Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oquirrh Mountain Temple Open House

While we were in Utah we made time to attend the Oquirrh Mountain Temple Open House before it ended this weekend.  I was especially excited to take Sophie through since she has a great love for temples.  A cute story about that was a couple of weeks ago when Sophie was having a rough time and crying, and after she quieted down she said to me "I just want to go to the temple."  I asked her why and she replied "Because the temple makes me feel happy."  I thought that was so sweet and couldn't agree more.
She really enjoyed going through and seeing everything with me.  (Thank you to my Mom who stayed outside with Avery so I could just enjoy it with Sophie.)  She was very reverent and well-behaved.  Sophie's two favorite parts were seeing the oxen that the baptismal font rests on, and the chandeliers all over that Sophie figured out looked like stars.  She especially loved the large one in the celestial room.  Who wouldn't?
It was a great experience and I'm so glad we were able to go, especially since I can't remember the last time I got to attend an open house.  Thank goodness I can go to the temple for reals anytime I want to!  It was beautiful and so neat to go through with my favorite red head.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Aquarium of the Pacific

We've been wanting to check out the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach for a while and finally got our chance last week.  It was cool and we had a good time, but for that price I don't think we'll be going back again for a while.

Avery was really cute as each time that we'd walk into a new room she'd go "oooooh" at the fish behind the glass.  This was one of the biggest aquariums with hammerhead and leopard sharks in it, sting rays that would show us their stomachs, and lots of other neat fish.

They had a place where you could pet sting rays, but Sophie wasn't too keen on trying that at first.  So I was trying to be brave and show her how easy it was, but I got kind of grossed out by how squishy and slimy they were, and then it jumped and my hand flew out of that tank so fast and sprayed everyone around me with water.  It was a little embarrassing, but dang, don't they know they can't jump like that?  Sophie did end up petting one eventually, and she also rode a shark.
There were some pretty cool looking jelly fish there, of all sizes and colors.  These were the biggest.
Enjoying a little cheesy snack in front of some silver colored fish.
One of Sophie's favorites was the tank with all the Dori's and Nemo's in it.  She thought that was pretty cool that this is where they hang out when they're not filming. :)
While we were waiting for the others in our group to arrive the girls entertained themselves with some interesting things.  Sophie chased pigeons and seagulls (and we got a kick out of how there were pigeons all over the grass near the buses because I told Sophie they were all wanting to drive the buses like in "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" which is one of Sophie's favorite books.)
Avery chose to spend the time pushing the stroller all over the place.  She got some funny looks and comments about how such a tiny thing can push such a large stroller (especially when Sophie was still in it) but she's definitely no wimp.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's a Baby Shower!

If after reading that title you're not currently thinking about "Father of the Bride 2" must not be as big a fan of it as my family is. :)  That's one of the best lines from that show.  ANYWAY, this is the cake I made this week for my friend Denise's baby shower.  She's having a little boy, tentatively named Beckham (I love it!  We just may use it someday!)
I'm calling this my "flat wheel baby carriage" cake because you can see that one of the wheels is pretty distorted.  That part of it fell as I was frosting it so it looks a little flat.  I do not like how the bottom half of the cake turned out, but I learned a lot doing it, so I guess that's good.  And my friend is Brazilian, so "Parabens" means "Congratulations" in Portuguese.
I love doing basket weave--it's pretty easy and so fun!  I had a good time making this and we can't wait to meet little B in a month!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Two Toddlers

We had a mini photo shoot in our living room last week.  I wanted to get one year pics of Avery and I'm so tired of studio prices for low quality, so Joseph and I just did it ourselves.  We're no professionals, but they turned out okay for being free!
I dressed the girls in the little tutus that I made them and I think they had a lot of fun with them.  Sophie acted like a ballerina princess the entire night and asked if we could do it again the next day.  She can wear her tutu whenever she wants, but something about having her picture taken in them was pretty magical.
Avery didn't cooperate incredibly well, but we still managed to snag a couple of fun shots of her.

I love this of them both looking over at their daddy.  They sure love him.
Her smile lights up her blue eyes.  I love it.
Sophie and I practiced quite a while on doing a natural smile, but in the end it still looked canned.  I still think she's cute, though.
She's just not my baby anymore!  Almost over night it feels like she turned into a toddler! (sniff)
She can walk all on her own, but she still likes it best when I walk with her.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Avery is walking all the time now.  She is still in the I-can-get-there-much-faster-by-crawling stage so she usually resorts to that, but she does just take off and walk every once in a while, too.  She's pretty proud of herself every time she does it.
She does much better when she walks because she decides to.  If we try to catch her she usually gets so excited that she falls down over and over.  If there's no one at the finish line she can go quite far before falling.
These were taken on the 4th of July in her patriotic dress.
She went all the way across the big living room over and over again.
She still lunges to the "finish line" most of the time.  So fun.

We had Avery's year appointment this week and here are her stats:

Weight: 19 1/2 lbs.--28th percentile
Height: 30 inches--80th percentile
Head circumference: 46 1/4 in. --75th percentile

So apparently we still have a tall, skinny, big-headed child.  But it means we get to finally turn her car seat around!  She's going to love riding in the car now!

Friday, July 10, 2009


I would've never anticipated that almost overnight my life would suddenly jump 50 notches on the crazy busy knob.  I'm sure it's still not nearly as insane as some of you (especially those with 4 or more children) but I feel busier right now than I've been in a long time, definitely since I quit work.  For one, Avery is into everything right now and I have to constantly watch her like a hawk.  Gone are the days when she would sit quietly and entertain herself.  Entertaining herself right now means getting into the fireplace and getting all black or into cupboards where she doesn't belong (yes, we finally got some safety locks on them tonight!) or eating any and all paper in sight, among other things.  She's way more adventurous and independent than Sophie ever was so I wasn't really anticipating this.

The next thing that's keeping me on my toes is that I recently was made the president of our local chapter of MOMS Club.  If you don't know what this is and are looking for a way to connect with other stay at home moms in your area (if, for example, your ward doesn't do play groups or other stuff like mine doesn't), it's a great club and I'd recommend it.  But becoming the president has added a lot to my plate and it hasn't all been enjoyable so far.  Let's just say I spend a lot of time online fielding questions and emails that come to me, bad and good, and it takes up way more time than I would like.  But the activities are fun and I'm meeting a lot of great moms in the area and the girls love playing with the other kids, so it's worth it.

Then the last thing I'm currently doing is tutoring.  I tutor two boys three times a week, an hour with each boy each time.  One is going into 6th and the other into 2nd.  We're mostly just doing language arts, handwriting, and math.  They're cute boys and we've had a good time, but I'm doing it while the girls nap each afternoon and so there went any personal time for me.  But it's only through the summer (so far) so I know it won't be much longer.

Add to that my calling and cake decorating requests and such and I've suddenly got a life that keeps me on my toes for sure!  I'm not complaining, I just think it's interesting how life goes.  You're always busy as a mom, but this is definitely a different level of busy-ness right now than I'm used to and I'm glad that it won't last forever.  Then I'll just get something else thrown at me I'm sure, and that's cool, too.  I'm sure lots of you out there can relate right now.  God is good and He blesses me so much each day, so at the end of the day I have it really good and I'm grateful for all I've been given.  The end.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Avery's First Birthday!

Avery turned one year old on the Fourth of July!  (How did my baby get so old?  That year honestly flew by.)  She had no idea what was going on, of course, but seemed to enjoy the fun anyway.

We started the day with a few presents and then went to my Grandpa's for a big family party to celebrate America's birthday, and it was fun to celebrate Avery's birthday with everyone, too.

I figured that this would probably be the only year that I could get away with doing a Fourth of July theme for Avery's birthday since she has no say in it this year, so I made these cupcakes look like fireworks.

And I made her big "smash cake" 4th of July themed as well.  This thing was as big as a normal cake and I honestly didn't know how much Avery would get into it, but she definitely made it live up to its name.

She liked the fire on the candle but wouldn't help blow it out because she was more intrigued by the frosting that already got on her hand.

Our little family watching Avery dig into her birthday cake.

She had never tasted sugar before (other than the sugar that's naturally in fruits and such) so this was all very new to her.  She tried her first little bit and kept glancing at me to see if I was going to stop her from eating it.  I think she was shocked that I was encouraging her.

She ate some frosting but I think had more fun just smearing it around in her hands.

She was so generous and shared some with me and Joseph.

It didn't take long for her to really start getting down into it once she hit the actual cake.

She had a blast pulling it apart and spreading it everywhere.

This smash cake was aptly named.

Thanks for giving me a piece before it was completely demolished, Aves.

Sophie and her cousin Austin enjoyed eating cupcakes, swimming together, and playing together in the play room after all the fun.

We also let them do a few little fireworks for the 4th.  I figured they would probably be the only ones our family would see that day, and they were.  The big fireworks shows just start too late for these girls to stay up.  So we let them throw Pop-Its which they both loved.  Sophie is figuring out here that she can step on them to get them to pop as well.

We also did some sparklers, but they weren't that good and kept stopping half way through, so the kids thought they were cool for a little while but quickly got bored and were ready to go back to throwing Pop-Its.  We had a great 4th of July and a great birthday celebration of our Little Firecracker.  We love you so much, Avery Jane!  Happy Birthday!