A Night on the Polar Express

Story told by: Lainey

Elf had quite a surprise for us when we woke up this morning!

He planned a fun evening on The Polar Express for us (complete with new PJs)!

After waiting all day for our special evening, it finally arrived! Our first event was a Polar Express/winter-themed dinner.

Every good Polar Express dinner has to have a train (and a celery track).

We also had snowballs and snowmen. The perfect winter scene!

We enjoyed some delicious snow milk with our dinner. We shivered through our entire meal because it was soooooo cold.

These were the best snowballs we’ve ever had!

After dinner we got in our matching PJs (or p-berries as I like to call them).

On our way to the train, we had our ticket punched by Grandpa the conductor.

He gave me an “L” on my ticket.

Henry got an “H” on his ticket.

Grandpa tried to do a “B” for Brody, but obviously needs some practice. Oh well, two out of three isn’t bad.

We sat down and the conductor came around to check our tickets.

Time for the movie! Henry and I held tight to our tickets.

When the movie got to the part where waiters come into the train to serve refreshments, we paused the movie to get our own treats. We got some delicious hot chocolate!

We also had snowflakes and peppermint chocolate cookies. A perfect winter treat!

Sometime during the movie, Henry moved over to my chair.

And we ended the movie on Grandma’s lap. We had a great trip on the Polar Express. Choo choo!

Lewiston Lights, 2015

Story told by: Henry

We had a fun time last night visiting the lights in Lewiston, Idaho!

I went to this display last year, but this is the first year I could truly appreciate everything.

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We tried for a group picture, but I couldn’t stop looking at all of the amazing lights.

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Uncle Jeff and Lainey walked together through most of the display.

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It was really fun to have Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Jeff join us this year!

This cute guy hung out with Daddy most of the night. I don’t think he was thrilled by being out in the cold, but he’ll have more fun with it next year!

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Family shot. (Lainey was a bit of a show-off with her perfect smile.)

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When Lainey wasn’t with Uncle Jeff, she was with me. That’s a tricky feat considering that I ran throughout the display 90% of the time.

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In order to keep me from going too far, she was watching out for me by holding on to my hood. (I didn’t like this at the time, but looking back I can see that she’s just being a good big sister.)

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Kid picture at the gingerbread men. This was our best shot. Mommy imagines that it will be a a few years (or maybe ten or twenty years) before we can get a decent picture with all three of us.

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We gave them about ten seconds for a picture before I took off running (see my arm in the picture?), Lainey started climbing through the middle of the gingerbread man, and Brody started crying.

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This video perfectly captures how crazy I was throughout the park.

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Lainey asked Uncle Jeff to go with her in the igloo. They make some awesome silly faces!

As is our tradition, we headed for pizza at Fazzari’s after the lights.

We entertained ourselves before the pizza arrived. Once it arrived, though, there aren’t any pictures because we were way too busy eating the best pizza ever! What a fun night! Another Christmas tradition in the books.

Thanksgiving, 2015

Story told by: Lainey

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’ve been looking forward to Thanksgiving for quite awhile, so I’m happy it’s finally here!

We started our day by watching the parade. I loved watching the Radio City Rockettes.

Henry especially loved the Sesame Street float.

I spent most of the parade cuddling with Grandpa.

Mommy and Grandma spent most of the morning and early afternoon getting stuff ready for our yummy Thanksgiving dinner. They are a great team!

While the final touches were put on dinner, Brody hung out with Uncle Jeff.

Daddy did the honors of carving the turkey.

Mommy’s good friend, Abby, and her family joined us for Thanksgiving dinner. Abby’s family lives in Pennsylvania, so we were thrilled to have them join us!

The fantastic kids’ table!

The adult table. What a great group!

Dinner was wonderful! Thanks to everyone for their hard work.

Brody hung out for most of dinner, and ate some pureed sweet potatoes in honor of Thanksgiving dinner.

After dinner, we played Heads Up, which is a game on our iPad. It involves acting out words in order to get your teammate to guess it.

The game app takes a video of the people acting, and you can save it to your device. This one was an especially great video of Grandpa acting out the word “cowboy.”

After the game, we cut into the caramel pecan pumpkin pie and apple pie. Yum!

Grandma joined Henry at the kids’ table. He LOVED his pie. We didn’t hear a peep out of him for ten minutes, which is unheard of in this house.

We ended the night by reading the book about our elf on the shelf, Elf (I named him “Elf” last year). He’s back for a fun month of finding his new location each morning. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. God has sure blessed us with some wonderful family and friends.

We Love Grandma and Grandpa!

Story told by: Lainey

I love it when Grandma and Grandpa visit from Illinois!

We went to pick Grandma up at the Spokane Airport, and boy was I excited!

Grandma arrived last Wednesday! (She came earlier than Grandpa because he had to work a couple days longer.)

Brody was still getting over his stomach bug, so he got in lots of cuddles with Grandma.

We love having Grandma gives us baths because she’s fun and gives us bubbles!

Grandpa arrived on Friday, and rented a car to meet us at the aquatic center to watch us swim. That goofy guy had a surprise for us when we pulled up!

Brody was very relaxed in the pool.

Daddy joined us for swimming after he was done with work.

Cleopatra and her little sister were at the pool with us! (Emma was there as well, but we didn’t get a picture with her.)

We put Grandpa to work right away the next morning with important books to read.

That afternoon Grandma and Grandpa took me and Henry to Ferdinand’s for some delicious ice cream. They also went crazy with buying cheese.

That night the adults went to the football game to watch the Cougs beat Colorado. Go Cougs!

Brody has been showing off his great sitting skills.

On Sunday afternoon, we went to the new playground at the Colton school. Mommy LOVES it because there’s no gravel for Henry to eat!!

We had quite a bit of fun on the scooters!

Grandma pushed Daddy and I for awhile.

When Grandma got tired, Grandpa helped. Grandma didn’t seem to fully appreciate his help.

On Monday afternoon, we went to the movie theater to see the new Charlie Brown movie with Grandma and Grandpa. It was Henry’s first movie.

We got some delicious popcorn!

Mommy thought they were crazy for taking Henry, but he was glued to his seat the entire time. He loved it!

I took advantage of some target practice after the movie was done. Two guns….no big deal.

Before we got home from the movie, Daddy got home and got to spend some time with Brody.

I played Candy Land with Grandma. It lasted for about three minutes because I didn’t like following the rules.

Grandma bought some ornaments for us to color, so we enjoyed doing that. (Notice Brody smiling in the background. That kid is CUTE!)

He was happy as could be to play with his toys.

After we were done coloring, Grandma bought jewels to add to the ornaments. This woman speaks my language!

We had a lunch date with Grandma and Grandpa at McDonald’s today, and then we got to play on the playground.

Uncle Jeff arrived from Phoenix tonight! Looking forward to a fun weekend with him!

6:59 a.m. – 10:34 a.m.

Story told by: Lainey

A snapshot of our morning from 6:59 a.m. – 10:34 a.m…

Mommy started taking pictures of our day as we were finishing breakfast.

Henry finished eating and immediately dumped out all of his cars.

Driving cars over the bumpy terrain.

While Henry played with cars, Mommy did my hair. I’m a little dramatic, so this is the face I make when Mommy brushes through the knots in my hair. (Mommy uses detangler spray, but NO ONE can understand my pain.)

Voila!

I have quite a sensitive nose, so it’s very common to see me sniffing Henry’s bottom to see if he has a poopy diaper. Yes, he does!

This is what Henry does for diaper changes. Every. Single. Time.

I helped Mommy throw away the diaper, and since I listened the first time I was asked, I got to move a cotton ball out of the jar.

This little guy is at the bottom of the jar, and as soon as I remove all of the cotton balls, he’s all mine!

Then Mommy had to go to the bathroom, which is always a family affair in this house.

We had a rare morning where we didn’t have to leave the house, so we decided to take advantage of it and make cookies. But first I pushed Henry off the stool, so I had to apologize.

After we got through that debacle, we were about to start mixing cookie ingredients, but then Brody woke up from his first nap of the day.

Hi, buddy!

Brody had a stomach bug all weekend, so he still didn’t feel like eating applesauce this morning.

He was happy to play with toys, though!

And now, let’s make some cookies!

The best part of making chocolate chip cookies is getting to sample the chocolate chips!

Henry loved his chocolate chips so much that he was already signing “more” before his chocolate chips were gone.

Cookies are in the oven!

Meanwhile I was waiting for Mommy to wipe me.

After Mommy finished helping me, Henry went to help Mommy switch around the laundry.

Then Henry got busy with his Legos.

Mommy finished baking the cookies.

I kept Brody happy.

Even though it was early in the morning, Mommy let us indulge in a warm-from-the-oven cookie!

After our yummy treat, it was time to give Brody a bath!

Henry wouldn’t stop splashing in the water, so Mommy told him that he had to leave. He responded with a screaming fit on the floor.

Henry recovered moments later, and we enjoyed a ride on the cupcake car while Mommy finished bathing Brody.

Then I chose not to listen to Mommy when she asked me to do something, so I had to put a cotton ball back in the jar with the Care Bear.

Mommy sat down to give Brody a bottle, and I modeled my princess shoes for her.

Henry joined in on the fun.

Then Henry sat down to build a ramp for his cars, while I made a balance beam to walk on with my high heels. I like a challenge!

As it turns out, Brody might not be feeling completely better. Mommy apparently tried to give him too big of a bottle, and he threw up all over himself and Mommy. He sure acted better after that, though!

After putting Brody down for a nap, Mommy had to get in the shower because she was covered in vomit. While she was in the shower, Henry and I built forts and ramps for the cars.

At some point we got bored with that, though, and moved onto taking apart Mommy’s wallet. I was so excited to tell Mommy about all of the money we had found for our piggy banks.

Once she got out of the shower, we had to go to timeout.

Then we had to put back all of the change. Not cool.

Time for more laundry to wash the vomit-covered clothes.

Once we push the button, we always wait to watch the water start.

Next up was a craft!

We started by coloring the paper.

Then Mommy cut the paper into strips.

Then we told Mommy the things for which we were thankful. This is part of Henry’s project.

After the writing was done, Mommy made it into a pumpkin! Henry wanted long strips of paper, so his pumpkin is more of an oval shape.

Mommy asked me to count out ten strips of paper for my pumpkin, so I counted very carefully.

While Mommy spent ten seconds supervising my counting, Henry took some liberties with his crayon.

He didn’t get to color anymore, and he wasn’t happy about it.

Here’s my pumpkin.

While Mommy put my pumpkin together, I requested some music, so we listened to Adele’s new song.

All done!

We hung our pumpkins up with our turkeys from last week.

Crafting is hard work, so we needed some cranberry pumpkin bread for energy!

While we were eating snack, Brody woke up, so Mommy went to get him. Even when sick, he’s still happy.

Henry is becoming fiercely independent, so he insists on bringing his snack plate over to the sink once he’s done eating.

When doing so, though, he flings his crumbs everywhere, so Mommy does a lot of sweeping.

While Mommy finished cleaning up, we looked for birds out the window.

Then as soon as Mommy walked out of the room, I started jumping on the couch. Then I fell off the couch.

As Mommy gave me a hug to help me feel better, we discussed how Mommy just might know what she’s talking about when she says, “No jumping on the couch.”

Our next task was folding laundry. I’ve been really interested in helping with laundry lately. I take great care to match up the corners on towels while folding.

This is how Henry helps with laundry.

After folding, we took a break for some cuddling.

Henry wanted to join us, but really didn’t want to take a picture. He kept saying, “No, thank you. No, thank you.”

Here’s the last picture of the morning that Mommy took at 10:34 a.m. What a morning!

Frozen Disney on Ice

Story told by: Lainey

Mommy and Daddy surprised us on Sunday with the news that we were headed to Frozen Disney on Ice! It was the best!

I insisted on wearing my Elsa dress so that I could match one of my favorite characters.

Henry was amazed by the detailed set on the ice.

He was all smiles!

Unfortunately Brody wasn’t feeling well all weekend, so he mostly just hung out in the Ergo with Daddy.

It’s almost time for the show to start!!

My first glimpse of Minnie and Mickey.

And Ariel.

And Cinderella.

It was fun to have some of my favorite Disney characters start the show!

Henry loved seeing Mickey!

Here come Anna and Elsa!

Daddy got us some delicious popcorn to munch on throughout the show.

I REALLY wanted the $30 princess wand and the $15 cotton candy, but when Mommy and Daddy saw the price for those, they seemed to think that popcorn was a much better idea.

Henry got a little wiggly at times, but for the most part, we were both glued to the show. Henry especially loved Olaf and Anna, and I especially loved Elsa.

What a fun, fun, fun night! Thank you Mommy and Daddy for the fantastic evening!

My Six-Month Checkup

Story told by: Brody

I had my six-month checkup today with Dr. Mike!

Not to brag, but I’m kind of a big deal in that office. The nurses all wanted to hold me and love on me.

Here are my measurements:

Height: 28 3/4 inches (greater than 100th percentile) (Henry was 27 1/2 inches, and Lainey was 27 inches.)

Weight: 24 pounds (greater than 100th percentile) (Henry was 20.6 pounds, and Lainey was 18.6 pounds.)

Head Circumference: 18 1/2 inches (greater than 100th percentile) (Henry and Lainey both measured at 18 inches.)

I have rolls upon rolls upon rolls.

When Dr. Mike came in, he said that I’m one big boy!

I do have a little fluid still in my ear from my last ear infection, but Mike said that’s pretty normal. Mommy will keep watching me to make sure that I continue to get better.

After a couple of quick shots, I was a happy, healthy boy!