Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Weekend In Review

So, I must hurry and post about our fun trip to KC last weekend as we are yet again heading there this weekend for more family fun.

Our trip was originally planned around my favorite cousin, Jared & his family coming into town. However, since they bailed on the trip last minute, he is no longer my favorite cousin. ;-) So, to make him jealous, we went on without him and had lots of fun anyway!

We were lucky enough to pick up Grandma Bell on our way through Joplin so she could help tend to Addison and her needs while we drove. A 3+ hour drive isn't fun for a toddler who must move constantly. Despite her needs, she did fairly good on our trip but we were still very excited to finally get there and play with cousins and aunts and uncles.

Unfortunately, Uncle Kendall was on a business trip so we didn't get to see him. But we did get to help Michelle juggle three kids in his absence. It was part of our reason for going on our random KC trip.

First on the agenda...BATHS! It seemed we had both been saving up our dirty babies just for this special occasion. And even more fun when suckers are involved!

Grandma & Addison playing a bit of dress-up. Here is the princess in her true form. Note the cowboy boots. A must-have for every little girl.

This was by far Addison's favorite thing to do. Sit and read/babble to anyone who was listening. The scores of toys laying around never drew her in. There was way too much reading to get done apparently!

Cramming into a teeny tiny diner for breakfast. Notice the poor old man on the far right. He picked an unlucky table apparently. But he was great at entertaining the older girls while we waited. Notice the kids outnumber the adults 2 to 1! Apparently it was "Husband's Day Out" since they are nowhere to be found!

Two more reasons we came to KC to play. Our newest nephews/cousins: Garrett & Rex. This was my first official meet & greet with little Rex. Both are soooo adorable.

Heading to the pool for a swim. I don't think Grandma could have packed them in any tighter than this!

Movie night with the cousins. We all enjoyed laughing while watching "Bedtime Stories"...kids and adults both!

Watching cartoons with the cousins. It gave us a nice little reprieve from all of our hard work.

Overall, it was a GREAT trip! Thanks to Aunt Michelle for hosting us, to Grandma for being my nanny, and to everyone else for entertaining us! Now we head back this Friday to go to the blessing of those two cute little boys! Can't wait to play yet again!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sign Of The Times

Addison has acquired a new talent....actually several. Grunting, whining, squealing, yelling, pretty much any sound she can make to tell you that she wants something. Thanks to this new talent, Mommy has stepped up her efforts in the sign language department. Signing has always been something I've wanted her to learn but I haven't been the most consistent with it over the past several months. However, we now practice daily....multiple times a day....anything to help her realize there are ways to ask for things without any high pitched squealing, etc. And I'm still in awe of how quickly she can pick up the signs.

My amazement began about a month ago when I randomly taught her the sign for "Thank You" and then within seconds she signed it right back to me.....clear.as.day. So much so, that I almost had to rub my eyes to make sure I saw her correctly. Cool yet creepy! Anyway, I learned more signs so I could teach her more immediately. She always does well picking them up, and even signing them after I sign them. However, she has yet to realize the timing of it all. She either signs things long after the fact or because Mommy asked her to, or just randomly whenever she feels like it. I encourage anything/everything that resembles signing so she always gets praises from me regardless. Maybe one day they'll actually help her communicate TO me instead of just COPY what I'm doing. Anyway, just a few of the signs we've been practicing to date:

Thank You - She does this one well but again only when she feels like it and sometimes not at all.

Bye Bye - This one she does great and I swear she says "Bye-Bye" even while she does it - soooo cute.

Please - This is a new one. She does a modified form of it by rubbing her hand somewhere on her stomach, belly, chest, etc. but it's close enough for my liking.

Milk - Again, modified. Mostly just moving her fingers in her little chubby fist but I understand her and that's all that matters.

Up - This one she still struggles with. She LOVES to sit on the couch with me and usually just grunts, whines, squeals until I lift her up. However, each time I repeat this sign before I even lift her up. One day hopefully she'll get it.

Eat - This one she hasn't mastered too much but it's my own fault. I usually forget to show her before I put the food in front of her.

More - She does this one great - especially when she wants fruit snacks as we drive down the road. Again, she just taps her chubby fists together but it works!

Drink - Still one we need to practice - Mommy included.

Anyway, I think it's just amazing what her little mind can comprehend. They really are like little sponges...just absorbing anything/everything. She's learning a few words on top of all the signs. She has known "Mom" and "Dad" for awhile now but now says "Bye Bye", "Ball", and everytime I fake a baby cry she toddles over to find her baby. She's a good Mommy to her little baby - even if she's still dangling her all over, upside down, and banging her into things. Gotta start somewhere right? ;-)

Here are a few pics just for the fun of it...

She's in to just about everything now...including the fridge. Apparently she's throwing sign language out the window and just helping herself to the milk. Trying to speed up the process I suppose?

She usually only holds still when food is involved. Here she is hanging out in Daddy's little nook and chomping down on some Cheetos.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Eat Mor Chikin'

And that we did! Today was the national "Cow Appreciation Day" at Chick-fil-a so Addison and I invited cousin Dave along and partook of the ceremonies. Really the only ceremony is dress up like a cow = get free food. The free food was just a bonus on top of the memories, laughs, and fun we had on top of it all.

Josie was a bit under the weather so Addison and I got to play with Dave all day long. Dave and I worked on the cow costumes while Addison had her morning nap. We dressed him up first and then duplicated our efforts on Addison while I was torn between laughing and admiring how cute she was in her little costume. It was a bit more work juggling two kids but not near as bad since Dave was such a pleasant side kick the whole day.

Here we are departing for Chick-fil-a in our bovine attire. Notice the little princess hand off to the side? Hahaha...too funny. And nope, there is not a picture of me. I was boring and went in regular clothes and paid for my food. Maybe next year I'll join in all the fun w/everyone.

Here we are in the car headed over to snag some free chicken! Look at those smiling faces! Hahaha....I believe Dave was ignoring me on purpose here. ;-)

Once we arrived at the restaurant, it didn't take long to realize 90% of Bentonville was there as well. I was partially expecting a large crowd but after combing the lot for a parking space, we "chickened out" (pun intended) and went through the drive-thru and headed on to the park to enjoy our spoils. I simply drove up to the window, rolled down the back window and said "There are my cows!" Haha....I must say it was soooo entertaining watching young and old alike, tromping around the restaurant fully decked out. It's such a cute idea and great marketing tool for Chick-fil-a to think of. While I'm on my soap box, I must say that I am a HUGE fan of Chick-fil-a. They always have hot food (and I'm very particular on this one), great customer service, and friendly staff. No matter the day, they are always offering help, bringing refills, and saying "my pleasure". Don't get me wrong, I happen to love chicken too but I always walk away pleased after eating there. They are one of the last remaining establishments that still practice (and succeed) at customer service. They could really teach McDonald's a few lessons that's for sure!

Playing at the park - minus a few spots since she chose to remove them as we drove. So much for my perfect plan. Oh well, she's still just as cute!

Grandma Squared

Addison and I took a last minute trip earlier this week to hang out w/Grandma Bell (my Mom). It was a quick trip since we only stayed for a couple of days. It's one of the advantages to having Grandma only two hours away. We didn't have any specific reason to go besides just to play with Grandma, checkout her bathroom addition, eat cashew chicken, and sit and veg. Plus we hadn't been to Grandma's house since Christmas. I guess our trip was long overdue.

It didn't take long for Addison to hit it off (once again) w/Grandma. I'm always trying to convince my mom to let me hire her as my assistant. She's always so good about doing everything w/Addison (and all her grand-babies) including feeding them, getting them in/out of carseats, changing diapers, bathing, dressing them, and playing with them. It gives me such a nice break - I think I need to visit more often!

We arrived Tuesday evening and went on a nice walk and played a bit. Addison loved checking out Grandma's toys and exploring. The next morning we met up w/Grandma for lunch and ate at the Purple Burrito (interesting place, but good). And of course we couldn't leave for home until Addison got all her wiggles out at Grandma's work. Luckily she works at the Stake Center so we threw balls and chased each other around in circles (Grandma included). Addison didn't know quite what to think of the huge gym and the strange echo sound she heard when she'd practice her yelling (yes a newfound trait I'm still learning to fall in love with). Before we knew it we were headed for home and had to leave Grandma #1 behind. Thanks for all the fun Grandma!

Next stop on our way home....Grandma #2 (my grandma). Since she's right on our way home I'm trying to make more of an effort to take the small detour and visit her more often. We couldn't stay for long but Addison loved playing with her as well. She always has a thing for people with gray hair. She's used to them always ooohing and coohing over her everywhere we go so I guess Grandma Weekes wasn't any different.

It was a short visit but a great one. Addison did GREAT on the drive there and back. Slept like a charm for the most part and was even an angel at my Mom's house. She always adjusts well to different environments. I'm so grateful I have such an easy going, happy baby.

Addison w/Grandma Bell. I missed her "happy smile" b/c of my stinkin' camera and the delayed flash. :(

Testing out Grandma's chair at her work.
Going crazy in the gym. I'm starting to give up on hope of taking pictures while she holds still. It just doesn't happen anymore.

And last but not least, visiting Grandma Weekes. See what I mean about her holding still? Out of seven pictures, this was the best one.

Oh Say Can You See

This was Addison's 2nd July 4th holiday and lets just say I think she enjoyed the fireworks more last year (when she was only a month old) than she did this year. I tried making it a happy moment with laughter and clapping after each boom, but she wasn't having it. It actually broke my heart when she cried because you could tell she was terrified of it all. We retreated inside and played with cousins and snacked on food instead. John is a self-proclaimed pyro so needless to say he spent the majority of the night outside lighting the explosives.

While inside we played with her cousin/twin Laney.
Can you see the resemblance?

Luckily for Mommy, Addison has a rather early bedtime and Bryce wasn't using his crib, so after putting her down to bed at 8:00, I got to actually go out and enjoy the fireworks show. John, Tom, Richard and others were busily entertaining us with all the explosives you could imagine. It was likely the equivalent of what a small city would put on for their celebrations I'm just sure of it. It did not disappoint. After every loud boom, I would go inside and check on Addison to make sure she was still asleep. That girl has always been a great sleeper. Once she's down - she's out. I don't think she made a peep regardless of what kind of warfare was going on just outside her window.

Thanks Tom & Sarah and family for all the fun times provided! We had a blast (pun intended...hehe).

Since Addison missed most of the show, we decided to have our own little mini-fireworks show for her on Sunday. However, even using the small, quiet stuff, was still too much for her.

Here she is retreating while we light some snakes (my personal favorite). I think the flaming charcoal was a little more than she could take.

Look at that happy face! ;-)
I guess there's always next year!

We are so very grateful to live in this country and to be free. We thank all those who have sacrificed to give us the blessings we get to enjoy today. Happy 4th of July!!

Friday, July 2, 2010


John and I got to embark on yet another adventure last night. The Springdale "Rodeo of the Ozarks." And thanks to some friends, Addison got to have her own fun as well. A pool party and hanging out with her buddies Brady and Garrett - she had a blast thanks guys!

I grew up going to rodeos so I'd been looking forward to attending this one for quite some time. It was at Parson's Stadium in Springdale - yup same location as our Demolition Derby! It's a magnet for entertaining events and people. And thankfully, it did not disappoint.

Upon arrival, we decided to go all in and splurge for the "Box Seats." Money well spent. Once we got to our seats we realized we were sitting right next to a counselor in our old stake presidency - the "Butlers?". Yay! That is one way to guarantee that we aren't surrounded by second-hand smoke and foul language.

Sitting next to them only added to the entertainment of the evening. Brother Butler was very animated and loving every minute of the rodeo. John and I were both impressed to see him belt out the AC/DC song "Shook Me All Night Long" as it was blasted over the loud speaker. His wife even joined in as she belted to her own tune: Big & Rich's "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy"....lol. Later in the evening, Brother Butler had managed to rile up the emcee as they bantered over sports. Vikings vs. Packers. John even threw his hat into the ring and gave a shout out to his favorite "The Bears".....which resulted in the emcee giving a shout-out to John in return. "Looossseeerr"...lol. It all added up to a great time.

Here are a few pics from our journey 'o fun:

Where we almost ate for dinner....but didn't...but should have.
Mostly we just thought their sign was hilarious. "Home of the Old Fashion Hamburger."
Apparently where you can find hamburgers donning attire from the 1960's?

A tribute to the soldiers. This was all after a very thoughtful and heavily accented prayer blessing everything from our country to our cowboys to our livestock.
I do love the country pride found at rodeos. But it's always entertaining hearing it from a cowboy's perspective.

A shot of the buckin' broncos.
Unfortunately, I didn't get much more than this due to a dead camera battery. :(

This was the most entertaining event: Mutton Busting.
Little kids see how long they can stay on a sheep while little kid clowns help save them.
If you look close enough you'll see the 4 year old hanging on sideways.
It was quite impressive how much strength and will they had to stay on.

And last but not least, the emcee of the event.
He did a great job and was very entertaining.
This is during the banter w/Brother Butler over sports.

All in all, we had a great time. It brought back so many memories of my childhood. We are definitely making this one a yearly outing!