Saturday, February 4, 2017

Museum of Ancient Life

My mom treated our family to a trip to the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point!  She suggested it to Faye on Wednesday.  Watching Faye's excitement build every day leading up to Saturday made this trip 10x's more fun!

There was the cutest dead tree set up in the lobby and a table with paper hearts.  The kids wrote down something they loved and hung it on the "Heart Tree." Faye wrote "My Bestie," and I helped Sam draw Batman on his heart. 

Faye noticed several hearts had fallen off the tree.  She insisted on hanging every heart back on the tree causing my heart to melt.

The flex exhibit was themed around repeating geometric shapes.  Both kids enjoyed crawling through the unique playground and tunnels while we adults took our time reading each display. 

It was such a magical museum trip!  Watching Faye's mind make connections with interests, facts she's read, and her general curiosity was my favorite.  However, the kids enjoyed every exhibit. We walked through the "space tunnel," a  cylindrical black room with small flickering lights creating a 360 degree space walk effect, about ten separate times.

Watching the Fossil Cleaning room.

(Who knew they would have a Subnautica exhibit?)

(Faye's facial expressions crack me up!)

Faye and her Best Friend pose next to Megalodon pleasantly waiting to be eaten.

"It's head is the size of our car!"

"Mom!  I found a pretend dinosaur!"

We missed the erosion table during our first pass of the museum.  We briskly walked through the museum a second time in search of this fabled room.  It. Was. Worth. It.  We had a blast playing with the toy dinosaurs!  Talk about an awesome end to the museum.

Surprisingly, Sam is our neat-freak.  He has a meltdown should anything stick to his hands.  I thought Sammo would ADORE the erosion table, but he couldn't handle the feeling of sand sticking to his fingers.  Alan kindly cleared out a section to provide a sand-less puddle for our funny Batsam.  What a goof.

Thanks again, Mom, for such a fun outing!  And a double thanks for sharing your pictures.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Two Years Old

Our Sammo turned two today! 

 We started off his birthday with the requested "Bat-waffles."

 Sammo even helped mix up the batter.

I pulled out all the stops: sprinkles, frosting to drizzle on top, and batman shapes.  However, upon presentation, Sam had a fit when I presented his birthday-breakfast to him and insisted on the trimmings.  So Faye was bequeathed the festive Bat-waffles.

After church and a nap, Sam woke up to a birthday dinner of dinosaur chicken nuggets, breadsticks, and yogurt.

We had a quiet birthday celebration following dinner, just our little family of four.  Sam had asked for Batman cookies instead of cake, which everybody helped to decorate.  (I was excited to use the Batman sprinkles I have been hanging onto for months.)

With the recent practice from Christmas, Sammo knew where presents should be located and ran straight for the Christmas tree.  


Faye was more than happy to help Sam play with his new Legos from Grandma Sharon and Grandpa Kelly.

 My mom pitched in to help us purchase a classic Cozy Coupe for Sam, who has been tearfully envious of the neighbor's toy car.  Faye helped me spray paint the car to add some extra Batman style.  Sam was over the moon about his new toy!  We had to hide the car when it was bedtime to convince Sam to go to sleep.

At two years, Sam is a rascal to the core.  He is always busy climbing, running, falling, eating, laughing, teasing, crying, and playing.  Sam is feisty as well as independent; if he doesn't get things the way he wants when he wants it, he will let you know by a panicked-frustration or by punching you.  This tendency, pared with the logic of a toddler, can cause for long days, but his snuggles quickly make up for the frustrating moments.  

Sam's interests continue to be dominated by everything and anything BATMAN!  Between Christmas gifts and birthday gifts, he should be set for the next year with Batman goodies.  In addition to Batman, tractors have become a new love for our Sammo. His favorite food is toast, but it must be buttered on both sides before he will eat it.  Sam has also become quite opinionated on colors.  For instance, he refuses to drink out of a cup that isn't blue or green.

Sam loves his family.  Faye continues to be his favorite person.  He waits at the door while she is at school until it's time to pick her up from the bus, is always concerned whenever she is sad, and never wants to leave her side.  He is equally excited when Daddy and Grandma come home from work, too.  And whenever pretending to talk on the phone he calls those who aren't in the room: Grandma, Heidi, Vivi, Ricky, Daddy, etc.  

Our silly guy has come up with his own pattern of nicknames for our family members: Sissy-Sis, Mommy-Mom, Daddy-Dad.  It's so cute that the rest of us have picked up on it.

He's definitely a character, our little Sam, but we wouldn't have him any other way.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Fayeisms and Samisms

I've been recording some of the funny things our kids have said and thought I'd share them here more for personal records, but you might get a laugh or two out of their logic.

Tonight while getting the kids dressed after their bath Faye asked while pointing at Sam "what's that on his belly?" 
M: "Do you mean his belly button?"
F: "No, his belly finger!"

F: "When I grow up I want to be Faye Rowley!"

I ran upstairs just before midnight to comfort Faye, who was in our room crying. "Mommy, where are you?! You need to put on your jammies and get in bed now!"

F: "Mom, where's your hat?"
M: "Do I need my hat?"
F: "Yes. Your hair looks like sharks."

Apparently My bedhead has reached a new level of scary.

While tucking the kids in tonight I said, "Good Night, George," to my little stinker. He quickly corrected me, "No! Batsam."

While playing mario cart:
F: "Mommy, may I explosion you?"

Faye has a cold. This morning she asked, "Mommy, can I go to the hospital and get a shot to make feel better."

Sammo cried out in his sleep tonight searching frantically for pumpkins. This is the first instance I have witnessed him talking in his sleep.

Sammo has been a bit of a stinker this morning, and after being told off he asked, "Where Gra'ma?" 
M: "She's in her room getting dressed." 
S: "Where Heidi?" 
M: "She's at home." 
S: "Oooh."

F: "Mommy, you can't be married to Daddy."
M: "Why's that?"
F: "Because when I grow up I want to be married to him!"
M: "But he's my husband."
D: "And she's my wife!"
F: "Don't worry, we can take turns."

M: "You are so cute." As a naked Sam walks by.
S: "Garbage!" Walks up to sink and throws Faye's charm bracelet down the garbage eater.

F: "Mom, cats don't like water, right?"
M: "You're right!"
F: "But they like milk?"
M: "Yes, they love milk."
F: "So when you wash a cat, do you give them a milk shower?"

Friday, November 25, 2016

Johnson Family Pictures

It felt ironic that both sides of the family decided to update the family pictures within two weeks of each other.  What an adrenaline rush!  We met up with Alan's fam at Memory Grove for this photo session.

By the end of the shoot Sammo had hit his limit, and had already devoured my supply of fruit snacks.  Luckily the photographer had an extra treat that enticed Sam enough to "smile" for five last minutes. His goofy attempt to smile is beyond adorable, he did such a good job.

This picture of all the kids huddled up was my favorite part of the shoot.  The cold set in at a record pace once the sun started to set.  Sam was so excited to hold up the end of the blanket.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Dudley Family Pictures

One of my family's most memorable traditions is taking family pictures everywhere and all the time. How?  Why with the tripod and shutter timer, of course.  Mom is pro at setting things up and running back to the group before the picture is taken.  Now that our family is growing, this has been a more difficult task, particularly with littles.  So this year, getting every body together for pics felt like more of a production, but, as always, taking the pictures is as much fun as seeing the pictures with our goofy fam.

 The Dudley clan currently consists of 12 humans and 1 puppy.

With the craziness of Halloween fun still dying down, the kids, Sammo in particular, were still a bit off.  So we tried to get creative with our poses to make it easier on the kids.

Thanks, Mom, for the pictures!  And thanks to Drew for making faces next to the camera in attempts to get everybody's attention.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Faye is Five

Five years seems like a HUGE bench mark.  Maybe it's because this is the first year that Faye has been aware of her birthday coming or maybe it's because she's grown, mentally and physically, so much in the last year.  Either way, it's obvious now that our baby is a full blown big girl now.  

We took our gal out for a birthday treat, just Faye, Daddy, and Mommy.  All Faye wanted for her birthday was a Wonder Woman doll. (Sam's superhero obsession has rubbed off on the whole family.)  We trekked out to ToysRUs with Faye in her homemade birthday crown only to find the store was handing out balloons to birthday kids!  BONUS!

Faye was thrilled to finally have her own Wonder Woman. The toy store was followed by a trip to the unmentionable ice cream establishment.  Faye seemed as excited to have time alone with Mom and Dad as she was for her dolly and ice cream.

 Birthday celebrations continued with fun gifts from family members.  Her other favorite was a Lego set from Alan's parents.  Faye knows the rule is "no little Legos unless Sam is asleep," she has been very good to observe this practice.  


Faye's birthday fell on a Sunday this  year, which was also a missionary farewell in the ward.  When the host family learned it was Faye's birthday they insisted on singing for her.  Faye was bashfully gleeful, and I am forever thankful to the guests for making her day.

Five year old Faye is fun as can be.  She loves Legos, coloring, riding bikes, and friends! She is excited to start Kindergarten and loves to read.  Her mechanical mind, creativity, attention to detail, and fantastic fine motor will make for a good combo down the road.  She is kind and sweet, but without being overbearing or mothering, to Sam and her friends. 

 In our latest class at the Children's Center it has become obvious how much Faye has grown in the last year.  She has surpassed her peers in these groups and  blends in well with other average 5 year olds.  The doctor sees no need to have her retested, and the only resource she might need is some speech help through the school.  We are thrilled to have our little girl, and love her dearly.  Happy Birthday, my Faye!

Friday, July 1, 2016

18 Months

Bat-Sam is a superhero loving kid!  He has been obsessed with Batman for months now, but gets giddy with excitement whenever he sees any superhero.  He insists on wearing underwear on the outside of his pants, my mom finally cracked and bought Sam his own pack of superhero underwear so he would stop stealing his sister's underwear.  

Sam is a fun loving tease!  He loves to make people laugh, and knows the quickest way to get out of trouble is to make Mom smile. Always running, climbing, or rolling, Sam thinks he is one of the big kids.  Faye is his favorite person, Sam adores her.
Sam is both mechanically minded and yet social.  His vocabulary at eighteen months is over 70 words!