Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Family Update

Where does the time go? Kara will be six months this week! I can't believe it! She is getting up on her hands and knees and moving a knee and hand forward in sync... It is pretty much crawling, though she doesn't go fast she gets wherever she wants to go. She is also almost going from a crawling position to sitting... She just started doing that this week. She growls almost all the time, resists a pacifier most of the time, won't take a bottle at all anymore, and is a wonderful sleeper at night... She'll go from 8 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. We started her on cereal about a month ago and now has sweet potatoes mixed with it. I'm hoping to take some more pictures of Kara when she turns 6 months, but here are a few I took in the middle of January...
Ethan is... well, he's just his own unique self.... As he says, "I'm in charge of myself". That would be fine... if only he did what he was supposed to do all of the time. Unfortunately, we have to make up for the times when he doesn't want to do what is best for him. Here is a picture of him after he looked into the molasses bottle. I thought it gave him a pretty nice eyebrow arch. He loves looking at books and his favorite is Alladin. We have an Alladin book that is quite a long version that he is constantly requesting. I have the habit of abridging it while I read to fit our time schedule. He also loves to say, "I love you all the way up to the airplanes" an adaptation from the book "Guess How Much I Love You?" Finally, he is really into his French lessons. Don't worry it is nothing serious, but we go on the and watch these little French videos every day. He always reminds me if we haven't done them yet. I think he really likes them because some of the characters wear helmets (another thing he is really into).
He recently learned how to jump on the trampoline...

Elia is loosing her first tooth! I can't believe it! Our baby is growing up! By the way, what is the going rate for the tooth fairy? Has anyone done something cool around tooth loss that I might try?

We also emptied Elia's piggy bank and took the money to the bank. She had about $65! I thought about setting up her own bank account but since they get almost no interest, I decided to open up an on-line account with ING that gets a little more. It isn't like she's going to get rich on the interest she makes from $100, but it is better than nothing!

I love Elia's sense of style. She has quite the eclectic sense of style and often wears skirts with jeans under them or dresses that are too small as shirts. She loves girly things, fancy shoes, jewelry, etc. Not sure how she got that way, but I'm certain it isn't from me!

We are in the process of putting finger sucking on extinction. Every day she doesn't suck her fingers she is rewarded with a disney figurine. It's been working so far, though I think the next step is to get rid of hippo... (her stuffed animal she's had since she was a baby). I saw her go to him one day, pick him up, suck on her fingers a few times, put him down and take out her fingers. It was total stimulus-response... like she had to get her "fix". I've suggested putting him away in her baby box, but she hasn't really agreed. I don't want to make it traumatic... any suggestions?
Our neighbor Emma comes over after school to play. I thought this routine they put together was so cute...

Hmmm, so on to the adults. Eric has been traveling a lot recently, so it's been nice to have Eric's parents close by. They have been in and out on trips around Texas, but it has been nice to have their help. We've been sorting through clothes, painting bathroom cupboards, getting yard work done, etc.

Our healthful eating isn't going quite as well as the first couple weeks, but we want to get through the meat in our freezer. I didn't think we'd be super strict, and we are eating a lot better than we've eaten in the past. Our no dessert or candy rule has been good for us and we're enjoying fresh fruits for "dessert" after dinner. I think the kids have benefited from more veggies at dinner too. Last week, when they wanted a snack I suggested a tomato. They both ended up eating two whole roma tomatoes... just like you would eat an apple. It is fun to see them like things like that.

I'm still trying to figure out how to be perfect. :) Just kidding. I told Eric I wish I could help the kids learn how to put things in their place, but I don't know how to do it myself and I'm afraid Elia is the same way. She can have something and not know where it is ten minutes later!

P.S. Kim... if you are reading this, I can't get onto your blog anymore so e-mail me!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thunderbird Party Pics and Healthful Eating

While we were in Utah, we got together with some of our Thunderbird friends for pizza and bowling... well, we didn't bowl because of my knee, but we had a great time catching up on what everyone was doing.
The girls...
Now it is back to normal life in Texas....
First up, was grocery shopping. Because I can't go walk around the grocery store for an hour and because our fridge looked like this when we got home:
Eric bravely volunteered to go to the grocery store this morning... it isn't that he hasn't gone before, but this was a MAJOR shopping trip and after looking at all the ads, I even persuaded him to go to... (can I say it?!)... Wal-Mart. And it wasn't just picking up a few things... I had gone through all the ads and price-matched about 20 items. Eric came home with about 60 items that cost just under $70... most of it was produce, so the actual number of items was much higher. I was so proud of him (sniff, wipe a tear)!
We had so much stuff I decided to put it on display on our counter before filling our fridge...

Here is our full and happy fridge... So about our healthy eating plan... It includes (as you might be able to tell) lots of fruits and vegetables. It's been interesting to see how it has affected the kids. Today when Eric was packing his lunch, Ethan wanted to eat a carrot.... and not just any carrot... the biggest longest one he could find in the bag. He munched on it the whole time I was shopping for a few odds and ends later in the morning. When we were putting away all the food he picked up a tomato and wanted to eat that. Of course he's always been a fan of oranges, so he had a couple of those today too.

We're trying to base our meals around vegetables instead of around meat, since we are supposed to eat meat sparingly. Usually we think about having chicken and wonder what we will put with it... Then our plate is 50% chicken and then 25% veggies and 25% potatoes or rice.

So far, the meals have been a bit more labor intensive than I like, but I think I will get used to it, find easier ways to do things, and our family will feel better. I don't want our kids to have to change their eating habits and thinking processes when they are adults. I hope it will come naturally. Even if what we are doing is a little extreme to begin with, I think we will even out over time and eat much more balanced meals.

We're going to need a lot of it, so wish us luck!

Friday, January 1, 2010

White Christmas and a New Year

What a wonderful break we've had in Utah. We go home Monday and I think we will be lost as to what to do without all the wonderful company. It has been awesome to have Eric home with us for 2.5 weeks, not to mention visits with all of the cousins and in laws. Here are a few of our highlights...
Staying with Eric's sister's family... Here is Eric's nephew with Kara...
Going to the Nutcracker with Eric's niece Bre. It was Elia's first "ballet" and she had a great time watching the beautful ballerinas.Visiting the lights on Temple Square... the cold pretty much sucked the life out of my battery and when I thought my camera was dead, it was hard for me to be able to enjoy the pretty lights without being able to take pictures of it! I'm not sure what that says about me, but I told myself that I could still enjoy it without taking pictures... I put the battery in my pocket and I was all the more glad when my battery did warm up enough for me to take two pictures... Eric's sister and brother-in-law were kind enough to take Kara... It was fun to enjoy the lights with just Elia and Eric and I (Eric's parents had Ethan).
We met some friends on Temple Square a few days later so I could take pictures of their family ( It was so great to see them. After we kept to our Cafe-Rio-after-the-temple tradition that we had started in Arizona and enjoyed catching up over sweet pork burritos.
Another few days of our trip were spent meeting Eric's brother's family (they live in Montana) at his mother-in-law's house in Idaho.
Everyone joined in on the sledding and playing games until midnight or later. All-in-all, we went sledding three or four times while we were in Utah.
Back in Logan we played with our cousins (some from Colorado Springs and some from Morgan, UT).
All of the grandkids that were home for Christmas...
The ones in Colorado Springs have a girl a year older than Ethan and a boy a year older than Ethan. They LOVED playing together. The girls especially are like peas in a pod. Eric's cousin's wife had recently returned from a trip to India and bought the girls these matching dresses...Christmas morning! Elia loved her "Build-a-bear" clothing sets
And Ethan loved the sword Elia picked out for him at the dollar store.
I made the kids church bags and put the new gospel art picture books in them. They love taking them to church and I don't have to pack all their stuff around. The bag I made is in the bottom right corner of the picture. I thought it turned out super cute.
Our little Santa baby. She got two teething toys... What else can a 4 month old want?! :)
We followed presents with the Petty tradition of fried chicken and biscuits. Supposedly it is a Texas tradition (his whole family is from Texas)... though I've never seen anyone there do that. Whatever its origins, it is a lot of fun.
Eric's sweet grandma and Kara... Four generations...
Well, after two and a half weeks of vacation we will return to Texas totally exhausted. I guess that is what we get for playing games every night until 1, 2 or 3 in the morning :)! To come are also pictures from our great Thunderbird get together.
Oh, I also forgot to mention that I had knee surgery a week ago so I could take advantage of all the extra help here. The surgery went well and, though I'm still hobbling around, the recovery should be less than a month.
I can't start the new year without some mention of our new year's resolutions. We've decided we won't watch TV shows during the week and we aren't going to eat dessert food this year. The TV show goal will help us go to bed earlier, get up earlier and accomplish everything else we want to do like read more, exercise more regularly, keep a cleaner house, etc. And the sweets goal will help us eat healthier and curb the sweet teeth of our family. Wish us luck! Here's to a new year!