Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Trot!

Knowing that today would be a day of face stuffing and gluttony, my wise little sister decided it would be a good idea to sign up for a little race this morning to help us "earn our turkey." I've never run in any kind of race before so this was kind of big for me. It wasn't anything crazy, just a little two mile course. Still, it was AWESOME to get up and get my heart going! Taber jogged beside me and helped me keep a good pace. All you marathon runners will probably giggle at this but I was proud of myself for finishing in just under 20 minutes.  We were in the walk/jog division and Taber took 2nd, Kevin was 3rd, and I came in 5th. Naomi and Sarah also did great placing 7th and 12th respectively. It was the perfect way to start our day and I definitely feel that I earned my Thanksgiving feast this morning!

All ready to go before the race

So the people who ran were me and Taber, my sister Naomi, her hubby Kevin, their daughter Brooklyn, and my little sister Sarah and her baby Noah. Kevin was nice enough to run around taking action shots of us all while he pushed the baby (He actually runs marathons so this was more of a little warm up for him)

Posing after the race in our sweet "Earn your Turkey" shirts.

Taber, Kevin and me with our ribbons. (Kind of funny they had a ribbon for 5th place! Haha! I felt cool!)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


One of the best parts of being in Utah for Thanksgiving is seeing Teya and Brinley with their cousins. I have never seen her so happy or play so well with other kids. It's going to break my heart when we have to leave, but in the mean time I'm loving the cousin bonding going on here!

Teya making Turkey cupcakes with cousins Joseph, David, Maile and Mason

We've been staying at my sister's house who lives next door to my mom. She has two kids and Teya is smitten with them. Maile is only a year older than her and the two of them are little BFFs!

Brinley is also having fun with the 2nd batch of cousins. These three were all born in 2008 and will all be in the same grade together. What a bunch of CUTIES!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Flight, Happy Arrival!

At the airport with my awesome Sit and Stand stroller. Couldn't have done made it through this experience without it! 

Today I tackled a 2 1/2 hour flight by myself with a baby and a toddler so I could get in a few extra days with my family for Thanksgiving. (Taber is joining us Wed night but I couldn't wait till then!) Going into the flight I had a few concerns:
1) Would Brinley be game for nursing on the plane? Teya usually wasn't and ended up screaming on many flights during her baby days.
2) Would my decision to put Teya in a pull-up for the flight confuse her and undermine her potty training success?
3) Would Teya make it through the flight without any meltdowns? And if not, would I be able to handle the meltdown while holding Brinley?

I was pretty nervous going into it but my worries were for nothing. The flight went beautifully, even with Teya's DVD player dying 2 minutes into it (thought I charged it, guess not) Teya kept herself entertained with her drink, the peanuts, the straws, the seatbelts, that kind of thing. Brinley nursed like a champ and then passed out no problem. Best of all, Teya totally went potty in the toilet on the airplane even though she had a pull-up on! There were no tantrums or meltdowns, no crying babies, no diaper blow-outs or potty accidents, I would definitely have to say it was a huge success!

Teya entertaining herself on the plane

After such a happy flight we enjoyed an equally happy arrival. It was so fun seeing all my family and especially for everyone to see Brinley.  (For quite a few of them this is their first time meeting her) She was all smiles and giggles and definitely made a great first impression.

Brinley with Granmda Uda and cousin Maile

Meeting Auntie Rachel for the first time

Teya is also happy as a pig in a pumpkin patch to be her with her cousins. Maile is a year older and is teaching Teya all about the many merits of princesses. I'm hoping Teya will come home with a greater desire to wear girly things : )

So yeah, got her safe, glad to be here, and totally excited for an awesome week of Thanksgiving festivities with the Uda clan!

Monday, November 17, 2008

28 and feeling Great!

There are three words that sum up my 28th birthday. "Yummy. Delicious. Food." : ) I love birthdays because I always eat really really scrumptious food! This year I enjoyed a tasty carrot cake, (my favorite) caramel apple cupcakes made by my friend Kimberly (who is a culinary genius!) Jumbo Buffalo Shrimp from my new favorite restaurant Redstone, and my very first ever homemade cake by Taber! We spread out the cakes and goodies over the week and my taste buds were dancing in jubilation. : ) So thanks to everyone who made my birthday so special (and tasty!) And a special thanks to Taber for going out of your comfort zone and into the kitchen to make me such a great cake!

Food, Friends, and Birthday fun!

Chef Taber's masterpiece
(seriously, it's kind of embarrassing because his first cake ever turned out way better than any cake I've ever made! I'm so jealous!)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Brinley at 4 months old

I took Brinley to her 4 month appointment yesterday and here are her stats:
Height: 25 inches, 76th percentile
Weight: 14 lbs 1 oz, 60th percentile

As you can see by the rolls on her arms in the above picture, she is growing like a champ! Teya always hung around in the 25th percentile for height and weight, so Brinley is our "big baby" : ) The Dr. said she looks great and was pretty blown away by her gross motor development. She said she's never seen a baby her age sit up so well. Wish I could somehow take credit for that phenomena but that's all her. : )

Brinley is starting to get pretty good with her hands. She can actually hold onto toys now and even stick her binky back in her mouth with a lot of effort. (Most of the time she just smacks it to her forehead or pokes it in her eye, but every now and then she gets it where it needs to go)

She is a great sleeper and I have to credit that partially to this snazzy invention, the kiddopotamus. It's a little baby swaddler that my sister gave me and it's amazing! The minute she's all secured in that thing she passes out. It's going on my list of must haves for a new baby! (notice she is actually smiling in her sleep, could there be anything cuter? Seriously people!)

Brinley loves interacting with the family and is starting to giggle out loud. She mostly laughs at Teya (which Teya LOVES) but Mommy and Daddy have gottten a few giggles too. I'll try to find a good video of her laughing and post it later. She really is the sweetest baby. Every time we hang out with other people they are amazed at how smiley and mellow she is. I'm constantly asked, "is she always this easy going?" "Is she always so happy?" "Does she ever cry?" We are very blessed to have such a sweetheart in the family and really could not imagine our lives without her!

And now for your viewing pleasure, Brinley showing off her sitting unassisted skills Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Potty Training Success!

We are very lucky that Teya has been trained to go number 2 in the potty for months. Number 1 was a little trickier. We've been putting off teaching her but finally decided it was time to bite the bullet. Here's how it went down:
Day 1:
I printed up a sticker chart and bought a shiny new toy that I put above the toilet so she could see it and hopefully be motivated to potty. Terrified of having to clean up any accidents, I left her in her pull-up. She went potty once but when she realized that she only got one sticker and she still had 34 to go she wasn't happy. She wanted the toy NOW! After a big fat melt down she simply refused to pee in the potty the rest of the day

Day 2:
I got brave and put her in big girl underwear. I asked her every 30 minutes is she had to pee. She always said no. Then I hear her scream "Oh no! my pull up has a hole!" I run into the living room to find her sitting in a puddle. Her first accident. It wasn't that bad. I can do this I think. We try again, she wets again. By nap time she is back in a pull-up.

Day 3:
She wakes up and I say "Time for big girl underwear!" She melts down and just wants her pull-up. I tell Taber that I'm giving up and will try again after Christmas. He says, "Have you tried having her go commando?" I decide to give it a try as a final effort before giving up. The morning goes perfectly! Every time she has to pee she runs to the potty. I put her pull-up on for her nap and she stays dry. When she wakes up I tell her it's time to go commando again but she wants her big girl undies. I was nervous about accidents, but put them on. She goes the rest of the day with no accidents!

Day 4: Big girl underwear all day, pull up during nap, no accidents!

Day 5: big girl underwear all day, including nap! No accidents! I think we're getting there!

Day 6: We go to church and to friends' houses and are away from the house all day. I was super nervous but kept her in big girl underwear and she did not dissapoint! No accidents!

Day 7: Teya earns her last two stickers and gets her Rescue pack! I was so scared that once she earned her toy she would stop going in the potty. Not the case! Even with no more stickers to earn she keeps going in the potty! HOORAY!!!

Sticker chart completed!

Her awesome Diego Rescue pack (After earning it she literally played with it for 2 hours straight non-stop! She was soooo happy!)
Victory dance on the potty

Playing with the prize

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A great night for democracy!

On November 4, 2008 I voted for the first time in my life. For years I took for granted how blessed I am to live in a nation that gives us the right to have our voices heard. To have not participated in the voting process before is embarrassing and shows how ignorant and ungrateful I was. I'm glad that has changed. I'm glad that I felt compelled to research and participate in the election this year. I'm glad that I understood what was on my ballot, beyond just the choices for president. I'm glad that I live in America.

Last night was a beautiful night for democracy. America voted in record breaking numbers and her voice was heard. We have a new president elect, and whether I voted for him or not doesn't matter. I will stand behind him and look forward with hope to the changes he will bring to our country. I felt joy and pride for our country as I watched how gracefully John McCain conceded the race. He was classy, he was strong, and to the end he put our country first, asking us now to get behind the president and help our country to heal. I was also impressed and inspired by President Obama's speech. There is a goodness and a sincerity to him that cannot be denied. I have great hopes for him and believe that his potential to do good is astounding.

How awesome to live in a country where the government can change hands in peace and where opponents can look across the table and speak of each other with sincere respect. Like so many others today, I am proud to be an American and will never take that blessing for granted again.

Here are some pics of us going out with our friends to remind people to vote and to distribute some campaign literature on some of our local races. It really was awesome getting involved this year and I hope that by being a better example to Teya she will grow up to appreciate her right to vote too.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Festivities!

This year we had a very busy Halloween with 4 costume events to attend before actually going trick-or-treating! We had our trunk or treat at the church, a General Mills Halloween party, a playgroup party, and a preschool party. Teya was way excited about her pirate outfit on the first night she wore it. By the time her preschool party rolled around however she was OVER it! I managed to wrestle her into it for school, but on Halloween night, as you will shortly see, she had her own plan in mind. Here is a little recap though of some of our Halloween festivities!

Teya got to bring one of her really good friends, Maddie, to the General Mills party. This was the day after our trunk or treat so she was still pretty cool with the pirate costume. The party was held at the headquarters and there were tons of neat booths, games, treats, and activities for the kids. Teya enjoyed the candy and the chaos, but she had more fun just running around and chasing her friend.

Brinley traded out her monkey costume for a bunny just to keep things fresh. Maddie was a bunny too so we had to take a bunny picture.

They had a costume parade lead by Count Chocula and Franken Berry

All in all the General Mills party was a huge success, Teya had a great time, collected more candy for mom, and still got home in time for a nap!

Another part of our Halloween festivities included pumpkin painting. We carved pumpkins last year, but Teya couldn't really be involved with that. This year we thought painting would be more hands on, although it got a little more hands on than we intended. What can you do? She's a two year old!

When Halloween finally rolled around Teya simply would not put on her pirate costume. Luckily Grandma Rigg had bought matching monkey suits for the girls so Teya had a back up plan. We thought it would be cute if they were both Monkeys but Teya wanted the monkey spotlight to herself so Brinley went as a bunny. We went trick-or-treating with Teya's two best girlfriends and their families. Teya enjoyed herself but after two or three houses she just wanted to sit down and eat her candy. After every house she would say, " I eat this now?" When we got home I think she had more candy in her tummy than her bag, but she had fun and at the end of the day, that's what counts right?
Monkey Teya with her bunny and fairy friends