Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Snowman Party

Today we got to go to a snowman party. Our friends from playgroup (did I mention we have been in this playgroup since Emily was about 2 months old, minus some time while I was working full-time?) hosted this week and had a fun snowman theme for everything. Thanks CAT! There was hot cocoa with marshmallows, homemade snowman shirts for all the kids, snowman yarn-ball guys that made for a fun hide-and-seek game, snowflake cookies, snowflake dishes, yummy soup, and even a snowman cake that the kids got to frost and decorate. Oh, and even a take-home craft of a felt snowman, which Emily put together and made me glue immediately so it will last forever.

It was so fun and it reminded me of my mom, how she always went out of her way to decorate for holidays, make fun creative birthday cakes, and do crafts and all sorts of things to keep us kids entertained. So even though I have lacked in those skills so far, I'm thankful to have friends who do special things like snowman parties and help kids (and moms!) have good memories!

Also this morning I got the news that our Zoo Director and his wife, my boss, are resigning and taking positions at the Columbus Zoo. I was very surprised at the news, but I am happy for them to be able to return to Ohio, where Patty (my boss) grew up and has family still around. Having these two as my superiors has been instrumental in me being able to work from home and be very flexible with my schedule, and I will always be grateful to them for that. So I wish them the best and hope more good people will come in their places!

Monday, January 5, 2009

I saw this on my friend's blog and thought it was kind of fun, so here goes...

Have you ever...
(things I've done are in bold)

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (Wii counts, right?)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Received flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt (large pieces, mind you!)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book (can I count my Zoo magazines?)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (ones I've taken, anyway)
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake (I think, when I was little)
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday, Allison!

Our sweet little Allison turned one year old on December 27. We celebrated by inviting the family over for a little "party" with presents and cake. Allison enjoyed the attention, and especially her lemon cake with cream cheese frosting (a little on top, and strawberry yogurt all around).

Some fun facts about Allison from her first year: She loves her big sister and watches whatever she does. She is adventurous and explores anything she can get to. She learned to sit up on her own at 4 months. She learned to crawl on all fours at 10 1/2 months. She doesn't walk yet. She has two tiny little teeth starting to come up from her bottom gums, and they are crooked! She loves Cheerios and bananas. Her first words were "dada" and "kitty" (well, it doesn't sound just like kitty, but she says it while pointing to the cat, so we know that's what she means). She loves to play "duck duck goose" with Emily. She does not like the feel of grass and cries when we set her down on it. She makes all kinds of sound effects with her mouth and babbles as if she is telling a story. She loves to read books. Stats from 1-year checkup: 20 lbs, 28 1/2 inches.
We love you, Allison!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas 2008

I like to think of Christmas 2008 as a near week-long event. Not including Breakfast with Santa, I think our Christmas festivities really started on the Friday before and went all the way through Christmas afternoon.

All the presents were arranged under the tree with was Allison's first Christmas, and she was so excited that she woke up nearly three hours before Emily! Okay, actually Allison woke up at her normal time, but Emily slept in until almost 10 am! So I tried to occupy Allison until her big sleepy sister woke up and we could proceed with the Christmas festivities.

Luckily Allison got a few books in her stocking and a really fun "makes lots of fun sounds" toy that kept her occupied.
She also made a little bit of a mess...I mean, hey, how do you occupy a 11.9-month old for nearly three hours? I tidied back up before Emily came out.
"Hurry up, Emily!! I've been waiting forever!"
Finally big sis woke up and came out to find her dream scooter (minus the pink paint) under the tree. Lucky girl! Though really she's lucky to have a Dad who feels like little kids should get what they wanted for Christmas...I thought we were done with the Christmas shopping until two days before the big event Emily informed us that she was getting a scooter for Christmas. A wha...?? This was the first we'd heard of it. I tried using the old "what if Santa brings you something else you really like" routine, but she insisted. So magically somehow between coming home from Christmas Eve dinner at Grandpa's (9:30 pm, mind you!) and Christmas morning, a scooter magically appeared under the tree. Oh, right, Santa IS magic!!
Later in the day Kevin's two brothers and our sister-in-law came over for a little gift exchange. That was the end of the Christmas presents...I think in total we had four rounds with different family groups.

I honestly don't remember what happened during the day (is that bad?), but in the evening we went to Kevin's Dad's house for a little Christmas Eve dinner with the Boam side of the family. It was a nice relaxing time, highlighted for Emily with some great gifts, of course!

Tuesday...I went to work at the Zoo in the morning and our department had our annual holiday potluck luncheon. Out of 8 people I think we brought enough food to feed at least 30, and every single dish was sooo good. I ate at least two plates of food plus dessert. I was super stuffed, but it was all delicious and I had to at least try each dish!

Meanwhile, Kevin's Mom and Grandma (Loudenslager) arrived from Sacramento (Hope flew from San Diego to Sac and they drove down together). So the 23rd was the first family Christmas celebration, including lots of gift opening and some delicious homemade pizza, with the George/Loudenslager/Boam group. Below are the three Boam boys with their Grandmother, all sporting beanies from their Mom.
Emily had fun with her great-grandma, too. She likes to wear her pajamas all the time when she is at home, by the way...
Here's the group...sister-in-law Michelle was also here, and I'm taking the picture, of course.
Our Ward Christmas party. I am the ward activities committee chair, so the whole thing was pretty much up to me this year. We did an Italian-style dinner for the entire ward, which is significant because in the past it has been adults only, so adding the kids in created a much bigger crowd. Over the course of about a month, I made 12 20-serving lasagne (true Italian style, of course) and four large pans of macaroni and cheese. We served about 250 people with the help of 50 different volunteers bringing bread, salad and appetizers, plus the lasagne and then Italian panettone for dessert. It turned out really well, although I spent the entire time in the kitchen and made it into the dining area maybe twice, just to bring food out. I got a lot of compliments on the lasagne and all the kids were happy that Santa made an appearance, so we'll call it a success!
Emily's "holiday program" at preschool. Emily goes to school Monday through Wednesday, so having the program on a Friday put a slight dent in the schedule. I bring this up because that caused us to be a few minutes late, which meant the program had already started when we arrived. :( All the kids were all dressed up in their reindeer or santa costumes, and I tried to rush Emily in to the open chair on the end, which she was not too happy about. She's not too good in front of crowds (especially adults) anyway, so it didn't really go so well. As you can see from the photo, she sat on the edge with a frown on her face the whole time. I was the mom on the side trying to smile really big and mouth the words to the songs to get her to sing, with absolutely no luck. She told me afterwards she was nervous. Poor thing. This is a child that talks so much we can't stand it sometimes, but she really clams up in these types of situations. Oh, well. Merry Christmas, anyway!