Colin had fry sauce all over himself from dinner with my parents at Arctic Circle, so I stripped him down and sent him to play with the water. Fry sauce is one of his new favorite things, and he got it all over his head, arms, and chest tonight. He is now from Utah, christened in fry sauce.
We tend to favor the naked bums on our blog. (They are about the only thing that will get our friends to comment. I get lots of private comments about the blog via phone and email, just not on the blog.) Is not that the cutest little bum? He is doing a little happy dance that he does quite frequently.
We spent a fun afternoon with some visiting cousins at the Thanksgiving Pointe little farm area. It is very cute, and Colin ran around like a wildman. He went on his first pony ride, which he loved. However, he thinks he was riding a doggie. I love his little dreamy smile above.
Lots of cousins! I should have gotten an actual photos with the kids looking at the camera, etc, but I think it is cute too too see them all as they are.
Here is a quick summary of the week, and again, some photos for Brian since he is missing his family. I have hardly taken any photos recently since I am not visiting cool places all the time, and since I have been a little busy with the new Harry Potter. (Colin does not give me a lot of time to read and I get so tired at night. I did totally love it!) Anyway, it is SO GREAT to have a little break, and Colin is enjoying himself. He does ask for Dada a lot, and likes to look at the photos I have of Brian in my cell phone.
Friends from Indiana! It was so great to see Susan and Sue Anne for a bit in Utah. They are even two of the first 6 people to welcome Colin into the world. He loves them and wishes we all lived closer.
Colin LOVES my parent's kitty, named Muchacha. The kitty does not love Colin quite as much, but she has done pretty well with him. If there was not a cat in the house, I am not sure I would ever get him inside.
Colin stunt riding on his Nana's toys. He is constantly reminded to sit on his bum-bum. Nana has lots of great toys, but Colin still loves to just play with kitchen spoons.
Colin has had a fun few days seeing some of his Mom's old college friends and their children. Colin loves other kids. He has not had many kids to play with while traveling, except the day care kids he would play with at a little park in Tel Aviv. Here are some shots (mainly for Brian to look at from Tijuana) of Colin playing with Ruth's two little boys. They had a great time, and it was fun to catch up with Ruth's family.
News from Brian: he crossed the border on midnight Thursday (early Friday morning) with some cast members to get the new Harry Potter book. He said Borders was crazy, more than 2,000 people, but he was able to get a copy from a small grocery store across the way. He finished reading last night and seems quite pleased. All he tells me is that Voldemort does not because Minister of Magic and does not take over the world. I am only a few chapters in, since my reading is interrupted by a certain little guy. Brian is doing well, but we are very much missing him. Colin thinks all phones are just for talking to Dada. Monday, 7/23 is Brian's birthday, so send him your well wishes. (His cell phone even works on and off in TJ).
We are a few days behind on the blog since we left Mexico last Monday. We were lucky to get out of Mexico because Brian had visa trouble (lots of visa trouble). The opera had to pay fines and sent us to the airport with a lawyer. (I thought some of my Mexican friends who have had trouble with USA Immigration would think it is funny that we had trouble with the Mexican Migra.) But we did get out and came to Utah Monday night. Sadly, Brian then had to turn around and leave for Tijuana on Tuesday afternoon, and he is there until the end of the month for two more shows. Colin and I decided to sit that leg of the journey out. We miss Brian terribly but we are enjoying being at our new (and old) home.
Here are some photos from the last show of Barber in Bellas Artes.
This is Almaviva (Brian's character's) car. He drives it on stage and then had a very funny scene with George (Figaro) when there is a crazy screen behind them involving a storm, chariot racing, and Indians. (I guess it is kind of hard to explain, you just had to be there.) The show was really fun, and everyone was extra-funny closing night.
Brian starts the opera as Buddy Holly. Here is a bit from the show's review in the magazine OPERA (a British publication):
Stucki’s voice has a tender sound and he knows the Rossini style very well. He is a very good comic actor and also a good guitarist because he accompanied himself during the “Se il mio nome saper” serenade,which was a nice extra touch during the performance. Stucki’s suave, secure hero matched Herrera’s naughty and clever Rosina.
Count Almaviva, Rosina, and Figaro (Brian, Nancy Hererra, and George Petean) I made the photo b/w because Brian still had Nancy's lipstick all over his face from the wedding scene. It is still sometimes funny that as part of my husband's job I watch him kiss other women. . . He assures me stage kissing is not romantic. It's still weird.
But Nancy, George, and Brian were great and it was a very exciting show. The stage director who brought this all to pass was Willy Landin, an Argentine who works a great deal in Buenos Aires. He also is very talented, and I hope he and Brian can work in Argentina sometime. I would love to get back to South America.
We spent a great little while at the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City a couple of days before we left. It is an incredible museum, and since my undergraduate degree is in Anthro (and I even later taught an Anthro class through BYU night school) I thought we should be sure to get there. It was good we did because on our flight back to SLC, who would I run into but Dr. Hawkins, who oversaw a great deal of my Anthro research and later employed me in the department. I would have been very embarrassed to tell him we had been in Mexico City if we had not gone to the Anthropology Museum.
Above is the Aztec Calendar. It was HUGE and amazing!
Colin and Brian by the massive water feature. We are not ashamed to put our baby on a leash (as he needs one at times).
After the Pyramids, Carlos took us to the Basilica of Guadalupe. There are 3 churches on the plaza, but the Basilica is a crazy modern building wherein is the relic which makes this place the most important Catholic shrine in Mexico. People do really intense pilgrimages on foot to come see the painting/miracle shown below.
This icon is said to have miraculously appeared on the garments of one Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin after he had several conversations with the Virgin Mary in the mid 1500's. I have seen this icon on many candles in the Mexican sections of grocery stores without realizing its historical importance. When we heard the story of the Virgin's image on the clothing, we were expecting a more organic Shroud of Turin/Virgin Mary appears on piece of toast type thing rather than this full color high detail painting (I will post below the death omen that appeared in our juice drink on Christmas eve last year as a point of reference). There were four moving sidewalks in front of the shrine- obviously there is an enormous amount of traffic to this site. We read a very informative article about the history of the relic on Wikipedia after seeing it. This is how we usually tour: we see things we don't know very much about, and then we go home and learn about them on Wikipedia.
Spooky, huh? Merry Christmas.
Carlos explained that this is where women who are hoping to find a husband come to pray. They need one of these in Utah as there are a lot of 19-22 year old girls who are starting to lose hope.
Exterior of the Old Basilica
This is the new ultra modern mega-basilica where the Lady now resides. The interior is quite impressive. The plaza now doubles as a launch pad for this mother ship.
Just if our last entry was not long enough and you are bored, we are working on a temporary way for me to have an on-line photo portfolio. For Christmas last year, Brian and our friend Sue Anne designed and started a photo website for me (www.annstucki.com). Since Christmas, things have been a little too crazy for Brian to learn to be a great web designer, etc. Someday, someday. He really will do it and he will be good at it, but for now the opera is keeping him quite occupied. (A good thing. He is making a living by singing).
So we are still going to add some basic info, but we have TONS of photos to look at on http://stuckiphotography.blogspot.com/
It is kind of too bad I do not have more of the work I did with film readily available to get on-line. Those were different days when I shot with film, but good days too. Anyway, remember me for all your photo needs (if you can find me). I have been a freelance photographer for more than 15 years, which is hard to believe.
We had an amazing day yesterday at Teotihuacan, an ancient Aztec City just outside of Mexico City. The opera helped us arrange a driver who, not only drove us there, served as a tour guide, but at times even walked Colin around in his stroller so we could climb or go places that were not passable with the stroller. He then also took us to the Basilica de Guadalupe and the Plaza de Tres Culturas. Thank you Carlos. We dedicate the entry to you. (He really was great, so if you ever need a driver in Mexico City, we will get you in contact).
The ruins were very impressive. I am sure Brian will have more to say. He was going to do this entry but he is busy with the opera tonight because that is his job. We may have to put up another slide show because we took SOOO many photos. It was such a beautiful day, and things could not have been any better considering we were doing all this with a 1 and 1/2 year old.
Brian and Colin on the Pyramid of the Sun. Colin has been all the way to the top of this pyramid, but he fell asleep before he could climb with us to the Pyramid of the Moon. Maybe we can go back when he is old enough to remember. My Mom can empathize with Colin's young adventures. She was born in Chile, and by the time she was 7, she had literally been all over Latin America (even Cuba) but she does not remember much. So she knows what it will be like for him when we tell him all the places he has been but he does not remember.
Both the Pyramid of the Sun (larger, to the right) and the Pyramid of the Moon (left) as seen from near the Temple of the Feathered Serpent. Yeah, we will try to add more later (especially as today was kind-of boring).
We took Colin to the Children's Museum yesterday and he was in little baby heaven. We love that Children's Museums let Colin explore and run around, but then when we go places where he cannot explore and run around it is kind of hard. But the Papalote is an amazing museum and Colin thoroughly wore himself out.
"Hello. . .yeah. . . I am at the Papalote Museo del nino. . . Yes, I find it most stimulating. . . the teeter totter collection is one of the worlds finest and most comprehensive. . . Ok, talk to you later. . .bye bye"
Tomorrow we will have a fun entry because we went to the pyramids today. We are too tired to do anything else right now.
We had a late lunch with George and Florina at the famous Opera Bar in the historic district. Pancho Villa celebrated some revolutionary victory here in 1910, and they have kept the bullet hole he put in the ceiling to remember him. There seem to be a lot of different versions of the story, some involving him riding in on a horse, or aiming for a bronze chandelier when he made the bullet hole. (I can never think about Pancho Villa without saying the little rhyme the kids in Soledad Nueva, Mexico taught me: Pancho Villa que come la tortilla con pan y mantequilla.)
Colin was done sitting still and went around saying hello to other tables. When he is trying to escape these days, he reverts to crawling.
After arriving back home, Colin was back to his fun time with the keys. It is the one time he stands still, so I can take a picture of his new haircut. We always lament the loss of his little curls, but then think he looks so cute with his big boy haircut.