Monday, October 31, 2011

Oh It's a Jolly Holiday with Mary

Mary Poppins, that is.
This Saturday was our ward Halloween party. I don't know if yo know this about me but I LOVE HALLOWEEN. Not the gory bloody zombies and creepy things but the fact that we all dress up and it's totally normal. That for once everyone loves pumpkins as much as I do, or at least they pretend to, and we all give candy freely to one another. This year I wanted to do another family theme so we did Mary Poppins, Bert and one of the cute little penguins in the chalk painting. I made Bryan's jacket, hat and bowtie and Elizabeth's costume and then cut off a wedding dress for my costume and added a sash.

The whole group.

Striking a pose

Dancing away

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We also had a trunk or treat and our cool friends Tanner and Amber were here so they helped us out on that front. Amber decorated the trunk like a creepy swamp creature.

The penguin imitating the creepy swamp creature.

Oh wait! Is that a candy bar from the swamp creature?

Watch out it will grab you! The monster expects a hand to eat in exchange for the candy.

Amber and Tanner doing their swamply duty. The kids loved it but a few weren't sure about taking candy from a monster.

A New High Chair

Elizabeth is too big to use the Bumbo all the time. It was a sad day to realize it since that chair has served us so very well. Then Bryan found a great deal on a high chair at a garage sale and brought it home. This beauty was only $5! It will recline if you want it to, it collapses and you can also change the height. The best part was that the tray is much bigger and has a bigger lip than our bumbo so she can grab stuff more easily.

Our only complaint was the padding, Bryan that it wouldn't dry out so was squishy  and probably moldy and mine was the pattern. I really didn't mind until I realize it wasn't drying after the good wash we gave it but then I thought, if I can re-cover it with a fabric I like the why the heck would I leave these elephants and lions on there?

 I went down in my fabric stash and picked my two favorite fabrics and then headed to the fabric store for some clear vinyl. Do you know clear vinyl is only $3.99/yd? And if you get it for 30% of it is even cheaper? I was looking all over my house for things to re-cover. I also bought some foam which was pretty cheap and even cheaper when I got to take half of it back.

The two fabrics, the vinyl and the foam.
 I ultimately decided on the plain (can I call it that) black and white fabric, mostly because I had more of it and I am kind of in a green phase right now and worried that I wouldn't like it later if it had green in it, but that black and white are always great. Then I cut the other pieces a part and used them as a pattern. Let me tell you what, that foam on the bottom piece was NASTY and it made me so glad I was doing this project.

TA-DA, the finished product. I really love it and I don't hate that it is in my dining room anymore because it is a pattern that I really like.

Elizabeth likes it too because she knows she is eatin' in style.

Castlewood Canyon (with a baby)

Like our last post said, we got Elizabeth a new pack so that she would have a comfy place to ride when we hike. A few weekends ago we went to Castlewood Canyon State Park and hiked around a little bit and used the  pack. This is the same place we went last year for puddle jumping and then again later in the year where I saw the snake and had a little panic.

At the beginning of the hike. E,  L.O.V.E.S. this backpack. She smiles and giggles the whole time

At the end of the first hike we stopped and had some lunch. This is E with part of an apple. Is this not just a precious picture?

The pack is so cool, it even has a sun/wind shade for her. We also put the camel bag bladder in the pack so we would have something to drink, but Elizabeth drank most of it while we were hiking.

Bryan said that with the pack on I looked like a serious hiker (which I am not) so he told me to pose like I was really hking and Elizabeth followed suit.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

DC Trip (LONG post)

This last week, Bryan had a conference in Washington, DC. Since I have always wanted to go to DC and it was going to be much cheaper with his work paying for the hotel for 3 nights Elizabeth and I tagged along.
The family on the plane there. Elizabeth was a champ.

In the airport after our flight waiting for our bags and then a taxi. We ended up waiting for over an hour for a taxi which made all of us a little hungry.
 Tara, Brad and their boys were in DC too to visit Brad's brother Ryan so Elizabeth and I got to hang out with them for a few days while Bryan was in his conference. The first day we walked to all of the monuments and then to the Museum of American History.
This is where E spent most of her time on the trip, with Tara's boys eagerly taking turns pushing her. We had  to set up a rotation to make sure that everyone had an equal chance.

Notice the crazy hair? Her hair was even curlier than usual in the humidity. I also made her that shirt.

Tyler, Tara, Brad, Braden and Blake in front of the fountain at the WWII memorial.

Me and E at the same fountain

The view of the Washington Monument from the WWII memorial. Because of the recent earthquake the Washington Monument was closed but it was still so cool to be in the skyline that you see pictures of all the time.

Me in front of the new Martin Luther King Jr. Monument. Then entrance to the monument is a mountain with a section cut out of it. The section is just a few yards ahead and Dr. King is partially carved out of the opposite side. It was very cool to bet to be there.

Me and E in front of the Big Ol' Lincoln.

Blake was so happy that it was his turn to push.

Me and Tara and Blake in front of the monument to female soldiers in the Vietnam War.

This was a display of the original Muppets at the American History Museum.
 The second day I went out with Tara and Brad we got to tour the Capitol Building (thanks Ryan). I didn't get many pictures, but it was pretty cool to see where it all happens.
Me and E in front of the original Supreme Courtroom.
 I tell you what, being on a trip with a baby is hard work, and sometimes you just gotta give in and do things you normally wouldn't. When Bryan saw the picture below he said, "You NEVER would have done that 9 months ago." and he's right.
Yep, that sure is Elizabeth in my empty suitcase eating cheerios.

They tasted better because they were in the suitcase.

The first hotel we stayed at was the Gaylord National in National Harbor, Maryland. It was supposed to be a super nice hotel, which if super expensive everything means super nice then ok. But we were a little disappointed in the quality of service and the beds. One thing we weren't disappointed in was the indoor fountain they had that danced to music every night like the one in front of the Bellagio in Vegas.
Elizabeth LOVED it.

This is her saying, see dad, look that the cool fountain.

trying to dance like the fountain.

 On Wednesday, Tara and Brad were in Jamestown so Elizabeth and I took the Ferry over to Alexandria, VA and just walked around. I wasn't very well prepared for the trip so I didn't know anywhere cool to go. Instead we got lunch at the delicious pizza place on King Street and then just walked around and looked in the little shop windows for a while.

This is us on the boat ride over there.

Elizabeth in front of one of the big canons near the harbor.

This is us waiting for our return boat.

She is seriously this happy all the time.

This cool boat was just sitting by the docks and I wished we could ride on it.

The view out the window of the boat. Elizabeth was asleep for this part so I couldn't get up and take pictures.

Us on the boat ride home.

The shoreline

Me and E
Wednesday night, Bryan and me and E went on a night tour of DC. We got to see all the monuments at night and all lit up, it was really cool. Our tour guide was really knowledgable and had lots of fun facts about all of the monuments. I also got to experience rain in DC, and WOW it was like someone was dumping buckets of water on you.
The Capitol building at night.
This was the point where, after he asked a question our tour guide said, "Wow, not a very intellectual group tonight, huh?" Mostly everyone laughed, but after that people were much more forthcoming with answers.
Me and E in front of said building

The view of the Washington Monument from the Capitol

The fountain at the WWII memorial

The family in front of Big Lincoln.

We always have to do at least one picture like this because that's how we have always taken them.

The Jefferson Memorial

E was asleep when we went into the memorial but woke up while we were there.

She loves to fly no matter where we are.

Dude, we are totally standing in front of the White House! How cool is that? Bryan didn't think it was that cool, but I did.

On Thursday we went to the Museum of Natural History to meet up with Brad and Tara.
E loved the big rocks and gemstones.

The skeleton animals were pretty cool too.

Bryan feeding her to the T-Rex. She loved it.

We got lunch at a deli and she wanted to try the pickle.

She went to town.
Next we went to the Air and Space Museum. We listened to a book on tape all about the pilots of WWI when we drove to Oregon, so it was cool to see actual planes from that era. It is amazing to me that they flew planes made out of wood and fabric.

After that we went to the Botanic Gardens to let E roll around in the grass for a little while. It really only was a little while because they were closing. It was so weird because everything closed at 5

Our second hotel was in Arlington so we just used the Metro to get around. We went to see the 911 memorial at the Pentagon using the Metro and got to Arlington National Cemetary that way. I told Bryan that it made me feel so grown up to use the Metro to get around and not have to ask anyone where I was going.

I think that hands down my favorite part of the trip was Arlington National Cemetery. It was sobering to see headstone upon headstone lined up in such a massive expanse of grass. All those men who fought for freedom, not just for America but for so many other countries as well. I gained a much greater appreciation for the country in which I live and the men who fight for me so that I can make the choices that I do. I think it is somewhere that every American should go so that they can truly understand the price of being American and therefore respect the beliefs of others and work harder to constantly make America better.
This is the grave of the unknown soldier.

I cried during the entire changing of the guard ceremony. I think it has something to do with being a mom the idea of being a mother of one of those soldiers and never knowing. I am just thankful to know that our Heavenly Father knows each of these men and cares for all of them.

We also walked up to the home of General Lee and the top of the hill in Arlington. I am reading a book about the Civil War so it was interesting to see the place where he signed his resignation of his position in the Union.

A beautiful view of DC from Arlington.

This is me and E in front of the women soldiers memorial.
The rest of the pictures are just a few pictures of us on the metro. We went to the Holocaust museum that day, but they don't allow you to take pictures and for good reason. It was not as sad as I thought, but just amazing to see that all an evil person needs is to 1-scare good people and 2- get them to lie down and take it. It really made me ask myself if I am standing up for everything I know is right.
She is cute everywhere.