Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tesla Jean's 2nd Birthday!

My parents came out about a week before Tesla's birthday--Lennon had been so excited, that the countdown began about 3 weeks before their visit.  We got to spend Father's Day with them and we celebrated by going to the Yard House for good beers and to watch the World Cup!
I love this one--he's such an amazing Dad and Grandpa--we are all so blessed!!
One of the best dads around!!  I feel so blessed that my kids get to grow up with a great dad and knowing how much he loves them!
Taking a break after playing "Lemon Power." They are so much alike and Lennon is attached to him almost every second of their visit.  They come up with these elaborate games--Lemon Power being the current favorite. According to Lennon it's where an Angry Bird helps hide the Lemon and a different Angry Bird helps the other find it.  "It's not 'hot and cold' but sometimes we have to say that," says Lennon!
We got an early jump on our sewing projects this time.  We worked on Tesla's birthday dress and then my mom was a superstar in altering what seemed like a bazillion pairs of pants for me--I have a whole new wardrobe with pants that actually fit me again!!
Tesla got up before her brother, as she often does, on her birthday, and so she got to enjoy her birthday balloons! Lennon and her often play a running game where they countdown from 3--so she counts like this, "3, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10." I asked her how old she was, she answered, "2!" But when I asked her how old she was yesterday, she answered, "3!"
Birthday morning hugs from Brother!
Opening her presents from Auntie Leah, Uncle Drew, and Emery!  She is so much fun when she opens presents--there are a lot of "oohs," "aahs," and "look mamas."
Our patio is in the process of being expanded and it's not done yet, but I wanted to have her family party outside (I tried to make the construction "festive" by hanging balloons!)  Grandma and Papa came over and we had a fun family dinner.  Grandma Cindy bought the Princess table and chairs at the community garage sale, and they enjoyed their "kids" table!
Blowing out her two candles!
As you will see, Tesla was more interested in the bunnies in the grass than with her cupcake!
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 We love her so much!!
Tesla is very much into babies and she is loving the babydoll stroller that we gave her:
Loving her presents from Aunt Patti and Grandma and Grandpa!
Playing with her new magnetic number puzzle she got from Grandma and Grandpa.  Among other things, they also got her the Frozen DVD.  I wish I got it on video, because when she opened it enough to see what it was she gave a loud gasp of excitement!
The next day we had her "Ice cream" party at the beach, just like last year.  She was cranky (I feel like they always choose to be cranky for their parties--why is that??)  Here are her Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes--Mom and I spent a lot of time figuring out how high to fill them and then went through the drama of cascading cupcakes.  But I think they turned out cute and the kids seemed to enjoy them.
I don't know where my kids learned to fake sleep, but she decided that she would rather "sleep" than have Happy Birthday sung to her and eat her cupcake!
So much personality in this little girl (what's with the crossed legs?!)
The only smile we got from her at the party--I guess getting her Doritos fix once a year will do that for you!
Hitting her ice cream cone pinata:
Lennon was serious about it!
More babydoll things--she's not excited at all!
Lennon enjoying the party--when did he get so big?!!
After preparing for and cleaning up from all the birthday festivities, we spend the remaining time with my parents hanging out and playing Ticket to Ride (seriously, we played at least one game a day, most of the time more--it's an obsession for Adam and John!) Lennon and Grandpa built their "Bank," as they always do--they take their bank very seriously and it is very well thought out and built.  This time they even built a "cheese factory" to the left of the bank.  It's always a sad day when Lennon has to put it away after they leave.  Both kids had a hard time saying goodbye this time. The day before my parents were leaving, Lennon captured a spider (he's not normally a bug-lover).  I told him he should transfer it to his bug viewer and he did, but when he came to show me we could not find the spider in there.  Lennon was distraught and he told me, fighting back tears, that he was going to remember that spider forever--I knew this extra sensitivity was a reaction to my parents leaving, and he told me that he was really sad that they were leaving.  The next few days after they left, he talked about how much he missed Grandma and Grandpa.  Even Tesla asked where Grandma was the morning after.
The sadness of my parents leaving was broken up by the kids' doctors appointments--Lennon's 5 year and Tesla's 2 year.  Here's where they're at:

Lennon:
36 pounds (50%)
42" tall (45%)

Tesla:
22 pounds (10%)
34" tall (50%)

Easter

In years past, we decorated Easter eggs after going to an egg hunt at a friend's church.  However, we decided to skip the egg hunt this year--it's too chaotic and it never screams "Jesus is Alive" when kids are out for the kill to get as many eggs as possible.  The chaos of it doesn't mesh well with Lennon's personality, and they didn't miss it at all.  So instead of doing eggs after an over-stimulated egg hunt, we were all in a great, relaxed mood!
After church on Easter morning we headed over to Adam's parents' house.  They hid around 80 eggs for Lennon, Tesla and Jordon.  And I brought over their Easter baskets to hide as well.  It was so much fun and the kids had a great time!
Grandma helping Lennon get his basket that I hid in the tree.  We've never done the Easter Bunny thing--Lennon has always known that his basket is from us.
Lennon stealing kisses as he helps Tesla find eggs!
Enjoying her new chick/"ducky" cup:
After dinner, Marilyn, Beka and I walked the kids to the playground.  Lennon is loving being able to climb and do the "big kid" things at the park.
Lennon is very protective of Tesla and Jordon--let's hope it stays that way!

Family Vacation

During my parents' visit in March, after Lennon's birthday, we all took a road trip down to Phoenix for a Martz family reunion.  We looked into renting a minivan so that we could all go in one car, but after seeing how expensive it was we decided on caravaning with our own cars.  However, our Saturn is old and small so Adam's parents graciously let us use their Impala. 

We left the house at 4am and set off on our 12 hour drive.  Lennon was so excited to get up in the middle of the night that he remained awake when we transferred him to the car.  I have no idea how he was able to stay awake when it was pitch black out...in fact, he didn't fall asleep until about 2 in the afternoon!!

Here we are after a lunch break at a rest stop--it was super windy and cold, so I don't feel like we were able to enjoy being out the car as much as we wanted. Overall, the kids did great--there were times when they were switching activities every 5 minutes, and reaching back to help them was getting old, but we were very impressed at how they did.
The first day we were there we all ventured to the Children's Museum.  It was awesome!  Denver's Children's Museum isn't nearly as cool, otherwise we would be there all the time.  Both kids took awhile to warm up and stop being cranky.  As you can see in this picture, they both look thrilled to be there!
But they warmed up and had a blast...
Grandpa and Tesla taking care of the babydoll:
Fountain fun:
That night we went to the Organ Stop Pizza and had so much fun....well, after Lennon got ear plugs.  It's this awesome place where a guy takes requests and puts on an amazing show on the organ, topped off with lights, puppets, and bubbles.
However, it was much too loud for Lennon and he was freaking out.  Thankfully there was a Walgreens next door and I ran with Lennon to buy some ear plugs.  It was like magic--he went from being the crankiest kid to the happiest kid, dancing along with the music (why have we not tried ear plugs before?!!)  The ear plugs have no become a diaper bag staple.
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The next night we went to a yummy BBQ place, and boy was Tesla hammin' it up!  She connects with teenage girls, so we knew she would have fun with Lara.  I wish we would've been able to spend more time with them, because I know they would've had a ton of fun together.
Tesla is hilarious sometimes--I see some class clown in her!
The Fam!
Outside the train on our way to the Grand Canyon:
At this point in time, the kids were getting a tad sick of riding.  It was about a 2.5 hour drive to catch the train, which was another 2 hours to the Grand Canyon.
It was cold up there--I pride myself in being a good packer, but I had a major fail when packing for this trip. Adam and Lennon had warmer jackets, and Tesla had good layers, but all I had was a sweater, a thin sweater.  Thankfully we did a bus tour when were got there, so we (I) could warm up on the bus in between sites.
It was pretty incredible seeing the Grand Canyon--but it was also hard to take everything in, the vastness of it all.
Goofing off on the bus...
...and after lunch!
Adam's new boss was amazing about this trip--he worked three days and then she let him take off the next 5 days of work.  It was really the first vacation-y thing that we've ever done as a family and we really enjoyed it.
On the train ride back to Williams, there was an "armed train robbery," which was their fun way of getting tips...
...However, Lennon didn't love the experience!
With Aunt Patty:
Cuddling with Grandma at dinner the night before our long trip home.  The ride home was a bit harder and whinier, as we expected--we were all tired and ready to be out of the car!
Goodbye kisses for Grandpa and Grandma:
It always makes it easier to say goodbye, knowing they'll be out again in about 2.5 months for Tesla's birthday!