Friday, December 28, 2012

We saw Santa at the mall

We went to see Santa the Friday before Christmas. We went to Provo Towne Center because 1) it's close 2) it's free and 3) we could take our own pictures as long as we were standing outside the gated area. Of course we showed up 30 minutes into his only one-hour break for the day, but we were the first ones in line when he came back!

We had practiced with Gavin for weeks what his conversation with Santa would be. He knew his part well, but he was still a little nervous to get close. I handed Josie over to Santa, and she was just pleased as punch so I directed my attention to Gavin so I could get him close enough to tell Santa what he wanted.

I finally got him sort of close, and I guess just then Josie decided that she was no longer happy with the situation. We got video of her while she was happy, but this is the only picture we got.

Gavin told Santa (from a distance) that he wanted a train for Christmas. He finally decided he was okay with giving five to Santa. That works for me!

After we got home I decided to take a couple more pictures of the kids all dressed up. So glad I did--they turned out great!
This is one of my favorites of them EVER!

Handsome kid!

Sweet girl. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pictures of the kiddos

Josie's six-month pictures turned out really cute. Not too difficult when you've got a baby like her. :)

It's been about six months since we got pictures of Gavin, so I figured it was time. They turned out so great! He is such a happy kid and so willing to smile.

Gavin loves Josie more each day, and Josie is starting to react to Gavin. He can make her smile and laugh and I love it so much!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Two firsts in one day!

Last Saturday, December 15 Josie had two major firsts:

1. First official crawling!!
She has been getting up and rocking for quite some time, but on Saturday Rob and I witnessed actual moving of knees. She still hasn't gotten the complete motion down yet, but she's going to be zooming around any day now.
Reach, baby girl!
 2. First solids!
I wanted to start solids a while ago, but decided to wait until after her six-month checkup to make sure everything was okay with her milk allergy situation. The doctor said she is growing well, so we could go ahead. I have been suspecting lately that she has a problem with soy, too, so I had to find soy-free baby cereal. (fyi, Beech-nut brand does not contain soy or milk, while Gerber and Equate brands both contain soy.)
She loved it!
I started with one tablespoon of oatmeal. At first she had this concerned look. I imagined her saying, "Hmm, what is this? . . . give me more so I can figure it out." She did really well for her first time. The next day she ate the whole amount that I made, plus a little more! Nice work, baby girl!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Two-syllable words: an update

Gavin's current list of two-syllable words or two-word phrases (in order of what he said first, as far as we can remember):
-outside (said for one day only, months and months ago)
-Santa (he's really good at this one)
-cookie (this one, too)
-hot dog (totally random--we never eat hot dogs)
-excuse me
Surely "ice cream" can't be too far behind
That's my boy!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Missy Loo is six months old!

Six months already!! Man, that was quick. So what's new with this sweet girl?

We went to the doctor today and she is 15lbs, 14oz (50th percentile) and 25.5in (40th percentile). The doctor always marvels at how perfectly shaped her head is and noted how easygoing she seems. (He was right.)

She's been getting up on her hands and knees for about a month, and the last couple weeks she has been rocking like crazy! I can't believe she isn't crawling already. It's going to happen any day now--probably tomorrow while I'm at work.
She can sit unassisted for a while (maybe ten seconds or so), but usually she just doesn't care and dives to one side to get back on her belly.
She rolls around everywhere. If I set her down one place and walk away for a few minutes, she could be in the next room when I come back.
She loves to eat her toes. :)
She also loves tags. Give her a stuffed animal or soft toy and she will have its tag in her mouth in five seconds flat.

She is super grabby. She grabs at everything with both hands. And of course she puts whatever she can get in her mouth.
My favorite is when she reaches for my face with both hands and just kind of looks at me.

Josie really is such a sweetheart. When she's in her crib and I come to get her, her face just lights up. Even if she's been crying, she almost always smiles when she sees me (or Rob--especially Rob, actually) coming to get her.
She is a good eater and you'd almost never guess she has that milk protein allergy because she's just so happy and healthy and growing well (read: chubby legs!). She's a pretty good sleeper (usually wakes once at night), which is such a HUGE blessing.

Everything is going by so much quicker for me with Josie than it did with Gavin. Maybe I'm not sentimental enough, but I just get so excited by the new things she does that I don't find myself missing the old baby Josie because the current baby Josie is so much fun! I'm sure I'll miss her some day, but for now I'll keep enjoying things the way they are and looking forward to how they will be in the future.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Know why I love this boy so much?
He LOVED riding Trax to Temple Square
Reason #437: We are working on two-syllable words with Gavin now that he's starting to get simple words down. Gavin loves Thomas the Tank Engine (plus Percy, plus James, etc., etc., etc.) more than I can describe. I've been trying to get him to say Thomas for weeks and weeks and can't get more than the "t" sound out of him. You know what two-syllable word he will say, though, and has said from about the first time I asked him? Jesus.

Too sweet!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas wreath

Remember this sad wreath? Well, I FINALLY got around to finishing it this year!
Yes, I know our keys are in the door--
Gavin's new favorite game.

The whole thing cost less than $10, including the wreath hanger. A completed project and a blog post--this is turning out to be one productive December!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012: worst Thanksgiving ever

That's right, I said worst Thanksgiving ever. When I think about it, though, I've had really positive experiences with Thanksgiving in general, so having just a few things go wrong can make for a "worst ever" very quickly. So I guess what I mean to say is that it wasn't a terrible Thanksgiving, but it certainly wasn't the best. What made this year's Thanksgiving less desirable than others?

1. Sick family.
Gavin had a runny nose for almost a week before Thanksgiving, and it slowly got worse until there was a cough added in the mix.
Thank heaven for Kleenex with lotion.
And yes, I really did take a picture of a box of Kleenex.
He was doing okay for the most part, but there were a few rough nights. (Rough for anyone = rough night for mommy.) Josie got the runny nose too, and then Rob caught the bug. He stayed home from work from Tuesday on because he felt crummy. Thankfully I never caught it.

2. Staying home.
We were having Thanksgiving with my family--my parents, my brother Dustin's family, and my sister Denise's family. Dustin has a baby boy who's only three months old, so I didn't think they would appreciate all the germs showing up for the holidays. So we decided to stay home. :(

This was just too much of a bummer for me to take, so I went to my parents' with Josie and brought back food for the boys. There was no way I was eating whatever we could scrape together around our house on Thanksgiving!

3. Milk protein allergy.
Josie, mommy loves you with all her heart. How much does she love you? More than all food products containing milk combined, including but not limited to cheese (not that cheese is a Thanksgiving day food, but I have to bring it up whenever I talk about what I can't eat), mashed potatoes, salad dressing, gravy, and turkey cooked in butter. THAT'S A LOT OF LOVE!! But it makes for a pretty boring Thanksgiving dinner.
How could you not love this SWEET face?!!
I made the rolls (I used our family's favorite recipe, which contains oil instead of butter), so at least I was able to eat those or I might have died. My mom was nice enough to switch out the butter on the turkey with vegetable oil, and we made some mashed potatoes without any milk, butter, etc. that I ate without gravy. Pretty boring and bland, but better than no mashed potatoes at all.

4. No jogging.
I have gone jogging on Thanksgiving morning every year since 2004 (plus some years before that, but I hadn't missed a year since I got home from my mission). It is a glorious tradition: burn off some calories before the inevitable binge. [Also, recently a study showed that if you jog for 45 minutes it decreases your appetite--awesome!] But between sick family and making rolls and checking out Black Friday ads and just plain not feeling like going, it didn't happen. Kind of a bummer.

But even with the minor downsides of this year's Thanksgiving, I still have so much to be thankful for, like:

-Always having enough food to eat. I sometimes complain about my limited options, but I shouldn't because I never go hungry, and neither do my kids.
Josie occasionally splurges on a tasty shoe.
-The little things that make my day, like bear hats.
-For the most part, we all have good health. Sure, when Gavin gets a runny nose it sticks around for weeks on end, but none of us have any chronic or major health issues to worry about. We are able to use our bodies to exercise, have fun, and do all the everyday things we need to do.
Gavin's first snowman!
-Being able to afford all the things we need. We have a house that we love, cars that get us around, and we can keep our ever-growing kids clothed and diapered. We can also afford some of the things we want but could live without. I love having Netflix and our kids probably have a few more toys than they need.
Black Friday deals make mommy happy!
-The simplicity of life. I was initially irritated to have my work hours cut when I came back from maternity leave, but the less I work the less I enjoy working and the more I want to be home. I love my little family. Gavin is such a smart and sweet boy. Josie is such a good baby. I love them both to bits and I love this time in our lives when we don't have to worry about school or homework or bullies or dating, etc., etc., etc.

Rob is such a kind and caring person. He works hard so we can have the life we have. And he makes me laugh every day.
My kids really are too sweet.
-The joy of the holidays. This time of year is a reminder of all my blessings and an opportunity to focus on giving to and serving others.
We finally got a big tree!
So maybe it wasn't the worst Thanksgiving ever. But I'll be honest with you, I do look forward to eating whatever I want next year!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gavin and Josie at four months

Does Josie look like Gavin? We've been asked our opinion on that a lot. Truth is, I'm not good at noticing things like that in people I know really well. When Gavin was a baby people were always commenting on how much he looked like Rob. But to me Gavin looked like Gavin, and I didn't see a strong resemblance to Rob because they're separate people and I know them both too well to see them in each other. I know it doesn't make a lot of sense, but I guess that's my argument.

I decided to find pictures of Gavin and Josie that are similar in pose and age so I could compare them. What do you think--do they look alike? Yes, I know it's a bit overboard to list exactly how many months and days old they are, but it was easier for me than deciding how else to word it.

4 days before 4 months old

3 days before 4 months old

1 day before 4 months old

8 days before 4 months old

4 months old

4 months old

4 months old

4 months, 1 day old

4 months, 3 days old

6 days before 4 months old

4 months, 16 days old

4 months, 9 days old
I wish I had close-ups of their legs--then you would see a MAJOR difference. Gavin was always very small for his age, but Josie has some great chubbins going on. I took her to the doctor the other day and she weighed 14lbs, 14oz at less than 4.5 months old. I looked up Gavin's weight, and he was 13lbs, 14oz at 6 months old! It has definitely been a new experience to shop for a baby that wears clothes in the age range she's actually in.

Josie is a really great baby. She's very easygoing and sweet. She just started grabbing things in the last couple of weeks, which is really fun. She loves to eat her toes and roll around. She hated tummy time for a while, but suddenly loves it.

A week and a half ago Josie was in her swing for her nap, and she was crying more than usual. I had Rob check on her, and she had rolled onto her belly in her swing! That was pretty scary. So we moved her from her swing to her crib, but kept swaddling her. (She hadn't ever rolled to her belly before that, and we figured the swing had helped her to gradually work herself around and she probably couldn't roll on a flat surface yet.) On Sunday she rolled from her back to her belly while she was swaddled! Once again, kind of scary. Thank goodness for our video monitor; she wasn't crying enough that we would have checked on her, otherwise.

Since she discovered she can roll to her belly, she refuses to play or sleep in any other position. She has only rolled from belly to back about five times total, and half of those appeared to be accidental. If you put her on her back, she will get herself turned over almost immediately unless there's a really interesting toy hanging above her. As a fellow stomach sleeper, I will admit that I love that she sleeps on her belly. Gavin is a stomach sleeper, too. Maybe some day Rob will get on that bandwagon.

9 months, 3 days old

4 months, 13 days old
Gavin has adjusted really well to having Josie around. At first he had no interest in her except to say "No, no, no, no!" every time she cried, but now he has this sweet affection for her. It's a great mix of love and sweetness without being so interested that he tries to carry her around or maul her. He calls her "Boo" with the sweetest expression and tone of voice. I think they'll be great friends once Gavin gets used to the idea of sharing his toys with another human being.

Gavin at 2 years, 5 months and Josie at 4 months old
I sure do love these two little sweeties!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Josie's blessing

We had Josie's blessing on July 22nd. Our ward has so many baby blessings that we don't just do them on Fast Sunday; we can do them whatever Sunday we want!

Josie's blessing was very sweet; she has such a great daddy. After Rob blessed her, he waited until the men in the circle dispersed, then hoisted her high for everyone to see. You could just see the pride on his face. :)
On a side note, doesn't it drive you nuts when the baby doesn't get a proper showing? I want to see that cute baby! Just pause for 20 seconds so no one is in your way, then hold the kid up high enough that I can see! That's a pet peeve of mine, in case you can't tell. Josie was wide awake and was such a good girl for the whole thing.

We invited everyone over to our place afterward for goodies, including cookies and Creamies. Yeah, we know how to party. We counted 44 people total in our townhouse! Everyone was a good sport about the lack of space. We only own ~14 proper places to sit (couch, kitchen chairs, camping chairs, etc.) and had borrowed just a few folding chairs from a neighbor, so people were sitting on the floor, standing, and sitting outside, but no one seemed to mind.
(Sorry, Youngbergs; all of these pictures were taken by my sister, so they're a little Palmer-side-heavy. :)
Grandpa Palmer
For my nephew, who's in basic training
Gavin's buddies: Heidi, James, and Dustin
See, it is a great party!
Three of my 14 nieces: Alyssa, Shayla, Arianne
Nice, Savannah!
This is about my favorite picture ever of me with my mom. She crocheted the booties that Josie wore, and it took her all of a couple hours. She's super talented and nice like that.
Gavin did really well, even with the huge crowd at our house. He does NOT like it when other kids touch his stuff, so we were a little worried. Rob had the idea of telling him that we would be having nursery at our house that day, so he seemed a lot more relaxed about sharing. Genius, Rob!
We still can't convince Josie to take a binkie, but that girl LOVES her fingers!
Doesn't she just look like a little glass doll here? I love the dress I found for her; just a knit dress with a matching bonnet. It seems like nowadays, many blessing/christening dresses are like mini-wedding dresses. They can get a bit out of hand! I love how simple this dress is.
Thanks again to everyone who came; it meant a lot. We just love this sweet little girl and are so glad you were there to share her special day with us!