Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Emma is Two!

Emma turned 2 this March. With her birthday being on Sunday we celebrated a day early.

Just before the party started, Emma woke up from her nap. She woke up in a very bad mood. We tried getting her dressed but she refused to take off her Minnie Mouse pajamas. Here is a picture of her melt down.

She calmed down rather quickly when she finally saw the dining room decorated with streamers, a yellow tablecloth, Daniel Tiger cupcakes, and a Daniel Tiger banner. Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood on PBS is Emma's favorite show.

We had lots of family over. Great Grandpa and Grandma L.; Great Grandpa and Grandma O.; Grandpa and Grandma V.; Grandpa D. and Grandma A.; Great Aunt C. and Girls; Aunt A., Uncle N. and Cousins; Uncle D., Aunt J. and Cousins; and Aunt A., Uncle J. and Cousins.

Emma received lots of cute gifts. She was given clothes, books, a set of Disney princess figures and another Klip Klop for her castle.

I love Emma with all my heart! She has brought me so much happiness. She is such a smart girl and so loving. She talks very well when she doesn't have her pacifier in her mouth (we are working on that). She's picked up bunches of words by being a parrot (I have to be extra careful what I say).  

Emma has become little miss independent recently. She wants to do everything by herself like getting her own water from the fridge, going up/down stairs, shutting doors, and getting into the car and her car seat. She is my little helper too. I'm feel blessed I have at least one child that is so willing to help out.

It's been another wonderful year having you. Happy Birthday Babycakes!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Viva Las Vegas!

It's been a long time since we went to Vegas (4 years) and even a longer time since we've gone on vacation just the two of us (7 years). It was due time! We left on Thursday and flew from Idaho Falls to Vegas on Allegiant Air. We left the kids with Barry's parents until we flew back Sunday.

We stayed at the Vardara hotel. It's on the strip but it's solely a hotel and doesn't have a casino. It was so nice after spending time in the casinos to come back to a smoke free and quiet environment.

We spent Thursday afternoon at Hoover Dam. We took a pretty cool tour and saw and learned a lot. 

Friday morning we went to the Bass Pro Shop upon Barry's insistence. In my opinion, once you've gone to one sportsman's superstore you'd been to them all. Then we visited Barry's Great Aunt and Uncle. We sure did enjoy our visit with them and I loved their little dogs.

That night we also went to see Terry Fator at Mirage. We simply loved the show! He is a ventriloquist that combines ventriloquism and voice impersonations. He has the puppets sing famous songs in the voice of the song's singer.  I liked all the puppets. I especially got a big kick out of the cowboy wanting to run for president. 

Saturday morning we had breakfast at the Aria. One of their specialties are Red Velvet pancakes and waffles. Red Velvet cake is my favorite dessert right now so I had to try them. As if the waffle itself wasn't good enough, it was also drizzled with a cream cheese glaze. To say the least, I wasn't disappointed!

After breakfast we went to Bellagio to see their gardens. It was amazing what they did with the plants, even make a painting using them. There was also a big butterfly house in the middle of the gardens with tons of orange, blue and white butterflies.

Saturday night we saw the show Le Rêve at the Wynn. It was spectacular! The theater is shaped in a circle with water covering the stage. In the center of the stage there is a platform in the center that moves up and down. The acrobats would dive from that platform or from a big opening at the top of the theater. Other times they were lowered downed on poles or swings.

My post wouldn't be complete without talking about the delicious food we ate. Barry had bought packages for each show that included buffet passes as well as show tickets. We went to eat before each show. I'd been on Weight Watchers for a two months and had lost 10 lbs at that point. I was determined not to gain any weight back. Unlike other diets, Weight Watchers centers around portion control and making choices not eliminating food. I can still have one serving (according to the serving size) of cake and ice cream just not every day. I did great watching what and how much I ate of the available entrees and sides. I did go over my Weight Watcher points but I didn't gain back one pound. I think that can be attributed to all the walking we did.

At the Mirage I liked the salad bar. The preparation and ingredients were not what you'd find at a typical buffet. The buffet worker would prepare the salad for you. You'd request the ingredients and the salad dressing you wanted and then they'd toss your salad. There was ingredients like grilled chicken breast, poppy seed dressing, spinach, etc. 

I have a terrible sweet tooth though and I gave into temptation with the desserts. Their Red Velvet cake was simply divine! I admit I had a few pieces that added up to a slice and a half slice since they were not particularly large. Can you believe a piece of cake with frosting is 10 points a slice! That's lots when you have 26 points a day and 49 additional points to spend during the week. 

The Wynn had to be the best place where we ate. There was prime rib (they even seared it for me to make it well done) and grilled asparagus, just to mention a couple things. They also had a crème brûlée to die for and a layered raspberry chocolate moose with an Oreo crust.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Winter Fun

Barry is an ice fishing fanatic. You can read all about it in this post. His favorite fishing spot is Henry's Lake. He always gets a good catch there. Unfortunately the fishing season at Henry's Lake is very short. It's open only from Thanksgiving to December 31st. So before December ended, Barry took Owen and a few of Owen's cousins ice fishing. Barry doesn't take kids very often so this was a real treat for them. They ended up catching 12 fish!

The day after Christmas I took Owen and Emma outside to play. We brought out the sled and pulled Emma on the snow on the road. Owen pulled Emma a little. I, on the other hand, can't remember how many times I went around and around our little culd-de-sac.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


We visited Santa at my work where we had some milk and cookies. Emma didn't want anything to do with Santa but at least she didn't instantly bawl like last year. Owen told Santa he wanted Ninjago Legos.

This year we decorated the entire tree instead of 3/4 of it. I did put the breakable ones up high and the shatter-proof bulbs on the bottom. She wouldn't leave the tree alone. She really loved the ornaments and constantly wanted me to put her on my shoulders so she could see them. We would go around and around while she would point to them and either ask or tell me what they were.

As part of our Christmas traditions, Owen and Emma opened their first present early. It was a holiday outfit for church, a sweater vest for Owen and a red dress for Emma. Their second present was an ornament for each of them. I got 5 Mini Angry Birds ornaments for Owen and a Hallmark 2nd Christmas Kitten for Emma. Next year I'll be more on the ball and get pictures of them holding their ornaments. Then on Christmas Eve, Owen and Emma opened and wore their Christmas pajamas. Emma got Minnie Mouse pajamas and Owen received Angry Bird ones (Surprise, surprise).

Owen also got Connect 4, Jenga, Angry Birds Gloves and Beanie, Ninjago Legos, Angry Birds towel, clothes, Magformers Magnets, Lego Star Wars Lego storage box, and a Micro Lego set.

Emma received two outfits, monkey pajamas, Fisher Price Happy Sounds Home, Fisher Price Princess Klip Klop with Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Rapunzel figures, Minnie Mouse towel, stuffed animals (dog and parrot), and a Cabbage Patch Baby Doll dressed as Parrot.

Monday, January 27, 2014

First Lost Tooth

Owen lost his first tooth on November 17th. We wiggled and attempted pulling it out for weeks before. Even his aunt tried pulling it out but that ended up in a total melt down. She did loosen it a lot though. His permanent tooth had already cut through so we told him it was very important to wiggle it everyday to make room for his new tooth.

When he failed to do so, we decided it was time to bribe motivate him with a reward trip to Toys R Us. He could get some Angry Bird Star Wars telepod figures when the tooth fell out. Everyday he'd bother us about going to Toy R Us. We stuck to our guns and said we wouldn't take him there until he tooth was out.

Eventually it was so loose that it was sticking out beyond his other teeth. We told him it wouldn't take but one pull and it'd be out. He finally let Barry try and he was successful. Owen was about to cry when he exclaimed, "I get to go to Toys R Us!"

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So Much to Be Thankful For

Not a November goes by that my thoughts are not turned to Owen's and Emma's birth parents. My heart is full of gratitude for the blessings they gave to our family. How appropriate that November is National Adoption Awareness month. We have many acquaintances who have adopted too and I'm sure they feel just as thankful.

With both our families in the area, we end up rotating each Thanksgiving. This year we went to my Grandma's for Thanksgiving Dinner. My uncle from Washington and aunt from Colorado w
Were there as well as my cousin who I haven't seen in a while. It was an enjoyable time. Emma had fallen asleep in the car and slept through the whole thing. She didn't wake up in a very good mood either.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Halloween 2013

I always look forward to Halloween. I love dressing up the kids and Autumn is my favorite season. The weather is just right. It's not too cold and not too warm.

A week or so before Halloween we went to a pumpkin patch that is about 15 minutes away from us. Owen and Emma were really excited about picking out their own pumpkin. We didn't carve them but we did put them outside for decoration.

Owen is still obsessed with Angry Birds. I think it's because they keep coming out with different variations of the game. This year Owen wanted to be the Red Angry Bird. I found an easy tutorial on Pinterest so I decided to make his costume. This is the 3rd year that I've made his costume. I really enjoy making them.

I followed the instructions from this blog. I used fleece for the body and felt for the face. The only thing I'd do different would be not to use the sewable Heat n' Bond adhesive paper. I thought using it would be faster and easier than pinning. Boy was I wrong! It took much longer because the felt did't want adhere to the fleece for some reason. Next time just stick to the instructions. ;)

I made the pattern pieces for the face. I downloaded, manipulated, and printed off a Red Bird vector image. It was fast and easy for this computer geek. Most people will find drawing the pattern by hand to be just as easy. To finish off the costume, I also made a fleece hat using this pattern, and then, I had Owen wear a long sleeve red shirt and red sweats underneath.

I didn't make Emma's costume since I found this way cute cat costume from Carters. She really likes kitty-cats.

We went to our church Trunk r' Treat. It was so cold! Good thing Owen and Emma's costumes were warm and that they had hot chocolate there. The best part is they also served cake donuts! They are so much better than dough donuts in my opinion. It was fun to compare what Owen did on his 2nd Halloween versus Emma. Emma has a sweet tooth and wanted to eat everything.  Owen, on the other hand, didn't like candy back then except for Smarties.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

All Girl

Having my own little girl is the best. Even better is that she is a 100% girl. Emma loves hats and wearing necklaces. She also loves to dance and talk on her toy phones.

One day I came home from work to find that Auntie painted Emma's toe nails. I was completely amazed that Emma would hold still for that long. Now if she'd only let me do her hair. She doesn't like her hair pulled into piggy tails or a pony tail. She won't keep bows or flowers in her hair either. She'll let it be for 5 minutes and then pulls it out.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Salt Lake City Trip

In November, we took a mini-vacation to Salt Lake City. Now that Barry's sister doesn't live down there we hadn't been down for a while.

We asked Owen what he wanted to do in Utah. He said he wanted to go to the Lego Store and the dinosaur place with the water and sand table (a.k.a the erosion table). He was talking about the Natural History Museum at Thanksgiving Point.

It's an awesome museum. They have complete skeletons of all the popular dinosaurs. There are also lots of places for the kids to play. One activity spot you can to dig and sweep off sand to find dinosaur bones. Then there is the erosion table where they can play with sand and water. We spent at least an hour there. The kids are suppose to learn how flash floods and erosion are involved in creating and finding fossils.

Emma loves dinosaurs. Owen has a big T-Rex at home that she plays with occasionally and carries around. She will even give it hugs. Emma was really fascinated with the dinosaur skeletons. I can't count the number of times I heard her say wow or listened to her roar.

Owen also wanted to go swimming at the hotel. He used to be so afraid to swim without mom or dad holding him even when he was wearing his life jacket. Now he swims by himself without any issues. We bought Emma a life jacket and she enjoyed being the pool much better than the last time. She doesn't like water in her face so we got her the life jacket to keep her face above water.


We met up with my college friends for a double date. We went to dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse called Rodizio grill. We've been there a couple times when we've been in Salt Lake and it's always really good. Then we went to a bakery called Kneaders. Barry had the Raspberry Bread Pudding. I had a few bites and it was wonderful! My white macadamia nut cookie was good too but next time I know to get the bread pudding instead.