps and down time. I really, really loved the trip and want to make it a yearly tradition.


My sister-in-law, Melanie, made letter cookies for the kids to decorate before we ate.

The kids really enjoyed decorating their cookies with icing and sprinkles.

But, I think they enjoyed eating them more!

Playing outside after the feast.

The men's version of "watching the kids"--notice Grandpa and uncle Benjamin in the background :)

Thanksgiving this year was spent with the in-laws. We met up at the park around 11:30 to play, and then headed back to my mother and father-in-law's house for food around 1:00 pm. The food was very yummy, and I enjoyed very much that I wasn't in charge of the Turkey this year. Last year, while 9 months pregnant with Parker, I decided to cook my very first Thanksgiving dinner all by myself...I won't be doing that again :)

After dinner the girls (and Grandpa) went to see New Moon. I had already seen it a week earlier (I couldn't wait :) but enjoyed it just as much the second time around. It was a nice, relaxing day and it was made all the better by being with family!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The widget to your right

In case you're wondering if the floating baby to the right means anything, it does. I am officially pregnant with baby # 4. Matthew and I are both excited and stressed out about being pregnant again. I have been very sick, and that has made it hard on everyone. But hopefully in a few weeks that will pass and I will actually care about cleaning my house, doing the dishes and the laundry, and feeding my kids something other than chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese.

I am about 11 weeks along, although I already look four months pregnant. Apparently in my case the more you have, the earlier you pop. By 8 weeks I couldn't button my pants anymore, so now I am at that fun, awkward stage where none of my clothes fit me, but maternity pants are still too big. I am currently living in my sweat pants and Matthew's t-shirts. I am trying to be positive however, because this is going to be our last baby. I am hoping once this morning/all day sickness passes I can actually enjoy some of this pregnancy and relish the fact that I won't ever have to do it again!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Outside Fun

Since the weather has remained unseasonably warm, we have remained outside much of the time. Aidan and Emma have really learned how to play well together and have even become friends lately. They make up games and play make believe a lot, especially when they are outside and have use of their jungle gym/club house.

Parker in his swing. His hair gets a little crazy when he's been swinging for a while :)

Aidan and Emma playing baseball together!

This is one of my favorite pictures. As long as we have lived in this house, four years now, I have hated our concrete wall. But recently, I thought since we had this blank canvas outside, why not use it. It's the biggest and best easel the kids could ask for, and clean up is a breeze--just hose it down. Although, the pictures are still on the wall. We just keep adding to them in any free space we have.

My little Park-in-ator! This is where you will most likely find Parker if we are outside. He doesn't like crawling on the grass, so I spread out the blanket and he enjoys crawling all around it, playing with toys, and watching his brother and sister run around.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Even though we were all sick with one thing or another, we still managed to have some Halloween fun! We took the kids to my in-laws ward party, where there was dinner, games, a costume fashion show, and trunk-or-treating. The kids made out like bandits, and have been eating their candy non-stop since Saturday.

Emma lying on the floor after falling off the costume "cat walk." I couldn't help but laugh. She looked so funny on the ground from behind I just had to get a picture.

Matthew threw together a last minute clown costume...Parker didn't like the hair so much.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Five years ago today Matthew and I got married. And even though I woke up this morning to find the sink still full of the dishes Matthew promised to do before bed last night, I am still glad he's my husband.

Monday, October 19, 2009

California Trip

About a month ago, we loaded the kids and all of our stuff, into the van and headed to California for the weekend. We were going for the Carpenter Family Reunion that was to be held at DisneyLand and the beach. I was really, really apprehensive about spending 7-8 hours in the car with my almost four year old, two year old, and ten month old. The drive there wasn't as good as the drive back home proved to be, but considering their ages and that we don't have a DVD player in our van, I thought it went pretty well. We caravan-ed with my in-laws and made it to our hotel around 8:30 or 9:00 pm. The next morning, Friday, we headed to DisneyLand with our double stroller and three kids, bracing ourselves for tantrums, exhausted outbursts, and sibling squabbles...BUT, to my utter and complete amazement, we went the entire TWELVE hours we were there with not so much as a disagreeable peep from ANY of them. Parker was AMAZING. He vacillated back and forth between me and Matthew (and the grandparents) holding him in his snuggly to hanging out in the stroller. He napped when he was tired, and was in a happy mood all day. Aidan and Emma got a long great and listened to everything we said. Emma caught a nap too, unlike Aidan who was the energizer bunny--with no desire to slow down at all. We rode everything we could that was kid friendly. Aidan even went on splash mountain with his uncle, just barely meeting the height requirement. We spent time with other family members and by ourselves, and it was so far, the best family outing we've had to date. Needless to say the kids passed right out when we got back to the hotel.

The next day we spent at the beach and the church for some more family reunion fun. Aidan and Parker loved the ocean. Emma, not so much. She was content to play with her uncle Benjamin in the sand. We had such a great time as a family in California and I am still in shock, a month later, how well our kids did. And those of you who know my kids well (especially my oldest) a weekend without discipline or a time out is a miracle :)