Sunday, December 13, 2009

A little of a lot

Where to begin... I've neglected my blog these days. It hasn't been THAT long (three weeks) since I've posted, but so much has happened that it feels like a lot longer. It seems like old news to talk about, but I haven't posted since before Thanksgiving, so I better start there. We were invited over to a friend's house for Thanksgiving which was really nice so we didn't have to cook everything from scratch just for the four eaters of our family. We spent pretty much the whole day there, just relaxing and eating. Thanks Browns for a great time!
The first weekend in December, "Grampy" and "Yia Yia" came to visit. They only came for a long weekend (Thursday afternoon through Tuesday morning), but we had a great time. (Thanks guys for all your help and company!) We visited the Children's Museum...
... attending a Sugar Land Town Square Concert and our church Christmas party...
...and just hung out around the house, watched a few movies, and my Dad helped with regrouting part of our shower.
It was actually really nice that they came when they did. I had a ton of work to get done with the magazine and they were great with the kids while I finished the editing work I needed to do for the next issue.
For one assignment I had to go to the Museum of Natural Science. While I was looking around for other "subjects" I took this picture of Elia cozying up to a giant alligator skull. When she's in the mood, she really poses for the camera. I prefer to catch her naturally, but at least she was cooperating instead of running away like she sometimes does :)
In other news, for our second year in a row, it snowed in Texas. It was funny because my dad came from New Hampshire (where there was no snow) and it snowed while he was here!
Of course, we've also done the "Santa" thing. I think these pictures were from our fourth "Santa sighting". Ethan especially is just so wide-eyed about Santa. It's fun to see their excitementAlso on my list of things to do was to get a nice picture of the kids. I told Eric I wanted to take an updated family picture, but then decided I would just get one of the kids for a Christmas card (which I haven't had time to do yet):(... and may not get to in time for Christmas... so don't feel bad if you don't get one. Eric was awesome! On the morning of said pictures, I had picked out the kids' clothes, gotten everyone dressed and hair done and it was drizzling! Since it is such a production to get everyone ready, we still went a head and took pictures. Eric is always so good at getting the kids to smile that I knew I needed him with me. It was a short ordeal, but I was happy with the final picture of our little cuties: I took a few extra pictures yesterday after one of my photo shoots. You never know what expression Ethan is going to pull, which is why that last picture is just so indicative of his personality.
Our little Kara... always smiling! She's rolling over now and we've stopped swaddling her. It's fun to see her reaching for things and moving all over the floor. At her four month check up the doctor said she is exactly in the 50th percentile for weight and height.
So, that's it for now. We leave for Utah on Thursday. I can't believe the break is almost here. I'm rushing to get everything done that I need to do before I leave. I love to think about relaxing when I get to Utah, but I've already planned to take my whole backup of my computer hard drive and sort through it. Vacation? What's that!? Merry Christmas to everyone!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Where has the year gone? I can't believe there is just one month and a week left! So, what have we been up to these past two weeks? Well, our little ballerina finished off her dance class. We watched her recital a week ago. We were so proud of her! We wondered if she would get nervous dancing in front of the 50-70 people there, but she did great! One of the songs they danced to was "Just a Spoonful of Sugar". She loved the song and loved it even more when we watched Mary Poppins. They also did a little hip-hop dance. You don't have to watch all of the videos, but they are on there mostly for you doting grandparents :).
video
video
Elia was so happy dancing! It was fun to see her do something she loves.
The whole group...
Elia is second from the right in the following picture...Speaking of Elia, her personality has totally been changing this past month. She is so enjoyable to be around. She is much more self-directed, is so helpful, and more creative. She still has her moments, of course, but it seems she has more confidence. It's really been fun to see her create actual pictures instead of just smooshes of colors on a piece of paper. She learned how to draw a star last week at church. I stepped her through it and after a few tries was covering her paper with stars.
In the home improvement area, we painted our kitchen... It's only been a year since we first wanted to do it, but couldn't because we had less time after closing and moving in. It was fun. We painted it this yellowy color called "charismatic". (I liked the name too).
Before...
After... It is hard to get the color right with a camera, but I love how cheery the kitchen feels now.
In other news, I took the kids and a friend of Elia's (Amelia) to the Children's Museum. As always, we had a great time. Elia and Amelia get along great... their birthdays are just three days apart, so Amelia missed school this year too.
This is all too often how we find Ethan... "fight". This picture wasn't posed at all. He just is always raring to go!...
Finally, I went with some friends to the Thursday night midnight showing of the New Moon Twilight Saga movie. I'm not like a go-crazy, die-hard Twilight fan, but it was fun to get out and do something that I wouldn't normally do. It was a pretty good flick. I'm still tired from the endeavor, but I had a good time.
Today was stake conference. About 30 minutes from the end I look over and Ethan is sleeping. My friend took this picture. He's sitting on our book bag, but for the first 30 minutes he was actually standing up sleeping on the bench. It was so cute (though not so cute when we got home and wasn't tired enough for a regular nap).
I think that is about it. Eric and I are yet again turning over new leaves this week (in regards to going to bed early, waking up on time, exercising, etc. etc. etc.... (Good thing we have an endless supply of leaves to turn over)... so here's to our good ambitions!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
P.S. Kim T. - if you read this, I can't get in your blog anymore, so send me an e-mail! Please! I really appreciate all your comments and want to check up on what you guys are doing so thanks!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Halloween Pics and Kara turns 3 months!

Halloween and the week prior turned out to be a little crazy to say the least. Elia was sick the Sunday before Halloween, Eric and Ethan got sick on Tuesday and Wednesday and then I started to get sick Thursday night. We took Eric to the airport early Friday morning so he could go through the temple with his nephew who is going on a mission. I was so sick on Friday and then Ethan decided that one sickness wasn't enough and he spiked a 102 degree fever again on Friday. Luckily I got him in to the doctor (I called at 3:30 on Friday afternoon and they were able to see him as the last patient of the day) and my suspicions that he had pneumonia were confirmed. We got him on antibiotics. I had a 103 degree fever on Friday and felt pretty bad still on Saturday, but I still managed to get the kids to the trunk-or-treat. On Sunday I felt better and took the kids to sacrament meeting, though I felt Ethan shouldn't go to nursery still. We picked Eric up from the airport on Sunday afternoon and I told him that he owes me a sick day during Christmas break. I never got the sick treatment since he was gone the whole time... to his credit, he did take care of me Thursday night when I felt the worst even though he wasn't 100 percent better. Considering my condition, I'm lucky I took any pictures of the kids in their costumes, but here they are...Ethan was convinced that spider man wore boots, hence the rain boot addition. Elia went back and forth from a witch to tinkerbell and finally decided to be a ballerina (quite easy considering she had ballet that day). Not to be a party pooper, I pulled out these two M&M costumes for Kara and I.
On Tuesday before Halloween while the boys were sick in bed I took Elia to pick out a pumpkin.I never get very many pictures of her, so I thought I would include this one of my little five-year-old... not so little any more is she?

In other news, our "little red" is getting older too... I took these pictures on Friday for her "three-month" mark. Where does the time go? She is such a wonderful baby. I shouldn't put this out there because I know there are many moms who would be jealous, but she sleeps from 8 p.m. until 7 a.m. every night and is pretty content during the day. It is such a blessing to me that she isn't a needy baby... God must have known I needed to keep my sanity. She will smile at anyone who talks to her and especially loves when Elia does pat-a-cake. Sleepy baby... Kara and her little faux hawk... Well, this week we are getting back on track. We renewed our workout routine a week ago Monday and then Tuesday sickness infiltrated our house and, well, everything went to pot. Here's to a new week and new goals!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Eric!

Sometimes when I think about writing a blog, I think I can only write when I can "top" what happened last week, but since we probably won't have that exciting of a week for a while, I might as well post what is happening since this is as much for our family history as it is to let everyone know what we're up to. In any case, we did have a pretty fun weekend. We went with our friends the Forbushes to Quintana Beach. I didn't take very many pictures, but we did something we haven't done in a while... relaxed. We usually get up on Saturday morning, play at the beach in the morning and then go home about noon, but since I had a photo shoot in the evening, we had to stay there during the afternoon. We watched a movie in the tent on the laptop, took naps, read books and just relaxed. There was nothing for the kids to get into and Ethan could explore to his heart's content.
The weather was beautiful.
When we were ready to go home, Elia was a huge help. She dragged and carried every article from where our tent was to the road so we could load it in the car faster. I thought it was very creative that she put everything in a line. Can you find Ethan in the upper half? You can see how much help he was :)So, sometimes I think I am going crazy when I can't find things and it is no secret that I'm not the most organized person, but it doesn't help that we have a boy who likes to secretly stash things in this little cupboard in the wall. It is there to give access to the bathroom pipes, but when Eric was looking for his flip flops on Friday and we couldn't find them, I happened to look in there and found his flip flops... along with 5 videos, Elia's favorite belt (that she'd been looking for), a tube of glow bracelets, and some of Eric's boy scout materials (that he'd also been looking for). I'm not the only person to blame when things go missing! :)

Eric's already enjoyed his present (see last post) and we already had cake, but tomorrow's the official day... Happy Birthday Honey! The big 30!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

U2 Baby!!!!

Well, I can finally talk about my surprise for Eric's 30th birthday! It was so hard for me to keep the surprise, but the excitement at the end was totally worth it! On Wendesday I dropped the kids off at our friends', the Forbushes, house and I gave Eric these (U2 360 Tour tickets):
He was totally surprised and totally psyched. U2 is one of his favorite groups, if not his favorite group and the concert was awesome!.... A little loud, but awesome. This was the stage...
And here's a picture.... It is so hard of course to get pictures in the concert because it is so dark, but of course the screen is huge and has a great picture. We actually had pretty decent seats and since I bought them off craig's list and negotiated with the seller, I got them for about half price of what they retailed for. I was pretty proud of myself and after all of the agony about whether this is what I should spend our birthday money on or not, I'm really glad we did. We didn't get home until 1 and were totally exhausted the rest of the week, but it was worth it. Thanks so much Craig and Lynette! They watched all three kids and Lynette put them to bed at our house and stayed up until 1 a.m. when we got back. Plus, they live across the street from the stadium so we parked for free at their place and walked over.Here's a little video...
video
On Thursday, Eric got called about being involved in a dragon boat race. I had signed him up when I heard about it because it seemed interesting, but it didn't seem like anything would happen, but then one team needed an extra rower. Eric had a great time (though was completely exhausted after and couldn't bend over at all today because his back was so sore). Here's his team during the race (I put a little green circle around his head).... Here they are after...
His team won the rookie cup!... He didn't get to keep the trophy, but I thought it was cool enough to warrant a photo...They also had great entertainment including a lion dance, martial arts performances, asian drum performances, etc. It was a blast.
The race this year was to raise awareness for breast cancer. They had pink firetrucks that were towing this pink ribbon. We gave a cheer to Gram when we took this picture... Today, we held an "October Birthdays" party. It started off as just and idea to invite a few friends over for cake to celebrate our birthdays, but then I got to talking with another girl in the ward whose husband has a birthday in October. We expanded it and decided to meet at a park because the weather has been so nice. We ended up having right around 40 people!. A few people brought extra treats to share and we had plenty. Here is the cake Kellie and I made. We put chocolate shavings and chocolate stars on top of cream cheese frosting. Everyone enjoyed it so much that they want to do it again in November. So, Happy Birthday to us!
Fun week, but very exhausting.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yes Day!

We checked out a book from the library called, "Yes Day". As the name implies, the little boy's parents say, "yes" to his requests on this one day. The kids had the idea to have our own, "Yes Day". I thought... "This will be pretty harmless." So, yesterday we had our own "Yes Day". It started off with Elia requesting to not make her bed and to watch cartoons which she did for an hour or so. Then kids the requested smoothie shakes (fruit smoothies with sherbet). They had a lot of fun eating with whatever utensil they wanted to use...Then Elia wanted a freezer pop, but as she was looking in the freezer, she saw the icing that was left over from her cake, so instead she and Ethan had a serving (whatever that is) of icing. Ethan wanted to put chocolate syrup in his smoothie, so they both did that (only to decide that it wasn't that good). Elia then played on pbskids.org for about an hour and then requested more icing. Grumbling to myself I made myself say "yes" (the first time it was kind of a cool request, but the second (and then third) time I was feeling a little annoyed. We then asked Elia what she wanted to do and she wanted to watch more TV. I was annoyed at this too because I felt it was so boring! I was afraid she'd want to watch TV all day! In any case, she watched a little more while I cleaned up the kitchen and Eric mowed the lawn. She then thought about it and said she wanted a puppy! I really was shocked by this request because I didn't think there was anything she'd come up with that we really couldn't do. In any case, we aren't ready to get a dog, but we went over to the animal shelter and spent about an hour playing with this dog ("Highway") and several of the kittens they had there.
While Elia was in the car and we were getting Kara buckled to go to the shelter we looked around for Ethan and this is how we found him on the front porch...

He had requested a popsicle earlier but then changed his mind. I guess he had decided that this was a good time. Keep in mind that all of these treats were eaten before 11:00 a.m.
After playing with Highway and the kittens at the shelter...
...they had both requested not to have nap time, but we went home with the idea of having Ethan take a nap with Eric. When I got home though, I got a call from a friend reminding me of the volleyball tournament for our ward. I grabbed the kids a cucumber (hopeful I could get at least something nutritious in them) and we went to the tournament. We didn't win, but since we are part of the Sugar Land 1st ward, we thought it would be fun to put up number 1 fingers. We had a great time. I'm so glad Eric was so supportive and kept the kids from going crazy while I played.
We then went out for pizza and slurpees and then home for movie night. Elia asked if she could stay up "really late", so we stayed up until 9. They sure went to bed easily!
In retrospect, Eric thinks the day was great because we get too much in the habit of saying "no" to things and it was fun for them to indulge in their fantasies. I mean, does it really matter if they eat a smoothie with an ice cream scoop once in a while? I'm glad yes day isn't frequent, but it was fun.
In other news, we are loving the weather! It's been so cool that we've kept our windows open!
We took Elia and Kara to the doctor last week for their 5-year and 2-month check-ups. They are both 75% on height and 50% on weight.
We blessed Kara about a month ago, but I finally got to taking these pictures of Kara in her blessing dress. She is getting more and more personality.
She smiles a lot more now and has been sleeping 11 hours at night. I feel so spoiled. She also has just one dirty diaper a week, so I decided I'd try cloth diapers again (I lasted a day with Elia... she had about six or seven a DAY!). I still use disposables at night and when we go to church and stuff, but I use cloth during the day. It has been working out really well. In fact, last week I changed a cloth diaper and it was just a tiny bit dirty so I put on a disposable and 15 minutes later she had done her one poo for the week! Isn't that amazing!? So far it is working for us. I'm not cloth diaper crazy, and I'm not sure how long it will last when she starts having more dirty diapers, but I'm saving about six diapers a day.
That's about it for the Petty's. Here is one last picture of our imaginative boy... He just makes me laugh all of the time. I'm amazed at his sense of humor...
Me (to Ethan after he had tooted): "Who tooted?"
Ethan: "You"
Another time, Elia was putting her feet on Ethan's chair in the car and pushing on it. He was complaining and we told her to stop, but she wouldn't. We then started counting to three (something that we try not to do, but still do sometimes). She said, "Don't Count!" Ethan then said, "Count!" It was all Eric and I could do to keep our laughing silent as we sat in the front seat.
That's all folks! Look forward to a special post next week. For our birthdays (Eric's is the 26th and mine is the 13th) I'm taking him to a super sweet surprise! Have a great week!

Monday, October 5, 2009

A month in 517 words! (and yes I did a wordcount) :)

I've noticed that the longer I wait to write a post, the harder it gets to do it. I think that's true about a lot of things in life including housework, organizing paperwork, keeping the car clean, and cleaning out the fridge, just to name a few... which is probably why I get so behind in some of those things... Well, I've vowed to turn over a new leaf. Eric and I listened to church conference this past weekend and heard the story about they guy who said he decided he would never miss a day of scripture study and though some days he only read a little bit, he still got it done and hasn't missed a day. Here it is in writing... Eric and I have decided to commit to do that too. Maybe my persistence will carry over to some of those other things that are so easy to put off. So, here it goes....
First, a few of my favorite sayings:
1) Ethan: "What the heck. That's a bad word. We don't say that?" (After we've told him again and again of course that we don't want him saying that).
2) Elia wanted to sleep on the floor last night. Ethan was in his bunk, but then I heard giggling. I asked from the other room... "Elia, is Ethan in bed?"
"No, he's laying by me."
"Is that ok?"
Elia-"Yeah, is that OK with you?"
"...(smiling to myself)... Yes... as long as you guys go to sleep."
WOW! My opinions actually matter to her?!?! WOW!
(Footnote: of course they didn't go to sleep and they eventually got put back in their own beds).

Now, here is the month in pictures:
Church 50's sock hop. Eric helped serve and I made Kara's poodle skirt in about 10 minutes... with no pattern might I add. (I lucked out and had purchased Elia's outfit from a garage sale for $1 last month (Thanks Birdie!))
That same day I also watched PJ as his mom was in the hospital delivering their second. Ethan and PJ are about the same age... I know you wouldn't be able to tell that by their height. Most of the time they get along just great. For some reason, sticking out your tongue at the camera was what I got when I told them to smile...
Kara... poor girl. I have good intentions of taking more pictures, but I haven't taken very many recently. She is just starting to smile a ton when you talk to her... yeah! I love that! This was her at six weeks. She's two months today and changing so fast!
Pig on a stick...
The benefits of being small. Elia wanted to try it after, but we told her she couldn't :(
Last Saturday Eric did his first official bike race... a 70 miler in Lufkin, TX. I'm so proud of him... he took a picture! He said they rode well and it was quite a change because, yes, folks, there were actually hills! What a shock!
Meanwhile, I stayed with the kids. We went to the airport open house. It was more impressive than I thought it would be. They had Apache helicopters, A-10's, lots of old planes the kids could sit in, Learjets, news helicopters, and gliders. Oh, and take note of Elia's skirt. I made it!
In honor of Grandpa:
Ethan couldn't quite get the thumbs up idea. He kept putting his pointer finger out too, but the guy sure got a kick out of him.
Here is one last picture. It is Ethan pretending to take a picture. I find him so cute... even if he does get into all of my stuff. We need more practice putting things away!