Thursday, December 11, 2014

Colorado and Kansas

We headed west for Thanksgiving stopping first in Colorado and then over to western Kansas. I got to meet my Colorado cousins in person for the first time. It's easy to see why Bodie says so many good things about them - they sure are fun. We ate an enormous Thanksgiving meal followed by a fun day of basketball, visits with Uncle Jim and Aunt Rosie, and an adventurous day at their super cool zoo.

The giraffe exhibit was incredible, you come (literally) face to face with dozens of giraffes. I would squish my face into the fence, dangling the lettuce out and grunting at each giraffe as they came near. When they gobbled up lettuce from my hand, I usually fell over or took off running - but then quickly returned for the next round of giraffe encounters. Check out the picture with the giraffe eating lettuce OFF OF Bodie's head! Simply awesome. They also have the most impressive variety of bears my parents say they have ever seen in a zoo including a HUGE grizzly who looked like he was getting really close to hibernation.
For those of you who follow this blog, Colorado Springs is where Bodie fell off of Dave's shoulders and fractured his skull three and a half years ago, http://piantanidafamily.blogspot.com/2011/04/colorado.html. While quite a while ago, my mom was a bit nervous about "returning to the scene of the crime," especially repeating a family basketball game. There Bodie is, shooting a basket - not on my dad's shoulders this time. Fortunately, we all remained intact and we had a wonderful time.

We then traveled east to my nana's family farm in western Kansas. She is the oldest of seven kids and they grew up in a small town called Scott City, Kansas. The family farm and ranch have remained in the family and my dad refers to it as a HUGE playground; I'd have to agree. Harvest season is over so we lucked out and got to play with our family - farmers work incredibly hard, so finding down time was a treat.
We stayed with our fun cousins in Garden City and packed in ten times more fun than we could have ever thought possible. My Uncle Luke has a rock star collection of cars and hosted a ton of cousins, aunts and uncles at his "shed" for a party for us. Uncle Luke and I have several of the same cars, the only difference is mine are about two inches in length and say Matel on the bottom. Oh, and it's not just a car shed, it's got tons of toys including a basketball hoop so I had some down time to practice my shot (I'm getting closer!).
Cousin Chris and Uncle Bob let us play with their "toys" and Uncle Bob took Bodie out to do donuts in the field in the ginormous tractor. My mom said she felt like a tiny petite flower next to this equipment - I guess that's a good thing. I felt like an ant, (yes, that tiny speck under the 120 foot sprayer in the picture on the right is ME!)
And I'm told no Kansas trip would be complete without something outrageous, so we checked out the World Record Holding Largest Hairball. Yep, I said hairball. Here's the proof. Surprisingly, this massive thing was actually bigger - it's lost some density over time. But in it's glory days, it was 55 pounds and 37 inches in circumference. Yikes. Of course we took a photo!

Thanks to all of our amazing family for such a memorable trip. Looking forward to doing it again!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Batman!

While I've never actually seen an episode of Batman...or a Batman movie...or a real Batman comic book...or basically anything other than Batman clothing, I love him. I dressed up as Batman for Halloween and then requested a Batman birthday party. Lucky for me, my parents obliged and we celebrated in full Batman style.

We had a Batman cake, wore Batman masks, and then played Shoot the Batman discs in the Joker's mouth, knock down the Penguin's cups with Batarangs, Batman Batman Joker (Duck Duck Goose), Batman/Joker (Red Light/Green Light), Sleeping Gotham City (Sleeping Faries), Freeze Dance to the Batman theme song, Batman Says (Simon Says), and whacked a Batman Pinata. Like I said, we celebrated in FULL Batman style.
Thanks to my awesome friends for helping me celebrate, I had a blast!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Getting to Know Gater

Because I entered the world with a bit more "commotion" than Gates, friends and family had a unique opportunity to get to know me from a very early age. From my birth to heart surgery to full recovery, my parents shared a lot about me and my personality.

I recently realized that Gates (fortunately) was not afforded the same "get-to-know-you" opportunity. I thought I'd share some fun facts about my little brother.

Nicknames: Gater or The Destroyer
Often compared to: A caveman or small dinosaur
Favorite words: Done, goal, hot dog, dad, hike, and shhh
Favorite noises: Grunting (like caveman)
Favorite foods: Pretty much anything
Favorite non-foods he likes to eat: Toothpaste, hand sanitizer, sidewalk chalk, dirt, and hairspray
Favorite thing to throw: Anything
What makes him laugh: me

Favorite item: His blue blanket
Fastest way to make him mad: Put shoes on his feet or a hat on his head
Fastest way to make him happy: Let him smash something (a fort, a block tower, etc)
Most impressive meal: At one breakfast, he ate a banana, strawberries, a waffle, 4oz smoked salmon, a smoothie, and a turkey dog (wow, I know)
Most impressive snack while grocery shopping with my mom: A banana, an apple, and a power bar (the guy at the checkout counter was impressed)
Best friend: me
Favorite game: Hide-and-go-seek chase
Favorite appliance: The microwave
Favorite activity: Tackling people, smashing stuff, and pushing buttons (on toys, elevators, phone, appliances, doorbells)
Best sound: His laugh. He cracks himself up all the time and laughs like an old man, it's awesome
Loves: Music, dogs, balls, and ANYTHING I'm doing/playing with
Skill: Stellar climbing skills. We keep finding him on top of stuff (closet shelf, patio table, ladder)
Disposition: Slow to warm up to new people and places. Can be feisty if you don't give him his space. Once he's comfortable, look out. He'll tackle you and explore every corner of a new environment

He's pretty awesome. I hope you get to know him as well as you've been able to get to know me. If you do, I guarantee a lot of laughing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween

What's not to love about this holiday - candy, dressing up, parades, playing tricks - non-stop fun! We had several Halloween events so we decided to dress in different costumes for each one. Here are some of the highlights...
Bikers
 
Football players (and spider cookies)
 Batman, Robin, the Batmobile, and the words from the comic strip

Gates not only got to be my sidekick, as Robin, he got to operate the smoke machine while I ran through it.



Our grandparents came to town and joined in the craziness. We had around 500 trick or treaters - insanity but so much fun (my parents bought 500 glow lite bracelets and we went through all of them!) Whether you're 1 or 100, Halloween is definitely a treat!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Zombie Walker

It's official, Gates is a walker! He's been teasing us for months, walking a few steps and then crawling away. My mom is convinced he's been break dancing in his room when we're not looking. But just in time for Halloween, Gates has perfected the zombie walk. He laughs the whole time - maybe he knows it looks like a zombie walk - with his arms and legs a little stiff shuffling along. Way to go little brother! I'm excited for our first race!
video