Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fear Fest

It's official! We've finally finished celebrating Addison's 2nd Halloween! It seems like so much goes into the holiday before it actually happens....ALL of it being fun of course. So what did she dress up as you ask? Just check out this adorability:

Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz!!

Both of these pics are from our last minute Saturday fun. We were lucky enough to get to hang out w/Aunt Josie and cousin David at the Bentonville square and get some more use out of our costumes!

We even got to eat lunch together at Chick-fil-a. Yum E!
(Thanks Josie for takin' such cute pictures! You can capture that smile so much easier than I can!)

But of course, even as adorable as she was in her Dorothy outfit. It was indeed our "Plan B". Wayyyy back last year, I scored some cute things at the after-Halloween sale. One of them being this C.U.T.E. monster outfit WITH matching tights people!:

But unfortunately, as I prepped her with a few dress rehearsals earlier this week, I slowly gave up my dream of her wearing it. Why? She was terrified of it. So much so that she would walk the long way around the living room just to avoid it - and eyed it as she took each step. I did manage to bind her into it twice and both times it ended w/her in tears. I finally decided to be a nice Mommy and dig through my resources for other options. It was worth it in the end. We had one VERY happy Dorothy...much better than a crying pink monster eh? And really, she's cute no matter WHAT she wears.

We had three chances to Trick or Treat w/friends. We hit up the Rogers downtown festivities and got LOTS of smarties and LOTS of patience as we waited in forever long lines. Then the next day we hit up the Bentonville square and did much better. Far shorter lines and much better candy! Woot! And alas, we enjoyed our first go-round at the ward Trunk or Treat. She spent most of her time parading around the parking lot and having a blast.

This year, Addison definitely seemed to "get it" - at least partially of course. She understood the overall concept:

Step 1: Walk up to the candy giver.
Step 2: Hold out basket.
Step 3: Wait patiently for said candy.
Step 4: Smile & cheese it up for the admirers.
Step 5: Rinse & repeat.

And yes, she had rules for me too.

Rule 1: She wanted to walk UN-assisted!
Rule 2: She wanted to hold her OWN basket.
Rule 3: She did NOT want me to hold even a smidgen of the basket, even when it got heavy from all the candy.

My baby is growing up! sniff. sniff. I agreed to all the rules for the most part but broke a few when it was time to pick up the pace and pick up the child. We had so much fun ringing in the Halloween season. It's definitely true - Holidays are wayyyyy more exciting when you live them through your little kiddo's eyes. And what beatiful eyes they are! Now we get to countdown to Thanksgiving! Loving this season.

Here we are posing by our creations. Addison has Mommy wrapped around her finger. I slaved over the big pumpkin and carved her favorite: Minnie Mouse (aka "Mou!")

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Addison and I were lucky enough to get to tag along on one of John's recent business trips. Thankfully it was to exciting California instead of a small...middle of! We spent most of our days just hanging out together but were able to spend the last two hanging out w/John as well. It was a blast of a trip but the best part of any vacation is coming back home.

Our first day included catching a 6:00 am flight which had us getting up/ready at 4:30 am! Little Addison was SUCH a trooper through it all. She just merrily went along with all our craziness and smiled and laughed along the way. And of course a big mighty hallelujah for 'Yo Gabba Gabba'. We had it loaded on three different electronic devices just in case a battery should die along our way. She goes almost catatonic when watching that show - and it's the best remedy for a long day of flying. Even our fellow passengers were proud of how well she did. Literally NO tears...just LOTS of giggles :D.

We arrived so early to Cali that we had plenty of time to nap and even got to head out to the beach for Addison's first time. We were lucky enough to spot about 15 dolphins just swimming off shore right as we walked cool! At least it was once we confirmed they weren't sharks and weren't about to dine on the nearby surfers.

Our second, third, and fourth days were spent mostly inside. Yep, we were lucky enough to bring the rain along w/us on our trip. California gets what? About 3 rainstorms per year? We spent the WHOLE week in overcast skies and about 2-3 days in non-stop downpour! Yay us! We had to make some quick changes to our schedule to accommodate the yucky weather but luckily we still had a blast, just Addison & I, hanging out.

Off to the hotel pool. This girly has NO fear when it comes to water. I love it but it does mean I have to be even more aware of her at the pool. She would jump in before I was even ready to catch her.

We also had a chance to hit the beach up a second time. I quickly learned she LOVES the sand and loves to eat mouthfuls of it as well. The only time she got mad was when I was trying to actually clean it off of her.

We also spent a morning driving to see the sights in L.A. However, the only sights we saw were a 10 second glimpse of the Hollywood sign and LOTS of traffic. Apparently "Rush Hour" is EVERY hour in that city. We had to hurry back to eat lunch with an old friend so we didn't get to see too much.

Thursday was the long awaited day at Disneyland. Just prior to this trip, Addison learned who Mickey Mouse was and could identify him anywhere (thanks to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse). Anytime she sees him she gets excited, points, and shouts "Mou! Mou!" She literally spotted him on every sign, every statue, even on people's shirts as we made our way to the front entrance. Needless to say I was pretty excited to introduce her to the real life version.

Meeting Goofy. She was an excited fan while we waited in line. Pointing and jabbering away. It quickly changed the minute we sidled up next to him.

Minnie was hands down her favorite! Never got scared and loved every minute of it. She kept trying to make her way back to her when our turn was over.

And last but not least, Mickey! We enjoyed ourselves as we traipsed through his cute little house. We finally found him way in the back. Security must be tight over this little guy I guess! She liked him for the most part but was a little timid when we got our face-to-face time.

She easily enjoyed all the rides we rode on as well: the Flying Rockets, Dumbo, Small World, and the Underwater Submarine and the Train. Here she is w/Daddy on the flying Dumbo's. She's our little thrill seeker that's for sure. She'd get sad everytime she had to get off the rides. Can't wait to take her on some roller coasters when she gets bigger! :D

Yep, she has been initiated. She is now a proud owner of her very first Mickey ears!

Overall, it was a G-R-E-A-T day at Disneyland. John and I were amazed at how well she did all day long. Napped perfectly in her stroller, loved the rides, loved the characters, and even loved standing in line (which is where we spent 90% of our day)! She just entertained herself in the mud, the bushes, making friends, and climbing on the railings. I was predicting a few meltdowns along the way but thankfully we didn't encounter a single one! Thanks Addison for taking it easy on Mom & Dad!

The next day we wandered off and found a cute little pumpkin patch/park/zoo/pony ride area in Irvine. Since I grew up around horses I was pretty excited for Addison to have her first pony ride. She didn't quite know what to expect and spent the first circle in tears and clinging to me, the second round she got a little more bold, and the third round she was laughing, riding by herself, and waving at the passer-by's.

Here she is on her third round w/her pony, Corky. Such a cutie!

And we couldn't leave the state without one more visit to the beach. We spent the first few minutes of our visit trying to keep her dry and clean but quickly gave up and let her have at it. It didn't take long for her to cover herself in sand.

All in all, it was a great visit and we had a blast. Our return trip home was a different story since we spent most of the day in the Dallas airport with multiple cancelled flights and grounded airplanes. It made for a long day but of course it couldn't deter us from the fun we had on our trip!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Harvest Time

(Addison exploring the corn maze)

Hardly similar to the actual farmers and their harvest - we had our own mini-version. I'm guessing ours was a LOT more fun than the real-life harvest.

John found a cute little pumpkin patch near his work one day and we finally got the chance to explore it a week or so ago. We actually picked the perfect Saturday to go and were one of the first to show up - even before they opened! The nice owner let us wander around the corn maze while he waited for his workers to come and run the rest of the festivities. It was cute, quaint, and the perfect size for Addison. We got to do LOTS and we all came home pleasantly exhausted from our fun....especially lil Addibell.

Secretly, I've been wanting to take her on one of these cow/train thingy's for YEARS. Even before I had kids I would think how fun it'd be someday. So glad I finally got to live the dream!
Summary: it was a blast - for her. My knees got lodged between the bucket and each bump we hit. She laughed the whole time she was on it, the more bumps, the more she'd laugh. I love that she is going to be my little "thrill seeker" (Can't wait to ride roller coasters with her soon! :D)

We enjoyed a hay-ride to the actual pumpkin patch and Addison was able to pick her own pumpkin - just her size!

She was even able to drive the fire truck that the nice firemen shared with us. She was pretty exhausted by this point but she was still enjoying herself.

Not shown: The fun little petting zoo of goats and pigs. She didn't take long to warm up to the little goats and I think they liked her just as much. Stinky....but fun! And of course, John got to "live the dream" of shooting corn cobs at a metal target in a field. It was quite a creative idea and came close to his dream of making/shooting a potato gun someday!

All in all, we had a blast at our own little version of "Harvest Time". Can't wait to celebrate Halloween this weekend! If only, I could get Addison to fall in love with her adorable costume as much as I have. T minus four days and counting!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Well Trained....Sort Of

For the past week or so I've been observing Addison a bit more. I've been really impressed with her listening skills lately. Sometimes I feel like I say "No No" too much but apparently it's not landing on deaf ears.

The other day she managed to pull the wet wipes off the table and started going through them (her favorite pastime). However, after I said a simple "no no Addison" she not only stopped going through them but also reached, struggled, and pushed to get them right back on the table where she found them. Impressive eh? Yup, I praised her for good listening.

There are two drawers that I really wish she wouldn't get into. Her hair bow drawer and her special keepsakes drawer in her bedroom. I feel like I try to "allow" her to explore all other cupboards well enough that I can say no to these two. She listens....for the most part. For example, anytime I am nearby she points to the exact drawer, looks at me and says "no no". Very cute and observant eh? Granted, the times I'm not around her she just goes full force and manages to dump and scatter everything on the floor. At least I'm getting through to her somewhat. I guess I should be reassured that she really does try her hardest to obey but also definitely has the exploring gene any 17 month old would have.

And on a completely random thought, we were able to hang out again this past week, just the two of us and we had a blast....sort of.

In an effort to get out and have more fun I decided to take Addison to Jump Zone w/cousins. It didn't go as well as I thought. For all she knew, I could have taken her to the torture chamber. Because, basically that is what it was for her. Lesson learned: Don't take an 18 month old to a place where they can't stand up and explore on their own. She hated about 98% of the inflatable contraptions we went in.

Proof of her pain. This was an attempt to slide down a super fast slide w/Mommy on a huge inflatable.

Luckily she found some solace in the following two options:

Sesame Street Land. Land of the 5 and under. She quickly found an old friend, Abbey Cadabbey, and actually started enjoying herself.

Next, was the smallest of all inflatables. The blow up rocking horse. Here she is w/cousin Bryce (who seemed to enjoy himself much more at the torture chamber).


Then, this past Saturday we had the opportunity to tour the world w/Rexy at the local library. Poor Dad had to play in a golf tournament and didn't get to enjoy this adventure with us. As it turns out, the tour w/Rexy wasn't really age appropriate for an 18 month old. But we still managed to have fun regardless.

Here she is w/another favorite pastime. She loves to read books. And I thought she looked just adorable sporting her little backpack.

And last but not least, story time w/Jesse the dog. She LOVES "Doh's" (her pronunciation). She got a bit excited when she saw that he was at our story time.

Overall, with a bit of improvisation, we had a great time just Mom & Daughter. Life always seems more exciting when we leave the house!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Parkin' It

Two facts:

1.) Addison LOVES to be outside.

2.) We spent most of our summer inside because of the horrible heat/humidity.

However, now we are enjoying the nice, cool, fall weather. It's officially time to make it up to Addison and uproot ourselves from our house. I'm convinced if she were to spend ALL day outside, she'd still throw a tantrum when it was time to come in. One of these days I'll get up the energy to prove my theory.

Today, we had a play date scheduled for the park. However, at the last minute it was cancelled due to the others getting sick. Since we were already dressed and ready to go, Addison and I decided to make it a date - just for the two of us! We were lucky enough to even have the park to ourselves until a swarm of mommies and babies attacked after an hour of our arrival. (Seriously, I've never seen soooo many ladies and children in ONE single area) Luckily by then we were already headed on to our next destination - lunch!

This is her favorite. She loves the swings. But mostly we spend our time getting in/out of them over and over again. As you can see in the below pic. Not one of Mommy's favorite work-outs that's for sure.

This one is my favorite. After chasing her all over the park with the camera, I think she finally figured out what I was wanting. Beautiful picture of a beautiful girl!

She loved walking back and forth over this bridge. She is definitely at the age of repetition that's for sure! Below she decided to stop and enjoy the view. I LOVE when she stops to look at something, crouches down, and sticks her little booty out.

After the park we dined at chick-fil-a......just the two of us. It's always nice when Mommy & Addison get to go on a little date together. And now, I'm relishing in my favorite time of the day - nap time! A little blogging while she's conked out in the other room....perfection!

Conference In Session

This past weekend we got to participate in General Conference...from the comfort of our home and couch and blankets. I never knew how nice this would be until we spent the majority of our Sundays chasing around a very mobile 16 month old.

Needless to say, it was one of the nicest, relaxing, edifying weekends we've enjoyed in a long time. We did a LOT of laying around, paying attention (mostly), eating, and playing. Plus Grandma Bell was able to join in the festivities with us. She made a good assistant as we spent MOST of the weekend cooking and eating our spoils. I think I loaded/unloaded the dishwasher a total of 6 times over the course of the weekend! To give you some perspective, my weekly average is 1.5!

Regardless, it really was a great weekend and we had beautiful weather to enjoy it in as well. Just look how relaxed we were!

Here are Addison & Daddy just chilling and eating snacks. Yum!

Addison and Grandma got some GOOD quality bonding time in as well. Grandma actually lets her hold a pen - unlike Mommy!

Addison and Grandma really did have a ball hanging out together. Grandma gave her nice relaxing foot rubs and hand rubs with lotion. Helped her draw her hand. And Addison even got free reign to jump on Grandma's mattress/bed (aka Sam) anytime she pleased.

Funny story: every time Addison would hold up her toy monkeys, Grandma would squeal "eeeee eeee eee" and they would both start laughing. Now that Grandma is gone, Mommy has to step in and replace her. I realized this yesterday as Addison held up the monkeys for me and patiently waited until I squealed. Thanks Grandma for pampering our child! Hopefully she won't be asking me for a foot rub anytime soon!

Conference is always a nice time to spend with those you love while listening to our Prophet and leaders of our church. It always seems to help me do better, be at peace, and truly put things back into perspective. Nothing like learning about our eternal families while you are sitting around yours at the same time.