Thursday, August 30, 2007


Here is a video of Abel reading a favorite book

8 years

Patrick and I celebrated our 8th anniversary this week. Patrick knew his schedule wouldn't allow a date, let alone him being home before 9 pm most nights. So we decided to have a family lunch to celebrate. We popped over to a small town, close to his work, and chose a very Boulder restaurant (local grown organic food) that is a new favorite.

Afton was so excited to drink out of a glass cup. And she insisted of wearing the napkin underneath her armpits to stay very clean.

Abel inhaled the entire bread basket and only threw one thing...a big step for him!

It was the perfect celebration. Yummy food with and special time together as a family.

a few funny stories

Afton is a very protective sister. The other day, I was getting the mail and Abel was wandering around the parking lot...too far away from me as far as Afton was concerned. She started hollering at him to come back and when he didn't listen she shouter "Abel Christina! Come here!" I guess those middle names are interchangeable when you are quite serious.


Afton often is done discussing a topic. On the way home from church last week, Patrick was asking Afton about her Primary class. She said "I'm too tired to talk about my class." Another common response is "My belly hurts so I can't talk about that."


Patrick was walking out the door to work one day this week as Afton was having a difficult time behaving. He asked her to behave then gave her a serious-raised-eyebrow look. Afton rolled her entire head, then her eyes and shot him back the same serious look...twice just to prove she could take him in a facial expression standoff!


Abel learned to sword fight last week from some older kids over for a play date. Now, he picks up a sword and yells "hi ya" and bonks you with it. Hi ya is actually what he calls the swords too. I'm trying to divert his bonking to the floor cuz his aim is improving.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

FAMILY TIME was the word of our week. Patrick enjoyed 3 nights home (in a row) and a full weekend of solid family fun.

Patrick installed a ceiling fan in our bedroom. This one to be exact:

We enjoyed s'mores for a FHE treat. Abel unsure if he wants one and Afton quite sure she loves 'em.

We attended our stake carnival. Afton had lots of fun doing the ring toss, getting a rainbow painted on her face, winning prizes at other games booths and the best part...

eating cotton candy!

Abel was sleep deprived and got pretty upset at being strapped into his stroller...

but this balloon cheered him up. The entire ride home he said "baLLoon!" over and over about 300 times.

I took the kid to an indoor bounce house play space. SO MUCH FUN! I didn't understand why some parents were sitting. Jumping up and down, cruising down super slides and crawling thru tunnels made my day. And the kids thought it was alright too.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Family Update

PATRICK was home 2 nights this week! And one was a DATE NIGHT! Wohoo! Patrick has also been transforming himself into a runner. It must be all that brainwashing, working on the Nike account, or his new Nike Plus doodad. Check out his running challenge here.

photo courtesy of Afton

LIZ was super crafty this week. I sewed two pillows with my beautiful fabric. Began painting our living room and managed to figure out how to bake cupcakes at high elevations without explosions or grittiness.

big smiles at the butterfly gardens

AFTON enjoyed a primary water activity, lots of popsicles and a play date with two boys that matched up so well with her personality. Afton seems to play better with boys since they don't usually want any of her pink stuff and she loves sharing her Bob the Builder stuff with boys who know how to play with them. Earlier that day,I had noticed a few ants crawling in the crack between the carpet and molding of the wall and was focused on getting rid of the pests. Afton informed the mom of the boys that we "had an ant problem" matter-of factly. Just another little thing that reminded me how grown up Afton is.

Afton also got to help me prep her new bed for painting. She scrubbed it, sanded it and even primed one side of the bed frame almost by herself. The motivation...painting it hot pink!

abel climbing thru the beehive at the butterfly gardens

ABEL loves to chat up the people sitting behind us at church. He stand up and gives his sweetest smile and says "Hi!" to anyone who makes eye contact with him. Today, some boys were playing peek-a-boo with him and he was so excited to get attention. He wanted to show off his family so she patted Afton's head and said her name, then patted my head and said "Mommy" then he put both arms around my neck and gave me a big squeeze. So sweet!

I got some time just with Abel tonight, since he took a really long nap this afternoon. He knew something was different and kept knocking on the door to the kids' room saying "sleep!" I explained that Afton was sleeping and he said "Why?" He too little for the "why"! Here are some photos I took of him tonight:

Abel also answers "yep" now. Upgraded from the "k" and "yeah" of previous weeks. And he learned to sing "di-e-go" from the cartoon Go Diego Go!

Friday, August 17, 2007

one year ago today...

Abel's love of swings began

fear of geese was added to Afton's fear list after being caught in the throws of a geese/cracker fight.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

weekend update

cooling down in the igloo with ice cream

I recently read an interview with a quote from the wife of a very busy man. His wife is often heard saying, "I'm a happily married single mother." I know exactly what she means. That has been my life this week and weekend- with the exception of one night home and 4 hours on Saturday morning. But I am happy to spend each day with two adorable, funny and happy kids. And I'm happy that they forgive my little mommy meltdowns and give me minutes of space every few hours.

PATRICK is busy. Duh! And he is in serious need of a haircut but can't seem to find the time to get one.

LIZ is back on house projects. This week an ottoman was recovered and lots of organizing done. Painting and sewing pillows is ahead!

AFTON is begging for friends to play. We had our first in home play date which was fun for her (and Abel). Here is a funny comment from Afton today:

A: Pickle juice tastes yucky.

M: Doesn't it taste like pickles?

A: No. It tastes like melting salt.

afton wanting a picture of her epiglottis ...yes she knows what it is!

showing off a dance move while losing footing

self portrait

ABEL is still running. I think he dreams of running. He also started crawling again this week, really slow with his head hung down. He knows we think it is funny so he entertains us with it. Afton taught him the meaning of and how to say "toot." But he also says "cuse me" to counteract the toot. Abel went to nursery for the first time today. He loved playing with toys, spilled the dixie cup of water all over himself (note to self: work on cup skills) and of course spent the entire lesson time pushing his chair around the room. Patrick picked him up and he was wearing a necklace with a red "I did wrong" badge on it. Patrick asked if he did okay and the nursery leader said he had a hard time with the cup at snack time. Patrick asked if that was what the necklace referenced, a bit concerned with the technique, and the leader quickly showed Patrick the "I was sorry" and "I feel better" badged and explained the lesson. A funny entrance to nursery!

dress up shoe, and his preferred outfit

abel's new favorite toy

I am hoping for a date night this week and already have a daytime babysitting swap lined up. Enjoy your week!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Just Abel

Abel is a toddler! This hit me the other day when I realized that Able full on runs, uses small sentences/phrases, understand what we say to him and has quite the potential to be ornery. And he gets to go to nursery in 2 Sunday’s (hooray!) a definite toddler milestone.

We have a little walk from our parking spot to our front door. I usually try to carry Abel because if I don’t he constantly veers onto rocks, behind bushed, up other houses sidewalks and up any curb or step he can find…and then runs away from me when I come to fetch him. His favorite game is “Get Goo” otherwise known as get you or chase. He says the words and off he runs looking back over his shoulder for me or Afton or Patrick to come after him with tickling hands. The only time Abel doesn’t want to run is when we walk to a park, or around the our neighborhood. He can sense what the walk is and 50 feet outside our fence, come sup to my legs, arms up and begging “Hold you!” until I pick him up (if I encourage him to walk or run, he will for a second, then usually plops himself down or comes back to beg again).

A few sentences or phrases that Abel is saying”

I uh you (I love you)
Eeee Fooot (eat food)
He go (here you go)

Other cute words:

Sahee (sorry)
Hekaka (helicopter)
Woowa (sometimes for ruler, sometimes for something he sees out the window which I cannot yet recognize)
Hello, Yellow, (said correctly. Abel is really into pronouncing his “L” sound now)

Abel is also understanding most everything we ask/tell him. He will successfully retrieve both shoes when I ask him too. He puts any stray binkies in his crib because they are only for bedtime. And he is working hard to remember not to throw (food, cups, toys, shoes) and hand the object to me, or place it softly somewhere appropriate.

The ornery bit…I’m still trying to figure out how Abel ticks with his moods. After sleeping, most days, he wants me to hold him for a bit of time. I seem to read the wrong most days though. Abel is a professional head thrower backer. He has whacked himself on walks, crib railings, and furniture because he insists on throwing himself backwards with full force to communicate his feelings. He no longer gets soothing from me, instead is greeted with the raised eyebrow and so will hopefully soon discard this behavior. Abel saves his screaming frustrations for moments when he wants down and cannot be down (escaping at church, grocery shopping, carseat riding and diaper changes). His kicking skills are getting quite good from practicing his disappointment. Good thing he is super cute and I don’t take it personally when one of his feet connect. And all these moments give him practive with his “saaeee” manners.

Other fun things:

Abel says “cus me” when he burps (courtesy of big sister teaching)
Abel blows raspberries on other people whenever bare flesh is at mouth level (also courtesy of big sister)
Today Abel said “ticko, ticko” and wiggles his fingers in the air.

I love this photo because it shows off the explorer side of Abel. He is constantly walking/running about to check things out.

Just Afton

What an outgoing child Afton is! Each time we visit a park, or anywhere with other kids, she is quick to spot someone about her age then runs up to them and asks, “Do you want to play with me?” Afton is happiest when a play date is planned for her day. She’ll settle for a movie and even some Mommy-Afton time but really prefers to be playing with friends. Lately, she has been able to see her Colorado cousins quite a bit which has made her world very happy.

Afton has definitely entered into a more grown up phase. She is using words like “hilarious” and “serious” to describe emotions. She likes to have time alone to play in her room. She is recognizing my attempts to read her “short” or “baby” books and songs before bedtime and now choose her bedtime songs to ensure the routine lasts the longest possible.

Afton is a fantastic big sister. She plays with Abel in his crib every morning until she gets bored then starts hollering for me. She loves to calm and reassure Abel after he gets an owie or is sad. She is usually happy to share bites of her food with her baby brother too.

Of course, Afton still needs a few cuddle sessions each day, which is so nice. I hope she never outgrows that. Recently, she started noticing that need in her and would say “Mommy, I haven’t had any cuddle time today!”

This is my favorite picture from last week. Afton loves to play her ukulele every day and create her own songs. Many times during the day, I am summoned to her her newest masterpiece and laugh or clap-whichever she has told me to do!

Friday, August 3, 2007

fun with baylie

Our oldest Maravilla cousin, Baylie, came to spend a few days with us. Afton and Abel were constantly vying for her attention (Afton tried to wake her up using salad tongs the first morning she was here...but was unsuccessful so turned to eating chocolate frosting under the table).

Today we went to the Boulder County Fair, lucky us it is just around the corner from our new home. Fairs are much cooler when you are a kid, or maybe this fair was just on the lame side. Even the milkshakes were blah. But the kids had a good time checking out animals, seeing a pig talent show (the things adults have to sit through for kid entertainment!) and eating cotton candy.

Afton trying her hand at fishing. No luck!

Enjoying milkshake for lunch.

Abel chasing the piglet in the petting zoo.

Baylie and Afton petting the baby camel.

Baylie's candy handcart. We tried to eat as much junk food as possible in the 3 days Baylie spent with us. What else does an 11 year old want to do on vacation?!

I enjoyed having Baylie here during a really busy streak for Patrick at work. She and I watched movies together every night. She helped pick up the house and make some meals. And she entertained the kids all day every day of her trip.