Friday, May 20, 2011

Las Vegas!

At the beginning of the week, our little family took a jaunt down to Vegas. Ryan had a hearing aid conference that he was invited to, so Rhys and I tagged along. The hearing aid company put Ryan up in the hotel, so it was free for us! YAY! Since I didn't take any pictures, but one, I'll just touch on the highlights of our trip...



1. Meeting one of our newest nephews, Sawyer. He is my brother Jeff's new baby. It was so fun to see him and hold him! I forget how tiny new babies are. Rhys looked huge compared to him. It was great to see my brother and his family as well. Rhys had a blast with my 4-year old niece Halle. She took good care of him.


2. Staying at the Venetian. I've never been to this all-suite hotel before and it was very nice. 3 TVs in our room, plenty of space for Rhys to roam around and a separate tub and shower! LOVED IT!




3. There was a large wall fountain that Rhys loved, so we often went to see it. One time Rhys was looking at it, a teenage Indian boy (like from India), walked up to Rhys and started touching his head and hair. I thought he was trying to get Rhys out of the picture, but then I quickly realized, Rhys WAS the picture. The boy was posing for a picture with Rhys by the fountain. As soon as Rhys realized it wasn't me touching him, he freaked out. The family crowded around us while I was comforting him and kept talking to him. It was very strange.

4. Ryan got a $100 casino chip from his boss. So we took it and gambled the night away. No, no we didn't. We took it directly to the cashier, who informed us (like we were the worst parents in the world) that we could not have a baby on the casino floor. Really lady? You think I like my kid exposed to all this?


5. I love having a baby outside of Utah. The attention you get is ridiculous. Even my sister-in-law got complimented on Rhys. It's fun to go places where babies aren't a dime a dozen. And I have a really cute baby:) (I'm allowed to say that because I'm his mom).


6. I saw Stephanie Nielson and her husband Christian ( I think that's his name) at the hotel. If you don't know who she is, she does the Nie Nie Dialogues. She's a famous Mormon/Utah blogger. Anyway, I never got close enough to say anything, but I didn't know what I would say anyway.


7. My last highlight, was the realization of how jaded I am with Vegas. We go there more than most people, but rarely to the strip. The second I step on the strip, I realize I'm completely bored and want to leave it immediately. I find it fascinating watching all the tourists take pictures of the hotel ceiling and the fountains and all the stuff. I kept thinking, it's just a hotel. I won't deny that it looks cool, but it's a replica of some place else in the world. It's all just weird to me. People save up all their money for trips to Vegas. It's just not my scene, but Rhys LOVED it!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lastest Obsession

My latest obsession is couponing. I'm addicted. I've been watching that Extreme Couponing show on TLC and was converted. I've always liked the idea of coupons, but I never used them to their full advantage. I think I'm still working on that. Unfortunately, I live in a state where double and triple coupons are not accepted. But if they were, I'd be all over it.

This is a picture of my shopping trip from yesterday. I purchased more than just this, but these were my big savings. In this pic, the total retail price would be about $51 at Wal-Mart. With ad-matching, store coupons and manufacturer's coupons, I paid $11.84. I think that's a pretty good deal. And it's really fun to see if you can find the best savings possible. Another good thing is that we eat/drink all those items- except the Sierra Mist. We don't drink much soda, let alone buy it at the store. But it was free. You hear me? FREE. I couldn't pass it up. I figured if we gave it away, it'd be worth it.
Just to break it down even more, the cereal was $.49 a box, the Fuze drinks were free, and the Sun Chips were $1 a bag. Ryan's favorite chip and I could afford to get him more than 1 bag at a time. Those things are expensive!

I'm excited to keep scouring out the deals and finding items we love for dirt cheap prices. I'll let you know if I have any more cool finds!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chicago

For work, Ryan needs to get some continuing education credits each year. There's lots of ways to attain those, but one is by going to conferences held around the country. Every other year, Ryan's employer pays for him to go and Ryan chose it to be this year. I hate being home alone and I really wanted us all to take some sort of vacation aside from visiting family. So, we bought my plane ticket and Rhys and I went with Daddy to Chicago, Illinois. I was really looking forward to it in hopes that my parents could come visit us for a day (they live 4 hours away), but that didn't happen.

I've been to Chicago lots in my childhood and I was looking forward to experiencing it as an adult. I was also looking forward to seeing parts that I've never seen. I've pretty much only gone to Wrigley Field, US Cellular Field (where the White Sox play, but pretty sure it was called something different back then) and the Chicago Temple. Luckily, we stayed in the heart of downtown. We stayed at a fancy hotel called the Palmer House Hilton. It's an historic and iconic building in downtown Chicago. Anyway, when we told people we were staying there we only heard good things.


The flight there was a little tricky- involving a 3 hour delay, which meant that we didn't get to our hotel until 3 AM Chicago time. With a one-year old who was beyond exhausted, it made it extra fun. We lucked out and were able to get a seat for him. So, he slept in his car seat, on his stomach with his knees where his bum should be. I know I should have strapped him in, but he slept beautifully the whole way there. I figured if the plane was going down, being strapped in a car seat wasn't going to provide much extra protection.


We made it fine and enjoyed ourselves in while we were there. It was hard on Rhys, with his new found freedom of walking. Our hotel room was tiny and the floors were uneven. Not to mention, we felt cooped up half the time. His schedule was off and it was hard to entertain a toddler in such a fancy place. He wasn't super happy most of the time, but he managed. He had two favorite things to do. One was swimming. So I took full advantage of that while we wasted time for Ryan to get back from classes.


One night before bedtime, we had Daddy come join us for some swimming fun. It's a lot more fun with two people to throw him around.



One great thing about the trip was that we didn't have to pay for any of our dinners while we were there. We were able to get a nice selection of Chicago restaurants. Our first night we had to go have our Chicago pizza. Now, I grew up with two parents who are from Chicago. My dad is a die-hard Chicago pizza lover. Even going to the extremes of driving to Chicago (4 hours, like I said earlier) on Christmas Eve, pick up some uncooked pizzas from his favorite pizza place and drive back. Pizza was our tradition for Christmas Eve dinner growing up. So, needless to say, I know my Chicago pizza. When I moved to Utah for college, I was shocked when everyone referred to the deep dish pizza as the Chicago pizza. You see, I grew up eating extra thin pizza from Chicago, with sweet sauce, cut into squares. That's the only way I knew it. I was excited to find a pizza place a block away that had my thin pizza. It was delicious.



Unfortunately I didn't get too many pictures, except for Rhys, of course. Our last day there, we were flying out at 10 PM, so we had all day to explore the city. Ryan skipped going to his conference and spent the time with us. We walked to Navy Pier. It's a touristy pier that's right on Lake Michigan. It was about a 30 minute walk from where we were staying, but we just followed the lake to get there, so it was pretty. Unfortunately, it was really foggy that day, so we couldn't see too far out. Apparently the Chicago skyline is amazing from Navy Pier, but we could not see it.



On Navy Pier there is a Children's Museum. Finally, a place where Rhys could walk around and touch anything he wanted without getting told no. We did it as a precursor to his birthday and made it his birthday celebration. (His birthday was the next day). Lucky for us, because babies 1 and older cost money. Missed it by 24 hours. Rhys had an absolute blast. We would take him to rooms that were age appropriate and let him chose where he wanted to go. He was having the time of his life. I wish we had something similar here. He loved exploring and seeing all the other kids. It was the highlight of the trip for me (and him).
The flight home wasn't too bad. Except Chicago O'Hare Airport is stupid. We asked if the plane was full and the lady at the gate told us it wasn't. So, we asked if we could move around so that we could get a third seat by us for Rhys. She said she had to ask her supervisor who told her that we would have to buy an extra seat to do that. It made me so mad for some reason. I've never been told that before. Most of the time people are really easy going and make it possible for kids to do that. I feel it makes everyone happy on the plane, so you don't have a screaming baby on board. But whatever. I'm still annoyed by it, clearly. Everything worked out great, Rhys slept in our arms the whole flight. And then slept through the transition of getting our luggage, going to car and driving home from Vegas. We were so glad:)


All in all it was a fun trip. I'm glad we went and got to see a part of the country that we don't get to see too often. And it was Rhys' sixth state that he's been to in his short first year of life. Too fun!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Crafts

Since I'm home more, I have been having a blast working on lots of crafts. I love that I have more time and that I can actually finish a project. It's always nice to have something else to do besides cleaning the house constantly. I'm not really that good, my ideas are ALWAYS better than the final outcome, but it's still fun. So, I thought I'd share some of the things that I've been working on.



This is a Christmas Calendar that I made. The boxes on there are matchstick boxes- not sure what I'm going to do with all those matchsticks. I covered them with paper and they slide open to put a treat inside or whatever you would like! They're on a magnetic board, so as we countdown, we can just take the box off.






This is what I made to hold our Christmas cards. I never know what to do with all the ones we get, so I saw this crafty idea. I got some cheap frames from a second hand store, spray painted them white. Then I ran some necklace wire throughout them for the cards to hang off. The cards are held onto the wire with clips.


This is what I made my parents for their Christmas present. It's a star photo album. When you first get it, it looks like any other album, but...

you can open it up and display it as a star. It's made all from scrapbook card stock and was surprisingly simple to make. And it looks way cool.


I found these gems at a second hand store for $1 each, I thought it'd be fun to decorate them...


I just painted them red and Mod Podged on some scrapbook paper and there you go! Not too exciting, but I think they're fun:)

Last but not least, I also found these little boxes at a second hand store and wanted to see what I could do with them...

I turned them into a picture frame. I spray painted them white, and then decorated them up with scrapbook paper and such. The pictures can come out, so I'm not stuck with the same pictures forever. My only regret is that I didn't paint them an off-white color. These are in my kitchen above the cabinets and the white is so bright compared to my brown cabinets, but it's not like we'll live here forever:)


My next projects all involve a sewing machine... I just need to read the instructions and figure it all out. I want to make us Christmas stockings and Rhys a quiet book. Oh and I am still working on Rhys' never ending scrapbook!! Hopefully, I'll have more projects to share soon.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Videos of Rhys

I mainly put these up on the blog for the Grandmas to be able to see some Rhys. Do not feel inclined to watch these, they're not THAT exciting:)

Rhys Crawling!

video

Jumping in his bed- just thought he was cute!!

video

Monday, January 17, 2011

Late Christmas Post

I figure I should update this thing again. Christmas was an absolute blast. We had lots of visitors and lots of family time that made it special. Ryan's brother and his family came to spend the holiday with us, as well as Ryan's mom. One of my closest friends from high school and her husband stayed one night on their way to California. All in all it was a super fun weekend. Filled with fondue, Settlers of Catan and feeding some ducks. Oh and the tree was so full of presents that we had to rearrange the furniture to accommodate for Christmas morning!

Rhys had a pretty good Christmas day! He didn't have a clue what was going on and ripped some paper a little bit. But he enjoyed all his presents (and still does). I think his favorite thing he got was the bag that Grandma Eileen's gift came in. He played with that bag all morning! I can't blame him, it was a really cute bag.

Here he is "opening" up one of his presentsRhys with all the presents he got! (including the pjs)

Rhys and Daddy after all the presents are open!

Just trying to read my new book (that I still love and don't like to put down)
Rhys had a blast watching his cousin Mylie play around our house. He loves her and was always seeing what she was doing. She was so good to him too. Always sharing toys and talking to him. It was really cute to see them interact. Rhys also got over his stranger anxiety for the weekend and let Grandma and his Aunt Angie hold him a lot. I was shocked but also very relieved that he now likes some of his relatives. He still needs to be a little better about being around other people. But it's a process we're learning.

A couple days before Christmas we went to the mall to get a picture with Santa. I figured Rhys would absolutely hate it, but he did pretty good. However, there were no smiles from the event. He was fine until Mylie got on Santa's lap with him. Neither one of them liked that experience.

That's pretty much all for now. I'll try to be better at this, but it's not on my priority list. I do have some blog post ideas, so we'll see if they make it on here! Until then...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hair Cut

A couple of weekends ago, we decided to cut Rhys' hair. Most of his infant hair had fallen out or rubbed off except for the very top. He had this little tuft of hair that was always sticking up. People commented on it all the time (which could mean he looked dumb or cute) and we liked it because it was the hair he was born with. After debating it for awhile, one of my friends told me that if we want to save some of his hair, we should cut it before it falls out. So, that was the deciding factor. I was sad at first, but it had to be done. Now we wish we had some the dark hair he was born with. His hair had completely lightened up since he was born and is now growing in platinum blond!
Before:
After: