Friday, September 30, 2011

The Lion King

I was so excited when I heard that The Lion King was going to be back in theaters!! This was a FAVORITE movie growing up for my sister and me, so I couldn't wait to get to see it on the big screen with my son! This was CJ's third movie. His first was Oceans, when he was a baby. He slept through the majority of it, and sat in awe at the rest. CJ's second movie (or should I say movie attempt!) was African Cats. He did not want to sit still, so we left after about 20 minutes (but in all fairness, the lions eating other animals was probably a bit much for him to process.) I don't know if we are gluttons for punishment or if we just wanted to see the movie so badly ourselves, but JT and I decided to try The Lion King with CJ.

Here he is independently walking up to the theater!
Sitting and watching the movie! (Yes, I was that person who took a picture during a movie! LOL)
Posing with the poster! (Note, we saw it in regular 2D...we knew trying to get him to wear those glasses would REALLY be pushing it!)
I was so proud. CJ watched (and seemed to enjoy!) the whole movie! (Minus the "Be Prepared" scene with Scar and the hyenas), but I don't really like that part either! Ha ha! The Lion King=successful movie experience for our family! :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The reality beneath the façade

You read all these posts about us having fun, and going to the zoo every week and might think to yourself, "geez, that must be nice..."and while it is nice, life isn't nearly as perfect as what it may seem. This is my blog, and I choose to share and record the happy moments (because those are the ones worth remembering anyhow!) but in an effort to be more authentic, I thought I'd share a little more than what usually appears on the surface.

The reality is that moving every 3 years is HARD. This is my third duty station with JT and while I do enjoy military life overall, it isn't easy. It is hard starting over, over and over again. It is hard being on the opposite side of the country from all your friends and family. Even silly stuff that no one thinks about like learning your way around new grocery stores adds an extra challenge to everyday life. When you first get somewhere, it is so exciting and new, full of promise. But as time wears on, the newness wears off and reality sets in. This is where we live now; we're not on a vacation. There is no going back to all the familiar places and people we knew. Making friends and making a place feel like "home" take time, and that time, in all honesty, can be kinda lonely.

The reality is that I am LONELY! Please don't get me wrong, I LOVE staying home with CJ, and realize how fortunate I am to have this time with him right now. CJ and I go to the zoo a lot, but we do it by ourselves. I'm not trying to complain, but he can't exactly carry on a conversation with me just yet. Days when family and friends call me on their lunch break or on their drive home from work are great! I check my email about 500 times a day on my phone hoping to get an email from an actual person. I know that this is just a phase, a lonely phase until we make some friends here or someone comes to visit us...but knowing that this will pass eventually doesn't make the days right now any less lonely.

I'm not throw myself a pity party, but just trying to paint a complete, honest picture of what life can be like for a stay-at-home mom right after a big move: HARD and LONELY.

JT's time off of work couldn't have come at a better time for me. Selfishly, it was so wonderful to have someone to talk to, do things with and help out with CJ. And all the family time was an added bonus. :) CJ and I are headed to SC in a week, and I am really looking forward to that precious time with family and friends. When you only get to see your family twice a year, you really don't take that time together for granted!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chim Chim Churro

We went to the San Diego Zoo (again!) with JT during his time with us. I'm not kidding when I say it is so big we STILL haven't seen/done it all. This time we took a new path: the Sun Bear Trail. Ironically we did not see any sun bears, but we did see a few other kinds including this one:
We also saw a monkey: "eee eee"
And this was a BIG milestone for our family..."peas" (please)
...CJ's first churro. HA HA!! He loved it! (Um, what's not to love?!)
And we stopped by the "Beppo" (hippo) exhibit, but he was sleeping (sitting still in the water looking like a rock). So CJ just played on the statue instead.
At this rate, perhaps CJ will grow up to be a zookeeper?!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Trip to Disneyland

Last weekend we took advantage of our "week of fun with Dada" as well as the great deals Disneyland is offering Active Duty Military families, and took CJ to Disneyland for the second time. It is only 1 hour and 15 minutes away from our house!! When we checked in, they gave CJ balloons. "Ba-ooon". He was excited, but took his job of balloon carrier seriously!
At California Adventure, they were having a dance party for the kids with Phineas and Ferb, and CJ ran right out there like a big kid!! No fear.
And speaking of no fear, he also walked right up to Sulley (A MONSTER!!) and gave him a big hug!!
He rode Heimlich's Chew Chew Train with his Mama.
Having fun with Dada.
In typical CJ fashion...his first night at the hotel was not good. He woke up about 2:30 am and in our usual efforts to not have him wake up the entire hotel, we let him come "sleep" with us. None of us got back to sleep until around 5:30... One funny story was at 5am (trying to find humor in a delirious, desperate for sleep state) was when CJ said "ride?" Because he wanted to go ride some more rides! How do you explain to a 20 month old that the park doesn't open for another 5 hours?! ;) He is so beautiful when he finally does sleep, isn't he?!
The next morning, we went to eat breakfast with Chip & Dale and their friends. CJ gave Dale a hug and enjoyed the waffles that were in the shape of Mickey's head!
Kenai stopped by to say hi too.
Driving the car in front of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
Family pic. It was neat to see all the Halloween/Fall decorations Disneyland had done!
Wow! Buzz!!
After all three of us took a nap to recover from the rough night of sleep, we went back to the parks! CJ was tall enough for his first "big boy ride"! Exciting!! (32")
CJ's first big boy ride! He enjoyed riding in the "vroom vroom" with Dada on Autopia!
Um, why did they think it was a good idea to put toilet paper in the changing area? It was like an invitation for my son to pull the roll!!
We all enjoyed going "Under the Sea" on Ariel's Undersea Adventure.
Watching "World of Color" that night on Dada's shoulders.
The next morning we decided to head home in time for CJ to do nap time in his crib at home! But thought we'd have breakfast with Mickey and his friends before hitting the road!
Dance party with Pluto! (CJ is on the far left, look at the smile on his face!)
And then he helped Goofy's son, Max lead the other children in a dance.
We had a really fun trip, and it is so neat watching CJ's little brave, outgoing, independent personality come out!! And, it is so GREAT that CJ is a Disney lover just like his Mama & Dada (who got engaged at, honeymooned at, and just overall LOVE Disney!) I guess we won't have to kick him out of the family! Ha ha! :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lions, Tigers & Birds

Saturday before our football games, we headed up to the Safari Park for a bit. CJ was cranky, so it is always better to get him OUT of the house! (better for everyone involved!)

CJ and I were all decked out in our Clemson Tiger attire! :) And we got to see the Lions taking a nap!
And then we went to feed the Lorikeets because JT hadn't gotten to do that yet, and CJ LOVES it!! I think JT was taken off guard by the number of birds mauling him to drink the nectar in his cup. HA HA!
CJ was so excited to see the "tweet tweet"s up close!
Mouth open, drinking vicariously through his feathered friends!
When the cup of nectar got low enough that we knew he wouldn't spill it, we let CJ have a turn holding it and having the birds sit on his arm and drink. He thought it was the coolest thing ever!
And this was so adorable, when his cup ran out, CJ walked over to the bird and kept trying to feed it. I love his sweet heart!!
Best entertainment $3 can buy! (each cup of nectar costs $3). Worth every penny!!

I am excited to say our team spirit paid off, and that the Clemson Tigers beat Florida State yesterday. And then the Carolina Gamecocks beat Vanderbuilt too. (CJ put on his Gamecock shirt after the Clemson game, and JT is superstious and doesn't put on his USC jersey until 15 mins prior to game time.) Whatever keeps the teams winning!! ;) I'm so excited because I'll be at the next Clemson home game for homecoming against Boston College!!! Can't wait!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Under the Sea

Ever hear of the saying "if ya don't use it, ya lose it"? Well, JT had accumulated so many leave days that if he didn't use some before October, he was gonna lose them! So CJ and I have had so much fun doing a little "staycation" of sorts with Dada home to do stuff with us! One of the things I had been waiting to do until JT could come too was Sea World. And how great to get to go in the middle of the week?! It wasn't busy at all. We got the resident 2 year season pass so we'll be going back!

They have an entire exhibit of Turtles, which CJ loved!!
And he got to drive a boat!
Holding Dada's hand walking to the shark exhibit (melt my heart!)
Touching a starfish!
We rode the Skytram ride over the bay, which was so pretty!!
CJ and Dada holding on during the ride! "Ride" (CJ loves to say "ride", and to do rides...he sat on top of a pillow yesterday, straddled it and kept saying "ride"; it was so funny!)
CJ, did you have a fun time at Sea World?! :)
We went to the Sea Lion show, but I didn't get any good pics because we were mainly trying to keep CJ still and have him not kick the people in front of us. Ha ha!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dork Family

I am DEFINITELY a dork. I think it's safe to call JT a dork too considering he has a Masters & a Doctorate. HA HA. So, of course, we would want to raise a little dork: HA HA!!
I thought that this was the perfect shirt to wear to a Science Museum! :) (Case in point, the fact that I plan every single outfit that my son wears around our activities makes me a huge dork.) He, of course, didn't care what he was wearing & loved driving the firetruck!
And getting to push the "but-in" (buttons) was super fun too because it made the lights turn on!
And they had a shape sorter and conveyor belt for you to put foam shapes through/on! (When CJ ran out of shapes, he signed and said "more" so I think he liked that too!)
Inside a sphere shape. Peek-a-boo!
And measuring up against the "eee eee" (all monkeys, gorillas, chimps, orangutans are all eee eee's)
This museum had hands on and interactive displays for every age. There was a whole "kid city" for kids under 5 only (and their parents!). I know we'll be dorky and go again to learn some more!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


CJ and I were playing in the backyard and I saw this snail:
I was excited for CJ to get to see him and have a "learning opportunity" so I called him over and asked him if he knew what it was. He told me "Turtle". My first instinct was to say "No, this is a snail" but I thought about what made him say that. A squishy head, a hard shell body...must be a turtle. For a 20 month old, I think that is a pretty darn good answer!! So I told him "Good job, CJ, this is like a turtle, but it is a snail." Just when he does something that makes me think he's maybe not the sharpest knife, he'll do something like this that makes me think he is a genius! :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lock them up!

His shirt says "Lock up your daughters". How cute is that?! (And how cute is HE!?)
I might be just a little biased, but I think he is already a stud muffin, so I had to get this shirt for him! :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Victorious Saturday

Yet another winning week for both the Clemson Tigers and the Carolina Gamecocks this week! :) Phew...I know that Mama & Dada were both kinda worried during their prospective games.

I wonder if Clemson will get their act together!? (Thankfully they did!)
Getting bored watching football all day...taking a break to read during the Gamecock game.
Way to go Clemson & Carolina! Love your biggest little fan, CJ.