Thursday, December 27, 2007

Almost Laughing

Occasionally we will hear a little giggle from Em, but she is not really laughing yet. On Christmas day I was playing with her and I had the hiccups. Every time I would hiccup she would laugh. It was so cute and fun. I tried to recreate it and video it, but she wouldn't laugh again. She did however smile a lot and if you listen close you can hear she is on the brink of laughing. I thought it was worth sharing.


Christmas was great this year. Ryan, Em, and I spent Christmas Eve with my mom and dad. It was just us, so it was very mellow and low key. The highlight was watching Em play with her new toys, especially watching her rock on her new elephant that my mom bought her. Emily LOVES to rock. When she sits in your lap she rocks back and forth constantly. People who hold her for the first time are always surprised. Ryan got me an ipod nano. It is awesome. We are going to St. George this weekend to load it up with music from my brother-in-law Steve.

Here are some of my favorite photos from Christmas.

FYI: for those of you using Adobe photoshop, I found this awesome site with really cute free brushes...

I used them on several of the pages above.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Emily’s feet are her newest discovery. She is fascinated by them. She pulls on them, she sucks on them, and she stares at them. I think she is trying to figure out how they work!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Santa Baby

This weekend we had a little Christmas preview. Ryan's parents came for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert and we had a nice family Christmas dinner. Afterward Emily got to open her present from her grandma. It was fun watching her. With a little help she really got into it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Happy Baby

Emily smiles all the time, but I have not gotten it on film. This morning I set out to capture the joy of being a baby. I think the results are pretty cute.

I also thought it was pretty cute how intensely she was watching this little wind up toy. So I captured this photo, right before it fell over, hit her on the head, and she started screaming hysterically. Got to love being a mom!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I have been meaning to post all week, but Christmas activities seem to have taken over my life. Below are some of my favorite photos from the week. I LOVE my USC Christmas Tree it has taken several years to perfect, but I am very happy with it now. Yes that is a football on top of my tree. There is also a football helmet and photos of my favorite football plays over the years on the tree. Fight On! Also you can see photos of the massive snow storm we had last week. I'll post more later.

Last week we found out that USC will be playing in the Rose Bowl against Illinois. It should be another beat down. We were hoping to slaughter the Buck Eyes, but it seems they lucked into the national championship and are going to be pummeled by LSU instead.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

So Much Going On

Life has been crazy lately. I am posting some of my favorite photos from the past week. The photo below is of Lexie (Ryan's niece) holding Emily. You can see the friendship forming already :-) It was so much fun having Ryan's family visit for Thanksgiving.

We went to the Doctor on Tuesday for her 4 month check up. She is a very healthy baby, she is 13.4 pounds (48th percentile for weight), 25 inches long (74th percentile for height), and her head was in the 60th percentile (big enough to hold her big brain :-) ) The doctor advised that I stop feeding her at night. So far it has been two nights. The first night she woke up about 4 times, but went back to sleep when I gave her a binky. Last night she slept until 5 am. Then I gave her the binky again and she slept until 7 am. The whole waking up to give her a binky thing is going to get old, so my next step is to let her fall back to sleep on her own. She has done it a few times, I just have to let her cry for a few minutes. I am encouraged that I may sleep through the night again some day soon. Also he advised to start feeding her solids. The photos below are from her first feeding of applesauce. She wasn't quite sure what to think at first but I am amazed how quickly she is learning to eat off of a spoon. The first time she tasted it she made the cutest grimace the pictures sort of capture it. This morning she ate a WHOLE jar of applesauce and seemed to really enjoy it. She is really starting to interact a lot more. She is really smiley, she is starting to sit up, and can hold her head up during tummy time, she can hold toys, and watches everything. She is such a happy and mellow baby. Gary, Ryan's brother, calls her our starter baby because she is so easy to deal with it will make us want another one. She is so good natured and will entertain herself for hours while I work. I adore this little girl.
If you know Ryan you will see that these pictures epitomize him. He and his brother Gary were playing a very competitive game of Wii tennis. Ryan ultimately won and I documented the victory dance afterwards.

I love these pictures. The other morning I went in my bedroom to find Ryan and Em cuddling and making faces at each other. He is such a good dad and adores Emily. You can see from the photos they were both still a little sleepy :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Thanksgiving was so much fun this year. It was at our house and we had 14 people for dinner. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It reminds me of my Grandma Bassett, who always had glorious dinners. She prepared for weeks so that everything would be perfect. I think that my grandma would approve of this table. Most of my favorite dishes have been handed down to me from family members. Using them was a nice way for me to remember them even though they were not there.

The plan was to have dinner at 1:00...well at about 4:00 we finally sat down to the table. Thank goodness Lisa brought appetizers around 12:00 or we may have starved waiting for dinner :-) I got up at 8:00 to put the turkey on the you can see in the photos there was a lot of turkey wrestling to get it weighted correctly, but alas turkey #1 was determined to be too big for the rotisserie motor. At about 10:00 turkey #1 went into the oven and Kim went to buy a smaller turkey #2 and Ryan went to buy a roaster oven for turkey #1 so that it wouldn't occupy the oven all day. By about 12:00 both turkeys were finally cooking. The rotisserie turkey turned out beautiful. I now have a TON of left over turkey and I am looking for good turkey recipes if anyone has any. I am super excited about cooking chicken, turkey, beef, and anything else I can think of on our new BBQ.

Yuck raw turkey! The finished product is worth it though.

Kim, Pat, Lisa, Alyssa, and I spent most of the day chatting hanging out, cooking, and doing dishes. It was lots of fun. The boys made cameo appearances in the kitchen to mash the potatoes, round up chairs, and other various tasks. Mostly they spent the day playing video games and watching football.

To cap the day off USC beat the pants off of Arizona State. Ryan's dad assured us that USC would pound Arizona State before the game. This incited Gary (Ryan's older brother who is NOT a USC fan). The first several quarters were very tense and ultimately I decided that I could not handle watching a USC loss (I know I am a fair weather fan), so I took a bath. When I came back USC was up by 20 points and the game became fun to watch again.

By 10:30 Em and I were unconscious. Everyone else stayed up to play with the Wii. Overall it was a great day.

Emily with her cousins. Can you tell they are related?

It appeared that Lisa REALLY loved the stuffing. Unfortunately the finished product was a little scary and not so tasty.

Can you tell Lisa and Alyssa are related?

Lexie was a very good mommy to Tananna (sorry for the spelling). She spent a lot of the weekend trying to convince Kim that Tananna needed a swing at their house.

Brayden and Lexie.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sitting Pretty

So Em has recently decided that sitting in her Bumbo chair is sort of fun. I think she is SO cute in it (see picture below). She doesn't like to sit in it for long periods of time but likes to look around for five minutes or so. In the picture below you can see she has her adorable Robeez snowflake shoes on. I love them because they are cute and she cannot get them off. Ryan is not such a big fan of them. I think I want to get her another pair in pink or white so that they will go with more of her clothes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Beautiful Sight

So Em is not sleeping all that well these days. She started out as an awesome sleeper and seemed to get better every day. At two months she was sleeping through the night and I was feeling bad for all the other new moms that I knew that had babies that were not sleeping through the night. Now I am that mom. Last night Em woke up at 12:00, 4:00, and 7:30. It seems like she is getting worse every night. I even started feeding her half formula half breast milk at night in hopes that she would make it through the night, or at least for more than 4 hours...No luck. I'm not sure what to do, or if it is just a phase. Anyone that knows of good books about getting your baby to sleep, or anyone with advise, I would love to hear it. Right now she is taking a nap and it is a beautiful sight.

Another beautiful sight is the progress on our new ward building. For over a month it was stalled as they were working on getting permits from the city. They now have permits and they seem to be getting serious about building it. I am now optimistic that it will get done before the end of next year.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Music of My Life

If you were to drive around with me you would likely notice that I listen to three radio stations almost exclusively. All three are sports talk radio. I started listening to a lot of sports talk radio about the time that I got my new car and stopped carpooling with Ryan. Originally I reasoned that this was because I was lonely and looking to listen to humans speak with each other. I first started listening to political talk radio, but quickly discovered that I hate listening to the emotional rants and hearing the host tell everyone that they were smart and everyone else was dumb. Now I listen to sports talk radio. I rarely care about the topic Barry Bonds, Ute/Cougar football, the Jazz...I don't really care, but for some reason I keep listening.

Today as I was getting ready to teach my blog class I figured that I better figure out how to put a music player on my blog (it is pretty easy by the way). I sat for several minutes trying to think of what music I wanted. Then I realized I LOVE 80's music. More specifically I love 80's New Wave, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, Erasure, and New Order are my very favorite. A little Madonna and Cyndi Lauper should also be thrown in for good measure. I also have recently discovered that I like hair bands (e.g., Poison). You have to be careful with hair bands because they are not all created equally lots of them suck. I don't listen to the radio very often because they don't typically play music that I like. In fact I really can only think of three people I have met that like the same kind of music I do, Lori Musso-Schroath (who originally introduced me to New Wave), Steve (my brother in-law who likes ALL music), and Andrew Plew (a friend from college).

I posted the music player to my website and now you all can enjoy (or endure) a little New Wave. Note that some of the versions of the songs kind of suck. I am going to have to find better ones when I have more time.

Giving Thanks

I love fall! I love the weather, I love football, I love fall colors, I love the trees changing colors, and I love decorating my house with leaves. This year we are having Thanksgiving at our house with Ryan's family. I am very excited about it and need to start getting ready. It seems every six months or so I totally let my house get out of control then I clean for days. I guess it is time to get cleaning. I think this time it will take more than days :-) I look at the closets and cupboards and realize that I either need to get organized or move! Moving is the best form of organization.

Lately I have been contemplating how perfect my life is right now. I have a wonderful husband who I adore. I have an adorable angelic baby, who is currently taking a nap. I get to work 10-15 hours a week (just enough to stay fun without occupying every moment of my day). I have a house that I love. I get to hang out with my mom almost every day. We live close to almost all of our extended family. Things are just going really well. It seems that the big things (vacations, houses, cars...) are nice, but it is the little things that bring satisfaction and true joy.

Today as I am preparing for the blogging class I decided to give the old blog a fall face lift. I am pretty happy with the results. I have been getting into digital scrapbooking and I LOVE IT. It is way better than the paper version. I would post some of my creations, but they are top secret for now!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Waking Up Happy

So Emily started sleeping through the night and I was in heaven. Recently she decided that sleeping though the night is not really for her, so she usually wakes up around 2 or 3 and then again between 5 and 7 to eat. After the second time she wakes up she goes back to sleep again. The other day it was 9:30 and I said to Ryan "I can't believe that Emily is still asleep." He walked into her room and said "that is because she is not sleeping." I walked in to see a very happy baby with big blue eyes staring at me (see picture below). I have no idea how long she was awake, but she was happy and I got to sleep in, so I was happy too. This morning she did the same thing. I love to pick her up out of her crib in the morning because she is SO happy and smiley. It is like I have come to rescue her.

In other news it seems she is not going to escape infanthood without loosing her hair. A bald spot has started to appear on the back of her head and this morning when I looked at her sheets they were all hairy:-(

Today was the first day of the new church schedule 1:00-4:00. It is not Emily's favorite time of the day and she was not the angelic baby I am used to, but that's ok she is still pretty cute.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rolling Over

Last night Emily made a breakthrough and was on the verge of rolling over. She figured out that she could tuck into a ball and roll to her side. Then this morning when I went to get her out of bed I found her crying and laying on her tummy...It appears that some how during the night she figured out how to complete the process. The problem is, once she is on her tummy she is super angry about it and wants to be put on her back. I guess the next step will be to learn to roll from her tummy to her back. I thought that the rolling over this morning may have just been a fluke, but while she was playing under her play gym this morning it seems she did it again. She was super quiet but very I could hear her moving around and then I heard the crying and looked over to see her laying on her tummy. It seems it took all of her concentration to get to her tummy. After that she was pretty worn out and decided it was time for a nap. It seems that every phase is more fun than the last and she gets cuter and cuter every day. I adore this little girl.

St. George Visit

This weekend we went to St. George. It was Emily's first visit to Grandma and Grandpa Hales' house. They loved to see how much she had changed in the last 6 weeks. She was on her very best behavior and only had a few crying spells. She slept through the car ride there and back, which was a major relief. We went down for Kevin and Stacey's wedding, which turned out very nice. Pat and I did the decorating. We pulled out some stuff we had, rented a backdrop, and bought some fall foliage. It was really pretty and incredibly affordable. On Saturday I started feeling kind of sick, by Sunday I was knocked out and missed Stacy's baptism :-( Also on Saturday the Trojans lost their second game to Oregon. It was actually a pretty good game, but didn't end up the way we had hoped. Oh well I guess you can't win every game (although we were getting used to that). Here are some of my favorite pictures from the weekend.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Halloween Trial Run

So last night we had a ward Halloween party. It was pretty fun and we got a chance to dress Emily up in her costume. My mom and I made it, and I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. She is a vole (originally she was supposed to be a mouse, but I couldn't find grey faux fur so I used brown). I am all about improvisation, when I was 8 I was a blue dog and when I was 12 I was a purple M&M (this was before they actually had purple M&Ms). My mom is the master costume maker. I was a bit surprised by how much I actually enjoyed making Emily's costume. I may even attempt to make some other article of clothing, but NOT red nickers. When I was in elementary school my mom made me a pair if red nickers...this was definitely not cool in the 80s and I had to wear them to school. Let's just say I was seriously emotionally scarred. To this day I still bring up the red nickers. My mom wonders how long it will be until I let it go. I wonder what I will do to Emily to emotionally scar her...maybe I shouldn't start sewing after all :-)

Anyway back to the Halloween party. As you can see from the photos Emily was not super hip on the hood, so after about 20 minutes we abandoned it. Shortly thereafter she passed out for the evening. She is so cute as a sleepy vole.

She is getting so big! She wears anywhere from 3 months to 9 months. What is with kids clothing? None of the sizes are consistent. She has two pairs of pants that are the exact same size one says it is 3-6 months the other says it is 9 months. I think there should be some international accord on children's clothing sizes, sort of like the Geneva Convention...well maybe that is a little extreme. Emily seems to have a VERY long torso and normal length legs. I also think she may be part monkey because I cannot find any long sleeve shirts or pajamas that actually fit in the arms. She is getting so strong. Yesterday I was super freaked out when I looked over and she was trying to sit up in her swing and almost fell out. Apparently that is why they install safety straps :-) She seems to want to sit up, but rolling over holds no appeal. She is also starting to be interested in toys and touching things, it is very fun and cute.

This weekend we are going to St. George for Ryan's brother's wedding, so I better go and get ready.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

New Tricks

So Emily and I have been learning some new tricks. As pictured below, Emily has learned to suck on her hand (it is now a source of perpetual comfort and entertainment) she has also learned how to rub her ankles together to kick off her socks (this is fantastic considering that it is now getting cold and every time I pick her up her poor little feet are like ice cubes), also I have learned some fun photo editing techniques in photoshop (in these pictures I used the spotlight filter and reduced the saturation). Although, it seems I still need to work on not writing run-on sentences. I never was very good with grammar.

Below is a photo that I took at the cabin this weekend. Friday morning I got a call from my mom asking me to come to the cabin. It seems Amy and my dad were in the process of pulling down the old back deck and my mom was afraid they were going to kill themselves. By the time I got there they were mostly done. There was a large gash in the pine tree they were standing behind when the deck came down, but neither Amy or my dad were worse for wear. The three of us finished off the part of the deck that was still hanging from the cabin. This involved my dad perched on a ladder with a chainsaw cutting the deck above his head. It was a little sketchy. After we were done with the deck we took the kids down to the river for a game of pooh sticks (the game where you drop sticks on one side of the bridge and then see whose stick comes out first on the other side of the bridge, the name refers to the Whinny the Pooh episode where they play the game). The photo below shows everyone looking for their sticks. My stick never did win. Overall it was an excellent day at the cabin. The weather was brisk but not cold, perfect fall weather. The leaves were changing color and everything was beautiful. Emily and I went on a walk to the lake. I strapped her in the snuggli and discovered that she loves to go for walks as long as she is facing forward so she can look around.

In other Emily news, it seems she is growing like a weed. She just started sitting in her bumbo chair, but only sits for a few minutes before she decides she is done. She loves staring at faces and is easily entertained by singing and talking. She loves her daddy. Ryan sits and has little talks with her that are usually pretty funny. She still HATES tummy time. She is not quite sure what to think about the binky. Sometimes it comforts her, other times it just annoys her. I also am not sure what to think about the binky. I don't want to push it on her because then I just have to take it away later. However, sometimes I just want to stick something in her mouth to make her stop crying. When I took her to her 2 month doctor appointment she was 24 inches long and in the 94th percentile for height. Since then I think she has grown even more. Yesterday I put her in a 6 month outfit...what is happening to my little girl! I think that she may be out of her infant car seat by about 4 months. She pretty much just gets more adorable every day. I have to take some pictures of her in her denim dress. The denim is the exact color of her eyes and the pink shirt brings out her rosy cheeks.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Enjoy the Little Things

Yesterday I saw this awesome saying that said "Enjoy the little things, for one day you will realize that the little things are the big things." I thought that quote was totally right on. Actually there have been lots of reminders of this sentiment. In conference last weekend President Eyring reminded us to daily look for the hand of God in our lives and a post on a friend's blog reminded me to remember the things that I love about my husband. So I broke out the engagement photos and couldn't help but laugh. We look so young (and I have to say that Ryan looks adorable). One of my most favorite things about Ryan is that he has never grown up. In all the important ways he is grown up (he has a job, he finished college, ...) But he is still a big kid in all the fun ways. He LOVES to play games, he loves to laugh, he is a little bit silly, and he is very cuddly. Ryan really is my best friend. I would rather spend time with him than anyone else. I can't believe that more than 7 years have gone by. I love him so much more now than the day we were married.