Monday, October 27, 2014

Mountain Biking - - Sorta

When I met Richard he was an avid mountain biker. He not only biked for fun and exercise, but he biked every where he went in Cache Valley. Work, school, activities -- you name it, he biked. I found this very endearing. So when I graduated from college, being engage to Richard, I thought it would be a good idea for my parents to get me a nice mountain bike for a gift. Unfortunately we only used it a couple of times before moving to mountainless Iowa and then to Illinois. Basically we have been on the hunt for some good trails to hit. Luckily, we found some pretty good trails here in Illinois. Come to find out, I'm no expert mountain biker especially with a toddler strapped to the back. Below is a great depiction of a lot of our adventure. I'm a wimp.

The picture above is completely staged. Rich never got a chance to ride with Henley. She is on this extreme Mother/Daughter kick. However, when we were riding this conversation happened.
Me: "Hen do you like the bumps?"
Hen: "More bumps, more bumps." x100
Hen: Suddenly gasps. "Ooooo. Stinky. Real stinky."
Me: "You're right. It does stink."
Hen: She proceeds to grab the waistband of the back of my pants like she is checking my diaper. "Mama, you poop?"
 ^^She insisted on climbing the tree after she saw several squirrels attempt and complete it successfully.^^
^^And here again is a mother/daughter moment where she demanded I do what Dad was doing. Complete weakling and failure.^^

Thanks again Rock Cut for the good quality time with nature.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Henner's Happy Birthday

Henley's Birthday...such a bitter sweet day. Here is another motherly confession - - I NEVER understood why mom's were so sad when their kids had a birthday. It is supposed to be a happy, joyful occasion and you should be celebrating the fact that with each year they are becoming more independent. I get it now and it is weird that I'm having all of these mushy feelings about it. 
Anyway, on with the birthday festivities. In the morning she woke up to this little banner and pile of presents. She was mostly intrigued with the banner and how she could get it down. We played and played whatever she wanted for as long as she wanted that morning.
^^Seriously check out that face.^^

In the afternoon we headed to the Discovery Center where they have a massive Light Bright and tons of toddler interactive activities. We had snacks and basically talked about water and pretty dresses the whole time.

When Rich got home from work we opened up a few of her gifts. Her Grandma Bell sent her a princess basket, chock full of clip on earrings, wands and other glittery accessories. She ate up all of the fanciness.
 ^^She aged about 100 years in the picture above with all of her garb.^^
 ^^We got her a tricycle, which she was completely unimpressed with and still is. However, the grape chapstick that my mom sent her was all the rage.^^
When we went to the store to pick up cake stuff I had in mind what I wanted to get.  White on white. Henley had something different in mind. She saw all of the frosting colors and said "Oooooo pitty." So as my heart melted I asked her which color she would like. Of course she responded extremely enthusiastically "Peeenk!!" and shortly after "Purrr-ple." I then explained to her that she could choose only one. After sitting in the cart, not wanting to give one up she had come up with a plan "Henee, peeenk. Mama, purrrple." Seriously, how can you say no to that? Also, why I was denying the poor girl a frosting container that cost $1.25, I will never know.
 ^^Sneaking a little taste before the big song began.^^
About a week before her birthday we explained that her big day was coming up. She has started to understand birthdays a little bit better and we practiced and practiced the song and how we were going to blow the candles out. When the time came she was totally prepared and nailed it like a boss...sorta. She always puts her lower lip on her upper lip when she blows, thus all of the air goes directly into her hair. Let's just say it took a few extra blows for those two mighty big candles to get blown out.
 ^^Yep, that's spit. Nice.^^
 ^^And then we did the song and candles three more times that night just because she freakin loved it and we loved watching it.^^
^^Get it gyrl.^^

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Soaking Up Summer

We realize that most everyone else is back in school, which means summer has come to a close. However, we are still available all day, every day so we are taking in all of the outdoor activities we possibly can before the bitter cold comes.
 ^^There has been a ton of horsing around with the hose.^^

On Labor Day we headed to a nearby lake and tried our hand at paddle boarding with some friends. It was a lot of fun, but I have to be honest...I thought the actual paddle boarding would be more fun. Once we got to the middle of the lake it was like "Now what?" Anyone else experience this?

We invested in a bike seat for Henley and it was one of our wiser kid purchases. She loves getting strapped in the back and telling me everything she sees along the way. She also loves pulling at the back of my pants cause she thinks it is funny. Me, not so much.

This is completely out of order, but this summer she has loved saying "cold, cold, cold, cold" when getting out of the shower and is notorious for staying wrapped up like this for up to 45 minutes.

Between the sidewalk chalk that we scored for free and these wings found in the dollar section at Target, she has been in imagination heaven.

Fall, I think we are ready for you to come, but winter please stay away for forever.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Wait, It's Not July 4th?!

So with all of the moving and getting settled we have been doing, I have fallen behind in the blogging world. Let's just pretend this weekend was July 4th, so I can feel better about myself. We had the Bliss' over for some grub and fireworks that night. We are so thankful they are here in Rockford. Henley and Cosy have become quite good little friends.

^^Henley was unsure of the fireworks all night, but didn't mind screaming and running away from them.^^

 ^^This picture is pathetic. Could I be showing more of my gums?! Sadly, it was the best one we got.^^

The next day we headed out to Rock Cut National Park and rented ourselves a family canoe. Best decision ever! Paddling across the still water, surrounded by mounds and mounds of trees was just what we needed. To be honest, Rich paddled most of the time by himself because I was on Henley duty. Below is our trusty paddler himself.

^^She wanted to be touching the water the ENTIRE time. I think I almost dropped her in the water about 100 times after my hands got too sweaty from holding her like this.^^
 ^^Best buds.^^

^^A toddler in a life jacket is a priceless picture. Also, her Sunday shoes with socks are the perfect canoeing footwear.^^

 ^^And then there was tons of this and tons of my heart almost stopping from fear.^^
^^And as always I wish I would have gotten a little more of this. Funny side note: Her and Richard sleep like that - - with their hand either on their cheek or under their chin. Genetics?^^

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Moving to Illinois

This post is going to have a lot of pictures, so gear up folks. When we found out we were moving to Illinois, my Mom and I talked about all of the ways we could get us 3 and all of our crap in Utah back to Rockford in our tiny Mazda Protege. Basically the conclusion was that we couldn't. My parents were overly generous and said they would take some time off work and drive one of their cars out with us and stay for a few days. Honestly, we couldn't have done it without them

 I for one am not the best road tripper. My max amount of time I want to spend in a car is about three hrs, so I was not looking forward to the upcoming 21 hrs...with a toddler. I thought of every possible way I could keep her entertained for the whole trip even if it came down to watching movies for ten hours straight. She did remarkably well. Below is a picture of her in the Pizza Hut parking lot in Rawlins, WY. After we ate she ran around the parking lot and picked up handfuls of dirt for about 45 minutes.

She had two major "melty's" (meltdowns). The worst was the second day when we were 50 miles out of Des Moines, which was where we were planning on stopping for lunch. She thrashed and screamed for the entire 50 miles and then for another 30 minutes after we stopped. Completely inconsolable. I thought I was going to lose it too. It was bad. After we ate we took an unplanned pitstop to the mall so she could wander and breath for a bit. Surprisingly at the kids corner all she wanted to do was lay in this snake and watch the other kids. Probably just happy to be out of that freakin' car seat.
Seeing this sign was the best thing I had seen in a long time. my classy way of storing my chewed up sunflower seeds? You make do when on the road for 1 million hrs.
When we finally got to Rockford it was a miracle and we loved our place. When we left Des Moines, Rich was there for a few more days than us and was in charge of putting a few big things into our storage shed. Amongst those big things were our couch and he took it to Goodwill instead of our storage shed. So we had to buy one and I can't complain because I am very happy with the new one. The picture above sums up how we felt after the road trip from hell. They needed a little R&R.

With my parents in town we decided to get back in the car and go see some of Chicago. We visited Lincoln Park Zoo, which has FREE admission. The catch is you have to pay $25 for parking, but we thought it was worth it. Henley was pretty much awestruck with all of the animals.

And then we also did get a lot of this. Not sure what she was doing in the picture above, but she did want a lot of her own space that day. She kept telling me to "tay" meaning stay places while she would run off. After the zoo we went and got some famous Chicago hot dogs and just drove around the city to get a feel for it. My parents are good sports.
In Rockford, we visited the Anderson Japanese Gardens, which were beautiful. They had tons of fish to feed, ducks to look at, and waterfalls galore. It was right down Henley's aisle. The only thing that could have been better was the temperature. We were melting. 

 She adores my parents, which makes me quite happy.

The sad morning my parents took off and left us to be adults. Pathetically I cried on and off all day. I tend to do that when we move to a new place. I think the hardest part about saying goodbye is that I have no idea when we will see them next because we don't have any plans in the works. Hopefully soon! Thanks again Mom & Dad for sacrificing so much to come with us to Rockford!