Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Trip to South America

Are you surprised? If you know me at all, you shouldn't be.

In early December, my parents, Josh, Theo, and I will be flying to South America where we will spend 10 days running around Peru before flying down to Chile to board the Zaandam for a 22-Day cruise!

While in Peru we will visit the Sacred Valley, Pisac Ruins, Pisac Market, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Sacsayhuaman, and Lake Titicaca.


After our Peruvian land adventure we will fly down to Santiago, Chile and board the Holland America Line's Zaandam. This beautiful ship will take us to four ports in Chile, through the Chilean Fjords, and then stop in Ushuaia (Argentina) before heading down to Antarctica! We will spend four days in the Antarctic Peninsula before heading to the Falkland Islands, a few ports in Argentina, Montevideo (Uruguay), and then finally docking in Buenos Aires.

During our adventure on the cruise we will visit Torres del Paine National Park (in the Andes), see King Penguins, and end the trip with a visit to Iguazu Falls.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to travel. I love to meet new people and learn about their history and cultures. I also love to see new places and I enjoy new experiences.

Bottom line is that I know this may be my only chance to go on this particular adventure. We don't know what is going to happen to Theo, no one does. He may end up in a wheelchair without the ability to walk, talk, or function without aid. He may have to have care for the rest of his life, which means he may always live with us. And I don't have a problem with that. He's my child and I will always love and take care of him.

Due to these unknown possibilities, I've decided to be selfish and go on a trip. I think that taking Theo while he is young and we are still able to carry him and easily get around, is the best choice for us. I asked my parents to come with us so that they can help with Theo. I am beyond thrilled that they are agreeing to come.

And, of course, I okayed this whole trip with Theo's doctors before I put down our deposit. His health comes first in my book!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to Josh's dad, George, and to my dad, Rick!

I know this isn't Josh's first Father's Day, but it's first Father's Day as the father of my child. So, I want to wish him a very special Happy Father's Day!

I love how great of a father he is to Theo. He is patient and kind and Theo saves all of his best smiles for him!

Theo got Josh a "Hot and Spicy" Man Crate and a mint cupcake for Father's Day.

These crates are called "Man Crates" for a reason. You have to use a crowbar and hammer to get it open! Manly!


After getting his "Man Crate" open we went to the Lone Buffalo (one of our favorite dinner restaurants in town) for brunch. It was delicious!

We love you Josh! Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Trip to Utah and California: Part V - Third Week

Monday, June 4th:

We had a very busy week in Utah and a super busy week in California. Now it's time to relax! My parents spent the week meeting up with old friends for lunches and dinners which left Theo and I alone at the Balboa House a lot. I'm definitely not complaining! We spent a lot of time walking around the island, getting Balboa bars, planning our next trip, and taking naps. 

On Monday, I met up with one of my oldest friends (20 years?!), Adam Tate. We had a nice LONG lunch at Wahoos (told you I'd be back). We haven't seen each other since my wedding, so we had a lot to catch up on. I am so glad that he is happy and healthy!

["More prunes please!"]

Tuesday, June 5th:

I'm going to nerd-out here for a minute! Star Wars Celebration is a HUGE convention that happens every other year. It's like the San Diego Comic Con, but ALL Star Wars! Anyway, next year it is going to be in Chicago! 

Once the dates were released, I called and got a two-room suite hotel room in the city so my parents could come up and watch Theo while I went to the convention. Tickets went on sale at noon CST on June 5th. At 9:59 AM PST, I got on the computer so I could try and get some VIP tickets. At 10:00 AM PST I clicked on the "BUY" button and was put in a queue. Within 30 seconds I was in the system and the VIP tickets were GONE! Yep! That fast! I was super bummed that I didn't get VIP tickets but I was able to get a 5-day pass before they sold out, so I'm still going!

For lunch Theo and I went for a walk and got Balboa bars. Then for dinner we went on a walk to Marine (the Main Street on the island), to get Crocker's. I got garlic fries and a brat. They were not that good and I ended up throwing away most of the brat and some of the fries. Oh well.

Wednesday, June 6th:

The next day we went and had lunch with Myrna at CPK. We have CPK's here, but they are always better in California 😜

That night we gathered some beach chairs, went and got sushi and Sprinkles cupcakes, and then headed to Corona to watch the sunset.

[It got a little chilly as the sun was going down]

Thursday, June 7th:

On Thursday, we walked down the street and set up camp at our own little beach on the Little Island. 

[Dad helping Theo with his exercises]

]After we got home I gave Theo a bath and then put him down for a nap. His hair wasn't completely dry, so he woke up with this awesome mohawk!]

My parents had dinner with friends, so after I put Theo to bed I worked on planning our next vacation.

Friday, June 8th:

Today was my Papa Don Neilson's (dad's dad) 85th birthday! We met up with Papa Don and Nana at Sizzler for lunch. It was so nice to be able to chat and catch up with them.

Saturday, June 9th:

On Saturday we went to In-n-Out for lunch (last time for a long time) and then we headed inland to Uncle Alan and Aunt Jamie's house for Papa Don's 85th Birthday Party.

[Picture of Papa when he was in the Airforce.]

[Papa when he was a child]

The party was so great and a lot of family were able to be there.

I hope you had a very happy birthday Papa Don! We love you!

Sunday, June 10th:

After three wonderful weeks on vacation, it was time to go home. Even though we talked, texted, and FaceTimed with Josh multiple times a day, we still missed him and I was anxious to get home.

Mom and dad took Theo and I to the airport and helped get us all checked in. To kill time we walked back and forth along the terminal (did you know they expanded John Wayne and it is now twice as big?!). Once Theo fell asleep, I went and spoke with the gate agent. I asked her if it was possible for her to put a "hold" on the seat next to me (I was in the aisle seat and the window was taken). She said she could do that!

[He loves to sleep on his side]

As we were lining up to get on the plane I had multiple people cut me off and try to board ahead of me and Theo. Whatever. I just rolled my eyes and tried not to run them over with Theo's stroller. There was a very kind man who saw these people cut me off so he reached out and helped me navigate through them. After we got on the gangway he asked he if I needed help with Theo's stroller. I kindly said, "no thanks" and showed him how I could easily fold up the  stroller with one hand.

When we got to our row there was a man (probably my age) sitting in the window seat with his headphones on. I gave him a smile (he smiled back) and then sat down. I laid Theo in the middle seat and put his legs on top of mine. 

I quickly made Theo a bottle so I could feed him while we were taking off.

After feeding Theo I laid him back down and he took a LONG nap. About an hour before we landed I tapped the guy-in-the-window-set and asked him if he could keep an eye on Theo, who was sleeping. He said he could and when I got up a cute old man in the seat across the aisle from me said he would watch him too. 

I went to the back of the plane to wash out Theo's bottle and when I was coming back to my seat, I got trapped by the beverage cart. 

When I got back to my seat I saw the cutest thing: two strangers watching over my child. I sat down and the two gentlemen told me that Theo had just woken up and they thought Theo was looking for me because he kept kicking his legs. It just made me smile!

Theo was an angel for the entire flight, which happens when you sleep for most of it!

After we landed they asked me if I needed any help and I told them that we were good. Even after we landed they kept an eye on me and offered to help me with my luggage. 

If I had needed help I would have accepted their offers, but we didn't. I am so astonished by the kindness of strangers and I hope to pay it forward the next time I travel.

Thanks mom, dad, Luke, Andie, and Porter for hanging out with Theo and I during this trip. We had so much fun and we are so excited to see you all at Theo's Birthday Party!