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 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