Thursday, December 27, 2012

Six Whole Years

I can't believe six years has passed since the snowy day we got married. It was the best day of my life. I don't know how or why Jon chose to put up with me and my crazy ways, but he did and I am lucky for it. In homage I have put together a collection of pictures from every year we have been married. In doing so I realized that after we had kids there are very few pictures of us together.

Honeymoon in San Francisco, 2006
Provo apartment, 2007
Provo, Declaration CD release show, 2008 (too many people on stage, including me.)

Paris 2008 (OK there are two from this year, I could not choose!)
Redwood Forest, 2009
Portland, 2010
Portland, 2011

Portland, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Green Chile Christmas

I think the theme of this Christmas was that we matched a lot.

They got asked if they were twins a lot. They do have the exact same big blue eyes.

They had so. much. fun. (I think.) Wouldn't you rather come to rural New Mexico, than say...anywhere?

First booty pop, such a proud aunt.

Loved her new toys, loved the wrapping paper even more.

Pretty sure we will be a Hanna Anderson family forever after this.

I really liked making clay ornaments. Kenz and I painted them in silence, mega focused. Ignoring the needs of our children. (well, that was probably just me.) I also have a cross stitched one for Margot to finish. And clay hand prints. And a baby knit hat. And a necklace. The snow globes were shelved. But I'm determined to make those some time soon.

Kenz found these matching shirts for Jon and Theo that I gave them. So amazing. Margot and I had to match also just because.

I loved making Arlo a set of clip on bow ties for Christmas. Because you're never fully dressed without a bow tie. And he is killing it.

Today is December 26, quite possibly one of the most depressing days of the year. Up until now, our Christmases have been long school breaks that end after the new year, and usually by then we are ready to go home and back to our usual routine. Now, Jon is a real adult that has to work the day after Christmas. But despite the maturation of our lives, this Christmas might have been one of my favorites ever. Kenz and Tyler decided to sacrifice almost two weeks of their Christmas break (which he will likely have forever--sigh of jealousy) and make the long, multi-step process of traveling to our home in Truth or Consequences. It was so nice to have my twin sister and such good friends in our house. I have missed that so much! And of course Arlo, who is such a cutie. At one point in the trip I had a hard time telling Arlo and Margot's cries apart, which was really weird. But they are genetic half siblings, after all. Even their dog Gigi made the voyage, her tiny seven-pound body almost getting swept away in some 50 mph winds we had one day. We planned a lot of craft projects, made some awesome food from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, and we all spent a lot of time in our matching pajamas. Margot started scooting, Arlo perfected his rollover, and even gave his first booty pop on their last day here. Theo loved having them here too, even though he did torture Gigi most of the time. Kenz and Tyler experienced New Mexico to its fullest--eating a lot of green chile, purchasing turquoise, and buying marble-dyed matching shirts from the crazy tie dye man in town. (Remember, take a picture together and he will put you on the website!)

We had Christmas on Sunday as they were flying out Christmas Day, and it was really fun to borrow traditions from our families as well as create some of our own. Theo was given probably too many presents as he was opening things on Monday, but that was mostly because we only opened something new when he asked. His delight and repeated gasps of "what is it?" were amazing. On the other hand, Margot got a couple new toys from relatives and some pacifiers from us in her stocking. I guess we save all the money we don't spend the first two Christmases and then spend it all on the third.

On the real Christmas morning, Theo gave me the best 5:30 am snuggle I have ever had--no kicks, eye pokes, or wiggles. And it made me realize just how much I love our family and have about a million blessings just by having them around.

I also realized that someone could make about a million dollars by creating a maid service that specializes in cleaning and organizing your house the day after Christmas. (she says while sitting around eating sugar cookies and thinking of that sad, depressing, (even, embarrassing) Michael McClain song from that one Christmas thing he does. Forgotten Carols. I really had hoped I would not remember that, but that's what you get for having a brain that specializes in random facts and performances viewed as a child.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It did have a blanket as a tree skirt for a while.

Trimming the tree took about four days. We were able to bypass the crappy Walmart trees and bought one from the local 4-H club. We could have cut one ourselves for $5 anywhere in the Gila National Forest, but we concluded that too many things could go terribly wrong in that scenario (mostly, we don't have an axe). It is very Charlie Brown-esque--it is missing a few branches, has a large bald spot, and I really like it. It's about eight feet tall, which is awesome. It would be even more awesome if we owned a tree topper, but we don't. We also didn't feel like pulling out a ladder either.

These pictures were from night two of decorating. I had all these romantic aspirations for Night 1, and then an ornament from 1988 broke, plus two others*, and when I went to take pictures our camera battery was dead. Christmas ruined! Then we decided to finish the next day. Christmas saved!

*Tile floors have been our downfall, and the literal downfall of several mugs, plates, spice jars and a wooden toy of Margot's (her favorite!) since we moved. It breaks everything.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Last of Fall

Check out that full mouth milk mustache. How does that even happen?



Thomas the train got a new set of batteries and a new purpose on our gently sloping driveway.

I know for most people winter was here a while ago. For us, it has really just arrived. We still have sunny days of course, but the last of the 70 degree weather is gone. I have really enjoyed going outside and letting Theo be a normal boy without me hovering and looking for snakes. We just look at the lizard who lives permanently on our front porch instead. It's the closest thing we have to a pet. It can get pretty windy up here, but when the wind dies down it feels 20 degrees warmer than it actually is. December and sunscreen. Don't think that will ever feel normal.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Half Birthday

My attempt to capture the booty pop.

We went on our first jog together last week.

I can't believe Margot is six months already! I still remember her birth story far too clearly.  Although I like her birth story, I don't mind remembering it. She is changing incredibly quickly, learning new things every day. She's not eating solid food yet (see post below), but rolls all over the place and pops up on her hands and knees all the time. That motion makes her look like she is popping her little booty and it is my favorite thing she does right now. She also sits independently and is starting to figure out the jumperoo we borrowed from her cousins. Her bottom teeth are imminent--we are just starting the fun teething stage. She sleeps completely unswaddled usually on her side or tummy, which makes her look so old to me. She goes to bed around six, and usually wakes twice at night to eat, once if she wants to give me a special treat. She is very happy and smiley, but her laughs are more rare--I usually have to tickle her. Theo has been able to make her laugh without tickling though. We moved Theo to a booster chair and her to his old clip on high chair and she loves it. Her hair is growing steadily, looks like it may be light brown, but I'm not quite sure. At least I know she will be keeping those big beautiful blue eyes of hers--the only thing guaranteed with our kids. We love this baby something fierce.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


This picture most accurately depicts how she acts when she tries a bite

She loves it! Wait, her brother was just making a silly face.

For some reason I was getting so excited to feed Margot solid foods. She was always grabbing at a cracker in my hand and trying to put it in her mouth. Once she got a handful of soft chocolate cake at a church activity, and it made me think about just how wonderful it would be to take a handful of cake and just squeeze it. It me fantasize of her first taste of real food--she would love it and proceed to eat anything I put before her after that. I guess I forgot how babies at this age will grab at anything and put it in their mouths. And when you are my child, that means you want to eat everything but food. With Theo, I was anxious because I thought all babies would love food no matter what, and was surprised when it was not the case with him. So with Margot I lowered my expectations. They got even lower when she reacted to a bottle of pumped breast milk on the Thanksgiving trip like it was poison. Like how Michael Pollan would act if forced to drink straight red dye #40. But I still kept my hopes up. Maybe she would be different! Maybe she will gobble up new healthy foods with relish! While we are in that mind frame, maybe my next baby will have brown eyes and olive skin. It just isn't going to happen. Avocado was the first food (again, why do I repeat myself?) and Margot grimaced through the first few tastes. It was like she was saying, "Yeah Mom, this is delicious, thanks!" but wanting to puke at the same time. I tried it again today, same thing. I even tried to give her a spoonful of straight milk. No go. Theo did not eat solid food until about 8 months or so, so at least I don't have to torture myself this time thinking I am doing something wrong. She'll get there. I'm kind of relieved not to worry about it, actually. I can now focus on getting her brother to try that piece of chicken on his plate that is exactly like every other piece of chicken he has eaten in his life, but without breading. And that piece of pineapple that is slightly warm that you won't touch? Tastes just like the cold piece that you will eat for days. So thanks, Margot, for reminding me that feeding kids is a chore.  I know you just didn't want to add any more stress to my life. You are a wise little baby. A wise, wise little baby.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas is rad.

These two pictures aren't really Christmas related, except that the weather has been super nice lately. I may gripe a lot about it sometimes, but this time desert climate wins. Also we were taking a walk where the paved road ends by our house--super secret Ted Turner land with no trespassing signs. We are adventurous.
Wal-mart has terrible trees--but I did find this small one for now made out of a bristle brush. And maybe a little accessory for Christmas, don't want to give it away but it starts with "b" and ends in "olo."
Christmas with a toddler makes the season about a hundred times more fun. This year Theo realizes what Christmas is (mostly, Santa is a little over his head right now) and loves Christmas trees and dancing to Christmas songs. Our Christmases past were a little lackluster at home due to always going somewhere else, and me not caring about decorating very much. But things have changed, and Theo has awoken the Christmas spirit in me. As in, I bought a glue gun yesterday. We are upping the meager decorations and I am making an advent calendar of my own invention and not the internet's. Although it is made of things I bought from the internet, which is why we are starting a bit late. And presents. I am so excited for Theo to open his gifts, the parking garage we got him is going to blow his mind!

Yesterday I made green eggs and ham with some kale--I wasn't sure if Theo would be into it, and sure enough he kind of freaked out at the sight of them. But then I said they were special Christmas "Grinch" eggs and then he thought they were awesome. Thank you, Christmas.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Overconsuming in every way

We also took family pictures with about 12 other families camped out at the same barn door in Scottsdale. My kids were by far the worst behaved. (Next worst, constant complainer Jon.) I was really hoping to dye my hair blonde this weekend and have someone who doesn't use kitchen scissors to trim my bangs, but it didn't happen. Such is life. And I'm going to proudly add that Theo got a haircut and was a perfect saint while doing so, probably because he was sitting in a fire engine. (last three pictures by Jon's sister Geri)

I have never been one for car trips--our longest growing up was Boise to San Francisco and my most vivid memories are 1. eating Boudin soughdough 2. seeing my first cross dresser 3. crying and covering my ears with pillows as my parents refused to stop playing Richard Marx (it.was.torture.). I loved flying from Salt Lake to Boise during college, and don't even ask me about the few times we attempted to drive from Portland to Boise. Ok, I'll tell you. Crazy ice and snow and almost getting hit by deer. We hit a deer on a trip from Utah to Arizona once and it was terrifying. I hate deer.

But things have changed. Suddenly a six hour trip (luckily in the desert with no snowy mountain passes) feels like nothing. A deer even ran into Jon's car right outside our house last week, no biggie. I was so excited for this trip. I needed it. So we rolled into the big city and I made some pumpkin pies for Jon's pumpkin pie hating family. Thanksgiving was filled with homemade rolls and feeling sick, and light sabers gifted by Jon's Aunt Joan. We went to Costco on Friday and it was one of the most exhilarating, joyful moments of the weekend. That sentence sounded so horrible, but I've got to be honest. It's true. I really needed a new Belgian waffler. I really needed some new glass food storage containers. I really (really!) needed a complete set of Roald Dahl books. Then we went to Trader Joe's and spent over $100 on a cart 90% filled with treats. We saw movies, Bond of course and Theo still won't stop talking about Wreck it Ralph. More than anything what made me happy was seeing him play with his cousins. He loved it so much keeps asking us to go on another car trip to visit them. This kid does not play with other kids enough, and it makes me feel a bit sad. For some reason at Stake Conference a month ago I had the idea that we would make magical long distance friends, (which didn't happen of course) but we sat next to a boy Theo's age and all this kid did was get freaked out by Theo's sticker gift and his mom made sure she was a barrier to his trains. So depressing. Our precious train loving baby boy sat for two long hours inches away from a full train set and never touched one. C'mon! Anyway. We didn't even have a chance to see the 7 movies we wanted to and I didn't make it to visit friends, but it was a good weekend. A six hour drive is nothing when Theo gets to see grandparents and ride a trike.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Missy Marg.

October 17, four months
November 15, five months (hasn't changed too much. Still got those pointy ears, wide eyes, with a little added chub.)

Margot Geraldine! Can't believe she is almost six months old. She has really become active in the past month or so, loving toys and the package of wipes and trying to eat everything in her path. She starting rolling around at five months, and now that she's better at it we are weaning her from swaddling. (Boo! She loves her swaddle. I'm sad to give it up.)

She loves to smile and stick out her tongue--she is constantly happy. Goes to bed early, between 6:00-7:00 (if you were to check on Theo at this age, it was more like 11:00--not his fault. I've learned a lot between kids.). She is starting to sit independently, and if I leave her on the rug in one spot she will be a few feet away and turned over when I get back. She is a master at putting up with Theo. He loves to throw clothes over her face, walk over her like Ellen dancing over a coffee table, and give her no personal space whatsoever.

I'm not very good at putting headbands, bows or what have you on her head. This is mainly due to laziness and lack of supply (I mean, have you seen me? Accessories are not my strong suit.) and the fact that I personally get anxious when headbands are squeezing a rapidly developing baby skull. So we generally reserve them for Sundays. When she gets enough hair, we'll do some clips, but until then most people will likely assume I have two sons. But I'm not going to suppress my love of blue stripes. They look good on her. 

Margot is my little gem. When Theo is climbing up the pantry and smashing play dough in his hair, saying "MAMA! I NEED PHONE!!! I NEED IPAD!!!", I can just look at her and her calm eyes say, "It's alright mama, be cool." Maybe that's a lot to insinuate for a baby, but she's just what I need right now. For all of my own crazy genes in Theo, Margot seems to have a lot of zen Jon genes. I probably thought this when Theo was six months, so don't hold me to it when she's two and a little diva.