Friday, 31 January 2014

***Guest Writer*** Second Honeymoon Part II: Capitol One Bowl

New Years Eve Day we slept in! It was glorious! We then headed across the street to a place called "The Waffle House." it was an actual real diner, it was tiny, and you sat at one of the few tables, or up at the counter and had conversations with the people cooking and serving your food. "Regulars" would come in and get the "usual" and it just had a really homey feel, kind of like Hal's diner in the movie A Cinderella Story, at least that's what I thought of. It was really cool, but I was reminded of how different everything tastes in the States. Their milk tastes weird, their water tastes weird and even the waffles tasted different. (I bring this up because I noticed it the whole trip and when we got back to Canada, I couldn't drink milk for a week because it then tasted weird haha). 

One thing I did notice about Florida was everybody was so nice to us (as long as they weren't in a car, on the road). Random strangers would tell me I was pretty or that my hair looked nice...I would joke with Garth and ask him if we could move there. 

We called a cab to take us to the Citrus Bowl Stadium. (Garth Taking Over Here) - Mary Lou was our driver and she came and picked us up at the hotel and drove right down to the stadium. She had an entertaining Spanish accent and told us about the rough neighbourhoods near by, or how she would embarrass her son as she dropped him off for school etc. She was quite entertaining. We arrived at the stadium and it was raining pretty decently, which didn't work too well with our "If we are going on vacation to Florida/Caribbean we don't need jackets or sweater" mentality. Luckily we had one hoodie between the two of us, so Amanda donned The Cup hoodie and I scrounged up a black garbage bag and we were ready to go. 

As soon as we got to our seat the rain subsided and the only thing that would be wet, from then on, would be our bottoms on the wet seat. I took my long sleeve and Amanda sat on that so she could stay dry, and I was so cozy and stylish in my couture sleek black Basura Bag. We arrived with only a little bit of pre-game left, enjoyed an acapella group's rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, a fighter jet flew by the stadium and we were ready for kickoff.

A little backstory on this game. When I originally bought tickets for the Capital One Bowl, they hadn't announced who would be in it, I just wanted to go and watch a cool game no matter who played in it. As I bought tickets I just happened to buy a pair on the SEC side of the stadium which ended up working out nicely.

So we arrive at our seat and we are smack dab in the middle of the University of South Carolina crowd. So wisely, we began to cheer for the Gamecocks. As the game started it was clear that this was going to be a good game as Wisconsin touted one of the best Run-based offenses in all of college football and as South Carolina's Connor Shaw looked sharp from the get go. Nearing the end of the first Quarter, the game was still tied 0-0, but following a Wisconsin turnover, Connor Shaw connected with Bruce Ellington on a 39 yard shot to paydirt.

The first half ended with Wisconsin up 14-13 on the Gamecocks, but I must mention the 9 yard touchdown which featured Connor Shaw now on the receiving end of a Touchdown thrown by the receiver Bruce Ellington. Absolutely beautiful. 

There was a halftime show that was seemingly enjoyed by all of these southern folk. It included the marching bands by both schools and finished with a performance by Hunter Hayes, who is apparently someone. 

Amanda seemed to enjoy it a lot more than I had expected, considering her mild gag reflex that seems to accompany most country music. Although it was not my kind of music in any way, shape or form, he performed it well. 

In the 3rd quarter, down 17-13, facing a 4th down and 7 yards to go, Shaw connected with Ellington on a 22yard circus catch which is a must see conversion. At the end of this drive Shaw throws yet another Touchdown to who else? Bruce Ellington 20-17 Gamecocks. " U - S - C - Gooooo Cocks! "

Shaw threw for another touchdown and ran for 1yd score in the 4th quarter to seal the game. On the day Connor Shaw played nearly perfect with this stat line:

Passing: 22-of-25 for 312 yards, 3 TD

Rushing: 16 carries, 47 yards, 1 TD

Receiving: 1 reception, 9 yards, 1 TD

The game ended with South Carolina winning 34-24, thanks to the 5 touchdown effort of Connor Shaw. We were so ecstatic to have the chance to go and watch such an exciting game. " U - S - C - Gooooo Cocks! "

Mary Lou was waiting for us outside and as we left the stadium, the rain started up again. We were glad to have a chauffeur to drive us back to the hotel so that we didn't have to fight for a taxi or find a bus. Upon arrival at the hotel we relaxed for a bit and finished off the night stopping by the Florida Mall, which was right down the road from our hotel. We grabbed some dinner at Ruby Tuesdays and shopped around a bit, but ultimately headed back to the hotel to relax and watch some extreme cheapskates, wedding edition. Yikes!

So that was our New Years Day, a wet, yet warm day jam packed with cheering and excitement that set the bar high for our next few days in Orlando. There was no way the rest of the week could ever live up to the fun we had on New Years. Could it???

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Second Honeymoon Part I: Hello Orlando, It's nice to see you.

Early New Years Eve morning, after 3 measly hours of sleep, Garth and I pulled ourselves out of bed and in a daze got ready to leave for the airport. When it was time to leave we realized that we were both wearing the exact same outfit, a plaid shirt and black jeans. We both thought it was hilarious but neither of us wanted to change so we ended up being twinners for the day.

Before we left, we snuck into Grant's room to get one last peek before we headed out. as my eyes adjusted to the dark, I realized his hands and feet were going crazy, which happens every morning when you go in to get him up for the day. I really didn't like the idea that we would leave and he would wake up and we would be gone for 2 weeks so I was more than happy to pick him up and smother him with some last minute goodbyes before we took off. With one last smile before he started to devour his morning bottle I was ready to leave him. That send off was exactly what I needed.

Everything went quickly and smoothly at customs and after grabbing some Tim Horton's for breakfast, we were on our flight to Houston departing at 8:30.

We both slept most of the way there and woke up in time for landing 4 hours later. We listened to the song "Seat Backs and Tray Tables Up" by Fountains of Wayne as we landed. This time around, I got the window seat because Garth had already been to Houston before. 

In Houston, we had a bit of a lay over, so we went and got some lunch and explored the airport. When you are walking through the airport there is a spot where you could suddenly hear yourself talking really loud. When you look up you see you are under a dome that amplifies your voice due to its acoustics. 

At 5:35 we took off to Orlando. This time Garth got the window seat because he had never bee to Orlando before. It worked out perfectly. We spent most of the flight watching She's the Man. at 8:51 we arrived in Orlando, ending our long day of travel. As for the time change, we were only 2 hours ahead. 

So far, that was the easiest, most relaxing travel day I had ever had. We contacted our hotel and got a shuttle to come pick us up. As we were waiting outside (in the warm, humid, air...surrounded by palm trees...) we found a $50 bill. We asked around and nobody claimed it. Lets just say we were a lot more generous with our tips after that (even when they didn't deserve it haha). On the ride to the hotel, I couldn't believe how big the Orlando Airport is. We were driving for like 10 minutes and we were still technically at the airport. There were lots of fireworks going off all night, which was my only reminder that it was New Years Eve, otherwise I probably would have forgotten.

Once we got to our hotel, we were SO hungry, and every restaurant was closed! We were so hungry that we decided to make the 5 minute walk down the street to McDonalds before midnight came around.We got back to the hotel, ate our last meal of 2013,and watched the ball drop in NYC before we zonked out.

Goodbye Houston...

Hello Orlando!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

10 months.

Grant is 10 months old!

- He is now in Size 4 Diapers.
- No official measurements this month.
- Sleeps 7 pm- 7 am and then usually after a bottle, he is still tired and will go back to sleep until 9:30 am.
- Still takes 2 naps, although they are getting shorter. 

- He must be going through a growth spurt because he is growing out of all his clothes very quickly.
- Grant now wears mostly 6-12 and 12 month clothing. All of his 6 month onesies and 9 month sleepers are getting really snug.

- Grant has 6 teeth. He has started chewing on everything again so we are expecting more teeth to appear soon.
-He is full on mobile, but only moves if he really wants something haha. I find it funny how content he is, playing with the same thing for the longest time. 

-His favorite toy is his discovery table.
-Scratch that, his favorite toy will always be the drawstrings on his pants.
-Easily distracted by his clothes? haha

"Is that a truck?"
"Is that a bear...wearing sunglasses...playing the keyboard?" 
"Mom, there are fish on my pants!"
He is my own personal vaccuum cleaner. If there is even the tiniest little sliver of something in the carpet somewhere, Grant will find it.

-About 2 weeks ago he started pulling himself to standing with furniture.
-He will slowly walk around and turn around while holding onto furniture.
-He can balance and stand by himself for a couple of seconds.
- We started supplementing his bottles with homo milk (1/2 formula, 1/2 milk).

- Grant has tried so many new foods this past month including scrambled eggs, cut up fruit, peas, beans, cooked carrots, corn, toast, chicken, pasta, tomatoes, pork...

- He actually likes water now, but prefers drinking out of a real cup rather than a sippy cup.

- He makes a spitting noise with his lips.
- He has started discovering his tongue more, making 'l' noises. He also says mama now!
- Grant flexes and grunts constantly.
- He yells sings all the time now.

- He is in "mimick" mode. He has started copying our movements/sounds etc.
-(I feel like I forgot to put this in an earlier post but I was always impressed with how Grant uses his fingers, he was picking up tiny objects with his thumb and forefinger at about 6 1/2 months old).

- He reaches for you when he wants you to pick him up.

We were away on our trip for half of this month so a lot of his time this month was spent at Grandma's house!

Great-Grandpa Paxman
Almost as big as Seth, who is 2 1/2 years old.
Great-Grandpa Peterson
Great-Grandma Peterson
Meeting Natalie and Lori for the first time!
Aunt Mikayla

It sure was nice to come home to him. But more on that later!


Friday, 24 January 2014

Cousin Charlie, Aunt Jaymee and a Room Makeover

Our week in Calgary was a fun one! Garth taught me how to play dominos, we watched Olympus Has Fallen, Harry Potter 7.1 and had a short Despicable Me marathon.

I went to this cute little place called Frilly Lilly in McKenzie Towne. It was the cutest little salon I have ever been to but as for the people and their services, not my favorite.

We also got to visit Colin, Cynthia and Charlie! They fed us a delicious lunch and we spent 4 hours just visiting. That is what I love about them, you can just sit there and talk for hours and have the best time.

Charlie is a riot. He is like a mini grown up, walking, eating "grown up" food etc. During the first year of life, 4 months makes such a huge difference, but now that Grant is more mobile and active as well, I can already see them playing better than ever.

This was the only picture I had with Cynthia in it. Even though it's a little blurry, I am trying to show off her cute hair. haha 

They started wrestling each other and both ended up on the ground crying. It was hysterical.

This picture makes me laugh so hard. Look at Charlie grabbing Grant's one little toe.

Grant had lots of good bonding time with the family. I had to remind them that they will get so much time with him when we are on our trip. It is like a battle to hold that little man at that household. He loves it!
We love Aunt Carissa

Aunt Jaymee also came for a visit, bearing gifts as usual! It is always so nice to get to catch up with my best friend. I have missed her so much since she moved back to Calgary. Luckily, it is as though nothing has changed when we are together again.

Hipster baby?

For their Christmas present this year, we decided to paint my parents room. They are seriously the most self-less people I know, always thinking of others, and never doing anything for themselves. They have lived in their house for 15 years now, every room in the house has been painted and decorated, some multiple times, except for their bedroom. It has always been the same white walls. Since Garth used to work at a paint store, he picked out the colors and we surprised them with the paint on Christmas morning.

That week we all spent time prepping, priming and painting. Everybody took shifts and we managed to get it all done in 2 days. Pretty impressive for a bunch of girls who have never really painted before (minus Garth, Garth is not a girl haha that could have been bad, thank goodness for proof-reading...)




It looks amazing and they were so ecstatic when they walked in and saw the finished product. Our next projects are to paint their master bathroom/closet, get some curtains in there, put their pictures back up and convince my mom to replace the furniture that they got for their wedding 26 years ago. I'm working hard on that last one ;)

On December 30th, we spent the night packing and hanging out with Grant. Both Garth and I were trying to prolong bedtime as late as we could because we couldn't bear to say goodbye. I cried a lot that night. 12 days seemed like a lifetime to me when the longest I had ever been away from him was 6 hours. I was excited to go, and I knew I would be fine as soon as we left, it was just the goodbye that was hard for me.

I can't wait to blog about our vacation, it was AMAZING.