Sunday, October 30, 2011

Boo at the Zoo 2011

This weekend we attended Boo at the Zoo at Utah's Hogle Zoo. It was fun and a little overwhelming. I was kind of shocked by how many people were there. It was fun to see all the kids in their costumes. The only thing that I would complain about is the crazy parents that were there with their cute kids. Who pushes and shoves over a piece of free taffy? Honestly! I hope those people feel good about getting aggressive with a little girl in a Pikachu costume.

This station was giving out free cheese sticks and so they had a cow mascot. I am guessing Gabe is secretly lactose intolerant by the look on his face. He was creeped out by this cow. Even as we walked away he kept looking back like he thought the cow was going to go all Freddy Kruger on him. But you know, now that I get a good look at this cow it does look a little too happy. Or maybe he just gets freaked out by giant animal costumes since he does have a history of that.
Sera was having a great time looking at all the animals who were a little more active-maybe because of the cold weather. I thought it was kind of a cool picture with her bright yellow costume against the blue water.
And here we have Captain America who again, looks less-than-thrilled to be at the zoo. But I promise you that he was having fun running around getting candy. Plus he just looks so darn cute in his costume!
Also on Saturday my dad asked if he could take Sera to the University of Utah football game with him. At first Sera was hesitant to go because she wanted to stay home and watch T.V. When we told her that there would be no T.V. she changed her tune and said she wanted to go to the game. It had nothing to do with not wanting to spend time with my Dad but more she just likes T.V. a little too much.

But by the look on her face in this picture she looks like she was having a fantastic time! And according to my Dad she had fun jumping and screaming. He said that she was really well behaved and engaged in the game and that he was thrilled she went with him. And Sera said she had a really fun time once she was home.
It was another fun weekend with my kiddos. Tomorrow night should be even more fun since we get to have Sera for trick-o-treating and Ryan's mom Linda is coming too. I will post pictures soon! Much love to you all!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

All Skin and Bones

HOORAY! I love my new PJ's! Thanks Grandma Linda! Much love to you all.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Not a Foodie For Sure!

Ah the joys of living with a tiny human! Last night he was trying to hand Ryan a cup and spilled some Coke on the couch. And instead of getting a towel and wiping it up, Gabe licks it off the couch and then declares “Yummy!” No Gabe, not yummy-nasty!

He has also gotten very good at opening the fridge to find himself something to eat. This is a problem for obvious reasons. Last night after putting Gabe to bed I went into the kitchen to clean up and lying on the floor was one of Ryan’s hard-boiled eggs that looked like someone had taken a bite out of it-shell and all! At least that time he realized it wasn’t yummy and he stopped.

But to be fair, he is smart. He can recognize almost all the capital letters of the alphabet on sight and no, they don’t have to be in order for him to do it. He can also almost sing his whole ABC’s but still struggles with the “H, I, J, K” part.

But all I have to do is take one look at this face and I melt. It is a great way to start my day when I can walk into his room, flip on the light, and be greeted like this. Much love to you all!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Our Family 2011

So as I mentioned in my last blog we took family pictures at Wheeler Farm. These are just some of my favorite ones!

I love this one because of all the light and color. I think it all works really well with the colors of our outfits too.
I love how happy and natural the kids look in this one. They make each other so happy.
Sera is fun-loving and free-spirited but can also be so grown-up. I think this picture captures that.
This face makes me smile every time I see it. When he is 13-years-old and acting like a turd, I will have to remember to look at this picture.

This is one of my top 3 favorites shots of our whole group. We are a good looking bunch!

Our cute family taking a walk through the woods.

I cannot say enough good things about how these pictures turned out. Thanks to my family for being a part of this. I hope you all love them as much as I do! Much love to you all!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sneak Peek!

As Courtney said when she posted this photo on Facebook, "A Sneak Peek at the Paulsen Family!" I'M SO EXCITED I MIGHT BARF! The last official family photo we have includes a sort-of mullet on my dad, 80's-style permed hair on my mom, and Byron missing some front teeth. These should be a definite improvement. Will post more when I get them. Thank again to Courtney Ryan for her amazing work!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tough Beans

We had Sera this weekend and were invited to go to the Crazy Corn Maze in West Jordan. I am not usually a fan of corn mazes because I hate getting lost. Even though I know I won't get stuck in the corn forever it still causes me stress and anxiety.
Sera was so excited to go because not only were Becca and Spencer going to to there but there was also going to be a bunch of other kids from Spencer's family. And too make it extra exciting the corn maze had a haunted section which Sera was so pumped to go through. I was kind of surprised she was so excited about the haunted section but she swore that she was brave enough to go and that she really wanted to. I agreed and we waited in line.

Ryan was going to try and just carry Gabe through the haunted part but as we inched closer to the entrance, Gabe started screaming about a guy in a silver Jason-style mask. Ry, being the good Daddy immediately walked away with Gabe saying they would meet us at the exit. Why oh why did I not offer to take Gabe and let him go through the scary maze? I hate haunted houses and now I was going to have to be the brave one. CRAP!

We start through the haunted part and I know I am in trouble because I have to bring up the rear. My mom led the train the consisted of her, Sera, 2 of Spencer's nieces, and me last in line. Last is the person who gets the truly twisted people that love to sneak up and scare the holy living piss out of you...great...

Sera and the 2 other girls insisted on being in the middle. And somewhere along the line we took too long and not only caught up with 5 other people from our group but 5 annoying 14-year-olds who acted tough but still insisted my mom and I go first. Awesome right?

Sera was doing okay-trying to act strong and brave but still staying pretty close to me or my mom. She would growl at the people in costumes and try to keep smiling. Well, she did okay until the damn Chainsaw Guys. Yeah, those A-Holes have no mercy! They were jumping out, not at my mom and I but at the 3 girls that were squeezed between us. And poor Sera, she will probably never admit this but when the second chainsaw guy jumped out she let out a scream of terror and hid her face in my jacket. I wrapped her up in my arms and covered her by leaning over and whispering in her ear, "It's okay. I've got you." She didn't respond because she sounded like she was trying not to cry.

I grabbed her hand and hurried her away from the jerk with the power tool (Yeah, you feel like a big man when you scare little girls to tears.) and as we were walking away she looked up at me and said, "I think all my brave ran out." I laughed and told her that it was okay because this was a really scary maze.

When we finally got out Sera was so happy. She did not like it one bit and said that even though she was the one that wanted to go through the scary part she probably wasn't ready for it. She can smile about it this morning and is telling everyone that she never screamed once in the haunted part. I am just glad that I was there to protect her and help her out. And the silver lining? For once I was not the girl screaming and trying to run away! Yay me!

While I faced my fears and Sera's in the corn maze, Ryan got to wait outside and take adorable pictures of our cute Gabe. Not exactly sure how this worked out....
On Saturday morning we met Courtney Ryan at Wheeler Farm to take some family photos. (I will post some as soon as I get the disc and the copyright release from Courtney!) I wanted to give a quick shout out to Courtney because she does amazing work! This is not the first time she has worked with us and I hope it will not be our last. If you need pictures for any reason, I suggest you give her a call!

Once the official pictures were over we let the kids play for a little while. They had done so good trying to behave for the photos and we felt like they deserved some time to run wild.

We went over and said hello to the goats and sheep. The kids were taking handfuls of weeds and trying to toss them to the animals who promptly ignored them.

When they ignored the food that was thrown at them we had to be content with the waving hello and yelling HI!
We also played the playground that is at Wheeler Farm. I think this was Sera's favorite part. Here she is showing me her muscles and she proclaims herself Queen of the Mountain.
And what trip to the park would be completely without a family ride down the slide. Ryan is a good sport even though he is a little tall for the slide.

All together it was a really nice weekend. I am so excited that we got family pictures done and I cannot wait to see how they turned out. Much love to you all!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A VERY Belated 2-Year Birthday Letter

My Sweet Boy-

Alright…Mom screwed up and forgot to write your 2-year-old letter. I KNOW! I’m awful and just bought you another 6 months of therapy when you’re older. I apologize in advance-you can send the bill to your Dad.

I’m not even sure where to begin here…you are 2. TWO!!! Where have the past two years even gone? It seems like only yesterday I was in the lobby of the St. Mark’s Women’s Pavilion having an emotional break down because my doctor was telling me the he had to induce labor. And now, 2 years later, every time I look at you I see the reason I was put on this Earth. I am here Gabe because God wanted me to have you. I am here so that you could be here.

You have grown into quite the little man and it has been fun to watch it all happen. At 2-years-old you can count to 10 by yourself and count to 20 with some help. You can recognize almost every letter of the alphabet-you still get L & J confused along with Y & T and U & V but that it still pretty darn good. You have a hard time with colors and now refer to everything as the color blue-for a long time everything was yellow because I think you really liked saying that word.

You can open the fridge and get out you own snacks. This is great when all you want is a yogurt. It is not so great when you eat Salad Dressing, Butter, Chocolate Syrup, or Cholula Hot Sauce. Although I do have to give you some credit because you took a HUGE drink of hot sauce and didn’t even bat an eye. In fact, you wanted more.

You have 3 things that will make you happy without fail: your blanket, Elmo, and Wheel of Fortune. I am guessing it is because of all the yelling of letters that makes you so happy but as soon as you hear the music you get so excited. You will jump up and down, clap your hands, and scream out “LETTER SHOW!” Then throughout the entire episode you will repeat the letter after each contestant speaks, you will call out different letters, clap when they win, and occasionally say the words “Prize Puzzle.” Some people may look down on your Dad and I for letting you watch T.V. but I figure 30 minutes of repeating and identifying letters can’t be that bad for you right?

You love to talk. You are always asking us “What’s that?” or “What you doing?” You are always grabbing our hands and pulling us to wherever you need us: getting you a snack from the cupboards, getting you more milk, turning on the dryer so your blanket gets warm…ect. You love to tell us what things are. You love being able to communicate with us and sometimes, not always, get what you want. You love to boss the dog around and finally feel superior to someone.

You love playing with your big sister Sera. Gabe, unlike your first birthday where I had to express my sadness that Sera was gone, now I get to tell you how happy I am that she is FINALLY back! We always knew Sera would come back to Utah because that is just the way things work but it was still hard having her gone. Now she is back and you cannot get enough time with her. You watch everything she does and try to repeat it. You run and chase each other. You will roll on the floor and laugh about things I am sure I don’t really understand. You give her hugs and ask for her when she is with her Mom. Gabe, I hope that you always get to have this loving and close relationship with Sera because it is incredible to see the two of you together again.

You love being outside and playing with your basketball hoop or swinging on the swings. You love to play catch with your Dad and throw all sorts of toys. You love running and being chased and then tickled. In fact, every night when we got upstairs for bed you will say “Come on Mommy! Get you!” This is my signal to chase you up the stairs while growling while you giggle and run into your bedroom. You love Grandma Karen’s mashed potatoes, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, apple sauce, yogurt, green beans, and cheese sticks. You cannot seem to get enough apple juice or milk. You love to say “Love you Mommy” and “Love you Daddy” and we love hearing it.

At 2-years-old you have now been to your first movie in the movie theater and you did pretty well. We took you and Sera to the Lion King and you smiled and looked amazed by all the animals. You got restless towards the end and kept trying to climb down to the seats in front of us while waving and saying “Bye-Bye.” It was fun and your Dad was pretty excited that we made it.

Yes, you get into trouble. You throw tantrums, you tells us no constantly and spend time sitting in the corner. You hit every now and then and spend even more time sitting in the corner. You throw toys, books, garbage, and shoes into the washing machine for fun. You will unroll all the toilet paper or just take a whole brand-new roll and toss the whole thing into the toilet. You HATE HATE HATE having your teeth brushed. You try to escape outside anytime we open the door. But I suspect those are all things that are pretty normal for being 2 and I still love you despite your naughty behavior.

Being your Mom for the past two years is the best thing I have ever done with my life Gabe. You have made me a better person and I will never be able to thank you enough for that. I hope that you continue to learn and grow just as quickly as you already have. You are smart Gabe-even at 2-years-old I can tell you are so smart.

I want you to know that your Dad and I love you with all our hearts. Every night after laying you in bed, giving goodnight kisses, and saying a prayer, we leave your bedroom and stop for a second and just relish that we have you in our lives. We are constantly told how smart, how handsome, and how good you are. And I have to say, hearing that never gets old. We love you Gabriel Scott! Happy Belated 2 Year Birthday!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

All Growed Up & Married

On September 1st my little (Okay not so little.) brother Byron married his soul mate Holly. I do not think he could have found a woman who fits him any better. Holly has a great sense of humor and doesn’t get embarrassed by pretty much anything Byron does. She can put up with our whacko family and still seems to like us. She is smart, kind, and I know that she makes my brother so happy.

I am, shall we say, hard to please when it comes to who my siblings choose as partners. I vetoed quite a few for my sister. I guess I am so bad that Spencer was a little nervous to meet me. WHATEVER! Truth is, my siblings are 2 of my best friends and I only want the best for them. If that makes me a scary hard-to-please Biatch…so be it!

Holly and Byron are one amazing couple and I am so happy that they found each other. I love seeing my brother so happy and I just want to publically thank Holly for loving him and for being there for him. Now get busy and have a kid since the Larsen’s can’t seem to get with the program.

Another great thing that happend that day? Gabe made a new friend in Holly's niece Avery. Aren't they ADORABLE!?!? She is such a sweet little girl and loved giving Gabe hugs.
It was a happy day for so many people but Gabe was really getting hungry and he needed a nap.
I need to give a shout out to Holly's amazing sisters Linsey, Amanda, and Eleasha, who I now kind of love! These 3 girls are awesome and are so freaking fun to be around.

To Holly and Byron: I love you both and wish nothing but the best for you!
But I can't talk about how great Byron and Holly are without giving some attention to my sister Becca and her incredible husband Spencer. We are all grateful he chose Becca over chocolate!
And of course I should pay tribute to my own husband who never stops trying to make me smile! I love you Ryan!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Baby You Can Drive My Car!

Gabe loves cars! (Maybe because he was conceived in one! JUST KIDDING MOM!) But seriously, he finds them extremely entertaining. We might be in BIG trouble one day. Baby you can drive my car. And maybe I'll love you...Beep beep! Beep Beep! Yeah! (A little Beatles for you Internet.)