Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Happy Thanksgiving!

This year we spent Thanksgiving in San Jose with my family. I had a boat load of PTO so Jack and I took the whole week off and left extra early to get our vacation started! Max had to work on Monday so he joined us later that week on Tuesday.

This means Jack and I had to fly...alone. It was terrible and not so bad at the same time. But that's a story for the next blog post. Today is all about the amazing festivities.

We landed Saturday the 19th a little battered, bruised, and tired but all in one piece. CA is 1 hour behind us this time of year which means Jack's beloved and perfectly working schedule is all thrown off. We got to my parents house around dinner time and bed time was not far off. Jack doesn't do well in new places, he's very timid and shy. That first bed time was almost like having a newborn again. His tiny fingers dug into my arms so I couldn't lay him down. He was over tired because his body was telling him it was 9:00 PM instead of 8:00 and his surroundings were all strange. He would start crying as soon as I bent over to lay him down and heaven forbid I sneaked out before he was asleep. But after an hour or so he calmed down and we both slept great.

Sunday we spent the day in San Francisco with my sister. I planned it so we would be driving during nap time. It worked like a charm. He napped the whole way and was bright and cheery when we finally arrived. The weather was nice and cold and even a little drizzly, which annoyed most people but these desert rats were so excited!

My sister planed a whole mini day at this place called the Exploratorium. It was so much fun! We got to see and do so many things. It was all a bit over Jack's head but he loved having open space to run. We saw things about cells, mirrors, lights, optical allusions, inventions, animals, plants, and oceans. Even as an adult I learned a whole bunch of new things!

We spent the rest of the day lounging at her place watching the busy SF life go by. I'm so glad Jack finally went to The City.

Max joined our little entourage on Tuesday and we were both super excited to see him again. It was so weird without him. You would think after all the long distance China trips I would be used to it but every night sleeping by myself felt very odd.

We spent the other days lazying around the house. Jack learned how to go up and down the stairs "mostly" safely and also what big boy "Time Out" is like. We have entered the smacking, hitting, screaming, and kicking stage in full force. Before he would always hit us out of frustration and it was more like he didn't know what he was doing. Now he purposely walks directly in front of you, looks you in the eye, and smacks you as hard as he can. I was shocked the first time but oh well. Max and I are still getting our discipline ducks in a row but Time Out has become a staple in our house now... boo.

Thursday was amazing. We watched the parade, made delicious food and enjoyed all the family time.

Two Shall Enter...None shall leave?

My Grandma is loving every second of being a Great Grandma. Her peek-a-boo skills certainly surpass all of us. She got the best giggles. It was so sweet watching them play together. I wish we lived closer.

That Saturday night we got packed up and ready to leave. Our flight was early Sunday morning. Again it left us a little battered, bruised, and exhausted but all in all it could have been worse. I am so Thankful I got to spend this fun holiday with my family. I'm already wondering when I can head back. I miss them so much and I know they miss us too.

The Price, Van Domelen, Kelly, Wilson Family

3 generations of  girls

The Grand Kids

Great Grandma & The Wilson's

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday too!

Thursday, November 3, 2016


Happy (belated) Halloween!

You all know Halloween is one of my FAVORITE holidays and this year we could really do it up because Jack is just starting to get old enough to enjoy it. Last year he was only 6 months and Arizona is still really hot this time of year. I didn't feel like taking a sleepy infant around to houses in the heat to get candy he couldn't even eat, so we stayed home and passed out candy to all the ghouls and goblins. But this year he's old enough to walk and have some fun.

I enlisted Max's help in finding a  pumpkin patch that he could run around in and possible pick out his own little treasured pumpkin. He wasn't as excited because of the aforementioned heat but I promised we would go early and leave before nap time at noon so he agreed. There is a farm in Dewey, AZ called Mortimer Farms (which is near Prescott for those not familiar with the state) that he used to go to as a kid, he said it was huge and had lots of things to do and see.

I couldn't have been more exited.

We decided to go the weekend before Halloween weekend in hopes it wouldn't be as busy. And it worked out perfectly. We got there right as it was opening at 9AM. We lathered sunscreen on our palest of pale son and headed off towards the fun.

When you first walk in you come across some pigs.

This was so exciting for me that I'm pretty sure I left Jack and Max behind and elbowed a few children out of my way. But once they caught up we tried to get Jack to pet and touch the pigs but he was a little scared and decided to just watch his crazy his mother point and giggle :).

We kept walking down the path and came across an old tractor and some chickens.

Ever since Jack was little we have called him our chicken baby. Everyone was forced to buy us "gender neutral" baby items since we kept his gender a secret. This means we had a lot of animal themed things and chickens were a big hit. His favorite bath toys are chickens and he has a chicken towel. He also loves his farm books and toys the best. And if you remember his first birthday, you can sense a theme.

He didn't seem to love them as much in person though.

We continued on our way and walked across a cute bridge and over to the tractor hay ride.

Jack is obsessed with automobiles; cars, trucks, tractors, motorcycles, etc. Anything that has an engine. He's like a dog and tries to run after them which leads to some scary and eventful walks around the neighborhood.

The tractor ride was a huge hit and he couldn't get enough of it. We sat right up front so he could see it the whole time. He was mesmerized.

The tractor dropped us off at a corn maze. Max was less than enthusiastic about walking around in the heat with no shade and a toddler but I convinced him to do the easy trail that we were told kindergartners had done the week before.

This turned out to be our favorite part. It took about 10-15 minutes and Jack led the whole way! He ran down the path and played with some corn stalks and made sure we got out safe and sound. He was a very trustworthy, noble, and brave leader :).

We then circled back around toward the entrance and picked out our pumpkins. We got to pick them right off the vine! I've only ever picked ones that were already cut and displayed on some pretty hay stacks. But it was so fun to go pumpkin hunting!

We then took a quick turn on a jumpy platform and a pony ride. Jack felt mediocre about the pony ride but loved the jumpy platform. They allowed parents on which was a good thing and it meant I could give him a few good bounces to send him flying. His smile says it all :).

We left at 11:00AM on the dot. And got home just in time for nap time. Promise kept.

However; Jack did refuse to nap and kept us up and tired the entire rest of the day. But that's Jack's fault not mine :)

Now a few weeks later it was time for the big day. (you can read Lesser Places to see the super cool hike we went on in between Halloween events.)

A while back I decided Jack and I were going to be Ariel and Flounder. I had assumed Max would join in on the family costume and after much convincing and everything costing too much he agreed and dressed up as Prince Eric.

I also decided I was going to dye my hair red. I've always wanted red hair but too cheap to actually do it. I've used box dye before but always with the help of one of my high school friends. This time I did it myself. It was significantly more difficult not to mention I was a lot more nervous. It didn't come out quite as I pictured but it's still pretty cute. Next time I'll pony up the money though ;).

After work and a few pictures at our house we headed over to Max's parent's neighborhood since theirs is a lot nicer than ours. My mother-in-law came with us which was a big help with dealing with Jack, the wagon, and taking pictures.

Jack was nervous at first; he's always been a shy and timid baby. But he did throw a few smiles and walk up to some doors which out too much fuss. And for all the hippy-no candy worriers out there we only got 1 piece per place and he doesn't get to eat any of it. He's still a little too small. Maybe an M&M here or there and a lolly pop with supervision but it was more about the experience and excitement. And lets be real I was the most excited one out there ;).

We had so much fun enjoying Jack's first trick-or-treating and watching him try to figure out why everyone around him looked so funny.

I hope your holiday was just as enjoyable and extra SPOOOOOKY!