Wednesday, December 30, 2009


We had a wonderful time with Tyson´s family in the middle of December. It was so special to have time with family and it was especially wonderful for Kai to have his grandparents and auntie here! It has been a while since he had seen them but you would never know it: He snuck right past the security at the airport and ran into his Pa's arms--welcoming them all with huge hugs and kisses. It was a very sweet and special moment. Our time with everyone was precious and we treasured every minute of it. While they were here we went on a trip into the jungle and spent a few days in Cusco (see below). Thank you Boppa, Pa and Auntie T for coming to visit, for the gifts and goodies, the adventures and encouragement. We love you all and look forward to our next time together!

Canopy Walk

On our jungle trip we went on a canopy walk. It sounded fun but I ddint' really know what to expect. Something off the ground, yes. But I also expected to be clipped in or something. But, I forgot we are in Peru, where safety is never on the forefront of anyones mind. The pictures don't really reveal the full height of this bridge but believe me, it was high. At the end of it we were in a little tree house/platform type area at the top of an enormous tree--more than 150 feet off the ground. The crazy thing is that Kai did this with us--just happy as could be in the backpack on Tyson's back. We asked our guide how many kids had done this--the only one other than Kai was his daughter! It was fun and beautiful and a great memory!

Family picture at the top

Lake Sandoval

Lake Sandoval was our next stop. It is an oxbow lake that was once a part of the river but got cut off. The walk on the way was beautiful and we saw lots of butterflies. Once on the lake we saw even more wildlife. My favorite was the howler monkeys. The were high up in a tree and hard to see but the amazing part is the sound they make. It sounded like a t-rex was about to come out of the jungle, it was so loud!

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Here are some of the insects we saw on our walk to Lake Sandoval.

This beautiful butterfly just seemed to pose for nice.

This butterfly's wings mimic an owl--and the inside of the wings is an amazing iridescent blue.

This tarantula was on the side of our path...yikes!

This beetle was actually in our yard...

Bug Catcher

My mom sent a cool bug catcher along with Tyson's parents as a gift to Kai. I broke it out early this cool beetle was on our porch.

A few nights later this gianormous bug was on our porch and I bravely (I thought) caught it to show Kai. I measured it when we released it and it was over 4 inches long...yuck!


We were in a Cusco for a few days and guess was cold enough to wear a scarf! Very exciting for this girl who is desperately missing winter. I made Tyson take a pic of Kai and I to document our winter wear:)

Also in Cusco--a lot less air! We were at an altitude of 11,000 feet at one point. It is much harder to do everything, especially coming from the jungle where the air is saturated with oxygen!

We began our tours with Kai in the backpack on Tyson's back. But we soon realized that it is very hard to get all the history and information with a crazy 2 year old in your ear. So, I took Kai for most of the time. I didn't want to use the backpack because it is too heavy for me so for the first day I just did piggy back. The next day I bought this blanket at one of the markets. This is how all the ladies carry their babies. It worked great and I was suprised at how far I was able to carry him like this (especially considering the lack of oxygen in the air). The picture below was a feat I was proud of. It doesn't look as high as it was (or felt) but I was quite pleased I made it up and back without passing out:) Yay! for trying it the local way---I guess they know what they're doing after all these years!

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One of the many Incan sights we saw--but one of the best for pics:)

The Smith Men

Planes & Trains

One of the most exciting parts of our trip to Cusco for Kai was the transportation. This kids is obsessed with planes and trains and he spent time on both. He has been on plenty of planes in his little life but this was his first train ride and he was very excited! His excitement was obvious, I'm sure, to all the other passengers as well on our 2 hour ride up to Machu Picchu!


Another highlight for Kai!

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu was amazing and beautiful! It is really amazing what the Incans were able to create and with such precision! It was fun to be able to finally see it (as we are asked a lot living here) and to see it with our family!

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Random shots from around Machu Picchu

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Second Day of School!

So I totally forgot to take a picture on Kai's first day of school...but here are some from his second day...

We went back and forth about putting Kai in a school here because we could have him with us all day. However, there are multiple reasons we decided to put in him in school a few days a week. The main two being that he is so stinking social he absolutely needs to be around other people and other kids and, we really want his Spanish to continue to improve. He is happy as a clam and loving being back in school tears when we drop him off and lots and lots of stories to tell when we pick him up!
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Those are some big shoes to fill...

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Being a boy...

I just had to post a little something to say Kai is loving life here in Puerto! I feel like he has grown up even more this past month and is learning new things and becoming more independent (if that is even possible) every day! The best part about our new home is that Kai has easy access to go outside to play and I can be inside and still keep an eye on him. There was lots of construction still going on the first week after we moved in and he was out there all the time talking to the workers (asking Dennis 100 times a day “Dennis, what are you making?”), and playing in the sand pile. He has spend a lot of time in the sandpile and I have spend a lot of time cleaning sand off him;) He is just loving being a little boy and getting dirty!
He has loved helping Tyson with projects, carrying tools and asking questions. They have had some great father and son time. Here they are making some shelves for our closets.
The other things that Kai is doing is using the potty. This has been quite the process for the last 6 months and it is really only my fault. I haven’t pushed it or forced it…He used to insist that he didn’t want to use the potty when I asked and I didn’t force it because I didn’t want it to be a negative thing. Since we have gotten here he has said yes when I ask him and is now telling us a majority of the time when he needs to go and can get up and down from the toilet himself. He still uses diapers but by the end of this month I think we will be diaper free throughout the day…yay! All this potty talk has equaled a lot of naked time….