Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Heffalumps and woozles!

I couldn't think of a better title for this. Deal with it.

We have been busy busy lately! The weather has been beautiful, so we've been spending a lot of time outside. Although, I think my blood is already starting to thin. When we go outside in the mornings and it's below 50 degrees, I'm wearing a sweatshirt, and my jacket and I'm still shivering. I'm turning into a wuss.

Lots of pictures to see, so let's get started!

We went to visit the Lost Dutchman State Park out east of Phoenix. It was a beautiful day! Sadly, Little J fell down and scraped his head right before I put him in the backpack, so we only hiked for about 2.35 minutes. So basically, I paid $9 to comfort a sad toddler. Oh well. It was worth it. The views were amazing, and James had a good time playing in the car.

This is the last cookie we had from our friend's the Saids.
It's a butter cookie from France. It was a struggle to
not eat it myself.

Apparently there's a lost gold mine up there somewhere. I just think it looks pretty.

The ground was covered in little green plants! The whole desert was carpeted
in grass, and it was quite pretty.

Another thing we spend a lot of time doing is playing at the park. Little J is old enough to appreciate the playground now, and he has a pretty good time. He's just recently started going down the slide by himself and thinks it's the most fun he's ever had.

He also likes to climb on things he's just slightly too small to master and give
me heart palpitations.

The poor guy just needs about 1.7 more inches.

Look at those happy Js!

Yesterday, Little J and I went on an off-roading desert adventure to the south and west of Phoenix in the Sierra Estrella mountains. It was a total blast.

Yeah, we're probably going to leave it like that for a while so people think
we're really cool.

We found a beautiful mission church.

Little J had the time of his life playing in the sand.

Some little birds had a dance party here.

The desert is actually quite beautiful. Especially this time of year. We've
gotten more rain than usual, so everything is lush (for a desert) and green!

Little J made sure to sniff some of the rocks he picked up.
I almost peed my pants laughing at him.

You can almost see them in this picture, but Little J is getting tiny
little freckles across the bridge of his nose. It makes him even cuter,
if that's physically possible.
And now, here's Little J being a goober.

Everything is "uh-oh", "oh-no" and "ow" these days.

Monday, February 4, 2013

When the Parents Come to Town

A couple of weeks ago my parents come to town for a visit and we had so much fun! Little J remembered them from when we lived in Oregon with them, and he loves them SO much. 

The temperatures were perfect. Right before they arrived, we had had a few weeks of really cold weather! The lows were in the 30s (heaven forbid) and it only got up into the mid-50s (the agony) during the day. Luckily, my parents brought the Central Oregon sunshine with them and we spent our time outside without jackets in 70 degree weather.

We spent most of our time birdwatching, as both of my parents are avid birdwatchers. We found a GREAT park called the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert, and it was filled with all sort of wonderful little (and big) avians. We also visited the Hassayampa River Preserve run by the Nature Conservancy just outside of Wickenburg, AZ. It would have been more fun, but the birds were so-so, and I was coming down with a stomach bug. That, and we got caught in rush hour traffic on the way home. Never again.

Since both of my parents are also photographers, we got some great shots while they were here. The first shot of the heron is my dad's and the rest were taken by my lovely mother and her massive Canon.

Papago Park adventures:

A green heron we spied at Papago Park.

Little J pointing out all the Ring-Necked ducks to
his grandpa, Big Old J.

Little J has rarely been so happy as to be toted
around by a doting grandpa.

A gorgeous verdin. 
These were taken at the Water Ranch in Gilbert.

There's a flock of peach-faced lovebirds that live
at the ranch that look so incongruent! 
If there's a puddle in a 13 mile radius, Little J
will find it.
Just look at the beauty and grace of this little
Mourning Dove! She deserves an a sash and a crown!
A female Boat-Tailed Grackle. Look at that beady little eye!
There was a great little walkway where Little J and I spied some ducks. A
very gracious woman shared her birdseed with us, so we fed them too.
Don't you think this picture of a Little Egret
belongs in a National Geographic or something?
That face is pure joy.

Only one picture from the Hassayampa River Preserve:

One of my favorites. The work of a grandparent is never done.
My mother and I also visited the Arizona Desert Sonoran Museum down in Tucson. It was a wonderful museum, and all three of us had a great time!

Little J giving the Barn Owl the stink eye. Also, the rivets on the guy's hat 
make it look like it's smiling. Heh heh.
I'm hoping to impress Little J at a young age to be interested in minerals and
other rockish stuff.  I mean, who WOULDN'T want to get their hands on those?
They had a great little aquarium, too! In the middle of the desert! Crazy!
This is probably the cutest thing I've ever seen. That nest was no bigger
than a thimble! Can you imagine the eggs and young? TINY!
KAPOW! That cardinal is a total knockout!
This is Little J's favorite book. Luckily, I don't mind it either, seeing that
we read it 15 times a day.
It was so great to have my mom here while I was sick. I was only out for a few days, but the thought of being a mom while sick made me even sicker. She was so great with Little J that I'm not sure he even noticed I wasn't around much.

The best Nana award goes to this woman, hands down!

You also might ask yourself why there are no pictures of Big J here. Well, we did all the adventuring while he was at work! It would have made it a million times more fun if he had been there, but somebody has to bring home the bacon.