December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

I've been putting off the Christmas post because I took a cute video of Sophie on Christmas morning that I've been hoping to find on my phone or computer, but have finally come to accept the fact that I deleted it by accident :( I'm a little sad about it, but nothing can be done. Next year I'll be more careful!

Sophie was so excited for Christmas, but still didn't fully understand everything. On Christms Eve she opened some new pajamas and we helped her set out some cookies and milk for Santa , but she thought the plate needed something else so she also added some goldfish crackers :)

Sophie chose to have grandma put her to bed this night, and while they read bedtime stories we played games with Liz and Dave's dad. 

In the morning I went to Sophie's room and asked her what day it was and she said, "A cloudy day?" When I said no, think really hard she said, "A sunny day?" I guess even with all the hype for the last month, she forgot it was Christmas. When she saw the presents under the tree, though, she was pretty excited!

The presents had to wait until the rest of the family came over in the afternoon, but she did get to open her stocking and found the pink umbrella she had been wanting Santa to bring her since June. 

Let's just say it was all she was ever hoping for :)

The rest of the day went great. The family came over around 4:00 for presents and we were once again spoiled by some great gifts. After presents we had a delicious prime rib feast and managed to fit all 15 of us around one table. We are so glad we were able to make the trip to Texas once again this year to share the holidays with the Howe family!

December 24, 2015

Pre-Christmas Festivities

I was really excited to have a full week of time off before Christmas to do fun things with the family and friends. There was never a shortage of fun or food during our trip! Texas also treated us to some amazing weather that week! It was nice to be away from the Utah cold and enjoy some time outside.

Dave and Sophie spent the first few days on their own while I was still in Utah. Sophie helped grandma make a birthday cake for Dave, went to a preschool Christmas program for her cousins, and to a trampoline play place. 

Saturday: The day I arrived we went to a Dallas Stars Hockey game with the family. I really don't know that much about hockey, but it was fun and our team won! Sophie was fascinated by the "time out" box where the players would have to sit for 2 minutes when they didn't play nice. She also convinced grandpa to get some popcorn and had her first taste of cotton candy. 

Silly faces with cousin Liam

Sunday: Sophie in a dress made by Grandmari on Christmas Sunday. She really enjoyed going to the nursery at grandma's church, which was great because she got to go three times during our trip.

Tuesday: One of our big adventures was a trip out to a ranch for a game of frisbee golf. The course is massive and you get to use golf carts to get from hole to hole. It was a beautiful day and fun to spend a whole morning outdoors. 

The kids also had a great time, but it was a long day and we the novelty of a golf cart wore off after a while and we had to find other ways to keep them entertained. The highlight for Sophie was picking out all the M&Ms out of giant bag of trail mix. 

Sophie got to experience her first ever "potty in the woods" during of golf adventure - it was a success! She did so well with the potty during our trip. I was worried she would regress like she did when we traveled over the summer, but she actually made a lot of progress and only had 1 accident over the whole three weeks. Go Sophie girl!

Wednesday: Tim and Cindy hosted a dinner for the whole family and between each course a different family would present part of the Christmas story. Our role was arriving at the inn and the birth of Jesus. I was Mary (great with child!) and Dave was Joseph. Sophie played the innkeeper for the first scene and when it was time for her line she said "there is no room on the inside" - close enough! She then played the baby Jesus and Purple played the part of the swaddling clothes. 

On Christmas Eve we met cousins at a fun park and let the kids run around. As always, Sophie spent most of her time on the swings, but also enjoyed exploring and climbing. She is getting so brave!

December 22, 2015

Family Picture 2015

This year's Christmas card was quick and easy, even though it took two attempts. The first time was just after Sophie's nap and she was a completely grump, but the second time went much better. We were staying at my aunt's house with my family over Thanksgiving and literally just stepped outside the front door, sat on a bench, took a series of 20 pictures and chose the best. Merry Christmas from the Howes!

December 18, 2015

Before Christmas Vacation

We returned from our trip yesterday and the suitcases are unpacked, the fridge is stocked, and the laundry is sort of done (it's at least sitting in the washer now instead of the floor) so that means it's time to start catching up on the blog!

On Monday morning, mid-December, we woke up to snow! About 6 inches had fallen overnight and it just kept coming down. Sophie and I waited for the plows to come through before we left for Orem, which turned out to be a good decision.  Dave had to administer the final for his class and his 30 minute drive to campus ended up taking over 3 hours. He arrived a few minutes late, but was able to give his exam and wrap up his semester.

Sophie loves snow so I gave her a cup of super light, fluffy snow to have with her breakfast

That afternoon I had planned to take Sophie to the city candy cane hunt at a local park. I thought that the snow would have canceled the event, but it was still on so as soon as I got home from work we bundled up and went out to look for candy canes! The crowds were light (only about 80 kids instead of the usual 500) so every kid got to take home a big haul. Sophie had a great time and I let her eat two candy canes before I threw the rest in the garbage.

Pretty easy pickings, but perfect for a 2 year old

Enjoying the special "rainbow" candy cane she found

That evening we had a mini Christmas because Sophie and Dave were leaving the next morning for Texas and we weren't going to take our gifts with us. I took them to the airport in the morning (while it was still snowing!) and then enjoyed a few days to myself because I needed to finish up work and wouldn't fly out to join them until Friday. It was nice to have some time to do last minute shopping/returns, take down Christmas, and clean the house. 

One fun thing I did while they were gone was go downtown with my mom for the Tabernacle Christmas Concert!! My grandma was able to get two tickets, so my mom flew in for just two days and we went to the concert together. The middle had some opera parts that I didn't enjoy as much, but overall it was great!

We walked around Temple Square to see the lights, but it was a really cold, icy evening so it was a short adventure

Waiting for the concert to start

December 11, 2015

26 Weeks

Today is the 26 week mark for baby boy - only two weeks to go until we enter the third trimester!! He is definitely growing and I feel like my tummy has really popped in the last month. The parents and kids at school no longer hesitate to ask if I'm expecting because it's pretty obvious now. 

So far I'm still feeling pretty good. The nausea has been gone for awhile now, I sleep comfortably most nights, and can still move around really well. We talk about "brother" often with Sophie and she is excited for him to arrive. This baby is very active throughout the day (and night) and if he turns out to be anything like Dave was as a child, we'll have our hands full! 

Next up for us is the lovely 28 week glucose tolerance test and the rhogam injection (since I'm a negative blood type and Dave is positive).  Since we'll be traveling over the holidays I won't make it in until I'm about 30 weeks, but once that appointment is out of the way there will only be two months to go. Keep up the good work baby boy!

December 7, 2015

Holly Days & Santa

For the past two years we've visited the Santa at Riverwoods, but when we were down in Provo this year it was bitter cold and very windy so we never made it. I checked the local holiday guide to find an alternative and found that Santa would be visiting the Riverton City Park for Holly Days. We drove out tonight and weren't sure what to expect, but it was a fun, little free event - perfect for a two year old!

We arrived right when it started and were able to enjoy all the activities while the crowds were light. And this time we were dressed for the cold weather! Our first stop was Santa, and Sophie put in her request for a pink umbrella. It's something she's wanted for months now and I think she'll be happy when she sees what Santa brings her on Christmas morning :) We also frosted a cookie, enjoyed some hot chocolate, roasted a marshmallow, made an ornament (which we forgot at the park), and took a train ride. 

In line to see Santa - she was so excited!

Ho Ho Ho!

Decorating cookies with mommy - she did a great job frosting her own cookie and then dumped on loads of sprinkles

Roasting marshmallows with daddy

She took one giant bite of her marshmallow and decided she didn't like it

We paid to ride the $2 train. Dave stayed behind because he wouldn't fit in the little cars, but Sophie and I enjoyed a very bumpy ride around the park. They had lights and story boards of "The Night Before Christmas" set up around the park that we fun to look at while we bumped along. 

On our way out we asked Sophie if there was anything else she wanted to do, and she decided she wanted to see Santa one more time. We got back in the line and she gave him a good hug before saying goodbye. 

December 2, 2015

Holiday Lights at Thanksgiving Point

For our first activity of the Christmas season we went to see the Holiday Lights at Thanksgiving Point. It's a drive-thru light display that normally costs $10/car, but was free for members on November 30th and December 1st.

We went Monday and the line was insane!! Probably a few miles long and barely moving. It took us all of one minute to come to the decision that it wasn't worth it. We told Sophie we would come back the next night, turned around, and got a hot fudge Sundae from McDonalds as a consolation prize.

On Tuesday things were complete different. Our wait was less than 10 minutes - so much better! The lights were fun, but nothing extraordinary. I'm glad it wasn't something we paid for. Sophie loved it though!! She gets excited over a single string of Christmas lights on a house, so this was very special and fun for her.

We received a coupon for a free hot chocolate so on our way out we stopped by the main pavilion for our treat and to see the reindeer. We were not dressed for the cold, since we thought we'd be in the car the whole time, and poor Sophie was freezing. I was a little cold myself, even though I had two jackets on. The fire and the hot chocolate helped warm us up a little, but once our fun was done we decided to call it a night.

November 30, 2015

November Roundup

And here we are in December! Dave and Sophie leave for Texas two weeks from today, and I'll be just a few days behind them. I can't believe Christmas is just around the corner!

November was a great month for us. In the last two weeks I celebrated my 30th birthday (ahhh!!), we went to my cousin's mission homecoming, my grandparents, parents, and sister's family all came to visit, we celebrated Thanksgiving......and I didn't get my camera out once. Ooops.

For the record, though, it was a great Thanksgiving weekend. Sophie spent lots of time with her cousins, and for the first time ever the kids went off to play together and needed little to no adult supervision. It was so nice!! We also went out to eat lots of times (thanks mom & dad), Dave went skiing with my brother and dad, we saw the Hunger Games movie, took the kids to the Curiosity Museum, played lots of games, and ate some delicious food. Sophie's entire Thanksgiving dinner consisted of two different types of jello and pie. Who needs turkey anyway??

Below are some of the other things we did this month (that I remembered to take pictures of):

We went to the aquarium (again) and Sophie asked me to take her picture on this frog. She's entered a new phase where she wants to have her picture taken and then likes to look at them on my phone or camera afterwards. It's nice to finally have a semi-cooperative subject!

Sophie sat down at Dave's computer one day to do some "work." I'd say she did a pretty good job imitating daddy :)

A few days before my birthday I had my follow up scan to check the cyst in baby boy's brain. To our relief, it had resolved and everything else looked great! The scan took a full hour and it was nice to see our little guy again. Next time we look at him will be in person!

Sophie got invited to a cute tea party at the Curiosity Museum for her friend Cora. She got to paint a flower pot and made sure every surface was covered. It's a miracle the paint on that thing dried before we had to go home. 

Sophie decorated our tree this year, and since it's so little, she was able to do the whole thing by herself. She loves Christmas and makes sure we turn on the tree lights as soon as we come downstairs each morning. 

Sophie has been doing so well in panties, but had an accident one night last week. Purple didn't get dirty, but Pink did and she had to sleep without her for the night. In the morning she helped me with the wash and parked herself right in front of the dryer to wait for Pink to be clean. 

We got our Christmas cards sent out! We took the picture (coming soon!) on a Friday, sent the cards in for print to Costco that night, picked them up Saturday, and then Sophie and I stuffed them and put on stamps. I'm feeling so accomplished right now. 

November 15, 2015

Sophie at 31 Months

Sophie is featured on the blog all the time, but it's been awhile (over a year) since I've posted an official update on her. She has changed so much since I last wrote about her at 18 months and is, as she often tells us, "almost getting bigger!" Because she is tall and speaks well, people often guess that she is 3 or 4, and are surprised to learn that she is still only 2. She loves to play with older kids and will be sad when the new year comes and her nursery friends move up to Sunbeams and she is left behind.

Sophie loves to be a helper and has learned to climb the kitchen drawers to get up on the counter while we prepare meals. She is really interested in everything and often asks "why" if she doesn't understand something. Every morning we talk about our plan for the entire day and if you give her a pencil and some paper she will make a "schedule". She knows all her colors, counts to 14, and can tell you the plot of almost any Disney movie. She is just starting to show an interest in letters and can identify M (for mommy), D (for daddy), S (for Sophie and snake), F (for frog), and X (that marks the spot).

We are working on how to understand and work through feelings and she has been slowing learning when to be crazy, when to be quiet, how to say sorry, and that it's ok to be sad, mad, or frustrated sometimes. She is extremely loving and never lets a person leave without giving them a hug and a "miss" (kiss). She is very easy to please and often tells us that something is her favorite or "was fun to her." We are often amazed at her patience. If you give her a candy she will savor it in her mouth forever and can stay quiet in a hiding spot for a few minutes when we play hide-and-seek. I can't even begin to describe how much I love her!!

Sophie at 31 Months
  • 39 inches tall (95%) and and weighs almost 34 pounds (75%). 
  • We still have not cut her hair. I told myself I would cut it when she turns three, but I love it so much we might let it just keep growing....
  • Favorite color is green
  • Favorite animals are frogs, snakes, crabs, alligators, turtles, and octopuses. I think our aquarium membership has had an influence on her and has led to a love all things related to the water. 
  • Favorite shows are Jake and Neverland Pirates, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Daniel Tiger, and Winnie the Pooh, and all Disney movies. 
  • Her favorite breakfast is cheesy eggs with yogurt, her favorite lunch is cheesy noodles, and her favorite dinner is anything that involves cheese. She also likes to eat carrots with dip, apples, soup, oatmeal, pancakes, and rice. Her favorites treats are milkshakes, donuts, popcorn and chocolate milk. She still is not a fan of chicken or most veggies, but has been making some progress. 
  • She sleeps very well - 11 hours at night and a 2 hour nap in the day. We still haven't moved her out of a crib and will probably wait until just before or even after the baby is born. Purple and Pink (her blankets) are her "loves" and she snuggles with them every night. 
  • She is a huge fan of Spiderman, even though she really has no idea who he is. Dave recently got some little Spiderman books at the library so she has been learning more about his webs, bad guys, and what makes a good superhero. 
  • Loves to play doctor, cooking, blocks, play-doh, coloring, hide-and-seek, tag, go to sleep, and hide from the scary monster. 
  • Is pretty much potty trained. She still has tiny accidents, that don't even get her pants wet, but is otherwise good. She has been wearing panties to bed at night for the last month and has only had two accidents. We are 100% diaper free!!
  • Her favorite song to listen to is the "Ghosty Song" - Grim Grinning Ghosts from the Disneyland haunted mansion. Her favorite song to sing right now is "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from the Lion King. 
  • She is very excited for her birthday, which is still over 4 months away. We probably won't do a party since I am due with this baby on her birthday, but she is still looking forward to having a cake with candles and presents. I also told her that when she turns 3 she can ride the train at the mall, which hopefully turns out to be as much fun as she thinks it will be.  
  • Is ready to be a sister. We have been sorting through baby stuff to get ready, and talking about when she was a baby, and I think she is starting to get excited for her brother to arrive. She tells us often that she will feed him a bottle and tiny food, take a bath with him, play tag (that one will have to wait a few years), and have sleepovers. I'm glad she's looking forward to the "sleepovers" because we only have two bedrooms and they will be sharing for at least a year or more until Dave is done with school.  

November 10, 2015

Fall Leaves & First Flakes

A couple years ago we didn't rake the leaves up in our backyard and then it snowed and all the grass underneath the leaves died. Hearing that bad weather was on the way, I decided I should probably take care of the yard just in case it snowed. Our yard is small and more than half the leaves are still on the tree, but I did manage to scrape together a pile just big enough for Sophie to jump in. She had a fabulous time!

When we woke up in the morning the ground was clear and dry. Before I left for work, however, some flakes started to fall. I showed Sophie and she said "it's so pretty for me!!" She really wanted to go outside and play, even though it was just a dusting, but we had to leave the snow untouched to go down to Orem. When we got home it was lightly raining and the snow on the ground was starting to disappear. She hurried outside and Dave helped her build this tiny snowman, which made her day. I love how much happiness she gets out of the little things!

November 5, 2015

We're having a.....

Today we had our anatomy scan and found out we are having a....


This wan't a big surprise because at my 14 week appointment my doctor told me it looked like a boy, but that it was early and things could change so we shouldn't go out and buy little blue outfits just yet. Now we know for sure!

I would have been happy to have a girl so I could use all of Sophie's clothes and blankets we have in storage, but am very excited about a boy as well! (I may even have a box of little boy stuff in the closet I have been keeping just in case!) We told Sophie she was going to get a brother and asked her what his name should be, and without even a seconds pause she responded "Dragon." We have a different name picked out for him, but haven't broken the news to her yet :)

Little Dragon's ultrasound went well, although the doctor did find a choroid plexus cyst that we'll have checked out in a couple weeks. Cysts like this can be a sign of a chromosomal disorder if other abnormalities are present, but everything else looked normal. We were told not to worry and that there are high chances it will resolve on it's own in the next few weeks. I am not too nervous and am hopeful the follow-up ultrasound will be clear and put all worries to rest.

Profile of our little man