Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lincoln {Hearts} Bowling

I don't know how it started...maybe all the way back to when I was pregnant with Lincoln and would watch my sister's bowling league at BYU. The bowling vibes must have soaked in, because Lincoln loves bowling. He watches bowling on YouTube. He has several sets of bowling pins that he sets up and bowls over. He plays bowling on the iTouch. Whenever he sees a show, commercial, story, or bowling things he just loves it! His Nana found a shirt with bowling on it, and he pretty much wants to wear it every day (tied with his Thomas shirts).

That said, we decided it was time to take Lincoln bowling, and boy did he LOVE it! We let him bowl Ryan and my frames as well, and he was just a little bowling machine. He picked up the ball all by himself (6 or 8 lb balls - even lifting up heavier ones at times on accident!) and would place them on top of the bowling ramp and send them flying.

Waiting for the ball to come back - aren't those little bowling shoes the cutest??!

Each bowl deserved a celebratory dance:

Even bowling for all of us, Link managed to get the high score for himself! Not too bad for a 2 year old!

He wasn't quite ready to leave...although I'm pretty sure he would have stayed all day if we let him.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Paris in a day!!

I had been wanting to get to France the whole time we've been here...I mean, it's SO close! Even with the relatively short distance, there was the whole business of getting there, not to mention dragging two small children around the city. Hmmmm... Well, a couple weeks ago I said "Why not?! Let's do it!" and Ryan made it happen. [What a fantastic husband I have!!]

We took the Eurostar train from London to Paris, which was a memorable experience in itself. We got the First Class tickets, and WOW was it worth it! Picture this: wide, comfortable seats, champagne (sodas in our case) being served before dinner, choice of dinner menu, hot towels - we just felt so...luxurious! The staff were so kind to change our seats to a 4-person facing section as well, which meant Lincoln could have his own seat.

Lincoln spreads out his stuff for the train ride

We were snapped back into reality when poopy diapers had to be changed (although there was a special private changing compartment), or when Lincoln got his hand squashed in the automatic sliding doors.

(it's a little hard to tell with his chubby hands :) but the left one was squished pretty badly. The band-aid is not part of the injury, Link is just really into band-aids right now)

We made it to Paris and took a cab to our hotel, which was quite a bit out of the city. It was wonderful to have a beautiful tour through "The City of Light". We saw all the major landmarks and took in the French ambiance.

The next day we bought some pastries and a baguette at a street market, went to the Eiffel Tower, walked down the Champs Elysees, ate some delicious ice cream at the Haagen Dazs restaurant, went to the Louvre, and took a river cruise on the Seine. Phew!! It was a perfect Fall day. Ellie was great the whole time and would just look around or sleep in the stroller. Lincoln did pretty well, especially since he was sick and also wanted to run around rather than sit. Ryan and I were champs with the stroller maneuvering and lifting up and down MANY stairs. (I never thought I could loathe subways or cobblestone streets so much)

We set off to come back home on Sunday, and 6 train/subway rides later we made it. Anyone who knows Lincoln knows how much he adores trains; he was in heaven. He would look out the window and point out all the interesting things and name all the colors of the other trains passing by. Usually a loud "Choo choo!" would be thrown in every few minutes. ;) Even after all the trains, when we got off the last train in Hove he was crying for more trains. Oh boy. Next time, maybe we'll just take a train somewhere and back just for Link. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bedtime Fun

We put Ellie in the bath with Lincoln a while ago and he just loved it. Now he requests "Lincoln take bath, Baby Sister?" almost every night. He really likes to watch her kick in the water and just laughs and laughs at her.

Recently he has been trying to make her kick HIM by putting his face or legs within kicking range. Silly boy!

The kids also love their story time with Daddy. Lincoln's new favorite is reading the stories that are in the cute kid's magazines that they sell here. They are sold at any grocery store or newsstand and always come with stickers and a little toy. I wish they had them in the States!

Lincoln is talking more and more, and the more he talks the funnier it gets! Kids really do say the darnedest things! The other night we were having some potato soup with bacon on top and Ryan told Lincoln that bacon was made from pigs. Link then said "Peppa Pig!" (I'm not sure if it's in the US, but it's a really popular cartoon here). When he would want more bacon he then asked "More Peppa Pig?" Then he ate a hot dog and Link said "George!" (Peppa Pig's little brother). Strangely enough, naming the food actually made him want to eat it - so we might be naming other things as well! Any ideas for beef or lamb?! haha

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'!

Ellie is 3 months old! Wow - I know I say this every month, but boy, the time just flies by!

We really couldn't ask for a sweeter little girl. She is so much more talkative than Lincoln - constantly cooing or gurgling and will respond back to me if I "talk" to her. She wakes up with a big smile every morning, legs kicking in excitement. She is the best sleeper, and if she's fed and tired I can lay her down in her crib with her binky in her mouth and she will just drift off to sleep when she's ready. [I KNOW! I am sooo lucky!!] I haven't had her weighed or measured in a while, but I can tell she is a pretty big girl. She fits perfectly into 3-6 month clothes, so I bet they won't last too long!

Yesterday Ellie rolled over for the first time! She hates tummy-time (just like Lincoln), so of course she rolled from her tummy to her back. She looked so pleased with herself as if to say "Ha! Now I don't have to stay on my tummy!" Here's the after shot:

And one more of our little cutie wearing jeans and a sweater like a big girl!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ellie's Blessing Day

Ryan blessed Ellie at our church on Sunday October 25th. It was a beautiful occasion, and particularly special because we had Ryan's parents and his sister and brother-in-law here to share our joy with us. Ellie was adorable in her little white dress and behaved well during the blessing. Ryan gave a beautiful blessing to our little girl. Our ward has quite a lot of elderly persons, so a baby blessing is a fairly rare event (as opposed to when Lincoln was blessed in Provo - you practically have to make an appointment before the baby's born to be slotted in! jk).

Some pictures of our little princess:

The whole group (with weird lighting behind us):

Our family of FOUR!

This is more indicative of a typical Sunday for us :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Brett and Sarah and other stuff

Last week my brother Brett and his wife Sarah came to visit! It was so fun to see them and see some new things with them.

We went to London - unfortunately, not to sightsee - but to register Elizabeth's international birth and apply for her passport. It was a neat experience to go to the US Embassy in London; I felt like a world-traveler with my "foreign born baby". Just like back in the States, it was a long wait - I guess that's the same everywhere! Thankfully, there were a lot of toys there for Link to play with which kept him occupied for the majority of the time. When Ryan and I finally had our number called we discovered that we left one vital piece of documentation back at home - her birth certificate!! Ahhh! I thought they would turn us away right then and there, but they were able to process the rest of the documents and have Ryan and I declare our oaths in Ellie's stead, and we could just mail in the birth certificate. Phew! I was eying a Reese's in the vending machine the whole time(they are really hard to find here) but Link shoved a small piece of plastic in the coin slot, which seems to have broken the machine. Oops! [And if you're wondering why I couldn't use a bill instead, it's because the smallest paper bill is a 5 pound, so there is no bill slot] :)

Another day we went to Arundel Castle - a huge castle only about 40 minutes away from Brighton. My favorite part were the beautiful gardens. I especially loved to watch Lincoln explore the gardens and enjoy the open spaces. [Ah, maybe one day we'll have a house with a nice big backyard!] I imagined what it would be like if he was a little prince playing in the gardens all day.

All these structures were made out of wood carved to look like stone.

We also went to the Royal Pavilion here in Brighton, which was pretty amazing. It was the vacation home for King George IV when he was Prince Regent. It is lavishly decorated - including an enormous chandelier held in the claws of a dragon. Sorry, no photography was allowed. :)

Brett and Sarah's visit was far too short and we miss them already. It's so fun to have family around!

Other than that, we have been enjoying the beautiful English autumn by going to the park or taking walks. My brother brought our new stroller (pushchair/pram/buggy in proper British) that we bought online that was only sold in the US. It is the Joovy Caboose Ultralight and I LOVE it! I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a double stroller who has a baby and a rambunctious toddler. Link loves his "special seat" at the back and really likes the drink holder so he can get to his juice or water bottle on his own. Check out this link to see it!

Being a mom of 2 is getting better and better. I feel like I am more 'in the swing of things' and am getting closer to a regular daily schedule, which seems to be an important factor in my happiness and sanity. :) Ellie is sleeping like a champ through the night (down at about 10pm and waking up about 6am to eat, then sometimes sleeps a little more)- which is completely wonderful. I especially love to watch Lincoln interact with Ellie and enjoy her more and more. One of our new favorite things is at bedtime when we say prayers together we put Ellie on Lincoln's pillow. He is extra sweet to her during these times and usually offers her his blanket, snuggles next to her on the pillow, and once even read her a story. She just smiles and watches him in adoration.

(You may also notice Link clutching/biting his 3 Thomas bath toys, which he always insists on taking to bed.)

And here's a recent picture of Ellie doing one of her silly smiles:

Sorry this post is so long - I guess that's what happens when I don't write in 2 weeks! :)

Monday, October 5, 2009


This weekend we headed out to Drusillas, a cute zoo/playground/amusement park/Thomas-land - in other words, Lincoln's dream outing! My parents took Link there while they were visiting, but Ryan and I wanted to see it for ourselves. We weren't disappointed! Despite the cold, windy weather we had a great time.

Link driving like the crazy-boy he is! (notice the R-sided steering wheel) :)

Thomas!! Link is still talking about "Ride big Thomas!"

Playing in the gift shop...first he lined up all the toys...

...then sorted them.

Link LOVED the big slide! It was pretty tall and fast, he must have gone down it 20 times!

And Ellie's 2-month birthday was Saturday - wow, time flies! She liked Thomas almost as much as Lincoln.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Recent Favourites*

*Note the British spelling of 'favorites' :)

Lincoln is talking more and more - still not in more than 3-word sentences, but he has been adding a lot more adjectives to his nouns. My recent favorites are "cool!" and "fancy!". The other night I was away at Mutual and Ryan was putting Link to bed and I guess he wanted to wear his pajama shorts over another pair of pajama pants and when he put them on he said "Ooh, fancy!" I wish he got a picture of that!

He also calls things funny names, for example:

Ryan: What is this, Link?
Lincoln: Flower
Ryan: What kind of flower?
Lincoln: Sunshine flower!
Jamie: What do you think of the flower?
Lincoln: Cool!

Another funny one

Ryan: What do you want for breakfast?
Lincoln: Cereal bar
Ryan: What kind of cereal bar?
Lincoln: Kids one (as in "the one with kids on it" or on other days "Tiger one")

He also has a new thing of saying "Woo hoo, we made it!" at the end of Sacrament Meeting at church...or when he thinks it's the end of the meeting, which usually means on fast/testimony day he is saying it after every person. I have to admit, it is pretty funny - especially when Ryan and I feel like saying it after keeping him behaved for over an hour!

Another favorite thing of mine is our cute baby girl! It is too fun dressing her up Sunday mornings - I keep making us late because I am snapping pictures of this beautiful girl before church. At 8 weeks old tomorrow I almost feel like she is no longer a baby - she is smiley, bright-eyed, loves to wake up with coos and giggles, can hold her head up well, and slept through the night (8+ hours) 4 nights last week (YAY!!). What a good girl!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Beachy Head

Being very pregnant and then having a new baby hasn't allowed us much in the way of venturing out into the English countryside, but today we felt we were ready to take an outing as a family. We decided to visit Beachy Head - a beautiful spot known for its breathtaking white cliffs...and subsequently the world's most popular suicide-by-jumping location. Luckily, there were no jumpers today, but we did get some amazing views of the HUGE cliffs.

The edge of the cliff is directly behind them - notice no fences or anything!

Walking up to the biggest cliff - I kept a tight grip on Link, I was nervous he would bolt toward the edge!!

The white cliffs extend for miles and miles along the coast.

Link enjoying his "ice wowwy" (ice lolly - what they call popsicles here).

I am not one for heights, and the thought of standing on a potentially-crumbling cliff made me VERY nervous (even several feet away from the edge), but Ryan did persuade me to take one look from the edge. YIKES! Ellie slept the whole time - so I think that's a good sign that we'll be able to take more family adventures!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sweet Rewards

I'm not really a baby person. I've never been one to ask to hold babies at church or coo over seeing a new baby in the grocery store. They just scare me a little - so small and fragile and the constant guessing game of trying to figure out what they need just makes me a little anxious. I don't think I'm very good with babies either; some people just have that "magic touch" and unfortunately I'm not one of them.

That said...I love my babies! Lincoln was the absolute perfect baby and I thought I would be in for it with the second one, but Ellie has been wonderful as well. She eats well, sleeps well, and I am getting to the point where I feel like I am "figuring her out" a lot better.

At first, she would get really frustrated sometimes when I would try and feed her, and I didn't know why. Now I know that if she isn't hungry, there is no way she is going to eat. Link would eat any time it was offered to him! When she is tired she likes to be held, binky in her mouth, blanket around her, and cuddled to sleep. I finally got my cuddler! Sometimes when she is fussy all she wants is a little space and just wants to be put on the floor or in her bouncy chair and she calms right down. I'm sure to jinx it, but last night Ellie slept through the night until 6am!! I thought I was dreaming!

I think the very sweetest reward is when babies start to smile. Finally some confirmation that they know you exist and love you!! :) Ellie's first *real* smile was last week and I was able to capture a couple grins. Of course, my pictures can in no way capture the real cuteness of it all.

Ellie must be eating enough, because she keeps growing! She had a home visit checkup last week and weighed 11.2 lbs (90th percentile) and is 23 inches long (95th percentile). I remember thinking that Lincoln wasn't a baby for very long, and already I am starting to see that with Ellie. Here is a 6 week picture:

And we can't leave Lincoln out! Here he is with his newest phase "No pants!" which he requests every morning. No, I don't oblige him every day and he ALWAYS wears pants out of the house, so don't worry!