Saturday, December 22, 2007

We Finally Have a Christmas Tree!

Yes we're super late compared to the rest of you, but like I said before, our trip threw me off! A few days after we got back I put up the tree Thursday night and Friday morning Kaiden was ecstatic that we had our own Christmas tree. Its an artificial tree that we bought our 2nd year of marriage so its starting to look a little Charlie Brownish. Once the lights and a few ornaments were put on it doesn't look so bad but I wish we had a real one. I love how they make your whole house smell but we thought it would be a bad idea with Kalli. She's into everything! Kaiden helped me put the lights up Fri afternoon and we decorated it as a family that evening. We continued my family tradition and listened to Christmas music sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. But we didn't have it so loud you couldn't think like my dad use to! It was a fun night and the kids (well at least Kaiden) enjoyed himself.
Kaiden putting one of the first ornaments on the tree
Trying to keep Kalli distracted and away from the tree with anything we could find.
Mom helping the kids put a few ornaments on
Notice Kalli reaching for the tree. Luckily she hasn't paid much attention to it since.
Kaiden had 2 or 3 spots that he liked the most. Notice the clumps of ornaments, he didn't want to put them any where else.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Our fun and not so fun vacation

I think I finally have enough time and energy to blog about our recent trip to Maryland. I was very excited to go but just as nervous too. WARNING: This post will be very long and possibly very boring, feel free to just check out the pictures if you like.

No turning back now...the fam at the New Orleans Airport, before Security!
It all started when we got up super early on Friday Dec 7, and my wonderful mother drove us to New Orleans for our flight. Security check-in was a mess! Joe had the laptop so he had to take that out of the bag and open it. Joe and I both had jackets on so we had to take those off, plus our shoes and the kids shoes. Joe and Kaiden had their book sacks and I had 2 carry-ons as well. Plus we had to empty our pockets and fold the stroller up to run through. I felt so sorry for whoever was behind us b/c we took forever...good thing we were early! Once Joe went through the metal detector, next was Kaiden's turn. He was leaning up against the side so it kept beeping, and then he got scared and refused to go through it again. Joe had to hold Kaiden (while he was kicking and screaming) and walk back through. Out of all of our crap they x-rayed the one bag they kept going back to look at was Kaiden's Spiderman booksack! Which was full of fruit snacks, books, and cars. Once we finally got through check-in it was a pain in the butt to get back dressed and head for our gate. Once again, good thing we were on time.

Kaiden loved watching his movie on the airplane

The flights weren't so bad and the kids did really well. We finally arrived at the BWI airport in Maryland and after getting our luggage and the kids car seats Joe and Kaiden took a shuttle to pick up our rent-a-car, which was a sweet Town and Country Minivan. Joe said a little of himself died when the guy at the front desk asked if it was a minivan he reserved. I was never sure how I'd feel about driving a minivan, I'm more of and SUV girl, but I loved this one! It had the automatic doors and hatch that opened with and easy push of a button and it was so roomy. But at this point anything is better than my little civic.
Once we got the van loaded up we picked up Joe's tux for the wedding and drove to the hotel. By the time we turned around a few times and made our way through traffic it was getting dark so we just relaxed in our hotel room for the night. It was snowing just a little once the plane landed and Kaiden was so excited to play in the snow. We kept telling him he could play in it after we get our car, or after we pick up mommy and Kalli, or after we get to the hotel and by then it was just too late. Poor little guy but he was just as happy to watch the Little Mermaid (his new favorite show) for the 2nd time that day. Joe ran down the street to pick up some grub and then we waited for the crib to be brought in for Kalli. This is were it gets interesting. Kalli fell right asleep after I nursed her even with some of the lights on and the sound of Little Mermaid. Once that was over Joe tried getting Kaiden to lay in bed w/ him to go to sleep. I was still watching a little TV and let Kaiden climb in the bed w/ me. After he was still restless I turned it off and Kaiden was back in the bed w/ Joe. Kalli went to bed around 8:30 and Kaiden finally fell asleep sometime after 10, only to wake up 2 hours later. He started whining for some reason and Joe or I couldn't get him to stop. So of course Kalli woke up and once Kaiden fell back asleep she was still up for another 2 hours! It was miserable! I let that girl nurse so many times just hoping she'd fall back asleep. It was so uncomfortable and I was so tired. All through the night both kids would wake up and kind of whine but would fall back asleep shortly after. It was the worst night sleep ever and they still woke up at 7:30!

Kaiden watching Little Mermaid. He gets a little scared when King Tritan gets mad and destroys Ariel's collection.Yea, the scary part is over!

Once we finally got moving we went to the store to buy a few groceries and Kaiden got to play in the little patch of snow that was left on the ground. He was so excited just to touch and eat a little that I felt bad we didn't get a chance to play in it the day before. Kalli fell asleep on the way back to the hotel so we left her in the car seat stuck her in the bathroom to get some rest. Joe meet up w/ Spencer (the groom) and the other groomsmen for brunch while Kaiden and I sat quietly in the hotel room. It really sucked that I wasn't even able to get dressed b/c Kal was in the bathroom and I really wanted a shower. Kalli woke up right before Joe got back and then it was crunch time trying to get dressed in time. We barely made it out the door in time to be at the church for 1. Since the wedding didn't start until 2 me and the kids walked around the church grounds before we went to be seated. Sitting by myself w/ both kids was a pain and all Kaiden wanted to do was go see his daddy. The ceremony was very nice and the bride looked beautiful. Afterwards me and the kids waited around while Joe took pictures and then it was off to the reception. As luck would have it Kalli fell asleep the 5 minutes it took to get there so Joe and Kaiden played outside for a bit while Kalli and I rested in the car. After we woke Kalli up me and the kids found our table and then the DJ welcomed the wedding party to their tables. Spencer has a one-of-a-kind personality and is hilarious. Him and Chrissy lip-sang to while dancing to their totally 80's song. I wish I could remember the name. We had dinner served but the kids were getting very restless by now. Kaiden and Spencer's nephews were jumping off the 4 steps next to our table and having a great time. They were pretty rambunctious but it was quieter than trying to force them to sit still at the table. Once most people were done eating they started playing some dancing music and all the little boys had a great time dancing. It was so cute. Next it was time for a toast from the groom and the best man. Most of the groomsmen also gave a little speech or just rambled on about nothing and then it was time to cut the cake. In which Spencer pulls out this huge sword for him and Chrissy to use. It was really funny and then to top it off Spencer dedicated yet another 80's song to Chrissy while they danced and he tried to sing. By this time both kids were in shambles. Joe and I were constantly walking around with kid in tow and we were also exhausted. At around 7:45 we finally called it a night. Now remember we were at the church for 1, plus we got barely any sleep the night before. We were all ready to pass out. That night was much better and we decided to hang a blanket from the microwave to the closet to cover Kalli's crib so she wouldn't wake up and see us. Joe and Kal watching everyone dance. I didn't take too many pics from the wedding b/c I had other things to do!Chrissy and Spencer cutting the cake- I told you it was big!

Here are a few dance moves from Kaiden!

The next day we planned on attending church and hopefully see some people Joe knew when he lived in Maryland. The Bishop doing the wedding ceremony told Joe church started at 11. We showed up during the opening song only to find out we were attending the Deaf Branch! It was so weird. Joe and I felt so awkward and didn't know what to do. Once the song was over (they don't have a pianist just a chorister and a boom box to play the music) the opening prayer was said or signed. I was trying to keep Kaiden quiet through the prayer (not that it really mattered!) but Joe kept talking and asking me what we should do. I looked over at him like 'hello'. Here I am trying to get Kaiden quiet and your talking during the prayer. Because it was so quiet and no one was closing their eyes he didn't even realize they were praying. After a few announcements we decided to leave during the sacrament song. We had thought maybe we would attend the last hour of meetings from the 9 ward but ended up just leaving. I wish we would of stayed for the sacrament but we were so thrown off we didn't know what to do. I guess this was the one time that our kids didn't disrupt anyone in church! It so happened the bishop that married Spencer and Chrissy is the bishop of the singles ward. I guess 11 was the time his ward meets! Joe's old house with the 2nd story added on. It took him a few seconds to realize that was it.

After church we drove by Joe's old house, which had a 2nd story added and then picked up some lunch. My friend from high school, Elizabeth, lives in Pennsylvania and drove down with her son to hang out. We decided to take the metro downtown and do a little sight seeing. The boys loved riding on the subway but were ready to get off and walk around. It was pretty cold and really overcast but at least we had nice company! We saw the Washington Monument and the WWII memorial and then we had to head back. It was fun visiting w/ Elizabeth and Michael and I'm so glad they drove the 2 hours down to see us.

The 1st train ride, Elizabeth, Michael, Joe, Kalli, and Kaiden Michael loved Joe and wanted all the boys to hold hands while walking to the monument.

Me and Elizabeth w/ all the kids in front of the Washington Monument

Our family at the monument

World War 2 Memorial
Once we got back to the hotel I grabbed a few things and then we drove to Baltimore to have dinner w/ Spencer's brother Clint and his wife Corinne. The kids had a fun time playing and the adults enjoyed a variety of card games. When we got to the hotel that night Kaiden was running a temp. We didn't have a thermometer but he was burning up. Luckily both kids still slept pretty good, besides a few whimpers here and there. On Monday we had planned on going to the city and do some more site seeing but w/ Kaiden still really warm we decided to stay closer to the hotel. We didn't want to take the 45 min train ride only to get there and Kaiden get sick and have to take 45 mins to get back home. We walked around Univ of Maryland's campus for a little bit and then took naps at the hotel. Kalli and I woke up first and sat in the lounge for a while and then went for another walk.

Kaiden taking his 1st nap of our whole trip...he was a tired little boy!

That evening we drove to the church book store where I went crazy. I didn't realize how much I missed having a LDS book store close by. I spent so much money on things for our family and for my Primary calling. We also went to visit the DC Temple and see the Festival of Lights (which was beautiful!). They had it decorated so pretty inside and out. Kaiden and I watched Mr. Kruegar's Christmas and then we all ran to get a bite to eat so we could make it back for the Handbell Choir Concert. It was so touching to see so many cute Sister Missionaries working in the Visitor's Center b/c that's what my sister Autumn is doing right now in New York. I even got a little teary eyed thinking about her greeting people as they walk in like we were. I just love the temple and the DC Temple is just gorgeous. I love how you can see it right in front of you while driving on the interstate.

The view driving from the interstate

Joe taking pics of the beautiful sites

Tuesday morning we woke up, got packed, checked out and went to Ikea. I've never been but heard wonders about this place. It was really cool and I would have loved to buy so many things there but there wasn't much that would fit in our suitcases. We then picked up Clint and got some delicious pizza and headed off to the airport. After checking in our luggage Joe went to return our sweet minivan while me, Kaiden, and Kalli went back and forth on the walking escalators. Kaiden couldn't get enough and I was tired of just watching him! We then went through the hell of security check-in. Luckily our plane was almost completely empty! Joe and Kaiden sat on one row while Kalli and I sat on the other. Kalli was getting a little fussy on this flight but she didn't disturb too many people since there was hardly anyone on it. But we landed late so we had to rush to our next gate and with our luck we didn't have seat assignments for this flight! Joe ran to the counter got our seats but they didn't put us all together. Luckily a lady in line behind me had the seat we needed switching. So while Joe got our new seats she helped me with my carry-ons and the kids. She was so sweet! But we were now all smashed into this smaller, crappy plane and of course it had maintenance work that needed to be done AFTER we all boarded. So This 1 1/2 flight turned into about 2 hours. So I'm giving Kalli her veggies while we're parked at the gate instead of in the air so while we're in the air I have nothing for her to do. It was a mess and she cried and screamed a good bit and Kaiden was upset b/c the portable DVD player's batteries died. It was a mess but Kalli finally fell asleep the last 20 minutes of the flight and stayed asleep in my arms the whole time walking through the airport. She didn't even wake up once I put her in her car seat to go home. We finally made it home around 11pm and we were so glad but so exhausted. It was great to be back in our own bed and the kids were nice enough to sleep in. It seriously took several days for the kids to adjust back to schedule and stop being so grouchy. It will be a very LONG time before we ever travel w/ our kids again!

The kids lounging at the hotel w/ Dad

Kalli squeezing herself b/t the bed and nightstand to pull the phone down. She's determinded for sure!
Sorry this is so incredibly long, I'm worn out from typing it and I can imagine your bored out of your mind from reading it! I didn't proof read any of this so I hope it all makes sense. :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I'm Back!

Well I'm back for now at least little bits at a time until the Holiday Rush blows over. Our trip to DC really threw me off and I'm sitting here thinking I can't believe Christmas is less than a week away!! As for my Christmas cards I guess they'll just be New Year's cards instead. Here are just a few cute pics that were taken at the house the day before we flew out. Joe took the day off of work to help pack and get ready but we also made time to play around in the nice fall weather. That's all I have time for now b/c apparently nap time is over. I'll post all about our trip soon...I hope!
Kalli is happy just being outside
Kaiden and Dad playing ball
Kaiden's new favorite thing to do is throw the ball in the air and catch it or at least try too.
When it works he thinks he's pretty cool stuff. Nice action shot eh?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Tree Lighting

Tonight we went to the city of Denham Springs Christmas Tree Lighting. The whole lighting of the tree was blah but Kaiden had fun playing on the kid train by the RR tracks. The Children's Choir also sings and that's the main reason my mom wanted to go. They did a good job and we listened for a little while but then the kids got restless and it was time to go play on the train some more. A little later my mom and i got the kids back over to listen to the high school kids sing and they did an amazing job! The last two songs we heard are two of my all time favorites, Silent Night and O Holy Night. My friend Katie and her little man, Tyler, met up with us too. I use to think Kaiden was obsessed with trains but Tyler LOVES them. He was so excited to play on the miniature life size train. Tyler and Kaiden had a good time running around w/ the older kids and Tyler also enjoyed running away from his mom! I couldn't believe how cold it was. Last night leaving the 1st Presidency Christmas Devotional (which was great) I was in a short sleeve shirt and warm. Tonight we were all bundled up and still freezing! I'm glad I got the kids their beanies and gloves when I did. We leave for DC on Friday and I don't know what we're going to do in the cold weather with all the site seeing I want to do. All I have to say is layers, lots and lots of layers.
Kaiden and Tyler playing on one of the train carts
My mom, Kaiden, Kalli and me
Tyler and Katie w/ me and the kids
My mom was swinging Kalli from side to side while we were trying to listen to O Holy Night before we left. She thought it was hilarious...if you can't tell by the look on her face!

I Hope They Call Me on a Mission!

This is my last post for the night and then its off to bed. I didn't even realize I had some of these pictures on our camera and thought they were cute enough to share. I found some 'little man' ties for Kaiden and today was the first day he wore one. He looked so cute and grown up I couldn't believe it! When I told him he would wear his tie he got all excited and was very impatient as I got him dressed b/c he wanted to put his tie on right away! He's such a stud and looked so handsome. I told him he looked like a missionary and he thought that was the coolest thing. He repeated how he looked like a missionary several times before arriving to church. Kaiden adores the missionaries and loves when they come over. And lets not forget about his Auntie Autumn on a mission as well as Grandma and Grandpa. He has a lot of role models that are all wonderful missionaries!
Kalli went to her 9 month check up on Friday (2 weeks late). She's growing so much and its hard to believe her next appointment will be her 1 year check up! She weighs 19.9 lbs and is 28 3/4 inches long. I think the doctor said she as in the 75th percentile for both weight and height. Kalli learned how to clap and wave a few weeks ago and loves it. It's so cute to see her waving at people from a distance, while we're out eating or shopping. She's also finally cut her first tooth! I know my kids are so slow getting their teeth, she even took a month longer than Kaiden. It's her bottom tooth on the right side. No others have popped up yet but I don't think it will take long before they do.
Kaiden riding with Papa on the tractor

Kaiden and Kalli playing in the crib. They both loved it but it probably won't happen again. Kaiden's way to big and active for the baby bed.
Kaiden and Kalli wrestling
Looks like Kaiden is going down...
Wait a minute...he's making a comeback!