Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Our Little Hero!

Yesterday, I (Tanya) stepped outside for a brief moment to close the gate to the backyard. During that time, Eli began to have a reflux episode and was beginning to struggle to breath. Paige was inside and noticed, so she came out and said to me, "Mommy! Eli needs oxygen!!"

After getting Eli through his episode, I was very intentional in letting Paige know how proud I was of her. She got lots of praises and hugs, just to be sure she knew how much of a hero she was in helping Eli out. During this time, she says to me, "I saw he was choking and came and told you quickly!" She makes me more than proud!

Jason and I are so proud of the little hero that Paige is. She is always watching out for her brother. We are very thankful to how in-tune she is to Eli's care. She is our little nurse and is so responsible and loves to help us take care of Eli's needs. Yesterday's event made us realize even more what a special gift she is in our family and we are very thankful for her! She's really is Eli's Hero!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wedehase on Safari!

First, a warning. There are a lot of pictures in this post, and the blog doesn't really afford great management or control of photos, so things may be a little jumbled. We'll see what happens. Don't forget to click on each image to see it full screen.

This weekend, the Wedehase family went on safari. Safari West, that is. However, our first stop was in Fairfield, for a Jelly Belly factory tour! We got off to a late start, so we arrived at the hotel around 9:00pm. We unpacked. What a process this is for us now that we're germaphobes! Then we all went straight to bed. We'd be up for a long day on Sunday.

Sunday morning, first stop... the Jelly Belly factory! Paige was so excited to see how jelly beans were made, and to try all the wonderful flavors. It's hard to say exactly what Eli was doing in the picture below. We think maybe he's turning into a sun worshiper.

Once inside, we tried some samples. We pretty much had to force Paige to try a piece of fudge. We had been running so late, we ended up skipping breakfast, so she was in a pretty grumpy mood. Seeing the factory store with all the gifts and, more importantly, candy, she began to cheer up in a hurry. Here, she was amazed by all the gummy worms.

More colors! More candy! I want them all!

Paige and mommy start the tour. To the right, we weren't supposed to have cameras on the tour. With Paige being so cute, hanging onto mommy's neck, I decided to flex the rules a little. They weren't in production, so I don't think I've compromised any secrets in the background.


First step: Check in and unpack. The tents were really wood framed buildings with canvas walls. Electricity, running water, and a full bathroom were standard. It was great! Our tent was directly across the path from the giraffe and crowned crane enclosure. We were serenaded by the sound of African wilderness all night. Here, the entire family sits at the front steps of our weekend home.

Paige had a great time exploring ("Daddy, let's go sploring!") and seeing all the animals, real and man-made.

Our precious little children. They love each other so much.

After dinner, we did some more "Sploring." We found baby "falingos," monkeys, and all sorts of other animals. We even saw a baby giraffe that was born that very day! Otto, that was his name, was already taller than daddy. Here, the wild Paige monster is held back by some black bamboo, just like we have at home. While we were out exploring, mommy was getting big hugs from baby brother Eli. He's becoming quite a cuddly little boy.

Paige and daddy roasted marshmallows at the campfire. We've had lots of practice with this at home. We've roasted s'meeps so many times over this last winter, so she's a real pro. What's a s'meep, you ask? It's like s'mores, but it's made with Peeps, those little, yellow, sugar coated marshmallow chickies we all have to endure for Easter. They're horrible treats, as packaged, but it turns out they're AWESOME in a s'meep. The sugar coating caramelizes and offers a wonderful crunch over the top of the gooey marshmallow goodness. The orange ones are the best. But I digress....

Next to our tent was a small pond with Lemur Island in the middle. 4 ring-tailed lemurs slept only feet away from our tent, and we had a great time watching their morning and evening activities. Paige took a walk around the pond and found another really cool giraffe sculpture. And of course, she's become anything but shy in front of the camera.

Safari, Day 2
Breakfast time in the dining room, then off to our departure point. We rode in large, off road safari trucks. Here, Paige poses on the truck. No, she wasn't upset. The sun was in her eyes, and she was doing the best she could to keep those eyes open.

To the left: Dozer was a friendly giraffe! He wanted to have an up-close look at Eli. As we traveled through our safari, we came across many animals. We saw rhinoceros, wildebeest, cape buffalo, oryx, addax, ostrich, elan, red river hogs, warthogs, and so many more. To the right: Eli and I on safari, with impalas in the background. We learned they can leap 10 feet vertically and 34 feet horizontally in a single bound!

For days, Paige wouldn't stop talking about the zebras. They had a dazzle of 16 zebras, and we were lucky enough to have come upon them all in the same place. And, while zebras are notoriously skittish and tend to flee at a moment's notice, these 16 zebras all maintained their position as we approached. Some were only an arm's length from the truck.

After our tour, we had lunch, and headed out. Before we left, Paige wanted to climb a huge, lumpy tree. Once up there, she made silly faces for the camera.

We took Highway 101 home, so we could swing by the Golden Gate bridge. There's a great photo spot just on the north end of the bridge. Unfortunately, we passed by it just as we recognized it (it's unmarked). So we made an adventure of the trip across the bridge itself. Then we made our way through San Francisco, though we never left the car. We even took the kids up the HUGE hills and down Lombard Street, since we were so close. Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures of any of this.

Great getaway? YOU BET! Priceless.