Three firsts

  • 1st time playing on beach
  • 1st time seeing a concert
  • 1st time riding the merry-go-round

Ashton and I went to the Boardwalk Friday night band series with Stacey, Erin, and Kaylin. On stage were The Fixx, a band that I had liked a lot back in the 80’s. As with most of the mid-life crisis tours by formerly popular bands, I had low expectations, but they actually sounded pretty good. Ashton wasn’t all that interested in the band though, because this was his first time playing in the sand. I brought the wagon and some new sand toys and he had a great time. He also enjoyed people watching, and looking at the people on the overhead people mover ride.

After the show, we walked around the Boardwalk, and took a ride on the Carousel. He loved sitting on the horse before the ride started, but seemed kind of nervous as it started going up and down. I noticed that this merry-go-round seemed faster than others I’d been on. It had probably been like 20 years since I last rode this particular one.

backyard updates

Ashton loves playing outside and often throws tantrums when we don’t let him go out. One of the reasons I didn’t let him out as much before was that our yard has a lot of rough terrain, and our little guy hates wearing shoes. But now he knows that when the shoes go on, he gets to go outside.

Daddy built him a sandbox in one corner of the bocce ball court. We’ve still got to get more sand and build a cover to keep the cats out. I bought him a little picnic table so that he can have snacks and activities outside. And we’re in the process of hunting down a landscaper who can put grass in the remaining part of the bocce ball court. We’ ve also got some stone pavers on order for laying a small patio near the garage end. Soon we will have a yard that is a little more kid friendly.

Ashton turns 1

We held a  party on Sunday May 10th (also Mom’s Day). It was almost cancelled as Ashton had been sick the previous few days, but he was in excellent spirits on party day and did surprisingly well, given all the activity in our house and people that were “semi-strangers”. In attendance was his grandma and grandpa Anderson, both great-grandma’s, aunt’s Stacey and Erin,  cousin Kaylin, Sara’s aunt and uncle Linda and Rick and cousin Mike, friends Ben, Julie, Olivia, and Kimberley.

I made jerk chicken, rick, beans, and pineapple sals (inspired by AT&T Park’s cha-cha bowls). And of course cake and ice cream. Ashton loved his assortment of balloons, playing with 10-month old Olivia and his new wagon and little people farm. I think he enjoyed the jerk chicken and rice slightly more than his cupcake.

More pictures will be updated as I get them. My camera died half-way through the festivities, so am waiting for photos from my mom.

going home.. well almost

While waiting at the airport in Albequerque to go home, we learned that my step-grandmother Judy White had just passed away. We quickly re-booked our flights and flew to Kansas City to be with family and attend the funeral in Independence. Ashton came down with diarrhea and vomiting only a few hours after we checked into the hotel there, and we spent much of the first day mopping him up and trying to figure out what to do (it didn’t clear up fully for about 5 days). We suspected problems with the hotel water or with the non-sanitized bottles we were using, though Daddy got sick after we returned home so guess it was just a virus.

Ashton attended funeral services with us on Thursday (since we had no babysitter) – Daddy had to keep him in the back room for most of it. The grave-side service was being delayed, but we drove out to Mound Grove Cemetary to see where it would be, and visit Ashton’s grandpav who is buried two plots away from where Judy’s ashes will go (she is being cremated).

It’s too bad that our visit was under sad conditions, however the family was happy to meet Ashton, and Grandma Kay was happy to see him again. Ashton also got his first birthday gift.


While visiting the International Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo New Mexico, Ashton enjoyed pressing buttons on the exhibits. He and Daddy played in a Mercury capsule and in a mock space station. After the museum, we walked across the parking lot to the adjacent IMAX theater and Ashton wen’t to his first movie. He sat still for about two-thirds of the 40 minute movie about the space shuttle and our solar system, before getting fidgety.

Ashton is da bomb!

We pulled over by this historical marker quite be accident in order to rig up the dvd player for a rather cranky passenger. This is as close as the public can get to the actual Trinity bomb site except for special tours that are offered only two days a year. I can certainly see why this location was chosen – these are some of the most desolate roads I’ve ever seen.

BTW – the DVD player was the only thing that saved us on some of the rather long drives that were part of this vacation. Ashton was fixated.

drums and jingly things

Also in Alberquerque, we visited the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and enjoyed a performance by some Navajo dancers. Ashton paid close attention, most likely enamored with the drumming and the bells that were part of the native clothing. He had a chance to meet the dancers at the end, but got shy. We enjoyed a yummy lunch in the cafe where we had the most baby friendly dining experience to date, and where mommy became a fan of Native American frybread. Ashton got some free kids storybooks about preventing diabetes (written for a native american audience), as the book’s illustrator had a special exhibit at the center.  Fortunately when Ashton eats the pages, he’ll be ingesting a product high in natural fibers and low carbs! 🙂

10,000 feet up

While visiting Albequerque, we all took a ride on the world’s longest tramway to the top of the Sandia Mountains. The tram was standing room only and though Ashton seemed mildly interested in looking out the windows, he was altogether unimpressed by our height or the view below. At the top of the mountain, he enjoyed crawling around the observation deck and showed no lack of energy or difficulty breathing due to the elevation (unlike me who was a bit winded).

1st plane ride

Today we began our first family vacation with a trip to New Mexico. Daniel and I have wanted to explore this region for some time, and it was the perfect opportunity to find out how Ashton travels without committing to a long flight or drastic time changes. We flew to Albequerque from San Jose.

We flew Southwest, and were lucky with most of our flights to have extra seats available so that Ashton could sit in his own car seat. Ashton was very interested in the inside of the airplane, especially loving the overhead lights and air. It was all perhaps too interesting because Ashton wanted to climb around rather than sit still and nap (which was desperately needed). The second flight was harder because we couldn’t use the carseat and he didn’t want to stay on our laps. And apparently FAA regulations prohibit wearing your baby in a front carrier during take-off and landing because if there’s a crash they believe you will crush your baby. Personally I think it’s much less risky than a small child flying loose around the cabin when a crash causes you to drop them. But whatever…

Ashton enjoyed exploring the airport waiting areas as well and showed no fear in cruising out into the steady flow of pedestrian traffic or climbing up and engaging with other waiting passengers. He also enjoyed the big walls of windows looking out towards the run-way, though seemed more interested in the baggage handling trucks than the airplanes.