Thursday, January 31, 2013


Since today is the last day of January, I would like to report that I am doing great on my New Years Resolution to write in my journal every day.  I haven't missed a day yet!  (ok, technically I missed Jan. 2, but as soon as I woke up on Jan. 3 I realized it and wrote pretending it was still the night before.  So posterity will never know I missed a day!  As long as they don't read this blog...)

Anyway, I knew that there would be nights I was very tired and didn't feel like writing.  Well, January 16 was one of those days.  I would now like to share an excerpt of that journal entry with you:

"I am super sleepy (I just woke up from falling asleep on the couch) and I am super out of it.  Violet slept for two and a half hours today!  It was wonderful.  I worked more on her little table!  It is basically done no,w and rqures that you have muscles before you mig time up."

Haha, that is the whole entry!  I have NO idea what I was trying to say at the end.  Every since then, I have really tried to write BEFORE I fall asleep on the couch.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Violet The Teacher

I wish you could have seen and heard Violet reading this book to her class of bath toys.  She lined them all up there during my shower, and when I came out, she was busy teaching class!
I'm just glad her activity table is already being put to good use!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"These ones Violet's"

(Violet and Sofia at the park)

I think I have mentioned here before, but Violet is talking quite a bit lately.  On January 9th, her 18 month mark, we sat down to make a list of words she says and it was hard!  We wrote down about 60 words, and I am sure we missed some.  Everyday she says words that make me think, "you know that word???".  

Anyway, in the last couple of days she has taken a big leap and started talking in phrases, and it is so fun!  It started at the park a couple of days ago when she came up to me with her hands out and said, "dirty hands!".  I noticed that she had put two words together, which she hadn't done very much.  From then on, she was spouting off phrases all over the place!  Yesterday, we were playing with blocks and she pointed at the blocks and said, "These one mama's.  These ones Violet's."  Later, I was vacuuming, and when I turned it off, she said, "It's loud!  It's loud!".  Anyway, it is fun to get to have little conversations with her!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Nursery: A Success

Yesterday was Violet's second day of nursery.  So far, she has been great!  Last week, I stayed in there with her for the first hour, and when I left, they said she cried for a couple of minutes, and then was fine the rest of the time.  Yesterday, I stayed for the first 15 minutes, and she didn't even cry when I left!

One of my happiest and proudest moments as a parent so far (I know that sounds dramatic, but it is true!) was coming into nursery yesterday at the end of church.  Violet was all smiles, sitting in her chair while they sang songs, and when they said the closing prayer she folded her arms along with everyone else.  I can't believe how independent and smart and good she is!  

Here are some pictures we got of her last week, on her first day of nursery! 
(Violet and her friend Hannah.  I think the reason Violet has taken to nursery so easily is because she is already friends with the other 4 kids in there.  Also, these pictures were staged.  We forgot to take pictures during church, so when we were back at church that evening, and Violet was still in her church clothes, we got the pictures.  But that is why Hannah isn't in her church clothes.)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Makeover: Violet's Activity Table

Sorry I haven't been posting lately, I just haven't been very inspired!  But here is a project I've been planning for a while, and finally tackled this week!

My mom has had this little brown coffee table in her storage room for a while.  I also have been wanting to get Violet an activity table for her room for a while.  When we were visiting over Christmas,  I saw the coffee table, and knew that it was the perfect size for an activity table.  And you know how people are always making over furniture these days?  I figured I could probably do that.

Here is how the table started out:
It was actually a pretty color of wood, but didn't look like a kid's table at all.

This was my first experience using spray paint in my life! I couldn't believe how fun and easy it was!  This is after the first coat of spray paint:

The white coat is finished and dry! (you better believe that is the Australian Open in the background.  I'm addicted)

After the first coat of chalkboard paint!  Don't worry, it doesn't stay shiny like that.

The finished product!

I'm already thinking of all the possibilities that have opened up because of the chalkboard paint.  She likes to build with her wood blocks on the table, and maybe someday when she builds houses, she can draw trees and streets around the houses.  And use her toy cars in the streets!  And maybe draw plates and food and have a tea party, or we can draw a play kitchen for her right on the table.  Anyway, for now, she will just have fun scribbling with chalk.  Tomorrow, that is.  The chalkboard paint still needs one more day to cure before we can chalk on it!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Book I Just FInished: Dinner: A Love Story

I just finished a book I loved!  However, you may remember that Glenn wrote one of my New Years Resolutions for me, and that it was to read 50 books this year and cookbooks don't count.  Well, this one was a cookbook (with lots of interesting chapters besides the recipes) and so I didn't record that I read it on goodreads, since that is how I am keeping track for my NYR.  I didn't want to forget that I read and loved this though, so I thought I'd post about it.
Like I said, this book isn't all recipes.  In fact, I'd say at least half of the pages are stories about the author's road to having a good family dinner every night that her kids will eat.  Also, the recipes all looked amazing.  Most importantly, I didn't feel like a bad mom at the end of it like I did after reading French Kids Eat Everything.  After reading this book, I do feel like we don't eat enough fish.  I'm going to make it an unofficial NYR to cook some sort of seafood once a week this year (except in February, obviously) (also except when we are in AZ).  I'm going to start with the Greek style shrimp with feta from this book!  It looks amazing!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A comparison

I am almost done with pictures from our trip to Arizona, I promise!  We went to the zoo the first week were there on a very cold and rainy day.  We had a great time despite the weather, and we got a picture of Violet on the (fake) Komodo dragon.  We also went to the zoo last April, and got a picture on the very same Komodo dragon, and I think it is fun to see how much Violet has grown in the last 7 months.
December 2012

April 2012
She's not a baby anymore!

Monday, January 7, 2013

McAferty Family Pictures

On Christmas Eve, we got family pictures taken with my family in my parents' backyard.  We just got them back a few days ago, and I love how they turned out!  Remember how when Glenn and Violet and I got our pictures taken on the beach there were a lot of good pictures of just Glenn and Violet, but none of Violet and me?  So this time, I specifically asked the photographer to take a couple of just me and Violet, and I loved how those ones turned out.

My favorite one of the whole family:

My favorite of our little family:

Some of Violet and I:

Love this one of Violet and Maggie with their grandparents:

One last one of the whole family:

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Years Resolutions 2013

I have made my New Years Resolutions for 2013!  But before I tell you them, let's review how I did last year:

2012 Resolutions

1.  Be a vegetarian for February - CHECK, I loved it!

2.  Start a book club in my ward - CHECK, it has happened every month since last January and has been awesome!

3.  Do a triathalon - FAIL.  I really tried though!  I got injured in April a couple of weeks before I was supposed to do one, and then tried to sign up too late for the one in September.

4.  Get good at making wheat bread - check... I made wheat bread once a month from January to May, and then fell off the wagon.  I got really good at making pizza dough though!

One thing that is important to me when making New Years Resolutions/any goal is for it to be measurable.  I am always bewildered when I see people's Resolutions (and everyone is posting them right now on their blogs so I've seen a lot lately) and they are things like "Be less busy this year" or "Be more productive this year."  How do you ever know if you've accomplished it?  Anyway, here are my new Resolutions:

2013 New Years Resolutions

1.  Be a vegetarian for February! - I loved this one so much last year I am doing it again!

2.  Write in my journal every day of the year.

That second one is so big I decided to just settle on making those two.  Well, Glenn and I also came up with one for each other, so my third one, from Glenn is:

3. Read 50 books, and cookbooks don't count.

Here's to a great 2013!
(We got family pictures with my whole family on Christmas Eve!  Here is a sneak peek; I will share the rest on Monday!)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Years Eve

I already shared the cutest pictures of New Years Eve, but here is a little recap of how it went:  We had dinner at my parents house with my Aunt Judy's family, we played reverse charades (omg, you should have seen us all acting out the barn dance scene from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers), and then had oliebollen (the best doughnuts ever!) at Glenn's parents house and rang in the new year there.  I wish I pictures to show you of us banging pots and pans on the street!  Glenn was the most enthusiastic pot banger.

My favorite people (most of them)!
(Top row: Amanda, Derek, Justin, Roni, Riki, John
Bottom row:  Annie, Kenny, me, Glenn, Courtney, Judson (looking fabulous, btw)
And because I can't help it, here is the cutest picture in the world again:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas Eve recap

I'm not posting about the holidays very chronologically.  You've already seen Christmas Day and a few peeks at New Years Eve, but I just found my pictures of Christmas Eve, so here they are!  

We spent Christmas Eve at my parents' house, and after the festivities, moved all our stuff over to the LeSueurs' and spent the night and Christmas morning there.  Both my siblings and a lot of my cousins with their families were there, and it was a wonderful time.  We had  enchiladas and tamales (Glenn assembled almost every single tamale single-handedly, by the way.  And I tied them.  My mom tricked us into it.) for dinner.  There was also a pinata, and a very disorganized nativity (that's what you get when the stars  are all under 18 months old).
(we went in age order, taking turns to hit the pinata.  Glenn was the one who finally demolished it completely!)
(Mary, Baby Jesus, a shepherd.  As I mentioned, it was disorganized to say the least)

Also, Santa came.  Violet wasn't happy about it.  

One of the coolest parts of the evening was my Uncle brought some lanterns to launch.  They are exactly like the floating lanterns in the movie Tangled.  They were so beautiful, and we didn't start any fires (that we know of)!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Violet and her cousins

We are heading home to CA today!  It was been a wonderful vacation, but we are just about ready to get back to real life.  I still have Christmas eve and New Years Eve pictures to share with you, but I will do those later.  Today, here is a recap of some of the fun Vi had with her cousins this year!  (ps.  Cheeri, we need to be better at taking pictures.  No pics of Violet with her Redd cousins!)

I'll start with my favorite picture from last night.  My Aunt Judy's family had dinner with us, and my 3 cousins all have little girls, and Kenny and both have little girls.  Prepare yourself for the cutest picture ever.  Behold:
another one because I can't help it:
(from left to right:  Deborah, Violet, Emma, Davi, and Maggie)

Also, Violet and Emma ate together on the piano bench, and we could resist snapping a few pictures:

Earlier in our trip, Violet and Maggie met for the first time!

Violet liked Benson as long as Grandma wasn't holding him :)  Actually, she felt the same way about Maggie.

We love our family, and I'm sure we will be looking forward to our next trip home as soon as we get back to California!

(Update!  Cheeri, I found one!  Violet's older cousins helped her learn to use her hockey stick on Christmas day.)
(Mason, Ruby, and Audrey)