Friday, July 27, 2012

phoenix firsts

a few weeks ago, my bud and i embarked upon a far, far away phoenix.

i have tons of family in phoenix, including my parents and four of eight siblings, and LOTS of extended family.  it had been about two years since i last visited, so a visit was long overdue.  plus (and i guess this was really the deciding factor), my lovely sister lyg, her hubby and their little guy luke were going to be there for a week (they decided to visit family for their last trip while luke could still fly for free).  they live in dallas, which means i rarely see them, so i had to take advantage of this opportunity to meet up with them.  if it had to be in phoenix in the dead of summer, so be it!

the hubs couldn't join us on this trip, so it was just bud and i.  the days leading up to the trip were a bit stressful trying to figure out how i would manage two flights with a soon to be 6-month old.  i started packing days before the trip, which never happens, but i was determined to be thoroughly prepared for any scenario!

having so much family in phoenix was really my saving grace - i was able to borrow a car seat, stroller, walker, pack-n-play and many other things while i was there, so i packed much lighter than if i had traveled elsewhere.

the flight to phoenix was a breeze.  i carried him in the baby bjorn, and that worked out marvelously.  i was also able to secure two seats on the southwest flight (i'm sure the baby deterred some passengers which was quite all right with me!), and the person occupying the 3rd seat was an elderly gentleman who really got a kick out of my bud, and was such a good sport, especially when he didn't mind 'R' pulling his arm hair, haha!  but i attribute the best part of the flight to connor, the 10 year old boy sitting across the aisle from us.  his goofy antics kept 'R' entertained almost the entire flight except for the last 30 minutes when 'R' decided to take a quick cat-nap.  connor's mom assured me it was a win-win - 'R' kept connor entertained as well, and that helped her out.  :)

the flight back was a completely different story.  i was the mom with the crying baby almost the entire flight.  my bud was tired, but couldn't fall asleep, hungry, but wouldn't eat.  pretty much all the ingredients needed for a cranky baby.  surprisingly enough, although i did feel somewhat bad for those passengers around me, i felt much worse for 'R' because i knew he couldn't help it, and i was helpless to make him feel better.

overall though, he did so well on the trip!  he napped well, and slept well at night.  but my favorite thing to observe was how much he enjoyed being around his cousins/other kids during the week.  he was absolutely enthralled with them, and would watch them so very closely, often with a smile on his face and sometimes laughing at them, even if they weren't looking at him.

we had eight jam-packed days in phoenix, and my bud experienced many firsts on the trip.

his first flight
{taken with point & shoot camera and unedited}
{happy to be off for his first flying adventure!}

{i couldn't believe he actually fell asleep on the plane} 

{mama, where am i???}

his first time meeting his grandma maria (my mom)

{not his most flattering picture, but this expression cracks me up!}

his first time meeting many aunts, uncles & cousins - 

cousin luke - a few days shy of two, cute as a button, and definitely had a mind of his own.  oh, and don't even get me started on his gorgeous big blue eyes and mop of thick blond hair that most women would die for.  seeing him interact with cousin easton and his female cousins (who he was also meeting for the first time) was a hoot!

  {one slipper bandit}

{luke & easton becoming fast friends} 

{he wasn't really feeling the corn that cousin eli was trying to feed  him} 

{learning to share} 

{he LOVES to color}

{'here, let me show you how it's done'}

{love, love, love these!  my sweet baby bud bonding with his cousin luke}

cousin easton - two years old, the biggest bundle of energy i've ever met and 100% all boy!  he lived with us from the time he was 6 months to 1 year old, and it was incredible to see how much he changed in a year.  i miss my easton!

{car wasn't running, so he had to get under the hood!}

cousins eliana & emma - my brother danny's little girls, who are the epitome of sugar and spice and everything nice.  my bud absolutely adored them, as did i.

{cousin eli swinging him - love the expression as he watches her} 

{he was clearly enamored with his cousin eli!}

auntie christine 

uncle josh - this wasn't the first time they'd met, but it was the first time in phoenix.  it absolutely melted my heart to see my youngest brother with my bud.  he definitely had a special way with him.

his first time in a walker - my parents had one at their house, and he loved it!  by the end of the week, he was taking forward steps in it.

his first road trip - and that road trip just happened to be...

his first time at the grand canyon and sedona - i drove with lyg, deric & luke, and my brother and his family met us there.  we decided to spend a night in flagstaff and continue on to sedona the next day, making it a two day adventure.  i'd love to say that it was an uber-successful first road trip for my bud, but unfortunately, that wasn't the case.  the grand canyon was a good 4+ hour drive from scottsdale, and i quickly found out he's definitely no longer at the age where he's content to be confined for so long.  he had a hard time sleeping or eating, and was just overall miserable, poor thing!  there was lots of crying and crankiness throughout the entire trip.  thank god my sister and her hubby are very well versed in what it means to have a baby, because all of our baby-related patience was put to the test.

but...once out of the car, he was happy as a clam, and while taking pictures at the grand canyon, he hammed it up for the camera and for a group of japanese tourists who found him pretty darn entertaining.  :)

both the grand canyon and the red rocks of sedona were as breathtaking as i remember from years ago, but i think it's safe to say we were all relieved to get back home.   

his first time in a swimming pool - he likes taking baths, so it didn't surprise me that he took to the pool right away.  the baby float was just the right size, and it was so fun to see him kicking around and getting used to the floating sensation.  

{pretty much my favorite expression of his} 

{oh, these toes still kill me...}

his first pool party - justin and my sister christine were gracious enough to host us the entire familia, including some extended family, for a bbq and pool party.  a blast was had by all!

{i can't handle the sweetness} 

{cousin eliana was fearless while cousin easton a bit more hesitant...} 

{the funniest face he's ever made - would love to know what he was thinking!  and silly mama forgot to take his bib off...}

watched his first firework show 
{he's definitely perfected this face} 

and met sue, a dear family family, for the first time - sue and her hubby bought our little RBI his first baseball hat, so of course he had to model it for her!

and some more random pics from our week - 

{borrowing cousin easton's hat} 

{she certainly didn't hate the camera :) }