Monday, June 11, 2012

Collin vs Skateboard

If you're keeping track, round one goes to the skateboard...
You'd think this would slow him down a little.  Or at the very least convince him to wear a helmet.
You'd be wrong on both counts.
But it did inspire mommy to start a new savings account entitled "future hospital expenses". :)

Under the Sea!

Once upon a time, at the end of our really fun vacation to Disneyland, we thought it would be fun to take the boys to Sea World.  Both are fascinated with all things "Under the Sea". 
And while it's true that Collin asked if he ride on the whale's back
And go for a swim with the whales,
And the dolphins...
And the turtles...
The animals he was most interested in?  That would be the pidgeon that kept following him and, more to the point, his popcorn around.
On the plus side, he did offer to share with Shamu and friends, if they'd do this again.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Chip & Dale, Rescue Rangers?

Once upon a time, many, MANY years ago, that was the name of a cartoon starring the chipmunks.  Fast forward more years than I care to count, and it is now the, never to be swayed, opinion of my son.  Nate was totally excited to go to the Bug's Life movie exhibit inside California Adventure.  I figured, it's a movie about bugs in Disneyland, how scary can it be?  My child does not do bug.  And when I say he doesn't do bugs, I mean he DOES. NOT. DO. BUGS. At all.  The sight of a fly sends him scurrying into the next room.  I was, unknowingly, about to take that fear to a whole new level.  You see, the Bug's Life movie is in 3-D.  Thirty seconds in, an ENORMOUS (according to Collin) spider sneezed (I think, the details are a bit fuzzy) sending what looked like a gazillion eyeballs (again, details are fuzzy) flying right at us, and my sweet little boy screamed in terror at a pitch I have only heard once before, (his first night home from Haiti when Tucker came charging toward him) did I mention, we were in the front row?  Being the awesome mom that I am, I scooped him up and bolted for the nearest exit.  While we were in the hallway, trying to concentrate on breathing normally, I heard a door to the left of me open and in bounded (literally) these two.
Chip took one look at the hat Collin was wearing along with the tears streaming down his face, and being the astute little chipmunk he is, correctly assessed that something traumatic just happened.  He quickly grabbed Collin's arm, which I happened to be holding at the time, along with the rest of him, and pulled outside to where he and Dale would be signing autographs.  They made sure he was at the front of the line, and before too long, managed to get him laughing again.  If you ask Collin what happened, he'll tell you that Chip and Dale rescued him from the creepy Bug's Life.  I apparently had nothing to do with it.  Impeccable timing Rescue Ranger, I owe you one!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Making Friends

I know, I know, it's been two months and I'm STILL posting about Disneyland... But you'll be glad I did when you see this...  There came a point  in our trip, about an hour after we entered the park, when Collin pretty much thought that he'd stepped INTO the Disney Channel.  He couldn't have been happier.  See for yourself.

The end result was one, very tired, very happy little boy with a bunch of new friends that he still talks about two months later.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Feet

One thing Collin loved about Disneyland was the music constantly playing overhead.

And sometimes, you just gotta get up and dance...

And dance...

Well, you get the idea.

All I had to do was follow him around with a camera,

And giggle along with everyone else that stopped to watch.

Just keep dancin' little guy!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chipmunks and Honey Pots

This is probably the cutest hat I've ever seen. But what's a Chip without his equally mischievous side kick Dale?

Ahh, now that's more like it!

The boys wore these hats everyday of the rest of our trip, and solicited quite a few smiles from other park goers. After our early morning pirate scare, I was desperate to show Collin that the rides in Disneyland were not scary. Enter Winnie the Pooh and his Honey Pot ride. After a little coaxing, Collin climbed into a beehive and off we went...


And again (Nate didn't mind)...

And again... Gotta love that willy nilly silly old bear!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth... Eventually

Since Collin has been home, he's had a love for all things Disney. This year I decided it was time to visit the magic kingdom in person, so we invited Uncle Brent, Aunt Lolo and best friend Nate to join us, and off we went. On our first day, we ran into these guys.

They seemed friendly enough and, one of Collins favorite shows is Jake and the Neverland Pirates, so we thought Pirates of the Caribbean would be a great first ride. Oops. A four year old Haitian who has never seen a roller coaster ride up close, let alone been on one + a dark tunnel + pirates yelling and shooting guns = the longest 2 and half minutes of my life. Collin was terrified and spent the entire ride with his face in my lap. Good call Mommy, good call.
After our pirate fiasco, I decided that an opportunity to get in touch with his inner Tarzan was in order. If you know Collin, you know he will climb anything that stands still long enough for him to get his feet on it, so this was right up his alley.

Our next great adventure (because he was now terrified of all rides that went through something and flatly refused to go on another one) was the canoe ride.
I had no idea oars came this small but, Collin, a stick and water are always an entertaining combination.
This time was no different. He did manage to hold on to the oar through the whole ride and even did his part when the guide yelled "stroke!" For my part, I managed to avoid his oar coming in contact with my face AND kept him in the canoe. How's that for multi-tasking?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Be My Valentine

Valentine's Day has never been my favorite holiday, but I do have special memories of that very "special" day growing up. My mom always made it fun and at the same time made all nine kids feel special. And this year, I decided I wanted that for Collin.

It came in handy, that I was also channeling a bit of Betty Crocker that day. For a day. Okay, for a morning. I decided to get up early (since I guard the hours I actually get to sleep with my life, that in and of itself was pretty big) and make heart shaped pancakes. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Have you ever tried to make heart shaped pancakes? After my sixth attempt, they finally started to look like hearts. Good thing I got up early, huh? But now, I'm a pro, if I do say so myself. I was pretty proud of the final product.

Collin on the other hand, was totally confused. "Mommy... they're pink?" I said "Yep, they are, because it's Valentine's day and Mommy loves you." Still slightly sleepy, he said "While I was asleep, you made me pink hearts?" Why yes, yes I did. :)

His reaction to his Valentine's gift, was much less confusing. What little boy wouldn't love a movie about a pack of puppies?

Happy Valentine's day Sweet Boy. Thanks for making this holiday mean something to me again. I love you!

Monday, January 30, 2012


Dear Collin,

As I look back over the past two an a half years that we've known each other, there are a few days I can remember exactly what I was doing at any point in the day. This is one of those days. Two years ago today was a Saturday. Aunt Lolo and two of our other friends picked me up at 5:30 in the morning and we drove as fast as we could to the airport. We spent the whole day flying across the United States trying as hard as we could to get to Miami as fast as was humanly possible. Aunt Lolo slept, she'd earned it, she'd been awake pretty much 24/7 since the earthquake and after having done everything she possibly could to get you and Nate and all of your friends home to us, she'd finally given in to exhaustion. I was tired, but too nervous and too excited to sleep, so instead, I chatted with Natalie's daddy Matt while he prepared the English lesson he would have to teach in a few days.

I remember that my mind was moving faster than the airplane. I worried that you were scared or confused or that you'd sustained some sort of injury in the earthquake that no one was telling me about. Mostly I worried about what kind of mommy I would make for you. I knew from the moment I first held you in my arms that you were an amazing little boy and deserved the very best. I worried whether or not I'd be able to deliver on everything you deserved.

I remember thinking about the people that Heavenly Father put in our lives to make the miracle of you coming home possible. Aunt Lolo, who at the time, should seriously have run for public office. She had THOSE kinds of connections. (Who else has a Senator's office on speed dial?) Auntie Chareyl, who is quite literally an angel walking among us. I'll never know how she had the strength and the courage to do what she did. Uncle Brent and Scott who gave up two weeks of their lives and their health to go to Haiti and bring you home. And Harry. I don't know Harry very well, but I know what he lost that awful day of the earthquake, and even in the face of all that tragedy, he went looking for you. The people who'd never met you, but were willing to donate enough money to fuel a plane in one day. All of mommy's friends who called, emailed and showed up at our door, just to be there for me. I was in awe that I was a part of such a miracle. I still am.

Most of all I remember being humbled by the tender mercies of a Heavenly Father, who loved both of us enough to make sure that we found each other. Even in Haiti. I love you so much my little boy. I'm so proud of you. Of the person you already are, of the person you will become. Thank you for making my dream come true.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Did you know that if you leave your camera sitting on a nearby table on Christmas Eve, Santa will take a picture before he leaves? True story.

This was our second Christmas together, and this year, Collin had a much better idea of what was about to happen. Or so he thought...

I call this Collin's "Wow that Santa knows me inside and out!" look... :)

Collin LOVES anything that allows him to jump in the air and throw a ball. Of course, Santa knew that. (And how to assemble it all alone, at midnight, on Christmas Eve. Just sayin'...)

And of course, it couldn't be any sort of a celebration with out our new friend Thomas adding a couple of more "friends" to his station. (Seriously, how many friends does a talking train have to have?)
And after all of the "projects" that went on at our house over the past year, Santa knew Collin had to have his own little workbench. Otherwise, he might fall behind in the home repairs.

And what is Christmas without a crazy snow hat and mittens? Especially if our favorite Grandma has stuffed money inside?
So far, I've only been reminded about 67 times since, that we have to be good so Santa will come down our chimney after we're asleep. (And after he builds us a chimney, cuz we don't actually HAVE one...) We hope your Christmas was filled with just as much joy and laughter!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Collin!

This year's birthday party started out as a Frosty the Snowman party, but somewhere around the second gift morphed into somewhat of a Thomas party. Should have seen that one coming. For those of you following along, I have 8 siblings. There are 5 girls and 4 boys in my family. All but two of them already have children. Which means, somewhere along the line I have purchased a toy that either lights up, plays music, talks, moves or in some other way annoys at a decibel far exceeding safe levels, that has wound up in each of their homes. This was apparently their year to get even.

Lights up and talks...

Moves and talks (mockingly I might add...)

Moves and WHISTLES.

Didn't say a word, but sure tasted good. For a blue dinosaur that had nothing to do with Frosty or Thomas, but Collin wanted it.

One very happy 4 year old who loves to play with all of them at once. Thank you family for making my house seem like a house full of children! Happy Birthday to my sweet baby boy! I know I lived my life before you, but I sure don't know how. I love you!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It Wasn't Thomas, But It Would Do

When I was growing up, one of my favorite Christmas traditions was bundling up with my family (all 11 of us) and driving up to see the lights at Temple Square. A couple of months ago, Collin discovered Thomas the Tank Engine, and a love for all things "train" was born. Stay with me, I promise I'll bring the stories together and wrap them up with a cute little Christmas bow. One thing I learned growing up, was that I HATED downtown traffic. It seemed like the buildings were too tall, too close together and there were too many people trying to get to or away from them. This year, I found a way to bring my love of Christmas lights and Collin's love of trains together into a brand new family tradition. But first a nap was required for all prospective travelers...

Except for mommy, who spent nap time trying to figure out how to work the new camera. Then we picked up best friends, Aunt Lolo and Nate and went to dinner. I told Collin he could order whatever he wanted from the kids menu...

He chose pancakes and french fries. Looks fabulous doesn't it? Then it was off to the train station to catch a ride on our very first train. (Okay, really, it's light rail, but looks like a train, it runs on a track, it's a train to us!)

They were so excited!

I don't know what this face is, but I promise he was having fun!

When we got to Temple Square, Collin was more excited that he got to ride the train again to get home than he was to see the lights, but he did indulge me a few pictures. Aside from the train breaking down three times on our return trip, causing one near potty disaster, (Yay! for mommy carrying a pull-up in her bag!) I think I like this new tradition. We may give it a whirl again next year.