March Winds

March blew in like a breath of fresh air.
First of all we had some much needed sunshine after dealing with the winter inversion and a vortex of sickness between all the kids. It was sunny enough to break out the shades!

Believe it or not, it was even warm enough to sit outside with some cold treats.

We had a fun St. Patrick's Day. I was lax with the camera and didn't snap any pictures during the week our leprechaun Shamus O'Reilly visited or the chocolate gold coin loot he left on St. Paddy's Day morn.  I did however, get a picture of the apology note Ava left Shamus after she gave him a make over with make-up and then was devastated when we told her he was going to leave and never come back. 

He accepted her apology but didn't cause any mischief or participate in their traps until he was thoroughly cleaned. Our St. Patrick's Day feast this year consisted of Beef Stew made with shortribs and Irish soda bread homemade by Tyson himself.  It was fantastic and the kids actually ate some. For dessert we had Green mint shamrock shakes.

After the holiday, my niece Tanille and I went to Arizona to visit my sister Michelle and her family.  It was a fun girls weekend full of movies (Divergent), bowling (I scored like a 50), service for starving children (box 500), good food (Michelle's taco salad), card games (Oh My!), gym time (working it), hiking (or trying to kill me) and pink eye (yep I got pink eye about 4 days before the trip). We also learned that I am an alarmist and panic when stuck between a rock and hard place. My other sister was suppose to go with us but sadly she had to have an appendectomy on the day we flew out so she was unable to join us. We had so much fun just being carefree, kid-less and responsibility-less for a weekend.
Plus sleeping in was to die for!

While I was gone, Tyson and the children survived quite well.  He even braved the zoo on two different days and let the kids take friends.  If any men need lessons on how to be a good Mr. Mom, then Tyson's the man to teach you. The kids probably didn't even miss me.

We ended the month with a trip to Antelope Island with some friends for a picnic and some hiking and some sight seeing.  It was actually a lot more beautiful than I thought and totally something I would love to do again.

The Island's namesake
They are HUGE!

In the midst of our adventures at Antelope Island, we had to get in and out of the car a lot and Talmage got weary of not being able to see anything. He finally had it and would not let us put him back into the car until we reversed his car seat to forward facing. Now he is a happy camper (or car rider at least).

These two had fun dealing in all sorts of shenanigans since they were finally feeling better.



February 2014...almost caught up

February was pretty low key...thankfully since I still felt I was recovering from the holidays and the end of my first Term of my Master's degree.

We started off by experiencing Tepanyaki for the first time with some friends while we helped them celebrate their cute daughters 7th birthday. It was delicious and fun! Claire and Talmage were momentarily traumatized by the huge burst of fire as the cook lit the stove, but the rest was just fun!

Claire picked the blue ice cream and ended up looking like Grandma Nae at her birthday party. She thought it was funny for these pictures, but later when it wouldn't wash off, she lost her sense of humor...(but Tyson and I didn't).

I hosted a little baby shower for my dear friend Katie who was expecting her first little bundle of joy!  We ate some fattening Chinese food from Asian Star and gorged ourselves on homemade ice cream and chocolate sauce.
(Sadly this is the only picture that I took. We sent Alisa this picture since she couldn't be with us and to cheer her up as she was living in the middle of a winter vortex in Michigan).

Talmage was experiencing #2 of what ended up being 3 consecutive ear infections so we enjoyed a lot of snuggling at the expense of his suffering.  Poor guy just took one health hit after another from January through March.

 His ear infections would advance to eye infections that then excoriated and chapped his little cheek. He looked pitiful!

The kids managed to have some fun and bonding in between Talmage's sicknesses and even helped with the chores.

On a funny note, every time we go to Old Navy, Claire has to say high to "the other Claire with brown skin". She goes up to her and hugs her and greets her like a long lost friend. So cute and kinda creepy. I mean she hasn't even seen a episode of Today's Special. Maybe this is a sign I need to start doing some play dates for her. :)


Claire Bear's 4 Year Old Rainbow Party

Happy Birthday Claire Bear!
It has been 4 wonderful years!

   Claire has talked about her birthday for months now and every time she requested a rainbow party. 
I kept asking her if she wanted a princess party because that is her thing but she always refused. So a  

 My birthday girl was excited to have this balloon in the morning. 
She awoke to a rainbow decorated kitchen. 
Here is the cute invitations we sent out.

We decorated our little nook to look like a rainbow with clouds.

She requested a rainbow cake but I had my doubts about trying to do a huge layered cake so i decided to do cupcakes in glass containers so you could see the colors. I used this recipe for the cake batter and it was delicious. I did a regular butter cream frosting but substituted out a little vanilla with a little almond extract.

We decorated the door to welcome our guests and put together favor bags for the kids with rainbow skittles, rainbow airhead strips, rainbow suckers, a rainbow Mentos pack, a rainbow crayon, and a rainbow notepad.

Ava even drew and requested to display a special piece of art dedicated to Claire for her rainbow party. I love her family portraits!

Claire was so excited to open presents but then when everyone is sitting around and watching her, she gets so shy. She loved everything and said "This is what I always wanted" after just about every gift.

We sang happy birthday to her and she got shy again. She loves her birthday but has a love/hate relationship with being the center of attention.

We both have such a great family that came out to support her and she definitely felt their love!
Later that night she asked when it was going to be her birthday again and was kind of disappointed by the answer. She already has a new theme in mind.  Looks like she really is my mini me. 

 One last funny thing that happened that night was this:

My blue dye gel was a little thicker and harder to mix completely.  I had noticed one hunk that didn't dissolve when I was making the cupcakes and had fished it out. I guess there was another one that I missed. My mom's whole mouth turned blue...teeth and all. We all giggled so hard that we cried and everyone was snapping pictures. She said it wore off the next day but we were a little worried. Thank heavens it didn't happen to anyone else and that it happened to my mother and not Tyson's. 
My mom can remove her teeth to clean them! :) 

What a good way to brighten the end of one of the most dreary months!
Happy Birthday Crazy Cousin Claire!