Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jovie happenings

Jovie turned five months early this month.
Jovie's 5 month pose
We didn't get a great picture for her five month portraits because she is starting to want to sit up more.
(four months, three, two, and one months)

Olsen still likes Jovie and he can make her laugh much harder than we can. This is a little video of Olsen making Jovie laugh. She seems to be most amused by his shaggy hair.

Last weekend, Jovie got to hang out with one of her friends, Vivi. Vivi is only four weeks younger than Jovie. Vivi's older sister, Cailin, is 6 months older than Olsen.
Jovie and Vivian hanging out in the tunnel 1

Next weekend we are off to Texas. I hope the flight goes well!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kevin, the bearded dragon

We had a nice Thanksgiving this year. We usually go to a big potluck Thanksgiving meal with fellow graduate students, but many of the grad students we used to celebrate with have since moved away and the others we know were away for Thanksgiving. This year, we went to our neighbors who live a few houses down from us. They have a three-year old son who also goes to the same daycare as Olsen. Olsen and Ben are best buds, and it was great to celebrate the holiday with good friends.

Olsen and Ben getting ready to eat
Here they are waiting for their feast.

Every year, we like to see what kind of deals there are for Black Friday. We were looking at the PetSmart ad to see what we could score for Lucy. I saw that leopard geckos were 50% off. I jokingly said we should get one. We have a friend (who has since moved away) who has one, named Quiggy, and every time we would go to her house, Olsen would ask to hold her. Adrian, Olsen, and Lucy headed off to the store. They were gone for a long time. They came back with a bearded dragon!

Kevin stretching out
here is Kevin, the bearded dragon

Adrian explained that he got a 40 gallon vivarium so that Kevin could turn around when he gets bigger. Apparently, bearded dragons can get up to two feet or so. Here is a video of a two-year old bearded dragon catching crickets to give you an idea of size. I oscillate between "how cute and funny" and "uh, that is a big reptile that I'm not sure I want on my shoulder."

I did some reading about beardies that night and learned that they really do sound like the ideal reptile pet for kids. They are very docile and tolerate being held (some even argue that beardies enjoy being held). I also learned from reading forums on beardeddragon.org that reptile folk are very funny about their beardies. People really cuddle with them. One person wears two shirts and puts their beardie in between the shirts to keep him warm in the winter, ha ha ha.

Anyway, I did more reading and learned that all reptiles can shed salmonella and the CDC recommends waiting until children are at least five to have a reptile pet. We were being careful and kept hand sanitizer by the cage, but I felt too worried about it since Jovie is so little and puts her hands in her mouth all the time. I know it's rare to contract salmonella from a reptile pet if one uses common sense, but I decided I didn't want to stress about it, so we took poor Kevin back on the 2nd day. Olsen was okay with taking Kevin back but he does still talk about "my lizard." Yesterday, he was playing with his wands and instead of turning Jovie into a frog, he turned her into a lizard "like my lizard," he said.

We will probably end up getting one of these when Olsen is eight or so.

Olsen loved Kevin
Olsen holding Kevin

San Diego

A couple of weeks ago, we went on a trip to San Diego. Adrian had a trade show there for a couple of days so we all tagged along and stayed for a week. It is about a 13 hour drive from Logan to San Diego. Olsen generally does pretty well in the car especially since he has the v.reader my mom gave him last Christmas. We were more worried about Jovie, because she tends to get mad in the car. She did better than I feared. We stopped every 2-3 hours.

The weather was nice and mild in San Diego. We even wore shorts! While Adrian was busy with the show, I took the kids to the Children's Museum and Balboa Park to play. This trip was fun, because even though Adrian and I had our honeymoon in San Diego, we did things this trip that we did not do last time, mainly going to the Maritime Museum at the Embarcadero. We went on a 30 minute boat ride in the San Diego Bay and toured around 5 boats, including two submarines (Olsen's favorite). We actually did not even do the big San Diego things like the zoo or Sea World. We went to the Omaha Zoo when we did our College World Series trip so we figured that we did not need to do it again so soon. We almost did Sea World but it is so expensive, we decided to wait on that for another trip.

We stayed in Little Italy (we had not been before) the first three nights there. Every night we would walk around and ate pizza and pasta every night. After Adrian's show was over, we switched hotels to the Hilton on Mission Bay and Mission Bay Park (a 4000 acre park). Adrian found a pretty good deal on hotwire and we were able to get a free upgrade. It was a nice hotel. We had a back door to the garden area and were able to walk to the Bay, where Olsen could play in the sand. There was also a huge playground not too far of a walk away. Every evening, we would see so many people and dogs jogging and walking on the trails and a lot of different exercise groups doing bootcamp type exercises.

We went to three different beaches while we were there: Mission Beach (and had fish tacos at our favorite place Roberto's), La Jolla Shores, and Coronado Island. I love the beach in San Diego. The water is always cold, but the sand is so nice and it is not so windy that you feel like you are going to blow away like in Corpus.

On the way back, we stopped in Las Vegas. Adrian found a nice hotel right by the strip on hotwire so that we could be walking distance to the sites. Olsen has a thing for the Eiffel Tower right now, so we headed to the Eiffel Tower and rode the elevator up to the top (I just hope he doesn't think that the Eiffel Tower is in Vegas). We watched the Bellagio Fountains and the Mirage's volcano. Olsen really enjoyed all the sites and saw a lot of people dressed up as characters. His favorite part was riding all of the moving walkways, escalators, and elevators, though.

It was a fun trip! When we got back to Logan, there was snow all over the ground.

Olsen on the Carousel at Seaport Village
Olsen on the carousel at Seaport Village

Jovie smiling
Jovie Belle smiling as we wait for fish tacos (we ate fish tacos a lot on this trip).

Family picture in front of the large aquarium
At the Birch Aquarium

Olsen crawling in the sand
fun on the beach!

Olsen mopping the poop deck
Olsen mops the poop deck!

The train!
I almost forgot - we had to ride this, because Olsen was so excited when he saw the train pass by when we walked around the Gas Lamp District. We purposely walked pretty far just so we could ride San Diego public transportation.

Olsen playing with his sand toys 2
playing with sand toys in front of the Hotel Del Coronado

Olsen at the top of the Eiffel Tower
Olsen at the top of the Eiffel Tower (Vegas version)!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Four months

Jovie is four months old! She weighs 12 lbs. And is 23 inches long. Her hair has gotten much thinner, but the cradle cap is gone. She can bat at her toys under her arch and will briefly hold toys and bring them to her mouth. Olsen still loves her and always tries to grab her hand. Here are her four month pictures.

Smiling 4 month old

Jovie tummy time! part 2

click here for her 3, 2, and 1 month pics.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

This is Halloween. This is Halloween.

October has been so much fun! It seems like there have been so many fun Halloween activities for Olsen to participate in. So much so, that I didn't think it would be too big of a deal if Olsen was too sick to go trick or treating tonight! (he felt well enough to participate in Halloween festivities, though he did miss his friend's Halloween party on Saturday.)

First, there was Boo at the Zoo at our little zoo in Logan. Olsen wore his costume and played a lot of little games and went trick or treating at the various booths.

Bean bag toss success!

Triceratops, Sleeping Beauty, and the Beast
the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, and a triceratops

Then he went trick or treating at the last Gardener's Market and got his face painted with a giant pumpkin. He really wanted to get his face painted and when he sat in the face painting chair he said, "I want a pumpkin." The face painter asked if he wanted a big pumpkin or a little pumpkin, and of course he said a big pumpkin. The bottom half was wiped away 10 minutes later.

Olsen's Pumpkin Face!

After his nap, we went to the American West Heritage Center for their fall activities, which include a corn maze, giant slide, pony rides, and a little honeycomb maze. We went with some friends who have a three year old little girl (and a baby girl only four weeks younger than Jovie). Cailin and Olsen had such a blast together. They ran around holding hands, looking cute.

Olsen and Cailin holding hands

We went to a pumpkin patch to pick our pumpkins and had some friends over to carve pumpkins.

Jovie with her cat onesie and pumpkins!

Jovie in a pumpkin!
what else should you do with a baby and a pumpkin?

Pumpkins and their respective carvers
our obligatory pumpkin picture. We'll have to do a montage of our pumpkin picture over the years.

The next weekend, we went to the Dinosaur Park for their Haunted Dinosaur Park. It was pretty cute, with a lot of lights, fog, and decorations throughout the park. One display was motion sensored and when you walked up to it, a car with a skeleton in it lit up and honked. I screamed, then Olsen started crying, then Jovie started crying. Other than that, Olsen had a good time, especially since he got more candy.

Olsen sitting on the hay

Olsen walking through the spiderwebs

Then we walked through Pumpkin Walk to see this year's exhibits made from pumpkins. This year's theme was "Favorite Things."

Olsen with Pooh Bear pumpkins

Family pumpkin shot

Finally, Halloween! First, Olsen went to a little Halloween party at school. He said they decorated cookies, had a dance party, and made witch's brew (root beer). Next, Olsen and Jovie went to Adrian's office to trick or treat. Then for the big event: the real trick or treating! Olsen went with Ben, his friend who lives down the street from us. The two boys had such a good time trick or treating together, even though our neighborhood is a little lame.

a triceratops and Batman

First successful house!
getting some loot

on a mission for moar candy

Jovie and I stayed home to pass out candy. We didn't really get too many trick or treaters, so now we have a ton of candy left over - not to mention all of the candy Olsen has. I have found the candy helps to bribe him every once in awhile but I'm kind of looking forward to not having so much candy in the house. We bought the good stuff so we wouldn't be stuck with a ton of leftover cheap candy and I don't have much willpower around Reese's peanut butter cups.

a triceratops with a peapod

Monday, October 10, 2011

three months

Jovie turned three months old last week! She has rolled from front to back, smiles, laughs a little, and coos.

Jovie's three month old photo shoot.

Jovie turns 2 months old!
Jovie at two months.

Jovie 1 month old
Jovie at one month.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

racecar bed!

We finally took Olsen out of his crib and into a twin bed. Miraculously, he had never tried to climb out of his crib and he slept so well in it that we felt no rush to get him out of it. But I thought the ability to get out of bed might help him learn to go to the bathroom at night instead of wearing a diaper for nap and bed. To make the transition fun, we got him his very own racecar bed. He was so excited about it and helped Adrian put it together. But that first night he wasn't quite sure about it and needed a lot of cuddles and reassurance. He has been in the bed for three nights now, and every night it is the same, where we get some resistance but then he sleeps so well, I have to wake him up in the morning to get to school. He looks so small in the bed compared to his little crib mattress.

Olsen in his Racecar Bed!

Olsen in his Racecar Bed!

earwig juice

We have a pretty big grapevine growing on our fence. Grapes are one of Olsen's favorite fruits, but these homegrown grapes have 3 or 4 seeds each in them. The last two years our friend has juiced the grapes for us, but sadly, she has moved away. This year it looked like we had an even larger abundance of grapes than usual. Luckily our neighbors have a fancy juicer that we could borrow. Adrian spent hours cutting the grapes off the vine, battling numerous bugs, but we didn't think much of it...until we started to wash them to get them ready for the juicer.

Tons of earwigs kept crawling out of the grapes. The grape bunches were so tightly compacted that earwigs would crawl out when we tried to pick the grapes off individually. We thought about letting the grapes soak to drown out the earwigs, but we had people coming to see the house and we didn't think a sink full of drowned earwigs would be a good selling point. Our friends' juicer is pretty magical and can somehow differentiate between the parts that make juice and the parts that don't, but we were too afraid to inadvertently drink earwig juice, so we sadly threw the grapes away. Instead, we bought a pineapple and papaya and made pineapple, papaya, grape (from the store), and apple juice. We're not sure how to avoid earwig infested grapes in the future. We don't want to poison the grapes, but our earwig scare does help explain why grapes are on the dirty dozen list. Anyone have any tips on how to keep our grapes both chemical and earwig free?

Bunches of grapes on our grapevine
Our grapes growing on the vine.

All the grapes we collected
Our bounty of grapes!

Earwigs in the grapes!
Earwigs! How many can you count?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

she likes it!

First, Jovie HATES the car. She pretty much always cries when she's in there. We haven't quite figured out the problem. She's usually fine when I put her in the carseat, but then starts crying some point during the car ride.

Second, Olsen loves catchy pop music. He has a fondness for Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Sometimes we don't even realize he knows a song until he starts singing it in a restaurant (Maroon Five's "Take All That I Have", for example). He loves that song "Tonight Tonight" by Hot Chelle Rae.

I was taking him to school in the morning, Jovie was crying as usual, and Olsen's song came on. I turned it up so Olsen could hear it and Jovie started to settle down.

Olsen: You like this song, Jovie?
Jovie: Wah
Olsen: Jovie says yeah

ha ha, I think they're going to be great friends one day.

Maroon babies on the floor

Thursday, September 08, 2011

ah, the tortuous threes!

okay, first off, Olsen is a very sweet, kind boy. He has been nothing but loving to Jovie and when he's playing with his toys he'll say, "When Jovie gets older, I will share this and this with her." HOWEVER, he can have a complete meltdown in an instant over a very small thing and cry very, very loudly. He might be the loudest person in the world in those moments. Tonight, he wouldn't put his toys away and kept saying, "I'm tired." I tried to help him by breaking the task down into smaller, more manageable tasks, but he just wouldn't do it. I finally told him that if he couldn't clean up his toys that he wouldn't be able to play with them anymore. He said okay. I don't know why but it made my blood boil to see how uncaring he was about the whole thing (in retrospect, maybe it's good that he is willing to accept his punishment?). So I gathered all his toys and threw them in the outside trash. And he still didn't care! He even brought me another toy to put in the trash. I sent him to bed without any stories, and now I have to dig his toys out and find a place to hide them. :|

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jovie's here and other stuff

Jovie turned 6 weeks old yesterday! She came 16 days early on July 6th. My mom had planned to come on the 17th (5 days before Jovie's due date) so we had to call a friend at 4 in the morning to come watch Olsen while we were at the hospital. Jovie came an hour after we got there at 5:35 am! She's pretty cute with a lot of hair and brown eyes. We now have our blue-eyed boy and our brown-eyed girl.

Olsen has been a good big brother to Jovie. He's been very sweet to her and gives her hugs and asks to hold her. Julie, his daycare provider, said that he's always been so sweet to all the babies there. He really is a nice boy and has been good about sharing and taking turns with his friends. This is not to say that he's been perfect, though. He seems to have a meltdown and/or moments of defiant disagreeableness almost everyday. I'm not sure if any of that is related to adjusting to Jovie's arrival or if it's just because he's three. I'm thinking it might just be the case of the threes...sigh, I have to remind myself to keep my patience and not lose my temper (I don't always succeed).

Since Jovie's arrived, I spend a lot of time sitting around holding her, trying to feed her and watching HGTV. Now that she's six weeks old, I should probably start working on my dissertation. I'm telling myself that it's like I took a six-week maternity leave, ha ha. But I really do need to work on things while I hold Jovie instead of watching TV or surfing the internet, reading about the A&M to SEC rumors.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We're going to Omaha!!! (part 3 of 3)

Continuation from the last post
see http://aggiewelshes.blogspot.com/2011/06/were-going-to-omaha-part-2-of-3.html for previous
and http://aggiewelshes.blogspot.com/2011/06/were-going-to-omaha-part-1-of-3.html for part 1

Day 4 - Monday, June 20 - Continued

After the zoo we took it easy at the hotel, but Olsen didn't nap, of course.  We decided to go eat in town while the second game of the day was going on.  We ate at Rick's Boatyard which was right on the Missouri River and looked like a nice place.  I do not recommend it.  It wasn't that great, very expensive, not the best wait staff, and the service was sub-par.  Anyways, we decided to leave the car in the parking lot and walk around.
Rick's Boatyard
The Missouri River was flooding
Big walking bridge to Iowa from Nebraska
We decided to go for a walk and take a big walking bridge into downtown.  Before we left, we heard the air raids go off (the tornado sirens) and started panicking to get back into the car.  We were in the parking lot when we heard this but we saw a family get out of their car all casually and go into the restaurant.  They told us that the sirens happen all the time and made it sound like it wasn't a big deal.  So we decided to proceed and the sirens stopped soon after.  But as we got a little ways on the bridge, we saw a group of people running to get on the other side.  Then the sky started turning black and the wind picked up a lot.  Lisa started getting a little nervous so we turned back.  The sirens came on again and we started running to get to the car.  Lisa was not happy with this since she was 8 months pregnant...

Once we got to the car, we tried to get back to our hotel.  It was a mess with cars everywhere.  The baseball game that was going on got postponed.  We got about a quarter of a mile and police officers were making everyone stop their cars in the street and get into the Qwest Center, which is a large arena in downtown.  It was full of people just waiting for the storm to pass.  It was pretty scary and we weren't happy because we just wanted to get back to the hotel and go to bed.
But luckily, after about almost an hour, they let us go.  We got in our car and went to the hotel.  No real damage anywhere and nothing really happened.  Olsen had fun in the hotel wearing his Dadda's baseball jersey.
Oh, and for the record, the t-sips lost to UNC, so they were eliminated!  Vandy and Florida will have to resume their game later

DAY 5 - Tuesday, June 21

Baseball schedule today
     Game 6 (continued in 6th inning) - Florida vs Vanderbilt

     Game 7 - Texas A&M vs California

     Game 8 - South Carolina vs Virginia

Before we headed out to the game (since we had the early one), we decided to get to downtown early and walk around a bit.  We went into the ballpark area where they had a lot of things going on.  Olsen got to do some tee-ball and some other things (but most stuff was for older kids)
Today's game had a slight threat of rain but it helped cool it down a little bit (you can see Olsen wearing his jacket).  Amy wasn't going to be at this game because she had to go back to Texas to teach a class.  Bret was there though.  This game was very low attended and wasn't a problem at all to get in (no line and no wait).

We had higher confidence for this game to beat Cal vs beating South Carolina (or USC East as they hate being called).  The outfield wasn't near as fun this time (I guess South Carolina fans are a lot of fun!) and the lower attendance made it a little less fun.  There were still beach balls and some waves.  The weather wasn't looking too good; dark clouds and sprinkles of rain here and there.

We hit a homer in the 4th inning and things were starting to look up.  The sun came out and Olsen put on his sunscreen

Then, of course, our team starts to screw up and completely throws the game away.  They ended up scoring 6 runs in the next 2 innings and our team never recovered.
All relief pitchers running to bullpen
It starting raining again and everyone ran out of the stands to find cover.  But there is no cover in that stadium (at least where we were in the outfield).  We lost 7-3 and our season was over.
Olsen said his goodbye to Bret (and gig'em)
College World Series photos
As soon as the game was over, we got in the car and started driving back to Utah.  We drove as far as we could before everyone got too tired.  We ended up stopping in Sidney, Nebraska.

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On the interstate (near where the original Cabelas store is) they have tons of big chain hotels.  It was a Tuesday night and every single one was sold out.  There was nothing around for miles and no town for at least 100 miles.  Our trust GPS smartphones couldn't get any service in rural Nebraska but somehow we found our way into the actual town of Sidney and found a piece of junk American Best Value Inn.  It was gross and had no pool (poor Olsen) but it had vacancy.

Report for the day:
Florida beat Vanderbilt
A&M got eliminated by Cal
South Carolina hammered Virginia

DAY 6 - Wednesday, June 22

We got up and hopped in the car again and drove into Wyoming.  This time we drove through Cheyenne and stopped in Laramie.

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We drove around town a little bit and found a nice park to set up for a picnic.  Olsen played on the playground.

Laramie pictures
After Laramie, we drove until we got to Evanston, Wyoming (I think we made a quick stop in Rock Springs, WY as well).

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We stopped at a little park that we had stopped at before, when we were on our way to Estes Park, Colorado 2 years ago.  Olsen had a great time kicking the soccer ball around and eating french fries.  But the most exciting thing was there were some guys playing basketball nearby and they had this dog that liked checking Olsen out.  He would come near us, and Olsen would chase him back to the court.  This went on for a very long time.
Olsen chasing the dog.  It's not the best video but he likes to watch it.

Evanston pictures

After the Evanston stop we drove straight home!

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It's good to be home and it was a super fun trip!  I hope to make the trip in the future.