Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

With this beautiful cover by Cloverton, we send our merriest Christmas wishes to you and yours.

May your holiday season by filled by the best things in life: 
faith and love, family and friends, 
peace and perspective, and a heart full of the magic of the season.

All our love to you and yours.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Before and after

 Over the last couple of months, Bug has grown increasingly worried that her hair would grow so long it would, as she puts it, "get all wet and poopy in the potty." (That's a little known subplot of Tangled, you know.) While we weren't quite to the point where that would be a legitimate concern, her hair had gotten super long, and to be honest, I was more than a little tired of the daily battle that wrangling that mane became. We jumped on Amazon and ordered the brush that Liv recommended, but we also decided that losing a little length couldn't hurt. I didn't want to take too much off the bottom, because, GET THIS-- it turns out Daddy is the most professional fatherly pony-tail doer there ever was, and I don't know how he managed to keep that little skill under wraps for the last 2 and a half years since she sprouted hair, but CAT'S OUT OF THE BAG NOW. No more hiding that talent under a bushel, dear.

My girl, with her long locks
So, we headed in to Cookie Cutters and told the girl behind the pink car-themed salon chair to whack off about 6 inches. Isn't she a doll?
Aaaand, vwalah!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Hello, Buddy!

The other day, Daddy and I were juggling your wiggly little self in Sacrament meeting, and over the thrashing and flailing of your little blonde head, our eyes met. "Why did we ever teach this kid to talk?" Daddy mouthed, and I rolled my eyes. Once upon a time, I'm told, maybe you didn't talk much? Can it be true? It's hard for me to imagine because now, less than three short months since Early Intervention started coming to help you with your words, we can't get you to shut up. 

Should've known; you're my kid, after all.

It's downright amazing to see the change, little son. It's like one day you realized, huh, if I say "tootie" and they hear it, they understand me and hand me a cookie and BAM! That was the end of our quiet little dude. I doubt very much if I could list all the words you say on a regular basis now, but just by way of proving my point, you moved from saying, oh, maybe 3-8 words in early October to the following list: Mama, Daddy, Addy, doggy, teddy, wubby, ball, car, cookie, please, up high, bye bye, hello, hi, uh-oh, down, up, shoe, sock, hat, eye, nose, cheeks, cheese, please, thank you, no, light, wow, bubble, kick, ew, owie, poop (that one's a real crowd pleaser), airplane, throw, crash, in, on, Nana, Pop Pop, Mim, Aunt B, fishie, food, and your very favorite-- yep, yep, YEP! You make all kinds of animal and vehicle sounds, (is that a boy thing? vehicle sounds?) and you imitate us when we count to ten. Your most popular party trick, though, is your perfect and energetic referee arm signals when we call out 'touch down', 'first down', and 'incomplete'. 

You're daddy's kid, after all!

You are big and tumble-y and snuggle-y all at once, little man. You fill out our family with your squeals of delight and shouts of displeasure. You come running to me for a kiss for your owies, and toddle away again, grinning widely through the tears. 

You have a funny little habit of putting all kinds of things on your head and then holding very still, calling out "hat! HAT!" until someone notices your amazing feat of balance. Look at you, son! Maybe we should get you a unicycle and prepare you for halftime shows. 

By the time you read this, no one will probably remember references from Arrested Development, but I'm going to use one anyway. When we tell you no or take away some (usually breakable or sharp) object that you shouldn't have, you wheel around, drop your head and round your shoulders, and wander off dejectedly, just exactly like George Michael from the show. It looks like this:

and here's the secret: even though you're sad, it's freaking hilarious.

You are a treasure, my darling. We can't remember what life was life without you, except for this: I bet I did a lot less laundry. 

I love you, son, to the moon and back.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Please may

Like generations of parents before us, Paddy and I have been trying to wrangle some good manners into the duo of wild gorillas that live in our house. This pretty much consists of reliving the same basic situation (one small person steals toy/book/off-limits Christmas ornament from other small person; wailing ensues) over and over again and responding by repeating the same basic disciplinary/educational shtick over and over again, all the while hoping that something we are saying is tattooing itself into the moral code of at least one of the two culprits so we don't end up with a double dose of teenage delinquents, or, worse, one of those whiny kids who tattle-tells all the time.

It turns out that all this molding and shaping of young behavior results in some pretty great moments. For example, the time Bug responded to one of my exasperated recitals of "Kindness Begins with Me" by dropping her eyebrows into a low scowl and snappily correcting me: "No, Mama. Kindness begins with HEAVENLY FATHER."

You got me.

We've also been stressing the importance of using polite language, particularly when asking for things. In that funny way that little minds warp things, Bug has interpreted this to mean that any inclusion of the phrase "please may" is considered polite, regardless of the questionable grammatical structure of the sentence. This means that around our house, we get plenty of requests like, "Mama, will you get me some chocolate milk please may?" or "Please may can we go to Nana's now?"

The first person who corrects her will a swift punch in the kidneys.

Mister Baggins is pretty new to the whole disciplinary arena, but his deep joy at throwing food off of his high chair tray has landed him in his first few rounds of timeout. I'll tell you what, when that kid is finished eating, he is quite emphatic about it.

All this to say, raising these kids is a joy. A challenge, for sure, but a joy. And I don't know why I've felt so stuck without funny things to blog about them.

Playing Row, Row, Row Your Boat together.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Other things that happened in October

Because our lives have been crazy busy the last little while--you wouldn't believe the hours Schmoopsie has put in on the road for work recently!--I haven't gotten around to blogging all kinds of cute things that happened last month. 

One night after Paddy finished up with his work and before I hurried off to my job (split shift workers! Can I get a hey-ohh for the magic of the kid hand-off?) we took the kids to a local pumpkin patch to choose some gourds for the season. Let's not talk about whether those gourds possibly stayed in our garage and never once got decorated and/or carved all month long, or whether they might be sitting in that same garage yea even at this very hour, mmmmkay? I know. Bad parents.

Things at the patch started out pretty cute.

And then they sort of deteriorated a little. YOU KNOW.

In my defense, at least one of the days we spent NOT carving our pumpkins was spent hunting for witches at Gardner Village. We've hit up the scavenger hunt three years running now, and this year was definitely the most fun for Mister Baggins. (Although, to be fair, the first year he was floating around in utero, so maybe that one was pretty great. I don't know.)

Remember when the kids tried on those hats last year? Mister was still wearing footie outfits!

And then, almost as soon as we got home from Disneyland, it was Halloween! Bug had debated for a couple of weeks over which of her two red-headed princess idols she'd be dressing up as, but ultimately ditched Brave in honor of Ariel. MJ and I worked long and hard to achieve that famous mermaid hair swoosh in the front. I'm pretty sure the polygamist women in southern Utah must have pantries full of aerosol hairspray in order to achieve this look with such ease.

Because I am THAT MOM, I made Mister dress as a lobster to coordinate with her outfit. Yep. THAT MOM.

Maybe coordinating outfits are a bit obnoxious, I know, but just LOOK HOW CUTE! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Happiest Place on Earth

So here's the thing. We took our kiddos to Disneyland 2 weeks ago and I haven't blogged about. I don't even have a good excuse.

Grammy Lu had mentioned taking advantage of her flight benefits and scooting to Disneyland for the day for a couple of months, but we didn't have any concrete plans to go. With the holidays fast approaching (what in the NOVEMBER ALREADY?!) and Paddy's INSANE end of the year work schedule, I had pretty much figured we wouldn't be able to squeeze anything in until at least early 2014.

And then, with about 10 days advance warning, Grammy and Bunk asked if we wanted to crash their romantic weekend getaway to Las Vegas, where my dad was dragging Lalli to see his man-crush Mark Knopfler in concert. (Hey, Dad! I spelled Knopfler right on the first try! Who's your favorite kid NOW?)(Take that, MJ.) The timing was perfect, since we'd be celebrating Bug's 4th birthday on the trip. As soon as I could make work arrangements, Grammy Lu and Bunk grabbed a park ticket package at Costco and checked flights out of Las Vegas to California. How great are they?

(Grammy was the designated potty companion for Bug for the entire trip, no exceptions, as per the birthday girl's demands. So the answer here is: REALLY GREAT.) 

So guess what? We did it! We drove to Las Vegas, picking Paddy up from a work trip to Mesquite on the way, and the next morning hopped a nearly empty JetBlue flight to Long Beach. We stopped at our favorite greasy diner for breakfast, and then loaded in the rental minivan (secret: I want one) to talk about the rest of the day.

And here is where you get to see the first video I've ever posted on the blog. Ready for your daily dose of happy? This is the moment we told Bug where we were going for her big birthday adventure. Wait for it, trust me, because when she finally gets it, it's AWESOME. The giggles start around the 1 minute mark, but the real magic hits at 01:58.

Excitement achieved, we dashed over to the park pretty quick, and immediately jumped in line at Jungle Cruise along with EVERY OTHER PERSON ON PLANET EARTH. 

After the serious error in judgement that resulted in a 45 minute wait for that first ride, we hit the Disney app and enjoyed reasonable lines for the rest of the day.

Making spooky faces before Haunted Mansion


For reasons she really can't explain, Bug was terrified of the human characters, but not the giant stuffed ones.

After a great day meeting characters and riding all kinds of rides (quick recap: Bug loved Dumbo, HATED getting wet on Splash Mountain, liked Pirates- which is Mama's favorite) we headed to Goofy's Kitchen for dinner with the characters. Grammy and Bunk scored these tickets as part of a Costco travel package, and to be honest, I thought it was sort of a frivolous extra. 

Let me be the first to admit this: NO ONE DOES HOSPITALITY LIKE DISNEY. The food was delicious, and the whole experience was--ready your gag reflexes now--kind of magical. 

Translation: I cried when my son hugged a chipmunk.

In short, the dinner--the whole day, really--was amazing. It was the fastest Disney trip in the world, and we had more fun than I ever could have hoped for. Thank you, Grammy Lu and Bunk for such an amazing surprise!

Happy 4th birthday, Princess. I love you.
 I hope it was magical.