Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Eve Party!

We had such a nice Christmas weekend. My parents came into town Saturday evening and stayed until Wednesday. We really enjoyed having them here, the kids loved it! We got in some last minute shopping, ate lots of yummy foods, watched some movies, played around and ate some more. Addison always has the best time with bapa and bom bom (we finally figured out that that's what she calls grandma), she loves all of the attention she gets. And of course Urban was an angel for my mom (and yes dad, that still pisses me off!). =) For those of you wondering, my dad asked me if it made me mad that Urban would be fussy for me but then as soon as my mom would take him he would stop crying. The answer is YES, although I very much appreciated the help.
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Our family has a tradition of doing an appetizer dinner for Christmas Eve, so this year we invited Jared's family over too. Bipa & bipa came (that's what Addison calls grandma & grandpa Estes) along with Julie and her kids and Joe & Trecia and their kids. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! It got a bit chaotic at times, but we always have so much fun when we're all together. Dianna suggested that we do a white elephant gift exchange, and I'm so glad that we did, it was a blast. Jared and I finally got rid of those stinkin' elephant under ware that his brother Jake gave us when we first got married (5 years ago) and we made sure that Ron got them. HEE HEE! Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of that. I also didn't get a picture of the food table, but boy did we have quite a spread. There were meatballs, little smokies, veggies, fruits, cookies, brownies, shrimp, crackers, cheese, olives, chips & dip, drinks, chicken salad, bacon wrapped artichoke hearts, mini quiches and more. It was all so delicious. Then we took the kiddos outside to sprinkle reindeer food and glitter on the grass so Santa would know how to find our house. The entire time we were doing this Addison kept reminding me that she doesn't like Santa and didn't want him to come to our house. I assured her that he would come at night when she was sleeping so she wouldn't have to see him. He would just drop off her presents and leave. Oh, Jared and Joe also entertained us by putting on a wrestling match. I'm not sure who won but they must have been at it for 15-20 minutes. They finally stopped when Dianna threw water on them. It was quite amusing watching two grown men wrestling like they were 10 year olds.
After watching their daddy wrestle Addison & Urban decided to give it a try. Just kidding, Addison was just trying to hold Urban but he started to tip over so it looks like she has him in a head lock.This is the real wrestling match. Jared was glad that I posted a picture that looks like he's winning. =)
We really did have such a good time. I can't wait until next year so we can do it again.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Better late than never!

I have not been on top of things lately AT ALL! So needless to say one of the many things I did not get done was mailing out Christmas cards. Heather designed this super cute card for us so I thought I'd post it on here for you all to see. Sorry I did not get cards out, but I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was fabulous! I will post pictures later.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


It's only taken two months, but Addison FINALLY not only acknowledges Urban's existence but interacts with him too. It's not that Addison has been mean to Urban up to this point, she just hasn't paid much attention to him at all. These past couple of weeks though she's been so cute with him. If I'm giving him a bottle she wants to be the one to feed him and she loves to help me give him a bath. She gets really stressed out when he cries so she'll try to comfort him by saying "shh Urman (that's how she says his name), it's okay" then she'll try to stuff his pacifier in his mouth whether he wants it or not and come tell me that "baby brother is crying". If he's laying on the couch sleeping she likes to cover him up with a blanket, although it's a bit scary because she always covers up his face as well. She even gets down on the floor and plays with him while he's having tummy time. I think this may be a bit more because she's fascinated by his baby toys and because of the attention she gets, but it's still cute. She absolutely LOVES when he smiles at her and thinks it's hilarious when he burps or farts (which is constantly). For some reason she's got this strange fascination with his eyes and likes to poke them which of course makes Urban and me extremely upset! She still gets a bit jealous from time to time which is understandable, but for the most part she's a great big sister. I'm very proud of her and hope that they grow up to be very close siblings.

The animals like to get in on the playing action too! (and no, I don't normally let the cat in the baby's crib!)

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Elf Name

I got this idea from Heather & Melanie and thought it was very cute. I did this before but accidentally closed out of the page while trying to transfer it to my blog. My first name was something like Floppy Mc Flufferson. So I did it again and this is what I got:

Your Elf Name Is...
Floppy Sweet Cheeks

Now I think the "sweet cheeks" is quite endearing, but I'm still not too keen on the "floppy". Although as I told Heather, I have been feeling a bit "floppy" lately thanks to yummy holiday food I can't seem to resist. So perhaps this name is rather fitting!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Baby Whisperer!

It was so nice to have my parents here visiting last weekend. We always enjoy spending time together. They are such awesome grandparents, Addison always gets so excited when they come to see us. It was especially nice this time because my mom has this amazing gift. BABIES ABSOLUTELY LOVE HER! This is a quality I very much admire and desire. She's always been so great with babies and kids, and they always respond really well to her. Urban is pretty fussy and he's hard to calm down a lot of the time. I'm always telling my mom how much he cries and how little sleep he allows me to get. I don't think she believes me though because he was so good the entire time they were here. He even slept better at night. He happened to be sleeping when they left, but he woke up 20 minutes later and fussed the rest of the night. I guess he missed his grandma already. Jared and I keep saying that we think we're going to have to have her move in with us for the sake of our sanity.

Some how we ended up not getting a picture of my mom and Urban together even though she was holding him almost the entire weekend. So this is her giving him a kiss on the head while he was sleeping before she left.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Urban was blessed last Sunday, December 2nd. It is such a special and emotional occasion to have your child blessed. I am so grateful to Jared for being worthy and willing to bless our children. Urban looked so sweet and heavenly in his blessing outfit. It was really neat because he wore Jared's blessing outfit, little booties from Dianna's side of the family and he had my blanket from when I was blessed which was also used for Heather's kids and other family members. I'm so glad that our families were able to share this wonderful day with us. It is amazing to me to look at my little baby during peaceful moments and know that he is still so close to his Father in heaven. I love to watch him smile in his sleep and like to think that he's remembering and dreaming about celestial moments before he came to this earth. Urban Claude truly is a blessing in our lives and I know that he will continue to bless us forever.

This is a family picture taken at church the day Urban was blessed. Bapa & Bama Van Rij, Grandpa & Grandma Estes, Joe & Trecia and their family. Julie and her family were also there, unfortunately we didn't get them in the sorry about that.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


We took the kids to see Santa this weekend while my parents were here, and as you can probably tell from the pictures it didn't go so well. I wasn't sure how Addison would react to Santa, so I kept telling her how nice he is and that if she sits on his lap and is a good girl he'll bring her presents. Well she seemed to be okay the first half of the line, but the closer we got the more she seemed like she didn't want to do it (it didn't help that she was already cranky from missing her nap). When I went to set her on Santa's lap she freaked out, so then I just put her on my lap and sat next to Santa. TOO LATE! The damage had already been done, she wanted nothing to do with it. She wasn't the only one who was upset. Urban had been all comfy, cozy & asleep on Grandma so when she handed him over to Santa he got mad and started crying as well. So we have this wonderful picture with me and Santa smiling and both of the kids on our laps crying hysterically! I don't think we'll be taking them back to see Santa again unless they specifically ask to see him because otherwise it's just traumatic for the poor kids. Can we say "mother of the year"...again?!
This picture CRACKS ME UP! It looks like Santa and I are having a great old time just chit chatting and laughing, meanwhile Urban and Addison are crying their little eyes out. It doesn't even seem like I care that my daughter is running off away from me. What you can't see in this picture is that grandma and grandpa are standing off to the side, she's running to them to be rescued.

"Mother of the Year!"

I have a lot of catch up to do from this weekend, but first I wanted to share this story real quick. We have an on-going joke in our family that when we do something dumb as a parent or feel bad about something we've done we say we're "mother of the year" (sarcastically of course). I'm not sure but I think Heather may have started this. Well this morning was one of those "mother of the year" moments. Let me begin by saying that last night was absolutely awful. Both Urban and Addison were up all night long, which meant of course that I was too. So come this morning I was not quite the ray of sunshine I should've been. I was trying my best though to keep my patience, and doing a pretty good job, until the smallest most insignificant thing set me off. Urban was crying so I was trying to get him fed and Addison comes walking in behind me to ask for fruit snacks for the third time this morning. Now she had already had waffles, a banana, two things of fruit snacks and a sucker and it wasn't even lunch time yet so I was more than a little annoyed. When she asked for the fruit snacks AGAIN I lost it and yelled "no, you don't need anything else to eat right now, just leave me alone". As soon as it came out of my mouth I realized how harsh it sounded and felt horrible, but to make it even worse she just looked up at me all sweet and cute and said "mama, no yelling at me, that's mean". I'm not sure I've ever felt worse. So I set Urban down, picked her up and gave her big hugs and kisses and told her I was sorry. Of course as children do she forgave me and of course I gave her another packet of fruit snacks. However I still think this shameful moment qualifies me to win the "mother of the year" award for this week!

Friday, November 30, 2007


The night before last Urban slept straight through from 12:00 am to 6:00 am. When he woke me up and I looked at the clock I was ecstatic. He hasn't slept for more than about 2 hours at a time and 5 hours all together at night. This would explain why I've been a bit disheveled looking and loopy sounding on the phone these past couple of months. This couldn't have come at a better time either because the day and night prior to this were terrible. He did not sleep at all (which is probably why he slept so well this time) and I was a total mess. I was just an emotional wreck and didn't think I could handle another day full of crying (his & mine) and night of no sleep. It's amazing what a night of restful sleep can do. Yesterday I was able to get so much done. My nerves were calmed, I was more patient with the kids and I just took everything as it came. I was able to finish putting out my Christmas decorations and clean my house, which I had been trying to do since Saturday. That was another reason I was so upset, my house was in total disarray and I just could not take it any more. I know this was probably a one time thing, but I am so thankful to have at least one night. Now I'm refreshed and ready for the next 2 months (hopefully it won't really take that long).

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Grandma's Workshop #2

This past Saturday was Dianna's second "Grandma's Workshop". All of the grand kids went over to her house to make gingerbread houses. It was so fun to watch them all design and decorate their houses. The little ones were especially cute. Of course they wanted to put way more into their tummies than into their houses. =) One of the older cousins helped each of the younger ones make their gingerbread houses. Jenna helped Addison, they LOVE spending time with each other. Grandma even made real gingerbread, but I guess it didn't turn out quite right to build the houses with so they just made cookies out of them. After all their hard work the kids ate lunch then spent the rest of the afternoon playing outside together.

Ta da! The finished product!

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Little Turkeys!

Here are pictures of both of my little turkeys on their first Thanksgivings. Since they were both about the same age (Addison was not quite 3 months and Urban not quite 2) I put them in the same outfit. It was so cute to see Urban wearing the same outfit Addison had worn (there wasn't much she could pass down, it was all too girly). It's funny because on Thanksgiving day after I put Urban in the outfit I was looking at pictures on the computer of Addison on her first Thanksgiving. Jared walked into the room and asked when I had taken those pictures of Urban. I just started laughing and said "that's your daughter". It's a little hard to tell from these pictures because I didn't get a great angle of Urban, but in person they sure do look alike. They both have the same chubby cheeks & double chin, the same old man hairline and similar lips & smiles. In short they're both just absolutely adorable!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was wonderful! It was full of family, good food, football, games, fun, laughter, sharing and even some crying (the good kind). We all went over to Joe & Trecia's who were nice enough to host dinner this year. We all pitched in and brought something to share and everything was DELICIOUS! Joe and Trecia's family have this super cute tradition of pouring a random amount of dry beans on each plate then going around the table and saying something you're thankful for for each bean you have. This is where it got a bit emotional. You may not always see it, but Ron has such a sweet, sensitive side. I really enjoyed this part of dinner. After dinner we let our tummies settle while relaxing and watching some football. Then we headed outside (the weather was beautiful) to play some games of our own. First we played "I love my family, especially the ones who...". Everyone sits in a circle with one person in the middle who fills in the blank with something like "especially the ones who wear glasses", then everyone wearing glasses has to get up and change seats. The one left without a seat is left in the middle to call out the next group. This was a ton of fun. The kids loved it, I think they could have played for hours. Next we played Red Rover, Simon Says and the boys played some basketball. It was so nice spending time playing games and we managed to get through the day with only minor injuries. =) I am so very thankful for ALL of my family. We are truly lucky to enjoy one another as much as we do.
The kiddos chowing down on dessert.

This was during the "I love my family" game.

I just had to put it on here because I love Jared's stance!
Addison and Nathan playing together.

Michael, Garett & Hayden playing basketball & Jared falling down.

Garett, Jason, Brady, Evan & Julie

Michael, Nathan, Joe, Hayden, Trecia & Jenna

Grandpa & Grandma with Jenna

If you don't know who we are then you shouldn't be reading this. Just kidding, everyone is welcome here! This was at the end of the day so Addison was extremely tired and not in the mood to cooperate for pictures (as was Urban which is why he's sleeping).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Grandma's Workshop #1

Mt. Lemmon
Dianna has planned to do a "Grandma's Workshop" every Saturday until after Christmas. The idea is to get all of the grand kids together and do some sort of holiday craft or activity. I think this is such a cute idea, the grand kids will love it. Our first activity consisted of pine cone hunting. This past Saturday we went to Mt. Lemmon, which is just outside of Tucson, to collect pine cones. We had so much fun. Mt. Lemmon is very pretty, and for us desert dwellers a bit chilly. When we first got there we had a "tailgate picnic" in the back of the truck. Then we headed up to the top of the mountain to get our loot. It was really neat because during the off-season when there isn't any snow they still have the ski lift going to take you to the top of the mountain. So we rode up to the top, looked around for about an hour or so, then rode back down. The ski lift was a lot of fun but also kind of scary. It sure is high sitting at the top of that thing, but it makes for a great view. We got all the pine cones we needed and had a great time doing it. It was just so nice for all of us to spend the day together. All together we had Grandma & Grandpa, Julie and two of her boys Brady & Garret, Jenna & Hayden, Jared, me, Addison & Urban, and a long time family friend from Alaska, Eric, who now lives in Tucson with his girlfriend Jessica (who is just as cute as can be). This last Saturday was a lot of fun, I can't wait for the rest of them. Thanks Grandma!

Monday, November 19, 2007

7 Things

I have been tagged so I have to think of 7 unique things about myself to share with my readers. Anyone else who reads this is now tagged as well and has to do the same thing. Now I am just about the most plain, boring person in the world, so sorry if this puts you to sleep. Here goes:

1. I love the mixture of sweet & salty foods. One of my favorite things is to dip french fries in a frosty or ice cream of some sort. I like the sweet/salty combo as well as the mix of hot and cold.

2. I think it is ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS when people trip and fall down. I know, I'm sick in the head, but I just can't help it. I feel really bad and I try to ask if people are okay before I start cracking up, but I usually can't control the laughter. For some strange reason nothing is funnier to me. Don't worry, I'm not a hypocrite, I laugh at myself just as hard if not harder when I fall down!

3. I am extremely fascinated with the human body. I love anatomy and physiology and am intrigued with how the body looks and functions. I got to dissect a cat in high school and think that is just about the coolest thing I've ever done. It is my dream to dissect a cadaver some day. (Am I scaring people yet???)

4. I have a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology which is the study of body movement. More and more lately I have had such a strong desire to become a physical therapist. I WILL go back to physical therapy school one of these days. I feel like I've never been good at anything except for school. I really don't have any talents or excel in any particular area. I always enjoyed school and got good grades, so I think I should pursue it further.

5. So I've never been formally diagnosed, but I'm pretty sure I have some form of OCD to some degree. I count everything (number of times I chew my food, how many buttons I've buttoned on my blouse, cars I've passed on the road, etc.). And the counting usually occurs in multiples of seven. I also "mentally" type things that are being said in my head. I know this probably doesn't make any sense but I don't know how to explain it more clearly. I don't do these things consciously, and when I realize I'm doing them I make an effort to stop. I know I sound completely crazy, but be assured these things do not interfere with my life in any way. I think this is probably too much info. I almost deleted this one but Jared told me to leave it in, it's too weird to take out. He thinks my mental problems are funny. =)

6. When I was 15 I had exploratory surgery and found out that I have two cervix, two uterus and only one kidney. Now to most people this isn't that interesting, but whenever I walk into a new OBGYN's office they can't wait to get a look at me.

7. Since Heather posted about her experience with boys I figured I would too because Jared thinks it's strange that we both didn't kiss someone until so late. I was never asked to any dances in high school, except a guy friend did invite me to senior prom. I did not have my first kiss until I was 19 years old (yes, I was THAT girl who didn't get kissed in high school), or my first "real" boyfriend until I was 21. Jared was only the second boyfriend (and the last) I have ever had. For some reason this always surprises people, but back in high school I was not quite the hot babe that I am now. JUST KIDDING!

So there you have it. My mom and sister are pretty much the only ones who ever read my blog, and they already know all of this about me (except for maybe #5). They have to love me because they're family, but I've probably succeeded in scaring everybody else off.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Our Weekend

We had a really nice weekend. We spent most of Saturday with Jared's parents shopping. We had a great time hanging out and going around to different stores. It's always fun shopping with Dianna because she can't resist buying things for people, although I feel bad because she went a little crazy this time (thanks again). =) Our niece Jenna was with us too and came back to our house to have dinner and play with Addison. Addison loves playing with her cousin Jenna, they are so cute together. Then on Sunday I got to see my cousin Jennifer. I made dinner on Sunday night for her, her friend Erin and Erin's daughter Kaya. It's been so long since I've seen Jennifer, I think the last time was at Addison's baby shower. We had so much fun chatting and catching up. We were all always so close growing up, we had so much fun at family get togethers. We definitely can't wait so long next time.

Me & Jennifer

I know this picture is blurry, but you get the gist.

Addison & Kaya hugging each other goodbye. They had fun playing together, it was so cute to watch them.

We added two more things to our gratitude garland that we are thankful for this weekend; grandparents and cousins. We already have one for family in general, but we thought these special people deserved to be recognized again. Jared, myself and our children are so very blessed to have WONDERFUL grandparents and cousins who we have been fortunate enough to be so close to all our lives.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Gratitude Garland

I saw this idea on Heather's blog and I LOVED it so I decided to do a gratitude garland as well. It's been a bit of a rough month (okay, this is how you spell month right? because spell check said it was wrong???) so it's nice to focus on the things we're thankful for, and there are so many. So far we've acknowledged:
smiles (Urban smiled his first "real" smile)
sleep (such a rare and precious thing lately)
stickers (Addison loves playing with stickers)
the Gospel
our home
It will be fun to look back over all of these blessings on Thanksgiving day and remember what exactly it was that particular day that made us especially grateful for these things. Thanks for the great idea!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


OH HAPPY DAY! Addison finally let me put her Halloween costume on her. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, let me explain. I decided to make Addison a little mermaid costume since Ariel is her favorite princess. I bought material to sew the bottom part then dyed her top purple to look like sea shell cups. And her long flowing hair is just the perfect finishing touch. But whenever I would go to try the bottom part on her to make sure it fit she would get hysterical. For some reason she DID NOT want anything to do with it. I was so upset because I really wanted her to dress up for Halloween. I was talking with my sister in law Julie and asked her if she wanted to come over to see if maybe she could get Addison to wear it. A couple of weeks prior Julie had bought Addison a super cute Belle dress-up outfit and she got Addison to put that on so I thought since she loves her Aunt Julie so much maybe this would work. Well, no such luck, she wouldn't put on her little mermaid costume or the Belle dress. Next I talked to my mother in law and told her the problem I was having, so she brought over a cute little fairy outfit the night before Halloween to see if maybe Addison would wear that. NOPE! Not only would she not wear these things but she would throw an absolute fit if we tried to put them on her. Then I thought that maybe I could just get her to wear her tights & leotard and put her hair in a bun and she could be a cute little ballerina. So here I am with four different options for my stubborn little lady and she would have none of them. I was so sad that I wasn't going to be able to get her to dress up, but I just wasn't sure what I could do about it. Well guess what! On Halloween day, for some strange reason she actually put on her little mermaid costume and wasn't upset about it at all. HALLELUJAH!!! It was a Halloween miracle. So here she is, my beautiful little mermaid.

I was so excited that she actually wore it and everybody knew who she was supposed to be. We went trunk or treating at the church and had a lot of fun. Of course as soon as we got there though Addison told me she had to go to the bathroom so we had to take everything off; her top, bottoms, leotard, tights and then it ended up being a false alarm so we just put it all back on again. Oh well, what do you do? Anyway, we somewhat decorated the back of the van and passed out candy and took Addison around trick or treating while Urban slept the entire time.
Here's a picture of Addison with Grandma. Jared's mom cracks me up, she looked so cute. I'm not quite sure what she was supposed to be but she stuffed her chest, had on crazy clothes & a wig and pulled it off very well!Jared bought Urban a little soldier costume, he looked so cute. Here he is yawning, he wasn't really bothered with the shananigans going on around him. We'll have to get him more in the spirit of things next year!This picture makes me laugh, I wish you could've all seen it in person. This is once we were back at home and about 5 or 6 pieces of candy later. Addison was having Dance Party USA in our living room, it was too cute! (doesn't she kind of look like she's doing the stoner dance like she's at Woodstock or something? she was high on candy!)

I'm so sad because these are the only pictures I got of the two of them together and they're not very good at all. At first we couldn't get Addison to cooperate. She didn't want to sit by Urban. Then by the time she was being all lovey-dovey with him the batteries in my camera died. I was SO MAD. Oh well, it actually ended up being perfect timing because it was then that I noticed that Addison's "fin" was coming apart at the seam. Guess I didn't do such a great job sewing it, perhaps that's why Addison didn't want to wear it, she was embarrassed of the poor quality. =) All in all we had a great Halloween, it was a lot of fun! Hope everyone else enjoyed their's as well.
p.s. So Heather, tell me the truth, would Addison's costume have won your prize for best home made costume (aka cheapest looking and put together at the last minute)? You can be honest, it won't hurt my feelings. I'll just never talk to you again! =)