Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cancun recap (finally)

(This post a long one. I'm keeping it that way for posterity's sake. Begin reading at your own risk!)

Woo-hoo! What a great trip! It was so hard leaving Grayson behind (much harder than I thought it would be), but we had a wonderful time recharging in Mexico. The first day was travel and activities with other employees, which only left us two full days to ourselves, but it turned out to be the perfect vacation.

Early Thursday morning we drove up to Don & Holly's to drop Grayson off for our long weekend. You'd think we were going to be gone for months to look at all the things I stuffed into his suitcase, but I wanted to be completely prepared for anything that could happen while we were away. And even though I'd been preparing myself emotionally all week long, I couldn't bear to leave him behind and started crying before I got out the front door. Wouldn't you know I left my pump in the house, though, and had to go back for it? Holly took one look at me and had doubts I was going to be able to leave a second time, I'm such a crybaby now. But somehow I made it out the door yet again and we were off to Salt Lake International.

This is going to disappoint Kory and her Soapbox, but we flew Delta and had an awesome experience doing so. Josh's work ponied up for business class seats on the non-stops between SLC and Cancun and we couldn't have asked for better service! I was simply amazed at how friendly the agents at check-in were. Seriously, they were so nice and good-natured, I wondered if we'd somehow ended up on a Southwest flight instead. The flight attendants cracked jokes with us, and one of them made me a dreamy fruit juice concoction when I asked for an orange-cranberry mix. We did get peanuts on both flights, but that was merely a precursor to full-fledged meals complete with salad, rolls, and dessert. The main entrees tasted pretty good, and there was plenty to fill us up. Overall, we were both very impressed with all aspects of Delta's service. Thanks for two wonderful flights, Delta!

A guy picked us up along with another couple, Ryan and Natalie from Colorado, and took us the hour-long drive to the resort. Josh knew Ryan from an upgrade he had helped with in St. George, so it was easy to strike up a conversation and chat with them during the drive. They left their 2-year-old daughter behind and Natalie is 30 weeks pregnant with a baby boy, so we spent the majority of the time talking about our children.

The resort was beautiful - it looked just like the pictures on their website. There was a big tree pruned into the shape of a Mexican hat outside our room and it cracked me up every time I walked by. I wish I would have taken a picture. In an exit survey they asked us to fill out, I listed the landscaping as my favorite thing about the resort. And our room was incredible, but again, I didn't think to take any photos. It had all the typical stuff plus a patio and chairs off the back door, ceiling fans and central air, large walk-in closet, a beautiful armoire holding the television, dvd player and stereo, and a fantastic bathroom. French doors separated the rooms, and the bathroom was nearly as large as the bedroom was. It had a jetted bath, separate shower, dual sinks, private toilet, electronic scale and cushy bath robes. My only wish was that they would have provided us slippers as well.

Thursday night was work stuff, but we skipped out a little early to call home and see how Grayson was doing. Holly said Grayson had had a great day with her little family and didn't fuss much at all. She was nice enough to tell us that Grayson smiled when he heard our voices on the phone, so we went to bed relieved that he hadn't already forgotten us.

Friday morning we slept in until 10am. No, that is not a typo - both of us really did get to sleep in until 10 o'clock in the morning. There was no 5:30am feeding. There was no 6:45am alarm waking Josh for work. It. Was. Awesome. I LOVED sleeping in, even though I was beyond engorged and leaking all over the bed when I finally woke up. But that was nothing a Medela pump and new bed sheets couldn't fix and well worth the extra hours of slumber.

We headed up to a late breakfast and came back to soak in the tub for an hour. I haven't had the time to take a bath since way before Grayson was born, and oh, I just loved it. We planned to go snorkeling and kayaking while we were on vacation, but it was so windy we weren't allowed to go out past the wave breakers. Phooey. I was really disappointed because those were really the only things I wanted to do while we were there. But we decided to get some bicycles and ride a couple of miles down to "5th Avenue" to do a little shopping.

On our way to pick up the bikes
We spent a lot of time window-shopping and just walking around, but ended up only buying some cooking vanilla, a cute beach bag, and a little dress for my upcoming niece. We headed back to the resort for a late lunch and just lounged around the rest of the evening until dinner. We ate at an Asian restaurant at the resort and the food was sooo yummy. Josh had the best grilled tuna steak I've ever tasted (my salmon was good, too, but that tuna was incredible). There was only one meal we didn't love while we were there, and it was the vegetable lasagna I got for lunch one afternoon. Seriously, though...what was I thinking?

We slept in until 10am again Saturday morning. This time we didn't mean to because we really wanted to go up to the breakfast buffet we had missed the day before, so we just skipped breakfast entirely and had an early lunch instead. The good news is that during this early lunch we ran into another couple there with our group, Jesse and Maggie. I love them.

Maggie and I could spend the next 14 years listening to each other's 'work widow' stories about our hubbies leaving town and/or working late, leaving us to entertain the kiddies or attend social functions all alone. Poor us. We ended up spending a great deal of time with them Saturday and it was so nice to meet new people and have real conversation with them (even if all we did was talk about husbands and kiddies). We had a wonderful time with them - eating, playing in the ocean before resort staff kicked us out, painting our pottery, and getting way too sunburned for comfort. My only regret is we didn't get actual photos with them - I only have them on video.

We had another excellent dinner that night, but everyone was too sore with their sunburns to go karaoke-ing again, so we went to bed instead. This is Josh and I at the bottom of the staircase leading up to the restaurant where we dined.
This is me on the staircase alone, because Josh thinks I'm pretty, even if I have a broken leg.Don't let this happen to you. It may not look too bad in this photo, but it hurt so bad I cried in the shower Sunday and Monday. I have an awesome base tan now for Lake Powell, but trust me, it wasn't worth it.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Well, well

So much blogging to catch up on, so little time! One day (probably this weekend) I'll upload photos and finish my wedding, Cancun, and miscellaneous posts, so come back then. For now, though, I need to do two more loads of laundry, finish unpacking, do the dishes, vacuum the entire house, finish my lab assignment for tonight, print Maryann's shower invitations, and fit lunch with Lacie in there somewhere.

It's hard to recover from a vacation isn't it?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wedding Bells, part 3

Nick and Natalie's marriage is the third one I've attended since starting this blog last year. Lucky for me, because I absolutely *love* weddings! Grayson got to make his first public appearance at Alina's wedding back in March, but this was his first temple wedding, and it was warm enough that we got to go outside to take some family pictures.
Waiting for the bride and groomReception photo - same day, different clothes
Nick and Natalie married in the Salt Lake Temple on May 17 and had one of the most beautiful outdoor receptions I've been to. Natalie nannies for a wonderful family that owns a stunning home way up behind the Capitol Building. You can catch a glimpse of their home's amazing view of the Salt Lake Valley in this cute picture of Josh and Grayson.
Father & Son

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Please, Lord, make him stay little

I think Grayson may be going through a growth spurt. The last couple of nights he has woken after only 5-6 hours of sleep and needed a good 15-20 minute feeding to get him through the last three hours. Interrupted sleep is never good sleep for me. He's also eating for longer periods during the day, greatly reducing my effectiveness at housework (there's only so much laundry a person can fold with one arm), although we've finished reading the Frog and Toad series and will easily finish The Little Prince later today. I've also been pumping every night after he goes to bed, trying to stock up for our little Cancun getaway next week, and I'll tell you, I'm a tired mommy. While it's taking a toll on me physically, however, I dare say the emotional toll is even greater.

My baby is growing up, and I want him to stop. I don't use my Boppy for support while breastfeeding anymore because he's big enough now for my leg or lap to support my arm.
He moved into his own room last Saturday, and I can't remember the last time he let us swaddle him for bedtime - he likes having his arms free. He still smiles all the time and talks up a storm, but over the last week, he's begun reaching for and grabbing things - rattles, burp cloths, my shirt and fingers - and eating them. He's really perfected his grip and even holds the sides of the bottle when Josh is feeding him. He's officially outgrown his newborn sleepsack and all of his 0-3 month jammies, and I had to buy him a 3-6 month outfit for Nick's wedding. While all of these changes are exciting, and I'm absolutely in love with his personality, I've found myself missing his younger version, especially during these early morning feedings when it's just Grayson, me, and the memories of not-so-long-ago when getting together to eat at 4am was the norm. Never emotional before, I've found tears now flow easily when I look at my baby.

Here he is in the smallest outfit we took to the hospital when he was born. We didn't realize he'd be so tiny:
2 days old
And here he is just yesterday, wearing that same outfit for the last time. These onesies are just snug enough that it's time to put them away until next time.
14 weeks, 4 days old

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I love free photos!

Only today, May 7, can you get a free 8x10 photograph at Walgreens using code 4MOM at checkout.

For a limited time, is offering new registrants 200 free 4x6 prints, 200 free 5x7 prints, and 1 free 8x8 photo book! But once they reach their targeted number of new customers, the freebies will disappear, so you need to register now! And as an added bonus, anyone that becomes a member and purchases something before May 14 will get a free 8.5x11 photo calendar that you customize with your own pictures. What a great gift idea for 2009!

Click here for more information and to register for your FREE prints and picture book!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

This video is delightful

I've gotten Grayson to laugh pretty hard a few times when I fake laugh at him a lot and really exaggerate my facial expressions. I was trying to video him talking some more, but this is what I got instead. I'm definitely *not* disappointed.

(Sorry I'm so congested with allergies-turned-into-a-cold mucus, and of course Josh is on the phone about a work problem in the background, but hey, that's life, right?)

Monday, May 5, 2008

No Room at the Inn

For Grayson, anyway. He isn't going to Cancun with us, but after a lot of worry, thinking, prayers and planning, we've decided to go without him. We feel good about the decision, but I know it's going to be hard to be away from him, even if it's only for four days. Don and Holly agreed to watch the little guy while we take advantage of this rare opportunity, and when I say rare, I mean it - they're probably eliminating the program next year, which is the reason they didn't want us to wait to take our trip until then. So we're going, and it's going to be incredible! They're flying us nonstop first-class both ways, and have you checked out where we get to stay? Here. Personally, I think the family-friendly one would have been better-suited for us, considering it's not as upscale or classy and neither are we, but it will be fun to get all dressed up for dinner and feel pretty and pompous for a few days. And the people at our resort will be drunk on expensive wines instead of cheap beer!

So now that the stress of Grayson's blessing is over and I don't have to keep worrying about whether his passport will be here in time, I can move on to our other upcoming fun summertime things! My Chem class begins next Monday (k, maybe that's not so fun), then we have Nick's wedding, then we go to Mexico, then a southern Utah trip for Les Miserables at Tuacahn, then the first Lake Powell trip, then...well, I guess we'll have to see. I haven't planned beyond June yet.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Grayson's Blessing

We blessed Grayson today. I think both Josh and I stressed ourselves out too much while preparing for it, but the meeting and family gathering afterward turned out just perfectly, so it was well worth our efforts.

Josh was impressed to say a lot of neat things when he blessed Grayson. He got the usual stuff, like good health, strong testimony of the gospel, mission, temple marriage, etc., but two things stood out to my listening ear. First, Grayson was blessed with a clear mind and the ability to learn quickly. I wouldn't have thought this would be a big deal, but when I heard it, I felt such a wave of relief run through me. I really like learning. I secretly love my college classes, even if I never reach the ultimate goal of becoming a dental hygienist and replacing Josh's income so he can take a different direction career-wise. I hope Grayson's learning ability creates an environment that will foster that same love for learning and carry him well into college so that he doesn't play catch-up the way Josh and I have since we married.

Grayson was also blessed to be a great example to both his family and friends, and was advised to remain compassionate, courteous and kind in dealing with them. I told Josh how he's already begun fulfilling this promise as we've stepped up our own efforts to welcome and keep the Spirit in our home. Both of us are quite lazy spiritually, but we've found the responsibility of raising this baby has really re-dedicated us to the Lord. I'm fairly certain we went to the temple more in the last six months of my pregnancy than we did the entire first two years we were married. I am a little worried about him needing a reminder to be nice to all of us, though. Perhaps his present gentle demeanor is all a facade and he's really going to have my temperament when he gets older. Yikes.

Poor Josh had sweat dripping down the side of his face when he sat back down after the blessing. He was so nervous! But no one noticed, and I was grateful he was willing to wait for a moment to really listen to what the Spirit was saying instead of letting his nerves rush him. We finished out the meeting with both of our testimonies and several others about the importance of family and how essential the family's role is to God's plan. I can't get over how great it is to be a mom. I just love my baby so much - it's hard to imagine life without him. In fact, I don't want to. I'm almost surprised at the level of fulfillment I've gained since having him join our family. Reading back on some of my blog posts during pregnancy, I just shake my head and wonder why I was so scared to embark on this great adventure. I can't believe he's here, and he's all mine. I can see it in his eyes that he loves me. There is no greater feeling than catching my baby's eye, seeing the recognition in his face, and getting a smile as reward. I don't even have to do anything but be there! And the greatest thing is that I am there, and he knows it. I hope he always knows it. I'm sure this is what it was like for Alison, Amanda's mom, when she adopted my little girl, and I'm so grateful I could give this feeling, this experience, to her. I thought I knew love when I had Amanda and placed her with her family, but now that I'm experiencing a different side to parenthood, I know a far deeper, unconditional love than I ever imagined possible. I'm so very happy.

I could go on and tell you how perfect the weather was for our outdoor luncheon afterward and rave about the dozens of wonderful family members that drove a long way to come support us, but instead I'll leave it as simply being one of the happiest days of my life. Here we are, back at the house. I see so much of Josh in him now. I just love it.
My eternal family

Friday, May 2, 2008

3 months!

During the last month, Grayson...
  • Started sleeping anywhere from 7-9 hours straight through the night
  • Grew to 13 pounds and 23.25 inches long
  • Went on his first lunch date with me to Sweet Tomatoes!
  • Watched the LDS church sustain our new prophet, Thomas S. Monson
  • Met lots of Toquerville friends for the first time
  • Attended all three church meetings, twice!
  • Started pooping less but peeing more
  • Helped me earn an A in my nutrition class
  • Decides he prefers me singing U2 over church hymns
  • Gave his newborn-sized and some 0-3 months clothes back to his newest cousin, Joseph
  • Spent a couple of days out in the SUN!
Here's a picture of Grayson with our dreamy neighbors, Kit and Bill. We had them over for a thank-you dinner last Saturday night after they helped us in our yard. Grayson sure was taken with Kit while we all ate!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cancun update

Okay, here's the deal. Josh's boss' boss was mistaken, and we can't take Grayson with us, at least not to the place they booked. It's the all-inclusive Royal Hideaway Playacar, and the rule on children is firm - no one under 13 allowed. Not even babies. I'm a little bummed because it sounds soooo dreamy! The good news is a woman named Shonda that is in charge of all the registrations, etc. is working with the resort people to switch us to one of their 'family-friendly' resorts instead. It's no Royal Hideaway, but at least we'll have Grayson with us. We should know tomorrow morning if she was able to switch resorts. She's waiting to hear back about availability for us. If she can't switch it for us, we're leaning toward leaving Grayson with family and heading out to the dreamy resort without him. I'll miss him something fierce if that happens, but it would sure be a nice break. And if we don't leave him, we'll have to nix the whole vacation anyway.

I went to get Grayson's passport done today (better get it just in case he comes with us!) and wouldn't you know the place I went requires you to have an appointment - they don't take walk-ins. So I'm going downtown tomorrow morning to the walk-in post office. The vacation is exactly three weeks from today, so we have to pay the extra $92.50 to get it expedited. Ouch! I'm a little nervous we're pushing our luck in applying for it so late, but que sera, sera.

Thanks so much for your comments, you guys. I feel confident we can travel with Grayson there and even if we end up just hanging out on the beach all three days with him, hey, it's still a free vacation!