Monday, July 30, 2012

Touring the Fire Station

The same day we got Vivian’s haircut, was the same day that we picked up the van from the shop.  We also had a birthday party to attend that day.  We stopped by the Library and Vivian was excited to get to hold the gift in her lap while we waited in the car for Jared to get the book he had placed on hold.


As we were sitting there, Christian spotted this car out in the parking lot and he kept saying how cool it looked.  I had to laugh…I guess it was so different from what he is used to seeing that this looked really neat to him.  I asked him what he liked about it and he commented that the shape was so nifty.  I remember when most cars were this shape.IMG_3997

He didn’t understand why I thought it was so funny that he thought this car was cool but I can’t help it.  I would have called this a “Grandpa Car” when I was a kid.

After our errand, we finally got to go tour the Fire Station!IMG_4002

Here is a photo of Jared holding Vivian and Christian staring at the TV in the Firemen’s lounge area (the Olympics were playing that week).


Here’s Vivian, happy to perch on top of the Fire Engine.


The kids were very excited to see all the gadgets the Firemen showed them.


Christian was happy to sit in the drivers seat and Vivian was a happy co-pilot.


Here, Jared was trying to get our kids out of the front!


The Fire Fighters were really nice and let the kids play on the paramedic truck.  Christian enjoyed playing wounded on the gurney with all the kids pretending to resuscitate him.  I kept a close eye on that, I was a little nervous about the CPR skills of the other kids. Winking smile IMG_4051

Here are all the kids that came to the party!  It was really cute how excited they all were about the tour.  I think this photo is pretty funny too,as you can see my own kids little personalities shining through in their postures.

Vivian’s First Haircut!

After some debating about it, we decided to get Vivian’s hair cut.  Because of how her hair had grown in as a baby she had a long ponytail in the middle of her head with short hair all around it—kind of funny looking, but I was waiting for the sides to get long enough to get the middle part cut.  Vivian was also seemingly terrified to get her hair cut.  Every time I’d mention it, she’d scream in terror.  This may have to do with an interesting ordeal that have happened when a certain big brother decided to do surgery with the scissors on her sweater a while ago.

When we did finally take her though, she was actually pretty well-behaved.  I think that she was excited when she saw how many other women were at the salon and seeming to enjoy getting their hair played with.


Vivian, watching some other girls get their hair cut too.


Getting the cape put on her.


I’m not sure she liked the cape too much.


Discussing what to do with her hair.


Watching the beautician.


Holding super still.


Almost done.


What do you think?


All done!


Thank you!


Happy to get a sucker for good behavior!


She was so proud after her haircut, she had to tell everyone all about it all day…especially about the sucker!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Christian’s First Day of First Grade

On July 23rd Christian headed back to school.  That’s how it is here in Arizona.  You start school when it’s really hot so that you can have longer breaks when you can actually be outside without getting heat stroke.  Last year, Christian was so excited to start school.  This year, he was still excited but apprehensive about who would be in his class.  This year has seemed so hot, I just didn’t even feel ready to go school shopping or worry about supplies, I still did it, but I really dragged my feet.  Thank goodness for my sweet mom, who sent us some nice shorts she had found that were his size which was really what we needed.Christian's first day of 1st grade

Here he is lining up in the school-yard with all the kids.  He was super excited that his favorite little girl (who’s standing in front of him with the blonde hair) was in his class again this year.  Isn’t he handsome?IMG_3946

I’m so proud of my little 1st grader!  I can hardly believe that he’s getting so old!

Adventures with Vivian’s first Campout

Summer vacation went by way, way, way too fast for me.  We had all these ideas of going different places but with my being sick a lot of the break we didn’t really do much.  We decided we had to do something vacation-wise for our kids before Christian went back to school so we decided to try our hand at camping with more than one child.

Jared booked a campsite in Payson, about two hours north-east of us and I planned and shopped and cooked and packed like a crazy person that whole week to get ready to go.

We were enjoying a gorgeous ride up the mountain on our way to the campsite, about 25 miles away from our destination at 6:25 pm, when suddenly we heard the most terrible noise and felt the car jerking like crazy.  I, of course, started yelling to get to the side of the road and Jared was of course, trying too.  When we went off to the side, these teenaged boys stopped behind us and asked Jared if he had a spare Jared looked under the car and said “Yeah, we have a spare.”  So the boys left and Jared pulled out the spare only to find out it was completely flat (flatter in fact than our tire).


This is what our van looked like, by the way.  The tread had completely ripped off of the tire while shredding all of the electrical stuff out of the light socket on our headlight.  The kids were really freaked out and angry that I didn’t want them to get out of the van on a canyon freeway (it’s pretty much like the road between SLC and Park City if you can imagine).   Of course, we had no service, so Jared ran up the road to call AAA while I sat in the car with our upset offspring.  This nice middle-aged woman and her elderly father came and talked to me and the kids for a while and it was very calming for the kids to have someone new to think about rather than that they wanted out of the van.  When Jared finally returned (about 45 minutes later) he said that AAA should be coming in about an hour and that we just needed to wait.  The kind people left and we sat in the car together.  Jared had printed out some camp-fire stories to read so we read them instead in the van as we waited.  It was about 9:30 before the AAA guy finally showed up and because there wasn’t a better solution, he put the van with the kids and I, all on the tow-truck while Jared sat in safety in the  cab with the driver.

I was pretty freaked out and so were the kids but as soon as the lights went out on the back of the tow truck, Christian fell right asleep.  It started pouring rain so by the time we reached the campsite it was pretty muddy and by then it was dark.  The kids from the neighboring areas were pretty excited about watching the two truck so I felt pretty silly sitting up there, waiting for them to lower it down.  Afterwards, a couple of the dads from the neighboring camps came to ask us if we needed help.  Vivian was screaming her head off (remember she’s never really been in the rain much of her life).  So I had to hold Vivian in one arm while trying to help Jared with various tent poles as he set up the tent.  We finally got settled into our tent at around 10:30 that night and Christian slept through everything—including Jared carrying him into the tent in the rain. Smile

The next morning, we made hash browns, eggs and sausage.  As I was cooking Jared opened something with his pocket knife and then left it on the table (leaving it open).  Of course little kids have magnets on their hands to knives so Vivian who was sitting happily in a camp chair far from the knife was attracted across our site to touch said knife and cut herself.  Luckily, it wasn’t very deep but it was right on the palm of her hand so we kept a clean sock of Christian’s on it for most of the trip to keep her hand clean.

Here she is on the swing set at the park at the campground.IMG_3756

While I took the kids to the playground, one of the dads at the campsite across from us took Jared to Big O tires to get a new tire for the van and to reseal the spare.  Their family was really sweet to us the whole time we were there, and I wish we had gotten their contact information.  Once Jared got back, we took the kids on a short hike that was close to the campsite. IMG_3758IMG_3760

I thought it was pretty funny that they called this an Interpretative trail…. it was just a wooded area and it was so close to the town that it wasn’t as easy to hear the sounds of woodland creatures so I wasn’t sure what we were supposed to interpret.


The kids did get a kick out of using Jared’s binoculars which I thought was cute.


Here’s the man that helped me make this trip happen.  I did a lot of the planning, but he did a lot of the grunt-work.  I love it that we work so well as a team and Jared is definitely a team player.  I am so glad that I’ve been able to have this guy around for the last ten years.  He’s truly my best friend.IMG_3777

Here’s what my view was for most of the hike, Christian walking ahead of everyone with Jared holding Vivian in his arms.  I was huffing and puffing along.  It’s depressing how fast a body can get out of shape.  I only have been avoiding the gym for a month or two because I was afraid I’d get sick in public but at least now that I was 14 weeks it wasn’t so bad.  It was really nice to hike since it’s been such a long time!


Vivian got the best seat in the house and actually fell asleep for a minute.  I guess she felt safe!

Christian walked ahead pretty much the whole time.  It was hard to get him to stay with us “slow pokes.”.IMG_3787IMG_3794IMG_3798IMG_3803

When we got back to camp, we made dinner and then it started to rain so we went up to the club house to hang out.  There was supposed to a party that evening but it kept raining and pouring so instead, we drove into town and had dinner at a restaurant.

The next morning, we cleaned up camp and the owners’ son and his friends offered to give the kids mule rides (for a small fee).  So our kids were super excited to try riding a mule.  They were much bigger than I had thought they’d be.


Here’s my tiny fearless girl on top of a mule.  She was loving it!IMG_3807IMG_3810IMG_3825

Jared was good enough to walk beside Vivian to make sure she stayed atop of the mule…I probably didn’t need to worry about her trying to get down because she was livid when it was time to get off.

After we checked out from the campsite, we drove up to Tonto Natural Bridge and hiked around there.  The first hike we tried was down to the waterfall.  It was a really short hike but pretty much straight down and straight back up afterwards.   Here is the view at the bottom.


Here was our reality.  Vivian was freaking out and Jared was trying to keep her safe (as you can see there was a fence on the side to keep us safe but she wanted to sit on the fence and was really angry at her daddy for restricting her). IMG_3828

It was a little difficult to enjoy this hike but we tried to take in the view regardless of one members’ attitude.IMG_3836IMG_3840

She finally did calm down after we lectured her that it was very dangerous and that we just want to keep her safe and we asked her if she wanted to get hurt and then she was finally reasonable.IMG_3842IMG_3849 

The hike was so steep that this one was fenced and had steps and metal installed for walkways.  I like that they had made it more convenient except that because it looked easy to Vivian she was pretty mad we wanted to constantly supervise her.

Our second hike that day was an overlook of the travertine wall on the side of the bridge.  It’s amazing to me that my floor is made of the same stuff as this…I wonder who first figured out that this could be someone’s floor?!


The next hike we did was the Tonto Bridge Hike itself.  Both Vivian and Christian did really well on this hike.  We made them each hold a parents’ hand which they didn’t like very much but they both walked the whole way without complaint.  I was so proud—especially of my little girl who is so spunky.


Here’s my crew on the top of the stairs headed to the viewing deck.


Here’s my boy on the deck looking under the bridge.  I wish I had a better lens to show how massive the bridge really is… but it was beautiful.  I especially enjoyed seeing the moss covered rocks.IMG_3888IMG_3895

The kids were pretty interested in the view at this point and I found it so cute that they just stood and starred.IMG_3902Here is the water that helped form the bridge.IMG_3903

Under the bridge.  We really were too close to get a good look at the whole massiveness of the bridge.


On the way back on the hike I thought these yellow flowers were so pretty.


After the bridge hike, we went to the overlook of the bridge where Jared stole the camera to photograph my baby bump.  It looks pretty chunky to me. Winking smile


Here is the view from the overlook of where I took the photo of the crew on top of the stairs to the deck.  Crazy huh?  I was quite freaked out from the height of it to be honest.  The more kids I have the more squeamish of heights I seem to become.IMG_3928

Here’s another view of the trail we had hiked…it honestly did not seem this steep when we hiked it.


Here’s the view of the bridge from the overlook.IMG_3932

There is a hole in the top part of the overlook of the bridge where you can look down and see the bottom.  The kids really liked looking down to the bottom but it made me a little nervous.


The mossy rocks below that I had photographed under the bridge.


Here is a photo of the water that did all this work of making tonto bridge.travertine cliffs

A close-up of the travertine cliffs.

After we finished our last hike, we drove home.  Thankfully, that part of our trip was pretty uneventful and we were excited to be home and get ready to start a new school year for Christian.