Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday with the Johnsons & Buskirks

I forgot my camera during the earlier part of the day, but had to grab a few pictures of our day with the Johnsons and Buskirks.

Andrew w/ his cousin Leah and Grandma Shari.... this was one of those brief moments when Andrew sat still... he spent most of the evening walking in circles around the Johnson home and climbing up the stairs.

Leah and Andrew checking out Max (the Johnson's dog)

Andrew spent a lot of time kissing and touching the Johnson's glass door. Max came inside several times too and Andrew loved following him around! Oh, if only his mom was nice enough to let him get a dog!

The one other moment when Andrew sat still all night... ice cream time. This little boy loves it! I am sure he would've eaten all three of my scoops if I had been just a little bit slower. The concept of eating from an ice cream cone was lost on him. It was too fun to just squish the cone and make a big mess.

The boys enjoyed playing Rock Band and watching the Yankees/Red Sox game.

We had such a great time spending the day with the Buskirks and Johnsons! It is so nice to have so much family here in Utah. I already can't wait till our Alaska Cruise (adults only!) in July!

Congratulations Mom!

After almost 33 years... my mom graduated from BYU! I am so proud of her! We enjoyed spending the week reflecting on her accomplishments and honoring her for all of her hard work! It has not been easy, but she has done a great job showing all of us how to endure to the end and have a lot of fun along the way!!

Here are some pictures we took over the past few days.

Mom & Dad

Andrew was a little scared of Grandma once she donned her cap & gown.

We had seats nice and high up in the Marriott Center for Commencement on Thursday. The Commencement speakers were President Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Elder Russell M. Nelson. Their addresses were definitely inspiring.

Scott, Cat, and Jessie

Andrew couldn't handle all the excitement in the Marriott Center arena during commencement, so we had fun running around outside and hanging out watching the speeches in the hallway. He is such a busy little kid... fortunately I had a chocolate shake & fries for lunch and I had a lot of calories to burn... so running around after him was no problem.

Afterwards we had fun taking pictures! I looked like a scrub, but my mom sure looked great!

On Friday afternoon we went to Convocation for the School of Family Life and my mom got her diploma. We had one of the loudest cheering sections!

We were really glad my dad made it to graduation in time to see mom graduate! He hurt his back on Thursday night and spent a good portion of Friday going to see the doctor. He had an MRI and had to get a cortisone shot right before my mom's graduation and arrived just in time to see mom get her diploma.

My mom's twin sister (my Aunt Laurel) and her family also drove down from Boise for the big day!

Here's the original Smith clan

and the Smith clan + spouses (Andrew had a fun afternoon hanging out with Grandma Shari!)

Christensens, Jensens, and Johnsons also came to cheer for mom!

We had to get the ideal BYU graduate photo before we headed home for the PARTY!

My little sis Jessie coordinated an awesome Graduation Party for my mom. We all had fun helping. Scott & Cat did an awesome job decorating the house.

Elise, Jessie, and I had fun making (and ordering :)) the food.

It was so nice to have so many friends and family members come join us for the celebration!

The Short Hills ladies

Mom, Aunt Heidi, Aunt Wendy, and Shari

Jessie, Aunt Laurel, and Elise

Andrew had a great day partying with my cousin Janelle's son Brody. He liked to try and copy him and follow him around.

Overall we had so much fun celebrating with my mom! Congratulations Mom!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

There is no destination

Our new theme for Andrew is to "enjoy the journey... and plan not to have a destination..." since the little man is very curious, loves to explore, is busy constantly... and takes forever to get anywhere since there is too much fun stuff to check out along the way.

If only I could remember this great life lesson sometimes!

We have been loving our busy and fun days here in Utah so far and we've just been moving at Andrew's pace.

We checked out the petting zoo (and stores) at Gardner's Village with Elise and my mom. The little guy loved the animals. He also liked picking up the rocks on the ground... which were sometimes hard to distinguish from animal droppings. Disgusting!

He liked chasing the animals around and occasionally petting them.

After we shopped till Andrew dropped... then we went to Elise's house to check out the new baby room (so darling!) and play with all of Elise's fun exercise equipment.

He couldn't figure out why he couldn't pick up the 10 lb ball... kept coming back and trying it... very persistent (dare I say, stubborn?) kid. As Kevin likes to say, "The only way to raise a stubborn child is to have an equally stubborn mom, and we're in luck. :)"

I love my little boy who looks like his dad and has some of my temperament!

Checking out the fan with Grandma

Aunt Elise had all sorts of fun things to play with... and Andrew especially like the bubbles.

After we got back from all the fun adventures with Aunt Elise, we went shopping at the University Mall and then explored Grandpa's study at the house. Andrew loves to spin the globe.

He is also obsessed with the Kachina dolls. When he walks in the room he starts making "woof woof" sounds and points at the dolls until Grandma or Grandpa get them down from the top bookshelf. The second they put them back on the shelf, he wants to see them again.

After the fun at the house, the little man went on a walk with Grandpa (Bishop) Smith to go chat with the neighbors and see the dogs. Since Andrew still wasn't tired by that point, we walked over to the Provo River to do some more exploring. By this point mom and I were exhausted and we just chilled in the grass.

Andrew and Grandpa had fun throwing rocks in the river and roaming around.

I'm not sure who was more tired when Andrew got into bed... but I think Grandpa & Grandma and I will be getting to sleep early tonight!

Say "Hi"

I think it is so funny when Andrew tries to talk on the phone. Of course... once someone is actually on the other end, he is completely mute or freaks out. Whenever he is in our kitchen he points to our phone and wants to hold it. I don't really care since we rarely use it.

This is my favorite video of him so far... he loves checking himself out in the mirror while he is talking... the part I like the best is right at the end.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Gift of No

This article called "The Gift of No" is awesome. My friend who is a psychologist shared it with me this week. It is not short. I think this is a great article for all parents and soon to be parents... so take the time to read it. If I were still teaching, I would share it with my staff and student's parents. It is a great reminder of things that many of us already know... but tend to forget easily.

Setting limits with kids can be really tough and there is no prescribed method that works the same for every kid. This article talks about how saying no to kids (or setting limits) isn't necessarily innate and that we have to learn to do it. As a teacher I have learned that it takes A LOT of patience and practice... but it actually works! Enjoy!

Weekend Recap

We have been talking a lot about airplanes at our house lately. In the evenings when I am bored and don't want to work and need something to do, I've been sorting through early childhood education websites and books. We started our first theme this week. I'm going to try and do a different theme each month... and then break it down weekly into different units. This month we are studying different modes of transportation... so this week we are focusing on airplanes.

Friday we spent a lot of time playing with airplanes, we made a glider, colored pictures of airplanes and other things that fly, sang songs about airplanes, pretended we were airplanes and ran around the house a lot, flew planes around the house, and worked on learning the different parts of the airplanes. Somehow the morning felt so much more productive b/c we had something to focus on.

It is always shocking to me how smart kids are and how quickly they pick things up. It is amazing how much they understand too! I am a little weird and love testing Andrew's comprehension and receptive language skills... I'm sure he'll get annoyed with it when he is older... but for now he loves the attention :)

Andrew was not a huge fan on my trash bag smock... but he loved the markers. (I drew the very awful airplane... he is not that talented yet :))

I've been feeling like drawing lately and I can't seem to rekindle my old sketching talent, so I decided to work on it by making Andrew a little book about airplanes. This is the cover... hopefully the plot develops soon... I'm having a little writers block already.

On Saturday we went to the park since we needed to get out of our condo. The playground was way too hot so Andrew couldn't do much. We wandered around and found my favorite person ever- THE ICE CREAM MAN! The little man loved his sour popsicle. Can you tell it was a little tart? Such a great face.

Then we goofed around a bit. What a strong little guy!

On Saturday night I went up to SF with my friend Kaari to see the musical Grease at the Golden Gate Theater. It was my first trip to the theater in SF and I loved it!

The show was great and featured American Idol guy Taylor Hicks as Teen Angel. Kaari got him to sign an album she bought for a friend (you can read more about that here)... so we both got nice and close and appeared to be like all the other psycho fanatic girls (except that neither of us know that much about him... or really watch American Idol). He seemed really nice though... although it was really tough to get him to smile normally so we could get a good picture.

This was the best I could get

He signed Kaari's poster (even though it was already fake signed by him) and the CD.

It was a great night! Made me reminisce about dressing up as the Pink Ladies for Halloween and watching Grease the movie (1 & 2) over and over and over again with Elise when I was younger. Such awesome music to dance around to.

Just another incredibly fun weekend in sunny California!