Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Few Things I Missed

Noodle's 6th Birthday On May 7th

I can't let this one slip bye, especially since he's aged more this year than all the other ones put together. Do you think it has something to do with the above ear pulling? We really do our best to teach River the meaning of the word gentle, but he's fast and easily excitable, so I am very thankful Noodle is patient with him. He takes it out on me later in the night, but River is bite/scratch free, so all is well. We love you Noodle Battlecat Bear.

Bear's Father's Day Gift and Picture On Father's Day

I did a couple Father's Day posts, but I wanted to share Bear's cute gift. If you can't tell, it is a tee shirt and it says, "I am this happy, because my dad is that awesome!" I just love these father/son pictures. They are both so handsome and Bear could be a hair model in this picture.

Our Day In The Mountains

We haven't braved an overnight camping trip with River yet. I know a lot of people do it, but River did not take to sleeping naturally, so I am gun shy of anything that keeps him from taking a nap. We did get to fake camp and spend the whole evening up in the mountains. It was nice to get out of the city, see the milky way and then go sleep in our beds.

River and Rocky

River has a best friend named Rocky. I love when these two play together. They are very similar in their temperments, so a lot of sharing, hugging and niceness goes on. Plus Rocky has a fun pool and if you haven't noticed, it is HOTT up in here.

This Is The Place

Our fertility clinic sponsored a free day at This Is The Place. It was so fun. We had an awesome catered lunch, got to see the sights and River rode a horse for the first time. He did great, but was more interested in the "fan" that the horses were tethered to, so they would walk in a circle. What can I say, the boy spots fans everywhere. I am so glad I could experience this Utah monument on a crowd free day. Crowds, heat and babies do not mix... but you can't stay locked in your house either, so I love when adventures work out. Thanks RRC and if anyone needs help having a baby, this is the place... get it?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thirty, Flirty and Fabulous

My little sister wasn't the only one turning thirty this year. Brooke J. Brandt celebrated her Dirty Thirty on April 15th and her awesome boyfriend Gareth thought it would be fun to fly her to Salt Lake for a party. Yes please!

This post was going to be longer, but blogger has been fighting me all night. I'll wrap up by letting all of my girls husbands/boyfriends know... it is always a good idea to fly them to see me. No special occasion required.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Go Crazy

I'll admit it. I was catching up on So You Think You Can Dance and put this post off to the very last second. It was so worth it! I was sad to see two of my favorite guy dancers go, but who are you going to pick, when they are all amazing. Even if you are not super into dance, your heart has to be made of stone not to enjoy the Napoleon and Tabitha number about a soldier returning home from Afghanistan and reuniting with his wife. Do yourself a favor and watch it twice. The dance was so joyful, but I couldn't help but feel bittersweet for Matt and Tiff, who didn't get to reunite here on earth. In an equally stunning, albeit, less technical piece... you can watch River "Go Crazy" below. Thank you and good night.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Signing Time

I've made it my mission to not let my family be big tv watchers. I hate, HATE the tv on, unless there is a specific show or game to be viewed. Many people can have it on for background noise, but I get sucked into the dumbest show, so off is better for me. I can't wait to have a house, where the tv won't have to be in the main room. I also can't wait to have a dining room, so we won't be tempted to eat our meals with the tv on. These are the things I dream of.
My only exception to my general dislike of daytime tv viewing is Signing Time. Granted the songs get stuck in my head on a never-ending repeat cycle, but River loves it and he is learning signs faster than I can keep up. The day finally came this past week, when he was doing a sign I didn't know. It was happy. In my defense, happy and bath look a lot alike.
I think he likes the show so much, because he understands what they are saying. I like it, because I feel like my baby is a genius when I ask him what he wants and he can let me know. When he starts to get frustrated, I say, use your signs and he does. I know he'll be talking my ear off soon, but I am thankful for this earlier form of communication. Plus it's just so darn cute watching him sign more, more, more to the Deacons as they pass the Sacrament. Sorry buddy, you only get one piece of bread.
He really can sign more than just more, but at the time these videos were taken, it was my favorite sign. Now my favorite signs are stop, go and mosquito. For the sake of River's biggest video fan, Pops, I'll work on getting those too.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Good Brushing

(Photo By Marianne Wiest Photography)

This is another what works for me post. When River got his first couple teeth, brushing them was a nightmare. I would hold him down, kicking and screaming, while trying to pry open his mouth, for maybe... 3 seconds worth of brushing. My sister in law recommended an electric toothbrush and we haven't looked back sense. The vibrating and noise intrigued him and it became a little game. I don't think we quite get the suggested 3 minutes of brushing, twice a day, but we get a lot more than 3 seconds and it involves no more tears. We bought the electric toothbrush from Wal-Mart that is $4.99 and comes with stickers to personalize it. That was a bonus as it provided 15 minutes of entertainment and you Moms know, we live our lives 15 minutes at a time. I hope this message reaches the right person and I'd love to hear any of your bed, bath and brushing tips.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


It's 11:00 pm. I have a bucket load of things to finish before I hit the hay, including a church lesson I'm teaching bright and early tomorrow morning. I could be a little stressed right now, but that's kind of not the point of church lessons, so I am taking a blog break instead to provide you with a little Sunday Inspiration.

If the video doesn't do it for you, these photos by Melissa Sue Photography surely will. Sorry I haven't shared these one year photos with you yet. Most people have seen them on facebook already, but I am a blog loyalist, so here you go.

Has it really already been six months since these photos were taken? I can't believe how much my little man has grown and how much he has learned since then. If only we could all learn at the rate of a one year old.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Where The Grass Is Greener

Right after River and I got home from Phoenix, we hightailed it back out of Salt Lake and went to visit my family in Kansas City.... that would be KCMO... as in Missouri, for the record. My little sister and her husband were able to fly in from California, as well. We were able to celebrate her 30th birthday all together as a family. The last time we celebrated any of our birthdays all together was her 15th birthday in 1996, a week before I left for college. Needless to say, being together is not taken for granted in this household.

Here's the first family photo ever to include all of us. Couples from left to right; my brother Luke and his super cute and just graduated from UMKC girlfriend Kristy, Nomee and Pops... aka... Iris and Hal... aka my mom and dad, Da Bears and then my looks more like 15 than 30 year old sister Jessica and her husband Josh.

River was missing the swimming pools in Phoenix, but loved having all this lush, Midwest grass to play on. He also loved having a cool Aunt to play with.

My only regret is that it was a little too early in the year for lightning bugs (fireflies if you aren't from around here)to be out. The Midwest summers can be hot and humid, but the smell of honeysuckle hanging heavy in the night air and chasing lightning bugs at twilight, are quite literally the main ingredients of magic and childhood. As always dear family, it went by too fast.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Once Upon A Time...

I went to a wedding.

But not just any wedding... Melanie Rees is one of my favorites persons of all time, so it's only fitting, her wedding would be ranked among my favorites of all time. The reception was peaceful, happy and charming. I felt like I had been transported out of the city and into the south. Not South Beach south, but elegant southern belle Georgia south.

Melanie was stunning. The dress was Ah-maze-ing! So often, Utah wedding dresses have the misfortune of looking like a Hanes tee shirt attached to a ball gown. That was not the case with this antique looking piece of loveliness. I might have to renew my vows, just so I can borrow it.

One of my biggest pet peeves with Utah weddings is people pay a fortune for a gigantic cake and then wait till almost everyone leaves to do the traditional first slice. It offends my wallet (serious waste of money people) and my cake loving stomach (I brought a present, can't I get one tiny piece?). I was happy to see that while Melanie had to stand in the wedding line almost the whole time, they served many a fabulous dessert, including ice cream cones and that her cake was super tiny, so it wasn't a waste. It was also a bonus that the cake was about the cutest thing I've ever seen and I had to stop myself from trying it on.

Melanie and Kevin looking radiant under a gorgeous gazebo. I told my husband I need a gazebo and he asked why and I said so I can practice I am 16 going on 17. Needless to say, the reference went straight over his head.

Please focus on the beautiful bride and not the six inches of roots on the top of my head. That problem has been rectified.

My cute family, enjoying the love, the perfect music, the wrap around porch, the vast green lawn, the croquet and ice cream cones... heck... we even enjoyed the pink house and that says a lot coming from me.

The theme was celebrating the future and honoring the past. She had pictures of relatives and loved ones weddings on the table as centerpieces. I was a fan of this, as I did the same thing at my wedding. Great minds think alike.

The cutest croquet player to ever walk the Earth.

We finished the night by riding a train around the grounds of This Is The Place. You can see River using the sign for more in this picture.

But alas... all good things must come to an end... well except for eternal marriages and families. Thank goodness for that.

The End and The Beginning.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's Going To Be A Hot One

Summer is definitely upon us. It was hott with two t's in Salt Lake today and tomorrow is supposed to be worse. (Or better if you are one of those weird bikram yoga loving heat freaks.) During the rainy Spring, I had the opportunity to buy a cheap season pass to a water park, but passed in an attempt to save a little dough. WHAT was I thinking??? Apparently not about the torturous sun rays of death. Epic fail on my part, but the good news is, I discovered a little treasure hiding in Liberty Park. The best part is, it's free.
If you live in Salt Lake, take your tots to splash in the Seven Canyon Fountain at Liberty Park. It is an awesome set of fountains, designed after the seven canyons that surround Salt Lake... so where a mountain would be, there is a really big rock and where a river would be, there is a shallow canal, perfect for baby splashing. Babies have to wear a swim diaper and I hear, though I don't know for sure, they run a little chlorine through it to keep everything clean. I was there during free lunch time at the park, so probably the busiest time of the day and the fountains are so big, River had plenty of room to explore without getting run over by bigger kids. Let me know when you want to go.