So here in Bakersfield they have a zoo equivalent called the CALM. It pretty much just has some birds, and a few other wildlife like bears, bobcats, snakes, deer, and now a mountain lion. After living so close to the Columbus Zoo it really isn't too much to shout about, but we REALLY enjoyed the Christmas light show that put on each year. We weren't expecting too much, and were pleasantly surprised. Emma LOVES the lights. She says "WOW" every time we see some as we are driving. It was so nice having a night out as a family. Emma was able to ride her first train, as well as a carousel. I don't know how much she liked it while riding the carousel, but she sure didn't want to leave it either. The funniest moment of the night was when we "tried" to get her to take a picture with Santa. Last year she didn't quite know what was going on, but this year she was terrified of Mr. Claus. She was just clinging to me with all her might. Ever since then, every time we even see a toy Santa clause she starts to get nervous. Pretty funny for the girl who used to not be afraid of anything. She is starting to get more nervous around people she doesn't know. Anyway, it was a fun night seeing the lights.
So after Thanksgiving I was less than motivated to get up my Christmas decorations, but once I got started I couldn't stop. It actually didn't even take me too long this year. The only problem I ran into, which I had anticipated, was Emma wanting to play with the tree. I decided to put it up on a table so she couldn't get to it, but now she just climbs under the table, and I'm so worried she is going to go play with the lights plug in the wall. Who knows, we may have to do without a tree this year if she keeps it up. Boy has Emma been crabby lately. I don't know if she's going through a growth spurt or if the terrible two's have started already, but every other word is "NO"! and she refuses to do ANYTHING that she DOESN'T WANT TO DO! If mom wants to read books, she is definitely not doing that. She just whines about everything, and is starting to do the whole rag doll trip. Oh boy, I have my work cut out for me. Any suggestions other than patience. I just don't want her to think she can just get away with acting like that, but I also want to be understanding of her needs as well. Gotta find a balance, but it's sure hard to reason with a toddler.
This is Emma's new favorite trick. Climbing up and over the back of the couch. Yikes!
This is Emma showing me where her's and the snowmans noses are.
On a happier note we found a surprise in our garden today. I had totally forgotten about my carrots because they hadn't been growing very well. Our garden has really been trial and error this year, but look at these beauties. Good thing Emma LOVES carrots because we'll be eating them for awhile. So exciting!
This year we were lucky enough to have a lot of the Sharp family come our way for Thanksgiving. We'd known about it for awhile so we had plenty of time to prepare. It was a lot of crunch time at the end getting the house ready (Which basically means I went Pierce crazy and worried about things that honestly don't matter to anyone but me). In the end it was just nice to be with family. Since we don't get to see them very much anymore it was a nice visit. Everyone was so great to help out and Thanksgiving dinner turned out to be a breeze with their help, although Mike had to get in a little teasing about my "table decorating". Thanks for everyone who was able to make the trip, and especially being willing to drive the extra distance to visit us. We can't wait to see you again for Christmas!
As usual I forgot to take pictures so this is all I got.
Last weekend we had the wonderful opportunity of going to Vegas to attend Alex's blessing. It was so nice to finally get to see and hold her, she is such a cutie. I forget how small babies can be. I guess I still think of Emma as my baby and so I expect all babies to be as big as she is now.:) It was nice to see family and Merilee and Mark were wonderful hosts as usual. It was just the beginning of all our family fun.
This picture makes me laugh because Emma hates to have her picture taken. Even in the womb she would hide. A lot of pictures I have taken of her lately have been of her with her hands over her face. Cute baby Lukas These Sharp kids crack me up. They always have to pull funny faces for the camera. Gotta love it!
So, this past week we have been lucky enough to have some friends of ours staying with us. They were in need of a temporary housing situation and given our ample space for 3, we decided our home was the obvious choice. I was a little worried at first about how things would work out, but it really hasn't been a problem at all, and if anything Emma has loved having another friend to play with. Their daughter is just a little older than Emma and so they have been getting along pretty well. The funniest thing is watching them imitate each other. If one child has a drink, the other has to as well. If one child is playing with a toy, the other child wants the same toy also. I know this is the stage they are in, but it is just fascinating to watch each day. Their new favorite thing to do is "Ring around the Roses". They will just hold onto each others' hands and walk around. Emma just loves it. I don't know how Emma is going to cope with her little friend leaving, she will be so bored! I guess we'll have to set up some special play dates. It was also nice to have some "live in" babysitters so Mike and I could go on a date. I have been worried about people coming over to babysit Emma, mostly because of Rusty. It has taken him a good week to finally be comfortable around a new family in his territory. I sure hope he adjust quicker to Mike's family coming out for Thanksgiving. This has been a good chance for us to see how he reacts, and hopefully there have been some things we have learned that we can work on with him. We sure can't wait to have more visitor in a week or so.
Rusty doesn't know why everyone has to get into his crate!
When we first moved into our house we were told that we needed to finish our backyard within 6 months. I don't think we really HAD too, because honestly what were they going to do if we didn't, but we have moved forward, and after a year we are finally getting our backyard finished. We'll still have a lot of work to do in the next few years, and I'm sure we'll make small adjustments here and there, but for now hopefully there won't be as much MUD tracked in, and I won't have to clean the carpets as much as a result. Now all we need to get is some kind of outdoor play set, because all Emma wants to play with are the strawberries and rocks.
We "seeded" our yard twice, and it is finally starting to come in thicker. We will probably have to do a little over seeding in a couple of places, but luckily we have grass over "most" of our backyard. We ended up putting gravel in our side yards so that the water could drain easier. I'm sure it will continue to be a work in progress, but for now it sure looks a whole lot better.
It has been a lot of fun sharing our Halloween traditions with Emma this year. She is finally able to participate a little bit more, and we sure get a kick out of watching her explore new things. This time it was pumpkin carving. We went to the cutest little pumpkin patch and picked out some pumpkins. The last time we carved pumpkins we bought one of those carving kits and so our pumpkins looked amazing, but this year we went with just regular "be your own kind of creative". Carving pumpkins was always my favorite thing to do for Halloween. I thought my pumpkin turned out pretty good, and I had to add "teeth" because Emma is fascinated with teeth right now. I was VERY impressed with Mike's "house" pumpkin face. He's so creative, and imaginative. I hope Emma gets some of those skills from him. She was so proud of being able to help take out all of the yucky pumpkin guts. She really didn't manage to get much out with her spoon, but she tried really hard, and had a good time. She also tried to "eat" the pumpkin. I don't know how good it tasted, mommy didn't let her get very far with it.:) Here we are with our finished creations.
Yesterday was our wards "Trunk or Treat". It is a pretty big deal in our ward and more people than actually come to church each week show up. I was released from the Relief Society Presidency on Sunday and was then called to the Activities committee, so I was thrown in to the calling pretty quick. OH boy I was a micro-managing mess. I always want everything to be perfect, without any kinks, but I really need to learn how to chill out! Luckily I am just a helper bee and I'm not the person who is really in charge. It should be a fun calling if I can learn how to not stress myself out over stupid things. Anyway, Mike was wonderful and watched Emma the whole night so I could help out. I think everyone had a great time. Emma was really "clingy" last night and so it was hard to get her to smile for any of these pictures. We were going to dress her up as a princess, but her favorite little friend Hayley(2) was dressing up as a BYU cheerleader, and so we decided it would be funny to dress Emma in her University of Utah cheerleading outfit that we have. (I was personally rooting for BYU, but don't tell Emma's dad that.):) It will be interesting to see if we will actually get "trick or treaters" this year now that we live in a house. We have always had candy, and never a tricker or a treater. Gotta love the fall.
So I realize it has been FOREVER since I last posted, but again, there hasn't been a lot to tell about. We are working on our backyard, and hope to finish it in the next week or so. I will have some fun pictures to share then. I am so excited to be able to let Emma and the dog run free outside without having to give them a bath afterwards. There's still a lot of dirt/mud that we are working around so it will be nice to get some mulch and other ground cover.
So I took these pictures of Emma to show how much she LOVES to 1. Play with the mirror, and 2. She loves to give herself kisses on the mirror. She won't give US kisses, but she sure thinks that little kid on the other side of the mirror is sure cute.:)
This is a picture of Emma on her first official day in Nursery. (Her arms are so short, I always have to roll up her sleeves.) She sure loves it there and it is amazing all the things she is picking up from the other kids. We could sing songs with her at home and she would never pick up the actions, etc. , but she comes home from nursery and all of a sudden she knows the actions to "The Wheels on the Bus" and the "Itsy Bitsy Spider". Her favorite song is still "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes", because whenever I say "Emma let's sing a song", she automatically puts her hands on her head.:)
I took these pictures the other day and thought they were pretty funny. Emma has quite the imagination and is also very determined. She decided it would be a good idea to put the baby stroller up onto the futon. For what reason I'm not quite sure, but it seemed like a good plan to her.
(As you can see she had to fix the broken stroller)
It has been a lot of fun watching her interact with her toys more. The other day she put her "baby" doll into the high chair, laid her on the piano and started saying "Shh, Shh", gives her kisses, and pretends to change her diaper. She is also very observant of our pets. She will grab Rusty's ball and point to the ground and try and say "sit". She has watched Mommy do this many times. The funniest thing happened the other day though. Mike had to ask me if Emma had been spending too much time with the cats because he had just witnessed her lick up her arm and then wipe her arm over her head. (Just like a cat) Oh she is a crack up. We sure love her. I can't believe how big she is getting.
These pictures were taken after she handed me the camera saying "Cheese".
The first day of fall here in Bakersfield was beautiful. It was in the low 70's all day and we really enjoyed the mild weather. It was cooler in the morning and so Emma, Rusty and I got bundled up and headed off the the park. This is usually part of our morning routine. Emma loves to run around the park and loves playing on the BIG kids playground more than the one her size.
She usually gets really nervous going over this part because of the little open holes, but she is getting so brave.
She thought it would be a good idea to try and climb up this, but mom didn't think it was as good an idea.:)
I put up this picture to show our crazy wild flowers that are growing as tall as our tree. They just keep growing and growing.
When we first got Rusty he was very mild mannered and wouldn't leave our side. He is finally feeling better, physically and emotionally. It is nice seeing him get more comfortable around us. He and Gracie LOVE to play together. They will just hang out by each other and Gracie thinks it's great fun to have Rusty chase her. He's still pretty mild mannered, but sometimes he can get a CRAZY streak and go running back and forth around the house. It is pretty humorous. He hates being in his kennel. He just cries and cries. Today I taught him a trick, (how to dance) and Emma just laughed and laughed, she thought it was a pretty good trick too.
We are all so excited for the cooler weather to begin and STAY, the leaves changing colors, the holidays that are coming, and hopefully getting some good time in with family. Speaking of, we are so excited to have a new little niece. Alexandra (Alex) Andal was born today and we will be getting to see her next weekend. We are so excited!!! It's so much fun having these new babies being born. We can't wait for Journee to be born in a couple weeks and for baby boy Ramirez at the beginning of the year.
The Sharp quartet reside in the hot and dry metropolis of Bakersfield, CA. Mike has been working for Nestle Dreyers Ice Cream for almost 3 years now. Amy is a very lucky stay at home mom and she enjoys spending time with her beautiful family, a dog and a cat. We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and are thankful for how the gospel of Jesus Christ brings joy and happiness into our lives and family.