Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring Break

The first two weeks of March were a blast! Here's what we were up to:

Ezra has been getting better than ever at standing up. This was taken almost three weeks ago: it's the first time he stood up in his crib when he should have been taking a nap. He was sooo proud of himself. Now he's a pro. If he's lying down, he automatically moves into a stand-up position. He is already walking around by holding onto couch cushions and shelves. It's so fun that he's moving around so early (because it makes me feel prideful that my child is so "advanced") but it's also a lot of work, and I feel like he shouldn't be growing up so fast. Where did my baby go?!

He still loves to talk. He is constantly talking, talking, talking, often with fingers in his mouth, and always while tapping his foot. That little foot is constantly moving, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.

Tanner and I visited the History of Miami Museum. My favorite things were the Ancient American Indian artifacts, most of which had been found at the Deering Estate, and the Art Deco exhibit. It was all really interesting. And we got a cute video of Ezra in a washtub, always a plus.

I had a girls' day out with my friend Star and her baby, Brock, who's Ezra's age. We went to the Fruit and Spice Park, "the only tropical botanical garden of its kind in the United States," according to its website. Basically it's different from every other public garden in the United States because its climate is unique. The park has over 150 kinds of mangos, 75 kinds of bananas, and a ton of cool things you've never even heard of like sapodillas and Indian raspberries. That's what I love about Miami! There are so many amazing things that grow here that you can't find anywhere else in the US, except maybe Hawaii! I am really looking forward to the summer when these fruits really start coming into season. I am looking forward to eating some of the things that I miss so much from Brazil, especially what I know as ata (sugar apples) and jambo (malay apples). 

Anyways, we had a really good time there. We had an amazing tour guide--she owns her own tropical fruit farm close to the park, and she was super knowledgable. Her farm was recently featured in the Miami Herald and it's a pretty neat read (Memories of India - Home & Garden - MiamiHerald.com). As we walked around, we were able to pick and eat the ripe fruit. We ate jambos, miracle berries, nuts, Indian raspberries, two different kinds of sapodillas, and some big, delicious guavas that our guide gave us from her farm, as well as some things I don't know the name of.

This picture I tried to focus on the bee. So the flowers are blurry but the bee turned out pretty good! By the way these flowers smelled delicious--like the good smell of jasmine times five.

Ezra loves sitting frontways in his stroller. He loves lounging like a big boy.

I just love that little foot.

We were walking around looking for someone to take our picture when we ran into this woman and three Thai monks. Then they asked us if we could take their picture, and we were like, "Sure, and would you mind taking our picture afterwards?" They were happy to, but when we went to trade spots, the monks just stayed there while the woman took the camera. So we got a picture with the monks! Pretty cool. They were really nice, and we chatted for a little bit. I bowed and said thank-you in Thai afterward, and they were so impressed! I was pretty proud of myself as well. I miss my brother and his family over in Thailand, but I get to see them in just a little over a month! I can't wait. 

We tried giving the babies fruit for props in a quick photoshoot. Here is a sampling of the results:

Can you seriously resist this little smile? I cannot. I am constantly kissing those little cheeks.

And that concludes our trip to the Fruit and Spice park!

That next week, Tanner had spring break! One thing we did was babysit Brock while Star and her husband went kayaking. It was such a fun thing babysitting Ezra's little buddy. Ezra loves Brock, and Brock loves Ezra. They don't quite know how to play with each other yet, but they do know how to grab for each other's faces, ears, and hair, how to steal each other's toys, and how to climb using the other as a steadying object. I love these cute videos and pictures. 

Please, WATCH this one! It is the funniest! Ezra's little face bouncing against the mesh on the pack'n'play will never cease to make me laugh. Even now, the thumbnail picture, ahhahaha!!!! I can't....stop....laughing!

And here is Ezra just chillin'. I couldn't help myself. I love those legs.

We also went to Vizcaya! It was my second time (I went with my dad and Debbie in November when they visited for Thanksgiving) and Tanner's first. We really enjoyed it.

While there, we spotted an American crocodile where James Deering used to give gondola rides behind his house...scary! I'm not sure I would like to be in a gondola next to that thing--it made the hairs on my arms stand up! But it was pretty cool to spy on from the balcony.

I don't know if it was hungry or if it was warning us to stop taking pictures but he stretched out his chompers to show us all his teeth.

Here are baby boy and I next to one of Vizcaya's cool coral stone walls. And we weren't the only ones taking pictures. There was a girl in a bright green ballgown practically following us around as she took pictures for her quinceanera and an engaged couple we kept crossing paths with.

My handsome husband by the fountain. We were a little sad there was no water in any of the fountains. It would be really beautiful to see them all running.

We found a fun seat for baby. (Don't worry, Tanner was hovering next to him with ready arms in case he fall.)

This is one of my favorite parts of the estate, the Secret Grotto. It looks like a little mermaid cave, but it is just a covered entrance from the main garden to one of the gardens off the side.

The coolest sunken ship you will ever see.

The girl who took this picture told us it would be amazing because she was an art major. Good job, art major girl, and thank you!

I love these silhouettes!

And a couple more of the sunken ship.
And that's it for Vizcaya!

The rest are just some cute videos I've taken over the last couple weeks.

Ezra playing with the plant he just tipped over

Me whispering, "You are ssssso ssssssilly!" in his ears.

And him playing with his new high chair toys for the first time.

So far, March has been good to us!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I'm over a month late, again. But look at it this way: to keep up with our lives, you only have to read 12 blog posts a year! What a deal.

Alright, alright, enough with the silliness. (Once more, I promise that I really will keep trying to update the blog frequently.) Here's our February:

On February 5th, we ended a one-month-long weight competition with Tanner's family. On the day we ended the competition, I was the skinniest I have been in years! Tanner hit a long-time low as well. We couldn't have been more proud of ourselves! I think the competition really motivated us to push ourselves as hard as we could. We learned a lot, the number one thing being that we can do it--it just takes work--but that weight loss is possible.

Then this last week, we celebrated Valentine's Day and our anniversary, and my mom came to visit. It was busy! On Valentine's Day, we went to a stake dinner and dance (we always go for the free stuff). It was such an experience! We got there when it started at 7:30, and wondered if we were in the right place, because there was only one other car in the parking lot. Tanner went inside to check, and it turns out we were the first to arrive in an extreme case of Mormon standard time. The other car there was the couple in the stake presidency who had set up the event. We chatted with them and one other couple that arrived at the same time as us, who actually served as mission presidents in my first mission, Belo Horizonte, so that was really neat.

Eventually people started coming, and two couples we knew sat with us--we were one of two English speaking tables in the whole cultural hall, and even then, half of our table didn't speak English. The man who had served as a mission president shared a message in Portu-spanish, and I translated for Tanner and our friends. Then the counselor in the stake presidency (who is Cuban) sang us Spanish songs while we ate our meal, and finally, we salsa danced. I had not expected everything to be so Latino, but maybe I should have! It makes sense when eight of the ten wards in our branch are Spanish speaking. It was fun.

My mom came that Monday. She watched Ezra while Tanner and I had a candlelit anniversary dinner on the beach (on a bench about 20 feet from the water), and we had a wonderful couple of days together. We went to the Deering Estate, went on a airboat tour to see the alligators, and ate at an authentic Caribbean restaurant. Ezra and my mom loved spending time together.

Here are the pictures:

These are from the Deering Estate, the place Tanner and I went to in January. It was so beautiful and peaceful that I had to take my mom!

And these are from our crocodile tour in the Everglades:
We had frog legs for lunch! In my opinion, they were pretty gross, but Tanner and my mom liked them.

We stopped at the new Fort Lauderdale Temple on the way home. It was beautiful! We can't wait until we can volunteer for the open house in April.

And lastly:
One picture from Greynolds park, another raccoon. They are everywhere around here!

A picture of our fried crab at the Caribbean restaurant. Weird! 

 And, of course, Ezra being cute, as always!