Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Festival of Colors

So, I've been seeing all these wonderful pictures of the Hindu festival of colors on facebook recently. A few of my friends went this year, and it just seems like a really fun thing to do. So, since we missed it this year, I decided we'd have our own fun with color right here at home.

I saw this idea on Pinterest a while back of mixing up some easy-wash paint from baby bath soap, corn starch, and food coloring and using to to paint the tub. I asked Isaac if he thought that was a good idea, and he was on board, so we went with it.

Getting started. Isaac liked just mixing up all the paints at first.

 Warming up. Baby sister kept us company, too.

I got in on the action, too. Isaac was a good sport to let me paint him. :)

Getting into it, now. 

I finally got Isaac interested in applying some paint on himself. As you can  see, he was unsure of the idea.

Watching it all wash away.

A very fun activity, and a great excuse to take a bath and get clean!

Stake Easter Egg Hunt

Isaac went to his very first Easter egg hunt this year. He technically went to one last year at Kathleen and Franklin's, but we were running late so we missed the actual hunt. Anyway, he had a great time.

Here he is with his adoptive family, our wonderful neighbors the Connellys. He loves them so much! He fits right in with them, huh? They're such a fun family, I don't blame him. Also, I now understand why moms with many children are always so psyched to get a picture where everyone is looking at the camera. It is dang hard!

The leaders asked that we limit the kids to 2 eggs. Surprisingly Isaac was ok with that. He ran out quite determinedly (I love how he pumps his little arms when he wants to run fast) and got his two eggs, then came back proudly to show them to us. Hurrah!

My neighbor Heidi (see above) made these cute bags for her kids. She had an extra one (it was determined to be "too girly" by Gannon :P) and she very kindly offered it to us. Isaac loves it, and it provided a hands-free egg storing experience. :) He's so cute with the bag draped over his neck!

Visit w/ Grandma and Grandpa West

Grandma and Grandpa West stopped in for a really quick visit this last Thursday and Friday.
They had been on a crazy round the world trip to pick up Baby George from Spain and bring him back to North Carolina. They went  to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Istanbul before traveling a few days with George in Spain. We're so glad they were able to squeeze us in at the end of their trip. It was really fun to see them.

On Thursday, we attended a birthday party for Aunt Kathryn, hung out at Grandma's, blessed Baby Vi (more on that in another post), and spent the evening talking a lot.

Happy Birthday Kathryn! We love you!

Grandma protecting Vi from the wind.

On Friday, we had lunch with Allison and Michael near Allison's workplace (Namify), then Mom took me fabric shopping (hurray!). Dad had to work for a bit, but then they came back to our place and we had pizza and watched an episode of Sherlock and then the movie Hugo.

We had a great time with them, and we really miss them now that they are gone. The trip was too short! We're so glad they are coming back from China this year, and we hope they will come back to Utah soon!

Happy James Patrick Day!

We celebrated James's 28th birthday on March 17th. For those who don't know, James's middle name is Patrick precisely because he was born on St. Patrick's day.

 James likes to keep things low-key, but we made the day a festive little family day. James actually decided to go in to work in the morning, even tho it was a Saturday, because he needed to make up some time and because he is a giant nerd. After he left for work, I put streamers all over the house and wrapped some silly little gifts I had gotten him. (James's "big" present was Mario Party 9, but not really since we were going to get it anyway. It just happened to come out in March.) Poor Isaac was so excited about the presents - he wanted to unwrap them as soon as they were wrapped! I made him wait until James got home - he was not happy. But James let him unwrap some of them, so he was happy again.

So what were the presents, you ask? A few of James's favorite snacks: saltine crackers, peanut butter m&ms, double-dipped peanuts, and a Symphony bar. :) Yes, I went birthday shopping at the grocery store. I also got him a solitaire chess set, which has apparently been entertaining and causing contention at work. :P

James really wanted to take Isaac on the race cars at Trafalga as part of the celebration. The weather was iffy - cloudy, a little windy, and a high chance of rain. But it wasn't  raining yet, so we decided to chance it. We drove all the way up to Lehi only to  find that everyone else in Utah county had the same idea. I have never seen Trafalga so crowded. We stood in the looong line to get in for about five minutes with a very upset Isaac (he had fallen asleep in the car and woke up very grouchy.) before deciding this wasn't going to be worth it. We got back in the car and drove to McDonalds instead. Isaac had a blast playing in the play place, and James and I did what we love  to do - talk to each other and eat mcnuggets :)

When we got home, we were too stuffed to eat the birthday dinner I had planned, so we just played Mario Party and hung out. We also had a surprise visit from our friends Crystal and Marty and their daughter Christina. It was a fun day. James had stayed up all night the night before programming, so he was pretty tired by the end of the day. Of course, when you ask him how his birthday was, he doesn't mention the decorations, the presents, or the food, he says "It was great! I spent all night programming!" You can tell what really gets his heart beating. :)

I had made James a peanut butter pie from the recipe book he got me for Christmas. We ate it the next day, with Allison and Michael and a really fun couple from our ward who always let Isaac sit with them in sacrament meeting. :) We wanted to get to know them better, so we invited them over. I got pictures of the pie, but not the friends. Whoops.

On this occasion, I would like to take a moment to say how glad I am that James was born :) He has made my life so simple and sweet. He has given me two beautiful children. He is an amazing father, and I love just to stand back and watch him interacting with our kids. He makes me laugh every day. He encourages my dreams and aspirations. Nothing is a big deal to James; he takes things in stride and makes it easy and fun to be around him. I'm so grateful for all the twists and turns that brought our paths together. Happy Birthday, James. I love you!

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Snippet #3

Another glimpse into life at the West home:

James and I are doing dishes. We are having a discussion about computery things or something. Then James comes up with this gem:

James: You should learn to program. Cuz then you'd be hot...ter than you are."
Me: Nice.

He did recover really quickly. Guess I gotta learn some programming if I want to keep my man.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Violet's Newborn Photo Shoot

Here are the pictures my extremely talented friend Kristal took of Violet when she was just four days old. I'm so glad we have these beautiful photos to always remember those first days with our lovely Vi.

She also did some black and white versions of the same shots:

And here's the birth announcement she made for us:

My First Baby Dress!

I made a baby dress today! I am pretty excited, as this is my first project I have made for Violet. James accused me of never sewing for Isaac, but that's not true. I just have never really sewn clothes for Isaac - but I did make him a rag quilt and a few cloth diapers - oh and I did a few tie onesies! So there, I have sewn for Isaac.

Anyway. I think Violet is going to get a lot more sewing attention from me, though, because it is just way too fun and easy to sew little baby dresses. I found a free pattern online, bought 1/2 a yard of beautiful fabric and went for it. Here are the results.

The bonnet is actually what started me on this sewing kick actually. I saw it on Pinterest, and I just couldn't resist. I bought the pattern, so I will probably make a few more just to really get my money's worth. Oh yeah, and because it's freaking adorable. Check out my hand embroidery, huh?

Yeah, the dress is actually a bit small on her - it's for newborn newborns (I can't believe she's a month old already!), so I will probably actually be giving this away to someone who is having a new baby girl soon. So, if that someone is you and you are reading this, please forgive that I let my own daughter wear it first. It's not really a hand-me-down if she only wears it once, right?

Sweet Violet!

This last month has been really fun, and not nearly as difficult as I was anticipating. That is mostly thanks to so many wonderful people who have helped us out with meals, Isaac-care, and just emotional support this last month. I have to say a huge thank you to all the amazing family, friends, neighbors, and ward members who have taken such good care of us over the last month. We have been truly blessed.

 Also, luckily for us, Violet is such a sweet little baby. She has kind of just fit herself right in to our lives like she was always there. It's a little difficult to remember what life was like without her!

Some things to document about Violet: She sleeps really well - four to five hours at night! - she eats like a champ, and she spends most of her awake time just looking around wide-eyed at the world.

She has a very strong neck already and very good head control - which she uses to look all around in wonder. She makes funny little "purring" noises often - we think she's going to be a little talker ;)


She doesn't love getting her diaper or clothes changed and she has quite a funny little squeal she uses to let you know that she is not happy.

 But most of the time she is happy. She loves to be snuggled and held, and thankfully is usually happy to be in my wrap carrier, so snuggling her most of the day is not too difficult.

Look at that squishy face!

On the flip side, she really hates her car seat, and makes a royal row out of riding in the car. So, no long trips for us for a while.

Mostly, we all just like to stare at her as much as possible and kiss her sweet soft little head and cheeks.


Isaac's Haircut

Well, we finally did it. It broke my heart, but we had to - his hair was getting in his eyes and making his ears itch and, well, it was starting to get rather Rastafarian in the back, with his cute curls turning into more like dread locks.

Luckily Yia-Yia and Papa were here to help me through it, and they actually had a friend, Kira, who came all the way out to our house and cut Isaac's hair. She did an excellent job - if you live in Utah County and are looking for a great hairdresser, let me know I'll give you her number.

Anyway, here's a few before shots:

See what I mean by dread locks? Anyway, he did really well with the whole process. When Kira came in, my dad gave her a big hug -- and so did Isaac. :) He followed my parents' lead and kept telling her "Nice to see you 'gain!" It was pretty funny. Anway, she just had him sit up in a booster chair, and he wore the nice big cape, and she worked very quickly to give him a nice little trim. I was really impressed. Isaac sat mostly pretty still - every once in a while he would ask me for a hug (oh my sweet little boy!) and I would squeeze his hand and tell him how great he was doing.

He looks so different now! Most of his really blond hair was cut off, and of course the curls are all gone. It still makes me a little sad not to see those crazy curls, especially since the new 'do makes him look so much older, but I just have to come to terms with it. Kids grow. It's what they do. So, I'm ok with it. He's still super handsome. :) I didn't get any true "After" shots, but here are some pictures we've taken since the haircut.

Still a cutie pie, and a little more grown-up and groomed looking. Oh, and bonus! Now no one tells me he's such a cute little girl. :P