Easter Sunday

We didn’t really have much planned for Easter. And Brian ended up not feeling great. :( But we were able to enjoy some time with the kids, although the big two had to leave us early for their Mom’s family’s annual Easter Egg Hunt.

Saturday evening we had fun coloring eggs. The kids woke early Sunday to find most of them (next year we will set the rules on what time the hunt begins better) leaving some for Arlo to discover too. Brian made the delicious traditional creamed eggs on toast breakfast out of all the findings!

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I was able to get a group picture of the kids before the big two had to leave, though it took a while, because Arlo wasn’t wanting to cooperate, since it was about time for his morning nap. As you can see, poor Colin has recently broken his arm! What a way to start the spring… :( We are hoping he is back in action soon, though it hasn’t seemed to slow him down much anyways.

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After the kids went home and Arlo woke from his nap we spend the bulk of the afternoon outside. We took his new bubbles from his Easter basket, stuffed bunny (from Miss Amanda at daycare, so sweet of her) and some eggs filled with jelly beans and peeps out to the front yard for some fun in the sun. Yes, Arlo liked the peeps haha after he figured out they were yummy and not just sticky. :) One of his favorite things to do all day was to shake the plastic eggs filled with jelly beans.

 

After a bit we decided to take a walk over to Mary Blair Park and check out the progress on the Natural Playground they are putting in by the baseball field there. Arlo had a lot of fun simply playing in the leaves left over from fall. You wouldn’t think it was spring by the looks of these pictures but Thank God it is!

He had fun in the big tire too!

But the MOST fun area is the Music Area of the park they have such amazing simple things to discover different sounds you can make. This one in particular got Arlo really excited! We are so happy this great little spot is close enough to take a nice walk to from our house! :)

Sunny Monday Fun

Arlo and I took a lunch time break to get some fresh air this afternoon and then again to wait for Dad to get home in the evening, where we discovered the mini beach that has appeared in our driveway. Arlo has never been a fan of getting dirty outside, but today… we learned we can just brush sand off of our hands and it’s “all gone”! So, then he really had some fun in it that resulted in needing a bath before dinner tonight!! :)

Tantrums begin… and two little words brighten my day

Typically my little cutie pie is pretty easy going, and of course I always capture his cute happy side in photos, but recently Arlo has been starting to throw some serious tantrums, it hasn’t been fun. It seems to be especially when in his chair at the table and decides he is done or in a chair at a restaurant, or sitting in the grocery cart for longer than he would like, or in his car seat, basically he doesn’t like to be in one place for long and will let you know it. He is so physically strong, strong willed and high tempered, it is required to strap him in to his high chair because he will lean and pull and stand up, if not and I fear he will fall on his head one of these days. When he starts a fit in my arms I feel at times I might drop him he will push off and lean and arch and I must put him down and then he is even more upset that I put him down even though he didn’t seem to want to be held.

Plus he is getting new teeth (molars) in so that adds to the fun especially at teeth brushing time. It can be frustrating watching him express his frustrations like this. And I know he doesn’t have the verbal capacity to express what he wants and how he feels and I am trying to have as much patience with him as possible, but it isn’t always easy.

Then after having a bit of a rough morning today, he comes over to me while I am at my computer and reach down and I say to him “Hi, Arlo.” and he  says “Hi, Mum” right back and my heart just about burst to hear it! (Of course he wont say it a second time and simply smiles knowingly when I asked.) :)

He has been playing with saying mumm mumma etc. lately, but not really in the right context and still says dada or ada when i ask him to say “mumma” directly, always with a smile like he is playing a cute game. And though he was saying “all done” a while ago it seems he has abandoned that for the aforementioned tantrum acts. Miss Amanda at daycare told me he said “cheese” when she was getting him some for snack last week too. He hasn’t said too many real “words” yet even though he has been very vocal and so to hear “Hi, Mum” today after I said “Hi, Arlo” was simply amazing. And definitely made my day, even if it will most likely contain a struggle or two or three to come later, I will hang on to the excitement that those two little words brought me, for as long as I can.

 

 

Spring is here!

Yesterday it really felt like it was finally here, the sun was shining and the air was warm. We did some outdoor things in the yard like raking, hanging up a new swing for Arlo, fixing up our bikes getting them all ready to ride (we still need to get Arlo a helmet this week before we really go anywhere but we let him test out his new ride in the yard), we even got our fire permit for the year and had our first fire in the pit, ate hot dogs and ‘smores and all was good in the world again! Bring on more warm weather!

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13 Month Update

I still can’t believe that I have a one year old! It seems like yesterday I was holding you in my arms for the first time. What a magical moment, one that I will never forget and that has changed me forever. And you just keep on changing too!

You’re communications skills have started to improved so much in the last couple of months. You shake your head no and yes and use the sign for milk a lot which is most of the time for milk, but sometimes it is also for more, or that you need something, or even a backwards wave hello/goodbye. You say “DaDa” all the time… still workin’ on “MaMa” but I have heard it here and there. You also say “all done” when we ask if you are all done after you are eating and other things. And of course you clap your hands all the time. :) yay! so cute.

You play very well with your blocks and you love taking lids and covers off of things and putting them back on. You can get frustrated sometimes though with this game. You are a little bit of a perfectionist already I think, and very determined and focused on your task at hand, and most of the time you do NOT like it when I try to help.

We also play pass with a ball back and forth and it’s really fun, you like to play peek-a-boo too!

You also like to pull things out, like clothes from drawers, tissues from boxes haha.

You are cruising along with that new push behind toy, you are all over the house! Just this past week you are standing up on your own in the middle of the room. :) I get so proud of you and you get so excited and proud of yourself too I think. It wont be long before you are confident enough to do it all on your own and then mommy will have to really chase you! :)

You climb up and down and up and down on things like bags of pellets and even your diaper box!

We took you to the mall a few weekends ago to play in the little play area with the other kids and you had a ball. You liked going down the little slide and through the tunnels once you got brave enough to do it and discover how fun it was. :)

Ever since winter began you like to lay down in your tub on your tummy, (probably to keep warmest). It’s very cute and you like to kick your feet and splash and you are practicing your blowing bubbles better now too!

You are doing so well at daycare, she even has you napping on the floor now instead of the crib, just like the other big kids! Wow! We are so lucky to have such a great place for you to play and grow and experience time away from us and the house.

You have the best personality so loving and affectionate, cautious, gentle, sweet and happy. I love how funny you think you are. You are so silly and you laugh at yourself and your silly mama all the time. :)

You love your sunglasses and putting things on your head (or trying) it is so funny how happy it makes you to put them on just to take them back off a couple of seconds later. :) This winter seems like it will never end, but I think you are as excited for it to be sunglasses weather as I am!

We are having a bit of a hard time trying to transition you away from bottles. It’s time to start using your sippy cups more and you are very stubborn stinker. You will drink water from your sippy cup fine but if you put milk in… eh not so much…

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Practicing with your utensils is messy business but fun and you really enjoy it, so much so that you forget to eat and mostly want to play so we always make sure to have a back up set so we can feed you and make sure you get what you need too! :)

This week we went to Manchester to take my car to the shop and we stopped in at the Airport Diner for some breakfast. You immediately had your eye on the balloons they had by the door, when we left and you got to have one of your own to take home, you were so so happy. You played with it all day long! You certainly love balloons and it makes made me so happy to see you having so much fun with it.

You are growing up so fast, even driving daddy’s truck already! :)

I think we might start with something a little more your size. Something more like this might do for now I think buddy. :)

I look forward to all the many exciting things to come, walking, talking and fun in the sun, if spring ever comes. :) I love you so much little one.

Mid-Week Sneak & Warm Weekend Fun

Bri and I played a little hookey on Thurs. It was a gorgeous day and we threw the idea out there to go to Manchester and do a little skiing while Arlo was at daycare. So, an hour later we had all our gear packed up and we went for it! :) Brian had not skied in 30 years! hehe So he was really learning all over again. It took him a couple runs to get confident and then we were good to go! :) On to bigger mountains next year we hope! It was so nice to spend some fun alone time together. We definitely needed it.

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After skiing went home did a little work, changed, picked Arlo up and headed back over to Bedford to watch Isabelle sing in her chorus concert. She was in a Trio! They did so good and we were very proud of her. Arlo enjoyed all the music and clapped for everyone so well! :)


We only had the kiddos for a short weekend visit because they are heading to Puerto Rico tomorrow morning with their mom for February Vacation. Lucky Duckies. We had our own warm spell today and decided to get out for a while and take a walk and play with some great snowball snow.

And we also checked out Dad’s new truck we inherited from his Grandpa Dewey that made it’s way over from AZ to us this week. Arlo really enjoyed playing around in the back. :)

Sunday Funday

What a great little Sunday we had this weekend. We just got another round of fresh snow on Saturday night and Sunday greeted us with sunshine and balmy 30 degree weather! :) So we took advantage and went out in the morning and did a little family snowshoeing and playing in the snow.

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Too Sunny!

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That’s better! :)

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Even Rufus snuck out for some snowy fun! :)

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Then in the afternoon we took Arlo over to Chuck-E-Cheese to play a little and get some pizza for a late lunch. He really enjoyed the pizza and had a lot of fun on the little slide and rides and games too. :)

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First ride on the carousel! :)

It was a great way to welcome Brian back from his work trip last week. We are happy he is home. xoxo

My Funny Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

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Brian is on his way home from California today and we are hoping he makes it fine and dandy by tonight. Though he will have a driveway full of snow to clear off when he arrives unfortunately. :(

Arlo is off to Daycare today, we switched days because of the storm yesterday. Earlier this week we made a special Valentines Card for Miss Amanda and we are excited to bring it to her with a little chocolate treat too.

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This morning I made Arlo a special Strawberry Banana Oatmeal breakfast, then we got dressed in our Valentine’s Day Outfit. (thanks for the shirt mom/grammy) :)

Then momma strapped on her snowshoes and we trekked over to Daycare! :)

We made it with no major problems thankfully, and then when I went to get the mail… before heading in I fell backwards… don’t worry I saved the mail! :)

And why yes, that is Duck Tape on our mailbox post, because yes, the snow plow broke it earlier this year and we can’t really do much more about it until spring. So Duck Tape it is! We keep things classy over here. :)

Happy Birthday Arlo!

We celebrated Arlo’s birthday a little early by having a party this weekend. It was so great to have people over to the house to celebrate with us. I can’t believe that Arlo is turning ONE! One year gone by already since the magical day that he came into the world and our hearts.

We themed the party to be a Winter “One-derland”. Complete with snowman door, snowflakes, and a year full of photos of Arlo and friends hanging in the windows. The kids and Brian all got involved and helped me decorate the house. Bri and I stayed up till midnight decorating a cute snowman cake too.

Arlo looked great in his white shirt and tie to start the party off… my handsome little man. He was in love with the balloons. I was surprised that he even popped a couple and it didn’t scare him as much as I thought it would. He couldn’t get enough of them! :)

Of course he needed a wardrobe change halfway through.. oh well. Arlo had a great time at his party. I was so pleasantly surprised how well he handled having a bunch of people in the house. He actually hammed it up and loved the attention after the first little fear and shyness wore off… hmm go figure, he must be my kid! :) He was definitely aware somehow all day that this day was all about him.

We played games, had cocoa, mingled, ate some sandwiches and lunch and then came time for the Cake and Happy Birthday song! :) Arlo was very timid about eating his cake at first. Tried taking a sprinkle or two off and then got frosting on his hands and didn’t much like that, but once Dad gave him a bite with a fork he realized that it was ALL GOOD and dove right in.

After cake most people had to start heading home. We tried to get the sugar filled yet tired little birthday boy to take a nap with not much luck of course. So, after a few minutes of chatting and catching up with my Mom and Teresa, we brought him back out to open his presents. Arlo was super excited about all of his new fun toys and gadgets. The most amazing thing happened when we put together Grandma Ann’s gift of a push behind walker toy… He just decided he would take off across the room, again and again and again. With a big smile on he was loving his new found skill and independence. It was all too much for me to take in one day my little boy looked like such a big boy walking around the house after his birthday party, brought tears to my eyes.

We had a tough time getting him to sleep… like at all that day but totally worth it for all the fun that was had.

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who came to celebrate with us. :)

To Grandmother’s House We Go…

Over the country and through the desert, to Grandmother’s house we go! Well, went… it already feels like forever since we went out to Mesa, Arizona to visit with Ann and Dave. This trip began and ended with stressful days for us but while we were there it was glorious. Friday we woke up to our furnace not working and a cold house. We had a lot to do to finish up work and packing and get someone in to fix the heat all before we had to leave for the airport by 2pm. Somehow miraculously we got it all done and made it out. Here is Arlo staying warm that morning. :)

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At the airport in Manchester Arlo met a buddy. They were so cute and chasing after each other. :)

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Then we had a late and full flight with a squirmy Arlo all the way to Chicago, where we had to literally run to make our connection and although we made it… our bags, not so much. But on the upside it wasn’t a full flight and we got the back row all to ourselves and Arlo slept most of the next 4 hours on the middle seat. :)

It was a long day. We arrived at 11pm which really was 1am our time. And we were tired from dealing with all the events that started that day back at home at 6am. When we realized our bags didn’t make it it was like ugh… one more thing. And we needed to have formula and diapers and such for Arlo of course… luckily, the airline told us that they would reimburse us up to 50 dollars for any supplies we needed to get and that our bags should show up the next day. So, we headed to walmart to get some necessities and then home, but not before stopping at IN N’ OUT burger for a late night snack too! :) Even Arlo got to enjoy it, he was a total burger and fry thief!

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Needless to say sleep was amazing that night. In the morning the day was already so much better. We awoke to breakfast being made and a beautiful sunny morning with a great view of the mountains from Ann & Dave’s lovely home.

They even have a lime and lemon tree in their backyard! The lemon tree had two lemons on it and we were told to pick them and we would make a pie! :) I was so thrilled to pick a lemon from a tree, hehe it’s the small things.

That day we decided to stay close to home so that Arlo could get some proper napping in. So our big activity was to go over to the local Swap Meet to look around. This place was huge, miles of the most random, beautiful, funny and interesting things.

We bought some souvenirs for the kiddos, a dream catcher for Arlo, and a couple of Native American made flutes for Colin and Izzy. Brian got an Ironwood Turtle. (Ironwood is a type of wood native to the Sonora Desert.) And I got a few pairs of funky new tights and a pair of amber earrings.

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Arlo enjoyed crawling all around Grandma’s house and finding all of the places she doesn’t have Arlo-proofed. :)

That night, Arlo hung out with Grandma and Grandpa and Brian and I got to go to the movie theater near by and watch The Hobbit! :) We had a great little date night, we miss going to the movies and feel so out of the loop not knowing what is coming out or in theaters anymore since we don’t have cable either. The movie was awesome and the trailers were exciting for some of what is to come this spring! :) I hope we can get some more babysitters lined up.

The next day we went on a scenic drive into the mountains and up to Canyon Lake. We stopped at a few scenic places along the way. I was so excited to see the cactus until one attacked my shoe! Ouch! :) Arlo enjoyed our trip as did we, it was truly beautiful and enormous and inhabitable spaces so close to such a large city.

We took a little pit stop at this place on the way back. :)

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Did you know that the inside skeleton of a saguaro cactus is actually wood like this… ? I didn’t. And that the iconic saguaro cactus only grows in the Sonora Desert?! :)

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That night we enjoyed a lovely dinner with Ann and Dave and close family friends Bob and Diana who now live right down the street from them and with Brian’s Uncle Dale and Aunt Martha who live in San Diego and made the 7 hour drive over to see us for a couple days while we were there. We had the delicious lemon meringue pie for dessert and played cards after dinner.

The next day Monday, happened to be my 31st birthday. And what better way to spend it then viewing some great art! We all went to a really awesome southwestern art museum in the morning. It was actually a private collection of a man who owned a local grocery store chain there. Basha’s. Mr. Basha had many artist friends and was a big collector and has his collection in a beautiful jam packed gallery at their corporate headquarters. It was free to the public and you could take photos and everything. I was overwhelmed by the beautiful works it contained. These are just a few of the many many photos I took of things I really liked.

We then all went out to lunch at a local favorite place that Ann and Dave enjoyed and we could see why. The food was very yummy. After that we planned to head to downtown Mesa and check out the Contemporary Art Museum that was having a fun show on display called “Messing with the Masters”. However, we learned that the museum was closed on Mondays. :( But we did enjoy walking around the outside which had some pretty fun architecture and structures and design to it itself.

Then we hung out for a bit and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and the fact that there was green grass on the ground. Ahhh! Never been on green grass on my birthday before. I was in heaven.

That night, Diana so graciously watched Arlo and Martha, Dale, Ann and Dave, Brian and I all drove the 45 min into Phoenix for an amazing birthday dinner at the top of the Hyatt Hotel. The restaurant was called The Compass and it literally revolved one full revolution per hour so you could get a full circle view of the city. The food was of course 5 star amazing and and the ambiance and company was fantastic too. It was a very special birthday. Thank you to Ann and Dave and Dale and Martha for showing us such a good time.

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The next day Ann had made reservations for Dale, Martha, Brian and I to go horseback riding down by Saguaro Lake while she watched Arlo in the morning and then her and Dave and Arlo would meet us down there for lunch before Dale and Martha had to make the drive back to San Diego. The horseback riding was so great! I have never done that before really and I was super excited. So was Brian, I think he had the biggest smile on his face the whole time that I have ever seen. He sooo wants to be a cowboy haha. However, I am not sure I am cowgirl material it turns out…

This is my horse for the day… Rock Star, she was a wild black stallion before she became a tour guide. And she was a rock star in the way that she didn’t want to follow the rules.

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Here is Bri on his horse – Undelay.

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At the beginning of our ride we actually had to cross a river!! I was so nervous. I didn’t take many photos while riding, my horse as I mentioned was a little bit stubborn. Didn’t want to go in the water, didn’t want to follow the group… And I was a little to timid to really be as aggressive with her as I should have been with kicking etc. So, our cowboy guide had to help me out from time to time and grab the rope of my horse and lead me along like I was on a little kid pony ride hahaha. Oh, me….

Brian’s horse kept trying to eat things along the way and he was constantly tugging on him to get back on track. When we stopped at a scenic spot for photos that our guide took of all of us, we learned that my horse and Brian’s didn’t get along, and as we were standing next to each other you could tell. haha

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We went through one area that was called “The land of the Giants” because we got so close to such large Saguaro’s it was pretty awesome. We learned a lot about the desert and the area’s history from our guide and the scenery was amazing. It was a special memory from our trip for sure.

Lunch was good and we enjoyed having Arlo with us as it seemed we were away from him for a while between the night before and the morning. He had fun playing with Dadda’s sunglasses and making everyone smile of course.

The next day we took a ride over the little fake old western gold mining town setup that they have in the town near their house. It was a fun little outing. We even got to witness a real western shootout performance! :)

One of the performers was sitting outside one of the buildings and had this little scorpion on a string and was pulling it across the street. Of course he says over to me, watch your step, I look and scream and jump just like he was hoping for…. Oh, me again.. haha.

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Not sure how he feels about being a cowboy…

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This cute little church actually held Sunday services.

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In the later afternoon we took a drive over to South Mountain where you can drive up the mountain road to an amazing view of Phoenix below.  Little A man took a nap on the way over there. It’s so cute when he is tired and he plays with his eyelashes. My sweetie pie.

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On our way back home we stopped at a yummy Italian restaurant for dinner. Then spent our last night in Arizona hanging out at Grandmas and going for one last dip in the hot tub in the back yard! :)

Ann and Dave live in an amazing Retirement Complex. The “neighborhood” contains 3,000 houses and is almost like a mini town in itself! They have cool activities and classes and all kinds of active living for 50+ people to do, golf courses, tennis. It was huge. The houses themselves were really nice too. The only thing that was strange was that there is no grass, rock lawns with cactus and shrubs. In the morning before we left we wanted to go and check out some of the Model Homes they have just to see the different styles and setups. It was fun to see the lovely decorated sample homes.

A damper was put over us the day we left as well though, we wouldn’t be arriving home until midnight and we received a call from the woman who came to check on our cat over the week saying that when she checked that morning that our house seemed very cold the thermostat read 45 degrees… so we worried about what to do all day about it, had her go back and leave the key we gave her and Brian called a friend of his to go over and start our pellet stoves for us so at least those could start warming the house a little until we returned. We would return to a cold house in the middle of the night and have to deal with getting someone to fix the furnace again. Ugh. This news made our leaving AZ even more bitter than sweet. We wished we could just stay in the nice weather and enjoy some more time away from our reality of life but alas it was time to go home.

The flights home were pretty uneventful and easy just long, the first one was full again to Chicago but the girl who sat with us was very nice and helped entertain Arlo and he just flirted with her right back most the time. :) She even held him for a little bit! He played with her necklace and was just having a ball. He was also able to take a little snooze too which was great. And then the second leg we got a whole row again and he slept well again.

It was good to be home when we finally arrived but we sure did have a great time in Arizona it flew by too quickly, and we already look forward to returning for another visit someday. :) THANK YOU so much for everything Ann & Dave.