Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Easter Bumpy

You all know that last Sunday was Easter, but it was also Calvin's birthday! He is now a 2-year-old, and is very proud of it! We celebrated these things and the end of Tyler's most difficult semester so far with a trip to St. Louis and Waverly, Ill., to visit my dad and his side of the family. We had such a great time and narrowly missed all of the craziness of the tornadoes in North St. Louis.

On Friday, we braved the impending weather and headed to the St. Louis Zoo- one of my favorite zoos ever. It is such a big zoo with such a neat variety of animals, AND it's free!! Who can beat that? Here is one of my favorite attractions- the big drinking fountain:

There are 6 different spouts you can drink from at varying heights. I have loved it since I was a child.

The zoo was great! We went with my aunt, uncle, and some cousins, who I haven't seen in 9 years! It was a pretty rainy day and at one point we had to run into the bird house while a big rain/hailstorm passed over, but we loved it. We also made sure to hit White Castle, Imo's Pizza, and Ted Drewes before leaving St. Louis Friday night.

We drove to my dad's new house in Waverly, Ill, population 1400, missing the tornado by about an hour...yikes. We arrived safely, and my dad presented Calvin with his birthday present, a wagon he built using antique wheels he found in the woods on his property. Calvin loved his little apple cart and took rides in it all weekend. I wonder if the future grandchildren will be jealous?





On Saturday, we drove to Springfield to take a look at some rental properties that my dad owns. While we were driving down one residential street, looking at houses, I had a double-take and said:


Me: "That house totally looks like a Frank Lloyd Wright house I've studied."
My dad: "Oh, yeah, didn't I tell you? That's a Wright house."
Me: (now hyperventilating as though I've seen a celebrity) "What? No! Let me out! I need to take pictures!"


I jumped out and took pictures while they drove around the block. Architecture really gets me so excited. And I have never seen any of Wright's houses in person before! Who knew that my dad owns a house only 3 blocks from one?! I didn't! I was bummed that tours don't start till May...I can't wait to see the inside... Here's the exterior of the Dana-Thomas House:




On Saturday afternoon, my friends J and R came down to Waverly to help make Calvin's cupcakes. We decided to make the angry birds cupcakes as seen on The Crafting Chicks blog since Calvin is obsessed with the iPod lately.



We also decorated a sheet cake to go with it:



For dinner, we went to Verda Mae's, one of the 2 restaurants in Waverly, for "horseshoes," a popular dish in Illinois. Horseshoes consist of a big piece of toast, your choice of meat (I chose country fried steak), thick, batter-y, crispy fries, and a house cheese sauce on top. This meal almost made my heart stop, but was one of the most delicious things I have had in a while. The fries were so good and crispy. And the cheese sauce was yum, yum, yummy! The horseshoes were HUGE too! Here is 1/2 of one:


Then came Sunday. We woke up early and Calvin found balloons next to his bed and an Easter basket downstairs! His favorite thing in the basket was definitely his "lellow peeps!!!" He carried the row of five marshmallow chicks around for hours. I don't think he even knew that they are intended to be eaten. He just thought they were friends. It was precious.


My dad booked Waverly's famous "bumpy wagon" for the festivities. It did not disappoint. I am seriously questioning whether I should have gone on that thing while pregnant. It definitely lived up to its name. I cannot describe to you how bumpy it was. Here's Calvin awaiting his ride.


One of my cousins dressed up in a big bunny costume and surprised Calvin. He loved it! He followed the "Easter Bumpy" around and searched for eggs all over outside. He seriously was having the time of his life. He would find an egg and then take it to the bunny for approval.


We BBQ'd outside all day and had so much good food to eat. So many of my relatives were able to come, and it was so much fun catching up with cousins who I haven't seen in years. I didn't take half the pictures i would have liked to. I didn't even get any of Calvin playing with the 5 chicks that my dad recently got! He loved petting their soft feathers and watching them run all around, pecking the bottom of their coop. What a fantastic weekend in the country. We can't wait to go back.

By the time we left on Monday, the St. Louis airport was up and running again, and we had an uneventful flight back to Salt Lake City.

I love my little 2-year-old so much! And I am so grateful for the Easter holiday when we get to celebrate the miracle of Christ's sacrifice for us. It means so much to me that we can all learn and grow and make mistakes and be forgiven of them and move on. I feel so much hope and happiness learning and growing with my family, and I know this happiness can continue through eternity only because of our Savior. Here is a last Easter message I leave with you all. Happy Easter!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Geek Pride

Ok, so we are geeks. I know this. And I like being a geek. And I really like being a geek about LOST. And we like surrounding ourselves with other LOST geeks. Today, I went to a baby shower for one of my dearest friends who also happens to love LOST, and I couldn't help indulging in my geekiness and creating one of (I think) the coolest gifts any baby could receive. Behold: I made the onesies using some of the PhotoFabric paper that I used for Calvin's Halloween costume last year. I just printed the Dharma logo out and sewed it on! Very easy. I had some ideas to get really geeky and technical, like using the logo for the Staff station and writing "nursery" below it, pretending like they were Dharma-issued onesies that they would keep stocked in the maternity ward of the Staff station. I ended up deciding that just using the Swan station logo looked the coolest. I am very happy with how they turned out and think I am going to have to make some more of these for our new baby's arrival in September!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Innate

Though I haven't been working, I have had more than enough things to keep myself busy. I was put in charge of planning the ward activity for March which was a Home Video Night, so collecting and compiling all of the video submissions kept me occupied throughout March. It turned out really great. It was really fun watching friends' videos from when they were younger.

Calvin has also been keeping me very busy. He is definitely becoming a 2-year-old. He talks so much now and repeats everything that you say to him. It's so funny to watch him figure out language. For example, one morning, he was holding my hands and jumping on the bed and I let go of him signaling that it was time to stop. He said, "One more time!" So we did it a little longer. When we stopped again, he said, "One more--" then though hard for a second, "--Six!! Six times!!" It was so funny to think that that was probably the biggest number he could think of.

He spends half of the day running around and jumping on everything, then the other half of the day begging to watch various movies. He is absolutely crazy about electronics, too. We try hard to limit his media usage, but he still has managed to find time to master various electronic devices. I seriously think children are born with these skills now. Here's him playing with the iPod:
video