4.27.2012

Adam's Awesome Birthday Party

Adam talked about having a superhero birthday party for months and months. After we went to Get Air Sports, he decided that what he really needed was a superhero/trampoline party. Our family had so much fun there and Adam is completely infatuated with superheroes, so it seemed like the perfect combination. 

Rachel made a countdown calendar for Adam's birthday, and he hung it up on the back door. Every morning, he popped up, jumped out of bed, ran down the stairs from his room, and marked off another box. You have never seen a little boy more excited for his birthday. 

The invitations were made by Icon Sign & Design through amazon.com. The cost was $19.99, and then I had them printed on heavy card stock at The Imaging Depot on 25th Street for about five bucks. That might seem like a lot, but sometimes it's worth it to get exactly what you want without inconveniencing anyone. 


The party didn't disappoint. 


All twelve of Adam's Utah cousins were there: 






This is my niece, Sydney: 


Now look at her. She was right in there, playing dodgeball with a group of (older) boys. Sydney is fearless!


I think this blur is Jake?


Rachel, as The Hulk: 


When these two get together, they are inseparable: 


Adam and Ruby:


Some of the moms:


And some of the kids from our neighborhood: 


Some were more willing to pose and smile than others: 


Dalton and Holly's girls came dressed in their princess dresses. No superhero costumes at their house yet. 


Cutest Superman Ever: 


Nevermind, I think Finn was Superman too. The other Cutest Superman Ever: 


Cutest Supergirl Ever: 


At the top of Adam's invite list was his friend from preschool, Vaughn; Adam still insists that his name is Bon.


Best shot of the day???


We managed to get most of the kids together for a group picture:


After we finished jumping, we went upstairs to the party room for popcorn and cupcakes. (Huge thanks to Angela and Leslie for making the cupcakes for me. We arrived home from Mexico the night before the party and there was no way I was going to be able to pull off cupcakes. That worked out perfectly because I have no cupcake skills.)


Oh yeah. There was also the opening of the gifts. We have considered no-present parties, but I have been to some that didn't work out too well. Mostly because kids really like presents. And even when people are told not to bring gifts, some people still will, and then it is awkward for the ones who don't. 

I am all about useful gifts, so when Grandma Gloria asks what to get my kids for their birthdays, I usually  try to come up with something they need or something that I want them to have. (That sounds bad. . . and it really only works for younger kids.) Last year, I picked a baseball theme for Adam's small birthday celebration and later realized that he doesn't like baseball. At all. 

So this year, I told every single person who asked what to get him that he loves superheroes. The boy ended up with every superhero toy you could imagine. So many that we actually had to space out how many he could open each day. One the way home, I told Steve, "I hope he doesn't outgrow the superhero stage anytime soon." He quipped right back, "A boy never outgrows superheroes." And based on how excited Steve is for the new Avengers movie, I guess that might be true. 


I put trick candles on Adam's cupcake. They worked. 





video

video

I thought I was going to line up all of the kids and try for another group shot. But then I gave up. 


At least I got a picture of India and Adam together. I have a photo of the two of them as little babies laying next to each other and clearly remember taking the picture and wondering what they were going to be like when they got older. 


Thanks to everyone who came and participated in Adam's party!

4.24.2012

Mexico Trip (Day 3 & 4)

I wrote this entire post and accidentally deleted it, so I am reproducing it. . . with slightly less enthusiasm and detail.

Day 3:
We woke up and drove to Hotel Mayto for breakfast. Mayto has a few "hotels" and this one is the nicest. 







Holly climbed up the outside of the windows to clean off the condensation so we could enjoy the view. 

 

Which was pretty amazing. . .




I know these panoramic pictures aren't great for blogs, but I just love the unbroken views.


Steve ordered me one of my favorite dishes: Chilaquiles. I've missed them ever since he took them off the menu at Sonora Grill. And then he told me that they will still make them, by request. Whaaaat? Why didn't I know that???

Chilaquiles
Enfrijoladas
The colors were spectacular, so we posed for some pictures. 


These are the pictures that I look least pregnant in. Rachel, Lucy, and Derrick looked at our Mexico pictures individually and all told me the same thing when they got to the beach shots. (I assure you that I am not pregnant; I will be more cautious wearing this shirt in the future.) 



I set the timer for this picture and then ran like mad jumped in it. And I kind of look like a giant.  


We walked down the beach, and Holly made friends with a puffer fish. It was dead.  


The University of Guadalajara runs a sea turtle hatchery right on the beach, only a few hundred yards from Hotel Mayto. We walked around the camp, but we couldn't find any of the university students who are supposed to be onsite to give us a proper tour. (We later found out that the guy in the hat and sunglasses who I snapped a picture of sitting in front of the cafe on Day 2 is the student in charge of the project.) 


We drove back through Naranjitos and picked up Ahmparra, who came back to the beach house with us and prepared lunch. (I guess I slacked off a little because I don't have any pictures.) And then there was this magical experience after lunch when Steve and I looked at each other and realized that at that moment, we had absolutely no responsibilities or obligations. So we stood up from the table, walked to the beach, and went for another walk/run.

We got back from the beach and I walked in on a conversation between Holly and Amy about a Dateline scuba diving mystery and other scuba diving tragedies. In the background, Steve and Dalton were gathering together scuba gear with plans to go diving before dinner in Tehuamixtle (Tehua). The equipment was old, and I wasn't convinced that Steve's scuba diving merit badge from two decades ago was adequate training.

But we drove to Tehua, they geared up, and walked into the ocean, in search of the 15th century ship that is sunken a hundred yards offshore.


The scuba diving horror stories continued, and I'll admit that I got pretty nervous about the whole situation. 


Especially because it seemed that all eyes of the village were on Steve and Dalton; a group of men sat on the dock watching what I pictured in my head to become the next Dateline special.



The process was slow and I was getting way too nervous, so I went for a walk and found things like these pretty flowers.


And one of these stick figure family stickers on the back window of a truck that made me feel like I was back in Utah. 


I went back to the beach just in time to see these four girls cruising by on an ATV.


And then, thankfully, Steve and Dalton came back to shore. They never even went completely under because the equipment was not working properly. Very grateful that they figured that out before things turned tragic. 


Our last dinner in Mexico was being prepared by the best chef in the area. He owns two restaurants and manages Hotel Mayto. Sometimes the Joneses have him come to their beach house to cook, but he was working, so we went to him. I am not a fish person, but those four fish he cooked for us were the most delicious fish I've ever eaten (and certainly the freshest). 


He also brought us a giant plate of oysters. 


And lots of other food: chicken, rice, beans, tostadas, tortillas, fresh salsa, corn, carrots, chayote.


We ate and ate as if it was Thanksgiving dinner. We were served enough food to feed fifteen people, and there were only six of us. It was the perfect last dinner. After we finished eating we just kind of lingered for a while. It was hard to walk away from Tehua. . . there really is something fascinating about that place.


Day 4: We woke up and drove to Puerto Vallarta, stoping at Fiesta Americana for breakfast. It was a classy resort and we enjoyed the breakfast buffet with fruits, pastries, omelets, pancakes, and every single breakfast item you could imagine. Including green smoothies.


Some of the English translations made us laugh: 



We left with full bellies and walked over to check out La Leche, a famous restaurant that is decorated completely in black and white.






Our last stop was the boardwalk. We walked around for a couple of hours, purchasing souvenirs, admiring the sand sculptures, and soaking in the sunshine.




We even caught a performance of the Danza de los Voladores, a sacred ritual that originated in Veracruz. 


We returned the rental cars, caught a shuttle to the airport, and flew home. Steve even let me have the window seat. 

The trip was pretty much perfect, and I am thrilled at the thought of going back again sometime. We enjoyed awesome food, off-the-beaten-path adventures, beautiful weather, secluded beaches, cultural exposure, and plenty of relaxing. (I even read a book!) 

A big thanks to Dalton and Holly for hosting, Dalton's parents for the use of their beautiful beach house, and to Steve for planning such a great trip. 

AND a big thanks to Richard, Gloria, Sam, and Kacie for watching our kids!!!

Of course, we were eager to get home to our kids, especially because Rachel had been sick all week. (She was later diagnosed with pneumonia. . . poor girl).