Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I have no clever title for this post

These are the rest of the little parts and pieces of April that I just couldn't not post....

Gabriel started talking and imitating us a LOT in April, and we love it!

We had a big milestone/first in April - Gabriel pooped in the tub! Did I really go almost 18 months without him pooping in the tub? Yes. But here you have it, ladies and gentlemen:

FYI: I drained the tub and took Gabe out right after this so he wasn't sitting in poo-infested water. I was scooping out toys as the water was draining so I could separated everything from the turd. I scooped up what I thought was another handful of toys.....nope. There was a second turd! Eew! I just full-on grabbed a little poo log! It was gross. I love being a mommy.

Gabriel still uses signs even though he's starting to talk. People who don't know signs look at us weird all the time like "Uhh....what is your kid doing?" and people who do know signs get all excited - "Oh my gosh! Is he signing? That's so cool! What signs does he know?" I brag about it all the time. I just think it's awesome. Yeah, my kid is signing AND talking. Holla!

My little dancer babe loves to move and groove to the beat. Most of the time, I get the camera on him and he stops. We were watching The Cool TV or whatever that channel is called (what MTV should be - they play music/music videos all day every day) and Gabe started feelin' it and was totally rocking out and dancing to the music. I grabbed my phone to get a video and, of course, the beat goes away for a minute....and he started looking for it! (Yes--the beat. He was looking for the beat)

There. April is done now.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Easter Extravaganza

Easter this year was a glorious mess. I was so excited because I didn't really get to do much with Gabriel last year since he was so little. No egg dying or egg hunts or Easter basket excitement....boooo!! So I was determined to dive in to it this year. First thing was first, though--I HAD to find an EXCELLENT Easter bunny for pictures. (Last year's pictures were hilarious!) I searched the web and called all of the obvious places. No one was going to have an Easter bunny. WHAT?! I was mad. But I just shrugged it off at the time and figured I'd find one eventually.

Fast forward to the weekend before Easter. Gabriel's day care threw a little Easter egg hunt/party for all of the kids. I was PUMPED! This would be Gabe's first Easter egg hunt. I could not wait to see what he would do.

Side note: I was a little apprehensive about putting Gabriel in a day care center. Who knows what kind of care he would get and what sort of germs he would, no doubt, be running around with all day? I love his daycare though! They have structured learning time and play time and naps and meals and snacks and whatever. They do cute little crafts now and then - this is what he "made" for Easter:
A cute little egg holder! Obviously, he just colored it, but I love that he is having arts/craft time! They helped him make a cute little Mother's Day gift for me too with his handprint in paint - framed and with a picture. *LOVE*

Anyway, back to the Easter egg hunt! He was SO READY to be running around outside. He didn't even know what was going on.

We had to keep grabbing him (he just wanted to run around) and tell him "Oh look! What's that?! Go get it!" and "Oh my goodness--another one! Go get it and put it in your basket!!"

He eventually got excited because we were excited.

He loved squeezing the eggs until they popped open to see what was inside!

All in all, he was just here and there and everywhere, but it was cute and I think we all had fun!

Gabriel found a little friend at one point and they followed each other around and played together. It was really cute to watch! And then A. picked up a stick and started hitting things with it and I decided Gabriel needed to play...elsewhere...

After the Easter egg hunt and play time, they had lunch for everyone. While we were eating, my mom called to ask if I had found an Easter bunny yet. Nope. Well guess what? She found one for me (how? I don't know. The woman lives in Hawaii....) at the Riverwoods mall and it was the CUTEST Easter bunny she had ever seen. I was pumped! She sent me the URL for the information (times, location, etc.) and it had a picture of the bunny and the setup--seriously the cutest bunny and set up ever. It was around 11-12ish and the website said the Easter bunny would be there from 10am-7pm. Perfect. Plenty of time. We ran home to grab my camera (it was one of those "take your own pictures for free" setups, which I like better anyway) and we were off!! We got the the mall and the bunny was nowhere to be found. I called the number on the website and the stupid, snotty girl who answered says:
"Oh, he's gone."
"Oh...for lunch? When does he get back?"
"No no--for the day."
"Yeah. He left at noon."
"And he's not coming back?"
" all? Not even on another day?"
"But...your website says he'll be here from ten to seven.."
"No--that's for the weekdays."
" says 'Weekdays eight to five, Saturday ten to seven.'"
"Oh. Well that's a typo."
"Are you serious?"
"Yep. Sorry. I hope you have a nice day."  -click-

WHAT?! I was so pissed!! How do you have a typo like that? And here's an idea: FIX IT. Who on earth has an Easter bunny for pictures only from ten till noon on a SATURDAY?! The Saturday before EASTER, no less?! I was mad. But there was nothing I could do about it. I was bound and determined to find a dang Easter bunny, though. Had to. I called everywhere. Again. The best I could find in a 20 mile radius was a WalMart with an Easter Bunny cut out. A CUT OUT. I was absolutely crestfallen and ready to give up. I decided to call one more place. And guess what? Yep. They had an Easter Bunny! So we drove all the way to the A.F. WalMart garden center just to get a picture with him. And let me tell you, it was the creepiest one I had seen in person. We got there and I asked where he was and someone pointed in the general direction. I looked over and around the plants and spotted the head of the E.B. Holy crap. My heart jumped. He was NOT cute. Part of the head had been smashed, so the mouth was all lopsided and weird. They didn't even have anything set up. I was just creepster-bunny sitting in a chair in the garden center. Whatever. We drove all that way and there was NO ONE in the county with a freaking Easter Bunny, so we were posing with this creepy one whether we liked it or not.

...yeah....Gabe didn't really know what to think...

It was just a few days later that my family flew in. I had so much fun with the kids together! My mom and sister love to do all the little bows and headbands and flowers for Lily's hair so, of course, there was always some sort of girly stuff on the table or on the floor. Gabe decided to try out one of Lily's headbands for himself when no one was paying attention. Of course, we spotted him and thought it was hilarious, so we all started laughing. He tore it off his head (embarrassed?) and threw it before I could grab the of course we had to put it back on him for a picture and he was MAD. Gamma thought it was pretty funny...

My little Gabriella

Dying eggs was pretty fun and relatively painless. I learned from dying eggs with Lily last year that you won't have much dye left if you just let the kiddos have at it. We let them drop an egg into whatever color they wanted and then we would set it aside and let them do another one, etc. Once all the colors were occupied, we'd let them sit for a minute and take all the eggs out and start again. It worked out pretty well!

Love that splash! (upper left picture) Good thing we had some old ugly towels to dye on!

We still had a little bit of an egg dye mess, do you like my little smurf baby?

Our family does one of the usual Easter traditions--a new Easter dress/outfit. My mom insisted on buying Gabriel's Easter suit this year. I, of course, wasn't about to argue with that! The outfit she got for him was soooo cute. Check out my handsome boy in his Easter clothes!

What a little stud!

So another part of the hot mess that was Easter this year was the fact that my sister sent a bunch of stuff for Lily and Gabe and the rest of us from Japan. Of course, true to her character, she waited until the LAST MINUTE to mail everything (haha--I love you Candace), so her stuff was not going to get to us in time. That was most of Lily's Easter we had to postpone the baskets until Candace's stuff got to my house. We did, however, do the Easter egg hunt ON Easter Sunday. It was awesome.

McKay and I...I mean....the Easter Bunny....hid a bunch of eggs in my mother-in-law's yard (a few doors down from us--her yard is much bigger than ours) and then it was ON! 

Lily, of course, is a seasoned pro and she just had at it.

She is such a sweet big-cousin. She saw that Gabriel didn't have many eggs in his basket, so she would occasionally find one and run over to Gabe and give it to him. It was so cute and sweet to see her sharing like that. Man, I love that kid! She would help us encourage him to find/pick up an egg, even though (I could tell) it was really hard for her to not pick it up herself.

Lily was just so cute and funny running around looking for eggs. She would spot one, hold her basket straight out in front of her, and run to go grab it. And the way she ran was hilarious because the grass was so tall and hard to get through quickly.

Gabriel was pretty disinterested in the whole thing and just wanted to run around and play in the tall grass (lawn mower=broken, so they had a jungle to search through!).

After the hunt, Unka 'Kay (that's what Lily calls him) helped count eggs. When we saw that there were still a few left to be found, we went to do a sweep of the yard and came back to find that our count had been wrong--there was still another on missing....or was there?

Gabriel decided that he wanted an egg and he bit right in to one! He spit it out with an "Eeeeww!!" and we all had a good laugh. I guess eggshell is not very appetizing...

A little later while Lily was occupied in Gabe's room, we put together Gabriel's basket from Nana and Papa Rivera (oh yeah--Daisy sent the whole sha-bang. Easter basket and grass and eggs and candy and toys and everything!) and brought him in to dig through it while Nana and Papa watched on Skype!

He was so cute--sharing with Nana via Skype

He would not take his eyes off of Skype (except to look at candy)

I had to laugh--Daisy sent a chocolate bunny. From ARIZONA. Of course, it arrived as an unrecognizable blob, but Gabriel didn't care!

A day or two after Easter, Candace's boxes (yes, plural--the woman is ridiculous!) arrived. We held the kids hostage upstairs while we put baskets together and then set them loose. 

My sister totally went overboard, but Lily loved it!

 She sent a super cute little dinosaur set for Gabriel along with a few outfits and a book too!

So yeah--Easter was a little messy and scattered this year, but we got through it and had a blast. It was so much fun having Lily here so the kids could spend Easter together again! We are very blessed and I am forever grateful for that.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

April Stuffs


Here I am.

Playing catch-up again...

Sorry about that.

April was a fun month! My family flew in from Hawaii for about two weeks (minus my sister, who was still deployed at the time), which was a BLAST! Always nice to spend time with my mamma and my adorable niece, Lily. Plus, it's an excuse for the whole family to gather and catch up - we don't do it often enough and we're all less than a half hour from each other.

So they were here for my sister's college graduation, brother's birthday, stepdad's birthday, Easter, etc. Lots of fun stuff! I'll talk about Easter in my next post, though. (Including Easter in this post would just be way too much...)

I was so excited to see my mom and Lily. Since my mom has been Lily's caretaker while Candace has been gone, she has been posting TONS of pictures and videos of her on facebook and I was just dying to see her and get Lily and Gabe together to play. (Last time they were together, Gabe was just BARELY walking, so he wasn't a very good playmate for our wild and crazy Lily bug...)

It was like they were never apart.

Lily was such a sweet big cousin, always trying to help Gabriel (whether he needed it or not!) and constantly keeping an eye on him - "Weh's Daybul? I get him. Weh he go? Daybul!! I find you!!"

He was such a boy about it too. He would pretend to be indifferent, but then if he hadn't seen Lily for a bit, he would get confused ("Wait....where'd she go? She's ALWAYS hangin around...") and go find her.

Love those kids.

I feel like every other post is about how much of a Daddy's boy Gabriel is, or about how big he's getting. But I just can't help it. He IS such a Daddy's boy and I love it so much. It is the opposite of what my worst fear was in coming back to Utah and getting remarried. They get along so well, though. McKay and Gabe are best buddies and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Gabriel has officially adopted one of McKay's army hats (yes, I know the real name for it--don't lecture me, military people!). Seriously. McKay had to get another one because Gabe just won't give this one up. He wears it around the house all day every day.

He even got ahold of McKay's beret one day and INSISTED on wearing it the whole ride home until Daddy had to take it back. Love my little cadet!

...and my awesome, handsome hubby! (even when he's smiling weird....and at a weird angle...)

I will never get over how fast Gabriel grows and learns. It kinda makes me sad. I try to enjoy every little second of every stage, but it seems like he is never in one phase long enough before moving on the the next!! STOP GROWING SO FAST, KIDDO!! This shirt is a 3T and, while it is a little big on him, I can't believe he's wearing it already. 

He is eating more independently every day...

...and always wanting to drink out of a big boy cup...

...and climbing all over things and scaring the crap out of me!

I just wish he would slow down a bit and let me enjoy all the cute little things that he does and faces that he makes. I think I take so many pictures because I want to be able to look back at everything and anything and be able to remember it to the tiniest detail. Even mundane sleeping...