Friday, November 30, 2007

Between busy times on the Thesis

After Ben passed his defense he had a little break from his thesis, and he was all about doing family activities, which was so refreshing, since we had been missing Ben so much. That saturday (this was a couple of weeks ago) we went to Thanksgiving Point and went to the farm. the girls loved it, Prairie really loves animals, so she really enjoyed the animals, and she got to learn some new signs and animal noises to make. Autumn didn't like touching the animals because her hands got dirty. She is becoming a neat freak about her hands. She doesn't want anything sticky or dirty on the them.

Ben and the girls petting the less than a week old calves


Ben and Prairie petting the calves, Prairie oohing because they are so soft


Autumn on her pony ride


Prairie on her pony ride

They had a small store front area, with a miniature jail and dance hall. I have no idea why those are the two they chose to do when they have a farm theme around, like why not the dry goods store or something, but anyway they had the jail and dance hall.


Emily and the girls in the dance hall


Emily and Autumn in jail


Prairie and Autumn holding hands while they walk around and look at animals


Me holding Prairie in the sling that I made. I just made it in the beginning of October and I was surprised how many opportunities I find to use it, even though Prairie can walk and how old she is. I really love it and I think the next time we have a baby (this isn't an announcement) that I will be practically attached to it. Ben says that he wants me to make him a sling that fits him. How cute would that be Ben wearing a sling out of the fabric of his choice.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Autumn's Birthday Party

So like usual I have been busy but with ...... what again? I don't even really remember. Except Ben has been trying to meet some final deadlines with corrections for his thesis, and that has put a feeling of stress in the air. When he hasn't been doing his thesis I have been trying to get him to help organize our house. We have had some junk accumulating in our house for a while and a lot of it is Ben's and I can't really throw it out, too bad :) So he has been going through boxes of stuff and helping me get our house ready for Christmas. We got our Christmas tree on Monday night for Family Home Evening and then decorated it. Autumn is the perfect age for Christmas, she loved all aspects of it, and she is very good about remembering to water the tree and turn off the lights when we leave.

Anyway I did want to post about her birthday. I didn't want to do a kid birthday party for Autumn yet, I don't think I am ready for that, or if I ever really want to be, but I am guessing I will eventually have to do one for Autumn. We took her bowling for her birthday. She had never been before, and 4 was the perfect age to take her -- She LOVED it. She loved it so much that Ben took her two days later for a daddy daughter date.

Autumn with her bowling ball. She had a lot of different techniques to get it down the bowling lane, and overall her techniques worked really well, she beat her Papi at bowling, but Mommy beat everyone.



Here is the gang at the BYU Games center. Jennie came with us, but kept Prairie entertained while we bowled, so that made everyone a lot happier.


Autumn with one of her techniques and her cute bowling shoes on


Prairie and Jennie having fun


Emily bowling


Ben bowling


Autumn and Prairie sitting on the single stroller together

Autumn and Prairie have gotten really cute with each other. Prairie loves holding Autumn's hands when we are walking out to the car, or when we are in stores. Sometimes Prairie will spread her legs and then call Autumn to come sit on her stroller with her. It is so fun to see them having so much fun together.

After we went bowling we came home and had a dinner that Autumn requested. She requested pesto and broccoli. It was a delicious dinner and Autumn has been asking for it almost every other day, so I really think I am going to need to plant a basil plant because the basil is pretty expensive at the store and sometimes they don't have it. After dinner we had two families over and Ben's sister and Autumn's cousin over. It was nice, and I think Autumn didn't mind that she didn't have a full blown kid party.


Autumn's birthday cake with Pocahontas and best as I could do


Autumn with her birthday cake, about to blow it out. I did my great-grandma's white cake recipe and I let Autumn decide what color to make it. She decided to add all the food colors and it turned out to be gray. Then we had white chocolate frosting, i thought it turned out tasting really good.

I forgot to blog about the bunkbeds that Ben built while we were in Maryland. We bought a new mattress for Autumn for her birthday. It is the same width as a toddler bed but it is 11 inches longer than a toddler bed, so we figure she should be able to use until she is atleast 10 or 11 years old. Anyway I wanted to build bunkbeds for the girls to use once Prairie is old enough to be out of her crib. Anyway we were lucky enough to get all the wood from our neighbors from a set of twin bunkbeds that weren't being used anymore. So Ben had to make them shorter and narrower. Anyway, so now we have the bunkbeds and Autumn loves having them. It is like an indoor jungle gym. She hangs on them, ties stuff to them, swings on them, she thinks it is so great. So now she has the mattress that actually fits in it and it is so much fun.


Here is her new bed with the new pillowcase and sheets that I made for her for her birthday. She also got two Dora sheets and a Bert and Ernie sheet. She picked to use the princess sheet first, we weren't surprised at all.


Here is Autumn with her new nightshirt from Poopa, she wanted to wear it that night.


Here is Autumn and Papi snuggling on her bed on the night of her birthday, after a very nice celebration.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Happy 4th Birthday Autumn!

Autumn is 4 years old today, it goes by so fast. I sometimes don't really believe that she was really this baby. The first thing I said when she was born was "that's not my baby". I was pretty tired because I was up all night laboring, and I didn't know that infants looked so squished and funny, at first I had thought that our genes had not mixed well, but I was wrong. I also was in awe that Autumn that tiny baby had really been inside of me, even though I was the one that had just gone through the laboring process. So today I say, that's not my baby, for a lot of different reasons, because Autumn has such an individual personality, and it is hard to believe that all of her came all wrapped up in such a tiny little, adorable baby. I have a hard time remembering her as a baby except for all the pictures, and I have a hard time believing that she has really grown from that tiny little wrinkled baby into this beautiful vivacious 4 year old. I love being a mom and I love being Autumn's mom.

Autumn on the day of her birth (14th of November 2003)



Our wonderful Autumn (present - taken 4 days ago)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Best News since Prairie's birth


Ben defended his thesis and passed!!! YAY!!! This means that Ben will really graduate, get his diploma and can get a career job and not just an hourly job. This means I get my husband back and my girls get their Papi back. We are so excited. Graduate school has been a long road, and we are delighted to be seeing the end of the road. So the pressure is really off now, I feel like we will be a family again. I won't be eating every meal without Ben and putting the girls to bed by myself nearly every night, Ben will actually be around--I will actually get a break!

Anyway I am so happy for Ben, he has worked soooo hard, and I am glad that he is almost done. He has to do some very minor revisions, then he has to get the formatting perfect and get it to the library, get the final final draft to the graduation office or something. Autumn is really excited because she keeps saying "daddy will be completely completely done by Christmas!!" and now it will probably be a little bit sooner.

We went out to dinner to celebrate -- it was so much fun, so good to know that Ben has passed and that we will not always be in school. In 5.5 years of marriage it will be the first time that both of us have not been in school -- I am excited!


I surprised Ben by taking him out to dinner when his defense was over. Jennie, Janardan, Autumn, Ben, Emily and even Prairie turned around.


Autumn and Papi - look how happy they are!


We got chicken tenders for the kids to share, but Prairie wouldn't eat any of them, she was just dipping them in the ketchup and sucking the ketchup off. Then she saw broccoli on Jennie's plate and started chanting for broccoli and started squirming out of her seat until she could reach it, and then took big bites of it and ate it. I love my kids :)

After dinner we took our kids to the mall, and it was so much fun to have a family outing, and it was so fun to have both of our kids old enough to run around and play. Prairie loved it and she is getting so old and independent.

Prairie driving the bus


Prairie driving the jeep


Prairie not happy about having to share the racecar


The girls playing together in the jeep

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Assortment of October Pictures

Prairie and Autumn eating breakfast at their picnic table, wearing matching t-shirts


One morning before I went to Maryland, Prairie's hair was driving me crazy, so I changed her diaper and then just started chopping away at it, without wetting it or anything. I got the bathroom pretty dirty since I didn't prepare for a haircut, but her hair looks so much better. It looks so cute in her little bob with all of the hair even. I was amazed that I could get all of it even. Autumn had her first haircut when she was 10 months older than Prairie, and I couldn't even it all off.
Prairie's new haircut


She got ben's funky hairline in the back, where it all grows to one side of her head



So i went with the girls to Marlyand for 9 days so that Ben could have some uninterrupted time to finish his thesis. He worked really hard and did get it done. Now he has his defense on Monday. His professor wouldn't let it go to defense if he didn't think it would pass, so we are pretty sure that ben is going to pass, but it is still nerve racking.


Prairie eating food at Baba Russ's house


Jane (almost 2), Autumn (almost 4), Samantha (6), Spencer (3.5), and Prairie (18 months).

I went and saw our friends from Iowa that live in Virginia now, this is the whole gang of kids. We had a great time hanging out in their very nice townhouse.


Prairie helping me sew a baby sling for Autumn to take to a Birthday party as a present


One day I went for a walk with Prairie and when we got home Autumn was sitting on the couch watching a movie with her blanket. When Prairie saw this she went back into her bedroom, got her blanket, and then crawled onto the couch on the other end and started watching the movie also. Prairie is getting so old, and it is so much fun to watch them interact.


Autumn snuggling on the couch


Autumn and Prairie both on the couch


cutie Prairie with crazy hair


On tuesday October 30th our Spanish ward that we attend was having a little halloween party get together for pre-schooled aged kids. I got my kids all dressed up, and was going upstairs to get into the van to drive, because it is up in the foothills, and I didn't know how far away it was. When we got upstairs all ready to go, the van was gone. It turns out Ben had taken the van to work and hadn't told me and he is supposed to leave it for me to use. So I decided that we would walk.

It turns out the house we were going to, which I had never been to before is the last house before the trailhead for Y, and I pushed the double stroller all the way up. I was pretty mad at Ben, but grateful for the good work out. I actually was getting so tired, that I had Autumn get out, because I couldn't push both of them much longer, and she actually helped me push the stroller too.

It was a beautiful huge house and they had a trampoline and swingset in the backyard. My kids had a great time.

Autumn jumping onto the trampoline, Prairie falling down


Autumn being crazy


Prairie going down the slide. She learned how to climb up and go down all by herself while we were there, and she did it over and over and over.


Prairie playing in the house portion of the toy equipment


When we left the halloween party, it started to rain. It was the first time I had needed to use my raincover that I had gotten for my stroller the week previous. I was really glad that I had it with me and really glad that I bought it.

The girls in the stroller with the raincover. Autumn loved it she didnt' get wet at all, Prairie didn't like it over the stroller.


Prairie playing in the drawers


Baba Russ came for Halloween. This is the 4th Halloween in a row that he has celebrated with us. I think it is becoming a tradition. It was his quickest trip also, he only stayed one night with us, but did go trick-or-treating with the girls.

Prairie was really snuggly with Baba Russ this time


Just like last year, I kept intending to carve pumpkins, but we never did it, but we did make sugar cookies and decorate them, just like we did last year. It was a lot of fun, and we had Jennie and Janardan, and also my cousin Daniel and his wife Jenny. Janardan thought though that we were supposed to decorate them and he was supposed to eat them.


Here are a bunch of cookies that we decorated


Autumn decorating one of her cookies, all of the cookies she decorated had to go in their own container so no one would eat them.