Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt in Utah

Last Wednesday night Andrew and I joined the youth at my parent's church for an activity. They made Easter baskets for the Missionaries and had an Easter Egg Hunt.

The kids took good care of Andrew and threw many of their eggs back after they picked them up so that he could find more.

Little dude was very impressed with his finds.

The baskets the youth made for the missionaries were darling.

Grandpa helped Andrew find every last egg in the field... even after it got dark. They found eggs that the youth had completely missed. I guess it is a little easier to find eggs when you are closer to the ground?

After he was done looking he did what any normal kids would do- shoved a lot of the candy in his mouth all at the same time!

We are excited for several more Easter Egg Hunts this week, and we are especially looking forward to Thursday's Spring Festival at Google where we'll be fighting with thousands of kids for eggs :) Should be a good time.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Jersey Girls Weekend 2010

Last week my sister Elise and I headed to NJ for our annual Jersey Girls Weekend with our childhood friend Kathren. Each year we pick a different location. Since we've added two more babies in the past year, we flew to NJ so that Madeline (Elise's daughter) and Caraline (Kathren's daughter) could have some fun together. They were born a few weeks apart and are around 10 months old. Andrew got dropped off in Utah along the way and had a blast with his Grandparents while I was gone.

Elise, Maddie, & I left for NJ on Thurs morning and came home late Sunday night. We are exhausted, but had a great time together! Most of our escapades revolved around food... since there is so much good food we have been missing- mostly pizza, bagels, and subs... which are so much better on the East Coast!!

Kath picked us up at the airport and after we settled in to our hotel we went back to her house and ordered lots of yummy thin crust NJ style pizza from Doria's in Summit. It was so good and we ate too much... and then after a few hours of playing we walked over to Magic Fountain for ice cream. The line is always super long (I didn't take this pic below) and full of teenagers, but the shakes were delish!

Later in the evening Elise introduced Madeline to Maui (Kathy's dog). Madeline wasn't sure what to make of Maui that night, so we got a lot of fun faces and squeals from her.

Caraline and Madeline also had a lot of fun playing together until it was bedtime!

Elise and I stayed at the Hilton Short Hills. We had a really comfy suite and loved the chocolates on our pillows every night when they turned down out beds.

Maddie loved the hotel too and slept like an angel almost all of the nights we were there!

On Friday morning Elise and I took turns using the Hilton health club to try and work off all the pizza we'd eaten the night before on the readmills... and then later in the day we met Kathren at the Millburn Deli (a high school favorite), for lunch.

The deli didn't disappoint. I could barely eat anything for the rest of the day. The people who work in the deli also made the trip worth it. I love New Jerseyans!

After lunch we headed to The Mall at Short Hills for some shopping. We attempted to find some replacement sandals for me, but were unsuccessful! We were disappointed to find that the Mrs. Fields had been driven out of the mall (such a disappointment!).

Maddie & Caraline loved their first Mall at Short Hills shopping trip. Hopefully a first of many trips together!

Elise found something cute for Maddie at Janie & Jack, so the shopping trip was deemed a success!

As we drove around, Elise kept the girls entertained in the back seat with toys and snacks.

Later in the afternoon after some chill time at Kathren's house, we went shopping in downtown Summit. We stopped for some treats at a new bakery called Brownie Bites and tried to visit the cute toy stores and baby clothing shops before the town closed for the night (at 6pm!).

The evening was spent filled with play time for Maddie & Caraline...

and a trip to the Broadway Diner for a dinner of chocolate chip pancakes (since the diner is home of the "world's best pancakes").

On Saturday Elise and I explored our hometown (Short Hills) with an early morning freezing cold jog. We started at our elementary school- Glenwood. They make such beautiful elementary schools in NJ. Going there brought back a lot of fun memories.

After Maddie was all bundled up we ran around the neighborhoods and checked out our favorite houses around town.

We ran by our old house and took a picture or two (this is what the house looked like last Spring)...

and by this point Maddie was sound asleep, so she didn't even get to enjoy the beautiful views! The pic Elise took of me makes me look like I need to go to the bathroom and my eyes are closed, so this one is of her instead :) (it's only a little bit more flattering).

The rest of Saturday was filled with shopping and chocolate tour around SoHo in Manhattan (see next post) and then on Sunday before we left to go home we got to go back to our old church for Sacrament Meeting. It was fun to see a few old friends and mostly a lot of new people.

After writing these posts, I am exhausted just thinking of everything we did in just a few short days... and am even more exhausted thinking about the long plane rides there and back.

They were definitely worth it though! The trip was so much fun and flew by way too fast! I am so grateful for the friendships that are able to continue to grow as we get to hang out and have a good time together.

I already can't wait for next year!

SoHo Chocolate Tour (Girls Weekend continued)

Last Saturday we drove into NYC to SoHo for some shopping and a little chocolate tour, led by Kathren. We stopped at Kee's and Vosges Chocolates first.

Then we went to MarieBelle for some rich Aztec hot cocoa (perfect because it was 35 degrees in the city).

Along the way we also did some shopping in the city and grabbed a few cute shirts and yoga pants. There are just too many fun shops. We probably could've stayed there for 2-3 hours more than we did.

We stopped for a lunch of bagel sandwiches before we loaded up on too many sweets. I could've eaten bagels all weekend. I wish they made bagels the same on the west coast. I had a veggie and cheese sandwich on a salt bagel- my absolute favorite. I couldn't even eat half of it because the delis out here load up so much stuff on the sandwiches that they are ginormous!

The next stop on the chocolate tour was Jacques Torres, Kathy's favorite place (as evidenced by the VERY LARGE box of chocolates you see below that is just for her). :)

While we toured, Elise picked out the Brownstone that she and Dan will be buying when they want a place in NYC someday. We couldn't have picked a more beautiful day to be in the city (despite the cold).

Our last place on the chocolate tour was Max Brenner. I will definitely be going back there again. The restaurant was amazing and the food looked delicious.

I loved these chocolate filled syringes. The perfect sort of medicine to heal any problems.

We got some hot cocoa and check out people's food and watched the chocolate being made. The restaurant smelled divine.

After we were done with all the chocolate shops, Elise & Kathren had to introduce me to Crumbs. I had never been... and will definitely go again.

The cupcakes were spectacular and overloaded with stuff. It was hard to make a decision regarding what to buy...

Madeline posed with her first Crumb's cupcakes- we got one called Half-baked (which is the current cupcake of the month), and then a Squiggle (which basically looks like a giant hostess cupcake, but tastes much better).

After walking around NYU and by Union Square Park and Washington Square Park, we were exhausted from the day of touring and tasting, so we headed back to NJ to do some relaxing (and more walking, to try and walk off all the chocolate we had eaten!)!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Future Crafter in the House

Little man got to come to our Young Women's activity with me tonight.

To say that he was excited about painting vinyl signs is a huge understatement.

(getting ready to start his 2nd coat of paint)

This kid means business. By the time Kev picked him up (and he was done w/ his 2nd coat) his upper body was covered in paint. He used a full body style and painted with his knuckles, wrists, elbows and of course his ginormous brush.

He also charmed the girls. They all want to babysit for him now.

How do you bribe your kid to be good at Target?

My little man is easy to please. All I have to do is tell him we get to hit the red balls once we are done.

When I say "hit," I mean hit the balls with his entire body. He has to crash into every single one of the nine red balls (at full speed)... and then go back the other way and do it again.

Sometimes he hugs them too. It only takes 5 minutes and totally makes his day.

He talks about the red balls the entire way home. I love the simple pleasures of a two-year-old!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Try Again

Andrew loves to say "try again?" when something doesn't go well the first time. I love this question because I feel like it is an essential concept to learn as a two year-old... at least in our house, you always get a chance to try again. If yesterday was bad... tomorrow hopefully won't be too much worse, and we'll just try again. Try again to have no tantrums in Old Navy, try again to actually take a nap, and try again not to whack a goldfish :)

On Friday night this little blue and black beta fish joined our family. Little man (and Kevin) got to "try again" and have another chance as fish owners.

I love watching him swim around... and so does Andrew. Sometimes we can barely find him. He loves to hide under the plant.

He is very durable, pretty, active, clean, and doesn't need to be fed often. He still doesn't have a name... so we call him "fishy." The name "Crayon" was the first one Andrew said, but it hasn't stuck. We're hoping the little man names him soon.

Welcome to the family "fishy"!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Too many bad hair days

I am such a bad mom. I am too lazy to cut this little guy's hair because I don't feel like going through the torture of doing it. In this picture it looks like he has side burns.

His hair is so unruly and now we can see every single mistake we made last time we cut it because it is so uneven. It just needs to be buzzed but there is no time. It makes such a mess and takes so long because the little dude has ants in his pants AND screams or cries. He still won't let us take him any where else to do it either.

I don't want him to look like a motherless kid when I take him to Utah later this week, so I need to do something asap... maybe a hat? or some pig tails and I can dress him up in pink and pass him off as a girl?

In other news... I've discovered Andrew talks in his sleep (kind of like me). The newest things he says are "Max & Ruby," "Happy Birthday Daddy, Happy Birthday Max, Happy Birthday Mommy." It is really cute.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hard at work!

Belated St. Patrick's Day Party

When we moved up here there were about four other new families with young children that moved in at the same time. In the past month or so my friend Cara organized a Mom's Group with the new moms and some other moms and we've been doing weekly activities together. On Thursday I hosted a little Mom's Group St. Patrick's Day party at our house. We had about 12 kids ages 1 year to 5 years-old.

We had lots of yummy treats and snacks. I made shamrock cakes and rice crispie treats and I also made green jello jigglers. Other moms brought some shamrock cookies and green fruits to add to the spread.

I made a new coloring wall for the party and Andrew is still loving it!

We also whipped out some of the balls from Andrew's birthday party- can you believe some of the balloons are still inflated?

Here are some of the early arrivals

We did two little craft projects which almost all of the kids really got into. We made Shamrock Shakers and Shamrock collages.

Different moms helped bring craft supplies so we had tons of fun stuff to work with.

While I was distracted leading the craft activities for new people that arrived, Andrew ate about three of the shamrock cakes. He was so good about finding another adult to help him out and had green frosting all over his face.

While the kids finished eating, my little Leprechaun and I went out to the backyard and scattered gold coins everywhere.

After we were done, all the kids came out to the backyard, got a little mini pot, and went on a gold hunt.

Our lawn covered with weeds and really long uncut grass was perfect for hiding coins. :)

Andrew loved checking out his gold and then dumping it back out for other kids to find.

He ended up with a great stash... and I think we might still have a few gold coins hiding in our backyard.

It was so fun to have so many kids over and play together! I also loved an opportunity to hang out and chat with more moms from church, since we rarely have time to talk on Sundays.

I am already excited to start planning our Easter party!