Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Introducing: Gumdrop

We have really had a lot of fun this year with Christmas traditions. The girls are at such a fun stage to introduce traditions that we will hopefully be doing for years to come, and when they think of their childhood Christmas they will remember the fun they had.
First, we had an advent calender this year. I stole the idea from Pottery Barn (theirs was a much classier version) to hang 24 Christmas socks and number them. Each day the girls would run downstairs to see what was in their sock that day. Every morning would Cambry would wake up and say "We forgot to check our alavent (her version of advent) calender! I should pick first." Of course they had to take turns picking but they found things such as a nickel, dime, quarter, or a dollar on a big day, pens, stickers, candy, chapstick, or their favorite finger puppets that were baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, shepherds, and three kings. Nothing fancy for them, but everything was a huge crowd pleaser.

Second, with the money that they collected from their calendars they saved in their piggy banks and used it to buy their sister a present. When they had collected $6 each we went to Walmart for some big spending. Drew shopped with Colbie while I shopped with Cambry and we both kept them from seeing each others gifts. It was a good lesson in many ways because they had to try not to buy things that they wanted but really think of the other person, and an early financial lesson as they kept picking the biggest items on the shelf that they couldn't afford and we got to talk about their budget. Cambry picked out some dinosaurs for Colbie that is probably one of Colbie's favorite gifts that she received, and Colbie got Cambry a ball and some candy. Can't go wrong with that.

The third tradition is my favorite tradition: Elf on a Shelf. It's a book that comes with a magical elf that enters into your home. (There will be a future post on the disaster that happened while I was purchasing this book. Stay tuned because it's a doozie.) Anyways, your kids find the elf, name him, and he reports back to Santa if the kids have been good or bad throughout the day (we always focused him telling the good stuff, not like a tattle tail) , and then he flies back and lands in a different spot every morning and the girls have to find him. Per Santa's rules the elf isn't allowed to talk he can only listen, and the girls cannot touch him or he looses his Christmas magic. Bringing him into the home was fun. The girls and I had coincidentally just finished reading the book Elf on a Shelf for the first time, when we went into the next room and our elf had appeared! Sneaky elf. I asked the girls what they wanted to name him and I let them each pick a name. Cambry picked Gumdrop (it was actually her second choice after I wouldn't let her name him Nose Ring), and Colbie picked Piggy. They both agreed on the last name Elf-Elf. So our elf's name is Gumdrop Piggy Elf-Elf. I love it! The girls loved finding him every morning and seeing what mischief he had been up too. Their favorite was the day he was sitting with marshmallows all around and had some stuck on his face. He was loads of fun but next year I'm going to have some elf shoes made for him to see if he will wear them because his lack of feet freak me out!

One day we couldn't find him so we gave up and went to eat breakfast, and when we opened the pantry door look who was hanging around. :)

One day he sat on the fridge and had stolen one of daddy's Cokes.

He is gone until next year, but we already miss you Gumdrop!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Look out Jennifer Beals

Cambry had her last dance class for the season on Monday. She was so cute dancing that I hated to see it come to an end, but we can always put her in again. Every class they danced to Christmas songs and the last dance was to "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas". They had some pretty great dance moves including when they lined up to pass a stuffed hippopotamus wearing a tutu. Cambry was third in line bouncing up and down waiting for her turn. The first girl took the hippo and passed it on, and the second girl took the hippo and passed it on to Cambry. Cambry took the hippo hugged it, rocked it, and when the teacher said "pass it Cambry, pass it Cambry" Cambry finally kissed the hippo and passed it. Unfortunately this was the only class that I forgot my camera. I was very proud of her for all of her efforts in dance, but do to her "artistic flair" (by that I mean all of the other kids following the teachers moves and Cambry doing her own 90% of the time) I don't think we will enroll her in Julliard anytime soon. Here are some of our memories from this session.

Cambry felt it would appropriate to give herself a solo when all of the other girls are lined up against the wall. :) I love that kid.

You'll have your turn one day Juju!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Big girl beds!!!

Drew and I have had a goal for quite a while. It seemed like a milestone that was never really going to happen. Something that when we thought of we looked at each other with nervous eyes knowing the effort that it was going to take to reach this accomplishment. What was it? Getting the girls to sleep in their big girl beds - in the same room. Yikes! They currently have their own rooms, and I know one day they will want to have separate rooms again (but in the mean time mama's getting a craft room! Holla!!). We just wanted them to build some childhood memories together and as close as possible. Literally.

Here were a few of our fears:

Colbie: She sleeps in her crib and loves it. She is in a cute, stylish jail that keeps her from wondering the hallways of our home. When she wakes up in her crib she just lays in bed and sings until someone comes to get her. She is peaceful in there - with the exception of the 10 day stretch that she was a screaming tyrant that insisted on sleeping standing up and made me wonder every night who replaced my sweet baby with the crazy banchy? - but we will just chalk that week up to teething and never look back. My fear about moving Colbie into the big girl bed was that she was going to revert back to her banchy-ways but be loose in our house!

Cambry: A wonderful sleeper......as long as she is in our bed. Oops. This kid has been sleeping with Drew and I for about a year now. Hard habit to break. And also bittersweet. Cambry is a completely crazy sleeper, and as annoying as it to take an elbow to the face, or a swinging leg across the gut (our nights sleep sometimes resembled a UFC fight), I loved crawling into bed and snuggling with that little lady. If any one was watching when I crawled into bed with her it probably looked a smidge creepy because I always snuggled up right next to her, pet her head for a bit, smelled her (that's the creepy part, but her hair always smells so good!), and made sure she was covered up because she is a nudist and only sleeps in undies. It seems like every night Drew and I would go in and see how she was sleeping and smile and say how cute she was. It never got old. I think Colbie was starting to realize that we all slept in the same bed and feel left out though, and I never want her to feel left out over anything. There just isn't room for four in the bed! Believe me, we've tried it.

So anyways, we did it. We have been preparing the girls that "someday soon" they would be sharing a room. I moved over all of Colbie's belongings and she has been sharing the room (just not sleeping there) for about two months. We even set up Colbie's bed in Cambry's room and we would practice laying in there together in preparation for the big day. We also stopped calling it Cambry's room, and called it the girls room. We put up some planet stars and stickers on the ceiling to make the room a little more exciting. Then the day came. We have been asking the girls when they wanted to sleep in there and Cambry kept saying "soon, soon we will" and I thought she really meant never. Until Sunday when she said "I think I want to sleep in my big girl bed tonight." Drew and I looked at each other wide-eyed and said "Okay!" And that is where they have slept together for the last five nights. They have done a really great job, and the video monitor to watch what they are doing has become priceless. I only wish it was recording. Of course there is a bunch of laughter coming from the room, some sweet story telling, and then a few screams as Colbie repeatedly crosses over into her sisters bed, and we have seen pillow fights, and the occasional tattle-tale (Cambry yelling "MOM! COLBIE IS SAYING BUTT!!!" -butt is off limits to say- and Colbie is sitting on the edge of her bed bouncing and saying "butt, butt, butt, butt" over and over. Man that kid cracks me up.) Drew and I just try to let them work out their issues on their own and stay out as much as possible. The biggest issue is that the insomniac in Colbie has come out. She must take after me. She would stay up all night rather than miss something. Even after Cambry has fallen asleep she stays awake and still teases her, or sings, or cries, but doesn't go to sleep until about 11. That's late for a two-year-old, and her personality in the morning shows it! I know once the newness of it all wears off, then I'm sure she will go to sleep.
Over all we are so proud of them, and it's nice to have our bed back with it's intended purpose.....Uninterrupted sleep!!!

Night 1 in the big girl beds!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Braelyn is here!!

So I know this post is super late, but I wanted to announce the arrival of my beautiful new niece Braelyn Aria Branton. Born on October 4, 2011 (I call her my trucker baby 10-4 good buddy!) She weighed 6lbs 15oz and was 19 inches long. I was so honored to be in the room and take pictures of Braelyn's arrival. My sister did a great job and had another wonderful delivery. And PERFECT! She is such a gorgeous baby, and she is so sweet too. She spends most of her days sleeping, eating, and cuddling with her mommy and daddy. Brielle loves her so much and Cambry and Colbie are smitten as well. Braelyn we love you and can't wait to make a lifetime of memories together!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yesterday was Cambry's first day of ballet! She was SO excited. I think it really hit her that she was going to be a ballerina after putting on her dance outfit. (Thanks Lily!) She couldn't stop twirling and twirling while we were getting ready. I signed her up for a class through the City of Gilbert. It's only once a week and much less expensive then a dance studio, but for her first time taking a class I thought we could try it out and it wouldn't be a big loss if she didn't like it. However, she LOVED it! She kept saying "this is my big day!" I had been telling her that leading up to the day, and she was sure excited when it had finally arrived.
We arrived to the dance room early so she could have some time to get in there and see what it was like. The parents don't get to stay in the room so she was going to have to do it all by herself. She and Colbie were the only two in the room running, dancing, and loving their giant play area! Then other kids started to come in and the teacher was ready to start. We all stayed in there while the teacher took role and told us the rules. I couldn't help but laugh on the inside as everyone is sitting in a circle and Cambry kept raising her hand and saying "TEACHER!" and then of course copy-her-sister-Colbie would say "Teacher!". The teacher ignored them, but I had to laugh because we have talked about going to school and how someday she will have a teacher and she will have to raise her hand to speak. I don't think she had anything to say, she just thought she was doing what you do at school. Very funny. When the rules were over all the parents headed out the door while all the girls (there was only one other 3-year-old, all of the other girls were 4 and 5) headed to their spots on the dance floor. I saw Cambry see me leave and she ran to the door and said "Mommy, don't leave me!!!!". A piece of me wanted to say "Okay! Lets run out of here and never be apart! No classes/school for you EVER!" It seemed a little Rapunzelish though, so I fought my inner thoughts and told her she was perfectly fine and I wanted to see what she could learn. She did a great job following directions and learning some new moves. I was so proud and sat outside the door with a giant lump in my throat the whole time. She came to the window of the door a few times and mouthed to me that she was all done, but I mouthed back to her to go dance and she did. She stayed in the class the full 45 minutes. The last five minutes the parents get to come in and see what the kids learned, and that was my favorite part. I videoed it, but it's not the best because with my other hand I am wrestling with Colbie. As you can hear in the video she wanted to run out there and dance with the girls. Someday it will be her turn and I can't wait for that I'm sure she will own the dance floor.

Getting ready to go

"Listening" to the Teacher

For some reason this is my favorite picture from the day

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Halloween, in November

I'm a bit behind on my posts since it's November and I'm posting about Halloween, Colbie has been two for a month now and I haven't posted her stats, and I have a new niece who deserves a post more than anything and I still haven't done that! Ugh. I will be getting to all of that don't worry!
Here are a few pictures from our Halloween. As most of you know Cambry wanted to be an astronaut because that's what she wants to be when she grows up. She also wants to be a doctor so she has decided to meet in the middle and be a space doctor. Aliens need healthcare too. (unless you live in Arizona then that is a touchy subject ;) Drew already had an astronaut costume so they were the perfect pair!
Colbie wanted to be a viking. Probably because her favorite movie is Tangled and she loves the vikings. She was so cute! I didn't want to be the only one not dressed up so I made myself a viking costume to match Colbie's so that we could be twins.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin heads

Last weekend Grandpa John came in from Oklahoma and Uncle Will came up from Tucson. We had a great relaxing family weekend. We did a lot of eating, a lot of college football watching (my favorite part.....no...no it wasn't :) went to a pumpkin patch, and went on a "scary" walk around the neighborhood.
Grandpa John's visits are always too short, but we cram in a lot of fun while he is here. The girls could not wait to see him and Uncle Will all week.

This was at the pumpkin patch. Each of the girls got to pick out a little pumpkin. Colbie found just the one she wanted and then kissed it, rocked it, and babied it.

Drew found just the one he wanted too.


This is when we were heading around the neighborhood searching for all of the scary decorations that are out.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Proverbs 14:1

"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." Proverbs 14:1.

God, show me ways to build up my household. Let my hands do your work in my home. Help me to make wise decisions to be the support that this family needs. Allow me to have a servants heart as do my everyday chores that are not my favorite. Open my eyes to any way that I could be tearing my house down, and help me to change those ways. Keep the many idols and distractions of this world out of my reach so that I can focus on my family and their needs. Help my children and my husband to drip with the love that I pour on them. Show me new ways to show them love and make their days special. I want to love each of differently according to their needs. Help us to laugh as a family and build up priceless memories. Thank you for the opportunity that you have given me to be a wife and mother. Please show me how to do it well. Help me be humble and gracious in this role, and never let me take it for granted.
Please keep our family close, safe, and together forever.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ain't no Foo

On Father's Day I gave Drew a really great present if I do say so myself. He isn't really into gifts that much, so any holiday I really struggle to find something that he will like and wont want to secretly return. This year I decided I would give him an experience. I racked my brain for something that he would like to do. One day I was driving and on the radio I heard that tickets to see the Foo Fighters were going on sale the Friday before Father's Day. They also announced that if you called right then you could win tickets before they even went on sale! I called. It was busy. I called. It was busy. This went on and on and on. Needless to say I did not win tickets, but I was ready at my computer at 11am on Friday morning when tickets went on sale buy tickets with all of the other callers, like myself, who didn't win. Tickets were selling like crazy! By the time I had my credit card typed in all of the floor seats were sold out! Ah! Our seats ended up being a little high, but they were still really great.
Father's Day was in June and our concert wasn't until October 16th, so we have been waiting and anticipating this night for months! (He was SUPER stoked when he opened his non-materialistic-experience-present and I was super stoked because I was pretty sure he would take me) The night finally came and we got to the arena where they were playing and I started to get jittery. Something happens to me when I enter a concert venue. I get so excited/nervous. Excited because I am about to see someone great perform who up until this point has only been about a foot tall on my TV. Nervous because hearing someone sing live really makes it our breaks it for a band. They will either really impress you or you will leave wondering how they became famous. I also love to look at the other fans. I always think that they cannot possibly like them as much as I do, and I know they are thinking the same about me. And at this concert I kind of snickered as everyone looked so old. Then I got a sick feeling in my stomach and realized we probably didn't look very out of place and we will soon be the old folk trying to rock out. I'm okay with that. I hope to be at rock concerts in my nineties.
It's so fun to feel the energy as the band takes the stage, or when you hear them starting one of their great songs and the crowd goes nuts. This crowd was primarily made up of white folk in their forties, so as you can image their was a lot of white folk head bobs. Those who were really into it threw up a few fist pumps which also made me smile. The best was the intoxicated lady in front of us who was air drumming her white little heart out.
Now to the band. Did they impress us? More than I ever thought possible. They blew my mind actually. If you don't know who they are the Foo Fighters have been a band for 16 years and have numerous platinum albums and 6 grammys. Dave Grohl who is there lead singer started out as a drummer for a little band called Nirvana, you may have heard of them. Kurt Cobain blew that for them though. Literally. Dave turned down other opportunities to join other bands to start his own and he created the Foo Fighters. What a talented man to be the drummer for the best grunge band of all time, then start your own band and be the lead singer and guitarist. Wow.
They played for over THREE hours. It was insane. I've never been to a concert where they played that long! Not only that but I'm pretty sure that Dave has had to have his neck replaced with a slinky the way that throws it around the entire time.
Here are some pics from our night out.

Sipping our sodas that cost us $12. Yep, we paid for food almost the price of another ticket!

This is me modeling my sexy earplugs. I have doctors orders to wear them to prevent any further hearing loss. (full story is in a previous blog post) I thought I would just wear my hair down and no one would see them, but it was hot in there so I decided to wear a ponytail anyways and let the world see my plugs. At one point on stage Dave Grohl said something about not wanting to be deafer than he already is, and I realized I bet most rockstars do have hearing loss from this crazy noise they around. Anyways, it makes me feel better anytime I find out that someone super cool has the same disability. :) It also made me realize how well earplugs work. When I first put them in I thought "Wow! This is the perfect muffle. I should use these when I'm in my car." Then I realized I should just turn down the radio in my car. (Don't worry I don't listen to my music too loud with the children, so that I do not impair their hearing, plus they yell "too loud, mom" if I get out of hand.)

Dave surrounded by tons of fans.

A clip to see how springy his neck is, and their amazing music. Well, their music may not be your taste and that's okay we are all different. But for rock and roll they were top notch.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My baby is 2!!!!!

Where did the time go? My little baby Colbie is TWO!!! I can't believe how fast it has come, but here we are. We had a great day today with Colbie. When she woke up Drew brought her downstairs, and she opened her presents from us that Cambry and I had been wrapping before she was awake. Cambry was really into giving presents and did an awesome job of sharing the new toys after they were open. I was really proud of her. After presents we went to church where I made sure to tell the ladies in the nursery it was her birthday so that she would get extra attention. Then in the afternoon we had family over to have some cake and celebrate with us. This child was so smothered with love! After the mini-party we decided to order a pizza and have a movie night. Colbie's choice was Tangled. It's her favorite movie, and in fact I think it's the only big girl movie that she will watch from beginning to end. She loves Rapunzel, Pascal, Flynn Rider and especially loves the vikings. It was a great end to a mellow birthday.

First thing in the morning (still has her just-woke-up-sheep-dog hair) opening her new little Rapunzel toy. Who is more excited though? Colbie? Cambry?...Or Daddy? :)

The girls being so sweet sharing the new doll.

Colbie is quite the artist and LOVES to draw. (Though it must be a closely monitored coloring session or we end up with murals everywhere.) She wanted to color the minute she got her new coloring book!

Colbie loves cake balls, so I made them for birthday cake. They were yummy, but they aren't very candle friendly so it looks silly but I did manage to squeeze two candles on hers.

Ahhh. A long day is over. Now to eat pizza, watch Tangled, and wrap up in Mr. Banks (her blankey).

Colbie Taylor Roberts. I love you so much child. Thank you for all of the smiles you have given me over these last two years. Thank you for all the times that I have gotten to rock you, hold you, and wrap you up in Mr. Banks. Thank you for being a best friend to your sister, and making such a fun childhood for you both. Thank you for every song that you sing, and every dance that you dance. I love listening to every complete robotic sentence that comes out of your mouth. You are so smart. I love you so much, and I'm so lucky to have you. Snuggling with you is one of my favorite things in the world to do. Every time you lay your head on my shoulder I feel so happy and peaceful. I look forward to seeing what amazing things you do with your life and how you will shine. Thank you for a fun filled two years. Your daddy and I love you so much!! Happy Birthday!