Sunday, February 28, 2010

We Love Cousins!

February was a month of cousinly love for Bailey. Kate and Owen came down two weekends in a row and Marty and Mallory were here for a week from Michigan. It's so much fun to get the cousins together; I just know they're all going to be bestest friends! Here are some pictures to document all of their cousinly love, so when they get older and fight we can say look at these pics!

One weekend with Kate and Owen, we went to this weird art mosaic park in Escondido--Queen Califia Park. It's filled with these crazy mosaic statues--lots of them are of mosaic women with big boobs. The kids just ran around and stared at everything.
In this picture, I got all three of them to sit still for one second.

Bailey and Kate aren't quite sure what to make of this crazy lady.

I love this picture of Owen. He is truly triumphant!

We were trying to get both of them to put their hands up, but all we got were jazz hands from Owen and a blank stare from Bailey.

If one of them takes a bath at my mom's house, all three of them have to take a bath--all for one and one for all! Bailey loves it, but I'm pretty sure that Kate was just bothered by the whole situation. Pretty soon, they'll be so big they won't be able to fit in the sink at all.

Here's Marty and Marty riding the flying Dumbo ride. We went to Disneyland with them one day while they were here. It was surprisingly crowded, but the kids had tons of fun!
Here's Mallory and Bailey on the Jungle Boat ride. I think I took this picture right after the boat driver shoots at the alligator and it scared both of them.

Bailey was teaching Mallory how to play her favorite game--Night Night. She lays down in lots of blankets and then sits up and shouts, "Wake up!" She would seriously play it for hours if she could.
I can't believe that I actually got this picture! The ten seconds before and after this were filled with crying, screaming, and two tired, little girls. For once I got the shot I wanted. Neither of them were too happy about it, but just following orders.
February was also fun because Keri came down for a weekend! She was here for Bailey's birthday and helped Bailey play in her tent. It was fun to just hang out with Keri for a few days; we shopped, ate, watched movies, and played with the kids.

Now that tomorrow is March, we're kind of through with our fan fare of visitors for a while, but it sure was fun!

Perfect Pancakes at Last!

During the past month, I've been on a quest for the perfect pancake. Personally, I had given up hope and didn't want to eat anymore mediocre pancakes. One morning Brian joined in on my quest and came up with a winner! He discovered the "top secret" recipe for IHOP pancakes and it is truly delicious--really not good for you--but a tiny bite of pancake heaven. So here's the secret recipe:

1 1/4 cup flour

1 egg

1 1/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup sugar

1 heaping tsp baking powder

1tsp baking soda

1/4 cup cooking oil

pinch of salt

nonstick spray for the pan

Beware that the first batch never turns out great, but the second batch on are pancake perfection. These pancakes are delicious to eat for breakfast and dinner.

Brian let Bailey help out one morning and she was so happy to help.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Our Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday to our little Bailey. Today she turns two and I can't believe it! I guess I can't describe her as a baby anymore because she truly is a big kid now. She is our dream come true and we're so lucky to have her in our family! I love this age because everyday it's something new and exciting that she learns.

This week one of Bailey's dreams came true when she was able to meet Minnie Mouse in person. It's Minnie and she's real!

Here are some of my favorite sayings that Bailey has in her repitoire at 2:

"Oh, my goodness!", "Get down Doby!", "Different one" (when she wants me to sing a new song or change the CD to a different song), "Scary, ooohhh!" (this saying applies to any place that is dark; she thinks it's really funny), "Dada, Mama, and Baby" (this is how she judges size for all objects. Dada = big things, Baby = tiny things, and Mama just fits somewhere in between those two), her role call through every single person that she knows including all the Yo Gabba Gabba characters, and all animal noises.

Here she is saying, "Scary, ohhhh," which she said in most of the rides at Disneyland that were dark. I thought it was super cute when by the end of Pirates of the Caribbean she was chanting yo ho, yo ho, pirates and swinging her arm back and forth. She picks things up really quickly and you can see her thinking all the time.

Favorite Songs: If You're Happy and You Know It, EIEIO (Old Macdonald), I'm a Little Teapot, BINGO, Wheels on the Bus (favorite verse is the mommies saying shhh), super old Disney songs from a really old Disney CD mix--Monkey's Uncle (so old that the lead singer is Annette Funicello), The Color Song, and the song the elephants sing on The Jungle Book.

Favorite Foods: berries/raisins (the two are interchangeable thank goodness since raisins are a lot cheaper than the dried berries; she can't say her "r" sounds really well so she sounds a little like a cute Elmer Fudd), waffles, hot dogs, cereal, and anything with dip.

Our birthday wishes for you this year are:

That you continue to grow up big and strong--look at those big muscles. Remember that you have been a fighter since day one, so keep on fighting!
We can bypass the "terrible twos" and those days that make me feel like pulling my hair out--just kidding about me feeling like pulling my hair out. I just liked the picture! Out of nowhere, she just started playing with my hair; it was funny.
And that you grow some beautiful, long locks of hair! Again, just kidding I just couldn't resist this picture of Bailey's crazy hair. This is what happens when it's in pigtails all day and I sprayed sun screen on her part so her head wouldn't burn. When I took it out, she said, "OOOh crazy!"

We love you, our little Bailey girl!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Party On!

Today Roxann had a birthday party/carnival for Bailey and Mallory. Bailey was born on February 19th and Mallory was born on February 21st. It's not often that you have a cousin so close in age--too bad that we live so far apart (California & Michigan). Since the cousins came into town today, it was perfect planning for their party that ended up really being a carnival. There was a giant jumpy, sandbox to dig in, tent/tunnel to crawl in, bubble machine, lots of yummy food, and more presents than any two two-year-olds could ever imagine. We had 8 kids and 22 adults and no meltdowns--big or small! That is what you call a successful party! Here are some pics that captured the event: The jumpy was big hit! I bet all of the kids will sleep really well tonight :)

Here's Bailey, Madison, Marty, and Kate having fun. We quickly found out that mixing bubbles and the jumpy can quickly turn slippery and dangerous. Fun idea, but possibly really bad results.

For the first 30-45 minutes, the sandbox was the event of choice for the girls: Mallory, Kate, and Bailey. Bailey stayed and played in the sand all by herself even once some of the kids had discovered the jumpy. She loves the sand--whether at the beach or at home!

Let us eat cake and ice cream! I was surprised that most of kids loved the ice cream more than the mini cupcakes. Funny to think about last year's cake and how it was totally demolished and then look at this year's cute, little cupcake sitting there on her plate. I guess that means that she's a little more used to eating sugar this past year than the year before.

Here are the two birthday girls enjoying round two of ice cream and cupcakes.

The next phase of the party: presents! There were truly a ridiculous amount of presents for just two tiny little girls. Bailey really got into the presents and everything was open, open, open. I tried to get her to thank people, but I think that might have been just too much for her to handle in the sea of presents. I guess that's what thank you cards are for!

Here are some of the wild and crazy party guests:

My family always makes for a full house and Baby Riley was up and ready to dance!

Tera taught Kate how to blow bubbles.
Bailey and Toni
Bailey was so thirsty while she was opening presents that she really like these new sippy cups from Matthew, Vanessa, and Emma--thanks guys!
Cute Owen!
Bailey loved this ladybug bean bag that Adam and Teryn gave to her. At this point, she just needed a place to take a break for a moment. Thanks for the bean bag!
It was a great way to kick off our week long birthday celebration for the BIG NUMBER 2!! Thanks Roxann and Dan for such a fun party!

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Perfect Day...Almost

On Tuesday, Bailey woke up with her eyes glued shut with eye boogies--good morning! Once we got her to the doctor, we found out she had conjuctivitus (just guessing on the spelling). I think it should be renamed to the eye boogie disease. It is an easy fix because she just has to have drops three times a day for a week. But because it's still contagious for the first 24 hours on the medicine, I had to keep her home on Wednesday! Yeah--I love staying home with Bailey, espcially when it's not a sickness that makes her grumpy and miserable. So here is my perfect day...almost:
I woke up at 6:15 to meet my friend Cary at the gym. We've been going three times a week before school. It's nice to have a workout buddy; that way I feel guilty if I don't go because Cary will know. I came home ready to play with Bailey for the day. We ate, watched som Gabba, had a tea party, and played in her room. She does the playing in her room, while I do the cleaning. I was on such a cleaning roll and Bailey was having so much fun, that I even decided to clean Brian's closet (which is in Bailey's room). By the time I was done, Bailey was ready for her nap and I was ready to bake.

Wednesday night was my first class activity at church and I was in charge. I had decided, with the help of my sisters and mom, to make cute sugar cookie bouquets. I had a yummy cookie recipe and we even called my old Young Women's leader who made beautiful and delicious cookies back in the day to get the frosting recipe. While Bailey was sleeping (for almost three hours!) I made two batches of dough, rolled it all out, cut the heart shaped cookies out, and even baked most of them. I even timed it perfectly with one batch that I had time to run upstairs and take a shower before the batch was finished baking. I seriously felt a little like Holly Homemaker/Martha Stewart. I was truly basking in all of my homemaking glory! I even took a picture of my baking--and I never do that! When Bailey woke up, I got ready, came downstairs, fed Bailey, and make the yummy frosting. Once the frosting was made, we headed off to get gas and then to Michaels for crafty supplies. Once at the store, we ran inside and bought some little pots to place the flower cookies in and decorate.

The next item on the agenda was a middle school field hockey game. My team had a game at 3:45, so we headed off to my school. My girls are great and we won 6-0! I kept thinking to myself that this day was so perfect. When I got home and started packing up all of my supplies for the activity. Brian came home from work and I headed off to church. I was really excited that everything had gone so well and I was excited for my crafty activity. Here's where things started to take a slight turn for the worse. On the way to church I realized that I had forgotten my paper with my semi-spiritual begining for my activity. I called Brian and had him text me the major pieces, so first problem solved.

When I got to church, I sadly saw that I only had three girls--I was supposed to have 8. Not a problem! That just meant more cookies for everyone. Once I got everything set up, more girls had come so we were ready. As I was explaining to them the activity, one of them knocked over the huge container of rice that I had brought to fill the little pots. Rice all over the carpet--not off to a great start. After picking up most of it, we continued on our way. The girls were having fun decorating their pots. They then moved on to phase two--decorating the cookies. I had made a bunch of different colors of frosting and bagged them up so we could decorate. I cautioned my girls to use the frosting sparingly because I wasn't sure if it would hold. Once the first girl was finished, I filled her pot with rice and we started to arrange her cookie flowers. I quickly realized that the stems were too long, so I had to cut them. I also realized that the cookie flowers were a little too heavy for the tiny pot filled with rice. The next 15 minutes quickly turned disastrous as all of the girls started potting their flowers and simultaneously spilling their rice everywhere!! I finally got them to stop spilling the rice, when all of their frosting started melting off the cookies and into their rice pots. It was at this point that it just all became hilarious to me. The girls just wanted to eat the cookies and that was fine with me. I eventually took all of their pots and melting flowers and put them on top of the piano to avoid further spillage.

We were disaster free for about 15 minutes while we played a game, and then the girls spilled their rice on top of the piano!! I couldn't believe it! Quickly I grabbed what rice pots were left and dumped them all in the trash, put their cookies on plates, and sent them on their merry way. The girls had fun and the cookies were good, it just didn't turn out at all like I thought it was going to. So much for making a good first impression with my girls and the other leader--oh well. I guess I should just start planning ahead for next time. Lesson learned from this experience is: don't do anything with rice and young women! The experience was so traumatizing that I didn't even take any pictures.

Totally unrelated, here are some pictures of Bailey with Pop and Aunt Nancy when they were out last week:

This picture is as good as it gets. The runner up was like this except Bailey was shining the flashlight right into the camera. It was really fun to see Pop interact with Bailey; I know that it made him so happy.

Bailey really likes it when people wear glasses like she does. Nancy was nice enough to let Bailey try to put them on all night long. I'm glad that Nancy didn't lose an eye! I should also remember next time to take pictures when we first get there, instead of right before we leave.

This morning I had my varsity team over for breakfast to give them their league champ patches and shirts. It's always fun to see them and Bailey loves it! She ran around the house all morning showing them all of her toys, tricks, and new words! They all loved the shirts and the breakfast, so I was happy.

2009 Field Hockey Palomar League Champs

(minus three girls)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

M: Michigan, Mulletts, Muffins

During February, Brian's family is taking turns flying out to California to escape the cold winter in Michigan. It's been lots of fun because there's always something going on! This past week, Aunt Nancy and Pop came out for a visit. Uncle Fred and Aunt Hariette have been out here for a month and get to stay until March. Next week Marty, Melanie, Lil' Marty, and Mallory are taking their turns ditching the snow. We love our Michigan visitors, but think maybe they should just all move out here and stay all year!

Bailey and Emma just hanging out with Aunt Nancy.

Here's all the brothers and Pop.

This morning Bailey got the Michigan spirit and wore this hat around. It's funny because she totally looks like she has a Michigan mullett when she wears the hat.

Brian made blueberry muffins for breakfast. While Brian was making them, Bailey kept chanting, "Muffins, muffins, muffins!" I'm not really sure she knew what a muffin is, but she sure did want one. Later in the morning I noticed that Bailey was awfully quiet. I looked into the kitchen to catch Bailey red-handed stealing bites of muffins! It was too cute to interrupt, so I just took a picture instead.

After church we're heading over to Roxann and Dan's house for the superbowl. So yeah for football--mostly the fact that it will be over until next year!! I love the superbowl, but only for the commercials and delicious snacks. Go football!