Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Lion

Brendan's new favorite toy is an adorable stuffed lion that my parents have at their house. He's in love with the guy and he loves to snuggle him. I never thought I'd see him snuggle so much- I certainly don't get this many hugs.

We were lucky to capture this cute little video of Brendan with the Lion. My mom was making a funny dog bark and he thought it was the funniest thing- he couldn't stop laughing at it. I'm so glad we're here to have these moments together.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The trip from you-know-where

Flying for us is usually not a problem but unfortunately this trip was not as smooth as normal. First, our flight was scheduled to leave Christmas morning at 7:15am, which means we had to wake up around 4:30am in order to arrive on time but Brendan decided to wake up all on his own at about 3:30am. Great. We also woke up to a few inches of snow fresh on the ground which were not plowed by the time we hit the road. So it took us about an hour to get to the airport where I discovered that I had left my purse sitting on the kitchen table. I could have died right there on the spot because Chris had even asked me before we left our parking lot if I had my ID. And of course, I took that to mean he thought I was stupid and irresponsible- which it turns out, I am.

In order to avoid outrageous charges for changing our flight, we had to be on the stand-by list for a flight at 2:30pm- the last flight American Airlines had to Chicago that day. I sure was praying that we would get on that flight and this time we left with my ID in hand. As the security person was checking my ID, she asks me, "Do you have a valid ID. This is expired." Great. At this point, I start to almost tear up. But luckily, they'll let you through but with extra security checks. They checked all our of carry-ons, I had to go through the "Puffer" (which puffs a bunch of air bursts at you and somehow detects explosive materials), and wait a horribly long time for them to find my ID. That's right- they lost my ID. Luckily they found it; one of the security people had forgotten to pass it along. But we made the flight and Brendan did exceptionally well. I couldn't believe it and we even made a new friend, Ram, who is from India originally but is now a doctor in Utah and teaches at the U of U- he was hillarious. All in all, it was a Christmas miracle we got here. Hopefully we can get back.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

We're headed for Chicago early in the morning but hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures while there. If not, we'll see you in a week!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The cutest cookie I think I've ever seen... and a toothbrush

My friend Angela and I had a shopping excursion last night, which included a stop at Starbucks for some delicious hot chocolate. While there, we discovered the cutest cookie in the world.
Angela was kind enough to purchase us each one but he was too cute to eat. I had to take him home first to memorialize him in blog-form before gobbling him up. Don't you just love him!?!

Angela also presented Brendan with his first toothbrush! It was really good timing considering we were at the doctor's on Thursday for a check-up and the doc mentioned that we should start brushing his teeth with a soft toothbrush. So now, Brendan gets a good brushing every day- thank goodness I have such a kind friend who has a dentist for a brother. So far so good. He seems to enjoy it but especially likes to suck on his toothbrush, mostly.

She picked out a Super Man toothbrush for him, too- I love it! Again, the cookie. He was so cute and looked perfect on our entertainment center along with our other Christmas decorations.

Here's to the hope that everyone can find a cookie as yummy and adorable as my little penguin!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Paper Towels

I guess this is what I get for leaving my 11 month old unattended while I tried to do some laundry. I couldn't stop laughing when I found that Brendan had gotten a hold of our paper towels. It was just too funny. I was wondering why all of a sudden he was ultra-quiet, and this is what I found.
He was having a ball with them so I couldn't get too annoyed even though this was our last roll.

At least it was easy to clean up and most of them were salvageable- only a few were torn, which gives me hope that Brendan will learn how to be "soft".

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A sad day

Yesterday was my Grandma's funeral so we headed down to Laverkin UT to pay our respects and be with family. It was a really wonderful service and I learned a lot of things about my grandma that I didn't know before. She was a great woman and she'll be missed.

I did enjoy getting to spend time with some family members that live far away and we don't see very often. It was great getting to chat and catch up with everyone (there are some pictures in our December Photo Albulm). Brendan loved all the attention from so many new friends. This was the first time that Brendan got to meet his extended family and he loved it. He was so excited that he refused to nap the whole day. The only time he slept was for a half hour in the car... that was it. He was too wound up to go to sleep. And this is why-

He was in love with Grandpa, as usual and Grandpa gave him chocolate cake.

Brendan once again OD'ed on sugar.

And baby Mary was super sweet and calm, like always. She puts Brendan to shame.

Belated birthday wish

Happy Birthday again to my dad. The circumstances weren't the best but we hope that all your Birthday Wishes come true! We love you!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Brendan's binge

So, the past couple of weeks we've noticed some real growth in Brendan's maturity level. When he puts his finger in an electrical socket and we tell him "no" he'll look at us and move his hand away for a few seconds before he touches it again. Also, instead of grabbing handfuls of puffs to eat, he only takes two or three at a time. He's even learned to go to bed without getting a bath every night.
So with all this growth and maturity we decided that Brendan was old enough and mature enough to stay at home by himself for the night. Valerie and I decided it had been too long since we'd been out on our own. So we gave it a try. That night we left Brendan with his favorite frozen dinner in the freezer to make for himself (Swanson's Hungry Man dinner with chicken fried steak, corn, mashed potatoes, and a brownie cube). We put his favorite DVD in (Cool as Ice starring Vanilla Ice), and left him strict instructions not to have any parties and to stay out of trouble. What happened next came as a complete shock to us. After Valerie and I had enjoyed a nice evening out at Chili's and later the movies (Enchanted, my choice), we came home to a scene that left both of us in utter disbelief. Brendan had gotten into the whipped cream, against our orders, and by the time we found him he had consumed the whole can. Words can't describe what we saw and how we felt. Oh, Brendan. Needless to say we grounded him immediately. No cell phone. No video games. And he has to ask before can get in the refrigerator.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A couple sweet pictures

Not much to write about but I thought I'd post a few pics of our happy boy. He's such a sweet little guy and he's getting so big! He loves to walk (with some help) and has even taken several steps on his own. He's still a little wobbly but he loves to try, and luckily we haven't had any major spills yet. Chris and I are loving this time in his life!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Coming soon...

Tonight for family night, we took Brendan to see Santa at the mall and I was so excited because this would be our first Christmas activity of the season. Well, it was a major bust thanks to Santa needing an hour long break for dinner. I tried to wait it out; we walked around the mall for 15 minutes before I started going insane. So we left. No pictures with Santa tonight but you can be sure we'll be heading back soon. But this time, we know that we should arrive before the 5pm break starts.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Thaksgiving? This year it was mostly thanksgetting.

Here are a couple of pictures of Brendan with the Near Grandparents. For some reason we don't have any pictures of all three of them together. On the left is Brendan learning how to fly his first plane. It's a little remote control plane and Brendan is small enough we were going to try to attach him to the back of it and fly him around, but unfortunately the winds from the north were too hard and we couldn't get permission from the control tower. Maybe next time. By the way these pictures are from thanksgiving in Littleton, CO. Now, the picture on the right is Brendan being fed by his Grandma. Brendan likes to eat and Grandma likes to feed so they got along quite well on this trip.
So thanksgiving was a good time. A break from school for me and a break from work for Valerie. For Brendan it was a break from Utah, which he seemed to enjoy (Colorado is just better geographically, geologically, and in levels of radicalness. Sorry Utah. Oh, and Colorado's park system is light years ahead of anything Utah has). Moving on. The drive to Colorado is about 7-8 hours long. We were afraid Brendan was going to whine and be a terror the whole time. Valerie can also get cranky on these long drives. Anyway, Valerie suggested we get him a big boy front facing car seat. So we did and it worked. Valerie and Brendan were both very good on the drive. Brendan likes facing the front and he especially likes his seat which looks like a mini throne. It sits him up extremely high on lots of soft, meticulously crafted padding. It's lined with a majestic trim of a royal purple color, and it comes equipped with his own beverage holder which holds his bottles for about five seconds before he knocks it out onto the floor in a location impossible to reach while we're driving. The seat also reclines so that the Little Prince can nap comfortably when he so desires.

(This is me potty training Brendan).

While in Colorado my parents watched Brendan one night so that Valerie and I could go out. We went to the movies ($9.75 per ticket) and saw "Dan in Real Life." Here's my review: There were some funny parts, there were a couple of really funny parts, there were some not-so-funny parts, and there were some sad parts. All of that adds up to three stars which means I would recommend it.

In conclusion, Thanksgiving was fun. Brendan loved seeing his grandparents. Valerie and I had a nice break from our routine and things were good. The end.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A very belated thank you

Time sure has been zipping right by (where did November go!?), so this is a little late but thanks to all those who wished me a very happy birthday (which was the 16th). I had a fabulous time with family and friends, and I couldn't have had a more wonderful birthday. You all made me feel extra special.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Box

It's funny how the most simple things make kids happy- like the large box from Brendan's new space heater. His room gets so cold at night and we'd like to be able to save a little bit of money on our gas bill, so we bought him a new heater. (The other oscillating heater we have kept disturbing his sleep when it kicked one) It keeps his room nice and toasty, and what's even better is that the box keeps him entertained for hours on end! It's so funny to watch him climb all over it and push it across the room. I seriously can't watch him without laughing. It's a good thing that laughter is supposed to be good for your health!

Rise and shout

The Cougars are out!
Last night we headed to the season opening game of BYU basketball and we had a blast. Chris was lucky enough to get 4 free tickets from his professor, and since we hate turning down free things (which is why Chris will get a sample of a veggie burger from Costco on Saturdays- he said it tasted like butt, in case you were wondering- but I digress) we decided to keep Brendan up late and head over to the Marriott center with Angela and Jandon.

We had a lot of fun and we even all got a free BYU t-shirt. Too bad they were all size XL.
The sea of the white shirts in the student section. They stood for most of the game- there is no way I was doing that.

Brendan liked it for the most part. He cried quite a bit when they turned the lights down and had the players run out onto the court. I think it was a combination of too many flashing lights, horrible music, really loud clapping and whistling, and being up too late. But after that, he was happy to be there and loved the attention from everyone around him.

He'll be a Cougar fan for sure!

Can you hear me now?

Brendan's latest fascination is now the phone. He loves it when someone is actually on the other end of the phone but even when there isn't, he still loves to play with it.

This is him crawling around with it- he was sure not to let it go or else he knew I'd snatch it and put it up where he can't get it.

I'm starting to worry that all his drool is going to short it out but it hasn't happened yet so until then...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Freedom Fries

Brendan has become increasingly interested (read obsessed here) with our food lately. Everytime we eat, he stares at it while reaching out his little hands and grunted for it. So of course, I almost always cave and let him try what I'm having. Tonight was no exception. For our FHE treat today, I decided that we should splurge on McDonalds french fries and icecream cones (which are about the only things I'll eat from the Golden Arches anymore). Brendan couldn't stand that we were eating without him so he had to try a french fry- his first ever.

His response was typical- he pulls a completely disgusted face for a brief moment before shoving the rest of the fry in his mouth. He had a good time devouring about 2 or 3 fries. Chris finally put an end to our fun and cut him off- I probably would have let him eat my hold container. :)

But who can blame me? With a face like that, I'm completely powerless to say no.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I just wanted to show off my adorable little niece again, and also my skills. I made this announcement, along with a couple others, for my sister to send out as Mary's birth announcements. Isn't she cute!? Steph didn't decide to use this one, so if you're lucky you'll be seeing the chosen one fairly soon!

A day in Logan

This past Sunday, the Near clan got to gather together for a very special baby blessing. Marissa was as sweet as could be in her adorable white dress and even cuter dress shoes- sorry for the lack of photos. By the time I remembered the camera, she was already undress and napping soundly. It must have been all that tempting food that Carrie had for us that distracted me!

She really is just a sweet, sweet baby. The only time I heard her fuss was when she was hungry. After that, she was the perfect baby. I miss those days.

Mine, on the other hand, was into everything- of course. He loved the stairs and his new found ability to climb them. The only problem was he didn't get how to come down. He'd climb up a few and then try to turn around to look at you, as if to say "see how great I am!" but it would only result in him almost tumbling down face first. Luckily, Chris was on him like a hawk and that didn't happen.

There are Chris' hands, making sure Brendan didn't fall.

It really was cool though to watch him. He's so grown up. Where did my baby go?

Brendan also loved playing with Leila and Spencer, as always. I'm glad that those two are tough and can hang with him. Brendan likes to play rough. You know the kind- pushing, hair pulling, stealing toys and then sticking them in his mouth, wiping slobber on you, etc etc. He's lucky to have two great cousins who don't mind him getting into all their stuff!

Thanks for the great time, Gilchrist's! Thumbs up all around!

Friday, November 2, 2007

New shoes

Check out Brendan's new shoes! I just couldn't resist and finally broke down and bought him a pair of checkered Van's. I think they are so cute on him!

Brendan also loved them and wore them the very next day, when he proceeded to loose one while we were out and about- or so I thought. After searching the store for about 20 minutes, I gave up and scolded myself for being so frivilous. I should have known better- but when I went to put him in the car seat, there it was. The missing shoe was sitting nicely in the back seat. He must have kicked it off before we even got to the store and I didn't even notice.

How could you not love these shoes? The best part is that they are really soft and flexible- which is really great since he is starting to move around so much more (could walking be in the near future?). But I think next time I'll keep a better eye on them, just in case.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Guess who slept ALL NIGHT

Can you believe it!?! Brendan slept all night without waking up once!!!! Yes, it's true! I almost can't believe it myself; I'm in shock from getting so much sleep last night. It sure was nice. I haven't had that much sleep in a very very very very long time. And all it took was 3 nights of letting him cry it out. It was hard (a lot harder than I thought it would be) but we made it through and I think the benefits out weight the few nights of little sleep.

Brendan got extra kisses and hugs this morning!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A tasty little treat this Halloween

I don't think Brendan could have been any cuter in his Halloween costume. He's the cutest hot dog I've ever seen!

He couldn't move so well in it but moving wasn't the point. Actually, it's kind of nice to have a break from him being everywhere and into everything. But he's a good sport- he put up with it for about 10 minutes- enough to get these pictures.

But as you can see, he wasn't too happy by the end. It didn't help that it was 80 degrees in that thing but his mom just couldn't resist. I love that little boy!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

We'll miss you!!

Just a few of my favorite photos of my parent's visit. Brendan can't wait to destroy your house in December!!