Monday, July 25, 2011

Cael's Party, Harry Potter, and a love song.

We said goodbye to some great friends last week. The Gardners finished packing up and moved out to Denver. Steve was asked to transfer there and they decided to go just a couple months ago and it was way too fast...and I did not approve. We miss them already. Jen is a great friend. She helped me so much this past year. Adjusting to living here, watching Tate, crafting play dates. I just love her. And Cael and Tate were little buddies. Last week Tate went to Cael's birthday party. They had a slip and slide in the back yard and you'd think it was Christmas. Here's Cael trying it out.All the kids had so much fun. Jen set up a little slide they could climb up at the front of the slip and slide to give the littles a bit of momentum on the slip and slide. AND there were these great squirt guns that Tate couldn't quite figure out but loved nonetheless.It was a huge hit. Thanks for the fun party Gardners. We miss you guys!

It's been far too long ago now but our Harry Potter evening simply must be documented. My friend Janelle, who lives in Austin, and I have been talking for months about how to get together to see the last HP midnight movie. It seemed like we just couldn't make it work out and then at the very last minute she had quite a nice reason to come down here. She heard about a quilting store closing down here so she made the trip and we hit up a fabulous sale. Everything was super cheap and I seriously stocked up. Thanks for the tip Janelle! The store was crazy crowded, the lines were crazy long, and the kids held up quite nicely in spite of the cramped spaces and the heat. Man, was it hot in there. Here are the three kiddos camped out in the corner (we took turns supervising and shopping). The photo shamelessly stolen from Janelle's blog. Thanks Janelle...

Then that night we snuck off to see the movie. It was so fun to be out with Janelle and to have a good friend to be nerdy with. No, we didn't dress up, but we hoped to make fun of those who did. Unfortunately, there were very very few. But we had a great time anyway. The movie was great. I quite enjoyed it. There were parts that brought me close to tears (I know, I know. But that poor Snape is just so sad.) and I found myself very satisfied at the end. They did a great job wrapping up this story and legacy and I'm really glad we saw it!

And this video, as random and poorly done as it is, is just for my momma. Because she doesn't care how random and poorly done they are, she just wants to hear Tate's voice. The other night I sang "So this is love" from Cinderella, to Tate before bed and for the next 15 minutes we heard him singing over and over, "so this is love, mmmmmm, so this is love, mmmmm." it was so cute. I tried to catch a few rounds from the bathroom next to his room but this is all we got.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Surviving the Heat

I'm finding it difficult to blog about our summertime lives because they're just not super exciting. We're spending a LOT of time at the pool. We're probably there 4 times a week or so. We love it. It's just about a quarter mile walk from our front door so we get in our suits, Tate hops in his stroller, and we head over for as long as we want. Unfortunately I don't have pictures because it's impossible to take them when I'm there with Tate by myself. I'll try to get some when Glenn's home this weekend.
Tate is getting much braver in the water. Last year he didn't care for water in his face at all. This year he thinks he can swim, in spite of the many, many time he's jumped off the stairs to us right before we look and sinks right to the bottom. When we grab him he usually comes right back up with a big smile on his face. At least he knows how to hold his breath. So far. Gives me a heart attack every time.
Our pool has a little play ground with a slide and he's started to love climbing up the stairs, braving the sprinklers, and going down by himself over and over. A feat he never would have attempted last year. It's so fun to watch him just love being in the water and it's a very nice way to pass the time in this nasty heat.
We still get out in the morning for our brief jog around the duck pond and then we've been spending lots of time in the toy room, watching shows, getting things done around the house, running errands. Most of the time Tate is very sweet and patient. Sometimes the poor kid feels like a caged animal. So this morning, we decided to brave an early visit to the zoo. It has been months and Tate was as excited as the first time we went. Poor kid. He just yelled as we drove up, "I see the zoo! I see it! I see it!" He put on his sunglasses himself. I thought it was cute, so we left them. He was just thrilled to see the animals again and kept telling them, "Hey komodo dragon, I came to visit you!" "Hey, big fish, I came to visit you!" "Hey chimpanzee, I came to visit you!"
Oddly enough, I think one of the highlights was seeing this "diver" cleaning one of the fish tanks. Tate thought it was the coolest. He kept waving at him and talking to him. "Hi diver, I'm Tate." We remembered quickly why it's been so long since we've braved a long outside outing. It was so crazy hot. We always visit the drums in the African section, but this time we lingered for about 20 minutes. It was a great little stretch of shade.We both kept guzzling water, seeking every bit of shade we could find, and still left completely soaked in sweat. Yuck. It may be another while before we visit again.
Play dough is another classic keeping cool activity these days. Tate has his own version of play dough play. He wants us to make him cars. Play dough cars. Not just any cars. The cars from the movie "Cars". Here he has Mister the King, Sally, Lightning, Chick Hicks, Luigi, and the tractor. Of course he dictates the color. They must be in the correct color. He especially likes it when the tractor says "mooo" and tips over. We're determined to have a good time in spite of the heat! Thank heavens for air conditioning!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The 4th

We had a great 4th this year. I've been very behind in my blogging to it's taken me a bit to record it, but it was splendid nonetheless. The festivities really began on the 2nd when Glenn and I got a sitter and went to a Red Sox vs. Astros game. We were hoping to rid Glenn of the "curse" of never having attended a Red Sox game where the Sox have won. Luckily, our odds were very good when they were playing the Astros. It was a fun night. Fun atmosphere. And of course the Sox were victorious which made for a very happy Glenn.
On the 4th we went to a little parade in Kingwood. It was a good time. Wicked hot, but we found a spot in the shade and it started early so we didn't feel like we were melting into the pavement until near the end. Glenn entertaining Tate before the parade started:The beginning was a bunch of old cars and Tate and I picked out a bunch of characters from the movie "Cars" which he thought was pretty cool. Here are Glenn and Tate with Mack the truck.

Glenn scored him a few free things, a flag, mardigras beads.However, I can say with absolute certainty that the highlight of the parade for him were the multiple lollipops he ended up with! Better than Christmas.

I think the highlight for Glenn and I was watching this funny lady, seen here cooling herself off from all her exertion. She was hilarious. She was very intense about getting the freebies from every float offering them. She had her little goodie bag and would walk in the street along the floats getting goods from everyone on the float throwing goods. She was out there competing with a bunch of little kids...the best part, there were no kids even in her group. Just her. Getting lots of free candy. For herself. It was like a sport to her. Hilarious to watch.

By the end of the parade we felt like this:

And we were ready to get home for some AC and Tate's nap time.

That evening we met up with the Gardner family, some of our best friends here. Sadly, they're moving to Denver next week! I can't think about it too much. It stinks. Not only are Jen and Steve wonderful, but they have sweet twin daughters, and a little boy just older than Tate. They play nice together and Jen's been a great friend. They invited us to join them for their tradition of going to the Miller Outdoor theater downtown for the Exxon sponsored symphony and fireworks. It was wonderful. The hill was completely crammed but we found a great spot, sweated out the wait until the concert, and had a great time. Jake and JoAnn and family, cousins from my side, were in town for part of the summer and they came over to spend the night with us. Here's Jake and his little girl Jayla

And cutie pie baby Michael.

It's been so nice to spend a little time with them this summer. Their kiddos are so sweet and fun to watch. They play sweet with Tate and JoAnn sure is fun to talk to. I wish we'd been able to spend more time all together with both of our families but both the guys were pretty busy working. Here's our whole group waiting for the concert.

The kids played on the blankets, ate way too much candy and snacks, and had fun listening to the music too, I think. Here's Tate "playing the trumpet" with the symphony.

John gave it a try too.

We adults enjoyed the good music and fun conversation. There's something about patriotic music that makes me so happy, so proud. We sure live in a wonderful country and I'm very proud of it and this was a wonderful way to celebrate it.

The concert ended with the 1812 overture, complete with cannons, which Tate loved, even though at the end of the night he, and the rest of the boys, were looking like this:

Then a great fireworks show. Thanks Exxon. So much fun! I think it may well become a tradition. Happy Birthday America!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Nice Break

Tate and I spent 2 whole weeks in Utah relaxing and doing a lot of playing with family. Glenn was in Utah as well for most of the time, but he was on a field trip with work so we only got to see him a couple of days before he flew back to Texas. We found super cheap tickets so Tate and I totally justified a long trip visiting fam. We were lucky enough to be there at the same time as Aunt Kimber and her kids and they all played so nice with Tate. He was in heaven having so many kids to play with all day long. They spent lots of time outside, which we really can't do here much in the summer unless we're at the pool. They'd go out for long stretches of time and just play on the tramp and wander to the play house and play with the toy food. He was happy and tired at the end of every day.
The first weekend we were there we took a quick road trip to St. George to support Adam in a triathalon. It was really exciting. I've never been able to be at one of his triathalons so we were glad to be in town for this one and give him some support. He was crazy fast and it was so fun to watch. He's a pretty cool guy, my little brother. He even let little Tate try on his swim cap. Tate had mixed feelings about it, but we thought it was hilarious.Uncle Adam was adored on this trip. He had this great game on his phone where Tate could squish ants with his fingers and it made a gross squishing noise. Tate laughed so hard every time he pulled it out and still talks about it often. He was excited to see Uncle Ad every time he came over.

After that weekend we headed back to American Fork and spent the rest of our days playing with cousins, swimming in Nanna's pool, playing outside. I did a little shopping with my sisters, which was splendid.

The marbles were a favorite. My mom has this great little marble ramp thing and I've got to figure out how to make one. He was talking about it on the ride to her house from the airport he was so excited to play with it again. It was well-loved on this trip. So was mom's kitty named Cheyenne. She's very very old and too tired to run too fast or swat at the kids, which is perfect for my very affectionate little guy.

"Hi kitty!"

"She has a nose!"

Tate loves her to pieces.

Tate had a fever for a few days which was a bummer, but we all enjoyed the sick snuggles. He was a little shy on this trip with most of the adults so it was nice to have him willing to snug for a few days. Nanna even got a naptime snug.

Aubs and I took our little ones to the petting zoo at Thanksgiving point one afternoon. It was really hot but we toughed it out! Tate was a bit of a grouch. He was just getting over his fever and was a bit tempermental already and then the first goat he fed was very large and little boy forgot to keep his hand open when he fed the goat so he ended up with his whole fist inside the goat's mouth. He was pretty stressed out and refused to feed any more animals. He spent the afternoon waving at them from a safe distance.Luckily Mya was all over it! She's a pro. I sure love spending time with those little girls. They are so spunky and have such big personalities that are vastly different. It's so fun being their Auntie. Little miss Mya turned 3 while we were in town. It's so hard to believe she's been around for three years! Where did the time go?

Tate and Mya spend some time in the little jail. They had fun getting "stuck" inside the bars and rescuing each other.

This is Tate's new expression...and one of my favorites.

He says "Hmmmmm", pulls his mouth to the side and taps his finger on his cheek like he's thinking really hard. He usually does it when he's sad about something, or even worse, when he's trying hard not to cry. It's darling and so sad watching his little face decide whether or not to let loose and cry. I wonder where he got that from.

Glenn and I celebrated our 6th anniversary while we were out there and we got to go on a date while Nanna watched little Tate! It was SO nice to have a night out without worrying in the least about who we were leaving him with. We had a great time and wonderful conversation about our 6 years. So much has happened. So many wonderful memories and man, we're so happy together. We just spent hours counting our blessings and discussing the years to come.

It was a great trip. So relaxing. So nice. Jogs and workout videos with my sisters, long talks at night, episodes of the Bachelorette (so much better with other people to comment along with), a beautiful afternoon at 7 peaks, great food...basically there are too many highlights of this trip to even mention. It was just what we needed.

We were glad to get home but have so much to do around here. I feel like the settling in will never end. I just got a new calling in the Young Womens so I have a lot of names to learn and things to figure out there but I'm excited about it.

Thanks for a wonderful visit, family. We miss you guys so much!