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.