Tuesday, February 28, 2012

At The Playground

Our little dudes. Pictures really are worth a thousand words.


This year will mark my 8th in Tucson. Hard to believe, really! And there is always something going on in this city of one million.

Having been introduced to Tucson's south side since my very first day in town, I became familiar with the local happenings right away.

One such event is the Tucson Rodeo, which happens every spring. We are still in the wild west out here...and Rodeo is a big deal. Kids even get a couple days off school during rodeo days, one of which is the parade.

Amazingly enough, in my eight years as a Tucsonan, I had never experienced the Rodeo Parade. It is always on a Thursday morning. Being a hard-working, dedicated employee...I never took the time off work to attend the parade.

But this year, the stars aligned and things worked out perfectly for me to take the boys to our first ever Rodeo Parade: Working at home allows me to make my own schedule and Jeriann had gone out of town, so I had Knox and Thane both. So, after some careful planning, I rustled up my cowpokes and we headed out to the parade!

The parade starts at 9:00 am but, like I said: It's a big deal. People start setting out chairs and even parking their cars along the parade route as early as the day before! I made plans to meet up with my girlfriends Arely & Marisol at 6:00 am.

We were lucky enough to find parking spots right next to the street. It was a little chilly before the sun came up! I fed the boys a makeshift breakfast in the car and we stayed inside with the heater on until the sun rose over the Rincon Mountains. And then it was a glorious morning for a parade!

I took the opportunity to dress the boys the part: Knox wore his cowboy shirt and took the stuffed horsey that Grandma Maria got for him at the Budweiser Horse Stables when we visited, two years ago. And Little Sheriff Thane had the cutest jean jacket with a badge on the front and "Wanted: For Being Too Cute" on the back. I still say dressing kids is way more fun than playing Barbie ever was!

So my handsome buckaroos and I toughed it out from 6:00 am until the parade finally made it's way to us at 9:15. Horses, horses, and more horses! It is actually the largest completely non-motorized parade in the country.

I had been telling Knox for a few days that we were going to see the horseys.

Little did I know just how many we would see!

He was certainly not disappointed! Although, looking back, two hours is a bit much.

But the boys were both troopers and they hung in, horse after horse, right up until the end.

Knox also enjoyed the bands. He is very into drums: surprise, surprise! I got a great shot, completely by accident. I was trying to get a picture of Marisol's son, in the band, when two of his comedian band-mates decided to ham it up for the camera.

All the participants looked great and they were having as much fun as the crowd.

One of the very last entries in the parade was the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center. Knox was re-energized when he saw the Chinese Dragons coming down the street.

They were quite the sight, and just what we needed to push through to the very end.

We definitely enjoyed ourselves and I'm glad that I got a chance to experience some real Old West fun with my little cowboys!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What a Gem!

It is the fastest 2 weeks of the year: Gem Show! Home to the largest Gem & Mineral Show in the world, Tucson is a hot spot the first 2 weeks of February. Especially for rock hounds, like Auntie Ro!

So each spring, we eagerly await her arrival. Much to our delight, Uncle Reef & Auntie Tawnisha made the trip from Colorado as well, after taking last year off. Cousins Zander and Knox were reunited.

And Auntie Ro was in nephew heaven!

We all made it out to the gem show together one day. One of our favorite things are the amythest cathedrals. And, this year, we saw the biggest EVER! They were really an amazing sight!

Knox & Zander got to ride in style...though they are much bigger now than they were at their first gem show! Our window-shopping excursion was short-lived, because there was lunch and much more wrestling to be had back at the homestead.

Somehow I think Ib might have been enjoying himself the most.

We took the boys to the Pima Air & Space museum. Both Knox & Zander are very much into airplanes and helicopters right now.

As expected, they were pretty excited to see all those airplanes!

We did have a hard time getting them OUT of the plane...

There was also a really neat exhibit featuring old planes out of the Tucson airplane graveyard called the Boneyard Project.

Every year a select group of artists paint various parts of, or entire, airplanes. That was pretty impressive!

Planes, planes, and more planes.

The old ones were my favorite. And the beautiful Tucson day made for some great photos.

Considering we had a couple 2-year-olds, the day went pretty well. Not without meltdowns, of course. But everyone survived.

80 acres worth of planes is a lot for little guys to take in. Needless to say, we didn't see half of what was there. But it was a good day. We finished up looking at rockets, which was also a big hit.

And, seemingly as quickly as it began, our two weeks of fun came to an end. I made a Superbowl feast to be proud of. The game didn't go the way Uncle Reef had hoped, but Zander had an opportunity to yell "Touchdown!" at least once.

Having talked on Skype almost every night for the past year, Knox is pretty fond of his Uncle Reef. He even pretends to call him on the phone.

We are so thankful for Gem Show time bringing family together. Seeing the bonds growing between the boys and their aunties, uncles and cousins was priceless. Knox rode to the airport with Daddy to drop off Auntie Ro...and now every morning on the way to Miss Jeriann's they see the 7:20 plane leaving. Knox points and says "There's Auntie Ro's plane!"

Thanks for coming everyone! Until next year, we'll see you on Skype!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Poker Face

Just when I was beginning to wonder, Thane surprised us. I guess he must have read the last blog and taken it as a challenge. The moment I typed "He hasn't rolled over yet" and published it, guess who was on his belly?

As if that weren't thrilling enough, he saw my "roll over" and raised me a "sleep through the night"! I relieved Ib of his night-duty and started getting up with Thane several nights in a row, to keep his night time routine as consistent as possible. Within a few days, he was satisfied with just having his binky back when he would wake up at 3 or 4 am. YAHOOOOO!

The earliest he's had a bottle since that breakthrough is about 5:30 am. And that was only one time. Several nights I haven't heard a peep out of him until morning.

His last feeding is between 10:30 and 11:00 pm, and so far that seems to be working. I am hoping to start bumping it back by 15 minutes until we get closer to a 10:00 bed time. But I need to work on getting him to self-soothe back to sleep when he wakes up, first. We've been hesitant to let him fuss too much, in the interest of keeping Knox asleep.

So we're definitely making progress. And everyone seems happy! He's doing really well with solid foods, also. He's had sweet potatoes, bananas and squash. The squash seems to have been his favorite...he gobbled up almost a whole tub, after he polished off a 5 oz. bottle!

He is a growing boy! Bigger and cuter by the day.