Okay, so I know most people know this already now (especially since I inadvertently mentioned it in my last post), but I wanted to make an official post announcing our upcoming new baby! Yes I am now three months pregnant, so our baby will be due at the end of July! We are very excited about this new baby and our growing family! We don't yet know if it will be a boy or a girl, but we will be happy with either; we just want it to be healthy! We both really wanted Ethan to have a sibling close to his age, and we feel that this is a good time! We have tried to explain it to him, but he just laughs and says "Baby in Mommy's belly!" Maybe as I start to show more, he'll become more interested. We have known for a little while, but I wanted to make sure we went to the doctor and saw the heart beat before we made a big announcement. So here are a few pictures of our little baby! They're not great, but you can see that it's starting to get arms and legs (and we saw it has a very strong heart beat)!
A week into our cruise we went to Costa Rica, and unfortunately, I forgot my camera. We spent the day there feeding spider monkeys bananas, shopping, driving around, and going on a zip line (actually, I was unable to go on the zip line because I am pregnant, but everybody else did, and they had a good time). PJ's grandparents took Ethan on a boat ride through the jungle, where he got to see alligators, birds, monkeys, and other various animals! The next day we went to Nicaragua! We were thinking that maybe we wouldn't get off the boat this day, until we pulled up to this beautiful beach! There were these incredible mansions up on the mountainside, and this amazing beach! So we got off for a few hours and just hung out on the beach, and walked around the local town (PJ felt a little uneasy in the town). I was so glas that we decided to get off that day, because it is probably the only chance I'll ever have to go to Nicaragua! That night was New Years Eve! We celebrated on the boat by having a formal dinner! It was kind of fun to get all dressed up! The boat shot off fireworks at midnight, and we rang in the New Year somewhere between Nicaragua and Guatemala. The next day we stopped in Guatemala and we shopped at the local market. PJ loved it because he got to do a lot of bartering. It was pretty fun and we got a lot of cool stuff! The people there were so nice and friendly that it made it one of our favorite stops! We had another day at sea and arrived in Acupocco on Saturday the 3rd of January! We were sad to leave the boat (especially Ethan, who kept on saying "more boat"), but ready to go home. Our flight from Acupocco was delayed, the airport was way overcrowded, and we missed our connecting flight in Atlanta. The airline also lost all of our checked luggage, and we had to spend the night in the airport. It was not our favorite flying experience, but Ethan was amazing through it, and we finally landed in Utah at 9 am Sunday morning. All of luggage got returned to us eventually, so it all worked out! This cruise was so much fun and it was so great to spend time with PJ's family, who we do not get to see as often as we would like! Ethan loved it, and I am excited to tell him about his first time leaving the country!
On Sunday, the 28th of December our cruise ship went through the Panama Canal! PJ's grandpa really wanted to make this cruise educational, so that's why he picked the Panama Canal one. It akes about eights hours to go through the canal, but it is actually pretty amazing! There are locks on each side and it takes about 45 min. to go through a lock (I think you go through about six all together). When you enter the canal, the locks close around the boat, creating like a giant swimming pool, and then they fill up with water, raising the boat like fifty feet. Then one side of the lock opens and you go onto another. The middle of the canal is just like a huge river, and you get to float along looking at all of the jungle life in Panama! At the end, you go through more locks, except the water is released from it, and the boat sinks back down to sea level. We spent the day out in the sun, watching the locks and the Panama scenery from a sun deck. That night our boat arrived in Panama, and we were able to go there for a bit. We drove to the Temple, which was, of course, beautiful. Then we drove around Panama City, which is huge, and has some parts which were terrifying! There was poverty there like I have never seen in my life, and our cabdriver said that some of the worst crime happened there. Also, somthing interesting, when our cab driver picked us up a police officer took account of how many passengers he had. Later when we wanted to split up (we were with PJ's family), he had to find a police officer who could record that four of us were going in a different taxi. Otherwise, I guess he could have been arrested for not returning all of his passengers safely. It was amazing the amount of protection we had as Americans. Police officers would always stay near us, watching out for us. PJ, Ethan, Maddi, and myself went and ate dinner on the street in Panama City before getting back on the boat. It was a quick visit, but very interesting! And it was the first time that Ethan went into a different country, so we can always remember that!
From Dec. 23 until Jan. 4th we, along with PJ's family, went on a cruise through the Panama Canal! The whole thing was so much fun, and since we were gone for so long, I have a lot to catch up. I am going to write this trip in a few installments, because I just don't have time to sit and write all about it at once. We got on the boat in Ft. Lauderdale on Dec. 24th. Christmas was a day at sea, which meant a lot of time sitting by the pool. We also took Ethan to see Santa, and do various Christmas activities, and that night we had a formal dinner, where everyone dressed up. Sea days were fun and relaxing, but my favorite days were port days! Our first stop was my favorite port, and that was Jamaica! We went there on the 26th, and though we only had like eight hours there, we did a lot. We had heard Jamaica was not the safest place, and PJ's grandma was staying on the boat, so she graciously watched Ethan for us. We went with PJ's aunt, uncle, and cousins to Dolphin Cove first, where we actually got to swim with dolphins! It was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had! Our dolphins name was Skye, and we got to pet him, and he pulled us through the water. We wished that we could have spent more time there, but it was still pretty amazing! After that, we headed to Dunn Falls! There we actually hiked up the water fall! It was so much fun! There would be little pools that we could wade in, and then we would continue up the rapids. it was suprisingly not slippery, and it was so cool to hike up an actual waterfall. Unfortunately, we had to put all of our stuff that we didn't want to get wet in a locker before we hiked, so I couldn't take any pictures of that. It was still an amazing day! Jamaica is a place we would definitely like to go back to (people trying to sell PJ pot aside)!
I have a lot of posts to catch up on, so I thought I'd start with these pictures taken Dec. 21, when we celebrated Christmas in Utah. As you may know, we went on a cruise through the Panama Canal over Christmas and New Years, so we decided to give each other our presents early, and have Santa visit Ethan early! It was really fun because Ethan was actually really excited about it! After church, PJ took Ethan to change his clothes, while I set up all of his presents and filled his stocking. When he came out he kept on saying "oooooooh, oooooh" at all of the presents. Then, once he had opened them from their wrapping, he would turn to one of us and say "open it" because he wanted to get each toy out right away! After presents we had brunch together and hung out. We got Ethan a new power wheels, so we took him out to ride it and show the neighbors! That night, we went to my parents for dinner, where we exchanged presents with them. Jake got us a ton of cool cooking things, including a restaraunt stylr deep fryer! My parents also got us a bunch of DVDs and cooking thins, and money to take on the cruise! Ethan, of course, got a billion more toys, and we have no idea where we're going to out them! Before we flew out to Florida on Tuesday, we also got the chance to go to dinner at my grandma's house! That is a tradition, and because of circumstances not relating to PJand me, she had her dinner on the 23rd instead of the 25th! It was great for us because we got to do one more trational thing before we left. And, of course, we took time to remember what Christmas was all about, by reading the scriptures, and talking about goals we have that will help us to live more like Jesus did. We are a truly blessed family, and we're grateful for the holiday season!