Friday, May 31, 2013

His cuteness kills me

Mason has Kevin, Cory and me all smitten by his cuteness. He is just the most fun kid ever. He loves reading books about animals and will mimic the animal sounds you make. He figured out how to walk holding your fingers, or leaning on a push toy. He gets so proud of himself. He loves cars and will make engine noises whenever he plays with them. I caught this little picture on my phone yesterday.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Happy Birthday Cory Boy!

I tried really hard to make Cory's day special and do it on a budget. By 7pm, the night of his birthday, Kevin and I looked at each other and said "Success!" He really had a day perfect for him. When he went to bed on "birthday eve" Kevin and I filled his room with balloons (This was a bad idea because he woke up at like midnight and saw them. He was so excited for his birthday, that I don't think he slept much after that.)
First thing when he woke up, he ran to the kitchen table to check out his presents. He's been asking (begging) for a hamster or a mouse. He looked his gifts over, analyzing their shapes, and the said seriously to Kevin, "Dad. We need to say a prayer." He continued to pray that he would have a good birthday, that he would be happy, that he would get a hamster, and that the hamster would be OK." He must have come to the conclusion that none of the presents were shaped like a hamster cage, and if there was a hamster in one of the packages, he was going to need our prayers to survive being wrapped.  
Cory and I made a homemade pinata out of a shoe box, tissue paper and Spider Man mask.

I made Cory this "Pin the mask on the super hero" game. He thought it was pretty cool. (So did I.)

Isn't he the most handsome little 4 year old ever!

This picture doesn't show it, but these 7 children somehow managed to make the biggest mess. Every one of them was covered in icing.

Cory and I must be super human pinata builders because I couldn't even bust Spiderman open. I eventually just pulled it apart with my hand and flung candy all of the yard.

Cory's favorite presents were the new bones pajamas and Hotel Transylvania movie.
Later in the day (when Kevin got off of work) we loaded up and headed to Chuck E Cheese and dinner at Brick Oven. Cory fell asleep in the car, but perked right up when we woke him up in the Chuck E Cheese parking lot. 
I think the adults had more fun that the kids. Mom and Dad Bird, and Kelly joined us for some fun.
Handsome Birthday Boy!
Mason was having a pretty great time too!

All in all it was a great birthday. I still can't believe he's four. I love my funny little Cory Boy so much!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Musings on motherhood

My sweet little baby Cory transformed me from a self-centered being, into a mother on a mission to love and raise her child as God would have her do. I still struggle with this new identity at times and often feel as though I'm failing on many fronts, but motherhood has no doubt been the best blessing of my life. That little baby who totally changed my life, will be four years old tomorrow. I can totally say the contradictory cliches that it feels like just yesterday I brought him home from the hospital and it feels like he's always been a part of my life. Both feel true. He is such an amazing person. He is so bright, and that exhausts me. His imagination and creativity are inspiring. It's not surprising that I had a hard time deciding what to do for his birthday. Kevin and I want to give him everything his little heart desires. Obviously that is not possible or even sensible. We're doing a very simple, low budget party tomorrow. He'll think the simple gifts he'll open are his only presents from us. They will make him happy in the moment. What he won't realize is that the present I want to give him, is to be a better mother. I want to more fully align my will with God's. I want to more fully sacrifice my selfish desires. I guess I should start by getting off of this computer and focusing on him. :)

What do you do when it's over 90 degrees?

We decided to find some water to play in since it was getting pretty warm out. I love the hike up past the Power House Dam. I don't know what you call the canyon or water fall, but it's a must do if you're ever in Moab. At the trail head we had a nice view of some rock crawlers. It was fun to watch.

We were so hot when we finally reached our destination, and it felt good to get in the water.

 Mason is teething and tried putting everything in his mouth, including this slimy rock. That is algae all over his face.
 This is a fun action shot. Cory was a rock throwing machine.

 We were pretty gross by the end of the day, so we decided to go to the low key Moab Diner. I had the smothered burrito with their signature green chili sauce. It was so good. Kevin got the chicken fried chicken and also had good things to say about the food.
 We camped at the Riverside Oasis. The camp spots are grass, which made it very kid friendly. It boarders the Colorado River on the north side of town. The bathrooms were clean and we were pleased with everything. The only negatives I could mention would be that our friends did have a bad experience with an employee on a power trip, and you are right on the main road so there is road noise.  I'd definitely stay there again. The grass and shade were unbeatable.
 Isn't Mason the cutest little camper ever! He loved crawling all over the tent.
Before heading home, we had a picnic lunch with our friends at the Moab Rotary Park. It was an awesome park and had fun instruments that you could play, with lots of shade trees (priceless in Moab).

 Pit stop on the way home~ We found a very ghetto Mystery Machine and Lightning McQueen. Of course they were a hit with Cory.

 We were all exhausted by day 3. The kids fell asleep right after we stopped at the I-70 junction and slept almost the whole way home. 

Arches National Park

Sleeping in a tent with these two monkeys is an adventure by itself. 
Cory woke up at 5am ready to go! I've decided sleep is not a part of camping . You hope for a few hours and expect none. Anyway, we headed into Arches National Park to do some hiking. Our first stop was Delicate Arch. Cory was a bit tired and emotional (I wonder why?) but still managed to have a nice time. He especially liked seeing the occasional lizard on the trail. I loved seeing him out hiking with his daddy.

 I'll warn you now. My hair just gets worse as the day goes on.
 This trip proved to be quite educational for Cory. This lady really liked to get low to take photographs of the desert flowers. We actually saw a lot of skin this trip, and Cory would say out loud, "Don't look mommy!!! They are not modest!!!" I would just grin and nod.
There were some really beautiful lizards along the trail.

 I love this picture of Mason peeking around me. He would ride in that back pack all day long. He loves it.

 They all three had their mouths full for this shot.
 After exploring the arches around Landscape Arch, we got in the car and headed to the Delicate Arch area. The kids were getting hot and tired, so we opted to hike the shorter trail to the "overlook" instead of hiking all the way to Delicate Arch.
 I don't know where he comes up with these poses. Underneath his clenched fist is Delicate Arch in the background.

On our second day in the park we headed to the Windows area. It is one of my favorite spots in the park.

 Soon after this picture was taken, I had Mason on my back and I felt a thump of dead weight against my neck. Poor little guy passed out from all of the fun. He was exhausted.