February 28, 2015

February Roundup

This month went by so fast! Probably because we working hard and playing hard:

Dave finished a paper for school that he has been working on for the better part of two years. It was approved this week and we are both happy to have it behind us. He is now preparing to take comps - his comprehensive exams where he has to know everything. No pressure!

I have really been enjoying work. It's been a great year at the school - the kids are happy, the parents are happy, and the staff is happy, including me! I really love my job. I also am having a hard time believing that Sophie will turn two in just a few weeks.

Sophie has been her usual, happy self. Some memorable Sophie moments from this month are (in words and pictures):
  • At Disneyland my sister and I were waiting with the kids by the Mark Twain riverboat while the others rode Thunder Mountain Railroad. At one point I turned around and found her down on her hands and knees drinking from a puddle on the sidewalk like a dog. So, so gross. 
  • She has learned to say "yes!" It's amazing how kids learn to say "no" as one of their first words, and then months, even a year later they finally learn yes. 
  • One morning we were watching the Today show and Sophie was very intrigued by Al Roker's "naked head."
  • She has started sucking on her fingers. They are always in her mouth and it drives me nuts. Her hands are always wet now and everything she touches gets covered in slobber. Ugh. I hope this is short-lived phase. 
We've been doing lots, and lots of reading. She has started making the transition from board books to real books. Her favorites are Little Critter, Clifford, Curious George and anything Disney related. 

It's snowing as I write this (hooray!), but for the most part this February has been warm and dry. We've enjoyed lots of playtime outside. One day we spend an hour gathering little airsoft bbs that were all over the ground.

Since it feels like spring has come (the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the tulips are blooming), I have started cleaning out our house. I am going through every corner, drawer, closet, and shelf and deciding what to keep, relocate, donate or throw away.  It's going really well and I love how much we have gotten rid of. Sophie put this outfit together when I was going through our hats and scarves. 

I have been enjoying my Thanksgiving Point membership and the last two Fridays Sophie and I have made trips to the Curiosity Museum and the Dinosaur Museum. 

At the dinosaur museum I asked her how many teeth this shark had and she said "two, two, two, two, TWO" which I guess her way of saying a lot!

I have still not cut her hair and it is starting to get so long! 

Sophie is obsessed with any thing that can be turned into a "house." I'm thinking it's probably a good thing our couch cushions don't come off or we would have a fort set up in our front room all day long.

One morning I told Sophie she was so cute, and she said right back to me, "no momma, I naked!"

Dave took Sophie to the free zoo day again this month

February 18, 2015

Farm Country

This week is parent conferences at my school so I get off work a little earlier than normal. I decided to use the extra time (and my new membership!) to meet up with my friend Heather and her kids at the Thanksgiving Point farm. What a fun place! We saw lots of animals, milked a cow, went on a tractor ride, and Sophie rode a pony. And it was so nice outside! No coats needed today, which is so abnormal for February in Utah.

We pass by Thanksgiving Point on our drive home to and from work every day so we will probably be spending a lot of time here in the near future. I am planning to meet Heather again on Friday to visit the new Curiosity Museum, and we heard today that several baby animals are on their way to the farm so we will be checking back often to see if there are any new arrivals.

Checking out the cows

This cow decided to give Sophie a hello kiss on the hand

Riding a pony, or as she says "a neigh." During the pony ride she leaned over and told me "I love it."

For some reason these two thought it was fun to stick their fingers through the fence and get pecked by chickens. Crazy kids. 

February 15, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015

We had a low key Valentine's day this year, like we do pretty much every year. We said we wouldn't do anything special for this day, but I decided that it was a good excuse to get each other something we were intending to buy anyway so I got a membership to Thanksgiving Point and Dave got an Xbox live account. We also met my grandma for dinner at Chuck-A-Rama. It was fun to eat with her, and it's always a treat to not have to cook or clean!

My cute girl with the flowers we got to give my grandma. Sophie helped me pick these out at the store and of course chose a bouquet with purple flowers. 

At dinner with my grandma -  thank you  grandma for the delicious cinnamon cake you gave us!

And, just for fun, my baby then and now. She has grown so much in just one year!!


February 14, 2015

Disney Trip - Part 3

TUESDAY: Today was California Adventure park. We arrived early again and were able to snag fast passes to the Cars racing ride before going over to the 3D Toy Story ride, which always gets long lines. Some of the bigger riders were closed, like Soaring Over California & Grizzly rapids, so we had no trouble fitting in everything we wanted. Our day here was almost perfect - the lines were short, the weather was a bit cooler, and we ran into several characters for Sophie to meet. She had no fear and ran right up to say hello and give hugs every time we met someone. It was so cute to see her face light up! I meant to take a video, but it didn't work out, so pictures will have to do instead. 

There is a whole "Frozen" land set up at California Adventure, but we didn't want to fight the crowds so Sophie enjoyed this picture of Elsa instead

On the Toy Story 3D ride. This is one of my favorites and we did it twice. The first time we had Sophie sit between us, which was a mistake. She was too little to reach the gun and her head banged the back of the seat every time the car moved. The second time she sat on my lap which worked a lot better. 

We were trying to make funny faces for the camera on California Screamer - I think Dave won this contest

The carousel is right next to Screamer so Sophie got to ride this several times with me and Grandmari while people took turns riding the roller coaster.

On the cars ride - clearly we need to get better at taking selfies

Meeting Donald Duck - she loved him so much  

 On the Little Mermaid ride with Nat and Brodie

Anne and Sophie (in matching shirts again) hanging out in Bugs Life land while we went to ride the Tower of Terror

After lunch we met Sulley. We had just watched Monsters University a couple days before so she knew who he was. This was her favorite moment of the whole trip and she keeps telling us how she gave Sulley a hug and a high five.

We went to the Aladdin show during her nap

Enjoying a ride with momma

Meeting Woody

Silliness with Uncle Brodie

Family picture - at least Mickey is in focus

Great view for the Pixar character parade

On our way out of the park we saw Mickey and ran over to say hello, but he wasn't available to greet guests. Sophie was devastated, but just around the corner we found Goofy and Pluto! They saved the day. Goofy had to leave as well, but gave Sophie a hug on his way out. 

 Behind Pluto's whisker is a smile :)

Thanks for the great trip Disneyland - we hope we can come back soon!

Disney Trip - Part 2

MONDAY: Today was Disneyland! We got up bright and early so we could get tickets and be at the park right when it opened. In fact, we were one of the first groups in line. Our plan was to go straight in, grab a fast pass for Indiana Jones, get a fast pass for Fantasmic (the night show), and then ride Thunder Mountain Railroad while the line was still short. Everything went according to plan, and the longest line we waited all day in was probably only 20-25 minutes. We were able to do all the rides we wanted except the Nemo Submarine - that line was crazy long. It turned out that Fantasmic was only so-so (World of Color is much better). By the time it started the kids were very tired and it probably wasn't worth sticking around for. 

Waiting to go in - we have been shopping the thrift stores for Mickey shirts and all found one to to wear on this day!

Sophie and Anne in their matching Mickey shirts made by my sister Amy

As soon as we entered the park we ran into Daisy Duck. We were in a hurry to grab fast passes so we only stopped for a quick hello before moving on. 

Our little family

The first ride we did with kids was the Jungle Cruise. Sophie rode up front with me and enjoyed all the animals. 

Next we went to the Haunted Mansion. We have been watching the Disneyland Fun sing-a-long video for months to help prepare Sophie for this day and I think it worked - she wasn't scared at all!

It's a Small Word was probably her favorite ride. It's also on our Disneyland video and she knows how to sing "small, small world". There was almost no line so we did this ride twice. 

We weren't planning on riding Dumbo because Sophie was incredibly tired, but when we tried to walk away she started crying "My Elephant, My Elephant!" so we let her go. 

Finally giving in to exhaustion

The character parade was probably her second favorite part of the day

We would have loved to meet Minnie, but never found her in the park, so her parade float was as close as we got

The downside of Disneyland with a 1 year old. There were lots of tears shed while waiting in line to go on a ride, and every time we had to get off a ride. She just didn't understand why it couldn't be her turn right then and why she had to get off to let someone else have a turn. It's good the crowds were fairly light or it could have been a rough day. 

The whole crew, minus my brother Derek who sadly was back at the house with the stomach flu :(

February 13, 2015

Disney Trip - Part 1

Last week we packed up our car and drove south to Disneyland! It was a trip planned by my family that we have been looking forward to for quite some time. Just like Christmas, Disney is more magical with kids and it was so fun to show Sophie where Mickey, Minnie, and Cinderella live.

THURSDAY: The plan for our trip was to work in the morning, pick up my brother in the afternoon, and then spend the night in St. George at my Grandma's house. That morning, however, I woke up to find that school had been cancelled due to a power outage caused by a big fire in Orem. I decided to use the extra time to take Sophie to the aquarium to burn off some energy before our drive down to St. George. We were excited to see that a new exhibit with gators and turtles had opened!

Power outage = no work for momma = play time at the aquarium!

Riding in the golf cart with daddy and Uncle D at the St. George house

FRIDAY: We resumed our drive to California and unfortunately the traffic turned a 5 hour trip into almost 7 hours in the car. Luckily Sophie is an amazing car traveler and didn't complain a bit. We were all happy to arrive in Anaheim just in time for dinner. Rather than get a bunch of hotel rooms, my family rented a house right next to Disneyland so we could all stay together. Every room in the house, including bathrooms, was decorated in the theme of a Disney movie. It was so fun and we loved our stay there!

Our cute room was decorated like the movie "Up"

SATURDAY: Today the adults went to Six Flags, while the kids stayed at the house for some cousin play time. My Uncle Brent joined us at the park and we had a blast riding the big coasters. The last time I went to Six Flags was over 10 years ago and there were several new rides I hadn't done before, including the world's largest drop tower. I was nervous to go on the tower because I hadn't used a bathroom for a few hours, but it all turned out ok :) The only damper was the weather. It never warmed up and rained for almost four hours - too bad we were all wearing shorts. While we were getting wet at Six Flags, the kids enjoyed a sunny day at the pool. This was Sophie's first time swimming since summer and she loved it! 

Sophie woke up and immediately joined Anne for some morning cartoons

My uncle took pity and bought us a poncho - best $2.50 ever spent!

Swimming with Grandmari & Will

Cousin bath party

SUNDAY: We attended church at a local ward in the morning, and then went home for some fun and games. Most of the family went to the beach in the afternoon and we were planning to join them when Sophie got up from her nap, but the day was a bit windy so we stayed home and went swimming at the pool instead. It was a nice relaxing day before going to the happiest place on earth!

Sophie, Anne, and Uncle Brent with all the Mickey & Minnie toys

 A true daddy can read AND play princess dolls at the same time