Thursday, April 28, 2011

Brinley is 2!!

Our little munchkin is two! I can hardly believe it. (I think I say that with every birthday.) It was a fun day, although I don't think she was too excited with all the attention. We couldn't get a smile out of her for pictures. This year we had an owl theme, so cute! I made little owls and hung them on "branches" made from strips of plastic tablecloth. Did you know that if you hold the edge of a plastic tablecloth in both hands between thumb and forefinger and slightly stretch it, that it ruffles and looks like double ruffle ribbon! I didn't get a good picture of it but it looked so cute as drapey tree branches with the little owls. Here is Brinley's cake and dessert table.

She was ready to blow out the candles! We had to light them a second time so we could sing before she blew them out. And then she actually smiled when we clapped, which was rare for the night, so we did it again just to get a grin out of her.

She was completely spoiled by everyone. Unfortunately I had to exchange all of the clothes she was given for 3T's! I am in denial that she is actually that big. She still has some baby chunk, but really does not seem that big to me. She loves her tricycle! She found it earlier in the afternoon and there was no way she was getting off to wait until party time. I love it when she asks for her "cycle".

My sweet Brinley, I love you so much. These last two years have flown by and I can't believe that my baby is 2. You are such a sweetie and little stinker at the same time. Sometimes you are so snuggly and others times very stingey with your kisses. You know what you want and aren't quiet about voicing your opinion. Just like your brother and sisters were, you are a great talker for a 2 year old. And we love listening to everything you say. You are definitely the superstar of the household and have us all wrapped around your little finger. And we're pretty sure you know it! I love our little snuggles at bedtime each night. The way you snuggle into me for just a minute and I catch that sweet baby smell as I steal some kisses. You are amazing. Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How can SHE be 10?!

I don't know how it happened. Just a few days ago I looked into this angel's eyes for the first time and now she is 10! I am so lucky and blessed to be her mommy. She is my friend and my right arm. She is so much like me it is scary sometimes, however she is so much smarter than I was at her age. She loves to cook, sing, organize, design clothes (she will be famous someday), write stories and take care of her baby sister. She is the only person Brinley will go to happily, besides me, and sometimes won't come back to me when she has "her Katie". Her testimony is growing and she constantly gets after her slacker mother for our lack of FHE. (I really hate to admit that. I am working on it.) And she is such a BEAUTIFUL girl! I am always in awe of her in so many ways. Heavenly Father knew I needed her, I don't know how I could function without her! I love you Katie-girl! (Please pay no attention to the exhausted looking mother in the photo below)

Now on to the PARTY! It took us a while to finally decide what to do for her party. Pirates, jungle, purple, polka dots...she finally decided on a pink, black, and white diva-ish theme. Her decorations were fun to put together. I picked words I felt described her (and probably every other 10 year old girl) and made some banners. We love tissue pompoms at our house so we had to have a few of those.

I love the dessert tables that Amy Atlas puts together. If you haven't seen them, you should. So beautiful! Here is just one that I love I wish I could put together something that fabulous! I only have a few things against me, lack of unlimited finances and an entire team of professional food stylists. Someday! But for now I do what I can do. We did some flavored popcorn, licorice and strawberry. (However I did not like the recipes so I will not make them again.) And then we did skewers with chocolate and powdered donuts in pink cellophane bags. Her cake was the centerpiece. I was so excited for how her cake turned out! I made marshmallow fondant and it turned out just like I wanted. So cute!

And Katie loved it! It was a fun day! And a week later we had the "friend" party. Oh wow! When thinking about her "diva" theme we decided that divas love to shop and that was the foundation of this party. The girls came over after school and we decorated their "shopping bags". Brown paper lunch sacks (because I already had them) with diva stickers. Then we played a bunch of games. At each game they earned "diva dollars" to shop at the "diva store" with. The store was cute and the girls were excited to shop. But I made them wait, we had to sing and have cupcakes first!

Then on to the shopping! The "store" was stocked with some cute little tablets and pencils, earrings, lip gloss, candy jewelry, and some bracelets I made. I think they are so cute.

Some of the girls were worried that they wouldn't have enough diva dollars - it really didn't matter there was one of each for everybody. So they all made their purchases and then went outside to run around until time to leave. It was quite the afternoon, we had fun, and I was glad to run them all home! ;-) However that was not the end. Katie's two besties got to spend the night. Last time they stayed over they said they didn't sleep at all. I have proof that they slept a little more this time. At 2:00 they were out and I didn't hear anything until morning.

Only, dumb me! That is the only picture I got of the slumber party. The played Barbies downstairs most of the time. And had lots of red licorice. Such cute girlies, I am so glad Katie has such good friends. I tried to make this birthday a little special for her. The big 10 you know! But I have to admit I was glad when all the partying was done.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My baby is 1!

Yesterday was Brinley's birthday. This year has flown by so fast, and at the same time it seems we've had her forever. She is so sweet. I spent the first six weeks of her life just holding her. I hardly ever put her down. I may be paying for it now, she is a total mommy's girl. Those nights that she wouldn't go to bed until 1:00 am seem so far in the past. She's a good little sleeper now. She got her first two teeth at 81/2 months and the third is still just teasing at coming through. She took her first crawl on her ten month birthday, and she is all over the place now. She's starting to think about walking along the couch. She started out so big, 9lbs. 10 ounces, and is just at 20 pounds now. Although you wouldn't think she'd be little to watch her eat. I don't think she has ever been satisfied enough to stop eating. Just don't give her peaches - puke fest! I'm not brave enough to try it again yet.

These are some pre b-day pics I took to get one for her party invitation.

I did a "Super Sweet Lollipop" theme and made these lollipop invites.

The cake and decorations! I'm sure my husband thinks I'm crazy. Thanks for your help, Katie!

Not my best cake, but I thought the lollipops were cute. It did taste really good, though!

We had her party on Sunday to make it easier for the fam to come. Unfortunately Sundays are always hard on the nap schedule. She had only gotten a one hour nap all day long! We had to give her a lollipop off of the cake to keep her in a good mood. Whatever works! It was a lot of fun.
She is the only one of my kids who hasn't been sick on her first birthday. Therefore she is the only one who has enjoyed her cake. And enjoy she did! There was cake everywhere, I completely dismantled the high chair to get it clean.

I love you, my sweet little squishy munchkin!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Baby

is 11 months old! I have very mixed emotions about it. She's my sweet little creepy crawler and I love it. She seems so little and so big at the same time. She loves to clap (when she's in the right mood) and has a funny scrunch-nosed grin. VERY much a mommy's girl! Here she is...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Viva Las Vegas!

Warning: Major picture palooza ahead. Read at your own risk!

On Thursday (the 18th) we packed the van and headed for Vegas! Doug's Mission President is now the Las Vegas Temple President and they had planned a surprise mission reunion for him. After going to Boise in January and Oklahoma in February and leaving the kids home both times we decided that we'd better bring them. They were SO good! We only made two stops on the drive down. I was amazed at what good time we made. After we checked into our place we headed to get some groceries and then planned on swimming. As I walked out of the grocery store the wind had picked up so bad that it swung the cart around and completely scared Brinley. So swimming was out. We spent the evening grilling hamburgers and just hanging out which was nice after the drive.

Friday we hit "the strip"! We started at the Bellagio to see the botanical garden and the water show. The kids loved the garden. There were giant ants and bees, ladybugs, a frog and snails all made from flowers. So cute!

After the garden we headed out to see the water show and the kids were mesmerized. That has to be one of my favorite things about Vegas. It amazes me how they can make that water dance, I think could stay there all day and watch it!

The walkway from the Bellagio lobby down to the strip and along the front of the pool is lined with speakers and they play Italian themed music constantly. Emily just couldn't resist. The entire way around the Bellagio she danced and twirled and kicked. People had to move aside to give her more room. (I'm glad it wasn't too crowded at the time.) I just giggled and snapped about 30 pictures of her. It was so cute!

After watching the water show we headed to Caesar's Palace to wander the shops and show the kids the "Zeus" show. Emily had put her boots on without socks and had an almost instant blister so Katie and I spent a while trying to find a store that sold socks. We finally found Gap and Doug found some flip flops for Emmy so of course Katie and Nate wanted some too. It's good that we also got some socks because the flip flops made her toes hurt and she still hasn't hardly worn them! We watched the Zeus show, which the kids thought was kind of scary, went to the Cheesecake factory for lunch, and after a little more wandering went back to our room to swim.

(Yes, she did have to potty, but its the only swimming pic I got of her.)

We left at about 5:15 to head to the Temple. Doug had looked at a map at home and was pretty sure of how to get there. WELL...not quite. By the time we arrived at 6:25 and they were supposed to meet at 6:15 he was a bit frazzled. Doug and I both have some family in Vegas, but unfortunately no one could watch the kids. So Doug went in and we hung out on the Temple grounds. Nathan had to use the bathroom and the only building on the grounds was a little distribution center that DIDN'T have a bathroom we could use. We had to go in the Temple to use the bathroom in the front lobby! I felt so uncomfortable with all of us walking in the Temple in our street clothes. Of course they were very nice and it probably is the norm without a visitor's center there. The kids and I spent a few minutes in an outdoor atrium in the Temple. There were some little water fountains there and we really enjoyed it, until the kids started wanting to feel the water - time to leave! Unfortunately that was not our only trip to the bathroom that evening. Rather than the 7:00 session, Doug's group decided to do the 8:00 session. An extra hour to entertain the kids! Doug had called me and said that one of his buddies offered to bring him back to our place if I wanted to take the kids back. Are you kidding me!?! There was no way I was driving across Vegas by myself, no, thank you! We walked several loops around the Temple, took some pictures and then drove to the only store close by, then I turned on a movie in the van and all of the kids crashed. Doug had a wonderful time in the Temple and wished they had planned more activities. It was nice to meet Pres. Ballard after they had finished the session.

Saturday morning we hit the outlet mall for a while - gotta get my shopping in! Went to lunch with one of Doug's companions and his wife. And after a little more shopping (more like wandering, we didn't buy much) we headed back to go swimming. The kids couldn't get enough of the pool! We originally had planned on driving home Sunday, but Friday evening it was a unanimous decision that we should stay one more day.

Sunday morning we headed out to finish seeing the strip. We started at Excalibur and then headed to Mandalay Bay. From inside we could see some of their pools and the kids wanted to go so bad, they had a wave pool! We tried to explain that you have to stay at the hotel to use their pools, and Katie asked why can't we just stay there for the day? :-) Then we found a tram that went to the Luxor and then back to Excalibur. Nathan said that riding the tram was one of his favorite parts of the trip.

We took the kids to Rainforest Cafe for lunch and then tackled M&M World. Wow! Four floors of craziness. The kids wanted to get some colored m&m's - $13/lb.! I told them they could pick two colors and I would get them a few. Emily chose two shades of purple, Katie's were hot pink and turquoise, and Nate picked maroon and teal?, that was quite the combination. We also tried some coconut m&m's (they were really good) and after all was said and done we still got just over a pound. Doug and I were glad to get out of there!

Our last stop before leaving Vegas was to go to the Silverton. They have a huge fish tank and the fish were awesome! We got there in time to see them feed the sting rays. The diver was connected to the microphone outside the tank and could hear the questions and answer them. Katie asked him about her favorite fish, a spotted sting ray, and he told her that it was called a "honeycomb sting ray" because of the spots or a "whip tail" because its tail can grow up to six feet in length and they can be nearly 200 pounds! Shortly after the feeding session there was a "mermaid" swim. She was really cute with all of the kids. Emily loved watching her blow air bubble kisses. Unfortunately the pictures of her didn't turn out so good. After the Silverton we loaded up and headed to St. George to stay for the night. We figured it would break up the drive a little bit and we'd get home at a reasonable time. Not so!

We couldn't leave St. George without the kids getting to swim. It was gorgeous even at 9:30 in the morning. So by the time we dragged them out of the pool and got dressed and loaded it was noon. Then we decided we wanted to go see the Temple before we left and why not take a quick tour through Brigham Young's winter home. It was really neat! And of course the Temple was beautiful. Emily had to smell nearly every flower before she would leave.

We finally drove out of St. George at 2:30. The drive home wasn't quite as fun as the drive to Vegas but the kids were so good and that made the trip just that much better! We had a wonderful time, we haven't had a real family vacation, besides camping, in I don't know how long. Can't wait till we plan the next one!