"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Super Bean

As some of you know, a few family members sometimes refer to Weston as "the Bean." Jason started calling him that when he was practically the size of a bean, and since, many variations of the title have emerged. A few of these include "cutely bean," "sweet bean," "baby bean," and even "beanie weanie." Well, tonight Weston became SUPER BEAN!You know little hooded towel thingies? Well, a lovely family friend made one for Weston when he was first born. It was so big I figured it wouldn't be the right size for at least 10 years. (slight hyperbole)
Well, Weston has entered a new age where he hates post-bath dry off time. I was getting flustered the other day trying to manuever his squirming body out of the bathroom when suddenly I remembered the cool hooded towel that Sister Swan made. He LOVED it!! I still had a hard time tackling him down to put a diaper on, but at least he was happy.

Because it looks kind of like a cape, the term "Super Bean" was born. Although, I must admit he looks more like Mother Theresa in the picture below! Super Bean is definately a water baby. Sometimes I let him play in the kitchen sink while I cook just to keep him occupied and happy. He would play there for hours if I let him!

Last Sunday I plopped Weston on the counter (again to keep him happy while doing something in the kitchen). I didn't realize that I had plopped him right next to some left over cold spaghetti that I was going to warm up for myself. When I saw him dig his little hands in the meat and sauce, I could hardly believe it. He just started eating right out of the bowl with his fingers.
Now, I realize that the scene I just described would be a nightmare for most moms. Letting your toddler sit on the island of the kitchen eating cold leftovers with his hands and making a huge mess in the process - not a mother's dream come true.
However, if you knew how many months it took to get this kid to eat ANYTHING, you would understand the joy that filled my heart when I saw Weston stuffing his face with glee! I didn't even have to coax him. It was wonderful!
I may not be teaching Weston the best eating manners, but at least he's happy, right? (I don't sound like a hippie do I?)
The other way he loves to eat is sitting at the big table on a big chair! He's so tall that it actually works (although I only let him do it once in a while).
I am so thankful for this little munchkin. He fills our lives with so much joy... (and exercise, from chasing him around so much. Sometimes I wonder, with so much exercise, why am I not supermodel thin by now?!?)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What a difference a nap makes

BeforeAfterNeed I say more?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Disney World Extravaganza

Last Wednesday Weston and I woke up at 3:30 in the morning to catch a 6:00 flight to Orlando. We met my mom at the airport, spent way too many hours in the air (at least for Weston), and after a connecting flight and a long bus ride, finally made it to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.

My mom had won a trip to Disney World through her company (along with about 1300 others), so the first night we were there they had a huge BBQ rib dinner for us in the Animal Kingdom. The vegetarians might not have been thrilled, but I was in heaven!
The funniest thing happened at the dinner. To start with, you could have confused it with a church activity if you were judging by the number of kids in attendance. Weston, after a long day of sitting, was extremely antsy. Mom and I alternated chasing him around, because if there's one thing he can't resist it's socializing with other kids. He loves being around kids (except in nursery at which time he cries hysterically until rescued).
At one point some lady with a fun poofy skirt was bending over her stroller. Weston happened to be right behind her, and I guess he couldn't resist the skirt because he reached up and with both hands grabbed that lady's derriere!!
The next day we were up and at 'em at a decent hour I thought. Here we are waiting for the bus to the Animal Kingdom: Walking up to the Animal Kingdom... we brought our own little monkey to keep tabs on Weston. I don't know what I would have done walking through masses of people without this leash. As you can see, Weston isn't so much of a stroller rider as he is a stroller pusher.
We realized within 5 minutes of arriving at the Animal Kingdom park that waking up at 8:00, which seemed like a good time, was beginning to take a toll on Weston since 8:00 Florida time is like 5:00 Vegas time. The poor little man wasn't handling it well, so as soon as we got there we caught the next bus back to to hotel for a nap. We decided to take a nap too.
Here we are, the second time around (much more rested this time) waiting for another bus, this time to the Magic Kingdom.
One of my favorite things about trips like this is meeting people. We met so many wonderful families the entire time we were there. These people were from Louisianna. I told them how my husband had lived there for a couple years and wished I would cook "southern" for him. One of their three kids asked, "What does it mean to cook southern?" The mom quickly responded "it means you add fat to everything!" Isn't that the truth.
Here we are, finally arriving at the Magic Kingdom! I was way more excited than Weston... Until he saw the cool stroller we rented!
Our first ride: It's a Small World. Don't these pictures alone bring back blissful childhood memories? I've got to be honest, I hadn't remembered the monkeys. I thought I had better snap a picture of them though - why, I'm not sure. I was a little picture happy at first, as you can see. I believe Peter Pan was next. That ride was kind of a dissapointment. It seemed so much cooler 25 years ago!
The Cindarella Carousel was cooler than ever. Actually, I don't ever remember seeing it before. But Weston LOVED it! Here he is patting his horsie.
Dumbo had to take the cake. Weston actually cried when it was time to get off. Here he is with Grandma:
I'm not sure why we went on the TeaCups right after lunch, but Weston got all into it. He actually tried to turn that thing in the middle that makes you spin. For some reason, just looking at this picture makes me feel a little dizzy!We tried to take lots of fun pictures, but Weston spent much of the time an unwilling participant - there were just too many more exciting things vying for his attention! As a result, I have an abundance of pictures that look something like this:We had a blast on a few more rides like Pirates of the Carribean and the Haunted Mansion, then ended the evening watching the Parade of Lights, or something like that. It is basically the same thing as the Main Street Electrical Parade, but they had to change the name I guess. It was impressive, and I know Weston would have absolutely loved it if he had been awake for it!

The next day we went to Epcot. I had woken up with a really bad cold, so my picture taking resolve waned slightly. I spent most of the time sneezing, blowing my nose, and sweating to death (it was HOT!!!), but still really enjoyed the day. I had never been to Epcot before. I always thought the entire thing was inside the big ball. You know what I'm talking about? This thing: Here's us starting off the day at Epcot. You can actually see that big ball thing in the background if you look right in the middle above our heads:Epcot has this lake that you walk around with various buildings, stores, rides and shows representing countries around the world. Mom and I really enjoyed that. We stopped at the American Adventure, which was half way around the lake, to watch a little colonial marching band do some Patriotic songs. It was pretty neat I thought.We tried everything to keep Weston close:But ultimately, he was most interested in running around and examining new, never-before seen attractions like the fence.

Mom admitted to me that she didn't remember how tiring it was to chase after a toddler all day!We stopped to eat at Japan. I loaded the wasabi on my sushi, which I must say worked wonders in clearing my head up. I had a much more enjoyable time after that. Eventually we got Weston back into the stroller And miracle of all miracles, he finally fell asleep.
We did a few other rides at Epcot like Nemo and Spaceship Earth, both of which Weston slept through.
Because we were staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, all we had to do to see the wild animals was go outside. We took a gander and happened upon a Kudu and a giraffe! This is the picture of the Kudu. You have to look closely - it is inbetween the two poles. This next one has the giraffe. I apologize that it is really hard to see. It seemed so much closer up in person.
The last night we went to Disney's Holleywood Studios for a special dinner. We had this beautiful dinner outside with a band and a studio in front of us and these huge bleachers behind us. Midway through dinner it started sprinkling. The sprinkles steadily grew stronger until it was first raining, and then pouring! Everyone ran up into the bleachers behind us, because they had a covering. This actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise though, because from way up in the bleachers we could actaully see the spaceshuttle taking off!! What great timing, huh? I had only heard earlier that day that NASA was sending up a shuttle that evening. It was an awesome sight to behold. Unfortunately, I didn't get to my camera in time. It looked like a bright red firey mass way up in the dark sky. I tried to find a picture to show what it looked like from our view, but couldn't find anything.

We had a great trip but now I know that two days is not enough for Disney World! Also, extra time cushions would have really helped with Weston. (Like not having to get up at unearthly hours to catch flights going both ways) He was a trooper though. I'm glad we had the chance to go. Next time, we will definately bring daddy along!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I am thankful

Today, I have been thinking about some of the things for which I am most grateful.

I am thankful for peaceful moments, good friends, lovely Fall days, yummy smelling candles, a sweet husband, and a precious little guy who refused tomatoes until he realized he could eat them like apples!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend in Palm Desert

So, we have been wanting to take a trip to visit Matt and Meagan ever since we got married. Matt and Jason were mission companions for one glorious transfer during which they changed a few lives, knocked doors in the rain, "got crazy on some fools," and generally became great friends. Matt and Meagan have a son, Sterling, who is 3 months older than Weston. We FINALLY went to see them over halloween weekend and had a blast!
Here is a lovely pic of Matt and Meagan:
The night we arrived in Cali we went to a halloween carnival for kids. As you can see from the picture, Weston did NOT want me to hold him! Weston and Sterling were pretty cute in their costumes. This isn't the greatest picture I've ever taken, but it was the best I could do with those two!
Here we are in line for the trunk or treat. The boys were getting very tired at this point in the evening. Here are some pics of the Weston and Sterling playing together...Weston LOVED all the new toys to play with. Sterling was a little skeptical at first, but did a good job of sharing overall. If you think it is hard getting one kid to look at you at the right moment, try getting two to do it at the same time. Those of you with more than one kid at home are chuckling right now, because you know what I mean!Oddly enough, I found Sterling to be more responsive to me than Weston. (go figure) Now I have a whole bunch of great pictures of Sterling, and an equal number of pictures of Weston's head.
Even bathtime offered a whole new level of excitement at Matt and Meagan's because of all the cool, and may I emphasize, different, bath toys that Sterling had. This was my favorite: foam letters that stick to the tile on the bathtub wall. I feel like such an amateur! I bet I am the only mom that didn't already know about these. In fact, I bet all of you already have them. Aren't they cool?
On Saturday afternoon, after luch and date shakes (which, I might add are the most delicious shakes I have ever ever had in my entire life - Palm Desert grows more dates than the entire Middle East, or something crazy like that) we went shopping at the Cabazon outlet mall. This outlet mall was the size of ALL of Vegas' outlet malls combined. It was HUGE! Here are the boys, not too excited to be confined to their strollers:
Jason got a kick out of turning Weston into some kind of "homey" while evidently bored in a shoe store Freedom at last! The boys had a blast on the trolley train
A great time was had by all. We left Sunday afternoon, and I have to admit I felt a little bit sad about it. We wish we didn't live so far away from Matt and Meagan!