Monday, September 22, 2008

Enough Said

For those of you who are either related to a Merrill, married to a Merrill, or are a Merrill... no words are needed.
For the rest of you... let me put it this way... Upon seeing this picture I took today Tim said "I want to put that in my Patrol car, two of my favorite things!" Enough said!
P.S. Yes, Mike has been pulling himself up to stand... he now tries to walk around it too... I swear this boy will be walking at ten months (he only just turned 7 months on the 19th!)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Abbey's Latest

Here are some of Abbey's latest developments...
Sadly, she has been outgrowing her naps. She will occasionally take a nap, but most days she doesn't. I'm okay with it since, when she doesn't take a nap, she goes to bed at 7:00! But the other day I caught her doing this...
I was on the computer while she was playing with her baby dolls in her room. She was getting them ready to "sleep." After a while of no noise coming from her room, I noticed her door was closed. I peak in to find that she had put herself down for a nap! She covered herself with her blankets and everything! What a silly girl.

This next one probably doesn't seem that great to everyone else, but to me it's a big development. I was making a store list and Abbey wanted to draw on my paper. So I let her, and this is what I saw...

No longer is she just scribbling all over the paper. She was trying to draw people! You see the arms and legs coming out of the ovals that she connected together? I think there was a little hair coming out of the tops too. I asked her what she was drawing and she pointed out Aunt Carrie, Daddy and Abbey. That's nice, but where am I?

Lets Go Fishing!

Tim's days off were filled with two days of fishing. I agreed that Tim could take off Sunday night with a friend from work to go camp out and fish all Monday. They went up to Big Lake and had a good time. Although sleep deprived from elk calls and coyotes yelping, they caught a few fish and enjoyed the outdoors. Needless to say Tim was in the outdoorsy mood when he got home late Monday night. When he woke up Tuesday, he suggested that we go to Woods Canyon Lake and picnic... and, oh yeah, do a little fishing too!
(the beautiful view at Woods Canyon Lake)
So off we went with both kids and half our house in the car. It was really nice to get out of the hot weather, it made me excited for fall. We arrived a little later than we wanted (4:00pm and the park closed at 8:00) so things got a little crazy. Tim was ready to start fishing as soon as the pack-n-play was set up. But Abbey delayed that with having an accident before I could put my load down and take her to the bathroom!
(the pee pants)
She just sat down on a rock and peed. Thankfully we had a change of undies and her socks didn't get wet... but no second pair of pants (oops!). Once that was taken care of, along with Mike being changed, we settled in to see Tim catch some fish. Mike was happy to be in his pack-n-play and look out at the view.
(nothing like being right in nature!)
Abbey, on the other hand, was intrigued but impatient. She would sit with Tim a little and then want to "go home to Abbey's house." I think Tim was a little disappointed that she wasn't all that into the fishing. But she did sit with him for awhile while he taught her about fishing (it was really cute, she would ask him "what are you doing dad?" and point out that the fish were going to "eat," she even wanted to fish declaring "Abbey's turn!")
(Daddy's little girl, excuse the no pants!)
I got to enjoy a little exploring with Abbey while she chatted away about going "bye-bye" and "home." (I think she was looking for the car!) Then she sat with Tim again and proceeded to throw her shoe in the lake! Great, now she can't walk around to keep entertained, what to do!!
(the wet shoe that was fished out of the lake, no pun intended!)
So we asked a whiny, all over the place, pants less, shoeless, Abbey (note the picture above!) if she wanted to go in the pack-n-play. To my surprise she did! That was the best because she was happy and contained!
(here she is reading Mike's book)
She would climb up the side and let go to fall on her back thinking it was the funniest thing ever! Tim was able to enjoy fishing with catching two in the short amount of time we had. He loves to be in nature and fish!
(look at that satisfied smile on his face!)
I enjoyed watching Tim and playing with the kids outside in nature.
(My handsome Mike, happy with a full tummy!)
Notice my backdrop with Abbey's pee pants, Mikes diaper and the baby carrier! Ahhh, the joys of being a mom!
To end our outing... I went up to the picnic area to start some coals to make our dinner of hot dogs. I was startled by Tim yelling "ABBEY!" Turns out she had another accident! Right after I tried getting her to go in the smelly, scary bathroom with no luck! So now she was half naked and sitting in the car until dinner was ready. Good thing everyone else had left, it was now 7:00, and it was quickly getting dark! I have no idea how Tim was able to see enough to cook our food because it got dark really quick. We were hassled, oops I mean reminded, by the forest guy that the park closed at 8:00 and we made it out eating in the car by 7:45! A quick stop in Payson to feed Mike again and buy Abbey some undies and pj's, and we were on our way home to bed. We got home a little late but we had a fun filled day for sure!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Can You Spot The Kids?

Two things go through my mind when I look at this picture... 1) Abbey has way too many stuffed animals! 2) I'm so happy Abbey has way too many stuffed animals!

We had cousins, Quinn and Parker, over to play today. Abbey loves playing with Quinn and Parker! These stuffed animals kept the kids happy for close to a hour. I told them to lay down and I would cover them up, they were all too happy to cooperate for me. Gotta love these kids!

Not Much Going On

Carrie asked me the other day if I had updated my blog yet... Well, there hasn't been much going on at the Merrill house. Just getting ready for the day...

Doing chores like laundry...

Taking naps of course...

And then doing it all over again the next day! So there you go, a day at the Merrill house!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Wheat Is The Way To Go

Phase two of South Beach allows wheat bread. I guess we are lucky to have Dad going through a huge wheat phase... he has all the knowledge and tools to make wheat treats like yummy breads and pancakes (thanks to Shar's Kitchen). So Tim and I took advantage and ground some of our wheat from storage and, with a few tips from Dad, made some wheat bread. Tim was really excited to add bread to his diet, so he was on top of mixing the bread ingredients. I put the dough in the pans and cooked them to perfection! I think they turned out great. We are very proud of them and are sold on grinding your own wheat to make your bread. It is YUMMY!
Is it still healthy if you smother butter on your piece of bread?

Check out Shar's Kitchen... it has lots of cool kitchen gadgets and ingredients. Plus she does free cooking classes. We are sold on her recipes for wheat bread, cinnamon raisin bread, and wheat pancakes!

Date Night Surprise!

Tim and I went out to the movies for our date night early this week. I am embarrassed to say that we saw the Mummy (really, really cheesy). But the highlight was seeing this poster on the wall! If you have been reading my blog for awhile you might recognize this...
June 12th 2007 I blogged about this movie being made and Tim working the over time job while they filmed on the Highway! We couldn't believe it... who knew?!? It was worth seeing the Mummy to discover the poster and get a good laugh out of it. (This is Tim's "who knew" face)
I think it will just be a local film, but the rating is PG so maybe we will see it... it couldn't be as bad as the Mummy!

I'm Growing Up Mom!

Michael has been doing new things so fast that it is hard to keep up with him (literally!). He has been crawling since our vacation in California. Now he has been sitting up from the crawling position for the last two weeks.

He gets where ever he wants to go, including partially climbing up what he wants to. (here he is on the treadmill)

He really loves to crawl into his bouncy chair. But sitting in it isn't as much fun anymore!

I think I will have to move his mattress down too. He holds onto the rails while on his knees... next up is standing!!

Being that he turned six months mid August, he has started on rice cereal. He really enjoys being a big boy. Its like he is excited to be doing what we are, you know... apart of the club! He is such a good boy and fun!!

After the first time eating cereal (above pics), he got the hang of it. He now gets really happy and excited to the point of almost giggling when I go to feed him his cereal. Here is a short video of what I'm talking about, too cute!!

It's Done

Enough was enough. Oscar was a year old last June, bringing home the fact that we needed to get the snip-snip. Tim felt bad, but I had enough of the territory marking around our beds!! It went down a few weeks ago at the South Phoenix's Humane Society clinic, which is really reasonably priced. We had fun watching Oscar with his new collar. But trying to keep it on for the recommended week was really hard for his best friend Abbey. Why is a dog in one of these collars so funny?
I'm pleased to report that the male hormones are not missed by Oscar or me!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Miss Paisley B

Tim's sister Jill and her husband John, had there baby girl on Tuesday. Paisley Beatrice Papa is her name. She is a beautiful little girl with lots of blond hair and long fingers and toes. She looks a lot like Quinn and Parker when they were little newborns. It was a lot of fun to hold a little baby and we felt lucky to go visit her Tuesday evening.
That night, Jill and John were told that Paisley had a heart problem. Tim was called around two in the morning to go to the hospital to help give her a blessing before being transferred to another hospital. I can't imagine the emotion that was felt by everyone there. However, Tim expressed that there was a good spirit of comfort after the blessing. Turns out that Paisley has a congenital heart defect called Transposition of the Greater Arteries. Her Pulmonary and Aortic Arteries are switched causing the oxygenated blood to not go through her body as it should. Thankfully it was caught early and the valve that shuts when born (creating a mix of un-oxygenated and oxygenated blood) hadn't closed yet. This is a good thing because it is being kept open with medication and actually allowing her body to get about 80% of the oxygen her body needs until she receives surgery to correct the switched arteries. This heart defect is a common in newborns and is developed within the first week or two of pregnancy when the heart is being formed. Jill and John are waiting for Paisley's surgery early next week. Our prayers and thoughts are with the Papa family and Miss Paisley. I know that our Heavenly Father is looking after them. We look forward to having a new little girl cousin running around in the future!!

Disneyland and Aquarium


One of the two days we didn't go to the beach, we went to Disneyland! Cameron, Jenny, Christine, Jared and Johnny all made it out to California to go with us. It was a lot of fun and we were there all day! We started out going to Pirates and the Haunted Mansion with Carrie and Johnny. These are two of my favorite rides. Abbey was a little nervous of the skeletons and scary voices, but she did enjoy the pirates and dancing ghosts! Here are some pictures of us waiting in line for Pirates. Abbey had no idea what to expect and Mike was cool as a cucumber throughout the ride!

This is Johnny, the guy Carrie is dating, Abbey has a crush on him

Can't you just see my excitement? This was the first time I was going to experience the ride with the new additions since the movies came out. It was fun seeing Captain Jack hiding.

After all the scary rides we took Abbey to the promised Princess rides. She loved the Cinderella Castle as we made our way over. The first thing she wanted to do was go on the carousel. She loves to ride the horses and went on it twice in a row!

We were met by Christine, Jared, Cameron and Jenny at that time and waited in the longest line to ride Dumbo. That was the worst part of the day being the hottest and whinniest. But the two minute ride was a lot of fun! (that is Christine with Wyatt right behind Me and Abs)

Tim and I had gotten park hopper tickets, so we walked over to California Adventure. Mike took a good nap while we waited in line for Monsters Inc. ride.

Abbey loved Monsters Inc. because it is currently her favorite book to read at night. Here we are in front of Boo's door. After this we caught the little Pixar Parade, that was a lot of fun to watch seeing that it had Cars, Monsters, Nemo and Toy Story characters to name a few.

We also went and saw the Bugs Life 3D show. That was really cool, but Abbey was kind of scared of the big mean bugs. So to make up for it we went on the cute little train ride. She was excited for that and went under the rails to try and hop on the train before her turn (kind of embarrassing!).

Disneyland wouldn't be complete without the forty dollar dinner. We met back up with Christine, Jared, Cameron and Jenny for dinner. The kids meal was really cute.

Too bad this is what Abbey did throughout dinner! She was tuckered out!

Not only was Abbey tuckered out but so was Tim. He rested until we saw a cross dressing 50 something worker guy at the restaurant. He, or should I say she, was complete with a women's wig, bra and a name tag with a women's name on it!! Only in California!

A second time on Pirates was a must. It was a interesting ride, with Christine being chastised over the loud speaker to not take pictures and Jared to keep his arms inside the boat during the ride!! Here we are in line, I love how Tim and Abbey are in the background to the left. How I wish we didn't forget the little doggie backpack/leash!!

We had just gotten on the ride and Tim took this picture. Stella's face cracks me up!! I promise she wasn't freaked out or anything, no children were scarred from the experience. Although we had a really nervous Wyatt and Abbey in the beginning!

Abbey and Wyatt by far enjoyed the tea cups the most. Abbey went on them about four times. Tim took her most and had a blast watching her ham it up and giggle. Can you spot Me, Abbey, Jared and Wyatt (we are in the middle).

During the fireworks we took turns on Space Mountain. That is another favorite. It couldn't have gone better with the fireworks to keep Abbey and Wyatt entertained (they loved them and were too funny dancing around). Plus we were given switch passes, allowing the other group watching the kids to just walk right on after the first group got done!! It was perfect. We did it with the Matterhorn too. I had never been on that one and it was a lot of fun and unforgettable due to Cameron's ribs being injured, funny but painful!!

You know Abbey is tired when she twirls her hair...

She sacked out on the way back to the house.

Tim thought it would be funny to show how tired he looked as we waited until I finished nursing Michael in the car before heading out for the day.

It was a long, fun and tiring day. We have to go back soon!! There was so much we didn't get to do!

Long Beach Aquarium

When everyone else left to go home. Tim and I stayed one more day. We decided to go to the aquarium. We were a little put off at first. There were so many pushy people there, you could hardly see anything. But we waited it out and late afternoon more people started to go home. We enjoyed seeing the Tropical fish with Nemo and Dory, seahorses, seals and otters.

The otters were so cute. They loved to swim up against the glass. Watching them made Abbey beg to go swim!

I think this was Abbey's favorite part of the aquarium. There was a little water attraction. She was so ready to play in the water and have some fun. Plus we bought some good ice cream treats.

I love the look of yearning on Michael's face while watching Abbey eat her ice cream sandwich!

Then he tries to grab it!!

On our way out we had to take advantage of this photo op!

I'm glad we took the extra day and went to the aquarium. It was a great way to finish off our trip to California. Until next year...