Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas time...

... in Phoenix is WEIRD! It's been in the mid-70s until just recently, and it's just strange. Sometimes I sit on the couch and pretend that the leaves blowing around outside are snow. The snuggly, cold-weather feeling only lasts a few seconds though. We decorated our tree last weekend, and Little J ignored it for a few days. Then, one morning he started pulling ornaments off left and right. So, the ornaments start about two thirds of the way up the tree, away from his little fingers. 

He also discovered candy canes. Uh oh.

He loved sharing them even more!

I swear, this kid was genetically predisposed to do Yoga! His pose of choice is Carpet-In-The-Face.

It's been raining for the past few days and it's been wonderful. I love the smell of desert after the rain, and it's a little awesome to see a saguaro dripping with water. We went out in the desert to explore and give Little J to test out his wagon in the great outdoors.

He was very persnickety when he was picking out the rocks to go in his wagon. He's a very discerning 18 month-old.

He loves sticks. But then again, what boy doesn't?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Silly Human Tricks

So I've been trying to teach Little J some sign language. So far it's been less than rewarding. The only sign he uses quite often, without my prompting, is the bird sign. If he sees a bird on TV, or when we're out driving or if we're in the desert, he looks at me, makes his ubiquitous guinea pig noise and signs bird. I love it. He knows all done, please, thank you, water, more, bird and I'm trying my darndest to teach him potty. He has used it once. He walked up to me and signed potty, and he had pooped! Mother of the year award to me!

We're also working on identifying body parts. So far, he's killing it. I don't often brag write about his accomplishments, but he is doing great with this. Here's proof:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

That's what friends are for

Our last week has been wonderful in so many ways. First, we had some friends in town for Thanksgiving and it was a total blast. The day after they left, we had some friends from our university days (I can say that now that we've been gone for two years, right?) come and stay with us. We haven't seen them since we were in Europe (they met us in Paris) and it was SO great to reconnect. They live in France now, so obviously we rarely get to see them!
When we were at BYU, we would always go camping with Laina and Faozi, and when they visited us this time, it was no exception. It was our first nocturnal foray into the real desert, and it was totally fun.

Little J LOVED throwing himself at the air mattress.

Faozi got some great hummer shots.

Good thing they rented an SUV! We went on some pretty rough roads.

Little J in action. The nice thing about the desert is that you can always see Little J running around because there's hardly any plants that he can hide behind.

I seriously love this. 

Apparently this little guy was running around our campsite. Which was awesome. I missed it because I accidentally fell asleep while I was putting Little J down. Mom problems.

It wasn't too cold, but the fire didn't have an effect until about 9pm. So far this whole Arizona weather thing has been the bee's knee's!

Little J as viewed from inside the tent. He woke up with the sun and immediately wanted to go outside and play with his shovel.

Our temporary domiciles.

He loved playing in the tents while we were trying to put them away. See all that dirt inside the tent? Yep, that was him too.

He LOVES his Auntie Laina. Like totally and completely adores her. She'll make a great mom herself.

This may be my new favorite picture of myself. Out in the desert, carrying a baby on my back, with wild hair. Also, I'm realizing that I have terrible posture.

Isn't that grasshopper AWESOME? And he was a full three inches long. What a beast.

Faozi cut open a saguaro and got a massive spine in his thumb. But it was cool to see the guts of a cactus.

Ahhhhh. Just look at that sky.

Anybody know what kind of poop this is? It looks too big for a deer, and too small for a cow, obviously. Big horned sheep maybe? Elk?

We had a lot of fun goofing around in the desert. In fact, our Subie is still covered in dust.

We met up with another family that we knew at BYU who live in Chandler. It was a little Wymount reunion, and it was great to see everyone. Also, check out poor Little J's bright pink cheeks and blank stare. He's getting four teeth (his two cuspids and the molars right behind them) and he has been so sad these days. But being outside a lot this weekend completely cheered him up.

So, dear readers, PLEASE come visit us. We love visitors and we love going on adventures with them.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I know. It's rare that I write one blog post right after the other, but I had some spare time today. Plus, it's my mom's birthday today, and what better present could I give her than pictures of her grandbaby? Well, probably a nice scarf, or a panini maker or something. Regardless, here are some pictures of our trip to the zoo, whether you like it or not.

What a suave fellow.

I think he might be sticking his tongue out at me. Which makes this the cutest animal picture you will probably see all week.

There was a giraffe feeding platform that was a fantastic experience for James. 

They got very close and were very curious about us. I think we would have enjoyed it more if the giraffes didn't smell to high heaven. Man, their urine is stench-tastic.

The zoo was pretty ghetto low-tech. They had an incredible amount of animals (especially birds), but the enclosures were just wood blocks stuck in the ground. However, the animals seemed happy and were very active the entire time we were there.

Not sure if he's stuck or just resting his head in an awkward position. This is an Andean Condor - the largest bird of prey in the world! Cool!

There are few things cuter than a pile of sleeping lemurs.

Little J made friends with a Cotton Topped Tamarin. 

I have to say, monkeys and primates terrify me. Their little faces are so humanoid, that it is very very creepy. Well, I guess you could argue that our faces are ape-like, so that's why it's creepy. Either way, it's a good thing they're cute, too otherwise I don't think I could handle it.

Well if this isn't the cast of the next Disney movie, I don't know what is. It's a Golden Tamarin and a porcupine of some kind.

After a long day of animal watching, both the Js snuggled up on the bed and watched some Sesame Street on the iPod. One thing I am extraordinarily grateful for is that Little J is a snuggly, snuggly baby. I love that about him. I'll probably love bringing it up in front of his teenaged friends some day too.

I don't have a picture of it, but Little J was eating some animal crackers (ironic, I know) while we were walking around, and he tried offering them to the lions. Luckily, they weren't interested. He had a great time, but I don't think he's quite old enough to appreciate the zoo yet. He was more interested in the golf carts that the zoo staff were driving around. Hah!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Food and Little J and a Little Bit of Nature

This is a sad, yet incredible story. Since putting up the hummingbird feeder, we have had scores of hummers zoom in and take a drink, but one hummer has claimed the feeder as his own. He's a juvenile Rufous Hummingbird and he is FEISTY! He defends his feeder with the vigor of a thousand Spartans, as I witnessed about two weeks ago. I heard some quarreling at the feeder (this is a regular occurrence) but it reached a new level of squeaking/buzzing so I went out to look and saw that the juvenile male had skewered another hummer while he was at the feeder. It was incredible. While I stood there and watched he repeatedly stabbed him and the wounded hummer eventually slumped backwards and hung off the feeder upside down, breathing heavily. I looked out later and it was gone. I feel privileged to have witnessed such an incredible/gory thing, but that's how nature is: incredible and gory.

Looking rather apprehensive about scooping out all the innards of the pumpkin. Don't worry - he warmed up to it later. And by warmed up I mean he lost interest and went back to playing with trucks. Hah!

Halloween dinner! Mummy dogs! I know they look SUPER appetizing, and I have to say they weren't as tasty as they look. Erm. I probably won't make them again.

This is something I will make again. Possibly every day. For a year. Wait, did I imply that I made it? Hah. Yeah right. Big J definitely made these. He's a genie with ground beef.

Now on to some desert adventures!

Possibly my new favorite picture of Little J. 

If there's a low-lying rock within a half-mile radius, Little J will find it, climb on top of it and then look at me, very satisfied.

He's a terrible hiker. Seriously. It took me hiking for about twenty minutes to get to the place where we played around for a while (he was in the backpack) and about an hour to walk back with him out of the pack! Every fifteen feet or so, he'd suddenly stop and stick his hands/truck in the dirt, or run off into the desert. To be honest, it was actually mostly adorable. 

Such a little babe in such a big world!

His level of goober-i-ness has reached a new high.

See what I mean?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Adventures in the Desert

Little J and I went on our first foray into the desert. It was spectacular. The highs were in the mid-eighties, and there was a nice breeze. Hah! Bet you wish you were here, you Utah folks, eh? The trailhead that we took is only about five minutes from our place. Boo ya!

The desert definitely has its own beauty. It's stark and bare, but still brimming with life. While we were hiking we heard some loud buzzing and I'm pretty sure one of the saguaros we passed was filled with bees. Yeesh. We saw some great wildlife and got some great pictures.

This is the Guadalupe Range. Not quite mountains in my book, but still
pretty to look at.

Sympetrum corruptum. A Variegated Meadowhawk. My question is
who is it corrupting and why?

If the dragonfly knew I posted a picture of his underside on the
internet, he'd probably be pretty embarrassed.

Not even two and already summiting peaks.

Little J loved this little cottontail.