Thursday, November 25, 2010

Personalities Apparent in Hot Dog Roasting?

Personality differences came through loud and clear when we were roasting hot dogs up Monrovian Canyon in October.

Gabe (with Grandpa Merrell), intense and focused with a scrunched face for the camera, probably with a huge smile and some jumping when ketchup was put on his plate...

Naomi (with Grandma Merrell), allowing someone else to do most of the work while she poses and gets a slight taste of the experience before she moves on. I would bet money she didn't finish roasting that hot dog!

Naomi is a princess through and through, condescending to allow others to serve her. I can't count the times I've asked her if she wants to finish a craft project, picking up some toys, etc. She'll look over at me, consider it for a moment, and say, "You can do it.", as if she's allowing me a great privilege.

We love them both!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Felt Car Mats

My latest project ( of my latest projects!) has been to compile a box full of activities to keep the rugrats entertained on our trek across the country. That's right, folks, it's close enough that we are gettin' ready for the move to Atlanta!!

Matt thinks the portable DVD player will be sufficient. I think you can only stare at a tv screen for so long before getting wiggly and fussy. Thus the "Travel Activity Box". I'll do a whole post on the contents later (because I'm super excited about it!!). For now, I wanted to show off the felt car mats. Everything had to be tray-sized or smaller so the kids can balance it on their trays or laps.

I saw some car mats on Serving Pink Lemonade's blog and decided to use their templates. My kids drooled over these the whole time I was making them, and Naomi is already talking about when we can pull them out of the Travel Activity Box on our drive. So hopefully the mats (accompanied by a few cars, of course), will keep them entertained for a few minutes here and there.

Also, I'm using this post as a huge THANK YOU to my cousin Sarah. I actually have never met Sarah; she married my cousin J.D. and I've communicated with her through blogs and Facebook. But that's it. I posted on Facebook how I couldn't find yellow felt anywhere (can't have car mats without yellow lines down the roads!), and within minutes she offered to mail me yellow felt. And she did.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Sarah! You saved me a few more trips of trooping into craft stores with three children to see if they had a stinkin' 29 cent piece of felt in stock. A fellow mother of three young'uns can commiserate on how much pain that is saving me!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Random November pictures

Some random November pictures...

Naomi "assisting" Andrew with tummy time

Andrew himself!

PICNIC in NOVEMBER...I'll definitely miss this aspect of Tucson!

Tinkerbell and nightshirt-boy entertaining (or mauling) Andy.

Andrew's newest habit...

Andrew has discovered his fist, and he enjoys trying to cram the entire thing into his mouth. After deciding that doesn't work for him, he opts for the middle and ring finger, as seen in the pictures below.

He's 2 1/2 months now, and he's a sweetie!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Naomi's fashion sense (or lack thereof)

Naomi put these clothes on yesterday. Normally I give her outfit options, but she threw these on before I got around to showing her some options. And I decided it wasn't worth a fight.

Her pose of choice...

And this is what I got when I asked for a smile...sigh.

I'm okay with this outfit. If I saw someone else's child wearing this, I would think, "Oh, the kid picked out their own outfit". And I would smile and laugh. So I did the same with my child.

The Merrell boys

We've got some good looking guys are here. Check out Andrew - he is sooooo long!

And a post is never complete without a "cheese" grin from Gabe. We went to a very fun birthday party, complete with a fantastic balloon artist. He made this motorcycle at Gabe's request.

Matt is also devastatingly handsome. I just didn't have a picture of him to stick in this post. :)

Naomi the Hoverer

...or perhaps we should call her Naomi the Smotherer. She loves her baby brother, and the only protection Andrew needs is not against frustrated or jealous's against siblings trying to give him lots of loving!

I am happy to see Naomi holding Andrew more, though (with supervision!). When she first came to meet him at the hospital, we put him in her lap and he cried. It took a lot of talking and reassuring before she would hold him again! Now she loves it.



We did LOTS of fun things in Utah. But I am dedicating my time right now to other projects (translation: I don't want to sort through all the pictures just yet!), so I won't be doing mega-posts on our trip.

I did want to post this picture, though. We got to go visit my friend Sarah from my working days in was so much fun to see her and her three little girls!! Love you, Sarah!

(Sarah is holding Andrew in the picture, lest you were wondering...)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Andrew's blessing

Andrew was blessed in church on Sunday, October 10. We did the blessing in my parents ward in Monroe, UT (where I grew up) so that more family would be able to attend. Here are some pictures!

Brittany, Debbie, Julie, Julisa, Cahlin

Our family of FIVE!!!

...with Matt's people

...with my people (Julie's family)

...with more of my people

...with Mom and my sisters

...with sweet Andrew!
(Perhaps I should have sized his bowtie down a bit! And as a side note, I strongly dislike my hair right now.)
...with Jared.
These guys are cousins. A bit of a size difference, no?

My boys!!

I made the vests and bowties for Andrew and Gabe. (I offered to make a matching set for Matt as well, but he politely declined the offer.) I was so proud of my good-lookin' guys!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Early October

A few highlights from early October:

Naomi attended a princess birthday dinner/party for a friend. She was thrilled, of course.

Gabe assists with the clean-up process after making chocolate chip cookie bars.
He's always happy to help out.

Naomi and Gabe watching General Conference, when our LDS prophet and leaders speak in meetings that are broadcast on tv. (In the previous sentence, "watching" may loosely be translated as eating graham crackers and then wandering off to a different room to play with toys.)

Note Gabe's helmet. Who WOULDN'T want to wander around the house wearing a bike helmet? It's an essential around here.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

He's testing us... see just how far we'll go to keep him happy.

Andrew discovered last week that, if he cried in all other positions, Daddy would hold him like this. Is this really so much more comfortable than any other position? I think it's pure manipulation. But it worked!

Preschool Excitement

Crazy Hair Day at Naomi's preschool
(in honor of learning about the letter C)

And Gabe is into anything that his big sister does, so he got crazy hair also.

I took some pictures of them sitting on the couch, and then asked them to scoot closer together. Gabe stayed put and Naomi scooted closer. This is the look he gave her!

Friday, September 24, 2010

We love Andrew!

Naomi and Gabe have been terrific with Andrew. They are gentle but attentive. Even Gabe, our tough guy who runs through the house growling and roaring , always stops to look in Andrew's eyes, stroke his cheek, poke his tummy, etc. Then he continues with his running and roaring.

In the pictures below, they were taking turns poking a pacifier in Andrew's mouth.
Naomi also used the stethoscope to check Andrew's vitals.

And what do we do when Mommy is busy with Andrew?
We sort beans or beads...

...and make yummy treats, like dirt cups. (This was for family night, and Naomi saw the idea in a kid-friendly cookbook given to us by Grandma Jones. Naomi was so very excited to make it, and although she likes all the ingredients separately, she didn't like the final product at all. Gabe, not being picky, finished his off and helped her out with hers.)

Gabe's antics

Gabe received this cape from Aunt Lori for Christmas. He's worn it off and on, but he put it on about a week ago and decided it should NEVER come off again.

And a couple days later, he decided to add the bike helmet to his ensemble. You can imagine how many indulgent smiles we get as he's running through a store with his cape trailing out behind him. He tends to let out squeals of delight as he runs, and it makes me grin every time!

The Little Man Himself

Andrew, 4 weeks old,
hanging out in the bouncy seat

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Andrew Frederick Merrell
August 25, 2010
12:33 P.M.
9 lb. 5 oz.
22 inches

Friday, August 20, 2010

Chore charts

Some friends on Facebook requested pictures of chore charts I just barely made for the kids. Since I was uploading them anyway, I decided to stick them on here also. We're starting slowly with small "chores" (ie normal daily tasks) to get them used to it. Then the hard labor will start. Hehe.

The Nap Debate

Gabriel has opted to no longer nap. We (the parents) have fought hard the last few days to get him to nap, but it hasn't happened this week. SO...perhaps it's time to give up the fight.
Here's a picture from yesterday, when Matt told Gabe that if he laid on the couch for 5 minutes with his eyes closed, he could watch a movie. This is his version of "eyes closed". Cheeseball.

Today we didn't even attempt to have him nap. He had quiet time for a bit and then continued on with his day. This is our non-napping child at dinner-time.

And another shot...he was completely asleep and wobbling all over. It was hilarious! makes me think that he is NOT ready to stop napping.