Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Come On In...

Let us share some snippets of our Christmas with you...

Multiple candy cane thefts from our tree... beware the suspect is still at large, with a disarming smile and minty fresh breath.

Christmas breakfast was waffles with strawberries and cream, but in a classic display of toddler excess, River's breakfast included dipping a succor into the cream.

New additions to the tree...

The cutest gift ever from River's Nursery leaders.

A limited edition River Bear tree topper.

Some old favorites...

This just in....

We have sufficient evidence that the Candy Cane Bandit has added vandalism in the form of tagging Christmas presents to his growing list of crime.  In his defense, it does appear that he was trying to write the word Christmas in festive green marker.

We celebrated Christmas #1 on the 25th...

And then in true hobbit fashion, 2nd Christmas was delivered to our door on the 28th.  Let it just go on record, I am all for late Christmas presents... it keeps the post holiday blues at bay.

The weather outside was unfortunately not snowy or white...

But inside, everything was merry and bright.  The gifts from friends and family warmed our hearts, as reflecting on the endless gifts of the Savior warmed our souls.  We love Christmas!  Even if it involves a candy cane bandit and the occasional drooly candy cane vampire.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas


Friday, December 23, 2011

Lights and More Lights

River here- I just wanted to let you know how we've been filling our time this December.  One of the words I like to say the most right now is lights... actually it is more like LIIIIIIIIGHTSSSSS!  So my mom has been taking me all over the place to see as many as possible.  Our first attempt was at Christmas In The Park in Kansas City.  It didn't go so well.  We waited in a 45 minute line just to get into the park and right when we finally made it to the gates and saw a few lights, we had to turn around, because we were going to miss a dinner appointment.  I still had fun riding in the front seat.  Mom's kind of a car seat nazi... I mean I am almost two and still rear facing... so it was a real treat.

Then we hit up The Kansas City Plaza.  Now they know how to do lights... beautiful and easy access.  I've never been to Europe, something about needing a passport, blah, blah, blah, but this part of Kansas City makes me feel the same way as pictures of London on foggy nights do.  Yes, I look at pictures of London.  I'm very sophisticated for my age.

My mom wouldn't let me hold the camera, so unfortunately you have to deal with unsightly street signs in the way, but isn't KC beautiful this time of year?

She is soooo getting snowballed for this.

When we made our way back to Salt Lake, we ventured out into Sugar Hood, uh... I mean House and found Christmas Street.  The neighbors here have been decorating their houses every year since 1947.  I bet the dinosaurs thought it was so cool.

Mom tried to get a photo of both of us and the sign.  At least we got the most important part.

For all you Salt Lakers, Christmas Street is on 1700 S. and 1500 E.  You should check it out, but only if you're not grinch'in.

After Christmas Street, we stopped by Bible Street... literally right down the road and saw the whole Christmas Story displayed throughout the neighborhood.  I can't read, but the pictures sure were pretty.  Jesus's mom had him naturally too, so our birth stories are kind of similar, but I was born in a hospital and they wouldn't let Noodle come to visit, so no animals.  Shoot... that would have been so cool.

 Last on our tour of lights was Temple Square.  We actually had two attempts, because the first time Mom couldn't find parking, so we just had hot chocolate instead.  I'm glad we tried again, because it was really something.  My favorite was the reflections of light on this fountain.  I tried to go for a swim, but mom was not budging on this one.

Come on Mom... Just a little dip?

We had fun and just in case you are the type to get in a huff about me not wearing a hat or gloves, just know I had to rip them off every five minutes when my mom kept trying to sneak them on.  I checked with Santa and this does not get you kicked off the Good List.  Tonight is Dad's last night of peak season, so maybe we can finally get him in some photos.  Merry Christmas and I hope you liked the LIIIIGHTSSSS!!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

One Thing At A Time

Since Christmas is right around the corner, I thought I'd better hurry and post some pics of my 33rd Birthday.

December is a rough month for all our birthdays to be in.  With Bear's UPS schedule in over-drive, it leaves very little time for us to spend together as a family.  This year, we snuck in a quick birthday lunch to The Cracker Barrel and it was perfect.  I don't need my birthdays to be big, but I get majorly bummed out if they are just like every other day and we don't do anything special.  So this was super fun, because I was thinking we wouldn't have time to celebrate.

 The bonus present was that River behaved magnificently.  I don't remember an eating out experience that has been this relaxed in years... 2 years to be exact.  Usually we take shifts eating, while one of us is running around the restaraunt with River trying to keep him entertained and contained... kinda like a rodeo clown.

 I hope it is a sign of things to come, but it was probably just a birthday present to his Mama.  Well I'll take it. I guess a good family photo wasn't on his list of things to give.

Nothing beats birthday cake, except FREE birthday cake.  Makes it taste that much better, I promise!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Santa 2011

So here is my sweet babe in 2010, meeting Santa for the first time...

Well obviously River must not have liked his presents last year, because Santa 2011 was in store for screaming with a side of tears...

I like to call this photo, "I Stood In Line For How Long And All I Got Was This Stupid Candy Cane".

How about one more for posterity...

I call this one, "No, Seriously Mom, This Sucks!"

Well, at least I had fun and that's what Christmas is all about, right?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Birthday Eve

Last night I had a dream where in it I was sleeping and a giant clock was laying flat on top of me.  It was a generic round black and white plastic clock, like the kind you see in every office and classroom in America.  It had the loudest, most annoying tick, tick tick sound as it counted the seconds.  The clock began pressing down on me and suffocating me, weighing so heavy on my chest I couldn't breathe.  I awoke in a cold sweat, with the keen awareness I just had my first biological clock dream.  How very grown up of me, or Ally McBeal of me... I'm not sure which.

Upon waking I had three thoughts: 1. My biological clock is boring.  Can't I have an antique cuckoo clock instead.  2. Where's my dancing baby?  3. Hey back off biological clock... I'm trying pretty hard here!

I had my heart set on a positive pregnancy test for my birthday.  Mercifully, I found out today, instead of tomorrow, that it was not meant to be.  That way I have time to get over my funk.  Who wants a negative pregnancy test for their birthday?  No one!  Can we say refund... or better yet... exchange!  I think my body must have known it wasn't pregnant.  Why else would it have sent my subconscious a biological clock dream?  Anyway, it was a long day, that started off with a rough night.  I've never been able to sleep that well with noisy clocks in the room.  Tomorrow will be better.  33 Here I Come!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stocking Stuffer!!!

Do DVDs fit in stockings?  I sure hope so, because Bear's movie just came out on DVD.  It's called Seven Days In Utopia and stars my cute husband Robert Bear... oh and Lucas Black and Robert Duvall as well.  It is lovely, of good report and praiseworthy.  You should seek after it.  I'd start with Wal-Mart or Netflix, but that's just me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What In The...

H.E. DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS is going on in here?

River's response was to shake his head back and forth and say, "Ch, ch, ch, ch, ch".  Which is what he does when we do laundry.  He's mimicking the motion and sound of the agitator.  In his defense, I did ask him to help me with the "laundry".  I meant for him to run the folded blankets to his room, while I sorted the rest of the clothes, but maybe he thought I meant "wash" them.  On the other hand, he knows exactly where we do laundry.  It's his favorite activity, so I highly doubt he got confused.  Regardless, my parenting skills failed me and I mostly just laughed and then he got to do laundry after all.  I'm just glad he didn't flush.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Score Card

Still not pregnant.  Oh, and I wasn't pregnant last month either.  Funny how that works.  In fact, if you want to run the numbers on round two, here you go: Months of Trying-10, Babies-0, Nausea-Increasing, Hair-Falling Out, Clomid Cycles Left Before a Mandatory Break-1, Number of Pregnant Friends Due In The Spring-7, Average Number of Months it Took Them To Get Pregnant-2.

It's funny how each month my reactions to finding out I'm not pregnant vary so widely.  Last month I was sad, soooo sad.  Deep down, aching sad and worried about River not having a sibling and missing my babies that I feel like I already know sad, sad, sad.  This month I'm just annoyed.  Like, for reals, there's not a better way than sperm blindly fighting their way through thick cervical mucus, to find an egg that may or may not be there, according to a balance of hormones so easily affected by so many different things, all in a 24-48 hour window, once a month.  I mean how, HOW are any of us here right now?

Don't worry.  I'm still mostly positive and glad the score card reads Months of Trying and not Years of Trying.  I just had so many people tell me that they had a hard time getting pregnant the first time around and then it was so easy after that.  I bought into it hook, line and sinker.  Why would I be any different?  Especially since the problem from last time resolved itself.  Since this is my last cycle of clomid, I might have to pull out all the stops and read the Twilight series again.  It worked last time, so why not?  Anybody have some books I can borrow?  I may (most likely not) name the baby after you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hey Shorty

Since my last couple posts were really long, I thought I'd make this one a shorty.  In fact, it is more of an addition to the two other really long posts, so maybe it is not a post at all. 

This is one of River's quirks I forgot to list.  Everyday, for no explicable reason, he pulls out all three Hunger Games books.  It doesn't matter if I separate them and hide them on different shelves, or in different rooms, he finds all three and pulls them out.  Once they are on the floor, he is done with them.  It's only these three.  He doesn't touch my other books.  Weird.  Before they cast Katniss, I used to think it was a sign I was supposed to be in the movie.  Well... there is always the sequel.

One of my photos in my ginormous Halloween posts didn't load and River's pumpkin was too cute not to share.  We went to the library's story time and they had the kids decorate pumpkins... FOR FREE!  Sorry about the caps.  I like free stuff.  Before you start feeling bad that your 22 month old can't decorate a pumpkin with such style and grace, please note, River mostly supervised the placing of objects and I was the one with glue all over my fingers.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Big Fat Halloween Post

This post is entirely too long, but what is Halloween without a little over-indulgence?  October has been a beautiful month in Salt Lake,  so warm on some days, I cursed my landlord for covering up our swamp cooler.  We did as many fun, harvesty things as we could fit in.  We watched the old Silly Symphonies shorts on Youtube, with the dancing skeletons and I finally found a copy of Disney's Legend Of Sleepy Hollow, thanks to my brother in-law who mentioned they had released it as a double feature called Ichabod and Mr. Toad... in case you are trying to find one too.

We went to Gardner Village again this year.  I love the ambiance, but honestly, it was more fun when River was little.  Kids his age are stuck in their strollers without much to do.  Last year he was fine with people watching, but this year he wanted to run and explore and it was way too crowded.  Even in this picture, there were seven people waiting to take pictures in this same spot, so I had to get him down and he was so frustrated, because he wanted to  climb.

If you ask River to smile, you get this face.

But if you ask him to make a funny face, you get this...

Big eyes, no smile, No eyes, big smile.... watcha going to do?

We also trekked down to Provo for a Halloween River Cruise.  I had a groupon for my ticket and River was under two, so he was free.  I'm glad it was cheap, because I was not all that impressed.  It was pretty much floating down a river in the freezing cold, looking at Jack-O-Lanterns aglow on the bank, but you were too far away to really appreciate any craftsmanship.  Our pirate captain wasn't very piratey and when we got boarded by another pirate (who rowed up in a canoe) he told Laffy Taffy style pirate jokes and handed out off-brand tootsie rolls.  River was so cold, he buried his head in my chest and never looked up once.

Disclaimer: I had a hat and gloves for him, but he wouldn't wear them.

All was not lost, because he had a blast running around with his friend Hutch, while we waited in line.  I am grateful for groupons, because I get to hear about things not on my radar and try them out, without spending too much money.  BTW... we sang the ABC song all the way back to Salt Lake... all the way... I'm not kidding...  I lost my voice.  The things we do for these little guys.

My ward didn't do a Trunk Or Treat this year, so we went to my old ward's and it was super fun.  It was a good trick or treat prep for River, getting him to go car to car was a snap and so he wasn't too shy about going house to house on Halloween.

There were a ton of kids in that ward all born around the same time as River and we've been able to stay in touch with them through different activities.  It was so cute to see them all in costume, even if this photo was not going to happen.  They were not all on board... Get It?

River even managed to find a slide.

Everyone thought he was a puppy and I was mouse.  That's what I get for not buying the more expensive dark brown bear costume.

I love the end of that video.  Anyway, he was in super good spirits, so the day was really fun.

Halloween was about as perfect weather wise as it gets.  River instinctively knew it was Halloween and signed candy all day long.  He usually gets one M&M a day, but that was not cutting it anymore.  I think the trunk or treat ruined him for life and then we reinforced the bad behavior by taking him trick or treating that night.  He was a little shy talking to strangers, but not at all shy reaching for the candy bowl.

Here's our first timer (since last year we went out and not another living soul was out because it was a Sunday)...

After Trick or Treating, we went to a ward member's house that was throwing a backyard party.  It was the perfect way to end the night.  Hot apple cider, freshly made donuts, more candy and to River's delight... a slide.

We went as the three bears and my friend Selissa at Forever And A Day, saved my weak costume planning self by sending us adorable crotchet bear hats.

Hopefully by next Halloween we won't just be the three Bears anymore, so we had to take advantage.  If I were to do it again, I'd lose the black nose.  It didn't make us look more like bears and with a thumb-sucker, it just gets all over his face.

I love a good costume theme and these were my favorite from this year...

The Basketball Family

The Organic Hippie Farmers with their delish and oh so cute produce.


The Cheshire Cat and The Mad Hatter 

I'm still amazed a toddler wore that hat all night.  I hope this post didn't give you a tummy ache.  Happy Halloween... Love The Three Bears.