Friday, May 24, 2013


It wasn't unbearably hot in Arizona while we were there, we picked a good time to go. But we still went swimming many an afternoon. The water was a bit chilly for some of us, but Tatum and Jade didn't mind most of the time. And I ended up with a lot fewer pictures of our swimming adventures than I would have liked. I didn't even get one picture of Tatum in the life jacket. It was hilarious. She loved jumping off the steps while she had it on. You could tell it gave her a funny feeling because she would do this nervous laugh every time.

Even with a pool in the backyard, swimming is kind of a lot of work. Getting everyone changed and ready to go. Getting all the toys and things you need. Having a newly potty trained toddler who has to go back in to go potty very frequently. A bee who seems intent on following you everywhere you go. A fearless toddler who ends up under the water, unable to get up, much more often than you would like. Cleaning up all the leaves that got in the pool the windy day before. Almost getting crypto sporidium when that newly potty trained toddler's mother ignores her pleas to go potty and she poops in the pool. (Haha, just picturing that still makes me laugh, Mara. "Everybody out of the pool!!") It really was a bit exhausting but worth it. I guess? :) It really was fun, I definitely enjoyed myself.

 Tatum loved this thing, maybe even more than the life jacket. She would float around for quite a long time.
 Sometimes Jade did complain about the cold...
 The water was definitely too cold for this little lady. She didn't like it one bit. But she was happy to watch us all from the safety of her bumbo. :)
 Mara with her two cute girls.

And I think I'll wrap up my Arizona posts with one last picture.
Mara asleep on the couch, mid-conversation, at like 10:30. I just had to get proof of how tired we were by the end of the week. We were definitely fitting in more than we do in our boring old every day lives. And the kids were definitely sleeping less. By the last couple of nights Mara and I would try to stay up and talk for a bit but we would take turns falling asleep which made it kind of hard. One time Mara asked me a question and before I even got a chance to answer, she was asleep. We were tired. But I think that's evidence of a great trip, right? Thanks Mara and Ben, for letting us come and hang out! Can't wait to see you guys again!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Arizona part 2

The Arizona fun continued on Friday with a trip to the Phoenix zoo. It was a beautiful day and we successfully wore out the kids (and ourselves) walking around the zoo. The coolest feature about this zoo, in my opinion, are the splash pads. What a great idea. Kids get hot and tired walking around checking out all the animals and the splash pads provide a great way to take a break and cool off.

Here are the pictures documenting our zoo fun, in no particular order (I'm feeling lazy today).

Me and Tatum in front of the elephants. She was getting a little grumpy at this point.

Exploring a tunnel.
Jade and Grandma.
Another neat part of the zoo is the "petting zoo". I think calling it a zoo is a bit presumptuous since there are only goats there, but it was still a lot of fun for the girls. And yes we dressed them in matching outfits that day, pretty cute if I do say so myself. I was surprised we didn't get any twin comments since Tatum is nearly the same size as Jade.
Riding some horses.
Hey it's Mara and I in the same picture, a miracle!
Apparently brushing this goat was hilarious. :)

Mara is clearly enjoying this moment with her daughter. ;)
The coolest exhibit is definitely the monkeys. You get to walk through it so you can see them super close. They are the tiniest things. Grandma is supposed to be posing for a picture with the girls, but Jade didn't want to, Tatum was looking for a monkey, and mom is horrible at looking at the camera for more than a split second so this was the result.
Where is it?
There's one of the monkeys, right in the center.
Jade and Tatum got to ride the carousel.
After the carousel it was splash pad time. Unfortunately we went to the zoo on a Friday close to the end of the school year so there were a ton of a field trips and the zoo was fairly crowded. But you noticed it most at the splash pad. The girls were still able to enjoy it though.

Gotta love that smile.
 I wish we had captured the look on her face from the front but you get the idea.
 They were kind of chickens so I started to force them through it. Don't worry, they liked it. :)

 Hard to tell if she was crying or laughing/squealing.
Our day at the zoo was great! (Even if we couldn't even look at the stingrays without tickets, totally lame.)

After the kids took naps Mara made some yummy popsicles in her fancy new popsicle maker. Tatum was nice enough to "help" her.
 And Jade devoured them. I can't blame her, they were pretty yummy.
 Tatum wasn't so sure. She is kind of a texture freak and had never had a popsicle before.
 Proof that Tatum and Ella played together. They will be friends too. :)

On Saturday we got breakfast at T.C. Eggington's. This was top on my list of things to do after Mara and Ben took Brennan and I there last fall. They have the best honey roasted wheat germ pancakes. I'm telling you, so dang good. After breakfast I got my hair cut and we went to a couple of stores. Somehow I managed to not take a single photo all day on Saturday.

Sunday the fun continued with church in the morning, games in the afternoon and some delicious dinner. And then Monday we just hung out around the house in the morning, got an early lunch at Smash Burger and then we flew out early in the afternoon. It all went by so fast!

This was from our last day. Tatum loved to sit in the bumbo, silly girl.
Sunday morning we tried desperately to get a picture of the three girls looking cute for church but that didn't go so well, surprise surprise. This one makes me laugh though.
Tatum definitely didn't get enough sleep Saturday night. She fell asleep sitting up during Sacrament meeting. Unheard of. And don't worry I didn't take the picture until after the meeting. :)
Mom had a little sing along with the girls at the piano Sunday afternoon.

Here's a link to a little video of Jade and Tatum dancing during lunch on our last day. I can't get it to load on here for some reason.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Arizona part 1

I was only home from Utah for 3 full days before we were back on a plane, headed to Arizona this time. It was really more of a pit stop. Tatum and I were lucky enough to have Grandma come with us on this trip and we surprised Mara with our tag-along. Our week there was a lot of fun, but definitely exhausting in it's own way. Tatum is not a stellar sleeper away from home and the excitement of having playmates in the same house caused all the kids to wake up earlier than usual. Combine that with our late nights chatting and we were all quite tired by the end. As you will see in the next few posts, I managed to take a lot of pictures. But simultaneously I managed to not get any of mom and Mara together, Mara and I together or heaven forbid, all three of us in one shot. We really do need to be better about taking pictures of things other than the kids. 

We got a direct flight to Phoenix and we lucked out with Tatum getting her own seat. It was great.
 Jade came with Mara to get us at the airport and she and Tatum were beyond excited to see each other. It is pretty amazing how Skype can help them have a relationship/at least know who they are at such a young age. I am so grateful for technology for that reason.

We had to stop at Target for a few things right off the bat and these two were crazy crazy in the cart.
 Tuesday was our first real day in Arizona and we decided to start off our trip doing what my dad (and Ben and Brennan) would probably say we do best, shopping. Mara took us to some new outlets which ended up being highly disappointing with no good deals.

Tatum wore a barrette in her hair for the first time that day. Big milestones, people, HUGE!
Hitching a ride from aunt Mara.
Mom and Jade matched that day. And can I just say my mom is quite the grandma. All 15 of her grandkids seriously think she is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Even though I was a little bitter that Jade really couldn't have cared less that I was there ;), I really think it's admirable how much she works at having relationships with so many grandkids who are so spread out, in age and location. Check out Tatum's rosy cheeks after we were done at the outlets. She definitely wasn't used to the heat yet.

I just had to share this awesome photo of Ella showing off all her rolls. She was a dang good sport all week as we carted her to and fro and worked at entertaining the older girls. She is a chill baby.

That night we got some yummy tacos from Costa Vida and headed to nice dark park for a picnic. The evenings were so beautiful, they cooled off so nicely. The dog park was definitely a hit. Tatum is obsessed with dogs and Jade was loving walking around holding her hand.

I was really trying hard to get a decent picture of the them walking around like that because I thought it was adorable. But both my phone and my camera struggled with the lighting. And then Jade thought it was hilarious to start running right at me when I would squat down a ways in front of them to snap a photo. Little stinker.

Case in point. I don't know about you, but I see a little mischief in her eyes. :)
Grandma also got both girls on the tire swing. Can't really see it in the picture, but Tatum's face was priceless. A little woozy looking.

On Wednesday Mara had to work in the morning so mom and I took the girls out for a long walk in the morning and stopped and played at the park.

I believe once Mara got home we just went swimming and hung out around home, but I'll post all the swimming pictures later. Ben had to go to the grocery store that evening and he brought the girls suckers. It was Tatum's first and it was a hit.

Blurry, I know, but I love that Jade put her arm around Tatum.
We made them go outside with their sticky suckers and I went out to find they had both found a seat in Jade's little house. Just hangin' out.

On Thursday we took the girls to Kids Club at the mall where they sing songs with the kids and give them a little prize and then they can ride the carousel and get an ice cream. Well lucky for them they have a really nice grandma who added ride weird animal things around the mall to their list of things to do there. Jade thought it was pretty great, Tatum seemed mostly indifferent but she did stay on for most of the ride. Somehow I never got a turn! Not fair. :)

Mom spotting the girls and mom looking a little scared when after she joined them. :)
 Mara taking a turn with Jade. We really had this animal for a long time. So long that mom even took Jade back to trade it for a gorilla.

 Lucky girls. Lucky grandma.
 Riding the carousel. Horrible picture but at least it documents that it happened right?

 Later that afternoon we went back out to run a few errands and they passed out. Mwahahahahaha, our plan worked. haha
 Waiting for grandma at Kohls.

 Whew. That was a lot of pictures and we aren't done yet. But what a fun start to a great trip! Blogging about it is making me wish we could go back. :(