Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Update (with pictures!)

I have gotten a request for an update. So, here I go.
Lynny is still "full of piss and vinegar" as my dad put it, and George is still so easy-going it's almost a crime. Lynny's language has completely doubled and tripled in the last few weeks and she's using full sentences, personal pronouns, and articulating so well. I can actually have conversations with her, and she even makes jokes occasionally. I thought this day would never come! She loves going for walks and usually insists on not being in the stroller, which usually results in me waiting for her to catch up a lot. She can't live without her friends in our ward, and her cousin Olivia. She's constantly asking to play, and I love that. She's also starting to forego naptime a few days of the week, which I am so not ready for. I cherish that hour or so when both kids are sleeping. But the biggest Lynny news of all is that she's completely, 100% daytime potty-trained!
George has five teeth now, and his top two are so bucky it makes me laugh. He's also painfully close to crawling, and it's so hard to just let him learn. He gets to his hands and knees and starts rocking but can't figure out how to move forward. He is somewhat mobile, though, managing to scoot/roll/flop around the living room playing with toys. He's really good at self-feeding, which came just in time for Lynny to decide she doesn't want to eat anymore. Figures. And he's very vocal, often singing to himself or gabbering away, saying Dada, Baba, and my personal favorite: Boof. None of his words have meaning yet, but I think we might be close. He also understands the signs for "more", "milk", and "all done."Except for a few days influenced by an ear infection, he's always been a very happy, smiley kid.
Daniel is constantly hard at work and school, leaving at 5:45 am and getting home sometime between 7:15 and 8:45 on weekdays. Then he does homework for a few hours in addition to his already full day. I don't know how he keeps going and going and going. We're really being blessed at this time of our lives to have the stamina we need to move forward, and I'm so grateful for that. He's also lost quite a bit of weight the last few months, and has a good goal set to lose more. He's getting healthier all the time.
And I'm still constantly learning and relearning how to keep a clean house and happy kids. I've actually learned a new skill that I love: canning. With our garden this year, plus an abundance of fruit from my in-laws' and neighbors' trees, I've had a huge supply of produce to can. I've done peaches, pears, grape juice and jelly, tomatoes, pickles, and I'm about to tackle apples. And I mean hundreds of apples. My two good friends joined me in picking my in-laws' red delicious apple tree this week, and we're so excited to make applesauce, apple butter, apple preserves sliced apples, apple pie filling, and anything else we can think of. I feel like that's just one more domestic skill I can add to my repetoire. I'm so grateful to those who've taken the time to teach me and lend me the use of their tools. It's made a huge difference.

A few weeks ago I flew with the kids to Virginia to visit my family for three weeks while my dad was in town from Pakistan. It was so much fun to see everyone and be amongst all the everyday action. We did a lot of nothing, which was so nice. I really appreciated a reprieve from cooking and cleaning my own house and just helping out with chores like the rest of the family. And the kids really got to know my side of the family, which meant a lot to me (and to my family, I'm sure.) Lynny still talks all about "Mammah, Nanna, Maggie, Dewey, and Bappah," not to mention the dogs, cat and the "no-no kitty," (aka, the mean cat).

The day we got back from Virginia was a fun one. We got to go with my old friend Cate to the Bonneville salt flats for a family photo shoot. She owns her own photography company, Ciao Bella Photography, and she does the most amazing work. (See her website here for more information.) Funny story, by the way, Daniel's parents came out for the last little bit of picture taking but when we tried to leave, their van got stuck in the salt/sand. We were digging and pushing and trying to get it out for a couple hours. We finally got home late, late, late that night. It was just a great part of the whole experience. And Cate was so amazingly patient as she waited for us to get that car out. I can't thank her enough for her professionalism and kindness, not to mention amazing talent! I love every single picture she took, and just so you can see how amazing she is, I posted most of them. :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independence Day BBQ/Birthday Party

On the fourth of July we hosted a small BBQ with Daniel's family to celebrate Independence Day and Lynny's birthday. It was a lot of fun, with good food and fun people. But the most fun part (at least for Daniel and me) was the BBQ-themed birthday cake we made. We got the idea and the directions from Food Network Magazine, which I LOVE, and decided it was perfect for our little shindig. We had so much fun making and documenting it. We've decided that Daniel and I make a good team when it comes to cake making/decorating. He does the functional aspects (like mixing the batter and cutting the cake to size) and I do the artistic aspects (like frosting the cake and making the small details work). Here are some pictures of us having a good time in the kitchen.

Cakes, hot from the oven.

Making the lettuce.

Lettuce assembling on the cake.

Daniel holding the cake while I make it look like a patty.

The finished product. Sorry, it's a little blurry, sorry. 

Daniel's brother, Quentin, eating our cake.

Lynny got a little nervous when everyone started singing

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Camping, cousins, and family time

We went camping last weekend for (another) family reunion with Daniel's family. It was a lot of fun, even if we did get there late and had to pitch our tent in the dark. (I think the most disappointing thing about that was that I didn't get to make our dutch oven dinner, which I was really looking forward to.) But I got up early and made breakfast, we sat around the fire for a bit, and then enjoyed the whole big family group.
Lynny was so excited to get in her sleeping bag, and wanted George in with her.

In the tent, about to get ready for bed. George lost a sock in the sleeping bag when he was in it with Lynny.

The little girl who has always risen with the sun slept in almost an hour after everyone else was up. She also talked a ton in her sleep with a few choice exclamations during the night, including "Mommy!," "Cars? Cars?!," and "Meemo?" (Which means Elmo. That one's my personal favorite.)

George, just hanging out.

He's the smiliest boy I know. I can't get enough of him!

Daniel, breaking up kindling for the fire.

Me, making breakfast.

Lynny, still a little out of it.

This is at the actual reunion part of the day. Lynny carrying paper towels to the picnic area. Lynny insisted on being carried around by her grandpa (who she LOVES), until he asked her to "help." Anything for Grandpa.

And Daniel's cousin made this cool cake for the reunion. It has their grandpa's house, the sweet peas, white picket fence, broken walkway, broken down jeep (which transported the grandkids anywhere they wanted to go), the giant inner tube that they used as a trampoline, the mountains, and fish lake (which is where we were camping). It would have been Grandpa Hatch's 100th birthday this year, thus the number. There were some more details on the back of the house as well.
 Lynny's birthday was the same day as the reunion, but we didn't really celebrate much. We'll have a real family party when everyone gets back from their trip to Iowa (Daniel's sister just moved out there and everyone went to help with the move.) But she has gotten a few things already, and she loves them!
Lynny's new baby and high chair. She's "feeding" the baby bananas, of course, because that's what Lynny likes most of George's baby food.

This doesn't really have anything to do with her birthday or anything. I just thought it was a cute picture. She did that herself.

She got a big bag of stuff from Grandma Lynn, and her favorite (by far) was the bright pink crocs she sent. She has insisted on having them next to her pillow at naptime and bedtime ever since she got them, and she won't take them off during the day.

A souvenir from Great Wolf Lodge in Virginia: wolf ears. They were a big hit too.

When I asked Lynny what her baby's name was she said "Baby Nim." I think she was just repeating me, saying "baby's name." But Nim stuck.

Lynny put the ears on George. He loved it.
 And BIG BIG news: My sister, Molly, and her family are back in Utah! Hooray! I get to see her again, and Lynny finally gets to know her cousin, Olivia, a little bit better. So this week we've seen each other a few times, and we even went over to swim with them at Olivia's Grandma Jean's house. (It turns out that's a good activity for them because they don't have to share anything. Two-year olds aren't very good at sharing.)
Lounging in the pool. Again, smiling. What else is new?

Lynny doesn't remember swimming at the beach last summer, so this was really cool to her. I'm ecstatic she liked it. What kind of river guide's daughter doesn't like the water though?

Olivia has a little more practice at swimming than Lynny, and she was actually able to steer herself. I was quite impressed, but not surprised. Water runs in her genes, cus Charles was a river guide too.

Apparently floating is hard work. He crashed.

The girls also had a chance to jump on the trampoline. Olivia wasn't quite as comfortable as Lynny and preferred to bounce from the security of her bottom.
 And we broke out the camera at bedtime that same night for a few quick pictures. I realized this was the first picture I've taken of me and both kids since right after George was born.
Lynny is wearing her new jammies, also courtesy of Grandma Lynn.