Friday, January 30, 2009

like mother, like daughter...

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I have to laugh every time Ruby comes out of her room from trying to dress (or undress) herself...not just because she looks so funny, gets so frustrated, or thinks she's queen of the world, but also because she reminds me so much of myself when I was her age...

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In fact, little miss Ruby also sees the resemblance. When I first showed her these photos, and asked her if she knew who that little girl was, she said "That's me, thats Ruby!".

At least she's a little more modest than I was..haha.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

every thursday...

Ruby and I look forward to playgroup. It's nothing fancy. Not very structured. But it's an opportunity for us to get out and socialize with our friends. Sometimes we host it at our house. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, we broke out the dress-up box, and had about 5 or 6 princesses running around our house. Today we went to a local park. The kids played for three hours, totally entertaining themselves, which was a wonderful opportunity for us moms to catch up. I am so grateful for the friendships that I've been able to develop the short time I've lived here. Some of these little ladies I feel like I've known (and been friends with) forever.

Ruby is also grateful for her friends. Every Thursday morning when I remind her it's playgroup, she says "YAY! I get to see my friends!" and then starts naming them one by one. She's especially fond of this little girly...

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

mister self-sufficient...


Apparently Ruby's not my only child who has recently demonstrated a need to be independent. Although Asher's desire to be unaided is far less perceptible than that of his sister, it is still tangible. And the fact that it's already evidenced at 5 months, has me fearing for when he hits the ripe old age...of two.

I fed him rice cereal for the first time yesterday, and I cannot even convey in words how funny it was. Every time I raised the spoon to his mouth, he would attempt to hold it himself, I think in an endeavour to hurry the process. Only his aim is still off, so instead of actually grabbing the spoon, he only succeeded in knocking it out of my hands, causing the cereal to fly across the table...every single time. Ruby and I were about rolling on the floor. Poor guy, if he would have just exercised some patience, and had a little faith in his mom...he would have been - rather than frustrated - so extremely satisfied.

John came home that night and found dried cereal clumps camouflaged into the vinyl damask table cloth. "What happened here?" he asked in revolt. And the only response miss Ruby and I had for him...was to burst out laughing.




Tuesday, January 27, 2009

she doesn't need me anymore...

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Every morning when I help Ruby out of the shower, and as I wrap her in a nice warm towel, she invariably announces "I wanna get ready". So off to her room we go. Every day it's the same thing, she opens the closet door and picks out a pair of panties (I keep them in a basket on a low shelf so that she can choose whichever pair she happens to be in the mood for), while I choose her outfit for the day. She's usually really happy about what I've chosen, and if not, I can almost always think of something to say to persuade her thinking. This morning, after I pulled her outfit out of the drawer and laid it on the bed, I left to get Asher dressed and ready for the day. A few minutes went by, when Ruby appeared in the doorway, "tuh luh!" she beamed, her body was posed and her arms were frozen above her head as if to say "look at me, aren't I the prettiest thing you've ever laid eyes on?" Her face was beaming and her smile was radiant. I started to say "no sweetheart, mom already picked out an outfit for...", until I realized the meticulous thought that she had put into dressing herself. It wasn't until I began noticing all the details, that I decided it really wasn't worth the fight. She was wearing a sundress from last summer, which consequently hit mid-thigh. She had on a plastic pair of high heels, which she undoubtedly pulled from her dress up box, along with a plastic flower bracelet and a necklace with a little dangly shoe pendant. Her hot pink satin purse was hanging from her shoulder. "Look mommy, I pick out dis nuckwace with a little shoe on it!" It was too cute, I didn't have the heart to say no. The only thing I insisted upon, however, was that she put a sweater on...(because even though the days are nice, it's still not sundress weather.) She agreed, and off we went to run our errands. She was pretty proud for being able to get ready all on her own, and also because I actually allowed her to leave the house wearing something she had chosen. It didn't take long, however, for this new found self-confidence to turn to presumption. Before I realized it, she was walking all over me.

"No Mommy! I want to lock the doors!"

"No! I not want to go in da stroller! I walk myself!"

"No! I do it!"

"I hold the diet coke, myself!"

"No! I open the door!"

I mean, does she even need me anymore? If It wasn't for me finally putting my foot down, she would have driven us home, too...and believe me, she actually asked if she could.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

99.9 % of the time...

she's a really great sister.


But every once in a while, like just about 10 minutes ago, we have a small episode. She's currently in time out for slapping Asher on the top of the head.

And the other day...I couldn't believe what she did to him. They were both sitting on my bed watching their favorite Charlie and Lola, and I was on the computer in the very same room. Because the bed was behind me, I had to turn around periodically to make sure they were doing ok. Each time I turned to check, I found them both completely enthralled in the program. Several minutes had passed, in which I didn't hear so much as a peep from either of them, so I turned to ensure they were both still happy and well; when instead I found Asher, who had previously been lying in the middle of the bed, missing in action. I totally panicked. Ruby, where's your brother!?! No answer. RUBY, WHAT HAPPENED TO ASHER?!?! And with her eyes still glued to the TV, she nonchalantly answers, "oh, he falled off". Then, just as apathetically, she points to the floor on her side of the bed(eyes still glued to the program). I ran to where Ruby had been pointing on the other side of the bed, only to find my baby face a pile of pillows. Thank goodness I hadn't yet made my bed for the day, because all those toss pillows were paramount in cushioning his fall. I picked him up, expecting to find him seriously injured, or worse...but instead came face to face with the happiest, smiliest Asher I ever seen. Even though this potentially scary incident turned out to be quite humorous, I still had to question how he "falled off the bed". He can roll, but not that much at one time. (He would have had to roll from his back to his tummy, and then tummy to back several times to have made it to the edge of the bed.) After drilling Ruby for a few minutes, she finally admitted to having pushed him off.

It's really a miracle that these precious (and extremely fragile) little ones, survive the antics of their older, toddler siblings. Thankfully, my babies are under the watchful eye of someone so much larger than I...and for that, I am eternally indebted.

Friday, January 23, 2009

the story behind the dress...


So, in case you haven't noticed, my last few posts have included pictures of Ruby in a wedding dress. I thought the story behind this dress was pretty that definitely merits it's very own post. So, because my baby loves anything poufy, and frilly, and lacy...and well, anything at all girly, I'm always on the look out for things to add to her dress-up box. I found this little white wedding dress at the goodwill a couple of weeks before Christmas, and although it was a little torn and ragged looking, I could absolutely see it's potential. Plus it was still very white...(if it had been stained or soiled in any way...on the rack it would have remained.) I brought it home, and began fixing it up with my most reliable sewing machine. After it was finished, I felt like it still needed something. So off to the fabric store I ran, picked up some tulle, a headband, a little lace trim...and then whipped up a veil to accent the dress. This little combo, I knew, would be one of her favorite Christmas just had to be. Well, I guess amidst the excitement of the holiday, coupled with all the other irresistible gifts she received...the poor wedding dress, and veil, took the back seat. I finally coerced her into at least trying it on, and was totally disappointed. Not only was it way too big, practically exposing her entire chest...but it was also completely sheer. I just hadn't envisioned being able to see her legs through all those layers of tulle. (Totally one of those things that looks so much cuter on the rack than it does on - which could also be said about most my wardrobe - which is why I'm starting my new workout program on Monday.)
Anyway, once we got back to Arizona, I was determined to make this dress into precisely what I had imagined, before she ruined my vision by actually trying it on. I promised her that I would make it look like Giselle's wedding dress (she's obsessed with the movie Enchanted), which she couldn't wait for. Together we went to the store and picked out some beautiful satin for the lining, and also to make a bow in the back, and purchased 5 yards of tulle, which we would double, making it 10. She was almost as excited as I was, which is why she forced herself to sleep when I told her that her dress would be ready when she woke up. During her nap, I began cutting, and measuring, and stitching, and mending...then picking, and unstitching...and fixing, and adjusting...until it was finally finished! My Ruby was just moments away from entering the world of Princess Giselle...only one problem...she was still asleep. Now I'm not in the habit of waking my children from their peaceful, and much needed slumbers, but I couldn't stand it...I was far too excited to wait even just one more minute. So I quietly crept into the room, dress in hand, over to the edge of the bed, and lightly began the process of waking her. She was immediately roused into action the moment she caught glimpse of her Giselle dress, and begged me to let her try it on. Of course, and for obvious reasons, she didn't have to twist my arm at all. In fact, I was practically throwing her into it before she could say a word. Once it was on, she began laughing and twirling and smiling...finally, the reaction I had been hoping for. I asked her if she would like to see herself in the mirror, of course, she was dying to make sure she looked as exquisite as she felt. I was completely shocked, however, and totally did not see this coming at all, but the moment she caught glimpse of her reflection, she burst into tears...yep, full blown, uncontrollable bewailing sobs. Sad. Sad for me, not for her. She then ran over, threw herself onto the bed, and immediately fell into another deep dormancy... No need to worry though, as soon as she woke up, she was in love all over again, and actually lived in the dress for a few days, which is how I was able to snag so many pictures of her wearing it.

These were taken just moments following her strange little melt down...


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Monday, January 19, 2009

on her royal throne...


She'll love me for this one in a few years.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

something worth forwarding...

It's Aaron's 30th Birthday today. In honor of this momentous occasion, our dad sent out a birthday tribute via email. I opened it up, and read it's contents; and was completely overcome with a deeper love and adoration for my brother. As I read this beautifully written, and perfectly heartfelt tribute, I felt the desire to share it with everyone I knew. I'm not big on forwarding emails, but this is different. This email was different, not only because of it's veracity, and the validity of it's source...but mainly because of the person it honors.

(And because I'm such a visual person, I couldn't help but add a few pictures, too.)

1. He’s my firstborn son.

2. He was a momma’s boy (and he was with me when she died).

3. From his earliest days, he has been filled with compassion.
4. He is a brilliant and deep thinker.
5. He is a non-conformist…even a rebel (good natured and harmless, but a rebel nonetheless).

Ex. We chaperoned at our sister's junior prom...and Aaron wore his flip-flops :) Nice pose too, Aar..haha.

6. He is amazingly intuitive and discerning, especially about the feelings of others.

7. He is a faithful disciple of Christ and an honorable bearer of His priesthood.
8. He served a valiant mission, commencing it under heartbreaking circumstances.

9. He is an Eagle Scout.
10. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University.
11. He loves sports, and appreciates the magic of baseball.
12. He is a talented athlete.

13. Like his father, he’s a social loner.
14. He is a gifted musician.
15. His singing voice is powerful, unique, and amazingly appealing.

16. He is funny, and has always had a funny sense of humor.

17. He is a voracious reader…a devourer of literature.
18. He loves movies, and sees through them for their art.
19. He is honest on a deeper level than most.
20. He’s one of the Three Amigos.

21. He sees the good in others, even if it’s hard for most to see.
22. He’s a hard worker.
23. He’s almost a dentist.
24. He’s a good judge of character.
25. He married his soul mate – a jewel among women, and he's a good husband.

26. He is the father of a beautiful son, and he's a good daddy.

27. He is genuine and kind.
28. He is a champion for the underdogs in life.
29. He is pleasant and joyous to be around.

30. He is my friend.

I love you, Buddy! Happy Birthday!


And to add a little something to Dad's eulogy, here's just a little montage I put together for you - Happy Birthday, Aaron...I love you!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

wonderful and magical in all the world...

Ruby got a trunk of princess dress ups from her grandpa and grammy for Christmas. Everyday over the Christmas break, she wanted to put on one of those dresses. The outfit was never complete, however, until it was accented with the princess shoes, and necklace, and bracelet, and tiara. One morning, as I was helping her insert her tiny feet into her over-sized Snow White shoes, she declared (referring to her complete outfit) "mommy, this is so wonderful and magical in all the world!"
Ever since that incident, if ever anything is great, or yummy, or beautiful, or fun, or exciting...she says it's "wonderful and magical in all the world".

Well miss princess Ruby, you're definitely one of the most wonderful and magical things that has ever happened to my world...xoxo.

And just a few pics of the kids. This was one of those perfect moments for me as I witnessed my children playing together...well, at least Ruby playing so tenderly with her baby Asher. Honestly, what could be more wonderful and magical than that...?





Friday, January 9, 2009

ruby was pretty surprised too...

I wasn't the only one who got a nice, unexpected, surprise from Santa this year. He brought Ruby several gifts, which he left under the tree at my dad's house. Between Santa, and mom and dad, and grandparents...she did not go without. But I guess Santa decided that she deserved a little something else, which she discovered upon our return to Arizona. He had left her brand new kitchen under (or rather by) our own Christmas tree in our own house. I guess he figured if he had taken it to Utah, it would have been too hard for mom and dad to try to haul back wasn't that just so thoughtful of him?

It was so fun to see Ruby's reaction. She wasn't in the best mood when we pulled in our driveway. On more than one occasoin during our drive, she had stated that she wanted to "go home". We continued to reassure her that home is exactly where we were headed. She was so disappointed, however, to find that home was actually home...our home...home in Arizona. "No," she cried "I want to go home to grandpa's house!"
However, those tears dissipated faster than I could have imagined, the moment she laid her eyes on her very own kitchen. Santa brought her some pots and pans, too, as well as a whole bunch of play food. I think the cutest thing for us to witness, was when she picked up the phone that came with her kitchen, and said "Thank You, Santa!" I hadn't seen her smile that big in a long time. And that made me smile, too.



santa was full of surprises this year...

John and I made a deal this year with the jolly fellow that he would only bring us a few small things...maybe just enough to fit into our stockings, and that's it. Well, Santa kept his word when it came to John's gifts. Sure enough, a few small things was all he got...a DVD, a book, a few gift cards, some gum, a small bottle of cologne. That was the agreement. I should have known, or at least figured, however, that Santa had something extra up his sleeve for me. For some reason, that darn St. Nick just seems to spoil me year after year, despite the fact that I always feel so undeserving. So after pulling out all the little treasures from my stocking...which I totally loved, John pointed out that there was a small package left under the tree, with my name on it. Attached to the outside of the wrapped gift, was an envelope, and a letter inside which read...

Dear Nicole,
I've watched you this whole year, and have noticed that you have been a great little girl. You have been so loving and full of patience. Because you are such a wonderful person, I had my elves put together a special gift...just for you. This is because there is not a person more deserving. I love you tons!
Love, Santa

I carefully unwrapped my special gift, and was completely blown away by the little beauty that was found inside. You see, for quite sometime now, I have had my eyes on this little point and shoot camera. Don't get me wrong, I love my DSLR, and wouldn't trade it in for anything (well except for an upgraded DSLR); but I have wanted a smaller camera to have handy for all our fun little outings. Lugging around that huge camera everywhere we go, had been less than ideal. So after doing some research, I determined that this is what I would someday love to own...someday when the funds weren't so tight, someday when we weren't swimming in our medical know, I'm sure everyone dreams about their own "someday" item. Little did I know that my someday would be this Christmas! Isn't Santa a dream come true? He even brought my step-sister her very own Wii, which her husband had no clue about, but couldn't protest (especially in front of their children) because hey, Santa brought it! All he could do was sit back, and smile, and say"Wow...that Santa!"
So anyway, this little camera takes the most amazing pictures. I'm still trying to figure out everything it can do...because it does so much! The lens alone is almost too unbelievable for a point and shoot! It's an ultra-wide-angle Leica lens 24-60 f2.0 - 2.8. Yep, a 2.0...which means it opens even wider than my f2.8 lens for my SLR! This camera's got full HD Video, manual settings, Iso 3200, shoots raw and jpeg...seriously, I could go on...and...on! It's AMAZING!! As soon as I figure out what I'm doing, and how this thing works,I'll post some better pics...but here are a few I took shortly after I got it.



And just to give you an idea as to the kind of depth this little gem is capable of...
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Yeah, those ugly green stumps are my knees :)

maybe just a little late...

I can't believe that the Holidays are actually over. Everything went by so fast this year. I think a lot of it had to do with Thanksgiving being so late...and also probably because we spent two full weeks in Utah over Christmas and New Year's. Anytime we go to Utah, the time just flies, and before we know's time to go home again. We pulled into our driveway late Sunday night, and it's taken me nearly the entire week to get things back to normal again. That's probably the only thing I hate about vacations...they always come to an end, and then you have to deal with the unpacking, and the laundry, and trying to find a home for all the newly accumulated stuff. Not to mention trying to get the kids back on a normal sleeping schedule...which we're still trying to figure out even after being home for 5 days. And then this year, I also had Christmas to take down...which took an entire day in and of itself. Ahhhhh. I guess that explains why I haven't updated my blog in three weeks. I've missed it, but then again, it's been kind of nice not having to worry about anything except being with family, and witnessing the joys and magic of Christmas come to life for my two year old. This has seriously been the funnest Holiday season I can remember in so long, simply because this was the first year that Ruby actually "got" it. To see her amazement over the lights, and the decorations, and wrapped presents under the tree...and then to hear her excitement as she spoke of Santa Claus, and sang songs about him. It was really something else. On Christmas eve, she put some cookies and milk out for Santa before we put her to bed, and then as we were tucking her in, we heard Santa's sleigh bells outside the bedroom window. I'll never forget the way her eyes lit up and filled her entire face when she heard those magical bells. Then how she couldn't stop singing "Oh, you better watch out, you better not cry..." And then how she was trying to force her eyes to close because we told her that Santa wouldn't come until she was fast asleep. I remember seeing her tiny eyelids move up and down with excitement and anticipation, as she tried to command her body into dormancy. And then we heard Santa's voice on the intercom, and that was the culmination of the entire night's events. She could hardly contain her wonder and awe at that point. She then pulled the blanket over her head and didn't make a single movement until Christmas morning. That morning,the first thing she wanted to see as we barged up the staircase, was if Santa had eaten the cookies she left for him. I couldn't believe it as I watched her barrel her way past all the presents to find a plate left by the fireplace...which now only contained mere crumbs. "He ate it!" she exclaimed "Santa ate the cookies and drinked the milk...YAY!" It was one of the cutest things I had ever seen. And then to watch her tear into all of her presents...and into Asher's, too...was just too much fun. It was actually the first Christmas morning since I was a kid, that I actually felt like a kid all over again. I couldn't even sleep the night before, I was so excited...and that for sure hadn't happened since I was young. We had such an enjoyable day, and vacation, and Holiday season. In fact, Ruby is already talking about being good so that Santa will come next year, too. Sounds like a plan to me...but Ruby, do you really think you can be good for an entire year? ha ha...we shall see.

Here's a little video recap of some of the things we did during December...Happy Holidays to all...until next year!