Monday, June 30, 2008

Belting it out

As I've said before, Asher is an Elmo fan. At the most random times - particularly when we are at the grocery store or somewhere public, he will break forth in song. It's one of those "whose kid is that?" moments when everyone turns to see what all the noise is about. The "Elmo's World" song is definitely a favorite and he sings it with such enthusiasm, it sometimes worries me that a vein in his little head might burst at any moment. His unabashed passion for his songs is just so funny, I can't help but share it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

All Aboard the Rail Runner

Corey came home with this novel idea on Saturday morning after going running. "Let's ride the train today!" I thought, hmmm, this sounds like something fun and different, okay, let's do it. So, we climbed aboard the Rail Runner (a somewhat new venture for our city) around 11 am with our friends Dain and Ingrid (and their kids Dallin and Julia) ready for an adventure. Asher was thrilled about the idea. The plan was to ride it to the end of the line and back (which is about a 45 minute ride with a few stops) with a stop downtown for lunch at Tucanos. That was the plan.

Julia is such cute, chubby baby! Dallin and Asher bugging each other on the train.

We had a fun little ride on the train with a view of primarily the tagged and graffiti-ed cement and crumbling brick backs of old buildings, and some old houses in the less than desirable parts of town. Our stop for lunch was great, minus the 30 minute wait with starving children, and adults too for that matter. We all ate a little too much, which is usually the case at a place that keeps rounds of garlic and salt slathered meat coming to your table until you tell them to stop. I always leave wanting the secret to their heavenly pineapple though.

Anyways, as we were leaving the restaurant, we realized none of us knew exactly when the next train would be coming, and as we arrived at the train platform and checked the schedule the true fault in our plan was discovered...we forgot to plan our trip home. I just figured Corey and Dain had checked and knew the details of our little adventure for the day and was fully trusting in them to make our little journey a success. The next train wasn't coming for another hour and a half (which really doesn't sound disastrous, I know) and we had nothing else on the agenda. What did we do with our time? Wandered the streets of downtown Albuquerque, our first stop leading us to a random little store called Gizmos that Dain said was a sort of Department store. We are going to have to take him shopping more often. Next we headed another block down to the Hyatt hotel get some AC and let Asher indulge in yet another "bel-vater" ride. We found a Keva Juice and stopped there (as if our poor stomachs really needed anymore), and finally headed back to our train ride home. What a wierd afternoon it was! Our downtown area is in desperate need of some good shopping, etc for the poor tourists that get stuck down there!

Pink dinosaur (oops, cut off his head, he had a military hat on) in front of Gizmos.

Our poor planning resulted in some very tired parents, a missed nap, a missed birthday party (a friend of Asher's), and a new perspective of our city. We did finally make it home though, and I think next time the ladies will be doing more of the planning.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Catch up!

Wow, this past week flew by, and for once I had several things to blog about! I was too busy to do it because of a dental convention that I really had no choice but to attend. My hygiene license is up for renewal again next June, and I didn't have any CE's yet (oops, lazy) and the dental convention is by far the cheapest way for me to check some off fast.

MMMmmm. Peanut Butter Pie!

Corey's birthday was Monday, but the poor guy is finishing off two measly classes for his degree so we had to spread it out. He wanted to open his presents on Monday, since he's one of those guys who still remembers what it's like to be a kid on your birthday. I'm sure I've said it before, but this guy loves his birthday. His birthday is usually a week (or more) long celebration...he milks it for all its worth! So, this year was probably a bit of a disappointment because the week was so busy. His brothers dropped by which he really loved...those boys always have a good time together. We went out to dinner another night, and (per his request), I made a peanut butter pie, which I've never had before, but was good! Next year we will probably be celebrating for a month just to make up for it.

Asher and I had some fun over at Brianna's house on one of the days. I got in some adult conversation with the ladies, and Asher splish-splashed his way through the afternoon. Only Brianna could handle all those kids, their moms and food and water being tracked in to her house all afternoon. Call it tolerant, or just plain crazy, either way we all appreciate the break from the routine! I didn't take any pictures that day (again, lazy), but thankfully Brianna is the most amazing photographer ever (seriously, check out her blog) and she took these gorgeous pictures of the afternoon. Thanks so much, Bri!

Nobody wanted to leave the 'baby hot tub.' Bri filled it with hot bath water and all the kids stuffed themselves in.

We finally made the transition to a big-boy bed with Asher. He seemed to love sleeping in his crib, he hadn't ever really made any escape attempts, so I figured he'd be one of those kids who slept in the crib until he was 3 (I hear those exist). I left him in his room a few minutes too long after he'd woken up from his nap, and when I opened his door to get him up, he launched himself off the crib railing and SPLAT...onto the floor he fell. It scared us both half to death, and so, to soothe my incessant worrying of there being a repeat performance, we set up the bed that night. I was armed and ready for a battle of wills with our little man. I was sure he was going to revel in his newly granted freedom, and escape at his first chance. But, to my surprise, he hasn't rebelled even once! I've checked on him after he's fallen asleep, and the worst he's done is switch blankets, then crawl back in and fall asleep. He even calls for me to come and get him out of bed, just like he did when he was in the confines of his crib! Go figure. What a good boy, and what a relief for me.

Some kids fall asleep with their stuffed animals. Asher asks for his books. Funny boy.

Father's Day gave us the chance to pay tribute to our resident Daddy, Corey. He really is such a fantastic Dad. You know how when you get married, you just don't have a clue about how your husband might be as a father?? It's a total gamble. Well, I lucked out and got a real winner in the Daddy department. Corey is the best, and Asher knows it and just adores him. So, we tried to make it a special day for him with sleeping in, presents and a day filled with good food, which I see as the most important part, since food really does seem to be the not-so-secret way to a man's heart. Hope it was a good day for you, Corey!

Happy Father's Day to both of our own Fathers too...we wish we could be closer and celebrate your day with you. Know that we love you and miss you, and appreciate all the zillions of things you've done for us! Thank you:)

Reminiscing with some older photos. These two adore each other. It's so sweet. Corey's favorite thing ever was when Asher would fall asleep on him. Those days go too fast!

See, I told you it was a busy week.

P.S. My sister Jen had her much anticipated baby boy on Saturday!! We are so thrilled for them and can't wait to meet little Mason Joshua! Congrats you guys!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Roughing It...

Or at least that's what we thought it was. I mean, we did actually have a lovely little outhouse just for our use. Corey and I have only been camping ONE time since we've been married, which is really sad. He just can't get past the idea of packing up half the garage for an overnight venture that leaves you filthy, hungry and tired. And having to put it all back and clean everything the next day thrills him even more. This is incredibly ironic considering he was a master scouter growing up; he even worked at a scout camp one summer! Plus, his dad is a forester, and loves the great outdoors. Camping is practically part of his DNA. I, on the other hand enjoy camping and always give Corey a hard time for not wanting to go. So, you can imagine my surprise when Corey called me from Orlando asking if I wanted to go camping. YES! So, after an emergency trip to Walmart and REI, and a few borrowed essentials from Aaron (one of Corey's pro-camping brothers) we were ready. We went with two other families, the Thomasons and the Kings, which really is the way to do keeps the kids occupied and the adults have people to talk to! Keep in mind, this was a bit of a trial run for our poor little wilderness deprived family, so the more things that went right, the better.

The good news is that I don't have any horror stories to share (this time), although that would have made a much more interesting blog posting.

Here's some pics of our camping experience:

Lindsey and Meg sampling the food. Danny cooked up some amazing Salmon he caught in Ketchikan, Alaska...Wow, was it good! (sorry, Liz, he was one of those cruise tourists you so love!) Oh, and did I mention this one is 8 and a half months pregnant? What a trooper!!

Check out those dirty little hands. Isn't Meg such a little cutie?

I love s'mores! I am one of those weirdos who makes them in the microwave sometimes when I have a sweet tooth. A roasted marshmallow sure does beat a nuked one!

Boys and their fire. (Danny and Corey)

Adam stopped by to say hi! He just happened to be in the neighborhood (he's fighting fire in the forest about 20 minutes away).

Shannon with all the kiddos.

Asher's first try with a fishing rod. (The pink pole is Brooke's, we'll have to get Asher a BOYS one for future use.) And next time maybe we'll catch one...after we teach Corey to clean out the fish!

Aaron and his girls (Brooke and Meg).

Heading home with cookie and milk Chug...

...15 minutes later.

I think we might even try this again! Aside from Asher burning his hand on the grill, and me losing my extra photo card, I think think this camping trip was a success!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sunny Fun in Orlando

Our family spent this past week in sunny Orlando. Corey had a conference for work, so Asher and I thought maybe we'd tag along! We had our doubts as to whether or not Asher would care for the M.K. (Magic Kingdom lingo), but were glad we went after all. It was fun to see him run up to all the characters, and to sway back and forth, staring in awe at all those singing, moving little people at "Its a Small World." Although our last visit to Orlando was about 5 years ago, I was quickly reminded of what a remarkable place it was. I mean, really, where else can you see adults in hats shaped like huge birthday cakes walking around like its totally normal? Where else can you spend $20 bucks a day on bottled water without even trying?

We met up with Corey's parents for the first two days of our trip, which was fun. It gave us a chance to check out a few rides we might not have bothered with had they not been there. Disney does, however have a great hook-up for parents with kids under the height limit... the Baby Swap Pass! I almost felt guilty whizzing past all those people in line for Splash Mountain and the Thunder Mountain Railroad...almost.

Asher was totally unafraid of all the characters roaming the parks, and I think we met most of them. He totally posed for his pictures, and hugged them all. It was pretty cute to watch. He even met Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) at Epcot, and the little flirt kissed her on the cheek! Asher's favorite ride was: (drum roll please...) the elevator. Seriously, he couldn't stop talking about needing to ride the "bell-vader." Nothing could top the excitement of that thrilling ride. I think the Nemo ride was a close second, and he seemed to think Dumbo wasn't bad either though.
The worst part of the trip, without a doubt was the heat. At 93 degrees plus humidity, we were roasting out there. My body is much too acclimated to the desert air to not complain in the form of pure exhaustion by the end of each day. Seriously, I never want to go Walt Disney World in the summer ever again, so somebody remind me next time I am tempted.

Torturing heat aside, we did have a really great time. We watched amazing shows (loved Philharmagic, and the Finding Nemo the musical), ate some great food, were entertained by fun rides, and spent lots of quality time together! Now, for some of the highlights:

Going in for the kiss...

Digging for bones at Animal Kingdom. I'm still getting pieces of sand out of my shoes from this place. Asher had a blast...ever tried making snow angels in the sand?

Posing near the castle. Note the cowboy hat. We almost didn't recognize him in it at Epcot Center when we met up with them! Not only did it help him beat the heat, it also helped when we were trying to find him in a crowd.

Animal Kingdom helped Corey get in touch with his roots.

Asher drumming it up at Animal Kingdom. This guy was really great with him, they had a good time.

The safari at Animal Kingdom. This rhino was so close to the vehicle, I swear I could've touched it!

Getting ready for the Bug's Life 3-D show.

This is a favorite memory. Corey saw a street show coming through into Italy at Epcot and thought we should watch it. So, of course he was chosen to be a part of it. Can you see how it pains him?? He was so obviously uncomfortable doing this, I couldn't help but laugh. Hehehe.

Drenched after the drop on Splash Mountain.

Classic...the Dumbo ride.

Asher did a lot of this too.

Who knew that Johnny Depp worked for Disney on the weekends? This guy was a dead ringer!

Oh, yeah. Did I mention we did a day at Sea World? We were total suckers for the character breakfast with Elmo and Friends. Asher was in awe. Funny thing though, Corey bought him a stuffed Cookie Monster, and Asher wants nothing to do with it...go figure.

Reaching in to pet a stingray.

Lots of pictures, but I couldn't help myself!