Valentine's Day

May 13, 2015

Valentine's Day this year was a good one. As Bruce was working day shift at the time, we were able to get a sitter and go out for dinner the night before Valentine's. I honestly cannot think of any other year that we've gone out and celebrated Valentine's Day. Cheesy holiday or not, I loved that we were able to go get dinner and spend a few hours together, just the two of us. We sort of exchanged gifts... Bruce had the opportunity to order a commemorative Super Bowl badge from work which I encouraged him to do as it is what I wanted to give him for Valentine's Day but had no idea how to go about ordering myself. And I got myself a new pair of Rainbow sandals for our trip to Hawaii, from Bruce. Ü

Saturday morning (Valentine's Day itself), we woke up to a breakfast prepared by Sunshine, complete with a handmade Valentine at each of our places. That girl... she's so thoughtful. I just love her to pieces! The meal was a good one- toast with butter, blackberries, cashews and applesauce. All the breakfast-type things she could make or gather by herself.

Bruce and I have a tradition I just love... every Valentine's day, we each come up with a list of seven things we adore about each child. I then write those things on little stickers which are the perfect size to go on the bottom of Hershey's hugs or kisses and Reese's miniature peanut butter cups. The kiddos absolutely love their little candy messages and they are careful to eat them slowly, so the little notes last. (I also email the list that both Bruce and I come up with to each of their personal email addresses, that way, when they are grown up and have access to their accounts, they will have many years worth of little love notes in their inbox)

This year, the girls also each got a little Valentine's Day hair clip and each of the kiddos got their own set of PegLegs. Man Cub got a set for Christmas, but the girls had watched me paint set after set for other people and never had a set of their own. I was excited to change that and I had so much fun painting a special set for each of my wee ones.

That evening, we went to a nearby waterfall to snap a few photos for the kiddos Valentine's Day card. I've already shared that photo, but there were a few more cute ones I wanted to include. They were all so cooperative, though Man Cub did start giving his cheesy grin towards the end Ü

Meeting The New Babe | My 20 Week Ultrasound

February 9th 2015 was a very exciting day... we were all able to "meet" the new baby via ultrasound. It was amazing! No matter how many times I do this, the 20 week ultrasound always blows me away. I love the images of the tiny little spine, the fuzzy profile and even the slightly creepy skull view. The ultrasound went great and the tech said everything looked perfect. At that point, the baby was even measuring on the big side... but of course, that can always change.

The timing of the ultrasound worked out perfectly... I was pretty sure I wanted to announce our new baby in the kiddos annual Valentine's Day photo. When I took their pictures, I did a few including the ultrasound photo and a few without. Ultimately, we decided to go ahead and make things public, which was a huge relief to me as I was 21 weeks and a little tired of wearing sweaters and scarves to hide my growing bump. Ü

Little tootsies

Tiny fist bump

Odds & Ends | January Wrap Up

Since most of January revolved around Beebs turning 5, her birthday trip to Utah and Bruce working non-stop, there isn't much more to say about January, but here are a few miscellaneous photos from the month that didn't fit into one of those three posts Ü

Our lemon tree started to produce this year! There are not words for my excitement. We drank plenty of fresh squeeze lemonade and I made as many lemony meals and treats as I could muster up the energy to make, including delicious lemon bars. I always forget how much I love lemon bars. They were such a yummy treat.

 Man Cub discovered Potato Heads... and Potato Head accessories...

... the fun of wearing a "pack pack"...

... his cheesy grin when in front of the camera...

 ... and a love of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He is my first child to really, really love a good old fashion PB&J. The girls will eat one, but they don't request them. Man Cub requests one almost every day at lunch, and insists on opening it up to eat it.

 We did a little browsing at the hardware store... I can't remember why exactly but I'm guessing it was for one of the many home improvement projects that have occupied the past few months. Those posts are coming!

I finally felt good enough to take the kiddos to the library and get some books. It made my heart so happy when we arrived home and the girls immediately assumed this position. I love how much they both enjoy reading. 

Towards the end of the month, I finally started to have a good relationship with food and my first craving was pizza. We headed to a favourite pizza restaurant and they brought out some pizza dough for the kiddos to play with while we ate. Sunshine used her dough to fashion math problems for herself. She has such a love for learning and is always practicing math, reading and writing. Her new favourite thing to do- teach Beebs! They have a little "summer school" program all set and ready to go. Beebs can't wait for Sunshine to teach her once school is out for the summer. 

And last, but not least, I hit the 18 week mark towards the end of January. I happened to have a bump photo from 18 weeks with each pregnancy, so I snapped a new one and added it to my collage to compare. I think I am carrying most like I did with Man Cub, but we'll see if that means anything! 7 weeks till my due date, so 9 weeks till baby! I have a feeling it is going to go so, so fast! 

Super Bowl XLIX

January ended up being a really interesting month in our house. Just before Christmas, Bruce was approached at work and asked to accept a special assignment as one of the heads of planning for the upcoming Super Bowl. It would mean leaving his squad and graveyard shift and taking on a temporary day shift schedule. He asked me what I thought and I was all for it. I thought that having him home in the evenings would be really nice as I was still very sick. Neither of us quite knew what we were in for!

Bruce ended up working an insane amount of hours during January. In theory, he was on day shift, but in reality, he just worked. All hours. All the time. In the ten days leading up to the Superbowl, he worked his regular hours plus 65 extra. SIXTY FIVE EXTRA HOURS! It was absolute chaos at our house. At one point while we watched the Super Bowl, Beebs asked me where at Big Red's house Daddy had been sleeping. I told her he slept at our house and she said "But I never see him in his bed!" He had been leaving well before the rest of the house was awake and coming home well after all the wee ones were asleep.

But what an experience. It ended up being quite the opportunity for Bruce. He had meetings with people from the NFL and gave tours of the stadium to visiting public safety officials- chiefs and higher ups from other agencies as well as people from the FBI and CIA. And his seats for the actual game? Well, they don't actually sell tickets for where he sat, but we often joke that he had a $20,000 spot. He was right down on the field for the entire thing. The only sad part is that he never managed to cross paths with any of the celebrities that showed up for the game. I even sent him on a hunt for Jimmy Fallon, but no luck.

Bruce's view at the beginning of the game and the end
Beebs pulled in a chair at the end of the game, so she could get as close to the TV as possible and watch for Bruce in the crowd of people. We never did spot him on TV, but he was there somewhere!
The kiddos definitely struggled with him being gone so much, especially since they had a mom who was useless as well. We instituted a "Dollar Jar" for our March Hawaii trip... basically, the girls had the opportunity to earn a dollar a day if they would just cooperate and not make life anymore difficult than it already was. This little thing made all the difference during the month of January. If the girls didn't want to clean their rooms or made a fuss over having to go to bed, all I had to say was "would you like to earn your dollar?" and their attitudes changed. Bruce's dad offered to match each dollar they earned, so by the time we left for Hawaii, they had each earned a good amount of spending money to take with them and the stress of Bruce being gone so much was greatly relieved.

Overall, I am so glad that Bruce had this opportunity, but I am really happy to have him back to his normal schedule. Finally. Even once the Super Bowl stuff ended, they kept him in an administrative position to work on a few different projects, so he just went back to graves at the beginning of this month. It was a long four months of day shift and we are so glad to be back to a night shift family. 

Beebs' Birthday Getaway

May 8, 2015

I don't quite remember when she made the decision, but sometime after Man Cub and I made our trek up to Utah for my uncle's funeral, Beebs declared that she did not need a birthday party when she turned 5. Instead, she would rather fly up to Utah to visit Nana and Papa for a weekend. I looked into our options and it turned out that I could get us two round trip tickets on Allegiant Air for about the cost of throwing a birthday party. I talked about the possibility with Bruce and he gave the plan a green light. I booked the flights and for the next few months, all Beebs could talk about was what she wanted to do when we visited Nana in Utah.

The trip ended up being a good one, but it started out on a super stressful note. I'm still not to the point where I can laugh about it all yet. Our first attempt at getting to Utah was an unbelievable disaster. That's right. Our first attempt.

Our itinerary had us flying out bright and early (6:20am) on a Friday morning and arriving in Provo just before 8am. Now, let me add, the little airport that Allegiant flies out of here in the valley is well over an hour away. We plan for an hour and a half of travel time, just to get to the airport. Bruce drove Beebs and I over to the airport while it was still pitch black out and dropped us off at the entrance. Got through security, got to the gate and they announced a chance of the flight being delayed or cancelled. I was less than thrilled at the thought of it being cancelled and hoped that it would just be delayed a bit. It was, but eventually we boarded the plan and headed to Utah. Beebs was super nervous about flying and clutched my hand tight as we took off. Luckily, I knew it was a quick and easy flight so I thought it would be a good way to ease her nerves before our March trip to Hawaii which would involve a 6.5 hour flight. Then it turned into the flight from hell.

We arrived in Utah and circled. For a long, long time. I could see the Provo airport below us and we circled for over an hour, with 15 week pregnant me feeling like I was going to throw up with each turn of the plane. The captain came on over the intercom and told us that it was too foggy to land so they were going to take us to the next nearest airport in Ogden instead. The plane started to pick up speed (and travel in a straight line, yay!) and he came on the speaker again and announced that, just kidding, we were heading back to Phoenix to refuel and then we'd try again. Beebs was pretty worked up by this point and cried herself to sleep in my lap. Then came the extra special part- when we landed in Phoenix, they deplaned us all and then announced that our flight was cancelled and we could try again at the same time Saturday morning. I was a wreck. 15 weeks pregnant and extremely hormonal, with a devastated 5 year old who is just beside herself because her birthday trip is not going as planned. Bruce is at work, in a meeting he can't get out of. We are an hour and a half away from home and have idea how we are going to get back there. I called everyone I could think of that might possibly be able to drop everything and drive all the way across the valley to rescue us and couldn't get a hold of anyone. Finally, my wonderful friend Diana picked up her phone and after hearing me sob out our story, dropped everything to drive over and get us. She picked us up, let us cry, stopped so we could drown our sorrows in some waffles and ice cream for lunch, then got us safely back to our side of the valley. By the time we finally walked in the door of our house, Beebs and I had been gone for 11 hours and we were right back where we started.

Once home, I collapsed on the couch. I was so drained, emotionally and physically. I knew Beebs needed something special to help make cheer her up, so I got out my peg painting stuff and let the girls go to town. They each painted a set of dolls and thought it was the most wonderful thing ever. Beebs painted Elsa and Anna. Sunshine did Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. Man Cub just laid next to me on the couch like he was afraid to leave my side. Then Bruce's grandma took the whole family out for dinner so Beebs could eat her favourite food- shrimp! My morning sickness got the best of me at the restaurant... the stress of the day finally caught up to me full force. But Beebs went to sleep that night with a happy tummy and a peaceful mind thanks to some wonderful blessings given by Bruce, to help the two of us be mentally ready to try again the next morning.

3:30 the next morning, we were back on the road and heading across town yet again. I was scared out of my mind about the same thing happening, especially since our flight was showing a delay already. The night before I had taught myself to read airport weather data, so the entire drive I was checking the official government site for the Provo Airport and I was relieved to see that the weather conditions were much more favourable than the day before. I tried my best to have faith, and Beebs and I said farewell to Bruce once again. Our flight was delayed a bit, but eventually we got on the plane and just over an hour later, we landed in Provo where a very happy Nana and Aunt Tressie greeted us. Beebs actually really enjoyed the flight to Utah that day... she made a friend on the plane and they sat together playing games on the iPad the entire way there. But as much as she enjoyed the flight, she was beyond excited to be on the ground and finally starting her birthday getaway.

Beebs had a list of things she wanted to do while we were there, and now, missing out on an entire day of our trip, we were trying to cram a lot into just a few days time. First things first- Beebs headed straight to the pile of snow outside my parent's house. She had been hoping and praying for snow while we were there. Of course, none fell from the sky our entire stay. And then they got dumped on the day after we left. She also got some Mollie hugs before we set off for our first event of the weekend.

We started our stay by attending my youngest sister's bridal shower.  It had been planned that day knowing that Beebs and I would be in town for it and we only just arrived in time. The shower was great- yummy food, friends for Beebs to play with and lots of fun presents for Tressie. After the shower we headed back to my parents house where we debated what we were going to do with our afternoon. I was absolutely wiped out from the events of the day before, but Beebs was dying to go to Salt Lake and visit the zoo, so that's what we did.

It was a slightly drizzly day at the zoo which made for lots of active animals. We spent a lot of time watching the seals and sea lions as well as checking out the tiger who was making quite a ruckus. Tressie's fiance who is a supervisor at the zoo spoiled Beebs with little zoo treasures and absolutely made her day.

After the zoo we headed to our favourite Salt Lake City restaurant- Red Iguana, where Beebs and I split our favourite enchiladas. By this point, the stress and excitement of the past two days started to catch up with Beebs and she fell asleep in my lap before she could even manage a handful of bites of her food.

Sunday all the stress caught up with Beebs in a big way, and church ended up being a huge disaster. But after a little rest at my parents house, she was ready to enjoy life again. I still look back on that Sunday morning in Utah and I am sad for how it all went down. I was exhausted, Beebs was exhausted and it was just not a good morning. But we made up for it that afternoon with a big family dinner and lots of snuggles and game playing. Sunday ended up being a pretty low key day which was just what we needed.

Monday, our return flight was delayed by a bit, so we took advantage of the opportunity to squeeze in a little more time with my family and cross a couple more items off Beebs' Utah to do list. We ate donuts from the best little grocery store around for breakfast, we had lunch at Noodles and Company, then stopped by our favourite cupcake shop for some birthday dessert. We even managed a stop at the British store in Orem where I stocked up on curry powder and enjoyed a bag of Walkers crisps. Beebs got a bag to take on the airplane and she thoroughly enjoyed her crisps as we flew back home to Phoenix.

The flight home was uneventful. Bruce was at the airport to pick us up and we stopped for dinner on the way home. Beebs insisted on holding his hand the entire time we were eating. As much as she did end up enjoying her birthday getaway, she was very happy to be back home with her Daddy.

Overall, we did really enjoy our time in Utah. The process of getting there just put a damper on things and left us with so little energy once we actually arrived. We still had fun and enjoyed the chance to be with my family and the mommy-Beebs time was so good for both of us. It just wasn't quite the magical trip we had both imagined.

And as a final note- We have since flown with Allegiant again and had a decent experience. After flying Hawaiian Air, nothing will ever compare, but getting to Provo for my sister's wedding in April was uneventful, for which I am so grateful! Unfortunately, the convenience of being able to fly right into Provo will probably keep us using Allegiant despite the terrible first flight up to Provo for Beebs' birthday, but now, I just know not to expect much from them by way of customer service or satisfaction. You most definitely get what you pay for, and with Allegiant, that means not much!
site design by designer blogs