Thursday, February 28, 2013

Making Space

In looking to the future, and realizing that due to financial constraints we might be living in our condo in Springville longer than expected, Denise and I purchased a bunk bed to be able to suit the needs of a growing family in a small house.

We bought the bed online and it arrived three days later. Daddy and I got together one Saturday and started the process of assembly. Daddy and I really enjoy working on projects together, so it was a lot of fun. Mama bought some donuts and came over in the late morning with her sewing needle, as the armrest on our small couch needed a little work. The three of us ate a donut or two and then went to work. 

After about 6 hours of assembly we nearly completed the project before I had to leave and head up to Sandy for a family reunion with Denise's father's parents, siblings, and their families. 

The bed looks very nice, and smells nice too! I love the smell of new wood, and this bunk bed is made out of solid wood with no particle board. Carson loves to climb up the stairs to the top bunk and play up there. It makes us a little nervous and we ask him to come down when he gets too rambunctious, but all in all he does very well up there. 

Now we're set for two more kids, but once #4 is on the way we're going to really be bursting at the seams, and hopefully be in a position to find a larger home. 

A few pictures taken of Carson enjoying his big boy bed!

2nd Zoo Trip w/ Cousins

1st Picture of the Day
After taking advantage of the free zoo day last month, I decided we needed to try to go again this month, to see if Carson would enjoy it more than the first time. In the meantime I had mentioned to my sister-in-law Lisa that we were going to the zoo for a free day last month, and she said that would have been fun. So I got to thinking especially since she said her youngest Grace who is 3 has never been to the zoo, so I thought heck why not go together this month and that is where the plan started rolling. As the day grew nearer Lisa thought, let's see which of the other sisters wanted to take advantage of a free day at the zoo and make it a cousin's get together, so that is just what we decided to do. We sent an email out to the Dickens' sisters to see who wanted to come, it ended up being Lisa, Shauna, Cathy, myself, and all the kids that come with us, so quite a big group, which meant a lot of fun. This month it was much busier than it was in January  due primarily due to the weather I believe being a bit warmer this month and this month being the last of the free days for the season, but none the less very fun. Lisa and I were the first to arrive and it took us a bit to find a parking spot, but we lucked out and found 2 parking spots close to the front, and in the meantime we were able to save a spot for Cathy next to us as well, talk about lucky!

Our first stop again was the monkeys, however, the place where they house the Gorillas this time was locked so we didn't get to see them. 

Interesting to note if you go back to my post in January about the zoo you will see that one of these monkeys was in almost the exact same position for his is candid moment. See monkey to the side :)

A bunch of the kids and Cathy in awe over the 1st exhibit of monkeys.

Next was the exhibit that I was hoping was open as it was not in January due to weather was the elephants. As some of you know they are one of my favorite animals for some reason, so I wanted Carson to see them close up as possible. 
Baby Zuri and her mom

As you can see in the picture to the side he was trying everything he could just to be able to get out of his stroller the entire time. Unfortunately due to the fact it was only me watching him, I could not let him out and run. 

We stayed quite some time at the elephant exhibit and needless to say the kids bust out laughing as the elephants took care of their bathroom functions, why is it that is funny to kids no matter who or what is doing it?

We took the moment to get a picture of all the kids while they were still happy and enjoying the zoo. The back row from L to R: Nathan, Grace, Hazel, Claire, Ashley, Paige, Jacob, Preston. Front row: L to R: Amanda, Anya, Lehela, Carson, Kate, Abby, Josh, and Katie. Wish it could have been a closer picture, but too many kids and this is less than half the grandchildren. I think it turned out to be a very good picture of the kids. 

Carson could not turn down an opportunity to see the "fee fees" (fishes) at the zoo, this would have been devastating to him not to have seen them.  On a side note we always have to go see the " fee fees" at Walmart, I don't know how but he always knows when we are pulling up to Walmart and says "Fee Fee" before we have even parked, smart kid. 

 After seeing a few more exhibits, such as the polar bear and the sea lions we headed to the giraffes where we stayed for a little bit of time. It was surprising to me to note that the baby giraffe is only 5 months old, and  already is pretty tall!

Pictures of Carson taken with and in the giraffe house.

It is still cool to me to see how extremely tall giraffes are, and not to mention how long their tongues are.  
Upon finishing eating lunch in the Asian Highlands and seeing the large Asian cat we headed over to see the reptiles and the birds as our last stop of the day. Turns out we were there at the right time, right next to the reptile house a zoo keeper had gotten out a barn owl out of its cage. She brought it pretty close to the kids and we even took a moment for a photo shoot with the bird, it was fun to hear Carson repeat "owl" after me and say "Hoo Hoo," such a fun age to watch. 

 I kept both of these pictures and put them on the blog for a couple of reasons. 1st reason: Shauna who took both pictures, in the first one she was trying to focus on us and then realized the picture was supposed to be about all 3 of us :) 2 reason: The first picture is best of Carson, but the second pictured is best of the owl with us. Carson really wanted to touch the owl as you can tell from the picture to the side, too bad little guy.
After finishing up our photo shot with the barn owl we headed to the reptile house, and finally I let Carson out of the stroller for the first time the whole zoo trip. Thanks to Claire and Hazel for helping me push the stroller so I could watch after my very hyper toddler, who wanted to run everywhere. 


Carson loved this little sad cat, and would giggle and giggle as it ran back and forth in its cage. He would not help himself, but he let out a few meows and the cat ran by him. :)

He loved making an escape through the doors and up to the "bees"(birds) He also loved to play on the rope they have to protect the birds on the surface floor good thing, who knows what he would have done if he could have gotten any closer to them.

Such a cute and curious boy, who has so much energy, which I am running out of the further I get with this pregnancy.

Carson, after being let out of his stroller, went immediately under the railings they have to protect the reptiles from kids who would love to tap on their exhibits. However, to my surprise Carson just went up to them and peered into the exhibits, these pictures are of him looking at snakes, "sssssss" he said.

All in all we had a very enjoyable time, we are glad that some of the cousins were able to join our fun. We look forward to many more fun memories at the zoo!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

St Patrick's Day & Easter

I love decorating for holidays, the end of the year and the beginning of the year is so fun for me, so many holidays! But this year there was a big debate in my head as to what to decorate for in the month of March, St. Patrick's Day or Easter. One thing that I do not like is to only decorate for a couple of weeks and take it down, but with Easter only about 2 weeks later than St. Patrick's Day I knew personally I had a conflict. I just could not figure out for myself, Robert suggested just putting up Easter, but I love my cute little leprechauns. After thinking about it for a few hours yesterday I decided to ask my all knowing Facebook friends, LOL. I got some responses like, " I already have Easter up. " or "Last year I did St. Patty's stuff so I think I will go straight to Easter." or " If you have ancestors from Ireland you need to honor them and display St. Patrick's Day items too!" Or one of my favorites from my sister who was born on St. Patrick's day, " You can't skip over St. Patrick's Day" to which I replied " True I have to at least celebrate your birth. " Additionally, I had quite a few friends mention that maybe I could do both, it would look nice with bright shamrocks and pastel Easter colors together. This thought, though not one of my original thoughts was indeed a great thought, then I would not have to pick and choose which holiday to decorate for, so in fact I did just that. I decorated my welcome stand with my pot of cold and 4 leave clover, unfortunately my sneaky little leprechaun is missing, maybe he will be back for St. Patrick's Day, additionally I decked out the windows with cute little leprechauns  For Easter I decorated the rest of the front room, with Easter. I have to say I like the idea of combining the holidays. I know have a very festively decorated house for the month of March, enjoy!

St. Patrick's Day 2013

Missing leprechaun, where did you go?

 Cute little leprechauns, now I wish it was as green outside as you are, I guess in time. 

Easter 2013
 Love the bright spring colors of Easter!

 Easter Eggs, arranged all perfectly!
This perfect arrangement of eggs was destroyed by a toddler today, I think I will have a hard time keeping them as perfect as they are in this picture. Oh, the joys of having a toddler!

1st Ring Pop Experience

A few days ago, I began eating a ring pop and anyone with toddlers know that immediately the child wants what you have, Carson was no different. I started out, just sharing the ring pop with him, while I held it of course, but that soon wore off. Of course he wanted to do it himself, in fact he grabbed his bib and pushed out his high chair to show me he wanted to eat it. By the end of the ring pop you could tell by these pictures that he truly enjoyed the experience, and I am so glad I put him in his high chair to finish the ring pop. 

Blue Raspberry Ring Pop!

I am sure enjoying myself!
My Ring Pop bruise.

What a cutie pie!

22 Weeks

As many of you may know, this past year I have been working really hard to get down to pre-pregnancy weight and beyond. Let's just say Zumba has been a great workout, in fact before this pregnancy I was down 40 pounds from where I ended after Carson was delivered, yeah! With that being said at
22 weeks, I was fed up with the fact that my regular pants as well as my maternity pants were baggy, ugg. I continually had to wash them in order to keep them as tight as I possibly could. So I decided to go and purchase some new maternity pants to solve this problem, and in fact I decided to try out some skinny jeans for the first time, never thought that would happen, let alone be pregnant and in skinny jeans. So to honor the new pants I decided to take 22 week photos of myself using a mirror. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Flower Day

Last January (2012) as many of you may know the craft store chain Robert's Craft closed their retail stores, a very sad day, however, with it came great sale items. During this time my sister-in-law Lisa and myself took advantage of snatching some of these store closing sales, including purchasing some nice fake flowers to increase or replenish our supply of flower hair pieces. However, as of late we have not taken advantage and turned them into usable hairpieces, until yesterday that is. We took the late morning and early afternoon to make our creations, needless to say we both do not have a shortage of flower headpieces in our households. When I took my new creations home, I added them to ones I had already made previously and I have currently 29 flowers in various colors, shapes, and sizes. I can not wait to share them with Sydni when she is born, they will be so cute on her, hopefully she will wear them. 

The newest creations to the collection!
Lisa's newest creations to her collection!

The entire collection, 29 in all!

Valentine's Dinner

 To start Valentine's Day off Robert sent me a picture from the show King of Queens, which says,

No wife of mine is going to do dishes on Valentine’s Day. You can do these tomorrow. As you can tell Robert is a very thoughtful guy, and you guessed it I DIDN'T to the dishes, and to make that much more special day for me, Robert did the dishes and cooked most of the food for our special night!

For Valentine's Day we decided this year to make a fancy dinner instead of going out. A few years ago we decided to go out on Valentine's Day for the first time, and we will never do that again! Totally not worth spending an hour and a half waiting to even be seated, and then feeling like you needed to hurry and order and eat so they can get more couples in to eat before closing. I have to say it was a whole thought less stressful this year than that year, and it was a fun tradition to start and continue as more little ones join our family. 

For dinner we cooked New York Steak (first time ever cooking steak), Roasted Veggies, homemade mash potatoes, Koolaid/Orange juice drink, and finally to top it all off my Mom's homemade cheesecake. It was not a bad first experience cooking the steaks either, they were a bit  overdone, but still delicious, we will have to cook steak again sometime to improve. 

Our Fancy Valentine's Dinner

We attempted to take some family pictures with our camera on a timer, not the greatest pictures, but they capture our family having a fun night together. 

Who would have thought Robert's mad dash to try to make it into the picture would have ended up looking like a giant was scratching my head?

For future reference, remember that the biggest person should probably be more to the back of the picture.

That's better, our little family!

Carson was not a huge fan of the fancy dinner so he had strawberries, cheese, and Ritz crackers for dinner, which ended up turning into these next cute photos. 

Carson decided it would be a good idea to stuff three full Ritz crackers in his mouth.

 "Hey, this isn't too bad." 

"Hm, can't chew this very well."

"Uh, this isn't working as I planned." 

 "Bag this."

As you can see we loved spending time this Valentine's as a family, we didn't need any gifts such as flowers or chocolates, all we needed was  good quality time as a family. Until next year, wonder what our fancy dinner will be next year!