Friday, December 23, 2011

Cyrena is 6

Our girl is now 6.  This past year seems to have flown by and Cyrena has grown up so much.  Who knew having a 6 year-old would be so heavenly.  Now that she's 6 she wants to be so big and helpful.  She's been cleaning her room more, getting dressed without being harassed,  helping pack her lunch, wiping down the sink when Natalie has made a mess, etc, etc.  It's quite funny and heartwarming. 

Cyrena had her first 'friend' party this year.  We had a Polar Express Party.  It was so much fun and it was worth all the work to see her so excited and happy.  We invited 9 kids (it was hard to cut the list down!) but a couple couldn't come and 1 friend had to leave early.  It was a good mix of church and school friends.  We probably won't do a friend party every year, instead do it every other year like others do.  We're not sure yet.  It is hard to pull all this off in the middle of the holidays! :)  I wanted to document it all in case I can help someone else do a Polar Express Party.  I was sure grateful for ideas on the internet! I also channeled my inner big sister Debbie because she is the guru of birthday parties!! 

 Our Happy Birthday girl, ready for guests to arrive.  

 We made a candy train for each guest.

 During the party we let the kids package up reindeer food to sprinkle on the lawn on Christmas Eve.  

 Disposable cups with lids and fun straws...decided to go with water

 North Pole Cupcakes....I was quite proud of these!

 I bagged up hot chocolate and marshmallows and put them in this HUGE tin mug for a game you'll see later. 

While we waited for everyone to arrive we had the kids decorate white sacks so they could collect all their stuff as the party progressed.  And of course we had a bunch of blown up red and green balloons for them to toss around while they waited for others to finish. 

 While David bbq'd hot dogs we had a relay race.  I bought some of that powder that you add water to it and make snow.  David did it and put it all in this bucket.  Then I hid a bunch of white plastic icicle ornaments in there.  The kids had to run, dig, find an ornament then run back to their team.  They did this 2 times so they each got 2 ornaments to take home.

 We came inside and played another balloon relay race.  Then we ate dinner; hot dogs, chips, and oranges.  We snagged plastic tableclothes from our ward party that morning since they were just getting thrown away.  We put them on the carpet under the tables--perfect!

 She had so much fun opening presents...here she's opening up a bunch of Junie B. Jones books from Natalie.  Natalie helped me pick out ones we didn't have at our local used bookstore.  Cyrena is going through the books so fast we knew she would love some new ones.

 We played 'pass the hot chocolate' to the song "hot chocolate' from The Polar Express.  When the music stopped the person holding the mug got to take a bag out.  


 Cupcakes and hot chocolate while watching part of The Polar Express.  Life doesn't get much better than that!

After dessert we played "Santa Says' and "Don't Eat Santa!"  Then while parents were arriving to pick up we played "freeze dance"  The kids also received a little box full of candy and a bell necklace.
Aren't they so cute?  David and I were definitely entertained the entire time.

After the kids were gone, David hi-fived me and said "can we crash now?"  I reminded him that that is pretty much what I do 2 days a week for 2 1/2 hours BY MYSELF! :)  I couldn't believe what a difference it made having a partner!  It was all so much fun, I loved it and so did Cyrena.  She said it was 'the best party ever' and I would have to agree, hehe.  

About our 6 year-old:

*Cyrena is still very sensitive and cries easily but is easier to console now that she's older

*She reads a LOT and is doing so well in school.  She takes the character education themes very seriously.

*She has become quite the artist and drew a picture for every guest at her party to take home.  They were all about Santa...awesome.

*She is very sensitive to the spirit, her understanding of the gospel floors us at times.  I hope that continues.

*Her favorite things to wear: jeans, t-shirts, pajamas, sweats

*Her favorite things to eat: nachos, pot roast, apples, green beans, cereal, carrots, and of course chocolate

*Cyrena is a chatterbox.  When we're in the car Natalie is very content to just look out the window but Cyrena wants to chat the entire time. 
*Her favorite things to do: playdates, schoolwork, playing sports, building with legos, watching Wild Kratts, playing make-believe with Natalie, singing, writing, and drawing

Cyrena's stats:
Weight: 49 pounds (70%)
Height: 46.5 inches (71%)

She's very proportional!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Anna is 1

Our baby is 1 and yes, she's still a baby in many ways.  She's definitely gotten more fiesty lately.  It's so hard having holiday birthdays.  The past bit has been so crazy but thankfully I feel the roller coaster slowing down.  Yesterday was my preschool Christmas party so I'm officially on Christmas Break and Cyrena is after today.  YAY! 

We had a very busy weekend so when Monday came our energy was pretty low.  On top of that I was having some severe tooth pain so I went to get checked and ended up having an emergency root canal.  It was more painful than other root canals I've had so let's just say I was in a less than jolly mood for Anna's birthday.  I tried my best though.  I had already baked a little cake for her then David decorated it for her.  That man is a rock star, I couldn't make it a day without his help.  So without further ado, here are the pics of our new 1 year-old.

So excited to open presents...We got her some felt food, a little people playset, a doll, and some pjs.  I'm trying to force the doll on her and she just gets mad and tosses it in anger. Maybe someday...

We had BBQ chicken salad for dinner.  This girl loves chicken.

David's masterpiece

For these next few pictures, I'm just going to let you see the sequence of events--no explanation needed




yes we are terrible parents and yes she has a little burn blister on her hand...but chocolate soothed all her pains

About Anna:

*She is combat crawling everywhere (since Thanksgiving) and can now get back into a seated position

*She babbles a lot, mostly saying 'dada' but sometimes 'bababa' and 'mamama' And sort of says 'Hi'

*We are trying to teach her not to hit us in the face (her favorite pasttime) but instead use her hand to lightly stroke our face and say "nice, nice" so she mimics that unless she's angry; then she just slaps us....

*She is working on sign language and almost has 'more' and 'all done' down.  Otherwise she just screams in a very high-pitched tone to let us know she's either thirsty, hungry, tired, or bored.

*Her head has gotten more proportional and they said she could stop wearing her cranial band.  We're still putting it on her when she sleeps though because of her flat spot.

*She is already off her bottle and just uses a sippy cup.  But this girl eats a LOT and poops 3-4 times a day--seriously!

*She is a huge flirt and loves to make people smile.  During our ward Christmas Party there was a lot of singing and she stood on my lap squealing and clapping the entire time.  A lot of people were watching her instead of the program.  She also loves to dance.

*She still takes 2 naps, 1 short morning one and a long afternoon one.

*She interacts a lot with her sisters, making them laugh and imitating sounds and squeals.  She has recently discovered their room and loves to crawl down the long hallway to get to it.

We LOVE this girl! 

Anna's 1 Year Stats: 
weight: 23 lbs (78%)
height: 30 3/4 inches (91%)
head: 18 centimeters (68%)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Advent Activities 2011

We've been staying super busy this Christmas Season.  Trying to keep the spirit of Christmas alive amidst the chaos of life.  Here is a list of our advent activities we've been doing and will do.  I haven't been great at taking pictures of them this year but there are a few.

**All activities are subject to change!**
1.  Make a paper chain to countdown to Christmas
2.  Write and deliver letters to Santa in Macy's BELIEVE mailbox
3.  Nutcracker Ballet
4.  First Presidency Christmas Devotional
5.  Christmas FHE "Our Gifts to Jesus"
6.  Bass Pro Shop Winter Wonderland
7.  Clean out toys to donate, color a picture for "color-a-smile"
8.  Wrap presents and make cards for Grandparents
9.  Watch a holiday movie and eat popcorn!
10.  Make a holiday treat (we didn't end up doing this, watching another movie instead)
11.  Make treats for neighbors
12.  Christmas Symbols FHE
13.  Biggest Loser Finale party with friends (way to go John!!)
14.  Drink hot chocolate and look at pictures of past holidays
15. Temple Christmas lights
16.  Christmas Dance party in pj's! 
17.  Ward Christmas Breakfast, Cyrena's birthday party
18.  Stake Christmas Music program
19.  Anna's birthday, Make a gingerbread house
20.  Wrap gifts for teachers
21.  Celebrate Cyrena's birthday
22.  Check out neighborhood Christmas lights
23.  Make ice cream cone Christmas trees
24. Christmas Eve!  Cookies and milk for Santa, sprinkle reindeer food
25.  Christmas Day!

 Oh my these girls can be so naughty....then I see pictures like this...*sigh

 Heading to the Nutcracker Ballet, just me and the girls

 Natalie wanted a picture with all the ballerinas.  Several of them were in our ward so they were more than willing to oblige!

 For Color-a-Smile they colored Happy New Year pictures just in case they didn't get passed out in time for Christmas.  Natalie is getting so good at coloring, Cyrena was very uninterested in coloring at her age so it's strange to see Natalie taking to it this young.

Bass Pro Shop is a must.  The picture above isn't the picture they printed and gave us but it's one we took ourselves.  They really stepped it up this year adding a cool carousel!


 We decorated gingerbread men
 Our PJ dance party

Last month we participated in Operation Christmas Child.  The boxes had to be turned in by November 20th and it always signals the beginning of the holiday season for us.  We found out our boxes were shipped to the Phillipines.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A new era has begun

BEFORE:

AFTER:

This all happened in one day.  We noticed it was loose before school then that night she had played with it enough that when she was getting into bed she just twisted it out--YUCK.  I wasn't sure whether to be grossed out (I have a hard time with teeth) or just cry because she's losing part of her babyhood...

*Cyrena's theory is that the tooth fairy takes the teeth that fall out and then puts them in the babies that are getting new teeth.  Recycling! :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving weekend 2011

Thanksgiving already feels like a lifetime ago, how does that happen?  We had a good one though.  Here are the highlights.

We went to my cousin's sister-in-law's home for dinner.  Brooke is always so fun to be with, thanks to her for hosting!  Pictured above is my Aunt Lynette with Natalie.  Lynette is my mom's baby sister and my closest aunt.  We lived close to her while I was growing up and we've always stayed close.  It was so great to be with them for the holiday.

Working hard in the kitchen then we enjoyed a wonderful feast.  Of course I lost it during the 'thankful' part of the feast.  I always do, there is just so much to be thankful for.  Afterward the kids roasted marshmallows in the fire pit and we enjoyed pie while the kids watched a movie. 

On Friday afternoon David took us into Fountain Hills for a little hike to the overlook for the actual fountain in Fountain Hills lake.  The girls did well on the hike, no whining, a miracle!  



The girls watching the fountain--it was quite impressive!  Love Cyrena's 'wallet' sticking out of her pocket. :)

Awhile back David won a free night's stay at a resort close to Fountain Hills.  We headed there after our hike and enjoyed pizza and swimming!

We had a breakfast voucher also and it was TASTY.


After the hotel we met up with the family at the train park.  The train park is always a favorite.  In this picture is my Aunt Lynette and Uncle Rick with their granddaughter Claire.  

It was crowded but so much fun to play and visit and eat a picnic lunch with everyone.

The Deans

My photo
Life as we know it is full of laughter, fun, stress, love, faith and surprises. What more could we ask for?