Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Festivities

Me and the girls at a Halloween party yesterday

We had a really good Halloween. The girls had a really good time, especially Prairie. Autumn has been going through a really shy phase. At first she wouldn't knock on the door, say trick-or-treat say thank you, or even reach for the candy. If they didn't put the candy in her pumpkin she waited for me to get her candy for her. I finally got her to knock on the doors, because I told her that if I knocked on the door that I got to keep the candy.

Prairie was a completely different story. She loved going up to the doors and knocking, by the time we were done, she had learned how to say trick-or-treat in her own way. She would do the sign for thank you, and she would grab her own candy. We had to remind her to only get one. She also totally got the Halloween trick-or-treating experience. She was running between houses when we first started, and Autumn was the one slowing us down. She also refused to let anyone hold her pumpkin, she would start screaming if someone offered to hold it for her. She had a lot of fun, and she is TOTALLY into candy. I don't remember Autumn getting into candy until she was 2 years old. Prairie will do the sign for candy and has a fit if we tell her no, so the next couple of weeks should be fun.

Pocahontas with her long black hair with a natural setting (Autumn only wore the wig for pictures)

Pocahontas the smiler

the elephant - back view

Prairie the elephant - front view

Pocahontas with the entire ensemble, tattoo included

Autumn with her candy haul (I think it is 81, but you can count and correct me)

Prairie with her haul (my dad counted 79 pieces)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

My Own Lacrosse Team

One night for Family Home Evening we went and bought a child sized lacrosse stick and then went to the neighborhood park to play lacrosse as a family. Ben and Autumn have both never played, so I am teaching both of them. This has been a lot of fun for me, but I realize that not picking up a lacrosse stick fro 6 years (since high school) has definitely affected my skill.

Early this month me and the girls were enjoying a lovely Fall day and I pulled out my stick to try to regain some of my skills, and then Autumn wanted to play and then the neighbor girls wanted to play, so hence my own lacrosse team. Me and three little girls ages 2-5 were playing with me, not many balls were caught or thrown, but we had fun. Most of the pictures are a little blurry because the girls were moving too much and I didn't have my camera on the right setting.

The neighbor girls and Autumn (she is cut off in the picture) playing lacrosse in the backyard

playing lacrosse, and it looks like Mia caught the ball

Prairie keeping herself entertained while the bigger girls play lacrosse

Autumn and Olivia sitting in the apple tree

more lacrosse

Autumn pulling the petals off of one of the last roses from our backyard for the season

Prairie kept walking up to Tisha my upstairs neighbor and asking her to pick her up and Tisha was very accommodating especially considering that she is 7.5 months pregnant here

Monday, October 22, 2007

Camping at Great Basin National Park

Since I have moved to Utah my dad has said he would like to come out one time and go camping at Great Basin national Park. We Figured late spring/early summer or late summer/early fall would be a good time to go. I thought this would coincide really nicely with Autumn going to New York, and then my dad could fly with Autumn back to Utah, because I won't be ready to let Autumn fly by herself for a number of years.

So my dad and Autumn got to Utah fine, we packed up the van and went. The reason we wanted to go at particular times of the year is because it is located in a desert and we thought during the summer would be miserable. This was the last weekend in September that we went camping. It was nice weather when we arrived. Autumn and I were wearing shorts and we were find, and then it got a little chilly so we both changed into pants, but not freezing. Well that night , actually the next early morning it started to rain and then changed to snow and then didn't stop until almost 11am. So I guess we avoided the hot summer weather :)

We had a good time. I thought we would do a bunch of hiking, but we ended up just spending a lot of time in the tent on account of the rain. My dad, me and Autumn got to tour the caves that were there, and Autumn thought they were really neat. She liked the formations that they made allusions to food when naming them. So Autumn and I went through the cave pretending to drink on the "soda straws", eat the "popcorn" formations, eat the bacon formations, and Autumn thought the stalactites looked like carrots, so we pretended they were carrots. I had to help her stay entertained, but she seemed to really enjoy it.

We got to do the scenic drive and see a deer, and also see Wheeler peak, which is quite impressive. The second night it didn't snow, which was nice, it was really cold that last morning, so the girls just hung out in the car while we packed up all the gear. It was nostalgic going camping with my dad, because that is how we spent most of our family vacations when I was a young child was camping. I got to hear my dad telling Autumn ghost stories just like he did for me and my sister when we were kids.

This is where we got our firewood, it was on the honor system as you can read

Baba Russ keeping Prairie company while she eats

Prairie eating her hot dog (that's our tent in the background)

Autumn helping Papi build a fire, Autumn really enjoyed being a helper

The only way I could get Autumn to let me take a picture of her is if I told her I was actually taking a picture of her hot dog, good 'ol Autumn

The deer that we saw on the scenic drive

Prairie and Autumn hanging out in the car, trying to stay warm. I didn't even pack shoes for Autumn, I only brought sandals, and socks to wear with them if it was cold enough. None of us were expecting snow.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

All about Prairie

Prairie rocking her baby in her arms

It was really fun for Autumn to go to New York and Maryland, and it was fun for us. I got a little bit of a break since Ben has been working his job and working on his thesis, and we also got to spend a lot of time with just Prairie, which was so much fun. She is 17 months and I really really love this age. Her personality is really coming into bloom, and she is just so much fun.

Without Autumn here, Prairie goes to bed so easily. I had her to bed by 7:30 every night and she was asleep within 5 minutes. With Autumn here, Autumn gets Prairie riled up and the two of them will stay up for an hour playing and laughing and me having to go back to their bedroom numerous of times to tell them to be quiet, its time to go to sleep, etc. Also Autumn does not like going to bed, so bedtime is very difficult, but Prairie is so easy to put to bed, in fact she seems happy when I put her to bed and she has her na-na (that's what she calls her monkey blanket, and that is the only blanket that she will use).

So I am going to highlight a lot of things about Prairie. Prairie loves baths and going swimming. When I ask Autumn if she wants to take a bath, Prairie starts chanting the word bath, and then tries to take her clothes off, her diaper and everything, because she loves baths that much. Also when we drive by seven peaks she goes crazy because she thinks we are going to go swimming.

Prairie taking a bucket bath

Prairie loves to dance. Whenever music comes on, no matter what music it is, she loves to start dancing, and she loves it when other people dance with her. She also loves having songs sung to her. Her favorite right now is 5 little moneys sitting in the tree. She loves it and squeals with laughter when me and Autumn "snatch" the money out of the tree from her tummy or something like that. She is very independent. If sister can use a cup, she thinks she should be able to also, but she will drink out of the cup very well, but when she is done drinking she dumps the rest on the floor. She doesn't like using regular sippies, she wants to use a straw sippie so she can be a big kid too. She is very pleasant most of the time, but she has a strong will and also has a temper, when you do get her mad which isn't necessarily easy, she gets really mad and she really likes to hit, and she hits hard.

Prairie being a big girl sitting at our new picnic table that my grandpa built

of course she is using a cup, but of course later I found the carpet wet under the table :)

Prairie loves animals, she goes crazy when she sees pictures, or video of animals, but she is very very nervous when she is actually really close to animals. She knows a lot of animal signs and will do them when she sees that particular animal. She does the sign for dog, cat, bunny, bird, fish, elephant, duck, sometimes horse and lion. We got a bird clock a month ago, and she loves it, because every hour a different bird sings and she runs over to the clock and does her sign for bird and says "tweet, tweet".

We took her to the duck pond while Autumn was gone. At first she was very nervous being around the ducks, but then she got used to it and she really loved throwing bread to them. The ducks were really hungry that day and one of them bit my hand, I am just glad they didn't do that to Prairie.

Me and Prairie feeding the ducks, and Prairie's look of surprise with all the ducks huddling around us

Prairie and Ben feeding the ducks

Prairie really got into throwing the bread

After our bread was all gone, I showed Prairie that you didn't need to be afraid of the ducks. I started running after ducks and quacking, and they would scatter. Prairie thought this was great, so she was running as well as she could and quacking too, forcing the ducks to scatter and fly.

Prairie also really loves books and she will find books and then just come and get on your lap and wait for you to read it to her. She loves playing with her sister, but she didn't seem to mind being able to get into all the toys without Autumn yelling at her that she is messing something up or something like that. Autumn really missed Prairie. She would call home and want to talk to Prairie and invariably Prairie was taking a nap. Autumn would be really sad that she couldn't talk to Prairie. Prairie missed Autumn too, because she would find my cell phone and say "Audie? Audie?" thinking Autumn would be on the phone waiting to talk to her. It was really cute when I would call Autumn for Prairie, and Prairie would hear Autumn's voice and just light up. I love having two girls.

Prairie being a big girl and sitting at the counter next to Papi

cutie Prairie making a mess like usual, but she loves helping to clean up her messes

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My 100th Post!

I know everyone has been anxious about my 100th post, well here it is. Like usual we have been busy doing stuff with family. Autumn got to go out East and spend 5 days with my mom and stepdad in New York and then 2 days in Maryland with my dad and then flew back with him. My dad has wanted to go camping at Great Basin national park for a while, so we went camping with him that weekend. Then we thought our time with extended family was done, after going to Idaho, Autumn in the east and my dad visiting. But ...

Ben was cutting it close to finish his thesis and I am so exhausted from this whole graduate school experience that we decided it would be best if I went away so that Ben would definitely finish his thesis and we could finally be done with his masters. So me and the girls went out to Maryland for 9 days and just got back yesterday. We had a very relaxing trip, and Ben was able to get his thesis done, YAY!! Now all he had to do is defend it which will probably be in about 3 weeks. Ben has already felt a huge weight lifted off of his shoulders, I am so excited to actually have him home, and I know are girls are excited to actually spend time with their Papi, and actually eat meals with him, and have him home to put them to bed. It will be great for everyone.

So this was a quick update, pictures and stories will follow, but now everyone knows what has been going on with us and the great GREAT news that Ben is done with his thesis, oh how it has been hanging over us like a dark raincloud.