Sunday, July 27, 2008


This little girl just turned One, can you believe it? ... More cake-smearing, birthday hatting, party pictures to come ...

(Photo courtesy of the West camera)

Love you Baby Taya!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This Stinks!!

Every morning when I'm changing Taya's diapers that now smell like toddler/adult diapers instead of baby diapers, I'm drawing up my plan to try that early potty training that most other countries in the world are practicing!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tag! I'm It!

Here is my turn on tag -- I'm not always one for tags, but thought this was fun to learn more about people ... so I tag anyone who is willing to do it! Warning .... this may be a little long, ok maybe a lot, and may contain very little exciting or out of the ordinary life ventures! Now you can't wait huh?
2o Years Ago...
1. I was 6 years old and I know I whined a lot (in response to being teased A LOT by my 4 siblings who are 6-12 years older than me)
2. Saw my oldest brother off to college; drew a picture for him at one point that had lots of dots on it (his teenage zits) - my mom had me erase all the dots before giving it to him
3. Enjoyed my last summer playing with the two boys who were brothers who were my first little-kid kisses before they moved from being around the corner and in our ward to being an hour away (their older sister made us play 'Kissing Tag' - I don't think our parents knew about that one!)
(4. Hadn't quite met or become best of friends yet with the two girls who would make me one of the '3 Stooges/3 Musketeers/3 Peas in a Pod' ... Jessica and Caitlyn, we became best of friends about a year and a half to two years later - and still are very close today)

10 Years Ago...
1. Received the best Sweet 16th birthday known to man, er woman, er giddy teenage girl! My mom went all out with a surprise for me each day that birthday week, some like a keychain for driving with my name engraved on it, some like a surprise date with our family friends' son who I had always had a crush on (I wonder if she had any idea we would continue dating for quite a while after that - I wonder if she still would have set that date up?), and she finished it off with a big surprise party! No birthday has ever compared ... (sorry Paul, I still love you)
2. Had the fortunate opportunity to travel to England, Scottland, & Ireland, touring with a community based performing group I was in during Junior High and High School - Europe was amazing! I've LOVED any travelling opportunities I've had ever since!
3. Literally led Washington D.C.'s 4th of July Parade with the same singing and dancing touring group - fun to be able to say that one!

5 Years Ago...
1. Had the opportunity to travel again; I spent my summer on a BYU study abroad in London based on Music, Art & Theater! -- We HAD to go to a play, a museum and concert every single week - I LOVED my time there - I could have stayed there for a year or maybe more - easy. We went to France for a short trip too, saw Paris - I thought it was as incredible as I had always heard, and then I also took a side trip to Giverny, France and saw the water lilli ponds that Monet's paintings are based on, along with his home and gardens - I can snap myself back there in my mind in an instant!
2. I was getting sick of dating (funny because I was only 21), watched all my friends get engaged and married, and meanwhile just wanted to settle down with one guy, but instead just went on dates with other guys here and there ... until less than a year later when I was set up on a blind date with Paul (by our siblings in Vegas who knew each other) :)
3. Got ready to start my last year and a half at BYU studying Psychology and a music minor.

3 Years Ago...
1. Married Paul in the Las Vegas temple on January 15th, had a wedding day that couldn't have gotten any better (minus finding out a week later that a huge grouping of our wedding day portraits had been erased off of the photographer's memory card, but that wasn't the wedding day so it was still the best), and started our first year of marriage together in our small condo in Las Vegas (we loved living by 3 of my siblings for a short time, now 2 are there, and by 2 of Paul's siblings there in Vegas).
2. Worked at Deseret Industries as a Job Coach Trainer, ideally training, evaluating and supervising trainees in the vocational program, but reastically surpervising the sales floor and sticking to my stubborn prices with customers trying to price-haggle me down over and over again, while also catching a lot of theft and fending off a scary drunk man lunging a wrench at me in order to cut our coat cord and steal one right in front of me (didn't know DI had leather coats did you?)...
3. Switched from working at DI to working at the same architecture firm as Paul as an assistant - we actually really enjoyed working together!
(4. Tried to start cooking on a more regular basis with little experience under my belt, which explained why I once mistakenly cooked chicken in our rice cooker, thinking it was our crockpot)

1 Year Ago...
1. I looked like I had a pregnant suit on or a basketball under my shirt - Baby Taya stuck out far! I also just about died in the heat by the way, ... just about. Around this time, my wonderful friend, Melanie threw a really great baby shower for me. My sisters had a small one for me in Las Vegas too!
2. Worked designing closets, offices, entertainment centers, etc. for people up until the day before I had Taya
3. Gave birth to my little girl who is now quickly leaving her 'baby' stages behind; I started to understand the feeling of motherly love and see what it felt like to feel so responsible and so minded of another being 24/7.

So Far This Year...
1. I have spent thousands of hours nursing and changing diapers.
2. Have watched our 'Social Butterfly' make strangers and friends smile over and over again.
3. Have watched Paul fit into his mold of being a truly, honestly wonderful Dada.

Yesterday I...
1. Took a lot longer on my two work appt.s than anticipated while Paul watched Taya, and thought, wow, I just work part-time and from home for half of it, and here I am just dying to be home with my husband and daughter, this must be what Paul feels like sometimes when he's working a late evening.
2. Said I was sick of cooking for the week (cooking every night makes me want some easy release come Fri. & Sat.!) - so we went to Thai food (my favorite kind of food for eating out) with a handy coupon I found online.
3. Was glad that Taya went to sleep a little early.

Today I...
1. Tried to hold down the fort in Primary, trying to appear as if I didn't have any doubts along the way.
2. Thought how busy my daughter is getting, realizing I get very little out of my church meetings right now b/c she is becoming more of a handfull.
3. Enjoyed dinner with good friends and really enjoyed my husband helping along side me - having his help with dinner makes it so much more enjoyable!

Tomorrow I Will...
1. Get a lot of work done hopefully, and turn in a couple of designs I sold this weekend
2. Get a lot of time in with Taya too of course, and enjoy watching her walk/toddle around and hold a phone to her ear saying, 'Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi....'
3. Browse and think of ideas of what 1st birthday present to get Taya - I've got to narrow down my ideas between baby sign language videos, a baby doll, more interactive books, etc.! Ssshhh! Don't tell her!

In The Next Year I Will...
1. Continue to enjoy having my parents nearby in the valley now.
2. Take Taya on fun playdates, and go on fun dates with Paul too hopefully!
3. Start a design/interior decorating blog?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Laaiiid Back ...

Glad to see our little girl knows how to kick back.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Should I make this two posts or one?

Enjoying the gorgeous sunset from the top of our hike ...

Hmmmm, I was excited to have blogging material all about how we went hiking on South Mountain for the first time with the Bandas on Saturday evening and wondered why we haven't been hiking here the past 2.5 years already, and how Erin impressively carried Chiarra in her Baby Bjorn 7 weeks after having her by C-section, Sean carried a new backpack with 60 pounds in it (!) just to break it in for an upcoming trip, Paul carried Taya in our backpack, and near the end, he carried Taya and little Chiarra with packs on the front and back of him, and I carried --- uhh -- well probably 1/2 pound's worth in Erin's diaper bag. And I was going to tell you all about how we extended our 1 mile plan to 5 miles, even though it was getting really dark, AND I was going to tell you all about our RATTLE SNAKE ENCOUNTER!!! (Paul & Sean saw Bailey, the Banda's dog, reacting to something, which they saw next - a rattle snake slithering across the trail right in front of them! -- They called out to Erin and me to get back, which we did by running and clinging on to each other like babies as we heard the threatening rattle - then we all quietly moved forward on the trail imagining rattle snakes coming out from every next bush, striking our little babies and all, ... okay, maybe only I imagined this?) .......... So like I said, I was going to tell you all about this UNTIL ---

Taya started officially walking yesterday!! This suddenly became much more important to blog about! Paul came in to find me in the Primary room at church yesterday with a big grin on his face and said, 'Um, so Taya's walking now' --- 'What?!' And so then, right there in the very back of the Primary room (lots of extra space) he started having her walk to him. Needless to say we had practiced with her again and again the rest of the day at home, and my parents even came over to witness her new skill (until this point she was taking 2-3 steps at a time, but now she takes 10 at a time and is staying up longer and longer). I know my life is going to change now with her walking, but I don't want to dread a new step that might make some things more challenging, I want to be excited about the many things Taya learns and help her enjoy her new found skills.

I am so grateful for Taya. She is so much fun to be around, and she loves to make people smile. Here she is walking: