Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Haunting...

I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

On the Home Front…

So we haven’t been able to close on the house.  We may actually not get the house.  To put it in a nutshell, the house we were/are getting (who knows?) didn’t reach FHA standards according to the appraisal so our loan officer said that there had to be repairs on the house before they will give us the loan.  FHA mandates that each residence is livable as of closing.  The home we want(ed) apparently had a do-it-your-self-er who didn’t know what he was doing so there are some random dumb repairs that need to be made (wires sticking out of the house etc) that we were going to have repaired before we moved in anyway.  But as it is that those things have to be taken care of before closing, we decided to see if the seller would help us out and pay half or more of the repairs.  So we increased our loan amount to reach half and then they decided that they wanted us to pay more than half.  We said “no”. 

Honestly, there are TONS of houses on the market in our price-range and in the area.  The last search I made there were 133 houses.  The draw with this particular one was the materials that were used  such as real wood cabinetry (which for some weird reason is not in most of the kitchens we’ve seen) as well as granite countertops and travertine floors.

Right now we’re seeing if our “no” has made them decide to come half-way or not.  If not, I’m at peace to start looking again for a new house and not spend all the money that we had for appliances on stupid repairs that we wouldn’t have to make at some other house.

The most annoying thing about this is that we could have done these negotiations earlier rather than just finding out the weekend before closing.  C’est la vie.

I can’t decide if the whole house-buying frustration is just because it’s “not meant to be” and Heavenly Father has something better in store; or because we are supposed to be in this house and so evil forces are thwarting our plans…that’s a lot of people’s excuse for not making it to the temple ;).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Costumes 2010

This years costumes are finally finished!  I’m so excited to show them off!  I know they’re not as amazing as the costumes that some people make but I think they’re pretty cool.

The first costume I decided to make was armor.  It actually took some convincing because Christian wanted to be a prince.  But since I pretty much made a prince costume last year (in a way) I really didn’t want to have to do the same thing again.  So I put on my best sales-woman approach and pulled out our “Narnia” collection book and sited all of the pictures that “The high King Peter” or “Prince Caspian” wear armor.  It worked!  He wanted armor after that.  The funniest thing about the whole scenario is that he still wants to be called “A prince, in armor”.

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Here he is, looking fierce!

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I love his stance!  So tough!

And because I never know when to quit….I also made some other accessories to make his costume more versatile.

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Gritting his teeth with determination.

Now for the part that I’ve been waiting for my whole career as a mother!  My little Vivian’s outfit!  I have been wanting soooo badly to embellish clothing with glitter for years so I went all out and went crazy!  (Some of the material actually came glittered already, which was helpful ;) ).

And here she is, my little Fall Fairy:

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I’m so happy she kept the headband I made on.  The trick was to tell her how pretty she looked the second I put it on and push her hands away from trying to take it off.  I’ve had to do that every time I’ve put it on her, but it seems to work. 

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Back wing view!

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Side view of her dress.  I loved the little petals on this pattern…thus why I had to make it when I saw it (besides that it came in 1/2 size….not many patterns this cute do!)  

at home 033   This one is just adorable to me!  I love her sweet little face and her pretty blue eyes!

So yes, I went a little crazy, and a little over-board.  But the point is, I’ve also had a LOT of fun. :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

With a little imagination…

This month has gone by so fast as I’ve been working on the details of getting our first home, making Halloween, planning a baby shower, and finishing up my last cake decorating workshop.  We’ve still been having fun in spite of all the work.  I love that my boy has an amazing imagination.  He loves to act out adventures and has even enlisted Vivian in his games.  She loves it…as is illustrated below…

 027   Who knew my nine-month-old daughter would be enlisted in the prince’s army at such a young age?

We’ve spent some more time at the park nearby which just added a new game called “Castle Quest”.  Right up Christian’s alley of fun.  Here’re some pictures of Jared and Christian in the heat (or not) of combat. 041   040

As I was sewing Vivian’s Costume, about a week ago, Christian accosted me in the craft room threatening me with his hook if I didn’t make his costume now.  Poor guy, he had to learn that favors are not won through threats…. I’m working on his costume but I’m still not quite finished.


Despite Christian’s influence on the more aggressive type of play, Vivian is in LOVE with Little People.  She pretty much always has one in her hand.  Here’s a picture of her crawling to her daddy despite the odd hand position it causes to take along her favorite toy.

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This picture was taken in rather low lighting but I love how it shows Vivian’s delight as she plays with her little people.


Little people were actually her main motivation to start pulling up to standing for the last two weeks.  This is her second day of her new accomplishment…happy to be playing up off the floor.


Christian is really into his “Trio Blocks” as of late, which is so fun to see.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Trio blocks, they are made by Fisher-Price and have “bricks, sticks and panels” that all work together…similar to constructs in idea.  Christian plays with these everyday making anything from dragons to buildings to “edibles”.  The photo above is from about a week ago when “Jake” aka Christian opened his lollipop shop at our home complete with amazing new flavors such as “Sweet Apple Crisp” and “Banana Raspberry Delight” along with some very tragic stories of his family of ten children and his wife that died from having them all at the same time!   It was so difficult for me to play along and not roll around on the floor laughing…. I can see him as an author of heart-rending fiction someday.


Here’s another use for his Trio sticks…to scare off the enemy!


This was the scariest contraption he made in my opinion, the rifle!  Good grief.  You really can’t ban boys from guns because they’ll make their own anyway…

For Family Home Evening a couple of weeks ago, we decided to act out our own rendition of “The Tortoise and the Hare”.  We were trying to teach Christian that he 1.) Doesn’t have to win every time and 2.) that it’s not a good idea to brag.  I really don’t think it sank in though…we’ll keep trying.  Christian was the Hare and Vivian was the Tortoise (Christian’s animals were the spectators along with dad.  I read and recorded the show).  Christian threw a mini fit at the end because he thought that the tortoise shouldn’t win because she was crawling and a baby.  I guess in some way it worked…at least we got the characters well-picked.

We made Christian ears and taped them on a head-band and taped a cotton ball on his backside for a tail.  Then we tied an empty egg separator carton thing on Vivian for a shell.  It was really cute watching her crawl around on the floor…especially at one point where she got turned over on her back and was stuck. Here are some photos from our play-acting:

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Christian takes after me and LOVES to dress up and become a new character.  Here he is as “Tie Man”  He will “Tie you up or untie you…depending on your ties to the right side”.  I had to laugh and laugh when he flew into my living room.  What a cute boy I have!297

Friday, October 1, 2010

Vivian is Nine Months

Wow!  Vivian has now been alive for as much time as she was “cooking” (plus some).  Amazing!  That went by so fast.  I’m already trying to come up with what to do for her birthday (which is 4 days after Christmas).  What to do?  If anyone has cute suggestions for first birthdays, please, send them my way!


This month Vivian is 18 lbs 12 oz and 28 1/4 inches.  She’s in the 50% for weight and head circumference and 75% for height.  She is long and lean.  Because we are sharing one car at the moment, in order to go to her appointment I had to get the kids ready by 7:30 in the morning and take Jared to work so we could have the car.  We had  a little time to spare so I took the kids to the park (since it was only 90 degrees that morning).  Christian had fun but the coolest thing was that Vivian pulled herself up to standing for the first time!  The one thing about taking a trip to the park before a well-check was explaining the small amount of sand in her diaper that got on the exam table…oops!



Vivian has been a lot more playful lately…as in toy play.  She’s always liked to gab.  Here are a small series of photos and her playing so cute on the floor with her animals!  I just love her eye-color!

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The ward’s mom’s group came a few times to swim at our place and I only have this one picture of her in her fun swimming suit from Target (since two kids in a pool is a full-time task).  She was really mad that I wouldn’t let her out in the pool yet because I was getting Christian in his lifejacket first.  She absolutely LOVES being in the pool!  We put her in her “baby boat” that has an attachment for the parent so I can keep her close and she is always ready to dive out of it (and she has a couple of times) she just wants to be in the water so bad.




This is a photo of her trying to stand the day of her nine-month birthday.  She was so excited to be standing on the floor even with a little support I had to take a picture.  She has become a superfast crawler which is a little annoying (especially when I open the fridge).  I’m hoping/wondering if she will like crawling so much she won’t want to walk too soon….I’m not betting on it though.  There’s something that my kids get from there dad that just makes them more athletic than I am.



Vivian loves to eat.  She also is really a messy eater.  really.  messy. Jared and I have decided she is advanced for her age and trying all of those “fountain of youth” remedies… such as squash for soft skin and carrots for hair strength.  She looks pretty young to me ;).



Vivian has sleep issues!  It is sooo frustrating!  We have to rock her or hold her to get her to calm down enough to sleep.  I tried for about a week to sleep train her and what I ended up with was a incredibly over-tired child who really wouldn’t sleep who cries for at least an hour if I’ll let her which is insane to do when you live in an apartment.  Luckily, the doctor I decided to switch to was really understanding and said that (I must have a child like her daughter) and it’s probably just because she’s going through the clingy stage.  I explained that we are moving in a month and she said to just keep doing what I have to until the move and then change everything.  Thank goodness!  (Not that I always listen to my doctors advice) It is so nice to have a sympathetic and understanding ear when it comes to your child’s doctor.  For now, if I hold her while I read she will fall asleep and then we have to transfer her.  Such a pain, but at least she’s sleeping (and I’m getting some reading in).

I am really hoping that she adjusts well to our new home.  I’m thinking I’m going to love it.  I have all kinds of fun ideas for her room that I’m dying to try!  Besides, I’m not going to worry some much about annoying people if she makes a peep!