Today's the day! That's right folks, I am sneakily packing the car (well, yesterday and today I have been) and straight from church we are driving to DISNEYLAND!!!!!! The kids still don't know, it's going to be a great trick. I think I'll wait until they ask why we're not going home... I wonder how long it will take them to notice with the movies playing in the car:)
So far, as I've packed, I've been careful to pack things they won't miss. Sam has missed his flashlight and his leap reader, oops, but he is 3 and still very easily distracted:)
Another thing I really enjoyed on my trip to Utah was spending time with my little brother, Peter and his fiancee Roxy. We went to an amazing Brazilian restaurant, they babysat, we took more engagement pictures, good times all around!
I also got to visit my Aunt Julie, who I haven't seen in four 1/2 years or so, since I last went to Utah for Jared's brother's wedding. Since I've last seen my cousins, my cousin Elise got married and had a baby, my Aunt got remarried, my other cousin Aubry left on a mission to Mongolia, and my cousin Summer decided to be a speech pathologist! Elise's baby Will is ADORABLE!!! He has the most amazing blue eyes. Aunt Julie was only 17 when I was born, so I remember her as this really cool young aunt, and that perception hasn't changed much over the years. I find it very weird that she's a grandma, but she seems to be enjoying it:) Max and Will got to spend some quality time together - Max thought he was pretty cool! Oh, how we love vacation!
I have been wanting to post about Maya's sealing that Jared and I were able to go to last week. I didn't want to steal Lora's thunder, but I decided I needed some of these pictures on my blog to remember too.
For those of you who don't know, I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We believe that families will be together forever, even after we die, if we live righteously and are sealed in the temple. When Jared and I got married, we were sealed for all eternity, and by default, any children we have are sealed to us as well. My brother and sister in law are unable to have children, but were recently able to adopt a little girl. So, since she was not born to them, they were able to take her to the temple and be sealed to her. It is a very sacred ceremony, simple and sweet. It was beautiful, I felt our Heavenly Father's love so strongly (I'm tearing up just thinking about it now). I know that this little girl was meant to be with them.
The fun part for me (other than the fact that I got to leave my older kids for a whole weekend) was that I got to take pictures! I had a great time:) And now they are a forever family. Doesn't that just make you happy?
We had to take Daddy's car to the airport. Poor Max, he's only ridden in the comfort of a really cool minivan with tinted windows. It was a little bright for him, but all I had were my sunglasses. I was amazed at how long he kept them on!
We love cousins. We have so many so close, and Max has three on each side that were born his year. More cousins are moving to town soon, and Maya isn't too far away (in Utah) so we're able to see her fairly often.
We went to Utah for Maya's sealing to her parents (so awesome, I don't even know where to begin. We were so lucky to be there). Max and Maya had a little play time. As it always seems to be in pictures of them together, once again Maya is totally dolled up and Max is in sweats. I'm not sure if it's a girl/boy thing or a 1st/3rd child thing or just a commentary on their mothers. Anyway, they really seemed to enjoy it.
After the first few minutes, it became clear that Maya will totally beat Max in a fight. She took charge right away, and to tell you the truth, Max didn't seem to mind. Maybe he's learned early the secret to a woman's heart.... just let them do whatever they want. They did enjoy looking at each other. Max can't do much more than vibrate with joy, but at least Maya didn't roll away from him:) "Don't worry Mom, I've got this covered." "And now I'm tired..."
These pictures of Max's first attempt at self feeding speak for themselves, so I will only say this: a) it was his idea (he pulled the spoon from a canister on the counter) and b) I don't think he's ready to leave home yet.
Pearl got the opportunity to go with her girl scout troop for a real horseback riding lesson. It was so fun!!!
She was so excited to be able to get some good use out of her cowgirl boots! She learned how to tie knots. This was all the girls practicing (in earnest!) keeping their heels down and toes up! Here she is, getting her helmet on and setting off to ride "Montana." Doesn't she look TINY on that horse!!!! She wasn't too sure about it at first... it's a lot of responsibility to guide a thousand pound animal ALL by yourself, but by the end she was all smiles! Once again, GO GIRL SCOUTS!!!!
We have cousins all over the country. I have a brother in New York and a brother in Provo. Jared has siblings in Provo and Des Moines. We, live in California.
Do you know what the weather is like in those places today? Well, in New York, the high is 32 degrees (not very high, if you ask me) and it is overcast. In Des Moines, it's 29 and snowing (Brrr!!!). In Provo, it's 39 with some slushy snow.
In Shingle Springs, it's sunny with a high of 62. That's right folks. That, my friends, is the reason people pay large sums of money to live here. If you have small children, I'd say it's definitely worth it.
While our cousins are bundled up inside or shoveling snow or whatever you do when the weather is 30 degrees, we went outside at 8:00 this morning and played in our newly filled sandbox. Only in California do they stock play sand in February. The weather has been so nice lately, I decided it was time for our yearly supply. Jared pointed out (oh so constructively) that it IS still rainy season, and I merely reminded him that the sandbox has a cover. And, with days like this here and there, it's worth keeping the cover on so Sammy has something to do outside on sunny afternoons besides climb rock piles, get wet in random puddles, and get lost (all activities of this week.) Yeah for California!!!!
My poor baby. He woke up at 5:30 this morning, puked up all his milk on his mommy, and had to take a shower with me. Then he didn't really nap because we had to get kids ready for school and take him to target and the doctor. He took a little nap in the car on the way to target, did NOT transfer to the comfy bed I made him in the stroller. He was good and happy for the doctor, but by the time the nurse came in to give shots he was a bit hysterical. After picking up Sammy and feeding him lunch, he FINALLY got to nurse and go to bed - that kid better sleep for 3 hours!!!
Anyway, my big baby is gone. Instead I have a 16 lb 7 ounce 25% baby. He's 25% for height and 23% for head circumference. So, though he is small, he is perfectly proportioned. He is still happy and mellow, we are so lucky to have such a good baby. His favorite things in life are his daily bottle of pear juice, chewing on ANYTHING, but especially straps, and crinkly plastic bags. He's already starting that "I don't want it if it's actually a toy" phase, and nursing is sometimes a wrestling match because he is so torn by what he wants to do more... eat or see what's going on! He's VERY close to sitting on his own, but not so much a roller yet. He has started to make vocalizations for the purpose of social communication (I know, I'm a speech geek. Other people think he's just screaming for joy). Love love love this boy, which is good, because every once in a while I reflect on how easy life would be with just two kids... good thing #3 is so adorable, I couldn't live without him!
On Saturday, Pearl and I had the opportunity to volunteer with our troop to help with a food drive for the El Dorado County Food Bank. It was cold, but the girls had so much fun!
They stood outside and took turns handing fliers to people of items the food bank was in need of that they could purchase and then donate as they left the store. Another troop of high school age girl scouts was in charge, they did an awesome job with the organization of the whole thing. The girls had to be very clear as they approached people, as everyone thought we were selling cookies (that's coming up...). Pearl did great, she would walk up and ask people very clearly "would you like to help the El Dorado County Food Bank today?" She got very good at telling people thank you and have a nice day even if they were rude:) Here are the big girls that were there. The little girls ADORED them - they totally listened to the big girls better than their leaders!!! And... here's us. I'm wearing my bright green girl scout t-shirt that my sisters say always makes them think of cookies:) Girl Scouts has been fun - definitely a time commitment, that sometimes seems difficult with an infant. But it's a great program, I'm involved with an awesome troop, and it is so wonderful for Pearl and I to have something to do together, when it seems like a lot of our home life is focused on the little boys. I sure love this girl!