Sunday, September 30, 2012

I'm special, so special, I gotta have some of your attention

Yep, Q is 4.

We had lots of different ideas of what to do for her birthday, but we ended up thinking a trip to the aquarium (you remember how much q loves animals), would be perfect. She was super excited to share her day with Kimmie and Elsie, and couldn't wait for them to get to our house.

That morning, while we waited for Kim and Els to get there we opened some presents.
coming through her decorated door. 

Q was super excited about her dreamlight. It was the first present she wanted based off a tv commercial...I know there is more to come. 

The girl loves her old school Disney movies as well. 

She's gotten into Strawberry Shortcake dolls now...and I'm super annoyed that I got rid of mine when I was a kid...I had the whole collection!

Then Kim and Elsie came with their gifts! Although I think just seeing Elsie would have been present enough.

We got the girls some McD's for the trip up to the aquarium, and listened to disney songs as we drove. Good start huh?

The aquarium was smaller than ones I'd been to before, but it was perfect for the girls. We saw all kinds of fish, spiders, sharks, otters, penquins, frogs, lizards, and turtles.

There was a little place where you could try and pet the baby shark and mini rays as they swam past, but Q just couldn't get her little arm deep enough (I was practically dipping her whole body in the water). She was so disappointed with herself, and still talks about how she didn't get to pet the shark.
But she loved the penquins, and playing around in all little areas with Elsie.

Afterwards we headed up to the cupcakery One Sweet Slice for a treat. This place was on (and won) Cupcake Wars on the food network, and so we had to try it! The little girls each chose their own cupcake Q (a vanilla cupcake with pretty pink frosting and candy pearls) and Elsie (a pink lemonade cupcake). Kim and I were huge piggies and pick 3 different cupcakes to share. A samoa cupcake, a peanut butter chocolate cupcake, and a peanut butter/ brown sugar cupcake (or the Luke Skywalker one that she did on Cupcake Wars). They were all delicious...some of the better ones I have had at those cupcake places, but the Peanut Butter/ Brown sugar one was our favorite. delicious!

It was a great day for a great girl with great company!

For her birthday she also got to bring some treats for her preschool class. She colored the buterfly bodies and thought she was so special.

She also got to skype Jared's crew which made her sooo happy.

Q at 4: In my words. 

1. Q loves to "collect things": rocks, sticks, leaves, pinecones, pieces of paper, screws..if it's on the ground she will pick it up, call it a "treasure" and want to bring it home. I'm trying to limit her "treasures" as she has the potential of being major hoarder, and I hate junk. 

2. Q loves to perform: She will take any opportunity to dance, sing, shake her booty (her signature move), tell a riddle (they never make sense), tell a story, or take a picture. She is not shy. You guys do remember how I mentioned she had a breakdown at the family reunion because her "part" wasn't big enough in our family song?

3. Q loves cheese: Seriously here is a list of her "most likely to finish her whole plate at lunch/dinner" items- quesadilla, nachos, grilled cheese, mac'n'cheese, pizza, and cheesy rice/broccoli. She also loves chicken nuggets, fishsticks, chicken taquitos, fries, carrots, applesauce, apples, crackers, popcorn, chips, corn, rice. 

4. Q says the funniest things: "Is that a good deal mom?". "Trust me mom, I can do it". "It's kind of hard for me, when I'm bigger I can do it". "You ruined my life". "Maybe I'll just stop and breath, and calm down". "oh hey mom, I'm just______". 

5. Q loves mommy time: We have been having mommy and Q movie time, and she has really gotten into watching the non-animated family movies. She loved Mirror Mirror, and Mr. Popper's Penquins.

6. Q lives in a world of imagination: she has make believe friends that help her clean, come on car rides, and sometimes get her in trouble. She also makes up her own songs and stories, and is never short of things to say. 

7. Q is an artist: She may not color in the lines, or draw a perfect stick figure, but she puts her imagination onto paper through marker, paint, pencil, and crayon. She then often takes the paper and twists, crumples, and folds it into a whole other product of its own. 

8. Q is a mouthful: well she loves putting anything into her mouth. her blankets, clothes, crayons, pencils, paper, rocks, dolls arms and legs, stuffed animals. A little worrisome, maybe but I've asked the doctor and they said some kids go through oral fixation stages, but I'm keeping my eye on it. It's pretty gross though, nothing like picking up her blanket and getting a wet piece. yuck. 

9. Q loves her family: She tells me constantly that I'm her best friend and "we have to take care of each other". She loves hanging out with Elsie and asks everyday if we are seeing her that day, and wishes her other cousins lived closer. 

10. Q is an excellent helper: She is quick to grab her kid vacuum and help mommy. Will clean up her toys when asked (although she does enjoy help if I offer it). Loves putting clothes into the dryer. Is itching to help mom out in the kitchen, but I'm worried about her getting hurt. Claims putting the utensils away as "her job" when unloading the dishwasher. 

I love my Q. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Deeper than a place where the ocean floor lies. You're still number one in my eyes

Can you believe this girl....

Is now this girl?

From Newborn:

to 1: 

to 2:

to 3:

and now 4:

This girl has been my everything!!

Qiana at 4 (in her own words)

1.What is your name? Qiana Bates
2.Do you have any nicknames? Sugar Plum, Q, Honey bunches, Mumble (aaron's nickname for her cause her feet never stop moving)
3.How old are you?   3 then 4
4.What is your favorite color? Yellow and Pink
5.What is your favorite movie? The Lorax
6.What is your favorite TV show? Octonauts
7.What is your favorite thing to eat? Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
8.What is your favorite drink?   Limeade
9.What is your favorite snack? The circle ones (Ritz) and square ones (Saltines)
10.What is your favorite treat?         Strawberry milkshake
11.What is your favorite game? Candyland
12.What is your favorite toy?      Disney Barbie princesses
13.What is your favorite animal? Giraffes (this is super random...she has no giraffe toys)
14.What is your favorite song? How Bad Can I be? (from the Lorax)
15.What is your favorite book? Goldilicious
16.What is your favorite thing to do outside? Collect rocks and play with Charlie (Elsie's dog), because Charlie is a good boy.                                                          
17.What is your favorite thing to do inside? Play with your toys
18.What is your favorite part about school? Reading books
19.What is your favorite place? The Playground
20.What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Blankets, stuffed dog, and a glow stick
21.What do you want to be when you grow up? A superstar, so I can lead a parade
22.Who is your best friend? My mommy
23.What makes you happy? Songs, funny faces, surprises
24.What makes you sad? When I get in trouble, when someone laughs at me, when people poke me (i don't know if this poking thing really exists)
25.What makes you laugh? Tickles, pictures, riddles/jokes
26. What makes you special?   Because you love me so much, you don't want any monsters to take me away, cause you will have nobody to play with. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Somebody call 911! Shawty fire burning on the dance floor...

Q's class went to the fire station again this year, and I, of course went along. I love the fact that my job allows me the opportunities to attend Q's field trips, and class presentations. I just love hanging out with her. We walked to the fire station, which is about a block and half away, and Q held her "buddies" hand, Abby, the whole time. These girls were in the same class last year, and I think became instant friends this year.

The fireman leading the group wasn't very kid friendly, and kept asking the kids if they had any questions and then telling them "if it's not fire related then save it for later" have you been around 4-5 year olds before? If you open the floor for discussion, be ready for random questions, comments, or non sensical stories buddy!  

But the kids did love seeing the trucks, and hanging out at the house.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I love nature so very much...

One Night Q and I joined Kim, Aaron, and Elsie for a little outdoorsy fun. There is this awesome reservoir park up the mountains from their house, that has a cool play area, water for fishing/swimming, and campsites. We don't have the camping gear needed for an overnight adventure, but we were happy to just hang out, watch the girls collect a bucket full of acorns, have the girls play on the playarea, and even run into Ashley and Cortney and have the girls watch Cort fish, and even pet his catch before he threw it back. As the girls had an adventure playing in the dirt and trees, Kim, Aaron, and I roasted some hot dogs for dinner, combined with Cheetos it was a delicious meal!  Then we sat around, had the girls tell creepy stories, and roasted marshmallows for S'mores. When it was late, and we had had some awesome fun, we packed up and headed home to sleep.  It was a great relaxing night!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I think I may be Fallin’ for you...

Happy Fall!
Fall and Spring battle for my favorite season overall, but I sure do love the colors of Fall the most. And I love my fall shelves. Who couldn't love shelves full of leaves, acorns, corn, pumpkins, flowers (bouquet by me), and glitter! (Q and I glitterized the fruit ourselves...we're quite proud) 

My plan is to decorate the shelves for Halloween (October) then put these decorations back up for November, so That Fall can fill my house once again...cause soon Winter will be here...I hate Winter. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

O Canada....

When Mitch emailed us to see if we could come out for his restaurant opening, I though there would be no way. The flights from the SLC were in the 700$, and I always stress about finding somebody to watch Q. But the more I thought about, I knew I just had to get out there. Kim, Jared, and I were lucky enough to score some discounted stand-by tickets from Alysha (and Tom), which turned out to be an even bigger blessing, when Mitch didn't know when the opening date was until a few days before! So Stressful. I am super blessed to have some awesome family members around that heard my cries of help, and offered to watch Q for me while I was gone.
The traveling to and from was super stressful, stand-by flying is just not for me, but the couple days we had together in Toronto, and the time at his restaurant, made the trip totally worth it!! So thank you to everyone who made it possible! Plus we got a little star sighting in with Jeff VanVonduren from Intervention at the SLC airport.

After flying for most of the day Thursday, taking a bus to the subway station, riding the subway, then trolley to Mitch's part of downtown, Kim and I found ourselves schlupping our bags down the "clubbing" section of downtown at 12:30 in the morning, in the midst of drunk girls with high heels and guys with some buttons missing on their shirts. Kim and looked haggard, and even without the luggage, we DID NOT fit in.  Mitch is the worst at directions, and although Jared (who arrived first) had the worst time finding Mitch's apt, it wasn't much easier for us, which was just comical at this point so late in the night.
After saying hi and goodnight to Mitch(who was working 17 hr days in preparation)

 Jared, Kim and I headed to nearby pizza place that was open late to grab something to eat....we were starving!!

The next day was raining, so we spent the day doing some shopping at the mall. Mitch had NOTHING at his apartment, except for a bed and one chair, so Jared had gone to the store the night before to buy some pillows, blankets, and a blow up mattress. Mitch ended up borrowing one from a friend, so we got to return the bought one, and pick up some other random things.

We hit up the food court in the mall and had to get our hands on the Canadian Poutine. We chose the BBQ pulled pork Poutine with cheese curds....Um delicious!!!

That night we headed over to Momofuku for our reservation at the Noodle Bar. First off, the restaurant itself is gorgeous, and full of wood elements for tables, chairs, even wall art.

There was strict instructions through email to not take pictures or post stuff on social media outlets, so I have no pictures of our food, or the decor...but trust me, it was awesome! For dinner we had the pork buns, chicken buns, momofuku noodles, kimchi stew, and chicken and rice with egg, it wasn't until later that night that we remembered that we had ordered the chicken wings and never got them...but after 2 hours of eating, our stomachs were so full, and we didn't need anything else. We were on our way out, when a girl that works for the restaurant asked if we were Mitchie's family...we said yes, and she offered to show us around, and bring us up to see his restaurant and him working. We were on our way up the stairs when she stopped to introduce to the David Chang, the Momofuku guy!!  He was super nice, and had so many good things to say about Mitch...I may or may not have gotten a little teary eyed. We then got a sneak peak of Mitch's restaurant (Shoto), and got to see him work. What a cool sight!!

Saturday, we got up and did little on/off tour of Toronto. Those bus tours are always a great way to see the city, and it's super fun when you have great people to ride with, and good tour guide that makes you laugh!

That night was our turn at Shoto. It was almost 3 hours of awesome food! We had about 10-11 courses, and each one was so interesting and flavorful. Plus, we got to hang out with Vanessa, and watch and talk to Mitch as he worked. It was my favorite part of the whole trip. I tried fish I hadn't tried before, corn soup that I could bathe in, duck that fell off the bone it was so delicious, and desserts that would blow your mind (including one that consisted of an individual German pancake, with orange concentrate, maple ice cream, and sausage was like Sunday breakfast in a dessert) Although we were all huge fans of the banana ice cream that came with the other dessert, and Mitch (when the restaurant was closed, gave us each a spoon, and let us finish off the batch they had made!!!...super classy I know...but it was THAT GOOD).  The water at the table came in these cool bottles with the letter Q on them, and Mitch snagged one for me to take home to Qiana as a souvenir. She was so happy, especially since it came from her uncle, who is a chef, restaurant.

Here are some pictures of the restaurant that I found online.

the 3 story restaurant. Mitch's is the 3rd floor
Mitch's place (Shoto) with him at work

cool wood wall of the noodle bar. Stairs leading up to bar and other restaurants. 

Noodle bar on bottom, bar on second floor. Shoto (Mitch's place) and another restaurant 3rd floor

the view of restaurant at night. 

And if you were wondering about Qiana...she was in heaven the whole time I was gone. Cali (and family), Kylie, and Linh (and Isaac) took such good care of fact the whole way back home after I picked her up she kept repeating that she missed her babysitters.  She still talks about them to this day, and loves them all.