Sunday, March 27, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ah, much better

Today is a new day. I'm feeling much better, although Connor is still crabby. I can't figure it out. Maybe we are in the terrible 2's afterall.

Today will be busy, which I hope will help keep Connor occupied and happy. Dentist (for me) in the morning so he gets to spend a morning with Dad. Then we are looking at one more house. We are nearing the end of house looking, and quickly approaching house buying! We are hoping to hear back from the bank soon about Green House. We are thinking it will be next week sometime. Then we will start the closing process if all is well with our offer (which was their asking price so I'm hoping it will go through). Can't wait!!

Then tonight we have an Elder's Quorum activity. We are playing mini golf at the church and we are supposed to think up and set up one mini golf hole. Well, "we" quickly became "me." I'm used to it. And I guess I owe Brad for last night anyway. :)

It should be fun!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I spoke too soon...

Remember this post? Ya, that didn't last. I was hopeful Connor's good mood was here to stay. Not so.

The last few days Connor has been so ornery!! He started teething again, which I'm hoping we are almost done with - for good I mean. Swollen gums, runny nose, drooling, chewing, crying. Well, all other symptoms have been gone a few days except for the whining and crying, which seems to go on and on. Grrr...

5 straight days of being yelled at, cried to, kicked, bitten, "mama mama mama mama mama mama," -- ENOUGH!!

So I came home tonight (Connor and I were out running errands), ate a really gross fast food dinner from KFC with Brad, handed Connor over, and grounded myself to my room for the rest of the night. My mom used to do this every once in a while when we were little and I totally get it now!!!

My nerves are frayed, I have zero patience left. It's time for a date night with myself where I get to watch movies and TV til my brains rot, and browse the free section of KSL and all my designer blogs til my eyeballs drop out of my head. Then I'll read myself to sleep and be a lot better for the day tomorrow.

But from my bed, I can hear Brad and Connor laughing and having a great time in the front room. And that makes me happy. I'm thankful Brad is willing to take Connor for an entire night when I'm at my wits end. I have a good and patient husband.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why kids are like crazy people

This article is too good not to post. I was definitely laughing out loud. Especially at some of the comments (#6, #12). Hilarious to think about grown people doing these things. Yep, they would be committed for sure.

http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/why-kids-are-like-crazy-people/?scid=weekender_20110310_toddler_B:3&pe=MlV3VUplcHwyMDExMDMxMA..

Ogden Union Station

Last Saturday (March 5) Brad, Connor, and I went to the Ogden Union Station. They hosted a model train museum for one weekend. There were tons of model trains running on tracks, thousands more for sale, cool pictures of trains, men in conductor suits and overalls, a big steam engine that we could climb on, and even an old model car show. Admission was $6 each (young children are free), but a man gave us 2 of his family's extra tickets for free! What a deal!









Later that afternoon, we headed down to Murray, UT to visit my cousin and her husband. LaRisse and I went shopping at Gardner Village (and favorite pastime of our parents when we were younger) while the boy (Brad and Nick) stayed home to play Call of Duty together. Everyone had fun in their respective elements. :)

We met the boys for dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Salt Lake (which was delicious!) and then headed to The Sweet Tooth Fairy for dessert. If you've never been there, you are missing out on some of the most delightful cake bites, cup cakes, and cup-shakes (vanilla ice cream blended with your favorite cupcake) that you will ever taste in your life. That's a promise.

After we headed back to their house and put Connor to bed. The boys played more of their game while LaRisse and I talked and played nail salon. She did my nails with Shellac, which I absolutely loved!

It was a fun day. Thanks for playing with us Nick and LaRisse! We can't wait to do it again!

Fun and Games

I wrote about Connor's play date at our house a couple weeks ago. Here are some of Connor's friends in the ward. Duncan (middle) and Bentley (right).


These boys haven't been back to our house again, but we have played with them a few times at the Library's story time. I LOVE story time! Connor likes the stories and seeing all the other kids there. After story time they get to do some free crafts and/or coloring. Connor will color for about 5 minutes before he's bored with it. At yesterday's story time they read stories about bunnies and then brought in a real bunny for the kids to pet at the end. Way fun! And FREE!



In an effort to find more things to do around us in West Haven (we are kind of out in the middle of nowhere), we have started the tradition of Taco Tuesday at Del Taco in our house! You can't beat 3 beef tacos for $1. Brad gets soft, I get crunchy, we bring them home and put our own sour cream and Del Taco mild sauce on them. Delicious. One of our new favorite traditions. And you just can't beat dinner for $3 or $4.

Now, I have a confession. Sort of a guilty pleasure. Brad has had his XBox 360 for a while. One of his favorite games is Call of Duty. He plays all the time online with his brother Brandon who lives in Orem. I actually think it's a great way for them to stay in touch - they have fun together, and Brad has never gone overboard like some guys you hear about skipping work or meals, missing sleep, never going outside. He usually only plays for an hour or 2 at a time, and only when Connor is sleeping. That's our deal (because I'm not fond of Connor seeing all that blood and gore, although it's not even as bad as some movies I've seen). Anyway, I'm a little embarrassed to say, I've been hooked! I've watched Brad play for so many hours, and I finally picked up a control and Brad taught me how to play. Now we play together a lot (with Brandon too). I'm getting pretty good! (Should I be proud of that?? Well, I am. :) ) We also play with some other members of our family - cousins, brothers-in-law, etc. It's actually really fun! Phew! Glad I got that off my chest...

Brad is allowed to finish his last game when Connor wakes up and Connor likes "playing" with dad for the last couple minutes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hair cut

When we lived in California, I never had to worry about cutting Connor's hair. Claire always did it for me. And she's good. Really good.

But now I have to do it. I cut Connor's hair myself for the first time a couple weeks ago. I put it off as long as I could stand. It didn't turn out too bad (although I did notice later that I missed a few strands) but the process was slightly more traumatizing. For both of us.

I just used clippers on the 1/2 inch and 1 inch settings. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, I ended up chasing Connor around the bathroom shaving off 1 tuft at a time until the job was reasonably done.

Before:


The carnage:

After.

His hair is already getting long again. Another hair cut is still s few weeks out, but I'm not looking forward to doing this again.

Connor

It's been a while since I posted an update about Connor. He is 16 months old now and he is growing up so fast. He is well into toddlerhood, and everyday it seems he learns something new. He really seems to love Utah and the snow, which is a relief since we will be living here for the next long while. He is energetic and very happy a lot of the time these days. He used to be much more moody and difficult.

Maybe as he gets closer to becoming 2 he will start to show signs of the terrible 2's, but I almost think he had the terrible 1's instead. From my understanding, many tantrums are caused because children can't communicate what they want so they get frustrated and lose it. Long before Connor even turned 1, he cried a lot of the day (because he was bored, or frustrated, or wanted to walk, whatever) and I was exasperated at the end of almost every day. Brad would come home from work and I would push Connor on him because I just couldn't deal with him screaming at me anymore. That was hard on Brad, too, since he was tired from working all day.

But it seems we have now moved past a lot of that. He has been SO sweet lately! He is getting so much better at communicating his needs to me, and I have helped him understand that he doesn't have to cry, scream, and whine to get what he wants/needs. Now he excitedly says "mama" to get my attention. Sometimes he forgets and will start to cry, but then he'll catch himself and say "mama". I almost never have to remind him how to ask me anymore. Then he'll say what he wants if he knows how to say it (up, more), or he'll point and speak in jibberish to try to tell me what he wants. He definitely still has some meltdowns, which usually end with him screaming at the top of his lungs right in my face when I tell him he can't have or play with something off-limits, but those are now few and far between.

His speaking has come a long way in the past couple months, couple weeks even. He can now say hello (haya), Mama, Dada, eyes, up (up and please), yeah, all done, doggie (dah-yee), kitty, whoa, uh-oh, hot (temperature hot or hot dog), tickle tickle, and he can sign "more." He can also make 6 animal sounds - dog ("ro, ro, ro"), fish (smacks lips together), sheep ("baa"), monkey ("ah ah ah"), snake (moves tongue in and out), and cow ("moooom", sometimes sounds like a slow "mom" :) ). He can also point to his eyes, ears, nose, mouth, tongue, hair, fingers, hand, foot, toes, and tummy when asked. Brad and I get so excited when he does all these things. It's amazing how having a kid makes you appreciate such simple and trivial tasks like pointing to your nose.

He loves "helping" now too. He always wants to help me sweep the floor (which involves him keeping 1 hand on the broom and walking right through my swept pile, and he likes to push the broom himself too), doing dishes (putting clean tupperwear from the cupboard in the dishwasher), laundry (I hand him the wet clothes from the washer and he puts them in the dryer, and then sits in the middle of the dry, warm, clean clothes while I fold), kind of cleaning up his toys (he will help me put everything in his toy bucket and then dump it all back out again), and put on lotion (he rubs my knee when I put lotion on my legs).

One of my favorite new developments of all, he is now a snuggler! After he wakes up in the morning and from his nap in the afternoon, he will sit and snuggle with me for about 20 minutes while we watch a movie. If you know Connor, he has NEVER been a snuggler! Even when he was a tiny baby, if I tried to snuggle with him he only wanted to eat so he would cry.

His favorite activity inside is being chased around and tickled, and outside it's to run around and play in the snow or try to get in on a game of basketball with bigger kids. I'm constantly pulling him away because he tries to run right in the middle of their game, even if we have our own basketball.

It's unbelievable, and kind of sad, that my little baby just isn't a baby anymore. The time has passed so quickly. He is becoming a little boy, and nursery is only 7 weeks away! I guess it's time to have another?? (No, that's not an announcement.)





video

Monday, March 7, 2011

Update (longer than I thought it would be...)

Now that we've been in Utah for a few months, it is feeling a lot more like home. We have had a few rainy days and it reminds me of the California winters we used to enjoy, snow-free. It has been getting a lot warmer (like 40s and 50s) and all the snow finally melted the day before yesterday, before it rained. I thought (or rather hoped) we were done with the snow for this year, but then today it dumped 3-4 inches within a couple hours. Sigh. Such is life in Utah.

We are enjoying this area, though. We love our ward and have made some great friends. Connor and I have been doing fun activities like going to the Zoo, visiting family, and attending Roy Library's story time every Wednesday. It's still a little cold for stroller walks, but the playground outside our apartment has been a life-saver when I just can't stand being inside anymore. The kid still really loves the snow.

Many of you have been asking how our house hunting is going. It is in full swing and we've already walked through close to 50 houses in person (and WAY more online). At this point all the houses are starting to look alike. Our definite favorite (the same house I talked briefly about a few posts back) is still our favorite. Actually, we have put an offer down on it! It's a short sale in Pleasant View and we have been waiting for 6 weeks so far for the bank to get back to us. Fortunately the price we offered was pre-approved by the bank for another buyer that walked away last minute. So it won't take the typical 6-9 months, like many short sales, for us to hear back (we hope). The listing agent for the bank told us we should have our answer within a few months of putting in our offer because the bank wants to move "fast" on this to get rid of it, and that was 6 weeks ago. In the meantime, we have been looking at more houses to make sure there isn't one we love more, but all this has only solidified our love for Green. (We call it "Green House" because every wall inside the house is green, but it is actually a big red brick house. And it's gorgeous.) Sorry, I'm still not going to post any pics yet. I want to save it for the exciting post and the big reveal when we close on it. Stay tuned!!

House hunting has been a fun experience. We are working with a great Realtor (which is free, by the way. The seller always pays the buyer's agent's commission) who has been great at getting us into tons of houses, has had some great advice of things to look/watch out for, and has even pointed out some potential problems in a few homes that we would have missed. It takes a trained eye. We have seen houses for sale by owners, short sales, houses in foreclosure; we have talked with builders about building a brand new house, and looked at potential lots to put a new house on; we've even participated in an auction for a house (it was a no-obligation auction - no money to put down at the start and really no risk to participate). It was a huge house, the bid started super low so we signed up (which was free). The price raised pretty high very quickly so we dropped out the first round. But hey, it all adds to the experience. It has been fun to imagine our future in each of the homes. But the only one we can literally see ourselves living in is Green.

Connor is growing up so fast, but I will post more of him in a separate post.

Brad's job is going well. He still works four 10's, with the exception being when he works overtime when clients come in for testing. Then he works five or six 10's (and sometimes even 12's). That has happened 3 weeks out of the few months we've been here. He likes what he is doing and enjoys the people he works with. He's also been playing church basketball. Good motivation for me to get back in shape too. (More on that later...)

Christmas in March.

A few months ago when I posted about our San Francisco/Sacramento trip, I said I lost our camera after that trip in November. There was a 16 GB card in it that hadn't been unloaded since I put the card in the camera in early September. I was sick about all the pictures I had lost of friends visiting us, Connor's 1 year birthday, our San Fran/Sac trip, and so much more. Sick. Thanks to family and friends that took many great pictures at some of the major events, like Connor's birthday. I would have been even more devastated had we not had any pictures at all!

I am SO happy to say, our camera was found a couple weeks ago! Somehow it ended up hiding in my dad's car somewhere. The car wash guys found it and left it on the seat as they vacuumed out my dad's car one Saturday. We had already replaced the camera at Christmas time (that was Brad's present to me since I was so upset about losing it) but we found the old and were able to return the new 4 days before the return period was up. Hooray!!

So now I get to use that money for a new Christmas present. Christmas in March.

And what I love even more are the pictures and videos we recovered. Here are a few gems that I thought were lost forever.

Who doesn't love the GQ pose? With the thumb in mouth, makes it classic. Baby-chic.

Connor's first hair cut. Bye-bye soft, wispy, baby hair!

I thought I was going to be one of those moms, right on top of taking a picture of Connor every month next to same object for the first year of his life to chart his growth. Well, I'm not. So, instead, I decided it would be fun to take a picture of Connor next to Brad on each of his birthdays to see his growth in comparison to his giant-dad. That's manageable.

Connor "talking" on my cell phone while watching Nate Berkus on TV. He holds the phone at his ear now.

Always a classic.

Our sunset at San Pedro Rock on our San Fran trip. These colors are not enhanced. This is really what it looked like. Stunning.

Our family under the Golden Gate. No internet pic could ever replace this.

With our good friends at the Capitol Building in Sacramento. Again, no internet pic could ever replace this.

Thank goodness for honest car wash men. I could kiss them.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Claire, Sterling, and Jaxson came to visit!

A couple weekends (Feb. 12-16) ago my sister Claire and her family came to Utah for a visit for Claire's 29th birthday. It was so fun to see them and play for a few days. Connor really loved playing with Jaxson again. He loves his cousin. We are sad they don't get to play so often anymore. :(

Saturday night we met them and our cousins Nick and LaRisse at Macaroni Grill in Salt Lake. It's always fun to get together with other family. Now that we live here, we will have to make sure to get together more often!



Sunday night we ate dinner at my Aunt Chris's house. Some of our cousins were there too and, as always, it was fun to see them!




Jaxson and Connor, with my cousin's son Craig.

Monday afternoon, they came to our apartment in West Haven. The boys played, we watched "Up", and ate some chocolate treats.



Tuesday morning we met in Park City to go sledding. The kids didn't have fun at all. Not sure why they hate it so much, but the adults had fun! After that we hit the Tangier Outlets for a little shopping and a delicious treat at Mrs. Fields.


Wednesday morning we went to Hogle Zoo together before they flew out that night. I love the Zoo. And Connor seemed much more interested than the last time we went when he was 9 months old.





A new way to pick your nose?? I guess it's more efficient... cuts out the middle man?





Go Cougars!!


I was such a fun few days and we miss them! Thanks for coming to visit us family!