Saturday, April 28, 2012

LA date night(s)

while we were in california, we took fulllll advantage of free babysitting ;) my parents were awesome and offered to watch jack so b and i could have not one but TWO dates. so what do you do with a rental car and parental freedom? head to your old stomping grounds, of course.

i used to take pictures of us in the car like this all the time. it's amazing how much less time you have for myspace self-portraits when you're continually handing sippy cups and train cars to a small person in the back seat.

first, we drove out to west LA. in all the time we lived out there we never went to venice beach, so we were excited to check it out -- especially the canals. but...they weren't really that cool. haha. sort of dried up and ghetto.

then we headed over to the beach. we had such a fun time checking out the boardwalk (& marijuana vendors), watching the surfers & skaters, walking on the sand. it was perfect.

then we headed down the street to tito's tacos, naturally. because you can't be in west LA without a taco with cheese.

while there we had a conversation that went like this:

lyndsey: you know what would be really great for dessert?
brandon: what?
lyndsey: some diddy riese.
brandon: you know how far away diddy riese is from here?
lyndsey: yes. but do you know how far away diddy riese is from seattle?
brandon: you have a point.

and thus we ended up driving to westwood :)

for our second date, we stopped to visit our old neighbors in claremont, then headed to my beloved pasadena. i mean seriously. just looking at these pictures gets my heart all knotted up.

the main point of this visit was to see our BFFs. holy crap i wish the fackrells would move to seattle, life just isn't the same without them. we had dinner at daisy mint, ran a few pasadena errands, scored some organic ice cream at carmela's, then went back to their house to say hey to john c. reilly watch the burbs and eat pretzels & sardines. it was the best.

after these two consecutive date outings, jack wouldn't let me out of his sight for the next three days. but it was totally worth it! thanks, grammie & pop pop, for giving us two nights out.

Friday, April 27, 2012

we have a talker

jack learning to talk is probably my favorite phase of motherhood yet. i am endlessly amused by the random words he yells throughout the day ("milk!" "shoe!" "mom!" "nose!") -- every word is shouted with such enthusiasm. but now he's starting to actually put multiple words together and i LOVE it. 

when i get him up in the morning, he usually says "cereal!" (which sounds actually like "see-wool" and is 10x cuter than the traditional pronunciation) but lately he's been saying "jack cereal, mom cereal" while i pour our bowls. today he was sitting in his high chair eating breakfast while b and i got ready and he said, clear as day, "i like see-wool." amazing! the mind of a toddler will never cease to amaze me. 

he calls his binky "beep beep," making it infinitely easier to understand when he wants it. the beep beep, in fact, is only used at bedtime these days, and as soon as i pop it in his mouth i see his eyes sag a little bit like he knows it's time for sleep. i'm trying to gear myself up for getting rid of it completely, but it makes me sad to realize he'll definitely be over the baby phase when we do. eh. maybe by his 2nd birthday. 

jack loooves to run and usually takes laps around the apartment before bedtime yelling "go go go!" every day, rain or shine, we go outside for an exploration period (meaning i just let him run / walk wherever he wants...we usually end up jumping off walls, playing at the park or going down the "swide") and lately he just wants to run and run. i can't wait for him to run races with me one day!

i've honestly lost count of all the words he can say. once in a while he'll surprise me by saying something i didn't even realize he knew, like "seesaw" or "bee!" (all insects are bees, according to jack.) he knows all the hand motions to the songs we sing at library story time and will start singing "itsy bitsy spider" at random times throughout the day. 

he still loves to read; it's the only time he will sit still all day. i can occasionally get him to color -- he prefers markers over crayons and will say "blue! yellow! green! brown!" no matter what color i pull out -- but usually doesn't like to sit down much otherwise. sometimes he reads books to his stuffed utah bear and it's probably the cutest thing ever, mostly jibberish with the occasional correct word thrown in. i love that monkey and i LOVE hearing his little voice. toddlers are the best. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

easter 2012

we made our california trip extra long so we could be there for easter, five days before granty got home. easter sunday in rancho was sunny and hot and perfect.

we got the jackal a little easter basket: a coloring book, a paint with water book, a bubble gun and exactly 3 eggs containing jelly beans. we swapped the jelly beans out for stickers as soon as he figured out what was going on and started saying "bean! mo! bean!" every five seconds.

he was pretty excited.

after church we hid some eggs in the front yard. i was pleasantly surprised by how well he did with finding the eggs...he's a smart little guy. he loved finding the sesame street stickers inside and would bring us every egg he found, saying "pop!" when we opened it.

i love this shot of jack & his grammie:

we had five more easter egg hunts in the following week and jack still shouts with glee whenever he spots anything oval-shaped. those eggs are the perfect toy! hard to break, easy to fill up with a variety of junk, always entertaining. we might have to keep ours out all year.

Friday, April 20, 2012

the mystery of the blue train

i bought jack a little train from target a few weeks ago, thinking it would be a good distraction for our flight since he plays with it nonstop during all of our shopping trips. (what, don't you give your kids random toys to keep them quiet while you enjoy your target run?) he loves it and i love to hear him driving it all over the apartment saying "coo! coo!" i will never inform him that trains actually say "choo choo!" because it is too adorable.

anyway, yesterday we were enjoying a blustery day from the safety of our patio because mama still wasn't quite ready to deal with seattle rain, and he chucked the train overboard without any warning. it landed in the rain gutter one floor below.

it was too far away for me to reach, so i just left it there thinking i'd call maintenance later or something. and then i forgot about it.

when b got home he checked it out and then went outside to retrieve it, but by the time he got there the train was gone! it was raining pretty hard and we thought maybe the train had gotten swept away in the tumultuous current. unfortunately the rain gutter drained straight into the ground so there was no way we could track it down. i went to bed feeling really sad that i had let the little train down and gotten it lost. not to mention jack kept asking "coo? coo?" whenever he walked by the deck.

THEN, this morning, we rushed out the door at 8 a.m. for a dentist appointment (no cavities, woot!) and there on the landing of our staircase was the blue train! warped and slightly worse for wear, it was sitting right in front of me. i have no idea who retrieved it or how they found it, but we got it back. jack played with it the rest of the day even though little chunks of blue paint, no doubt toxic, kept chipping off and getting all over the place. so happy to have our coo coo back.

the return of elder grant

the main purpose of our visit was to welcome home my little brother! he had been in mexico for the past TWO YEARS (which went by really fast, until i saw his little face -- which isn't so little anymore -- and realized that two years is actually a loooooong time) serving as a missionary for our church.

on thursday, april 12 we packed up the entire fam, some balloons, a few posters and a whole lot of excitement and headed to the airport to plant ourselves in the closest possible spot to flight arrivals.

passengers started filing down the stairs and we were all giggling like nervous little schoolgirls and then there he was!

with his new girlfriend! nah, just kidding. he just made a friend on the plane, good little missionary.

he looked mostly the same. just older and cuter. and still short ;) i feel bad for taking all the tall genes in my family.

this was when grant met jack for the first time! if you'll recall, i was 5 months pregnant when grant left on his mission, so he only knew jack through photos. they love each other. [side note: can i get a holla for finally getting my hair highlighted?!? ;) ]

it was such a happy day.

we collected his luggage and went straight to in-n-out. 95% of our conversations for the rest of the day involved iphones. granty has a lot of technology to catch up on! 

he spoke in church on sunday to share some of his experiences in mexico and i was just so proud of my little brother. he's mature and smart and funny and brave. he told a story about meeting a guy, omar, who was a member of one of the big drug cartels in mexico. omar wanted to turn his life around so he started taking lessons from grant and was making so much progress, but the gang told him he could never get out of the life he'd already chosen for himself. one day, grant and his companion showed up to teach omar but he was gone -- his sister said she thought he packed up and left town to try to get away from the gang. a few days later the police found omar dead, hanging from a city bridge -- murdered by fellow gang members. these were the crazy circumstances grant dealt with for two years, just so he could go and teach the people of mexico about the gospel of jesus christ. 

[he DID have a bunch of happy stories too, for the record. and if the comments on his facebook page are any indication of the relationships he made down there, i can say he definitely made a huge, positive impression on the people he met.]

i'm so glad he is home! especially when he texts me 30 rock quotes in the middle of the day :) [and p.s., my mom's amazing friend kathy came to the airport with us to photo-document the occasion -- all photos above are hers.] yay elder payzant!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

church photobombs

whew! we're back from 10 glorious days in california -- which you'd think would be really warm and amazing, when in fact it rained for 4 of those days while seattle was having it's best weather week of the year, yay me -- and i have soooo much to tell you and show you.

so while i work on a buttload of new posts, enjoy these little treasures from church on easter sunday. jack was completely fascinated by pop pop's iphone so he plopped down on his lap and stayed entertained throughout the entire service. mostly he thought taking pictures was the best.

 stay tuned for more :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

farmer jack

today jack and i checked out the kelsey creek farm in bellevue. i had no idea there was even a farm there but actually it turns out there are TWO, right along the freeway on the way to b's work.

this wasn't a real farm, if you're curious -- more like a fake educational farm. it consists of two barns built in the 1930s and a handful of small animals like ponies, chickens who lay green eggs (something else i did not know existed until today, apparently i need to watch more martha stewart), 3 sheep and 2 bunnies. the farm is a venue for school groups and birthday parties and it was really quite cute. they're big on teaching kids the basics of animals and farming and then doing hands-on stuff like feeding, petting, crafting, etc.

jack is REALLY good at animal sounds, particularly of the farm animal variety, so i was pretty excited to take him. i went with a group of local bloggers and jack was the littlest kid there, but he pretty much loved it.

he particularly liked petting the bunny. what did i NOT love? getting this reminder of how freaking nasty my hair has gotten. siiiick. i'm getting it done in 4 1/2 days and i can. not. wait.

"tractor" and "barn" have been frequently repeated words over the past few days, so he was pretty pumped to be able to shout those at appropriate times throughout our visit. he was really good at petting animals but he freaked when i let him ride the pony. no pictures of that because my hands were too busy prying a toddler death-grip off of my arms. it was sunny when we got there and hailing by the time we left, thanks bipolar washington weather. all in all, a fun outing for me & my little sidekick.