Thursday, March 31, 2011

Visit with Great Grandmas

While in Utah we took a morning to visit with Chris' grandma. She has kept great care of the toys her boys played with as kids and so its fun to see the "classics" and read the names of Chris' dad and uncle written in crayon on some of them. She has many things that the boys don't get to play with very often: old wooden tops, tinker toys, balloons, Easter eggs, snow, etc.

The boys wanted to play in the snow but we didn't have any snow gear, so GG thought to bring it inside in a bucket and play with it with cookie cutters on a cookie sheet. Genius! Alec and Charlie loved it. We had to take a few breaks so I could run warm water over their cold hands. You can see Gwen wants to be where the action is and is CONSTANTLY looking for ways to stand up. She is sooo happy when she is standing.

Of course, GG Claudia fed us a yummy "dinner" of meat sauce and spaghetti, homemade rolls with spun honey, milk and to top everything off her famous peaches and raspberries with cream. I've never eaten fruit like this until I married Chris. We had "bananas and cream" for breakfast some mornings but it was always with milk, never with actual cream. Charlie loved sitting in a big chair (on top of phone books!) and I couldn't resist his cute messy face.

We also took an afternoon to visit with my Grandma Hardy. I was happy to get time to see her and it was fun to have her write us in her schedule. We played with toys downstairs and the boys loved turning on and watching the artificial fish tank that my aunt got for my grandpa when he couldn't read anymore but still wanted to have something pretty to look at. I wish I would've had my camera with me to get pictures of our afternoon with her. Thankfully she had some jobs for Chris to do for her! I love being useful. (haha, well I love Chris being useful). Most of her clocks on the walls are too big/heavy/high for her and they were all out of batteries. My handsome, tall, sweet Chris was happy to help. Before we left, she offered the boys a snack. They were happy to eat everything she put before them: applesauce, string cheese, wholesome oatmeal animal crackers (super super good!), apple juice, ripe juicy pears. Lucky, it was almost time for dinner so I had a reason to put a stop to it all, otherwise we might have eaten everything in her cupboards!

I love visiting with family... and I especially love how they want to cuddle, kiss and drool over my children. Makes me feel lucky to have them and it makes me feel a bit important to be the one in charge of raising them.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Break 3

We also did some fun things with our Betteridge family. We took a look at Jared and Ashley's and Tiffany and Todd's new houses...or at least the foundations of the new houses. Its crazy to think that the next time we're in Utah, both families could be moved in! I can't wait to see them. We just played around at homes, got together for a fun pre-General Conference FHE, ate yummy food. The girls went out to eat to celebrate Tiffany's golden birthday, and of course got some shopping in!

One afternoon we went to Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake. It was beeeeeeautiful. Seriously, so serene and peaceful. We had a picnic lunch down by the shore and went on a really fun hike to Buffalo Point to see some great views of the island and lake. I couldn't believe how big Salt Lake was. We saw buffalo, big rabbits and coyotes. I'd love to go again and do some biking or running on the island, but not in the summer... you could tell it would be very hot.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Break 2

We did lots of fun stuff on this Utah trip and enjoyed doing so many things with family and friends. With our Archibald family we watched a bunch of basketball and movies at Chris' sister, Jess, and her husband Ryan's new house. That house is incredible. So beautiful and spacious without being over the top. Seeing Jimmer play on a real TV station on a big TV was awesome. I, for one, am happy with what BYU did this season in basketball. They were so good and fun to watch.

We played at grandma's house with cousins dressing up and blowing bubbles and racing marbles and cars and playing with playmobile toys. Charlie fit perfectly into a real pair of lederhosen.

We went bowling in the WILK and I even bowled a turkey!! Gwen sat happy in her car seat for most of it, what a trooper. Alec loved throwing the ball all by himself and you could tell he wanted to aim better but wasn't sure how to do that since it took all his energy just to get the ball down the lane! Charlie liked to use the metal stand and roll the ball down it. He tried to put his fingers in the holes and pick up the ball like that, but always had to resort to the two hand carry.

Also we made Grandpa Archibald's dreams come true with all the grandkids outside hitting golf balls. They got a jr. sized set of golf clubs complete with a driver which all the kids loved. This was Alec's first experience with a driver and he enjoyed making it go "Waaaa - POWIE!" Its so satisfying to hear that solid ding and watch the ball fly far.

On the drive home we encountered snow at the pass which was enough to require chains... but just barely. Chris was great about it all and put on the chains himself to avoid paying 30 bucks. We had to drive 10 mph over the pass since I think we bought the wrong size of chains or something because one of the extra bits of chain kept clanking against something on the wheel and we worried about breaking our car. It was a hassle and stressful and made the drive SO much longer, but we got home safe and sound and our car isn't broke so we're only grateful.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Break

So for Spring Break we drove to Utah to see family. The boys were SO excited to go. We've been counting down the days for a month or two. They loved to help me get the car ready, fill up water bottles and pack the day before we left. The drive out was awesome, probably the best one so far. The boys had new maze books and sticker books and watched a movie and took naps. Gwendolyn was awesome but I really wish she took a pacifier instead of crying to sleep for all naps and bedtime.

We stayed 1 night with my sister, 3 nights with chris' parents, 2 nights with my sister, 2 nights with chris' parents, and 1 night with my sister. Surprising the kids did awesome going back and forth. It probably helped having the same setup at both places. People in UT are ready for spring, but we were excited to see it snow the morning after we arrived. Alec and Charlie LOVED going outside and trying to catch it in their mouths. Gwen didn't really care about the snow, but she loved the space to crawl around and new toys to play with.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

teenager in a toddler

Chris has often made the comment to me about how Charlie is already acting like a teenage boy. He'll roam around the house and every hour or so, find his way to the fridge whereupon he opens it up and tries to find something to eat. Most of the time its milk, or strawberries/blueberries or yogurt. He'll pull it out and say in a low sing-song whine, "I want miiiiiiillllk." If he doesn't get to eat whatever it is he pulled out, he'll throw a fit. Also, soon after coming downstairs, he'll strut into the kitchen and with arms hanging low and his chin jutting up and a pouty face saying, "I want br-EAk-FAst."

Also, Charlie is perfecting the one word answers. If I ask him "why" anything (why did you go in Time Out? Why is it not Ok to hit Alec? etc) He'll look at my beneath those long lashes of his and push his lips out and say, "Um... 'cuz"

Other times He shows us a glimpse of attitude by putting "No" or "Yes" in front of whatever we just said to him. He says this with his head tilted back and his eyes crinkled and barely open.
Charlie: "I want cih-meh row " (cinnamon roll = donuts)
Mom: "Sorry... not before lunch"
Charlie: "YAH, 'foh lunch"
Also because Alec often threatens in the extremes, (I'm going to eat it all! I'm going to play with it for 100 days" or "...for all the days!") Charlie gets really bent out of shape with this.
Alec: "I'm going to play outside for all of the days" (when Chris asks him to come inside)
Daddy: "Come on, Alec, Charlie, time to go in"
Charlie: "No go in, Alec outside"
Daddy: "No, Alec is coming in right now too"
Charlie: "Alec outside, all the days!"

Friday, March 11, 2011

Small Spaces 1

There are lots of things to love about living in a small space. First off: the kitchen/laundry/dining room. I can be folding clothes and switching laundry while watching to make sure the beans don't boil over before turning down the heat all the while monitoring the boys playing with playdough - all without taking more than 3 steps.

Also, I really love the cupboard space in this kitchen. It goes all the way to the ceiling. The above picture was taken standing on our table. The below picture was taken standing outside on our patio.

The below picture of our "dining room" was taken standing by our computer desk. One benefit to having our toys stored behind the table is that some of the more messy toys like, playdough and paints are visible and handy but still hard for the kids to get to, since they'd have to move our table to pull it out.

BY THE WAY - As our time here starts to get closer to the end, I want to take pictures to remember how our house was. Our first tiny apartment was pretty pitiful; complete with broken stairs, mini-oven, ice-box freezer, and cardboard/ducktaped-covered holes in the walls. Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures from that place to laugh at now. I don't want to make that mistake again, so although I know our house isn't "feature-able" I will feature it across a few posts purely for the sake of remembering. I was going to wait till my house was super cleaned and de-cluttered, but its never going to be like that so... here's to remembering it how it really is.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Gwen's first experience with Sunshine Pancakes. This is an important milestone, people.

Alec has really been into letters. He tries to read words and sounds like that one fish from Finding Nemo speaking, "whale." He also tries to spell words, all on his own. Its pretty exciting. He may be actually reading within a year or so! Chris did this duplo creation (he really enjoys playing with duplos just as much as the boys, sometimes even more!), but Alec insisted on taking a picture of it before Charlie destroyed it.

Also, the boys wanted to document this funny Mr. Potato head ensemble. Charlie and Alec can be so silly together!