Friday, September 26, 2014

Utah- Fam Reunion

We knew when we moved away from Utah that we would be coming back for the family reunion just a few months later! What we didn't know was that my brother's wedding would be at that same time! The timing worked out pretty well though, we got to take a long trip at the end of June into July and fit in both things. It didn't feel like we had been gone from Utah for that long but it was great to come back and see everyone, especially those that came from out of state that we hadn't seen in years.

Plane ride there:

Another great thing about Mariah getting older is she'll actually sit and watch a show now! She chose Elmo on the way there, and even though she only watched for like 15 minute intervals it is the biggest lifesaver ever. Never again will I ever judge anybody for giving their kids shows and snacks for an entire flight. Airplane + toddler = survival mode. We still have some rough times but, thank heavens for the iPad. We were so lucky there was an extra seat on the plane so she didn't have to be in our lap either.

Once the shows get old we get out the stickers and coloring books and have a party.

Then we got to Utah and Stephanie's family came and we all got to hang out at the Beus's beautiful home for a few days before Chase's wedding! We loved getting to spend extra time with everyone there.

Cute cousins.

 I love and hate how grown up she looks here!

Mariah and her second cousin Cody loved driving around this John Deere haha!

She found a walkman in the basement and carried it around for a couple days. Bringin it back.

Sweet moments with her Great Grandma Williams. Mariah loves her GG and all week she would ask "Where are you GG?!"

 Look at this view....

The family reunion was at Bear Lake, which was settled by our ancestors several generations ago! So we drove a few hours up there and met up with the rest of the extended family. I think Matt can finally say he's met all of my cousins now. I didn't get a chance to take lots of pics, but here are a few from my phone to document...

 Our new sis Joelyn!

Mariah got pretty sick our last few days there and it ended up being hand, foot, mouth. Poor thing. She had a mild case and it cleared up in a few days, but I don't think she smiled once at the reunion :( !

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mariah at almost 2

There are so many things I just want to bottle up and preserve and keep forever the way they are now, at 23 and a half months. Watching Mariah learn to talk is one of those things. Still one year old.  I'm afraid I'll forget the way that she says and does things.

(Totally unrelated pictures are from last Friday afternoon in New Haven at Lighthouse Point Park. Also wish I could preserve this day.)

My favorite is that she loves "fuffins" (muffins) and "wooshies" (smoothies).
She is very concerned about "pyme out" (time out) and often has her stuffed animals act out things she's not supposed to do and then explains to them, "No, no monkey, no climb table. pyme out." is "Yaya self!" and "Me mine!"

The latest additions to her vocabulary have been: "not yet", "too", and "togeder" (together) as in "Mariah, do you need a new diaper?" "Not yet...!" and she hears me talking to Matt in the morning saying, "What do you want for breakfast?" and she chimes in "Wait! Yaya breakfast toooooo!" and in the evening she wants us all to "Pay (play) Yaya's room togeder"

She wakes up at the crack of dawn every day so while I'm still prying my eyes open at quarter to six she's running around the living room balancing her sippy cup in one hand going, "Watcha meee!" (watch me!)  "Ta daaaaa!" and spinning in circles getting "wizzy" (dizzy) and laughing hysterically until she falls over.

She thinks "onetwofweee!" (one, two, three) is a synonym for "Watch out I'm about to jump off of this!" so we get about a half second warning before she launches herself off the couch or a rock or whatever high thing is nearby.

Her favorite game right now is doctor. She comes over and kind of pushes you over until she can press against your shoulder to get you lying down on the ground, then she tells you, "Just ONE shot." and gives you a "shot" (sound effects included) in your arm or face. She also says while patting you down, "Check head. check heart. check feet. check mouf. okay. Heffy! (healthy!)"

The only song on the radio she likes is Taylor Swift's new Shake it Off song. She calls it "dance off" and runs around shaking and dancing and trying to sing the chorus. It is hilariously cute. Other than that we usually have to sing her favorites in the car which is almost always "Happy Birthday." We sing it to her, to her stuffed animals, friends, relatives, water, buckles, trees, and whatever else she requests. We also sing a lot of "Do you know the fuffin man?" and "Popcorn Popping."

Daniel Tiger is still her favorite show, but Blue's Clues is starting to creep up in the rankings. She calls it "Couscous" which I love. Veggie Tales ("Wedgie Tales") is also becoming a contender.

She loves leading us by the hand, telling us "Mere!" and "Mon!" (Come here! and Come on!)
She still puts everything in her mouth. This morning she picked up a piece the floor, put it in her mouth and said, "Mmm, spicy!"

I laugh when we're walking and she very seriously picks up a rock and says, "Oh! My favwit (favorite)!!"

She recently discovered that she can pull the small chair away from her table, and drag it all over the apartment to do what she needs to do. She pulls up the chair to "help" with dishes- aka splash water and throw stuffed animals in the sink for a bath, and she pulls her chair up to the bathroom counter to help me get ready. She asks to borrow "gake up" (make up) and this morning she picked up tweezers and reached for my face saying "mommy eyebrows." Every time she gets in the bath or shower with me I notice her carefully lift each leg on to the side of the bath one at a time and rub bubbles on it to practice shaving her little legs. It is cute and makes me sad at the same time. For better or for worse, she is fiercely independent. She loves correcting me (even when she's wrong.) I point out an airplane in the sky and she says, "No. hehcocter." I say, "Nope, That's not a helicopter it's an airplane." And she insists: "NO! HEHCOCTER!"

Her learning to talk is fun, but the not fun things are the constant tantrums, the fact that she didn't sleep all last week, the molars that are trying to break through (WILL TEETHING EVER BE OVER??), and the constant battle that is every single thing she tries to do on her own but is physically incapable of (e.g. cooking at the stove, putting on her boots, cutting her food, and filling up her own sippy cup).

Hard to believe it was almost a year ago that we were driving home from a weekend in Vegas, Mariah was screaming, no shrieking, for hours on end in the car, and I was literally crying to Matt asking, "Does this get easier? Will this get better?" In the last year the answer is: No and yes. It doesn't get easier. But it's all worth it. There are some good days and good weeks and there are really hard days and hard weeks. Mariah is chatty and charming and bright and full of life, funny and feisty and stubborn, sweet and sensitive and emotionally charged. With a little prompting, she reminds us often that she is "Trong and Fart!" (strong and smart. We're still working on that pronunciation hahah) She is almost two in every way and if I could change a thing, I probably wouldn't*.

*(except sleep. please more sleep.)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Blueberry Picking

We loved having Jenna visit us last month! On our way to drop her off at the airport, we brought her with us to pick blueberries at Kuras Berry Farm.

Too bad Jenna couldn't bring all her blueberries with her, but I think she still got a bag full on the plane.

We also met up with some of Mariah's BFFs.

(Adrienne, this picture of Mariah totally reminds me of Megan.) 

Christina and Alarie showed up in matching outfits- I love when that happens. Smart people thought ahead and wore black to hide berry stains. Noted for next time.

Mariah was so concerned that Tyson wasn't actually collecting any berries (he was too busy eating them) so she kept taking handfuls out of her bucket to give to him.


We came home with about 10 pounds of blueberries. That's a lot of blueberries. A LOT of them were gobbled up in the first few days. After making blueberry muffins and blueberry pancakes, with the leftovers I froze a bunch, then was inspired to make jam. I made it with just blueberries, a little lemon juice, some pure maple syrup and honey. Then I canned for the first time ever! To paraphrase my sister Rebecca, I was feeling more Mormon by the minute ;)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cape Cod pt. 2 + Boston

Our last beach day there was cold and rainy! We mostly sat huddled under blankets under the beach umbrella and the guys played football.

We decided to ditch the beach and head to Provincetown, which is on the tippiest tippy point of the cape. It is the cutest town, with lots of window shopping and friendly people. It was pouring rain, and we got lost on our way to lunch so we got to see the whollleee town, Mariah had the best seat I think.

Isn't this beach cottage the cutest? There were hydrangeas everywhere.

We got a girls afternoon one day so we went and walked around Chatham

That evening the dads met us with the kids and we went to the dock to see all the fish being brought in. This sounded fun in theory, but it was actually really disgusting.

Mariah talked for days about wanting to see more fish go down the big slide.

It was all good though because then we got to eat the freshest seafood everrrr, more lobster rolls for me.

Stopped by a lighthouse on the way back. So many family pictures this weekend!

So beautiful here!

On the drive home after church, we decided to stop in Boston with the Jennings for dinner and cannolis.

 This time we knew not to mess around and we went right to Maria's.

The kids stretched their legs on the playground by the harbor for a little bit before the rest of the drive home.