Max in Utah

In late April, there was a rare convergence of most of Brittney’s far-flung family onto one location, so we booked a last-minute flight to Utah. Uncle Jeff and Aunt Casey were incredible hosts at their lovely home in Lehi. Max liked having cool new toys to play with, like this car track.
But the best part of staying there was having cousins around all day. Breanne and Sophie are one year older than Max and have learned to “always be nice” and share with their cousin, whose title has morphed from “Baby Maa” to “Maxie.”
Max loved playing with them and had a big simile whenever he saw them. He had fun crawling back and forth through this tunnel, thrilled to find friends at the end.

Max seemed to remember Austinite (and Austenite) Aunt Ashly from her recent visit to New York. During a belated shower for Aunt Courtney and Brittney’s cousin Lauren at his great-aunt Beverly’s house, he stayed warm from the snowstorm outside by snuggling with Ashly.
He even preferred Ashly to Grandpa when he first saw them, but after about thirty seconds of playtime Grandpa resecured his position as one of Max’s favorite people ever.
We had a fun dance party at Uncle Jeff’s Tuesday night. Breanne and Sophie are excellent shakers, jumpers, kickers and spinners to their favorite songs “Hot Chocolate” and “Gummy Bear.” Max was more into playing with the toys and books (and applauding for himself after he stacked these rings) than dancing.
But we finally got him to do a few cool moves.
Video of Max twisting and flapping
We regret to say that Max did not warm up as quickly to Maya as he did to her older sisters. Though she is only 10-months old, she is a big tough girl, already cruising and, as you can see from this video, a speedy (and determined) crawler. Max did not like her touching any toys he might want to play with it, but by the last day they were able to play side-by-side without crying.
Video of speedy Maya and mellow Max
Max made a special appearance onto a monthly calendar created by his talented Aunt Casey.
What’s on the calendar today? Swimming at an amazing indoor complex with slides, fountains, a lazy river and more.
Encouraged by Breanne and Sophie telling us “You did it!”, we went down the slides many times. Max also liked splashing and crawling through a wet tunnel, but his favorite may have been cruising along the side and entire length of the pool on this rope that was just his height.

Nonna and Grandpa just bought a beautiful house close to Uncle Jeff. We spent two fun evenings there eating yummy dinners, playing in the big basement, coloring and watching “The Letter Factory” with Grandpa.

Thursday we went to the petting zoo/farm at Thanksgiving Point close to Uncle Jeff’s. Max wasn’t so sure about his first pony ride, but with Grandpa’s encouragement he ended up enjoying it. Look closely and you can see Breanne calling out “Maxie!” in the background (and Maya patiently watching).
Max’s liked discussing the goats with Grandpa.

The farm had an indoor kids’ room where we got to plant and harvest “plants” then send them to market on this cool conveyer belt.

Though it was hard to coordinate nap schedules, we did get some quality time with cute cousin Sidon visiting from Canada, whom we discovered is also a big “Where Is Thumpkin” fan.
We did our best to get a good photo of all the grandkids; these are as close as we came. Maybe they are thinking of Uncle Eric in Columbia, the only absent Jensen sibling, and saving their smiles until everyone can arrange their international travels for a true family photo.
We had so much fun – maybe a little too much fun; everyone had sore throats and colds by the time we left. We wish we could see our relatives more often, but we took tons of photos to tide us over until me meet again.
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