Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nothing gets better than this...

I have no pictures to look at, (a big shout out goes to my sweet husband for busting the camera on his hike a few weekends ago while "sliding" down some rocks...) but I do need to record (for my own sake mostly!) the few Max moments we've had the last few days. First of all, any of you that know Max - the real Max - know he's sweet, sassy, crazy, and witty...especially now that he's actually learned to use words more. Anyway, we have been (unenthusiastically) trying to talk potty training with him for months now. Somedays are better than others, but more often than not...we end up frustrated and give up hope that we might have two potty goers. A few days ago, Jackson yelled that he had to go "pee" - if you will - and Max was quick to also chime in that he also had to go. I must have told him over and over that he was wearing a diaper, and that he could go in that, but was continually rebuked by my two year old, demanding that he "Go pee in potty!! So, with what little hope I could muster that he actually might surprise me THIS time, I took off his diaper, plopped him on top of the potty, and told him to point his little thing into the toilet bowl. I watched as his tummy went in and out, and knew he was really trying to focus hard this time and actually go. Afer what seemed like a few minutes, he got frustrated, hit his (what do I call his little boy part?!) and declared, "Go little guy, I said go!!" And then looked up with nothing but serious apologetic eyes and said, "I sorry mom. He not want to go right now." All I can say is I about died, and wanted to capture that moment forever and wanted to share it with everyone. I know everyone's kids say the darndest things, but this one has got to be one of favs so far...

I also have to record that we went over a huge hump today, it was a memorable day for sure! At the beginning of this summer, Max was PETRIFIED of the water, so swimming has been extremely frustrating most of the time. Most of you know that in Vegas, we LIVE in the water all summer long, so this has been one challenge I have not enjoyed at all! I have one fish that won't get out of the water most of the time, and one fish that would barely step foot into the very shallow parts of the water.

Anyway, I have been dilligently working with Max a little bit each time we have gone swimming, and although each time gets a little less worse, we had not made HUGE progress until the last few days...

I have been able to take him out into the water, and swim with him on my hands without him screaming bloody murder at me, which has been a huge improvement, and each time, I would end with putting him under the water and letting him "swim" to me for a few seconds. But TODAY people was the DAY! We went to the pool, and he finally got it. I don't know what clicked, but I now have two fish that love the water, and he finally got the breath holding, and that he has control over when he wants to come up for air if I'm with him, or if he's in very shallow parts. I kept having him swim to me, and each time he came up for air, he immediately kicked off me, and said "Again mom, again!" I am so proud of him, and so was Jackson, he was so excited for his little brother, and it was a happy moment for us all. His eyes have been bright red all night because of all the chlorine, but he has not even complained. Yay for Max, we are so proud of him!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th of July F-U-N


There are few Fourth of July's that I can honestly say are very memorable since we have lived here in Vegas...I am always longing for those silly parades, ridiculously crazy ward breakfasts in the pavilions, bbq's at the parks, the awesome firework show that you can see even if you're not attending the Stadium of Fire, and just the beautiful weather that Utah has to offer around this time of year. I always get homesick for Utah in the summer, but especially around the fourth of July! However, I have to say that this Fourth of July will not be forgotten. We went to our friend's mom's house to swim for the afternoon, which was nothing short of great food, non-stop laughter and games (both with adults and for the kids!) great company, and non-stop fun. We had planned on swimming for a few hours, and didn't realize that we ended up staying the entire afternoon. Thank you Janice for hosting us all!
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Later that night, the Ahlander's had decided to host a bunch of us families, and we again ate great food, enjoyed non-stop laughter, had awesome free entertainment, and saw by far the coolest home firework show I have ever seen. First off, I have to give some major kudos to Spencer Holt who had all 20+ kids (of ALL ages!) eating OUT of his hand in a matter of 2 seconds with whatever crazy Canadian tag game he was having them play...but the fun didn't stop there. We went to go and light what I thought was a normal firework show...until I saw Kenny lighting the kids' sparklers with what only can be described as a BLOW TORCH. To much surprise, we had no casualties with any of the kids and their sparklers.

I can't even begin to describe what happened next. Do we call this the O'Connell special? Everyone had brought a "few" fireworks to share, and I thought we would be there for an hour, watching the dads light them off one by one, until we were all done. I did NOT expect what we got...(and pictures do not do this justice!)
(this is the FIRST round of fireworks before going off...)

(this is the first round of fireworks going off - all at the same time!)
(and this is in between rounds, when some of the smoke had finally died down enough to see again!)
I'm still not sure who to blame for what happened that night, but there are seriously no words for what the husbands all did that night together. They somehow managed to light off ALL 20-30 fireworks at the same time, which produced more smoke that I have ever seen from any campfire, and the noise that came from it all had to have been heard in was CRAZY. We quickly noticed that the kids were either 1: totally and utterly captivated or 2: so freaked out, they will not even want to touch another firework in their life! (and keep in mind, there were enough of these to go TWO rounds!) In someone else's words, "that firework show just ruined any other thing that you will try and do again on your own. Nothing will ever be able to top that."
Thank you to everyone that came that night to make it a most memorable one! Jared, your firework dance will not be forgotten, and neither will your "Star Spangled Banner" rendition that you, Russ, and Kenny attempted to sing amidst the show! (and how they all forgot the words to our National Anthem at the EXACT same place is still beyond me!)
And by the way, Trista, it was great having you here with us! We give you and Miles KUDOS for being troopers through everything! We had a great time with you guys!!

San Diego Sunshine!

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We had a VERY fun week this week, and it wasn't only because we got to celebrate our freedom and independence. Grammi had called and suggested that we get out of the Las Vegas heat (which was a good suggestion, since it's been over 110 everyday this week!) and come and visit her and Papa in San Diego. I think I purposely block out of my head how much my boys love it there, so that I don't wish that I lived there so much! San Diego is so beautiful and the weather is so perfect it's hard to want to come home. As usual, Grammi and Papa's house did not disappoint, and we got to go to the Del Mar Fair with the grandparents and Aunt Sparklie and Noah. The kids loved seeing the cow that Papa is going to buy (although Jackson did NOT want to hear WHY Papa is buying the cow!) and they loved getting to go on some of the carnival rides. Max especially got a kick out of going on the rides, and had a perma grin on his face most of the night. We will never forget Max going in the glass/plastic maze and SLAMMING head first into one of the walls...and still loving every minute of it!
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We also got to spend an afternoon at Sea World, which convinced us all that we are lucky that Grammi and Papa live there, and we don't have to visit this place that much during the summer if we don't want to! It was crowded, but the kids still had a blast, and we ended up staying a lot longer than we thought we would. We saw the seal and otter show, which freaked Max out when they "blew up" the mime guy. He kept saying over and over, "guy okay?" (for those that haven't seen it, it's very funny - but not to the little ones that don't understand it's a dummy they blow up, not the real person!) They were intrigued by the cirque show, and they of course had a great time in the new kiddy area, where there are a few rides now - AND the Sesame Street characters come out for a visit!
It's almost embarrassing to say that we also took the kids to the zoo the next day for a few hours too, because we were only in San Diego for three days, but since Grammi was up for it, (and the boys were begging to go!) off we went! We were there long enough to see the polar bears, which are always the coolest part of the day. All three were out playing around, wrestling each other, and swimming right in front of us! We rode the sky buckets, looked at every snake imaginable, let the kids get a "foot massage" on the little machines, and went home to swim for the rest of the day. Jackson commented on every snake, and let me know which ones would bite us humans, and Max had a great time locating each one in their glass cages.

We also got to see Russ's best friend from high school and his darling wife and daughter, hang out with cousins that we haven't seen in a long time, go BACK to Sea World two nights in a row - just so the kids to see the awesome firework show...whew! (were we really only there three days???!!)

I have to say, even though we did a ton of fun things, and the kids had a blast, I think their most favorite part was just being able to spend time with Grammi and Papa, and hanging out at their house. The boys LOVED to hit the golf balls around Papa's front yard with him, they also loved swimming and hanging out in their pool. Thank you Grammi and Papa, we love you, and we are thankful to have you as part of our lives!