Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Wonderful World of Brooklyn!

As Brooklyn nears her second birthday, we're finding ourselves even more drawn into her fantastic personality and limitless supply of energy! Here are a few of our favorite moments over the last month:

-During her bath the other day, I spiked Brooklyn's hair with the shampoo. She happened to see herself in the mirror after I was done and her eyes got really wide and she yelled, "Mommy! I'm a TEMPLE!"

-A couple nights ago, Kevin thought he would be manly and box up one of his "toots". When Brooklyn heard the toot go into the box she yelled, "Oh NO! Daddy poo-ed!" I told her that he just farted but she looked at me like I was crazy! Then she said, "I check." She then ran over to Kevin and took a big whiff of his rear end! She pulled back with the most grossed-out face I have ever seen and then said, "Mommy! My nose hurts!"

-Last night we were watching TV and Star Wars came on. When Brooklyn saw Yoda appear on screen she yelled, "YODA! Grrrr" and proceeded to flex and growl to show us how tough she thinks Yoda really is! It was one of the proudest moments Kevin has ever experienced since becoming a father.

-Whenever I discipline Brooklyn, I try to explain to her what she is getting punished for. She gets a warning, a time-out, and then a spank on the butt. The other day she got busted big time and after the warning and time-out were ineffective I told her she was going to get a spanking. She quickly grabbed her bum and yelled, "NO! ITS MY BABY BUTT CRACK!" (Kevin taught her that, I swear!)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday Foto: The Greatest Snacks

Sometimes you've just got to snack. I get the feeling everyday. It's something about sitting at my desk wrestling with AutoCAD that just works up a mean appetite.

It's been a struggle finding just the right thing to munch on while I work: I routinely go through bags of baby carrots, Frosted Mini Wheats, Apple Jacks, General Mills Fruit Snacks (Thanks Taber!!) and ritz crackers.

There is one snack though, that continues to trump all others. This has been my gourmet treat for a long time. I remember sitting as a missionary in my pad overlooking Greene Street in Ridgewood, Brooklyn and snacking on this while I studying The Book of Mormon. Oh yes, I'm talking about M&Ms and Raisins.

This is what I turn to when I REALLY want to treat myself to something special. I just mix about 2 parts raisins to 1 part Peanut Butter M&Ms in a office breakroom paper cup, shake, and bring on the bliss!

I will have to admit right here and now, that this is my all-time favorite snack.

So if you read this and think there's something better, let's here it! I want to know what other good snacks I haven't thought of yet are out there... I'm always willing to try something new!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Beginning of Another Wonderful Year!

This new year we got lucky and were able to start 2010 out with some awesome visitors! On the Monday after Christmas, Kevin's brother Craig and his wife Sara flew out to spend a little quality time with us! When they arrived, they came bearing gifts. The winning gift for the season was the tutu and butterfly wing combo that they got for Brooklyn. As you can see from the picture below, she absolutely LOVED the dress up toys and has been wearing them on a daily basis since they left. (Which incidentally, makes it a little hard to get her on and off the toilet...but its still cute!)

The visit ended up being a nice mix between going out to see things and just relaxing at home. The boys logged in many hours on the Wii and their Warcraft game, while Sara was able to catch up on her blog and share some pretty funny online videos with us. Craig even took a little extra time to show Brooklyn how to use the Playstation!

When the computers and video games were off, we got the chance to play some speed Scrabble, take naps, and share funny stories with each other!

After some relaxation at home, we all braved the cold and took a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry. There were a lot of really cool things to see and do. Brooklyn loved playing with Lego's and watching baby chickens hatch, and we all enjoyed the interesting displays. However, I think the winning display was the U505 submarine that we toured inside and out. Kevin and Craig even got special treatment and were able to see a part of the sub that no one else got to see! LUCKY!

Here is Brooklyn enjoying the Lego tables in the Architecture display! She and Kevin built a pretty cool tower, but it fell down before I could get a picture. I guess the engineering behind it wasn't well thought out. :)

Brooklyn stared at the baby chicks forever! She is pretty fascinated with animals, and eggs for that matter, so It was a pretty cool thing for her to see that chickens come from eggs!

There was also a huge model boat display at the museum. In the middle they had this steering wheel so we seized the moment and got a picture of Brooklyn with Aunty Sara and Uncle Craig!

Another adventure took us to Lincoln Park on New Years Day where Kevin and Craig ran the New Year's 5K! Due to parking troubles, they started a little late but still finished in good time. Also, I believe it was around 8 degrees outside when they ran, and they held the distinction of being 2 of only 4 people who ran the race wearing shorts!!

Here are the boys running to the race start after everyone else had already gone through! Oops! And take a look at those cold little legs! Ouch!

The water was frozen, the Wives were frozen, and the Brooklyn was frozen, but we had a good time and enjoyed cheering the boys on through the finish line. What STUDS!

Here are Kevin and Craig sporting their new 5K shirts after the race...they look a little warmer in this picture than when they actually finished running!

After the race, Kevin and Craig pulled on some pants and we drove over to the Willis Tower (Sears Tower) to take in the view. There was a 2 hour wait though so we took a chance and drove over to the John Hancock Building Observatory instead. We'd never been there before and it ended up being really cool!

The picture of Craig and Sara in the middle is at the base of the Willis Tower. The rest are of us inside the John Hancock building.

Here are Craig and Sara pushing the stroller toward the building in the FREEZING cold weather!

Kevin and I were even able to take a picture of ourselves in the observatory. We did a pretty good job getting both our faces AND the buildings in the background!

Here are Aunty Sara and Brooklyn playing around by the windows. Brooklyn absolutely loves her Aunt Sara and asks me every day where she is and when is she coming back!

Uncle Craig and Brooklyn having a very in depth conversation about life. Look at those intense faces...Whatever they are saying, it must be interesting!

And last, but not least, here I am with Brooklyn at the top of the building. We had a great trip with the Provo Hanks family and miss them already! Thanks for the visit guys. It was a fantastic Christmas present and a terrific way to start out the new year!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Our First “Single-Family” Christmas!

This year for Christmas, due to my ever increasing belly and a lack of funds, we decided to do Christmas in Chicago by ourselves instead of making the trek west to spend time in Utah. It was a hard decision to make, but I really think we did a great job of making the best of the situation and starting traditions of our very own, beginning with being able to decorate our house for the holidays!

On Christmas Eve morning, we all got up early and bundled up as warm as we could so we could take a hike to Waterfall Glen! It had been rain-snowing the night before and we had a solid sheet of ice coating our whole car when we got outside! After we chipped our way into the car, we drove to Waterfall Glen and enjoyed a nice peaceful walk to the falls where Kevin took pictures and Brooklyn tried to figure out how to walk in her big winter boots!

After we got home and showered, Brooklyn and I decorated the front door together while Kevin was baking cookies for Santa Clause!


When we were done decorating, Brooklyn and I went to the kitchen and started making Christmas Eve Dinner! She had so much fun helping me measure things and especially liked that she got to be in her own child-sized apron!


The dinner turned out way better than I thought it would! We made caramelized apple pork chops and baked potatoes. Kevin even got us some sparkling grape juice! (Brooklyn was not a fan of the juice though because she thought the carbonation was too “hot”!)


After dinner we watched “Joy to the World” and Kevin explained the nativity story to Brooklyn. Then he read her “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and we set some cookies and our stockings out for Santa. It was pretty funny. Brooklyn dropped the cookies about 8 times before we reached the table even though she was trying her hardest to be careful. Then when she realized her stocking was empty she decided to fill it with Santa’s cookies! She might not get the concept yet, but I think it will sink in by next year. :)


Even though Brooklyn crawled into bed with us at 4am Christmas morning, it was still a very fun day! We started by opening our stockings. Brooklyn got some Lip Smackers and Pez in her stocking that she couldn’t be separated from for the rest of the day! After stockings we ate sticky buns and then came back to the living room to begin gift opening!


We got so many fun things from our family in Utah which was a huge surprise since we didn’t expect to get anything out here in the boonies! We loved everything and just want to send out a great big huge THANK YOU to all of you for thinking about us!

We did the 3 Wise Men Christmas for each other which involved getting 3 gifts for each person. A GOLD gift: gift of wonder, a FRANKINCENSE gift: gift of thoughtfulness, and a MYRRH gift: gift of necessity! For Kevin’s gift of thoughtfulness I turned our blog into a published book. He loved it and I was glad cause it took a lot of time! :)


My gift of necessity was a Nintendo Wii!!!! After all, what more could I need in life other than a Wii? It’s been put to good use since its arrival and even Brooklyn gets to take a turn when mommy and daddy are watching.


Brooklyn’s gift of wonder was a new Lego table complete with Lego's. She’s really good at building things and has played with it every day since she got it!


After we cleaned up our mess, Kevin went for a nice run in the snow while I made creamed eggs on toast for breakfast and Brooklyn played with her new toys. Then we enjoyed breakfast together and busted out the Wii!


Kevin took some embarrassing pictures of me on the Wii but since I’m putting up this post, I have the right to edit! So instead, you get to see a cute picture of Brooklyn getting Wii lessons from her daddy!


After we had sufficient time to play with our new things, we all got out of our pajamas and drove over to the Cotton’s house (our friends from our ward) to have a fabulous steak Christmas Dinner! It was so much fun to spend time with them and they spoiled us rotten. We all received fun gifts and great food, but I think the winner was the princess crown and earrings they got for Brooklyn. She wore them the whole night and kept telling me she was a pretty princess. So cute!


After we got home from the Cotton’s,we spent some time vegging and then tucked ourselves into bed to prepare for another week of fun and relaxation! Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you all had as much fun as we did!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Saturday Foto: 3 for 1 deal, End of the Year Fun!


Brooklyn’s new obsession: Her Uncle Craig and Auntie Sara.  They visited for a few days after Christmas, and ever since, Brooklyn keeps asking where they went.  She’s convinced that Craig is merely “at work” and keeps asking when he’ll get home.



Craig and I decided to run the Chicago City New Year’s Day 5K in Downtown Chicago, Lincoln Park to be exact.  The temperature was down in the single digits that day.  The water bottles they handed out at the end were actually frozen (see picture).  Craig and I held the distinction of being 2 of only 4 people that day (out of 1500 runners) who wore shorts.


I just had to add this one because I thought it was so funny.  Kids are a heck of a lot of work, but man can they be fun!