Monday, April 27, 2015

January - Part II

I took my new Thanksgiving Point membership very seriously. The next week, we hit up the Curiosity Museum again, this time with Nancy, April, and kids. I LOVE having my “plus one” pass and being able to share with others!

We invited our friends, The Wingers, over to see our new place. We had Thai take-out from Spicy Thai and then hung out here while the kids played. We are quickly finding how much we love the take-out option! It so much easier to feed and deal with the kiddos at home, but you still get the upgrade from fast food!

This winter has been so strange! Pretty much the only big snow storm was the week of Christmas (and thank heavens for that). But besides that, it hasn’t really been that cold. At the end of January, it even got into the 50s! Because it was so warm, I could see my tulips starting to grow above the dirt! I couldn’t believe it!

As I mentioned before, Jason's birthday fell on the week of us staying with Bryan in Draper. However, we still celebrated with birthday dinners with both families. We had the Grubers over one Sunday evening and we made some tasty steak and pork tacos. We brought out the good stuff, complete with the amazing (and huge) steak from Costco, Copycat Cafe Rio Pork, cilantro lime rice, etc. It was quite a tasty meal! Dessert was lemon cake. With the Arbon family, Camry and Jason shared the birthday spotlight with dinner, cake, and presents.

And, finally, for preservation sake, a look at our completed entertainment cabinets and shelves. I absolutely love how they turned out!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Staying with Bryan - 2015

My parents went on another cruise! I love that they have been on the cruise bandwagon lately! Such a great getaway for them! This time they went on Royal Carribean with Fun For Less. Basically, they go with a group of other couples and they attend different classes and eat with them. They had an awesome time. While they were away, Jason and I stayed with Bryan again. We stayed Saturday through Monday (nine days).

On Saturday, I wanted Jason and Bryan to try Freebirds, so we hit up the new one by Scheels. Very tasty! I like to get the burrito with half pork half steak. After Freebirds, we couldn’t pass up going to Ritas. We love their Italian Ice! Sunday was a little complicated. Jason and I had to speak in church at our ward in Orem. We brought Charlie and Colson home with us, and George and Nancy met us at our house. They stayed with the boys while Jason and I went to church to speak. Mind you, we have 9:00am church. We made it with time to spare!

Bryan was a lot more busy this time around. Last time we spent a lot of time playing games like Monopoly. This time, Bryan was doing homework and then off hanging out with friends. We did manage to squeeze one game of European Ticket to Ride out of him. I kept myself entertained with visits from Erin and Amy.

We introduced Bryan to our bad habit of having a nightly dessert or treat!

On Wednesday of that week, it was Jason’s 29th birthday! Jason lucked out with having a free work! We had a french toast breakfast, and then Nancy and George offered to watch the boys while we had a little date. We jumped right on that offer and went to see Unbreakable. Such an awesome movie! Randomly enough, we quickly picked up Taco Time for lunch on our way home. For dinner, we went with Bryan to Pizzeria Limone (another new restaurant by Scheels). It was pretty dang good. And since we were in the neighborhood, we just had to get Ritas for dessert...again.

Thursday night we invited Wingers over. We treated them to my parent’s supply of Italian sodas and Kaari made an awesome dessert, individual blackberry pies. Then we watched The Way, Way Back. A fine, one time film. Bryan finished his homework in time to hang out with us as well.

On Friday, while Bryan was away with friends, we invited Amy and Johnny over. Yet again, we busted out the Italian sodas (I developed a new-found love for those drinks like never before) and then we watched Newsies. (Funny story, both Jason and I ordered that movie for each other from Amazon just a day apart. We both thought it would be fun to give as a gift. So two Newsies movies arrived in Draper the same day!)

Monday was a holiday. Was it President’s Day? Anyways, Bryan went skiing with his friend Jacob. Jason was invited, but the snow was so poor, he opted to save his ski day for a day with better snow. Instead, Jason and I took the boys to the Dinosaur Museum (another Thanksgiving Point perk).

And now for some Colson pics:

bath time in the sink

We introduced Charlie to showering because my parents have an awesome two person shower. After one of the showers, I went to get a diaper and towel for Charlie. When I came back, he had left a little surprise on the shower floor. Sorry Grandma and Grandma!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Colson’s Second Month

(December 6 - January 5)

Around four and a half weeks old, Colson’s baby acne seemed to start settling down a bit. We were so happy to see it getting a little bit better.

It went from this.... this in a matter of a week.

A week later, at five and a half weeks, he gave me his first seven hour night! It was wonderful! From that point on, he consistently gave me five to eight hour nights. It was a challenge, however, putting him down at night. He would not go down until 11:30 or 12:00 at night.

Those cheeks!!!

Colson has been such a delightful and easy going baby. I feel so blessed because that is exactly what I needed in order to maintain sanity with two little ones. During this month, he has had some intense crying fits, which have been unusual for his personality so far. He couldn’t be calmed just by being picked up and held like usual. We hoped it was just growing pains and not a change in temperament.

We started to see some smiles and cooing. That is always so exciting and rewarding! He is getting strong and able to lift his head and look around. He has been able to roll from his stomach to his back, although he doesn’t do it all of the time. He does pretty well with tummy time and can easily last for about five minutes.

He is able to focus more with his eyes. I can see him following me with his eyes and they are moving a lot more quickly.

He has started to cry before naps and is getting overtired. I need to start a sleeping schedule of only one to two hours of wakefulness.

He doesn’t really take a binky. I believe he did a little bit in the hospital, but since being home he hasn’t been a fan.

He blows out ALL OF THE TIME!! It is out of control. It is multiple times a day! I hate this stage. It’s time to move up to bigger diapers.

At his two month check-up, these were his measurements:

Weight: 11 lbs 13 oz (35%)
Length: 22.25 inches (15%)
Head Circ: 40.1 cm (78%)

We’ve got a short, squishy baby with a large head. We love it!

The ongoing joke is that Colson has no neck and his big cheeks are just resting on his shoulders.

Here are some more pics from the month:

always a bloated belly

following big brother's example and napping in the swing

refining those bubble skills

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

January 2015 - Part I

As you can imagine, I was so anxious to start using my Thanksgiving Point membership that Jason gave me for Christmas! It was a plus one pass, meaning I get in for free as well as one guest. Everyone else is half-off (unless under three, they are already free). Jason had never been to the Curiosity Museum so I was so excited to show him. We went the first weekend in January. I knew he would love it...and he did! We all had a blast!

That night we met up with the Phillip cousins for a traditional dinner at Brick Oven. Love that place! Unfortunately, Colson wasn’t loving it so much. We were sitting in such a hot area of the restaurant, so Jason and I spent most of the dinner taking turns walking him around. Even still, he was content walking around so it wasn’t so bad.

meeting Lily Phillips

It was finally my turn to get a calling. Since things had settled down with Colson and I had recovered, I had no reason to postpone the inevitable. I was called to be the Assistant Secretary in the Relief Society. It was kind of a relief since my last calling in Pleasant Grove was Relief Society Secretary. It was something familiar to me. I quickly realized that each ward is different and my responsibilities were going to be different. But, I am happy to serve and it is an awesome way to get to know the sisters.

I finally got the courage to get back into play groups again. I felt like I had things under control and I was anxious for a change and chance to get out. I saw a big change in Charlie. He was so much more willing to leave my lap and go off and play with the toys and other kids. I think the reasons for this big improvement are two things: 1) his forced adaptation to Colson and learning how to keep himself entertained and 2) all of the interaction and playing with cousins over the Christmas holiday. I was thrilled to see this improvement in Charlie.

We were excited to host our “monthly” game night with the Gibbs and Bairds. The Gibbs hadn’t seen our new place, so we were excited to have them over. We had a ball playing The Game of Things. Such a genius game! Always a blast with those guys.

And here are some pics from one of Jason's fishing days:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Christmas 2014

Yay! Time to document Christmas...only three months usual. This year we were with the Grubers and we had lots happening! It was very exciting! And so begins our ten day stay...

Tuesday night, we arrived for dinner. Alli, Rick, their kids, Riverton Grubers, and Karl were already there. Grandma Gruber was also there. We had a delicious dinner and had a great time meeting Mason (Rick’s three year old boy). He is so adorable. He seems to be a serious kid but you can tell he has a sweet and silly heart. He wore a pink cast on his arm because he had broken it weeks before, falling out of bed. It was such a great opportunity to get to know both of them before the wedding the next week. The Tuttles had decided early on that they were not going to come for Christmas and that they wanted to have their own Christmas in Colorado this year. They also wanted to stay home for the sake of the newborn, Penelope. She was born just eleven days after Colson. As fate would have it, though, with Alli and Rick announcing their engagement and wedding, the Tuttles would still be coming to Utah, but not until the Saturday after Christmas.

Oh! And we decorated (and ate) sugar cookies!

Alli is always pretty popular with the kiddos.

All of the cousins got bears from Grandma and Grandpa with bead necklaces around their necks spelling their names. So cute!

Wednesday morning, Jason and I wanted to share a very yummy Belgian Waffle recipe that I got from one of my friends. Thanks to a nursing baby, however, it ended up being Jason making breakfast for everyone. Luckily he had help from other family members. It turned out great and everyone loved it. It was Christmas Eve, and so after hanging out for a bit, we headed to the church for their ward's Annual Christmas Program. As always and as promised, it was short and sweet. After that, we had an amazing prime rib dinner (thank you George!) and we had our nativity program. Again, another short and sweet program thanks to the chaos of children.


doing luminaries

Colson sure was a hit with the cousins


Charlie trying to creep in on Max's iPad

Jason being wrestled

trying to get a good shot of his Christmas Eve outfit

The feast:

The nativity:

studying up for his role as wise man

getting ready for Santa

a nice Christmas Eve bath

Thursday was Christmas! That morning all of the kids had a special gift from Santa. Charlie was given a cute Thomas the Train Tent. We lured him in there with some treats. He was interested for a short while, but then that was the end of that. Hopefully he will enjoy it more in the months to come. Colson got a squeaky toy giraffe. After Santa gifts and breakfast, we started the process of opening the gifts under the tree. I would say we did it in record time considering how many people and how many presents were there! There were so many fun and thoughtful gifts! We were all spoiled! We had the Spencer/Jinkins clan this year, and the Riverton Grubers had us. We spent the rest of the day playing with our new toys, hanging out, and eating good food. Merry Christmas!

wakey, wakey Charlie...Santa came!

some Christmas morning lovin'

lots of squirming for pictures from Charlie

Oh! We had a white Christmas! We couldn’t believe it! I had written Kimberly (Sister Arbon) earlier that week complaining that it didn’t feel like Christmas because there hadn’t been and there wasn’t going to be snow. Boy, did it come through in the nick of time! We had beautiful snow, and lots of it! The kids (and adults) had a great time playing in it throughout the week. A definite highlight.

Christmas day always comes and goes so fast, wouldn’t you say? Before we knew it, it was Friday. We spent it playing with toys and playing in the snow.

Saturday, Alli went to go get her nails done for the wedding, so naturally April and I had to accompany her! I justified it as an Anniversary gift (as it was mine and Jason’s six year anniversary that day). We all got Shellac manicures. Loved it! After the manicure, we invited Alli, Rick, April, and Max over to see our new house. The last time April and Max had seen it was moving boxes in...and Alli and Rick had never seen it. It was really fun to be able to show them. They were all so nice about the things we had done with it.

That evening, the Tuttles flew in! We were all very excited, especially the kiddos (most of all, probably Alex)! Just like last time, George and Nancy reserved the gym at the church. We were all there playing when the Tuttles arrived. It was really fun when they walked through the doors. We had our talent show (always such a hoot) and celebrated Clara’s birthday with Domino’s Pizza and cake. Such a fun and busy day.

Colson and Penelope - 11 days apart

Sunday was another busy day. We started off bright and early with Penelope’s baby blessing. It was held in the Gruber home and as many of the Tuttle side came as could. It was such a sweet gathering. After that, we headed to church. After that, we had more visitors! The Banks arrived! Grandpa, Alan, Steve, Annette, James, and Spencer. They were all here for Alli’s wedding. They were sleeping in a nearby hotel, but spent most of the days at the Grubers with us. So fun...they are so great with the kids.

Colson's silver cup from Great Grandpa Banks

beautiful, new burp cloths from Aunt Annette

Monday arrived, the day of the wedding. Everyone was so excited. Alli went to get her hair done at the Pro Do Bar that we went to for Girl’s Days, and even requested the same girl to do her hair. It turned out really cute. The ceremony and reception was at Noah’s Event Center in South Jordan, and it was gorgeous! Such a beautiful, clean, and modern venue. It was fun and elegant at the same time. I loved Alli’s dress, and the colors she chose were soft and classy. I am so glad she decided to do it in Utah. The family was able to be there and several of her close friends flew from California to be there too. Alli really knows how to throw a killer party! We had a smokehouse BBQ dinner, fun sodas (with juice boxes for the kids), and all you can eat shave ice from Hokulia. For her wedding cake, she did tiers of donuts instead of a typical wedding cake, and then also had gourmet donuts for all of us to eat from Beyond Glazed. Alli really had the kids in mind. Not only did she get an awesome DJ for some serious dancing on the huge dance floor, but she also got a magician to entertain and do balloon animals. The party was such a blast! What a great way to welcome Rick and Mason into the family. And to end the night perfectly, there were large sparklers and sky lanterns.

getting clean for the wedding

the love birds

Pics from the wedding:

Tuesday morning, Alli and Rick’s family left. It was sad to see them leave, but we had such a great time with them. That night, in true Banks-Gruber style, we enjoyed some aerial fireworks.

left over donuts for DAYS!

On Wednesday, it was the Banks and Tuttles turn to come and see our new house. That night was New Years Eve, so we celebrated with games, food, sparkling cider, sky lanterns, and more fireworks.

Meeting Jamie's girlfriend, Alexandra

Fans of the Steven Banks Show drove from Wyoming to buy one of his "art pieces".


Thursday was the day of goodbyes. Our little family was actually the last to leave. It is crazy that we had been there for ten days! Oh, it was great! Of course, my favorite moments were just the times hanging out at night after the kids had gone to bed….just chatting, watching shows, playing games, and vegging out. It doesn’t get any better than that. I love me some Christmas family time!