Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Luau, Fireworks and a Father

We missed the Excell Family Luau last year. We weren't dumb enough to make that mistake again. We trekked down to Cedar City for Carson's first visit to Grandma and Grandpa Excell's house. When we got there, pineapple, watermelon, teriyaki chicken, rice and a tiki bar were all there to greet us.
Bryan and Celeste manned the tiki bar.

Bryan tried to teach me how to hang loose...
But I never could quite master the chill surfer persona that should accompany a hang loose gesture. Instead, my awkwardness prevailed yet again.
If there's one surefire way to throw Eli into a tizzy these days, it's to mention the word "sticker." I'm not talking about the arts and craftsy kind of stickers. I'm talking about the sticky weeds that seem to be overtaking Cedar City. Eli had a little sticker mishap moments before this picture was taken -- meaning he fell in a sticker patch, leaving him screaming and in shock with the palms of his hands covered in stickers. And let's not remind him that it happened twice in a ten minute time frame. Poor kid.
I love this picture of David and Mary. They sure know how to throw a party!
After dinner, Mary had us watch a video of tribal-like stick banging and we all tried to follow along.
Then came the part where we learned that Eli turns into a LUNATIC after 10:00 pm. We went to watch fireworks for the Utah Summer Games Opening Ceremonies which resulted in keeping Eli up way past his 8:00 bedtime. Oh. My. Word. I have never seen him so crazy. He was shaking chain-link fences, running in circles and darting straight for the busy street all the while laughing hysterically.
The only time we could get him to stay by us for a few minutes was when Laura and Bryan started dancing to music on their phones. Eli couldn't resist showing off a few of his moves and I couldn't resist posting the video footage even though it's dark and probably impossible to see:

It's a good thing Mary offered to hold Carson for the evening because chasing Eli ended up being a two-man job.
The fireworks finally started and Eli was mesmerized.
This was our first trip with two kids and our first trip since switching Eli to a toddler bed. I was convinced Eli would never fall asleep in a different bed and had prepared myself for very long sleepless nights and days without naps this trip.

With all the firework excitement, Eli fell asleep mere seconds after Jeff put him to bed. He slept perfectly and I was completely shocked. After seeing how easy it was to put him to bed when he was completely exhausted, we decided to take him to a park the next day to help wear him out before his afternoon nap. It worked like a charm.

Friday evening we roasted s'mores and chatted around the fire.
On Saturday we had a lazy day that turned into the boys going out to work on their cars. Excuse the redundancy of these pictures, but Eli was so funny following the guys around trying to do everything they were doing that I had to include all these pictures.

After the headlight deep clean, Jeff took Eli on his first four-wheeler ride. Eli was not as excited as we had expected him to be. He was completely emotionless the entire ride.
But when he came back, he hopped on the other four-wheeler and pretended to drive so I think he enjoyed his ride.
Then Bryan got the tractor going to clear away the sticker bushes while David taught Eli how to use a leaf blower. Such a manly afternoon.
Carson slept the majority of his first visit to Grandma and Grandpa's house.
We went to lunch at an awesome little sandwich place. It is awesome because it has a play area for the kiddos so the adults can dine in peace. And a peaceful lunch it was indeed.
Today we're celebrating Father's Day back home with our traditional treat -- doughnuts!
Here's the inevitable Father's Day sappy part: Jeff amazes me daily with what a great dad he is. I have been reading a lot of parenting tips lately and Jeff always seems to instinctively do the things the child experts suggest doing. He's a natural! He is so loving, patient, playful, gentle, understanding and happy with our kids. I'm grateful for the great example he is to my boys. We're lucky to have him. I wasn't kidding when I said I donette know what I'd do without him.


Kim said...

The pictures of Jeff with his sons are so sweet. Looks like a fun trip. So sorry Eli was traumatized by the stickers. Poor kid.

David said...

Great blog post, Sarah. You certainly have a wonderful way of expressing yourself!