28 December 2009

Christmas in Review

Christmas is interesting as a parent. I never before appreciated just how difficult it was to find time to do the shopping, wrap all the presents etc. without your children finding you out. Granted, it is easy with Bailey only being one but we still tried to exercise some stealth to at least develop the habit. We are still in the enviable position of being able to talk about her gifts right in front of her without her getting wise.

In the end, Bailey had a good Christmas. We had breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa Anderson, also Great Grandma Foneta was able to join us as well. We all got to talk to Jeff who is on his mission in El Salvador and a good time was had by all. Present opening began with a reading of the Christmas story in Luke Chapter 2 (Thanks mom and dad for starting that particular tradition). Then we opened presents. It is humorous to me the things that we do as parents.

Here's an example:

Bailey opens her first gift.

Bailey: Wow a new doll I love it! I want to play with it right now.
Parents: No, Bailey you can't you have to open more presents.
Bailey: But, I love the doll may I just play with it please.
Parents: No, presents first, then you can play.
Bailey: Okay [opens another gift]. Holy cow, a doll stroller! Wow! Thank you Santa! Now, I really want to play.
Parents: No, there are still presents to open.
Bailey: But, I'm happy with just this, can't I play?
Parents: No, because we bought you a lot of other stuff far beyond what you would be happy with and you need to stay here open them up and tell us how much you like them. This isn't about you.

Okay, so it wasn't exactly like that but Bailey would have been perfectly happy with just the two gifts. Why do we insist on making it so complicated? Another big highlight for her was a karaoke machine which Grandma Anderson picked out for her. Well you can see the pictures for yourself she loves it.

Grandma also bought the Wii Fit Plus board and game for us but I think that will be detailed in another post. I hope that you all had an enjoyable Christmas. May the Lord bless you in the coming new year.

Christmas Eve at The Men's Wearhouse 2403



My work has a neat Christmas tradition that has gotten completely carried away as the years have gone by. We do an annual draw for Secret Santa. It makes it easier on everyone as they only have to buy a gift for one other person. In years past people might bring in extra gifts for someone else that they thought the person would really enjoy. Innocent enough, however, recently some of the employees have decided that they would buy gifts for everyone. This trend has been catching on to the point where now, there is a mountain of gifts at the store. We bring them in throughout the month of December and they accumulate on our front counter until finally the 24th rolls around and we get to open presents.

The nice thing is that it is not expected for anyone to do this so there are no hard feelings. It is actually a pretty good time being able to just relax with your coworkers and have fun. Of course we are still open as we do this so we have to still work a little but the crowds are normally pretty light for Christmas Eve.

Big Girl Bed




Well Bailey has been upgraded from her crib to a big girl bed. This wasn't really a decision on the part of Jennifer or myself but rather was all Bailey. The Sunday before Christmas she decided no more cribs, this decision was vocalized by her screaming at the top of her lungs every time we tried to lay her in it. Even if we rocked her to sleep in our arms as soon as we would bend over to lay her down she would realize what was going on enough to work herself up into a frenzy. We could not figure out the problem until finally we just laid her down with us. She slept through the night even if we didn't. The next night we pulled her mattress out of the crib and just laid it on the floor which seemed to be acceptable to her.

Her grandpa Anderson had planned on making a bed for her so Monday night we called him to tell him that she was ready. Amazingly, he called us Wednesday morning to ask what color we wanted it as the bed was finished. Bailey seems to really like it though she does fall out on occasion which makes for some late night baby retrievals. Also, she has decided that she does not like to fall asleep on her own and requests that one of us lay with her while she falls asleep. Maybe it is something we should try to discourage but when she puts on her sad face and just pats her mattress in a mute request to have you lay down it is pretty darn irresistible. Although, Jenn has had to come in and get me a time or two as I've fallen asleep right along with her. Good thing it is a sturdy little bed.

20 December 2009

Aspiring Big Sister

So we are setting things in motion to again start the adoption process. We had a meeting scheduled with our new case worker but that was unfortunately rescheduled for the Monday after Christmas. We did however, have our paperwork mailed to us so that we could get a head start on it. We are excited but reservedly so. From start to finish the process took three years with Bailey. Hopefully, it will move a little more quickly this time. Bailey would be such an incredible big sister and she really wants to be now. Our friends have a six month old named Abby, and Bailey just adores her. All week she has been saying, "Abby, Abby, Abby". Whenever Abby is around Bailey loves to look at her, pet her, feed her even care for her. When Bailey hears Abby cry she will stop whatever she is doing to come help. It normally involves Bailey trying to force Abby to take her pacifier though she has also brought her her blanket. I would love for Bailey to be able to have a younger sibling to care for.

That being said there is a ton of paperwork that we will need to do and no telling how long it will take but I hope that it will be soon.

17 December 2009

A UNR Family

Well now that Matthew is so busy I suppose it is time for me to step up and contribute to our blog. The big news is Matthew is enrolled at UNR. We have decided it is time for him to really focus on school so he will now be going full time (plus working full time). I don't know how they do it. But this means that he should be teaching in a few years. (Yay for nights with my Husband again.)
I am very proud of all the hard work he does for our family. Thank you Matthew!!

01 November 2009

What a difference a year makes







So we were looking back at Bailey's pictures from last Halloween and we could not believe the difference in her. I thought that you might get a kick out of these.

26 October 2009

Happy Birthday!

Well Jenn's mother turned 60 this last week. We had a really nice get together. Jenn's brother and girlfriend were there along with two of Jenn's uncle's and their wives, even one of Jenn's cousins. We were quite a big crowd packed in that little house. Jenn's grandmother wanted it to be special so she was the hostess of the affair. We had some delicious lasagna and garlic bread courtesy of Jenn's grandmother and a from scratch carrot cake courtesy of my fabulous wife. It was great to be able to share some time with family.

19 October 2009

Parenting Fail and Country Dancing

First the fail. Just south of us there is a "Pumpkin Patch", not an actual pumpkin patch mind you (they have to truck all of the pumpkins in) but there it is all the same. We decided to take Bailey down last Friday to check it out. It was pretty predictable with a lot of their decor made up of dried corn husks and bales of hay. I have to admit I found the whole thing kind of chintzy but I realized that I was not really the target audience. Bailey had a blast. She ran around and tapped each pumpkin just delighted as all get out. She got her own little pumpkin which she was adorable holding. She was so adorable, but, we forgot our camera like she was a middle child or something. We have discussed going back for a redo of sorts so that we can get some pictures.

On Saturday our ward did a barn dance social. It was pretty cool in that they got a bona-fide dance instructor to teach us some line dancing. If you missed out, let me assure you, you missed a treat. Those in attendance were able to witness my attempting the Electric Slide, Cotton Eyed Joe and some nameless couples dance. I don't "dance" in the traditional sense of the word. My version involves mostly my looking dazedly around myself and trying to figure out how many steps behind I am.

04 October 2009

I Am One Proud Papa

The other morning I had Bailey in her highchair and we were about to eat breakfast when I said, "We need to say a blessing", at which point Bailey promptly folded her arms (she had gotten pretty good at this already so no surprise there). As I started to pray I could her her jabbering away, also not a surprise. I wanted to make sure that she hadn't gotten a hold of something that she shouldn't so I peeked and I was just so surprised by what I found. Bailey had her arms still folded, her eyes closed and the most intent look on her face. That was when I realized that she was saying her prayers. She continued on like that for awhile until she was done at which point she just lifted her head up and had the biggest smile on her face. I am so proud of her.

27 September 2009

Flying Solo

Bailey will be eighteen months old come the 11th of October which means that at church she will be eligible for nursery. We have been nervous about this day for some months now but as the day has drawn closer we have been more and more ready. Bailey had gotten increasingly unmanageable in Sunday School so something needed to change. We accompanied her to nursery for the past few weeks. Today I commented to the nursery leader that I did not know how she would handle it without us and she wisely mentioned that eventually we would need to try. Reluctantly I left her today.

I don't know why it is so hard. I think a part of me is afraid that Bailey will be seen as just another kid. Bailey is so special to me and I want to make sure that everyone sees her that way, it is hard to let her stand out on her own, without my intervention.

In the end she did great, she whimpered a bit when I left but then resumed playing. Her favorite toy in nursery, the rocking chair. The nursery leader said she did really well. My little baby is growing up.

20 September 2009

Home Alone


Eegads I'm going crazy. Jennifer went with her mother and grandmother for the weekend to attend a wedding in Northern California. Being alone makes me realize just how much I love those two. I am going insane here on my own. It seems like me head is always buzzing, I can't concentrate or focus on any one thing. In a nutshell, I'm a basketcase, I cannot wait for them to come home.

Games Bailey Plays

Bailey is starting to get more and more creative. Recently Jenn purchased two new end tables that each have a really generous enclosed shelf area. Bailey was playing with the cupboard doors, as she is wont to do, when Jenn noticed that she had disappeared. Then she saw little fingers poking out of the louvers and the mystery was solved. Unprompted by us Bailey shut herself inside the end tables. Now we hesitate to use the shelves because we don't want to mess up what has become an ideal play area.



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Bailey New Vocabulary

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Bailey is an incredible communicator. She has gotten really good at expressing what she wants or what is bothering her, all without words. Teaching her some rudimentary sign language has really helped. She can sign "please", "thank you", "more", "outside", "milk", "water", "baby", and "sleep". Now she is also developing her spoken vocabulary, current hits include "ma-ma", "da-da", "up", "down", "toes" and "mmmm...that's some tasty fried chicken". Okay maybe not the last one but it is still adorable.

13 September 2009

Our Eternal Family







Well all of the road blocks were finally cleared away and last night we were sealed to our daughter for time and all eternity. There was such an amazing feeling in the temple last night. Even Bailey could sense it. As soon as Jenn dressed Bailey in her white dress she was so calm. She just sat quietly in Grandma's lap and held her parent's hands when the time came. She was a model of decorum and reverence. There was a lot of crying as we were surrounded by friends who were able to share the event with us. Words do not do feelings justice, as I read over this I realize that it does little to convey the sense of warmth and love that were there. I will then simply say that I do believe that the temple is a special and a sacred place and I am so grateful that I was able to join my family there and that Bailey is now sealed to us for time and all eternity.

Along with all of the warm and gooey good feelings there was also a deep feeling of responsibility. I felt that before Bailey was sent to this earth that she was promised that this ordinance would be done for her. Now Jenn and I need to walk up to our covenants, not just for each other any more, but also for Bailey. I do hope I can measure up to the man that she needs me to be.

Jump Sasha Jump


Too cute not to post.


The Birthday girl opening her present from "Bailey"


The birthday girl, aka "The Underbite Avenger"


I love taking pictures of Sasha, she has the greatest faces.


In the end, no one was left standing.


This was actually one of the fun falls, she didn't get hurt until later.


It's too bad no one got a picture of me trying to squeeze through this.








Our niece, Bailey's cousin, Sasha turned...had a birthday this past week. The party was at a place called "Jump Man Jump" which we had never been to before (although it did occur to me that they should make sure their phone number has no similarities to that of a crisis hotline). This place was amazing, it was a gallery of assorted bounce house type diversions. If you think getting a large group of children together in giant inflatable amusements is a recipe for injury, well you would be correct but its nothing that they cannot just walk off. Kids are resilient like that.

Bailey had a blast and the birthday girl was an adorable hostess. After each gift she would announce that the giver was "the best friend ever" and then give them a hug. It was also good to see some family. I believe a good time was had by all.

Don't Knock It Until You Try It



When Bailey was new to eating solids, she loved her vegetables. Carrots, peas, you name it. Well since entering toddlerhood and discovering that she has an opinion she had decided that vegetables just were not her thing. We tried different types of veggies, different preparation methods even hiding them in foods, all with limited success. The answer came one day when Jennifer was getting ready for another futile attempt at preparing Bailey's veggies. Jenn had the bag of frozen peas and carrots out and Bailey reached for it. Obviously she did not know what it was but seeing no harm in it, Jenn gave her some of the still frozen veggies, she loved them, she asked for more. So Bailey eats her veggies frozen, who would have guessed?

06 September 2009

Temple Sealing

Well the time is finally arriving for us to be sealed to Bailey. One small hitch though (of course), when our ward clerk entered Bailey's blessing into the computer he mistakenly marked that she was Born in the Covenant, that is already sealed. This has the potential to delay our temple plans until we can get that corrected through Salt Lake. It is our hope to have the sealing performed on Saturday night. Hopefully that will happen.

Baby Blessing

Well we got to finally bless Bailey last Sunday. We crossed our fingers and went ahead and did it in sacrament meeting. She was actually great. She stood on mom's lap so that we could place our hands on her head. The bag of gummy bears we gave her may have had something to do with her being so mellow. We are now trying to set a time to take her to the temple for our family to be sealed. I will definately post some pictures when that happens.

30 August 2009

New School Year

Tomorrow begins a new school year, granted I have already had a week of college but it doesn't seem to count until seminary begins. Tomorrow marks day one of our study of The Book of Mormon, do I have butterflies, yes, but I am so excited to begin a new year. I know most of my students already but am looking forward to meeting some new freshman as well. I am optimistic that this is going to be a great year.

P.S. If I don't post as regularly please understand.

23 August 2009

Sparks Fountain

Well Farmer's Market was coming to a close so we thought it appropriate to let Bailey have one last romp in the fountain for the season. You can see she wasn't afraid to get wet.


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She speaks

Bailey has become a full on chatterbox lately. Here is a sample of one of our conversations.

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18 August 2009

Finally!


It is finished. The court actually gave us the whole proceedings on DVD so I hope to have some video up here soon. Also, they certified a copy for us right there while we waited. It's kind of cool being in court when they like you. It turns out that family court judges love adoptions. Think about it there normal line of work is divorce, custody battles, removing children from unfit parents. Our attorney is actually business partners with the judge. This would normally be cause to reassign the case but with it being uncontested there wasn't an issue. In fact our attorney called the court to have the case reassigned as a formality but the judge wouldn't do it. It turns out that he really wanted to do this. All in all it was an amazing experience, I am so glad that we have it recorded so we can go back and see what he had to say.

The Human Slinky


So four days before we are supposed to go to court to finalize the adoption Bailey finds the rough weather beaten concrete stairs and decides to just tumble down the lot of them. So she's bleeding from her face and arms and now we're paranoid that we are going to look like child abusers. Luckily, after using Neosporin like it was going out of style she healed up nicely so by the time court rolled around no one was the wiser. Shhhh.

16 August 2009

Our Staycation


















Well we missed my folks terribly this last week. To make matters worse we also missed my niece and nephew who were visiting from New York. But, we couldn't spend the week moping about what was beyond our control so we tried to have some fun and we were, at least I believe, successful.

We went Monday to Virginia City to peruse the shops and to take in the atmosphere. We also were brave and tried to watch the gunfight. Bailey started out doing fine but as the show went on she got more and more upset by the noise until she finally broke out in tears and we had to leave, kind of embarrassing but oh well.

Tuesday, we went to the park and had a picnic, outside of my being accosted by an English Bull Dog it went without incident.

Wednesday, we tried for some Geocaching which was successful in that we tried, Bailey however didn't last long so we returned home pretty quickly. The evening went better, we had dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Anderson and played a lively game of pin the tail on the donkey (a word of advice, Jennifer cheats. :D)

Thursday, was awesome. We have a really cool water park in Sparks that is geared towards younger children. It is pretty small but only $3 per adult and children under two are free. They have a whole series of different fountains and there were a ton of kids there for Bailey to play with. I think she kind of freaked one girl out though. Since Bailey doesn't really know how to play with others she just walks right up to them and then stares. This poor little girl who was the focus of her stare down kept looking around then back at Bailey, she wasn't quite sure what to make of the whole situation.

Friday, was the crown jewel of the week. Not only did Jennifer and I celebrate our eighth anniversary but we also enjoyed our wards annual daddy daughter camp out. Jenn brought her dad and I brought Bailey. It started out pretty rough for Bailey, everytime she fell down she got stabbed by pine needles. Grandpa luckily brought her wagon and began towing her around the camp site. She had a lot of fun after that, besides the head wounds that is, but more on that later. We sang silly songs, ate S'mores and had a generally agreeable time.

So, while it was not the week we intended it was nonetheless a good week. I love you mom and dad and hope to see you as soon as we can.