Sunday, May 31, 2009

Quick Quote from Miss Bella....

**Driving home from church, we pull up to a stoplight and a Lexus convertible pulls up right next to us.**
Bella: "Oooh that's a cool car mommy"
Me: "What car?"
Bella: "That one (pointing), the one without a lid on it."
True story.
:-)

Splash Pad Fun

One of the key elements to living in Arizona, is learning what to do and where to go with your kids in the summer....specifically to stay cool (if at all possible). So on this sunny Saturday afternoon Em and I packed up a bag of water toys, chairs, towel and a giant shade umbrella and took the kids to a small playground by our house. This particular playground has a splash pad (I think I've researched and found just about every splash pad in the state of Arizona!) and so the kids stayed cool and we all enjoyed a little water fight together.

And let me just say- my little sister does not play by the rules. She proceeded to dump a whole bucket on me when I wasn't looking....I'm still out for revenge Em....

Here's a little clip of Emily, Bella and Tyler paying around in the cool fountains. Watch for Bella's self-soak near the end :-)

Makes me laugh.
video

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dinner Table Conversations

Do you ever sit at the dinner table and listen to everyone's conversation and think, "what if someone was watching us right now- how weird would we look?!" John and I are totally intrigued (and maybe a little embarrassed of it...) and addicted to reality tv. Voyeuristic? maybe....guilty pleasure? Definitely.

Go ahead and admit it- you know you've seen at least one episode of 18 Kids and Counting!! And I used to love to watch the daily temper tantrums and toddler talk of "John and Kate plus 8" **(before all the drama and tabloid stories....its such a mess now!) But anyway, here is a little glimpse into our dinner table talk one night. But first let me set the clip up-

Ty is learning to use his fork and spoon at every meal...so notice how he struggles to eat his rice :-). And Bella had been put in time-out at school this day because she and her best friend Erin were kicking books in class (also note Bella's oh-so-lovely hairdo after waking up from her nap) So here is how the conversation went.....

video

Spring Chickies!

Well, not really chicks, I'm actually not sure what kind of birds they will be....
But we have found a sweet little nest in the big tree in our front yard! The nest is so cute, its perfectly situated on a bent branch, which helps support its tiny little structure. It's pretty high up, so today we took out the ladder to get a look and see if anything was actually inside the nest...and low and behold- two cute little speckled eggs!
One eggs has a few little "pecked" holes in it, like maybe a bird is about to hatch. Now I'm so excited about my little baby birds that I'll drag the ladder out each day and check to see how they are doing. I'll definitely take pictures when the little birdies hatch :-)
Look how cute!-

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cousins and Best Friends

You're probably sick of seeing pictures by now, right?
Well, I have just a few more. Remember me talking about the photo shoot with Tara Malouf of all the cousins? Well, I've added a few of those adorable pictures to our Summer 09' album in the Picasa web albums for your viewing enjoyment :-)
But first, a word about the cousins-
When John and I moved here 3 years ago, living near family was a huge factor in the decision. We love that our kids have a city full of cousins (literally we have 10 kids under the age of 5 that are all related in some way or another! But 2 of them live in Minnesota) and that they can see their aunts and uncles on a regular basis. My sweet sister-in-law Heidi lives just up the road from us, and we have the blessing of being able to see each other, work out together and arrange play dates for our boys all the time. David and Ty are only about 6 months apart, and their dad's (John and his older brother David) are very close friends, so we laugh at how much the boys will be like their dads some day.
**And as a side note, Heidi has become like a sister to me and my life has been blessed and made all the better by having her in it! For those of you who don't know her, she is truly a gentle spirit and maybe someday I'll dedicate a special blog all about her :-) **
Anyhow, for the past 4 years there has been at least 1 (if not more!) woman in our family that is pregnant. At one point, Julie, Heidi and myself were all pregnant at the same time! It must be the water in Scottsdale...
So here is how the ages break down:
Marley- 5
Lexi- 4 1/2
Bella- 3 1/2
Nolan- 3
Ethan- 2
David- almost 2
Alyssa- almost 2 (her and David are about 5 weeks apart)
Tyler- 18 months
Lucy- 14 months
Dominic- 5 months

And maybe more to come?

But not from me, thank you very much :-)
So follow this link to see some pictures of 6 of the cousins...maybe some day we'll be able to get a group shot of all 10 of them...yikes, that would be quite the task.



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Weekend Fun

Yay! Emily is finally here and getting all settled in. We had a long weekend of unpacking, organizing and putting things together, but most of the hard stuff is done now and she's starting to feel more "at home" in her new city :-)

So moving Emily in took up most of the weekend, but yesterday as she grocery shopped to fill her new kitchen, John and I had a "family day" and took the kids to Desert Ridge where they played in the fountains (video soon to come...) and we ate Paradise Bakery outside in the shade. Do you ever have those moments where you have absolutely no idea what the date is, or what time it is? John and I both had one of those weird moments where we could not even tell you the date or time...it was just one of those pleasant summer days where we totally lost track of all sense of time.


Apparently the kids love soaking up the water because as soon as we got home, they begged to play in the splash pad. So on came the summer music on the outside stereo, and out came the Otter Pops! Otter Pops remind me of when I was a little girl swimming in the pool until all my toes and fingers were water-logged and wrinkled. Bella and I even jumped in the pool and the temperature was heaven! Refreshing but warmed from the warm sun.


A trip to our neighboring Yogurtology rounded out the day; the perfect summer nights' ending.

I added more pictures to our summer album: http://picasaweb.google.com/Bri.and.John/SummerFun2009#

More to come later! have a great day

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Photo Love to Share!!

After an exhausting afternoon of unloading the moving truck and battling our way through unpacking a million boxes (yes, exaggeration) we took a break for some dinner and I received a little present in the mail! Our latest family photos had arrived, and it just made my night! We were privileged to work with a super sweet photographer Tara Malouf, who was in town to shoot a wedding- and since she is a friend of the family, she agreed to squeeze in some picture time with our family! Not just our family, but the whole Anderson/Dickerson family as well. We all got time with her, and we even got a photo shoot done with all the cousins. Photographing 6 kids under the age of 5 isn't easy :-) And two of the cousins were missing! That's how big and crazy our family is!

I'm just going to go ahead and be that mom who brags on and on about her kids.... :-)

I could stare at Ty's dimples and Bella's big angelic eyes and soft curls all day. These pictures (OK, every picture) is so precious to me because they are changing every day, and I will never have enough pictures of them to look back on.

So here are a few to share, follow this link to our Picasa Albums:



Friday, May 22, 2009

Big Day!


Tomorrow is a big day! Can't wait to move my sister in as my new neighbor. I'm sure the next few days will be hectic....but no fear!- I will try to blog when I have a few minutes :-) You'd probably go through withdrawals if I don't blog for a while, right?
OK, let's be honest- I'd probably go through withdrawals. I love my modern-day journal!

Messy Eater

Anyone tired of video clips yet?

I know they aren't' always the most exciting :-) They are mostly just little simple moments that make me laugh. So last night Tyler had ravioli for dinner...and we still aren't sure how much he ate, and how much ended up on his face....here's the proof..

P.S.- Watch for his "excited face"- it cracks us up!


video

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Jumpin' Around

Today Bella doesn't have preschool in the morning, so with both kids at home bouncing off the walls, I figured it was a good idea to take them somewhere where they could really bounce. So after running a few errands, we headed off to an inflatable jumpy-place where they have a preschool-playtime for kids under 5. Bella, of course, had a ball. Tyler tried his hardest to keep up with his big sister..but that's hard to do!

We didn't stay too long...just long enough for my kids to get tired out :-) Plus, is it just me or are places like that total overload?! Between the loud music (preschool music mind you- a person can listen to Dora the Explorer songs for only so long!) and the weird colored carpet and walls (for those of you in my generation, picture the decor theme at "The Max" on Saved By The Bell....you know what I'm talking about!) and add a few dozen toddlers running around and you start to feel a little dizzy!

But they had fun, and will sleep well at nap time today :-)

Eevryone wins.

video

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Painting in the Morning.

One of the little things I enjoy the most about being a mom is watching my kids learn to do something...and then develop a love for something. It just tickles me to see how they are becoming their own little individual!

For instance, Isabella loves coloring and painting. Maybe because I've bought her coloring books and art supplies and have been coloring with her since she was about 18 months old...or maybe she just finds a lot of happiness when she sits down to do artwork. It may seem like a small thing...like the small moments you spend with your kids don't really have an impact...but I vividly remember reading with my parents from as young as I can remember (about 3). And I grew up loving to read. To this day, I am an avid reader.

For my own kids, Bella and Tyler both LOVE being read to. Love it, love it, love it. Bella also loves artwork and doing puzzles. Tyler loves figuring out shapes (in his little shapes puzzle ball) and he's obsessed with balls...specifically basketballs. Wonder where that influence came from ;-) From the looks of it, Bella will be creative like her mom and Ty will excel at sports and math like his dad :-)

So whenever I feel overwhelmed and frustrated with the day-to-day business of taking care of our house and two little kids....I try to catch myself and remember that I only get these baby/toddler years for so long, and they are sooo important. I don't want them to have memories of sitting in front of the TV, or having to entertain themselves. I want them to always remember how their parents played with them, read to them and encouraged them in the things they love!

Enjoy a little clip of my budding artist painting after breakfast this morning :-)

video

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fun Fun Fun


There is nothing like seeing an amusement park through the eyes of a 3 year old.
For those of you who have never been, Legoland is perfect for young kids!! We've taken the kids to lots of places (including Disneyland) but Legoland takes the award for best park for toddlers. Even Tyler has fun playing on the play structures and he gets to ride some of the family rides. Bella absolutely LOVES roller coasters and fast rides. She's definitely her Daddy's girl. John is already dreaming of the days they can take little weekend trips away to Six Flags or Knotts Berry Farm to ride all the giant coasters.
Here is a quick clip of Bella enjoying a roller coaster ride...

video
And here are a few more of various other rides she shared with Grandma and Papa....





Click here for more pictures: http://picasaweb.google.com/Bri.and.John/SanDiegoWeekend#

My Little Sister is 21.


I feel sooo old!
I know, I know- 26 is hardly anything worth complaining over. And for the record, I like to pretend that I am staying 26....so no need to remand me about a certain birthday in September.

Ever since we were little girls, Emily and I have been close. Being almost 6 years apart definitely kept us from understanding each other for a while....but it never changed our friendship. But now as she gets older, it seems as though the age gap has gotten smaller. We understand and enjoy each other more- and we appreciate each other for the individual women that we are.

So since Em has been scrambling to cram for her finals this week, John and I decided to surprise her by coming down for her birthday and taking her out! I think we pulled off the surprise pretty well...she really had no idea. Our friends the Yules were in SD that weekend too, so they joined us along with our beautiful cousin Lindsay and her husband Ian. Poor John was sidelined with the stomach flu, so he stayed home at the last minute :-(

Needless to say, Emily had a blast. She looked gorgeous and happy- and was the belle of the ball for the night. Here are a few pics of our fun night, more to come in our Picasa Albums soon....




A few more pictures are here: http://picasaweb.google.com/Bri.and.John/EmilysBirthday#

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Home!

Yippee! We're home!
Even though we were only gone for one weekend, we packed A LOT of activity into just a few days....and then add two rambunctious kids to the mix, and what do you get? Two very exhausted parents!
Coming home is one of my favorite things in the world. I love the familiar smells of our home, the way everything is just how I left it, and being able to relax and catch our breath after a hectic few days. Needless to say, I have a ton of unpacking, cleaning and organizing to do...that's the down-side to coming home from a weekend away. Plus, we have nothing in the fridge, so add grocery shopping to my to-do list as well.
But of course I have lots and lots of pictures and video clips to go through, so I will definitely do some catch-up posting tomorrow when I get a chance. But for now, enjoy this little clip of our Princess showing off her "special treat" from Legoland....

video

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Long Time, No Blog!

I know it has been a while, but I am busy enjoying some time away from the beloved computer to spend some happy quality time with our little family in San Diego!

I will have lots of pictures and stories (and a couple hilarious videos!) to post when we get settled back at home. Have a blessed weekend! :-)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Your Daily Pick-Me-Up!

It's my goal this week to start using my new little camera more, and capture some cute moments of the kids. So to start, Bella would like to dedicate this little song to her Dad.

Have a great day at work and enjoy your daughter's song! XOXO

video

Sunday, May 10, 2009

**Belated Birthday Tribute**


So with our busy week and the birthday plans we had for John, I totally forgot to blog a little tribute to him!

I love my husband for so many reasons. He's respectful, responsible, handsome, kind, he can make people laugh and feel comfortable, he's totally and completely in love with our kids, he always puts me and the kids first before anything else, and most importantly- he loves the Lord.
He's everything I want our son to someday be- and more. Tyler wants to do everything his dad does...you can just see the way he studies John and tries to mimick him. And Bella thinks her Dad is her own Prince Charming. She reminds me all the time that she is going to marry Dad, and I believe she's really convinced of that!

So to my best friend...my partner..my husband of 6 years, and my love- Happy Birthday Babe! XOXO

PS- The picture above is a flashback from 2005...when I was 8 months pregnant with our Bella!

Attempt #3...Failed Again.


Today at church we tried (yet again) to get a picture of Kerri and I with the kids...everyone cooperates except for Tyler. Why does he hate having his picture taken? Poor little guy looks like he's miserable! But look how cute it is that Bella has her arm around him trying to console him..so sweet! They love each other, and I love that! Makes a mom proud :-)


Here's me and my girl. She was saying "cheese", but was concentrating so hard on saying cheese that we didn't capture much of a smile!

And here is a picture of me and Em with our fabulous mom..Happy Mother's Day Mom!

First Video :-)

So I love my new handy little Flip Mino camera! It's super small and compact and I can whip it out at any time to videotape anything the kids are doing and then post it here for all to enjoy! After breakfast in bed and opening presents this morning, we went to church and then came back home to let the kids play in the new splash pad for a while. Bella has a favorite Barbie movie called "Barbie and The Diamond Castle", which has a particular song that she loves to sing at the top of her lungs. She makes up her own words, but she sings it with such energy that its hilarious to watch.
So here in my first video I have Bella singing (or at least she thinks she's singing) the Barbie theme song. Watch for her brother- the stuntman- in the background towards the end of the video.
Priceless.

video

Happy Mother's Day!!

Ok, forgive me as this is my first post (This is John posting...Bri doesn't know that I am doing this). I am not sure what font Bri uses and I am not sure what formatting I should use...but I just wanted to add a post and say Happy Mother's Day!!! This video is for you Bri, and it was a test with a new video camera I got you, so now you are obligated to shoot video and put it up on our blog for all to see. It is now your obligation as a mother ;). So, enjoy the video:

video

and here is one of Tyler dancing around for the camera.....

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Simple, Refreshing Little Pleasures.

Want to know an easy to way to make your kids the happiest kids on the block?
It doesn't take fancy toys or expensive clothes...it doesn't mean buying extravagant gifts or giving them everything they ask for....

All it takes is a $30 splash pad, some Beach Boys music on the outdoor stereo and some time to spend watching them play!

John and I delight in such small things with our kiddos. This morning (yes, it was like 88 degrees at 10:00 in the morning!) we inflated the splash pad and turned on the water to let Bella jump around and have fun. We relaxed in the shade with our new misting fan (best thing ever!!!) and listened to summer music as Bella had a ball. When Ty woke up from his nap he joined in the fun and the two of them had a blast playing and using their imagination. Bella pretended to give the dolphin a bath while Ty tried to figure out how to drink from the fountain spouts :-)

But their favorite part is having us there to play with them. Bella probably says,
"Daddy watch me!!" or "Look Mommy look!!" at least a hundred times a day. They love the attention and you can see the delight on their little faces.

As the Arizona summer starts to rear it's head it's time to start spending all our time in the water, drinking lemonade, and eating Otter Pops! For all our summer pictures, I have started a new Picasa Album, so be sure to check it to see all our summer fun.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Spoon Shmoon....

I gave him a spoon, I promise.
But when I looked over to see how he was doing with his yogurt (which he absolutely loves), apparently he had decided to throw the spoon overboard and eat his yogurt with his hands. This is how I found him:


Oh well, at least he ate something. At least I think he actually got a few bites in his mouth. Mostly on his shirt and face....but he enjoyed it.
That's all that counts :-)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

You Know You Are A NICU Nurse When......

I've read this before and thought it was too funny not to share. You may not enjoy it as much as a NICU nurse- but it gives you a glimpse into our world!!


You Know You Are A NICU Nurse When.......

1. You've eaten hamburger patties bigger than most of your patients.

2. You define colors by the color of stool you've seen - ex. baby poop green/yellow.

3. You don't understand why talking about sticking a needle in a baby's head is making other people at the dinner table ill.

4. At one time or another you've had breast milk, poop, or urine on your work clothes.

5. You can change your patient's bed linens with one hand while holding your patient in the other.
6. You can make an IV arm board out of some 4x4 gauze and tape.

7. You've almost caught your hair on fire on your patient's radiant warmer bed (even worse when you are tall!!)

8. You check out the scalp veins, cap refill, and fontanels on a friend's new baby.

9. You use Saran Wrap to keep your food fresh and your patients warm.

10. You think all crying babies need Benadryl, Versed, or intubation.

11. You have ever shown a doctor a green residual while they were eating.

12. You have put an intensive care patient in a swing.

13. You don't get excited if your patient has a heartrate of 180.
14. You do chest compressions with two fingers.

15. You prepare your patient's bath water in a Dixiecup.

16. You use a rubber band for a tourniquet.

17. Newborn babies look like preschooler to you.

18. You tell people what you do and they think you sit around and rock babies all day.

19. When you tell people what you REALLY do they start to cry and/or vomit.

20. You have assisted with surgery on your patient in their bed and on the unit.

And lastly, you know you're a NICU nurse if you've read 1-20 and have laughed your fanny off!

Happy Nurses' Day!!


Besides being a mom to my two babies and a wife to my husband,

I LOVE being a nurse.

It fulfills me, challenges me, makes me laugh and cry in a 12 hour shift, and has really helped me to recognize God's hand in the most amazing creation and miracle ever...a small premature baby. Today is National Nurses' Day (actually, its nurse appreciation week if you want to really spoil us!) and it's a special one for me because it marks my 5 year anniversary as a Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) nurse! I started my first NICU job right out of college after passing the license board exam...and I've never looked back. God must have specifically directed me to this specialty because I never intended to work in this area, but I happened to stumble upon it and haven fallen in love with it ever since.

John spoiled me by bringing me breakfast in bed (he let me sleep in because I actually work tonight! Ironic :) ) and then Bella brought me a card that she colored with a big shiny pin on it that she insists I wear tonight at work.

And John got me this little treat to spoil myself....


So excited!
So if you know someone who is a nurse..or you happen to need a nurse today (hope not!) given them an extra smile to let them know you appreciate their love and work. Yay nurses!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Simple Afternoon.

Just felt like blogging about our simple afternoon together today.
After Bella's gymnastics class we ran a few errands, then came home for lunch and some playtime before naps. Nothing exciting or out of the usual- but I still like to grab my camera and take pictures as I play with the kids because I feel like this time we have together is going by too fast. We made our usual disaster in the playroom, and they got a lot of joy out of playing with this pop-out tunnel that we found at Target one day. They chase each other around and through the tunnel until (usually) one of them gets hurt or too tried from running!




They have such joy in their little faces and I know they may never remember these lazy days together or the little moments that have made me laugh so hard.....but I have them forever etched in my mind.
Since I'm not a scrapbooker (it seriously stresses me out) I've decided to send my blog to an online printer and create a "blog book", that way I'll have a book every year full of pictures and stories of our lives that I can always look back on and read!
Hope you all are having as fun of a day as my two little munchkins!

Swim Lessons!


Isabella and Tyler are both taking swim lessons this Spring to help them get ready for summer! Even though we have a gate around our pool- there just isn't any substitute for learning how to swim. I've been swimming since I was 3 years old, so I've really been feeling the pressure to get my kids to swim at an early age. I know I'm a paranoid (and protective!) mom to my little ones, but little kids around pools just freak me out!

Anyway, Bella is doing incredible. She's in a class all by herself, and Ty is a "mommy & me" swim class right next to her. Yesterday John went in the pool with Ty instead of me, so I was able to snap a few cute pics.

Here you can see where Bella is with her class, and Tyler and John are to the left of Bella. Tyler looks a little scared to jump in!

How cute is this??!! Bella was scared about doing back floats, and her friend in her class leaned over to comfort her and make sure she was OK! It was so precious to watch.


Yay Bella!


As we start to head into summer, I will try to be really good about documenting all of our summer fun (especially for those of you who are far away this summer..we miss you Nana!!) Stay tuned for more!