Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tribute to Eyes

They say that eyes are the window to the soul. Ava-Kate's eyes have taken my breath away since I first looked into them. From the color, that I don't think the options on a driver's license will ever be able to describe, to the beautiful almondey-shape.
She has her father's eyes.
I love that.
I've also heard that the eyes are the first thing people look at when they see your face. So how fitting that they would make me fall in love with her as though it were the first time, each time I truly notice the details of her face.
Though they look sad in this picture, I think that the camera has captured a part of their beauty. People have always told us how expressive Ava-Kate is and always has been. Her eyes can tell her story. As her mother I love that through her eyes I can see happy or sad, mad or hurt, or even sickness. Maybe part of my awe in eyes is from my anatomy/physiology background, and how truly miraculous it is that we can see the world around us, but even more miraculous that the world can see us through our eyes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween 2011 was the most cost effective of our marriage! We spent a grand total of $1.50 between the 3 of us. Unfortunately the cameras were against us on this Hallow's Eve so these pictures were taken with my phone AFTER trick-or-treating and Ava-Kate was much more interested in eating all of the candy than posing for the camera. Ava-Kate was/is a princess. We already had everything she needed in the dress-up box so it worked out really well. She LOVED the concept of trick-or-treating after the very first house. She would knock, say "treat", take a handful of candy, say "thank you", then turn and say "más treat" translated to "more treat". *side note: our baby girl speaks a lot of spanglish Finally, we went to a fabulous party put on by Crowsh and Mario. We went dressed up as the Royal Couple, Kate Middleton and Prince William. Unfortunately James' camera deleted ALL his pictures without warning, so we are trying to track down a group picture. So maybe we can be them next year again, although it won't be as cool unless they have something fabulous happen to keep them in the media. Anyway, our first trick-or-treating Halloween with Ava-Kate was a success and so fun! The candy's not too bad either :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nope! Not premature at all!

Ava-Kate is doing fabulous with potty training. We no longer have the resistance and fear of number 2 :) She just has to go when she has to go. She refuses to even try and sit on the potty if it's not on her terms. She also can only wear underwear, pull-ups are viewed as diapers and therefore free game to wet and soil (I hate the word "soil" but sometimes it's the only word that works). We only have accidents once in a while and usually it's my fault for not watching her to make sure she goes when she holds herself (which is so funny, what if adults still did that every time we had to go really badly?) Anyway, we can even go to the park, mall, grocery store, and any other errands if I time it right and leave right after she just went potty. I just am still trying to figure out how to make her know it's ok to go on the big potties in public restrooms. Oh well. The little funny things you take for granted. All in all, I think it was mostly me that had to be ready. Ava-Kate has probably been ready for a long time, I just had to buckle down and prepare myself for dealing with it. I've been worrying about potty training since she was born, and now I realize it wasn't so bad. I can't imagine going any longer with changing diapers all day long! So to mommies now and mommies to be, good luck, you CAN do it! Oh, and I'm sure your tot can do it too! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Potty Training

This may be a little pre-mature, and I hope I don't jinx the process by posting this, Ava-Kate went poo poo in the potty today! We've been potty training on and off for a couple months now, but I was so worried that AK was too young. A friend of mine at play group said last week that when they start to take off their diaper they're ready. Well, that did it. I gritted my teeth and decided we're only doing underwear from now on, except for nap and bedtime. Ava-Kate's been really good at going potty for pee pee but has never gone poo poo. I mentioned this at play group this week, and the same friend said that she would take a doll, or a bear, or whatever and put that on the potty. Then, using something like beans (I used un-cooked black beans), you have the doll go "poo poo". Later today I tried it, and brilliant! Ava
-Kate went poo poo 15 minutes later in the potty! We also borrowed this book from the library,
and though graphic, it was great to teach that we don't go poo poo or pee pee on the floor, but in the potty. Oh how I love the miraculous joys of motherhood. I don't think I ever thought I would put this much energy in, or get so excited about, the basic functions of the human body. But oh, how excited I was when my baby girl finally went! So, crossing our fingers and hoping the accidents will be fewer and further between.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ode to Google

I love google! I've loved it for a while, so much even that James once ordered me a shirt that says "I 'heart' google" I wear it with pride. I'm not sure I would be able to live without google. Both as a parent, a student, a wife, and a person in general. Here is a list of the things I have "googled" lately:
How to wake up early and workout
How to cook eggs in the microwave
French Interior Decor
French diet: how are they so thin

haha. I've learned so much just from those searches. And don't even get me started on the thousands of things I googled while pregnant and baby-related. I was actually banned from it while I was pregnant because I would get so worked up over every little thing. Now it's nice that I don't have to call the Dr. over every little thing. I wish I would've been able to buy stock in google. I would love to own a piece of the magic. I'm sure if they created some sort of Google-land, I would definitely put that on my bucket list.

Blue vs Red *article from the Daily Herald

LEHI -- More than 4,000 players took part in what sponsor Property Solutions is calling the world's largest dodgeball game on Friday evening at Thanksgiving Point's Electric Park.

A Guinness Book of World Records moment, the challenge was a fundraiser for Camp Kesem, a charity for children of cancer patients. Strategically scheduled, the event was organized to take place the night before BYU and the University of Utah played their annual football game. Blue won this round.

Co-president of Property Solutions, John Hanna, said the idea for the tournament came from David Bateman, the company's CEO.

"My idea," Bateman said. "But it wasn't my idea to do it in the rain though."

A lot of the advertising for the event was done through social networking.

"To be honest a lot of it's viral, by word of mouth and on Facebook, stuff like that," Bateman said.

The company, which develops software for apartment complex managing, had ordered 2,500 red and blue T-shirts for the participants and ran out well before the game began.

There were 760 red and blue balls that flew high and low toward the opponents' side of the field. Once hit you were out of the game. Last player standing won for their team.

Brexton Wilding, a BYU student, said he learned of the game from a campus flier.

"My roommates were going and it sounded like fun," Wilding said.

James Carpenter married into a staunch BYU family even though he is a U of U student.

"We're here for a date night," he said. Both he and his wife, Tara, wore blue.

Property Solutions's goal was to raise $20,000 while matching donations up to $10,000. Ben Zimmer, company co-president, said the event would give the company instant credibility.

Hanna wasn't as sure."I thought it was dumb," Hanna said. "I wanted to break the lightning record in basketball."

On the flip side, he said it was one of the best things they have done as a company.

"We are growing very rapidly and we want people to know who we are and this gives us instant recognition," Hanna said.

** to see a video of James and me click on the link below and on the left hand side under "related videos", I think we're the first one. We looked pretty silly but it was the second take, the first take was good but the back ground was too loud. The game was crazy fun and James planned it all by himself!

Read more:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ears Pierced!

We bit the bullet and finally got Ava-Kate's ears pierced. I know there are ALOT of opinions out there about piercing your daughter's ears. I was 3 when mine where pierced and Robyne was 2 so here we are following in my mother's footsteps and piercing Ava-Kate's at 2. We actually did it on the eve of her birthday, I know, not very kind but so cute! She was amazing. James was a little hesitant and really didn't want to, but in the end he changed his mind and came with us. It's been 2 1/2 weeks already and she's done incredible. James' main concerns, besides the pain, were infection, AK ripping them out, and AK constantly touching them. Well we're still 0 for 3 of the fears. Mostly because James drilled into her head "no touching" and sometimes she even will say that to me when I clean them, it's so cute! If we have another daughter I really want to get her ears pierced earlier. I'm thinking like 6 months old. Sounds cruel, but it would probably be easier to care for them and not worry so much about falling out or the germ factor with a toddler, i.e. parks, playgrounds, dirt, swimming, etc. In the end, so far, no regrets.

Feliz Cumpleanos!

Ava-Kate had her 2nd birthday Sep 3. I can not believe I have a 2 year old. We celebrated at Liberty Park, one of our favorite hidden treasures in the valley. We had friends and family that made the trip out to have fun with our little "hija". She was spoiled of course by both grandma's and aunts and uncles. Nana K (James' mom) and Alison sent her a Dora doll which she sleeps with every night, Dora DVD, and of course what would a package from the Tuscaloosa clan be with out some fabulous 'Bama gear. She also received a Dora cell phone and microphone. From James and me she received dress up jewelry and dress, and some puzzles. It was so hard not to spoil her and stay in our budget, but it all worked perfectly.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


The kids are starting school up again in a few weeks, which I guess means Summer is almost over. Lucky for us we don't have school... or work so we still have Summer as long as the sun is shining. Here are a few photos; really they're just from one day. We went to Liberty Park to play in the rivers and then we went bowling. It basically sums up our summer though. We've done a lot of water activities because Ava-Kate is a little fishy! She loves playing in the water. Little splash pools, sprinklers, you name it she'll somehow swim in it. It's almost her 2nd birthday, I can't believe it; she's growing up so much and is starting to talk quite a bit lately, both english and spanish which is really fun to hear. It's crazy how much spanish she understands and even tries to speak. I still don't understand how she can learn two languages at the same time, but she is! Hopefully I'll post a little more frequently as things tend to slow down with the coming of fall.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ava Kate Meets the Dentist

Ava Kate had her first dentist appointment a few weeks ago and she was great! They don't do very much. Mostly just introduce her to the moving chair, show her what all of their tools do, and get her comfortable with going. Dr. Jim Williamson is our dentist and we LoVE him and ALL his staff! They are so wonderful that they took all these pictures for us with their OWN camera, and e-mailed them to me. I'm so glad that some people are good at taking pictures of "first-times"; I am not one of those people. :) It was really fun because I learned some things as well. Ava Kate's favorite tool was the water sprayer. She just wanted to suck on it and drink all the water out. She also wanted to just lick the "toothpaste" that they scrub your teeth with, so her tongue was always in the way. Dr. Williamson counted all her teeth and said they look great with no brown spots at all. YAY! I have been losing sleep over the fact that my bottle-loving toddler would develop baby-bottle mouth. She actually has been bottle-free for almost a month now. Mostly because I didn't want to tell the dentist she was still drinking from a bottle. haha. And, we're done with teething until she's 6, YAY! If you need a great dentist check out their website here and tell them we referred you!

I love love love her face in the last one! How Ava Kate is that?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Alabama Tornadoes

Many people have been texting, calling, and emailing us asking if James' family is ok. We're so grateful to say that nobody that we know has been physically hurt from the devastation. However, James' sister Michelle's in-laws are going through what thousands of Alabamans are going through today. Their house was hit and completely destroyed. Our prayers go out to them and everybody in the south that is struggling right now. We've been following for updates. For anybody who reads our blog that doesn't know what's going on here's our story. James is from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. When he was 17 a tornado hit his own home and destroyed it completely leveling everything. Michelle called us last night to tell us Adam's parents' house had been hit. We asked if everybody was ok, and she told us that they were. However, James couldn't get a hold of his mom or his brother. So we were only kind of satisfied with their safety. James' mom's house ended up being on the opposite side of town so they have power and weren't hit directly. James' brother, Matthew, and his wife Charity live in Huntsville, about 3 hours north of T-town and they've been out of power for a while as well. It's crazy to watch the footage of the destruction and know that "that used to be the mall" "or that was this" and "that was that".
Anyway, we just wanted to thank everyone for their love and concern for us and our family, even though we're safe and sound thousands of miles away.

Monday, March 28, 2011

hapari swiming suits cute!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ava kate and alex

catching up

I have no reason for not blogging. So I won't even make up an excuse. Well maybe just one, that I've been watching way too much netflix. I'm quite obsessed with "Lockdown". This national geographic documentary series on prisons across the United States. A lot really has been going on actually. I've thrown 2 baby showers which were both huge successes in their different ways. I'm so excited for all the babies being born. Bringing me to my next point, no, we're not planning on having another baby anytime soon. We're having too much "fun" trying to handle Ava-Kate by herself, let alone adding another one! :) Ava-Kate is growing up so fast though! She has such a personality! One thing that is both frustrating and hilarious is her shoe fetish. She's very very very particular about her footwear. She went through this phase where she always had to have her boots on.

Ava-Kate ready to go outside with her bag as her "purse". No we didn't go out until she had some actual pants on. She insisted on the hat as well. haha

Then she moved to some pink jelly sandals that she would wear even when it was snowing. Yes, I would let her, with socks of course, and I carried her, it's just not a battle I'm willing to fight each day. Thankfully it's warming up because now she takes OFF her shoes and socks the moment she gets into the car! She's talking and talking and just being a doll. Except when she's not, because sometimes she's not, I'm afraid that sometimes she screams and screams. We're working on that.

As for myself I'm growing my bangs out. Ah! I have had bangs for almost 5 years I think, so it's really weird to see my forehead all the time. What do you think?

Also, it's dance competition season! And with that super-sister comes to the rescue when Mom can't make it for whatever reason. Which I love! I did Robyne's makeup and hair for the cutest dance. "Tea Party" If you ever have the opportunity to watch Robyne and her team dance, jump on it! She's so talented and I love watching her. It's also giving me good practice being a "Dance Mom" because I'm thinking it might be Ava-Kate's destiny as well. She dances to all music at any time! And she loves sitting in the kitchen watching her Aunt Robyne practicing her dances.

As for James he's LOVING his job with Fidelity. I'm so happy he's finally doing what he loves! We only have one more year of his undergrad woo hoo! Then we'll see where it takes us. We're both keeping pretty busy though. James has school, work, and now he's in the elders quorum presidency. I have baby and I'm in the young women presidency (the best calling). I love my girls. I do however find myself lacking seriously in the adult conversation skills. I'm either speaking "baby" or "high school" with my teenage girls, (yw). We're also excited for Shad's mission call to Frankfurt, Germany and are so proud of him. I'm going to miss his terribly though, and I'm not even his mother :). We're also planning on going to California in June to go to my cousin's wedding and hopefully see A LOT of family that we haven't seen in a LONG while. Hope everyone is doing well, that's pretty much what's going on with us :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Christmas Morning

Thanks to everybody who sent us love and presents. It was so fun having a baby to have Christmas with this year. Ava-Kate doesn't know who Santa is, or anything else about Christmas, but she sure knew how to open presents and be excited about it. She received a lot of great presents from all her Grandparents. Everything from a princess purse book to a cell phone, to a baby doll with a stroller, and play jewelry. Ava-Kate is turning very much into a girly-girl. She loves shoes, jewelry, hair clips, makeup, and purses. She cracks me up and is still just a precious ball of energy. Her latest achievement is her first spanish word! James has been very diligent in speaking spanish to her almost exclusively. Uncle Brett actually realized it though, haha, she says "dah-dee" while holding out her hand, translated to spanish is "dame", translated to english is "give me". Also, the only TV show she'll watch is "Dora the Explorer" which is funny because even I'm learning a little more spanish from that. I love seeing her begin to have "favorites". She loves anything "Dora". We were at Wal-mart and she was walking around in the baby aisle and she brought us a Dora beanie with gloves. So fun! She's also sleeping really well through the night and throwing fits and kissing anybody!