Cruising on the Saguaro

It was a beautiful day, and we decided to go on a relaxing cruise ride on one of the nearby lakes in the area.

This trip was actually not impromptu, but brought about by a LivingSocial deal I got many months back. It was for a 90-minute narrated cruise ride on Saguaro Lake (about 30-40 minutes drive away). It’s by Desert Belle Cruises (www.desertbelle.com) and something we wanted to try a while back. The deal was great, $35 for four adults, which normally would have cost us $80, or $20 per adult. Miggz was free because he was under four years old.

Saguaro Lake’s views is different from Canyon Lake’s. On Saguaro the views are more nearby low-range mountains and desert landscapes with lots of desert flora (and fauna, if lucky). Here are some pictures from our trip…

Miggz being Miggz.

Miggz being Miggz.

Grandma and Lolo came along.

Grandma and Lolo came along.

Miggz and I.

Miggz and I…LOVE this pic of us!

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Can you spot Elephant Rock?

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Beautiful desert flora.

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Arizona’s desert landscape.

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Ripples on the lake.

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Lots of cacti abound.

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Did you know that Arizona is home to hundreds of species of birds in the winter time? Hence, the term “snow birds.” We found some of them while cruising on Saguaro Lake.

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Miggz and I.

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Miggz and Daddy.

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Me at 21 weeks pregnant.

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It was a gorgeous day in the 60’s.

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Miggz and I by the captain’s deck.

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Terrence and I overlooking the lake after the cruise.

All Photos by Terrence G. Photography | Copyright 2012 | All Rights Reserved

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A New Christmas Tradition

This was the first time we made gingerbread anything. I’ve wanted to try it for a couple of years but knew that Miggz was probably still too young in the years earlier. I thought this year was just right…he is three years and four months old, and can actually help out with the building and decorating.

Instead of making the traditional gingerbread house, we opted for a gingerbread train kit.

This is me doing a little prep work while Miggz looks on…he’s got his hands near the red and green M&M’s for easy access 🙂

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And the rest of our photos chronicling what we hope would be a yearly Christmas tradition from here on…

Candy in his hands = candy in his mouth! Hence, that smile!!!

Candy in his hands = candy in his mouth! Hence, that smile!!!

Miggz helping me with the train cart's body.

Miggz helping me with the train cart’s body.

Create an annual tradition by purchasing a kit like this for less than $10 at your local grocery or arts & crafts store.

Create an annual Christmas tradition by purchasing a kit like this for less than $10 at your local grocery or arts & crafts store.

Miggz in action...

Miggz in action…

He enjoyed alternating between eating and decorating the gingerbread train!

He enjoyed alternating between eating and decorating the gingerbread train!

Detail shot...

Detail shot from above…

"M" is for Miguel.

“M” is for Miguel.

Detail shot of the train's engine.

Detail shot of the train’s engine.

This is me enjoying this activity, probably a LOT more than Miguel did!

This is me enjoying this activity, probably a LOT more than Miguel did!

The finished product ;)

The finished product 😉

Can't wait to make another one next year!!

Can’t wait to make another one next year!!

We Missed the Sun in San Diego

It was just last Thursday when we set off for San Diego to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary. We got back on Sunday night, and it feels like we JUST got back. This week definitely flew by quickly. Even though I’ve already done (and folded) the laundry from our vacation–an indication of having a lot of time on my hands–I am still left wondering where the past couple of days went.

So San Diego…where to begin. It’s one of those cities I’ve always wanted to go to, though I didn’t initially consider going there for our anniversary because I couldn’t find any great hotel deals. I initially looked into revisiting Sedona (only a two-hour drive) or possibly going somewhere in the Caribbean (I’ve been having the travel itch since we got our passports). In the end I eventually found a reasonable-priced hotel in San Diego, and just booked our trip within days of our anniv.

San Diego is a six-hour drive from us. I kept hearing only four hours from everybody, but even the GPS and Google maps estimated slightly over six hours. And if you’re a mom, especially a New Mamma, you know that estimates are really just that. Add in the rest stops for food, diaper changes, and photo ops, and the six hours can easily turn to eight. Thankfully, it didn’t in our case.

I made sure I prepared enough things to keep Miggz entertained (or asleep) during the drive. I brought along two of his Matchbox cars, two little Tonka trucks (he picked out which two specific trucks to bring), and two stuffed toys–the puppies Beagle and Benjamin–which he loves to cuddle and easily falls asleep with during car rides, as we’ve discovered. I also packed his favorite snacks, or mum-mums (Gerber’s Strawberry-Apple and Banana Puffs, as well as some of their Mild Cheddar munchies). I also brought along one of his baby pillows. It’s amazing how someone so little can need so many items on a road trip. All of them came in handy during the ride, and I was able to rotate the cars, trucks, and puppies maybe three or four times with Miggz (he’s very easily entertained) before we resorted to some iPhone baby apps, making silly sounds, and sawsaw-suka.

The trip to San Diego was interesting. I wish Miggz saw all the varied grades of terrain that we passed: deserts, farms, rocky mountainsides, even sand dunes. He mostly slept, snacked, and peed. It was also really sunny for the most part, except when we finally got to the San Diego area: it was so foggy.

Our next couple of days in San Diego didn’t get better weather-wise. The sun hardly peeked, and the clouds overhead threatened drizzling every so often. Thankfully it mostly stayed dry until our last day.

We made the most out of our trip. We went to Balboa Park (easily one of my new favorite places to be in…will definitely go back once Miggz is able to enjoy and appreciate the museums), Coronado Island, and Seaport Village. We wanted to stop by the beach too, but it was cold. We didn’t do any of the major San Diego attractions (the Zoo, Legoland, SeaWorld) for the same reason we didn’t go into the museums. We mostly really just wanted to sightsee and relax, with the intention of coming back when Miggz is old enough to ride in theme park rides and watch Shamu. Miggz did get to ride the historic carousel in Seaport Village, and he got to enjoy a nice Gondola ride with me and Te on our anniversary night.

Why take Miggz on an anniversary trip, you ask? Simple. It would just not be complete without him.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from our trip:

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Operation: Family Schedule

We’ve been in Arizona for almost a month, and I must say the progress that we’ve made is great. We’ve got most of our boxes unpacked (except for those tagged as “new home” for when we eventually move into our own home). Our room and Miguel’s room are pretty much set up. For our room I just need to get to work on organizing our files, a task I wanted to get done in New Jersey but didn’t have time for. For Miguel’s room, we just have a wall border to apply, and his transportation and safari-themed bedroom-playroom will be complete.

Now all that’s left to do is LIVE. BREATHE. ENJOY.

In the time we’ve been here, our days have been pretty much unstructured: lazy mornings, brunches, and no designated bedtime except for Miguel. But after a month, I really feel like it’s time to put some order into things, especially if I want to be a productive SAHM. Here’s a preliminary schedule I’ve drafted:

8 AMRise & Shine: Miguel wakes up, takes a bottle. Most days he’ll snuggle and snooze some more for an additional two hours (I’ll try to resist the urge to sleep in with him from now on). I’ll get up, have some coffee while I read for half an hour (emails, Facebook, the morning paper), and contemplate what to prepare for breakfast.

8:30 AMCan I be a Culinary Queen? Time to cook breakfast. I hope to be able to whip up some goodies from my dusty old cookbooks, deviate from the usual bacon and eggs from time to time.

9 AMBreakfast. Just some quality time to enjoy the first meal of the day.

10 AMThe First Chores Get Done. Miguel takes another bottle. Clean-up after breakfast. Take out food for lunch to cook/heat up/or thaw.

10 AM to 12 PMA Two-hour Block for Morning Activities. Playtime… errands… a time to tackle to-do’s.

12 PMLunch Prep. Cook rice, etc. This might be a good time to try out those recipes from Giada or Rachael Ray. Miguel takes another bottle (he only drinks 4 oz. at a time, hence, the frequent two-hour feedings).

1 PMLunch Time.

2 PMClean Up After Lunch. Take out food for dinner to thaw. Another bottle for Miggz.

2:30 PMShower Time.

3 PM to 5 PMMiguel Naps. This is a good time for me to get a break and either nap with him, or work on hobbies I’d like to get back into or start doing (photography, scrapbooking, writing among other things).

5 PMDinner Prep. Miguel wakes up from his nap and takes another bottle. Time for me to cook rice for dinner.

5 PM to 7 PMEvening Activities. Playtime and bonding with the grandparents. A nice two-hour break for me and the hubby to get our own things done.

7 PMDinner. Miguel will take another bottle after his meal.

8 PMTV Time. Fall shows are right around the corner…yess!

9 PMEvening Bath. Then a final bottle for the day for Miggz.

9:30 PMBedtime. Miguel is off to bed. Lights are turned off, and he eventually dozes off.

10 PM Miguel is Asleep. =)

10 PM to 12 Midnight Late Evening Activities for Me and Te. Wash and prepare his bottles for the next day, kitchen clean up, maybe more TV, Facebook time, blog updating, etc.

12 MidnightLights Out. Time for bed. Tomorrow is another day.

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