Friday, August 27, 2010

Grandparent visit!

Wahoo! I'm blogging about the same month that we are in currently! Earlier this month my parents came for a visit. Yes, my mom had just flown down here with me when we moved in...but it had been nearly a month since she left, and my dad hadn't seen our new place yet. Beside the fact that we were used to spending so much time together before the move, and beside the fact that my parents had all four of their children (and therefor all of their grandchildren also) out of state - the school year was about to start, which meant my mom going back to work & visits being harder to arrange. So! My parents drove down for a visit and we were so excited to have them. In fact, Noah made a countdown chain a couple weeks before they came that he pulled a link off of every night - it was great to have that to look forward to before school started and Noah had friends there and a schedule to rely on. So! They arrived early in the evening and we did our dinner at the pool the thing. The next morning we drove to Chandler to take the kids to Maukutu's Island! We needed somewhere fun (and indoors) to take the kids and I found this place online. It was nuts! Check out this picture of one of the areas there (I don't take credit for this photo).
The boys were so excited to go there, and we even got theme dressed in a bit of a Hawaiian theme for the occasion. The only thing that I wish I'd paid attention to was that socks are required - so we had to buy some of their sweet purple Makutu-socks.
The place was huge, and very crowded. Once we went to begin exploring, Noah got really overwhelmed. We had to really coax him to participate and it took Mark and I going up in all the play areas with him (Mark had socks, but my parents bought me some sweet Makutu-socks so I could play too). After a while Noah was having a great time, and he had no problem doing everything on his own by the time we had to go. His favorite part of the place by far was their little zip line. Kids who were too small to reach it had to be lifted up, and my dad must have climbed up the rope net and lifted Noah to the zip line nearly a dozen times that day - thanks, Dad!

The next day we attended church together. There was no particular reason to need a picture, but the boys looked so cute headed into church with their grandparents - so why not?

On Monday we went to lunch at a yummy pizza place called Oregano's that Mark's uncle Ron had introduced us to.

This pizza place is always busy, and even at lunchtime on a weekday there was a healthy wait time. It was worth it though. The boys (who have sporadically been picky eaters lately) ate like champs, so that was fun for everyone. They both had pizza (Noah pepperoni, Linc cheese), as well as did my mom (tomato) and I (mushroom & olives). My dad had a generous sized plate of yummy looking pasta. (Mark was at work) Here is Noah enjoying his food.

Lincoln going the no-utensil route.

Here are Lincoln and Noah with their grandpa in our driveway before leaving to take grandpa to the airport. We were planning to stop for ice cream on our way there - that's why you are getting Noah's hand cupped like an ice cream bowl in this picture.
My mom stayed an extra few days and then drove back home on her own. As a sidenote, my mom has been having severe pain in her knee and it was really bad after her long drive down to Arizona. So, before leaving, she was able to get some treatment done on her knee by one of Mark's colleagues (general Orthopedist), and she had a much more comfortable drive back home - hurray!

We miss you both, but thank you so much for making the trip down here to see us! We look forward to seeing you in Utah pretty soon, and hopefully the next time you come to Arizona we'll be enjoying the fantastic weather that we have here in the winter months!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

July wrap up

All right. Let's just breeze on through the last 3 weeks of July in this post.
Gelato, anyone?

I'm still not completely sure how he got his gelato on the brim of his hat...

Noah took this of Mark and me. Kind of fun to see us from our 4 year old's vantage point.

I'm pretty sure the boys liked it. What do you think?

This was one of the boys' favorite activities the first couple weeks were were here. Climbing on the recently broken down boxes. I believe that Noah was "rescuing" Lincoln from a burning building here...

Lincoln playing trains in our front room.

Noah playing doctor, but not thrilled about stopping for a picture.

Noah with a "patient"...

Lincoln patiently being the patient.


Noah playing cards with his grandma before she left town.

And another series of pictures of Lincoln. He was in a silly show-of mood this day, and was asking me to take pictures of him. He obviously had no plan in mind when he requested the camera to come out, but he had no qualms with hamming it up and improvising. So, we started first with big cheesers and then graduated on to a quick moment of silly-shy...

And then Lincoln got this look on his face, and you could tell what was coming next...

Yup. This. And he held those pose for quite a while to be sure that I got a picture of it.

And, oh boy - did he think he was hilarious!

Just a quick shot of the boys in the bath.

Linc eating a corn-dog in the backyard. Cute little tongue.

Noah climbing the tree in our backyard.

People think I'm nuts, but sometime in July I always start figuring out Halloween costumes. So, I remembered the zebra costume Noah wore 2 years ago (that I loved) and pulled it out for Lincoln to try on. How cute is he? Plus Noah had already decided that he wants to be a tiger (he's really into animals right now), so that will coordinate nicely together too I think.

Anyway, Noah wanted in on the fun so I pulled out our grizzly bear costume for him to wear. Here is Lincoln the zebra giving a big ol' cheeser, and Noah the grizzly giving a scary face.

The boys wanted me to take pictures of the bear attacking the zebra. This picture cracks me up. I love my boys!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Going swimming(ly)

We've been in Arizona for 6 weeks now and things are going swimmingly! We are nearly unpacked and are slowly finding our niche here. Noah finished his first week of preschool last week, and he loves it. He's doing 5 mornings per week to get ready for full-day Kindergarten next year & we're so proud of him. We are also starting to get to know some people from our church, Mark is enjoying his job, and we are all figuring out the best ways to beat the heat! (Any tips are welcome) On July 4th my mom flew down to AZ with the boys and I. She was here for 10 days and helped a ton with the boys while I unpacked and arranged things at the house. The thing she did most with the boys to cool off was to hit the pool! They went to the pool with my mom almost every day that she was here! What a fun grandma, huh? The boys loved that they could just walk over to the community pool right next to our house. Here are a couple of pictures from one of their pool excursions with my mom...

Here are a couple shots of my mom and the boys walking over to the pool. This is directly east of our house (the rock area is a water runoff area), and on the left is the street that runs in front of our house.

I took both of these pictures from our driveway. The pool is just on the other side of the tennis courts. We love this little greenspace right by our house, and having the pool so close is great too!

My mom at the pool with the boys. At first the boys were a little gun-shy about swimming. Especially Noah. He would only go in if you were holding on to him (even on the steps), he got nervous if he carried him too far away from the stairs, and you could forget talking him into something so crazy as putting his face under the water. He relaxed quite a bit over the next few days though, and became comfortable floating around in this little tube on his own.

My two little guys showing off their muscles. Noah:


Linc jumping into the pool to Grandma.

Lincoln feeling pretty proud of himself.

Noah just relaxin' he called it. How cute is he?!

Our family by the pool one day.

As you can see, our pool isn't exactly run-over by people. There is rarely anyone else there when we go actually. One day someone walking by with their dog made a comment about it being too hot to be out swimming. Huh? I dunno. Here's Linc giving a big wave before jumping to Mom.

And now check this out! After a few days of swimming Noah "decided to be brave" and began putting his face under the water! He specifically requested that we take a picture of him accomplishing this feat. After he conquered that fear there has been no looking back. That little guy has seriously become our little fish! I will certainly be doing a more current post on our little swimmer at some point, but here are a few things to give you an idea of how far he's come: He's swimming on his own now and can hold his breath really well! He jumps in (to the deep end) by himself and can turn around and swim back to the wall on his own. He can dive into the pool (kneeling or standing). And he can dive down to the bottom of the pool to retrieve a dive toy. It is so amazing to watch your child acquire and improve new skills, so this has been really fun for Mark and I. I think what makes us most proud though is that (even though we were encouraging) he is the one who "chose to be brave" and conquer something that he was really afraid of. It has been priceless to watch the pride that he has developed in himself for doing this, and his confidence has increased dramatically too. We see a direct correlation between his confidence inside and outside the pool. Once he chose to be brave in the pool and succeeded...then he also chose to be brave and go to Primary at church by himself, and chose to be brave and go to school by himself. So, for us, having a pool nearby has been a blessing on multiple levels.

Here is a picture of Mark throwing Lincoln to me. Check out Lincoln's expression. I love how he just puts his head back and grins while he's tossed into the air. I don't think there was a tense muscle in that little boys body.

Lincoln and his daddy.

Noah and his mommy.

Here are a couple of pictures from lunch time at the pool. Don't forget to notice the sweet farmer's tans...
Lastly, I have to mention that over the last few weeks we have begun coordinating our trips to the pool with dinnertime (for several reasons):
  • No messing with sunscreen.
  • We get to enjoy the beautiful desert sunsets (behind palm trees from our pool).
  • The boys work up an appetite and eat dinner a lot better (especially when they know that once they finish, they can get back into the pool).
  • If they spill on themselves - who cares?
  • The meal (and kid) clean up is so quick and easy, and we come home to a clean kitchen before bedtime.
  • It wears the boys out and they go to bed easier and sleep better.
  • Because it is still such a novelty to swim under the stars and not even be the slightest bit cold. We can lay on the pool chairs, dripping wet (with no towel) and not even be chilly. So awesome. I guess that's one trade-off in the summertime for these 110 degree days. I'll take it!