Thursday, April 30, 2009


We started potty training the Monday after we got home from California. I affectionately refer to that first week as parenting hell week. Seriously, a toddler peeing all over your house, just seconds after you've sat them on the potty for half an hour...not cool, and not fun.
The second week we introduced a timer. Set for every 30 minutes, going potty became fun! And exhausting.

Last week the timer was put away and Sammie learned the phrase, "Mommy! I need to go potty!" Of course, she says it in a cute, sing-song kinda way.

This week, our last hurdle is stopping the daily dump in her pants. Our strategy is the take-away. Sam's prizes of choice are Princess stickers and Whoppers. Each time she goes to the potty, she asks for a "princ-i-ness sticker" and a "chocolate ball." So, this week, when she pooped in her pants, we made her take off one of her stickers from the potty chart. The first time, she cried and cried and cried. Second time...she was just mad. It hasn't happened again.Now, in celebration of being a big girl, we converted her crib into a toddler bed!This is a moment we wish she wasn't so independent! We are really worried she won't stay put...she's always been such a great sleeper. Here's to hoping those days last!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dewberry Farms

Every year our playgroup plans a trip to Dewberry Farms. It is a great place to let the kids run wild. Sammie adopted Avery as her special friend of the day.

I wish there were more animals...just a small petting zoo. But, lots and lots of activities! I think these two are ignoring me!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Easter

Luckily, we had a 3 day weekend for all of our Easter activities! Egg Hunt with Playgroup
Peckam Park for lunch, an egg hunt and feeding the ducks.
Friday, Fully Loaded
Blake had the day off, and we were able to convince Michelle and Ray to also take a day. We met for lunch at Texadelphia. While eating lunch, we made dinner plans for Cheesecake Factory. Since we were already down there, we decided to pass the time at the Galleria Mall and the Houston Zoo.Ahh, look who's becoming friends!
Easter Festival at Barker's Ridge
Dwama and Papa's neighborhood at a great party planned for kids.Petting ZooPony RidesFace Painting
Toddler Egg Hunt
Easter Egg Dying
Later that night Sammie met up with Lauren, Avery and Davey to dye eggs and eat snacks.
This is Sam "looking at me" and "smiling." Whatever.
Easter Sunday
The Easter Bunny brought Sam a new dress, tee-ball set, glitter markers and Easter books. She as too busy organizing her stuff to smile for me. She loved her dress! She would twirl and say, "Look at me! I Sleep Jewoolie!" Unfortunately, it rained all night and the next morning, so our eggs full of unwrapped candy were quite a mess!We had dinner at Dwama & Pappa's with Deesh, Ray and Melissa. We decorated cookies and had another egg hunt!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Week In California

After months of planning, thousands of dollars and millions of emails, the long awaited trip to California has come and gone! There is nothing better than a wedding to bring a family together again. We don't realize how much we had missed everyone!"A Lifetime Joy"
10 brothers and sisters. All married and sealed in the temple. Wishing Andy were there!
In memory of Mom Holiday. Now that the group is complete, it is time to start planning the sister's retreat!
"Airpain!" Samantha was very excited to go on the airplane, "I wanna go up high! Mama, higher!"Confining a toddler, in the throws on her terrible twos, to an airplane seat for 3 hours in nothing short of a nightmare. Aunt Melissa let Sam borrow her portable DVD player. Wow, did this work miracles!
Early mornings and late nights left the kids exhausted! Sam slept in her clothes almost every night. Who knew putting her to bed could be so easy!
Sam had fun everyday! We hope she remembers it all! Everyone made fun of me for taking nearly 200 pictures a day. Surprisingly enough, I only have about 100 good ones to help us remember this great reunion of loved ones.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sea World in San Diego

After all the wedding festivities were over, we headed to Sea World the next day. All the kids were exhausted, but managed to have one more day of over-stimulation. Sam's cousin Jessica got to be in the Shamu program! Samantha was happy one minute and then throwing a tantrum the next. She was just so tired! I'm only showing the happy pictures. That way, I might actually forget how awful she can be. We spent most of our time in the fish tanks. She loved pressing her nose up against the glass, waving and screaming, "hi fish!" She also loved the belugas, penguins and the flamingos.
Elmo's Playground was a hit! She was 1/4" too small for most of the bouncing areas, but she got to ride the rides and climb the ropes and play in the baby area.
Our last stop was Atlantis. I think this was the only ride I rode the entire weekend.
I couldn't resist posting these pictures of Blake and Craig on the ride...maybe a bit too frightening for Craig!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Nate & Brittany's Wedding

April 2, 2009
Nate & Brittany Holiday
Newport Beach Temple
With that many people, someone was bound to forget their temple recommend...I just never would have guessed it was gonna be me!
27 Cousins
All but 3 of them were in California. Sam was overwhelmed to say the least.
Brittany! I want Brittany!
Sam couldn't stop asking for Brittany at the reception. She looked like a beautiful princess, no wonder Sam couldn't get enough of her.
10 Brothers & Sisters
This was the first time in 12 years EVERYONE was together.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Huntington Beach

The entire family went to Huntington Beach on Wednesday before the wedding dinner. Sam has never been too keen on sand. As you can see, the first half of this beach trip was no different. Luckily, her cousin Sydney eased her into it. Before long, she was being buried in the sand! We spent our final day, Saturday, at the Hyatt Regency on Huntington Beach. A full day of swimming at the pool, playing on the beach and the gals being pampered in the spa. Finally! A relaxing day that actually felt like a vacation.