29 December 2008

{ the christmas trees of past and present }

On our fifth Christmas together, Brad and I finally pulled off an official Christmas tree.



Now, a bit of Christmas tree history:

1st Christmas - we decided not to get one (didn't want to spend the money on a tree, plus a stand, lights, and ornaments). One of our neighbors saw we didn't have one and left one on our doorstep on Christmas Eve. It was a lovely fake tree - about a foot and a half tall. We tried to hang the one ornament we owned on it, but it was too heavy and the tree tipped over. We wound a few pieces of ribbon through the branches and called it good.

2nd Christmas - used the same tree as last year, with the same ribbon.

3rd Christmas - we finally bought a live Christmas tree. It was very small, but pretty. We had no lights and didn't want to buy any...and no ornaments either. I did upgrade our ribbon to some fancier pieces, but that's all it had. It smelled delicious, though - we were happy enough.

*Note - with our 3rd Christmas tree, we needed a tree stand. To be frugal, I found one for free on Freecycle and went to pick it up. The woman had told me she would leave it on her front doorstep for me. I took it home and cleaned it all up (it was a very nice stand, but dirty and full of spiderwebs). A few hours AFTER picking the tree stand up I got a phone call from the Freecycle woman asking me if I was going to come pick up the stand. I informed her that I already had it. She was silent for a moment and then told me that her tree stand was still on her front porch...she proceeded to describe her house to me and it was NOT the house I had gotten the tree stand from. We discovered that I had stolen a tree stand off her neighbor's front porch (apparently they were just storing it out there). I quickly got back in the car and drove back to the house and sneakily put the newly cleaned tree stand back on the front porch. I then went next door and picked up the tree stand I was supposed to have gotten in the first place.

4th Christmas - I was determined to do better this year, so I purchased all new ornaments and trimmings and got some lights from my mom. We got a beautiful live tree, brought it home, cut off the bottom, hauled it up three flights of stairs, and set it up in the stand. The next morning we realized we had not watered it. We hauled it back downstaiirs, cut the bottom off again, hauled it back upstairs, and put it back in the stand - with water! We then got so busy we did not take the time to light and decorate it right away. I then got so sick (pregnant) that by Christmas it was lit about a foot from the bottom and a foot from the top - no lights in the middle and no ornaments. It stayed in our house that way (very dead) until March. I'm sure many people would have been willing to help us take it down, but Brad was too busy and I was too sick to even go so far as to ask for help.

5th Christmas - this year's tree involved the following:

- getting very lost trying to find the christmas tree lot
- falling in love with an expensive tree, but bartering with the guy running the lot and getting 15 dollars knocked off the price
- six different trips to different stores to purchase, return, and purchase lights again
- having to take (large) sections of lights off the tree four different times because they stopped working (after having worked when tested)
- finally having the tree fully lit and ready for decorations a week after bringing it home
- only being able to keep the lights on for five minutes at a time because they would trip the power cord and turn off (they're serious when they say not to hook more than five strands together...)
- a lot of work and money, but a fantastic result (for five minutes at a time)







28 December 2008

{ new game }

This is Orva's favorite new game. For a few weeks she would try really hard to make this noise (pphhhhbbbttttt) but couldn't do it. She would press her lips together really hard and stick them out, but no noise would come out (only drool). She was very pleased when she finally learned how to do it.

video

* There are still a few times in the video where the noise doesn't come out, but if you look really closely at her lips, you can tell she's trying very hard.


This is what her face looked like when she was learning how to make the noise.

{ random pictures }

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{ bumbo }







* Pardon the poor picture quality - they were taken on Brad's iPhone. I thought they were still cute enough to post.

{ grandma orva's dress }

Grandma Orva (my mom) wore this dress when she was a baby. It's been so fun to have my Orva wear it now.





23 December 2008

{ lights at temple square and swimming }

My mom and dad and two of my younger brothers spent a weekend at a hotel up here in Salt Lake. We joined them for an evening to see the lights on temple square.





Orva loved looking around at all the lights and stayed awake for a very long time. Toward the end, though, she just couldn't keep her eyes open any longer so we turned the pack around and let her sleep.

* By the way, she's wearing a "popover". It's a cozy suit that has a hole in the back so it fits over her in a carseat, in the pack, or in a stroller. The hood is reversable so she can face in or out in the pack. We love it!





The next morning we went and joined them at their hotel to go swimming.





Orva loved the water.



She loved "kick-kick-kicking".



She didn't mind floating on her back.



She loved swimming back and forth between mom and grandpa.



She loved the splashing and being passed around.



She did not like being dunked.

{ kitty }

Brad's family has this cat who doesn't even have a name...we just call it "kitty" or "the cat". Kitty is known for his charming personality:

- If you are sitting on the couch reading a book, he will swat the book out of your hand and demand to be petted.

- He will stalk you.

- He will sit by the door and scratch it, wanting to go outside. If you walk by and do NOT let him out, he will chase you down and pounce.

- He sleeps in your bed (welcome or not) and not just at the foot of the bed - right in the middle (and cannot be moved).

- He has the meanest glare I've ever seen.

- He weighs close to 20 pounds.

- He is bigger than my child.




I consider myself lucky that he did not climb into Orva's crib and squish her while we were there.

{ brett + kye }

Brad's brother, Brett, got married just before Thanksgiving. Brad was able to take a whole week off work, so we flew up to Washington to spend time with his family before and after the wedding. We had a fabulous time!















* I was very glad Brad was going to be with us on the flights to and from Washington because I was worried we were going to have a repeat of our last flight. However, Orva was an angel and didn't make a peep on either flight. Lovely.

{ smiles }

Hooray! We finally got some smiles on camera...







* Note...this is how she started out...



21 December 2008

{ halloween }

I figured I better post about Halloween before we hit Christmas...

We moved the morning after Halloween so I was packing that whole week. I kept trying to think of something for Orva to dress up in for her first Halloween and couldn't come up with anything. I didn't see anything I liked in stores (picky me) so thought maybe I would make something. I ended up with no time...but did manage to pull something together.

Halloween timeline:

3:30 p.m. Pull into the Wal-mart parking lot
3:50 p.m. Leave Wal-mart parking lot with fabric in hand
4:05 p.m. Arrive at my mom's house to begin sewing the costume
5:00 p.m. My mom leaves for a family Halloween party with half of the costume and works on it on the drive to the party
5:40 p.m. I leave for the family party with the rest of the costume
6:25 p.m. Arrive at family party and combine two costume parts - finished!

Please don't look too closely - the costume lasted the night and was cute enough for me! Also, she's SUPPOSED to be a fish. I don't mind if you think she looks like a mermaid, but please don't tell me she looks like a dragon or a butterfly (apparently the hat doesn't look at all fish-like).









Brad and I went so far as to wear Halloween-ish colors, but no more dressing up for us! Why would we now that we have a child to dress up?



The baby fish with her grandma hula girl.



Talking with her grandpa cowboy. He claims she demanded to hold his "piece".

{ orva's blessing }



We blessed Orva in October when my sisters were all in town. Brad's parents and sister and her family were also able to come down. It was nice to have so much family there! Brad gave a beautiful blessing - it was so neat to give her the name of "Orva". My mom was there and I'm sure Great Grandma Orva was listening in as well. It was such a special day!





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