Easter in St. George

I'm finally getting around to playing catch-up on this blog, so one of today's posts will be a month old!  This year we decided that it would be fun to spend Easter in St. George, Utah.  Tony's parents have a house down there, the weather would be warm, and Tony had Good Friday off (we're still not sure why!)  We were able to go to the zoo, swim, hunt for Easter eggs without jackets on, and cross off one of "Hollie's Biggest Fears Having a Child in Public" list items...(more on that last one later.)

I wasn't sure if Audrey would be into Easter egg hunting but she got right down to business and surprised us all.  Tony and his dad went easy on Audrey and told everyone that the ones on the grass were for Audrey only.  At first she'd only pick up the yellow eggs, but when she realized there was chocolate in them, she was more than willing to pick up the rest.  After she'd collected all of them, she asked Tony to throw them back on the ground so she could hunt them again.  It was probably the longest Easter egg hunt I've ever been a part of, but it was the best one, too.

Hunting for eggs!

She found a tricky one!
 Audrey's love obsession with ducks is well-known by everyone, and apparently even the Easter bunny!  She got a life-sized duck and immediately fell in love.  She takes after her mom with creativity in naming her toys so this guy is named "Big Duck."

I know what you're wondering.  "What is this big fear you got to cross off your list?"

As a parent, there is a list of certain things you hear about but hope and pray never happen to you.  Your kid mooning the principal, your kid throwing up on you in the airplane, your kid POOPING IN THE POOL AND SHUTTING IT DOWN ON ONE OF THE BUSIEST WEEKENDS IN ST. GEORGE.

Yeah.  Audrey single-handedly closed down the pool on Saturday.  Whenever we travel Audrey gets weird with her stomach/bathroom going.  When I purchased the swim diapers in St. George I had even thought to myself, "should I get the bigger size?  Her weight qualifies, but she's so skinny!"  Audrey is a very tall, skinny girl.  She can still wear 18 month pants as capris :).  Going against my better judgement, I bought the bigger size and the rest is history.  Poop.  In the pool.  Everywhere.  We had to tell everyone to get out, call the HOA and it was closed for the rest of the weekend.  I was beyond embarrassed that I made Tony's poor dad take care of it all.

I'm sure this isn't the first item on my biggest fears list Audrey will help me cross off.

Despite the pool incident (which is actually kind of a funny story now) we had a lovey weekend in St. George and even got to see Auntie Carleigh who lives in Florida.  Audrey loved seeing her and got to spend the evening with her while we went to see a movie.

It was a great weekend together and we're glad we were able to spend time as a family.


A Long-Overdue Update

I feel like I haven't posted in a year.  That makes me really sad because this blog is really my only place I write down memories of Audrey, our family, and things I want to remember.  So, I have a lot of catching up to do!

Audrey is turning into a little lady more and more each day.  She's quickly transforming from baby to "kid" and seems so grown up lately.  She is really good at communicating her thoughts now and it's so interesting to hear how she's processing situations.  Last night as we were driving home from Grandma's, she kept saying that it looked like we were in outer space because it was so dark outside.  She told us about the stars and that being in the dark was kind of scary.  She loves explaining her surroundings and loves even more when we tell her all about everything we see.  It makes for some lengthy walks/park visits, but sometimes I envy Audrey's appreciation and natural curiosity for everything around her.  She's really taught me to "stop and smell the roses" both figuratively and literally.

Audrey's personality is definitely showing itself these days.  She cracks us up with the things she says and her interests.  Recently she's turned into quite the princess.  She loves the movie Cinderella and would watch it all day if we let her.  She loves to wear jewelry (those cheap, Martigras-looking kind) and it has to match the color of her shirt.  She'll insist on wearing her necklaces to the store, the park, the library, really everywhere! I've never taught her about jewelry, and don't wear a ton myself, so it's pretty funny to see her naturally be so interested in the idea.  She LOVES wearing "clippies" in her hair and loves to pick one out each day.  I love that she loves wearing clips so much because if she didn't she'd have her hair in her face all day long.  Sometimes, even her stuffed friends need clippies before they can leave the house, too. :)

I'm very concerned about creating a positive relationship with Audrey that she cherishes.  I am constantly trying to think of fun and meaningful activities for us to do together.  Recently I've realized something I knew all along -- that the little moments are the most fun for both of us.  I just love being silly with Audrey and she even remembers it!  I made her this breakfast on Saturday morning, and she's still talking about it!

One of her favorite things to do is look at pictures I've taken on my phone.  Of all the cute pictures I've captured, this one is her favorite to look at:

Even though I've gotten better at relishing in the little moments with Audrey, we still find lots of activities to keep us busy!  I always joke with people that Audrey is my little puppy, I have to just let her run free at least once a day.  She's very high-energy and needs to release it all or we end up with a super grump.  Some of our favorite activities have been at the trampoline park and a gymnastics center that has an open gym.

I have so many pictures of Audrey I want to share and each captures a moment that I love, so the rest of this post is just going to be pictures with captions.  There are a lot, so you may need a break to get a snack in between if you're reading. ;)

Do you know how long it takes me to get ready during the week?  Approx. 10 minutes.  In that time, Audrey opened the pantry, got out the chocolate milk mix, and proceeded to stuff it in her face.  I asked from the bathroom, "Audrey, what are you doing?"  She said, "eating chocolate!"  I ran to see what was up and found this on my kitchen floor.  I was was struggling between being angry and laughing my head off.  You gotta find humor in these kind of situations, or you'll never make it.  Plus, it was a pretty easy clean up since it was on the tile.  Nothing my little hand vacuum couldn't handle!

Before getting her jammies on one night Audrey asked Tony to hold her.  He scooped her up and she said, "dance with me like a prince!"  So they held hands and spun around in her room while he sang a waltz for her.  I wish I could have gotten a better picture because it was such a sweet moment that I want to remember forever.

Audrey will often come up to me and say, "tell me say cheese!"  which means she wants her picture taken.  She flashes some pretty cheesy grins sometimes!

I love this one.  She insisted on wearing her pretend fairy wings and wore them over her jammies for most of the morning.

Lunch at the park on a beautiful Saturday.

Lovey bunny comes with us on many adventures.

Audrey's started to have very strong opinions on her outfits and is very insistent on what she wears.  This day just made me laugh because of the ensemble she picked out.  She was so confident in it I didn't dare make her change.  Striped shirts, leggings, and sports sandals may not have been what *I* would have chosen for her to wear, but I loved how awesome she felt in it.

When I was little and my parents would take me to McDonald's, I would always pull apart my hamburger and eat the patty first, then the bread.  (I know I'm weird.)  The other day we were busy and couldn't get home for lunch so I got Audrey a hamburger in the drive-thru.  She, without any knowledge of what I used to do as a kid, pulled apart her hamburger, ate the patty first, then ate the bread.  Too weird!

The Easter Bunny brought Audrey quite the duck for Easter!

Audrey and I were hanging out in the shade at the zoo.  It was a very hot day in Nevada and the two of us are the fairest of them all :)

Easter egg hunting!

Dancing in the warm weather in St. George

We were loving the warm weather in St. George when we went over Easter weekend.

Proof that snuggles exist past one year old. :)

Dad reading bedtime stories

We have been so lucky to make some new friends lately.  This is Nori, and Audrey loves her.  They have been so good for each other and now have the cutest little friendship.  It's great to have a friend for Audrey, but also a friend for me!

New shoes!  Audrey loves shoes!

Audrey helped me make chocolate chip cookies one night.  It was really fun and she really enjoyed it.  The cookies needed a bit more flour (because somebody dumped a lot of it out while she was stirring) but they were still yummy because we made them together!

PHEW!  That was hard.  Maybe I should keep this thing up-to-date so I don't have to write a mega post!


You've Got to Be Nice

I don't mean to sound braggy when I say that Audrey has a very extensive vocabulary for her age, and is a pro at communicating.  I really think she just came that way.  Because of this, I tend to expect more from her than I would your average almost-two-year-old.  I try hard to keep my expectations realistic, but it's hard sometimes because she can communicate so well.

One thing we've been really struggling with lately is meeting new kids/hitting/sharing.  Okay, so that's three, but they're all related.

Audrey would approach children on the playground, at the store, anywhere really, move their hands away from whatever they were touching and say very sternly, "YOU'VE GOT TO BE NICE!"  It was really embarrassing because she sounded and acted so mean to kids.  I started to get discouraged and tried everything to help her share and be kind to children she met, all the while realizing that she isn't even TWO yet and that I needed to chill out a bit.

I read this article and it really made me think about the whole sharing concept a bit.  While I don't agree with everything the author says, I do think that it's really not necessary to give up a toy simply because someone else wants it.  My struggle with Audrey was more regarding the ripping toys out of others' hands.

We started playing a "your turn, my turn" game and it's really been helping her share her toys because she knows eventually she will get it back.  Kids her age don't understand that someone isn't actually taking their toy forever, and it was really good to show her that no one was interested in stealing from her.  We would choose a toy (one that she cares about) and set a timer.  She would play with it for a set amount of time then we would ask, "may I have a turn, please?"  We would then play with the toy for the same amount of time then say, "okay, I'm all done, Audrey's turn!"  At first it was hard for her to understand, and she seemed nervous that she'd lost her toy, but she finally understands the concept and loves giving us turns with her toys.

The thing I was still stuck on was the moving hands and yelling "YOU'VE GOT TO BE NICE!"  I really didn't get why she was doing it.  This weekend, while visiting with Tony's family in St. Geroge, it dawned on me (with some help talking about it with my mother-in-law).  Picture this:

Audrey enters a play area where lots of kids are playing.  Because she's still a baby/very young toddler, she runs up and pushes someone off the slide because she wants a turn.  What do I do?  Rush over, move her hands, and say, "Audrey, you've got to be nice!"

Audrey sees a child with an interesting-looking toy.  She runs over to him, snatches the toy.  I remove it from her, move her hands and say, "you've got to be nice!"

Audrey is pulling on a kid's shirt because she wants to climb up the stairs to the jungle gym.  I run over, move her hands and say, "you've got to be nice!"

Anyone see the pattern here?


Audrey must think that any time she's around kids she has to move their hands and say to them, "you've got to be nice!" because that's what I've been doing any time she interacts with children!  I don't know if she thinks its a greeting or what, but boy, do I feel silly!  Also glad that I figured it out.  I decided that I needed a new approach when we saw kids.  So, today while we were shopping she ran into some boys her age.  She began reaching for their hands like usual and I told her, "Audrey, say 'hi friends!!'"  She looked at me, seemed confused, then said "hi friends!" to the boys.  A little later she met a cute little girl just her age (we were at the mall) and she said to me, "mama, its a girl!" I said, "yeah, she looks fun!  Why don't you go say hi?"  She walked up to the little girl and said, "hi friends, nice to meet ya!" and patted her on the head.

Even more confirmation that it was my fault, haha!  I'm SO glad toddlers are so moldable.  I don't do everything right and its nice knowing that I can have a re-do now and again.  Hopefully now Audrey will be a little nicer to new kids she meets.  Lesson learned:  watch what you say and do!