Friday, May 30, 2014

How Do You Get a Farmer's Tan?

So much for keeping up on the blog while we were on vacation. I had high hopes.

Now I have no idea where to start with my catch up...

Okay, I just decided. We'll start with what was probably my favorite day (and the longest and hottest) of the whole vacation.

It all started early Saturday morning. The Rackham's, who we were staying with for the weekend, just bought (built) a new house. Their landscaping deadline was quickly approaching so we decided to help. Nothing like picking up big rocks and carrying them across the street to start off the weekend. Not sure that we were really that much help but it was still fun to work with them.

Next we met up with Darin's family to watch Derek's football game. Despite getting some major sunburns and a frustrating lost, we had such a good time catching up with family. It was wonderful to see Shae interact with his cousins Kyler and Claire. Shae obviously doesn't really understand the whole family thing quite yet, but it was fun to see Claire understand and get so excited to see baby Shae and baby Shae's mom, as she called us. Kyler is so great with the little cousins and we had a blast talking to him, rather, listening to him.

Shae wanted to do everything that the big kids were doing...

...And have water poured all over him courtesy of Grandma Sharon.

Such a good looking crowd. Just missing one face :(. (Sad we didn't get to see Devin!)

Love these cute faces! 

I think I'll save the rest of the day for tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Church History Museum

After our wonderful morning at the park we decided to spend the afternoon wandering around temple square. Amelia suggested that we check out the Church History Museum as well and that is just what we did. What a spectacular museum. I didn't get to look around the "adult" history as much as I would have liked but the "kid" history section made up for it, it was incredible. Shae probably could have stayed for hours if I hadn't dragged him away.

There was a little kitchen with all kinds of toys and food and a table to the side that you could set up for family dinner. Shae is really into lining up cups lately so he really enjoyed this section.

Next to the kitchen is a little fruit and vegetable garden and next to that were chickens laying eggs (not real ones, obviously) where the kids could go pick the eggs.

There was a fun section with dolls lined up that you could change their clothes and play with.

Noah's ark. 

A little truck with tons of puppets in the back. 

If you haven't been, make sure to stop there the next time you are in Salt Lake City and are looking for some free fun for your kiddos. 

Friday, May 16, 2014


This little boy of ours is on the go...constantly. Every night before going to bed the same thought crosses my mind: What am I going to do to keep the boy busy tomorrow?

As I was pondering on that thought the other day Amelia suggested some things that we could do here in SLC. We took her up on few of her suggestions and when the morning came ventured out to Liberty Park. If only we had a Liberty Park right down the street from us at home. Greatest park we've been to to date. (Plus the weather was pur-fect which made it all the better).

We walked around for a good while, passed Tracy Aviary and saw a few of the gorgeous birds that you can see from the outside. We also passed quite a few areas with fountains that I imagine are really fun to play by when the water is turned on. Stopped to play at a really cool playground where Shae literally played with the mulch in this house for a straight 15 minutes.

Then on our way back to the car we found the geese and ducks. Oh my heavens. We could have easily stayed there the rest of the day.

One of the first words that we are picking out from Shae's limited vocabulary is something to the effect of "dock-ie." Originally I thought he was saying daddy. Then I was positive that he was doggie. While playing with the ducks I realized I was saying duckie and how similar that sounds to daddy and doggie. I immediately stopped calling them duckies and began calling them ducks. You know, just trying to help a kid out. It's a tough thing learning a language (Can you imagine if we next went and saw some donkeys. If I were him I would start calling every animal "dock-ie" at that point.

(This reminded me of one of my MTC ESL students asking me to pronounce "lemonade" "laminate" and "lamanite"'s a tough world we live in).

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Just Some Things That Happened Last Week

We went to a baseball game!

New stadium to add to our list! The Diamond, where the Richmond Flying Squirrels play. (Love Minor League team names...they played the Erie Sea Wolves. What the heck is a Sea Wolf?)

We went up with a co-worker of Darin's and his girlfriend. We even went all crazy like and found a babysitter for Shae because we actually wanted to watch the game.

Shae fell asleep in his stroller while we were out for a walk. As I said yesterday, this NEVER happens which clearly makes it picture worthy. 

Shae got to meet his Great Grandma Nancy and Great Grandpa Santa! They were up in PA visiting family and were sweet enough to take a few hours to swing down and hang with us.

I love this picture because Shae and Gracie look so into each other:

They are just the sweetest couple ever! It was great to catch up with them and I'm glad that Darin was able to get to know them a little bit.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Flight with the Baby Phoenix

Since leaving home and moving out to Utah I have flown quite a bit. Usually at least one to two times a year for Christmas and occasionally for summer. Then there was Chile and Argentina as well. For the most part I really enjoy flying. The days can be long and slow but with my busy college life it was always a nice semi-relaxing time to read a book, close your eyes, listen to music, write in your journal, etc. I got excited thinking about our flight to Utah, the book I wanted to read and the music I wanted to put on our ipod...and then I remembered one tiny detail:

Oh yes, I have a toddler. Good bye semi-relaxing flight time. I'm really really grateful that Darin and I flew together, I don't know how so many parents fly solo with a toddler. The thought frightens me. With the two of us we seemed to be able to manage the boy without too much difficulty. He did have a hard time staying put for two and three hour periods on the plane and since his attention span is approximately 34.5 seconds we went through lots of books, snacks, toys and little clips of shows. He was busy but never threw a tantrum or got overly fussy so overall I'm really impressed with how well he did (the girl sitting next to me who had goldfish dropped on her leg every two minutes might have thought otherwise...).

The only thing that could have made it better was if he had slept a little bit more. He was really worked up with excitement the entire first flight and then right as we were landing he was so worn out that he just sat completely still on Darin's lap. That never happens follks. (We have a busy body boy). I started to think, "He is seriously going to fall asleep right now as we are landing." And sure enough:

This is somewhat of a phenomena. Shae never just falls asleep in our laps. He has to be in his bed or wrapped up in our arms with a little bouncy jig to woo him into Neverland. But of course he couldn't have picked a worst time to fall asleep, as soon as we land and everyone starts moving he wakes right up.

Then we had an hour and a half layover in Detroit which Shae loved because he got to run rampant up and down the escalators and back and forth on the floor escalators (do those have a name?) all the while drumming on all chairs and flirting with all the ladies in his path.

After wearing us down and getting a few dirty looks because the cute "little toddler walked in front of my fast paced walk to my next gate" we decided it was time for some calm Frozen apple eating, and so we did (Can you tell that Frozen is one of the few...only...Disney movies we own? Good thing Shae loves it). 

A few minutes before we started to board Darin did the bounce jig and got the exhausted child to sleep pretty easily. Hoping he would sleep for the entire three and a half hour flight seemed like a long shot, especially after he woke right up about 15 minutes after take off.

Considering he only got about 30 minutes of nap in and that we didn't end up getting to Aunt Amelia's until well after midnight EST, we were SO happy with his performance. He was a real trooper through it all and has (thank goodness!) adjusted to MST quickly.

And now we are in Utah and loving the beautiful mountains, cool temperatures and dry air that keeps my hair tame. As well as our awesome family and friends! 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Prom Night

We made a quick trip up to PA this past weekend, well, Shae and I did. Darin dropped us off and continued on to Ithaca, NY where he attended a Southeast Asia conference being held at Cornell. Lucky for me and Shae, my parents live right on the way.

We found some time on Saturday where almost all of us could go to the park (Philip had already left for work). 

The difference between a boy and a girl on prom day is that you'll never find a girl playing with her nephew at a park 45 minutes before she has to meet up with her prom date.

We hurried home after the park, A.J. took a quick shower, threw on some clothes, combed his hair and was on his way. 

A.J. was on prom court so there was a chance (a highly likely chance he told us in the most humble fashion) of him becoming prom king. Family was allowed to watch the announcement and we weren't about to miss the opportunity of seeing our little bub be crowned king. We went on our way to Hershey where the prom was being held and about half a mile away from where it was being held this happened:

^^This quickly turned into this, due to our spare tired being rusted to the piece holding it up under the van. We couldn't get it down, the nice man who stopped to help us couldn't get it down, the AAA guy couldn't get it wasn't pretty. 

During all of this Shae and I quickly walked up to the museum where prom was being held but had already missed the court festivities. Sadly, A.J. was not crowned prom king and made us go through this four hour craziness for nothing.

We got to ride in a massive tow truck which was the excitement of the day. 

We came home after the long outing happy to see that the pizza dough that was left rising on the counter for WAY to long looked unharmed. Threw some cookies in the oven as well because after that kind of a day all you really need is a good chocolate chip cookie. Sat down to eat at 9pm and thought about A.J. who was on the dance floor bustin' a move through the entire fiasco.

Crazy day.