Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Our Brand New, Very Adorable Nephew

Introducing the newest member of our family, Keagan.

Keagan was born yesterday.  All is well with both him and Karena which is always good to hear.

Can I just say I have the cutest nephews in the world.

We are a little sad that Gavin and Karena are so far away and that it will probably be awhile until we get to see little Keagan, but we are happy that he is hear and healthy and that at least we get to see pictures.

Congratulations Karena, Gavin, big brothers Elden and Bennett!  And welcome to the family, Keagan!

Weekly Movie Night Take Two

Since Saturday's movie night was a little lame, we decided to try again on Sunday night.  My sister Emily came over, and we watched Star Wars Episode 6 (woohoo, we are done!)  I made star jello jigglers.  We had a great time.

Zoe, Emily, and Robby.  Robby was so thrilled that I was taking a picture of him.

I decided Zoe needed a little taste of our treat.  I only let her lick a little, but she would have sucked on it all night if I would have let her.

We are still continuing with the feeding adventures.  We started feeding Zoe carrots.  She likes them, but not nearly as much as her cereal.  Here are some fun feeding pictures.

He is such a good big brother.  Zoe is one lucky girl.

She sneezed just as I was putting the spoon in her mouth.  She thought it was pretty funny.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Busy, Busy Saturday

Today was a crazy day.  I got up early this morning and went out with Zoe and my sister, Emily.  We met up with some of my aunts and cousins to drop off some cabbage patch kids we had refurbished for a service project.  Then we all went to lunch at Olive Garden.  It was fun to see everyone, but taking Zoe anywhere in the car is exhausting.  She slept all the way there and was an angel the whole time we were there.  But, as soon as we got in the car to come home, she started crying.  She cried all the way home, which was about an hour and a half.  She hates being in her car seat so much, I don't know what to do for her.  If anyone has any brilliant ideas, let me know.

While we were gone, Kirk and Robby had a bit of a boys day.  They went to a primary activity in the morning to practice for the primary program.  Then they went to lunch and to Home Depot.  When they got back, Kirk spent most of the day installing a humidifier for our house.  He did a great job and I am really excited about it.  Robby thought that it was great that he got to spend the day just with dad.  

We had movie night tonight, but it wasn't a very exciting one since I didn't have anytime to get it together.  We watched Star Wars, Episode V, which means we only have one more Star Wars to watch.  I like Star Wars, but I am ready to move on to something else.  I didn't even take the time to make a cool treat for tonight.  Robby had some cereal straws that he had been wanting to try, so I just gave him one of those and told him it was a light saber.  He wasn't all that impressed.  Next week I will have to do better.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

She's Growing Up Too Fast

I took Zoe for her 4 month doctor's appointment a couple of days ago.  He said that everything looks good and she is doing well.  She is growing a lot, at her 2 week appointment she weighed 7.91 lbs (31st percentile), at 2 months she weighed 11.27 lbs (57th percentile), and she now weighs 14 lbs (54th percentile).  The biggest change though has come in her height.  About a month or so ago, she started to get chubby.  She had big chubby cheeks and thick thighs, but it only lasted for a couple of weeks.  Then, it almost seemed like she stretched out and wasn't nearly as chubby any more.   Measuring her at the doctors appointment proved that.  At 2 weeks, she was 20 inches (31st percentile), at 2 months 22.75 inches (60th percentile) and now she is 25 inches (76th percentile).  She is definitely a tall girl and seems to just be getting taller.

The doctor also gave us the go ahead to start feeding Zoe solids.  She has always spit up a lot, so he is hoping that starting her on solid foods may help to reduce the spit up.  He also said that the fact that she is always putting something in her mouth shows that she is ready.

So, yesterday morning, Kirk fed Zoe her first taste of solid foods, rice cereal.  It seems that in Zoe's mind, that was the greatest thing that could possibly have happened to her.  She took to it almost immediately.  She spit out the first few bites while she tried to figure out what to do with her tongue, but by the end, she was just downing it.  This morning, she got so excited the moment she saw the bowl and the spoon.  It is hilarious to watch her; she loves it so much.  As soon as she sees the spoon coming, she starts shaking because she is so excited.  She grabs at the spoon and tries to pull it to her mouth as quickly as possible.  We tried to give her a spoon to hold so she wouldn't grab the one we are feeding her with, but she will only hold it until she sees the one with food on it, then she throws it aside and grabs for the good one.  She doesn't spit very much out at all, in fact, the only reason she gets really dirty is because of her grabbing the spoon.  It is so much fun watching her learn something new and enjoying it so much.  Now I can't wait to watch her discover new tastes; next on the list, sweet potatoes.

Here are some pictures from her first experience at eating.

Holding the spoon.  It is so hard to get it in her mouth when she is trying to be in control.

How could anyone resist this face.

Eating makes her so happy!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Movie Night - Star Wars Episode 4

Today was another great Saturday in our house.

Our routine was disrupted a little, but it was for good things.  A family that we are good friends with adopted a little girl and they had her sealed to them and blessed today, so we went to the blessing.  It was so great to be a part of that experience with them.  It is wonderful to think that in just a couple of months we will be doing that with Zoe.  I can't wait.

After the blessing, Robby went to a birthday party and had a blast.

Once all that was done, we dove into our usual Saturday routine, linner out, run some errands, and movie night.

Tonight's movie was Star Wars Episode 4.  For a treat, I made Death Star Red Velvet Cake Truffle Balls.  (Yes, I do realize that they look nothing like the Death Star, but I really wanted to try them and I needed some way to tie them in.)

I got the instructions for the cake balls from the Bakerella blog. They were kind of a pain to make, but they were fun.  They were pretty tasty too.

Robby loved them too.  He said that the only problem with them is that they are so small that you want to eat a ton.  I guess they were a hit.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Four Months

At 4 months, Zoe is...

very loud.  She is always making noises and they are never quiet.  Her noise of choice sounds almost exactly like an incredibly angry cat, but it is a happy noise when Zoe makes it.

the queen of spit up.  Zoe has been a spitter upper her whole life and it doesn't look like that is going to change soon.  We go through many, many burp rags in our house.

incredibly happy.  She is a genuinely happy child.  She is always grinning and giggling.  She loves when anyone pays attention to her and will almost always reward them with a smile.

opinionated.  She knows what she wants and does not hesitate to let you know.  It is amazing how clear she can make herself without using words.

beautiful.  She is one of the most gorgeous kids I have ever seen.

stubborn.  She does not easily give in.  She has recently discovered that she hates going to sleep.  No matter how tired she is, she will scream if she thinks there is any chance you are putting her to sleep.  Her screams just keep getting quieter and quieter until she finally becomes so exhausted that her screams are just sighs.  It doesn't take long to get her to go to sleep, but she fights her hardest every second of it.

getting very strong.  She is starting to support herself sitting up (although she has no sense of balance yet) and standing.

loving her hands.  She always seems to either have her hands in her mouth or is using them to figure out how to get a toy to her mouth.

miserable when she is in her car seat.  She hates her car seat and screams the second she gets in it, until we get her out.  Road trips are great fun with Zoe.

the absolute joy and love of our lives.  After just 4 months she has become an indispensable part of our family.  I cannot imagine life without her.

I have been taking these pictures every month, as close to the 11th as I can. It is really fun to see how much she has grown. (You can click on any of the pictures to see it bigger and cycle through them.)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Saturday in the Life of Us

Saturdays at our house are full of routine and tradition and are definitely my favorite day of the week. This is our regular Saturday schedule, as well as what we did this Saturday.

Sometime before 8:00 am:  Robby gets up.  As a six year old, he is biologically unable to sleep in.  I don't know for sure what time he gets up, but he has learned that he can go downstairs and do pretty much whatever he wants, as long as he is quiet and doesn't wake up mom and dad.

Sometime between 8:00 and 10:00 am:  Kirk and I wake up.  This used to be closer to ten, but now Zoe typically gets us up earlier.  This week it was about 8:30 when she started making noise and insisting that it was time to eat.

10:00-11:00 am:  We eat a "homemade breakfast" as Robby calls it.  This consists of anything that involves more work than dumping into a bowl or throwing into the toaster.  This week it was pancakes with raspberries and whipped cream, yum!

11:00-4:00 pm:  This is the time to be productive.  We usually have a list of things we want to accomplish and this is the time to do it.  Unfortunately, productivity rarely happens for us on a Saturday, but at least we have good intentions.  Yesterday, instead of being productive, we decided to go see Madagascar 2.  It was a good movie and we had a lot of fun.  When we got home, since it was such a nice day, Kirk did manage to get the Christmas lights put on the house, Robby played outside, practiced basketball, and took some pictures for a school project, and I, well I managed to accomplish absolutely nothing.

Sometime between 3:00 and 4:00 pm:  We go out somewhere to eat "linner," a combination of lunch and dinner.   We are creatures of habit and usually go to the same place, although sometimes we break tradition and eat somewhere else.

4:00-6:00 pm:  Since we are already out of the house for dinner, this is when we run any errands that need to get done.  Yesterday we went to Walmart to get Robby's pictures developed and pick up a baby shower present.

6:00-8:00 pm:  Movie Night.  We try, once a week, usually on Saturday night, to have movie night.  We let Robby choose a movie to watch and we all watch together.  We also have some fun treat; usually I try to somehow tie the treat into the movie, although it doesn't always happen.  It is something that we all look forward to.  Over the last few weeks we have been working our way through the Star Wars movies, so this week Robby chose Star Wars Episode III.

Here are some pictures from this week's movie night.

Our treats were brownies with Darth Vader on them.  They were very yummy.

Here is Robby, enjoying his brownie and very engrossed in the movie.

Watching the movie.  Even Zoe gets into it for a minute, although she usually sleeps through most of it.

And just for fun, here is a cute picture of  Kirk and Zoe.

I really do love Saturdays.  I love just spending the day hanging out with my family, without having to worry much about anything else.  I am sure that if we did things differently we could get a lot more things accomplished on Saturday, and we definitely need to get more done, but I like it this way.  Our kids are only going to be young for a short time, and it is so great to have one day a week that we just spend together.  I am always sad when Saturday is over and can't wait until next week.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My Thoughts on the Last Few Days

WARNING:  This post contains political thoughts and long melodramatic ramblings.  Read at your own risk.

I have thought a lot over the last few days what, if anything, I should post here about the presidential election.  I have finally come to the conclusion however, that I have to post something.  This is something that is important to me, is a big part of who I am, and whether I can say what I want to say as eloquently as I like, or manage to keep my blog completely free of controversy is not important, it is just important that I say something.

Politically, Tuesday night was exciting for me.  Being a Democrat in an incredibly red state, political victories are rare.   The last two presidential elections (and the only two I have been able to vote in and really cared about) have been difficult for me.  I have gone to bed election night full of fear, doubt, and uncertainty, honestly feeling like America had made the wrong choice (so trust me, I understand how many of you are feeling now.)  It was nice for once, to be able to go to bed on election night, full of hope, with a smile on my face.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think that Obama is going to immediately solve all our problems and change the world overnight.   He has long road ahead of him and a lot of challenges to face, but at least, I feel, we are moving in a positive direction.

But, over the last couple of days, my thoughts have not really dwelled on a political victory, but instead, on something I think is much more profound and important.  Tuesday truly was a historical day and I think, I hope, that regardless of our political differences, regardless of our personal opinions about Obama as an individual, or whether or not he is the best thing for the country, we can all agree about the greatness of America, the greatness of our political process, and can share in the pride of how far we have come.

I have never really known an America where people were judged only by the color of their skin and not by the content of their character.   I have never known an America where whether or not a person could eat at a certain restaurant, live in a certain area, even sit in a certain seat on a bus, was based solely on the amount of pigment in their skin.  But yet, even though I have not lived in that America, I have still lived in an America where race does impact life experiences, racism does exist, and I honestly didn't think for most of my life that I would ever see a black President of the United States.  It is amazing to me that it really wasn't that long ago that America was a very different place.  It was only 53 years ago that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, 45 years ago that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed to the world that he had a dream, and only 40 years ago that he was killed for fighting for that dream.  I watched an interview with Rep. John Lewis, a man who was a hero of the Civil Rights movement, who marched side by side with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and as he spoke of the election, he could hardly find words.  He was so overcome with the emotion of what had happened.  He spoke of how hard they had worked just so black people could vote in the South and now he was seeing something that he had only dreamed about.  I personally didn't know that America before and during the Civil Rights movement, so I don't think I really appreciate how huge this really is, but I am still amazed and proud that we have come so far.

As a mother of two amazing children, I think Tuesday night had even more significance to me.  To me, the world is a different place now than it was before Tuesday.  The fact that now, as Zoe grows up and experiences this world, she will know that she can do anything.  When I tell her that she can accomplish anything she wants and can be anything she wants to be, I won't have to wonder if her race or her gender are going to stand in her way.  This election has shown us that in America, she can do anything.  That doesn't mean it is going to be easy, or that she won't face obstacles.  We still have a long way to go and she may have to work harder than others to get to where she wants to be.  But a lot of barriers were broken down in this election, by both parties, and the world is a better place because of it.  Today, I am so thankful for the lessons both my children can learn from this election; that they never will see the presidency as something that is only obtainable by white men, that they can believe that this is the land of opportunity where people truly can rise above their circumstances and show their greatness, that we live in a democracy where everyone has a voice and vote that matters and that can make a difference, that we can have confidence in the peaceful transfer of power as one president, one political party, steps aside for the next because that is what the people wanted, and that we live in the greatest nation on this earth, a country, not without mistakes and faults, but one where we can learn from the past and rise above our mistakes, always striving to be better.

I hope that as this election season winds down and we get back to our normal lives, we can come together to celebrate our common goals and ideals instead of concentrating on our differences.  I hope that we can all appreciate that we just witnessed an historic election between two great men, that regardless of political differences, both truly love this country, and that we can remember that lesson.  We can remember that even if we disagree politically, we can still agree that we love America and that we all want what we think is best, even if we disagree on what that is.  And that is what makes this country so great; we can disagree and yet we can still all be friends.  Some of us can be thrilled with the outcome of the election while others are immensely disappointed, but at the end of the day, we are all still American's, and in four more years we get to do this all again.

I don't know for sure what President Obama's presidency will be like.  I don't know what he will accomplish or where he will lead this country, but I have hope that it will be good, and I will pray for him that he will make the decisions that will lead this country in a direction it needs to go.  And more than anything, I will pray to thank my Heavenly Father that I could be a part of all this and that I could live in such an amazing country.  I am proud to be an American!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote! Vote! Vote!

I just got back from voting and thought I would come here and remind everyone, if you haven't already done it, go vote!  No matter what your views are politically (and I am sure I disagree with most of you) the importance of voting is something we can all agree on.  It is your duty, your right, your responsibility, so go out and let your voice be heard.

This evening, Kirk is going to take Robby with him when he votes and then we will spend the evening in front of the TV watching election coverage.  I love election day!

Monday, November 3, 2008

High School Musical 3

When Robby is a teenager, he is going to hate me for posting this, but maybe he'll forgive me.

Robby is very big fan of High School Musical.  He saw the first one when he was four and loved it.  For a few months, he watched one of the two almost daily and he still goes to sleep at night listening to the soundtracks.

Saturday, Robby was feeling better and we wanted to do something fun.  We had avoided going to the theater to see HSM3 because honestly, the thought of a theater full of excited tween girls, well, rated somewhere after going to the dentist on the fun meter.  But we figured that enough time had passed that it wouldn't be to bad so we gave in.

The theater wasn't very full and the movie was pretty good.  I thought it was much better than the second one and maybe even a little better than the first.  Robby liked it, Kirk thought it was the best movie ever made (ok, I made that one up), and even Zoe enjoyed it.  It was nap-time for her, but she didn't sleep.  She just sat on my lap and stared wide-eyed at the screen.

All in all, we enjoyed it and it was definitely fun, after a few days of sick kid, to just enjoy the time together.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Part 2

We finally did end up doing a little trick or treating.

Robby had been feeling a little bit better all Halloween afternoon and had a hard time deciding if he wanted to go trick or treating or not.  Finally, about five minutes before the start of the ward trunk-or-treat he decided he felt good enough to go out.  So, I had 5 minutes to get them both ready.

The last couple of years, Robby has insisted on wearing something "Halloweeny" for his costume.  Last year he was a skeleton, this year he decided to be a ghost, and he is already talking about possibly Frankenstein for next Halloween.  I decided to just keep it simple and dress Zoe up as a ghost too.

Last weekend, when we went trick-or-treating downtown, Robby had his face painted white and his costume looked pretty cool.  We just didn't have time to paint his face this time, not to mention that since he was sick, he did not have the patience to sit still and let me do it.  So, his costume didn't look quite as cool, but I still think we had two pretty good looking ghosts.

Robby walked around the church parking lot, got a little candy, and then was ready to come home.  That totally did him in.  I think the fresh air did him good though and he has been feeling much better ever since.  We are all just glad he got to celebrate Halloween a little bit.