Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

As I reflect on the "father's" in my life, I realize how truly blessed I am! I don't know what I did to deserve these great examples, and I probably don't really deserve them, but I am so glad they are in my life.

Go Diamondbacks!
My own father raised me to be the woman I am today. He taught me how to love, how to serve, how to work hard, how to let things roll off my back, how to stay calm, how to laugh and most importantly how to truly live the gospel. He supports me in everything and knows just what to say to push me forward. He willingly drove me to Utah at the end of December to check out doctoral programs without hesitation. He is always just a phone call away willing to listen to any story at any point.  He taught me how to love America's favorite past time, baseball. He fulfilled one of my dream jobs by hooking me up with the scoreboard crew at Hohokam Stadium allowing me to be in control of the scoreboard for the Chicago Cubs for many games (even had a paid gig because of this!) He laughs with me, he cries with me.  He taught me how a woman should be treated by the way he treated and loved my mom. I am so glad my kids get to call him Nonno (italian for grandpa) and have a strong relationship with him. Elsie adores him and gets very excited when I mention his name. Utah, dream job

Even lets her control the remote
Elsie and Grandpa
My father in law who has accepted me as his own daughter without question. The man that taught his son how a father and husband should be. The man that loves our family unconditionally and would do anything for us. The man that never asks for anything in return but gives everything. The man that will work in 110˚ weather to finish a swingset so his granddaughter will have the chance to slide down it that day if she wants. The man that you never quite know what will pop out of his mouth, maybe a joke, a serious comment or something completely off the wall, but we are always ready to hear whatever it may be. The man that reminds us how often he loves our family and how proud he is of us. The man that lives the gospel to the fullest everyday, showing all what a testimony really looks like. The man my children get to call grandpa. How lucky they are. How grateful I am to have him part of my life.
Elsie loves playing the water!
Already playing the piano with dad

My husband whose calling in life is to be a father. He shows this on a daily basis. He loves being a father and everyone can tell. He's the dad that chases Elsie throughout the house. He's the dad that will walk four hours in our small house with a crying newborn so I can get some sleep (luckily Kenzie didn't need that kind of walking). He's the dad that takes Elsie to the park and plays with her on the equipment. He's the dad that wakes up in the middle of the night with a crying 2 year old and will cuddle with her in a toddler bed. (Yes my 6 foot husband squeezes onto a crib mattress with his daughter.) He's the dad that I've always wanted my children to have.
Jeff and Makenzie
I'm so glad I have all these men in my life and the lives of my two girls.

Happy Father's Day!

Mommy and Me Photos

Before Kenzie was born, Hawkins Photography took some Mommy and Me photos. I LOVED them all. In 20 minutes Kendyl was able to capture quite a few of Elsie's many different faces. Here are some of our favorites. 
I just woke up face
More please!

Yeah, I don't want to do that, but you can keep trying to make me smile

I'm tired! Just let me suck my thumb!

You want me to do what?

I can reach it too!

I'm having fun, but I won't tell you


Not sure what this is but I really like it!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Dow, Da, and Dah

Is there anything cuter than the sound of a 22 month old jabbering away in her own language? I submit there is not. Elsie does everything on her own time table, nothing very quickly, including talking. She still has yet to look at me and call me mom. What almost 2 year old doesn't refer to their mom? She loves to say "Ma", definitely a favorite phrase, but I still don't think she is referring to me as much as just saying a syllable she knows. We taught her sign language for certain words and she uses those all the time, but speaking has never seem to be a priority until now. In the last week she has become quite the little chatter box! And I LOVE it! She jabbers and yaks all day if we are home alone. It really melts my heart! I made the comment today how I love being able to differentiate between the different sounds and words she makes. Here are some of our favorites. 
Elsie signing "Please"

Dow - Down. She uses this whenever she wants down from anywhere - counter, bed, dinner table, car seat, where ever. 

Da - Dad. When dad comes home she hollers this through the house. When dad leaves, she hollers. When dad gets in the shower, she hollers. She lovers her dad!

Dah - Dog. Sparky has always been Elsie's favorite toy. And luckily Sparky is wonderful with kids. So it is no surprise that she knows Dog. Yesterday Jeff went to help find the homes of some lost dogs we found in our neighborhood while returning from a shopping errand. Jeff had to carry Elsie in the house as she was quite concerned there were dogs roaming around. When she was inside she spent the next 20 minutes in the hallway yelling "DAH! DAH!" until Dad returned. 

Pho - Phone. Oh does Elsie love the iPhone! She will play on it hours everyday if we let her. Luckily we try and hide it so she doesn't remember it, but once she sees it, game over. She will say "Pho! Pho! PHO!" until we give in or she has a melt down. Hence the hiding. 

Ma - Mom? Maybe. She loves to holler Ma throughout the house at random times. Whenever she does I try and holler back "Elsie" to help teach her that Ma is me, but who knows if she actually gets that. 

Chez - Cheese. This girl could eat cheese all day everyday if we let her. It's her nighttime snack of choice, and I actually don't blame her one bit. 

Shez - Shoes. Elsie is a lot like her mom in the fact that she hates to walk barefoot. Frequently she will wake up and within 15 minutes she will holler "shez" and bring us her shoes to put on. 

Uh Oh - Uh Oh. Seriously her cutest phrase, and the best part she uses it appropriately! So cute!
Elsie signing "more"

Sign Language Words

More, Help, Thank you, Please, Apple, All done, Thirsty. She is at a point now where you show her a sign once and she remembers it and will use it all the time. 

I love how much this little girl soaks in on a daily basis. Everyday is a new adventure! I look forward to many more adventures, especially with another one to keep us on our toes!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Newborn Photos

 This is my favorite and was definitely a quick moment! This was the first time Elsie kissed Kenzie. 

 Once she started, Elsie just wanted to continue giving her loves! 
Daddy and his girls 
Hawkins Photography is our favorite! Kendyl does such an amazing job and we are so glad she agrees to deal with our crazy family! She has taken all our family photos and we love seeing the pics she takes around our house.

Not even 3 weeks...

Makenzie has been part of our family for not even 3 weeks and we love every minute! She is such an easy going baby and we are so glad she is ours forever! In just the three weeks we've seen her personality start to emerge. Here is who we welcomed into the family...

Not a cryer. Although her lungs work great when needed, she doesn't use them very often. She gives a warning moan (more like 4 or 5 moans) before she gets too mad. Mom can recognize this pretty quick and knows how to help her get what she needs. At night dad has yet to wake up as she is too quiet with her moans. Mom thinks she can probably sleep at least an hour longer each night but because her moans wake her up, she gets up and feeds her then. Easier than trying to sleep through the moans for the next hour. 

Observant. Makenzie loves awake time! Although she is only awake for a few hours a day at the current time, when she is awake she watches everything! She is wide eyed! When she starts to get tired she will fight as she doesn't want to miss anything. 

Happy. She came into this world smiling and has not stopped. There have been so many times where I look over and she has a peaceful happy feeling all around her. I love holding her and watching her facial expressions. She smiles constantly (even if they are currently gas smiles, I still love the smiles!)

I look forward to watching this bundle of joy grow into the young lady she will become!

Such a helper!

Elsie is at a really fun age where she is soaking in everything and wants to mimic anything we do. For example, when Jeff is doing P90X Elsie copies the different exercises in her own 2 year old way. Ballistic stretching is by far my favorite! She will swing her hands front to back and clap while she walks in a circle. We can now ask her "Do a ballistic stretch" and she will make that motion. Mind you, she only knows its a ballistic stretch because the video calls it that. Jeff doesn't say what he is doing.

Another mimic action she has found recently involves lotion. Every night I try and put lotion on Kenzie, who can resist a baby lotion smelling baby! Elsie has become quite the fan of the process. She will take some of the lotion and point to her foot. Once I nod my head she will rub it on the bottom of her feet. Just her feet. Not sure why she feels that her feet are the only thing that need lotion, but that's where she puts it.

When in the kitchen, Elsie likes to help stir and taste anything that may be in the bowl. I have learned that the best way to combat the tasting of food she shouldn't be taste testing is to give her 2 bowls, a spoon and ice. She will move the ice from one bowl to the next for hours. Or give her cupcake holders and a muffin tin and she will put the holders in the tin over and over again. However, when making cookies there is no stopping this bundle of joy. And who can blame her? I sure can't!

When doing laundry, Elsie loves to go through the clean clothes (not the dirty ones) and find a sock for Sparky. When Elsie first started to walk she always found a sock in the clean laundry to throw to the dog. I was never quite a fan of this, however it was very adorable.

Makeup is already one of Elsie's favorites. I am a little concerned about this as makeup is so not my forte. She will go through  my drawers and find the eyeshadow and a brush, then proceed to put it on her eyes. If you look closely at Kenzie's newborn photos it kind of looks like Elsie has a black eye. Nope, that is just purple eyeshadow mom couldn't get off in time for the photos. Mom of the year award right here.

I  love watching Elsie learn and grow. She is at such a fun age, and I look forward to watching her learn even more.