Friday, June 25, 2010

Look What I Can Do

Dylan has learned so many new tricks recently, I thought I'd share. Sadly, most of these are bad pictures, but they'll have to do to preserve the memories.

Dylan has recently discovered that he can spit baby food at me while I try to feed him. The first few times, I couldn't help but laugh which -- of course -- only encouraged him. He's learned that he can do things to make Mommy smile, and when he discovers a new way, he just keeps doing it. Now when I feed him, I have to do it with a completely straight face. If I crack even a hint of a smile, he spits at me.

In another attempt to make Mommy smile, Dylan started slobbering all over my face, somewhat reminiscent of a really bad kiss. I had Kirk grab the camera, and despite the horrible graininess of this picture, I was thrilled that Kirk happened to catch Dylan giving Mommy some full on lip action. I look pretty uncomfortable because I was making sure my lips didn't purse in the slightest or else I'd have gotten a mouthful of slobber. Apparently this is what laughing hysterically with your lips sealed tightly looks like. **Photog friends... any tips for "fixing" this picture?

He's not too happy about this trick, but he can't seem to keep himself from doing it. After every nap, he scoots over to the corner of the crib and pulls himself up. Then he screams because he doesn't know how to get back down. I don't know why he's partial to this particular corner, but that is where we always find him.

I love this picture because it is classic Dylan. When he gets excited, he buries his head in whatever is closest. Usually, that is Mommy's shoulder. This time, though, I had grabbed the camera to try to capture a new trick he was working on. He got so excited to see the camera that he just had to bury his face. In the couch. And I happened to snap a pic at just the right time! Silly baby.

When Daddy looked at Dylan and made an oinking sound, Dylan tried to replicate it. The best he could manage what a phleghmy (yeah, that's totally a word) sort of "kh" sound.

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Blurry picture, but it's the best I could do. Apparently trying to take a picture of a baby and a dog is somewhat difficult. The worst part is I didn't even get the picture I wanted but this one will have to do. Dylan was playing on the couch when Sadie hopped up and flopped her toy down in front of him. She then looked at him like, "C'mon... aren't you going to play with me?" She has never shown the slightest interest in the baby. In fact, she has heretofore ignored him at all costs, even getting down from the couch when we lay the baby there. Apparently now that he is getting more mobile, Sadie thinks he has become a worthy playmate. After awhile, Dylan did actually pick up Sadie's toy, and they played a very brief round of tug-of-war. (Dylan's coordination and strength aren't quite ready to battle the dog yet.) I tried to reenact the scene, but Dylan just wanted to pose for the camera, and Sadie just wanted to take her toy to play somewhere else.

And a reward for making it this far: LOOK WHAT I CAN DO

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Water Babies

Last summer we opted for the small backyard pool. While the kids loved it, I hated having to remember to move it (to not kill the grass), and I hated mowing around it. This summer, we opted to let the kids play in the sprinklers at home, and we splurged on a summer pass to the county pools. We'll spend most of our water time at the nearby "Magnet Pool" (Magna Pool).

At 11:30, we head out to get some free lunch at the park, and when everyone has finished the required amount of food, we head to the adjacent swimming pool. I was worried at first about the baby, but even the splash pad has heated water. Yay! Dylan has always loved his baths, and apparently a bigger tub with Mom and brothers in it is even better. I did have to laugh, though, because I noticed a weird circular void in the sunburn I got yesterday. I couldn't figure out what would have caused it, until I realized it was precisely the size of Dylan's head.

My favorite thing about having the summer passes is that each kid (including Dylan) gets his own pass, complete with photo ID. Ha ha ha. These are just too cute.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Shark in Bed

A while back, I offered to trade people services for digital scrapbooking. (BTW, that offer still stands, and I'd specifically love to trade for babysitting, hair cuts, nails, and mudding/taping my basement.) One friend offered to paint Alex's bedroom in exchange for a wedding album for her daughter. Here are the amazing results:



You can also watch Alex seeing his newly painted room for the first time. (Loretta came and painted while we were in Idaho so it was a complete surprise.)
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So far, he LOVES his new room, and I am looking forward to actually decorating it. The only problem came on his first night sleeping in it. He came upstairs in tears and explained, "Mom... I saw a shark in my bed!"

Friday, June 18, 2010

And So It Begins

As the mom of three boys, I just kind of figure I'm in for 25 years of "snips and snails and puppy dog tails..." plus the occasional lizard.


Adam and his cousin Colton caught this lizard when we were camping in the San Rafael Swell over Memorial weekend.  Adam begged and begged to get to keep a lizard, and Kirk and I debated whether it would be a good idea.

We finally decided to let him keep it under the following conditions:

1) He is completely responsible for it.  If he doesn't take care of it, it will die.  I am okay with that.
2) He must pay for everything lizard-related.  He paid for the cage and first set of crickets (for food) from money from his piggy bank.  He now has some simple chores he has to do to earn money for future crickets.

I should have included a few more conditions:

3) He must not talk incessantly about the stupid reptile ALL DAY LONG. 
4) He must not carry the lizard around constantly.
5) He MAY NOT leave his lizard on my bed.

Apparently, he didn't get much of his mom's creativity, since he named his blue-bellied lizard...

Blue Belly.

Welcome to my home, Blue Belly.  May I never find you in my covers.  May you die in your cage where I can easily dispose of you.  May you provide hours of enjoyment for my little boy.  May you not decide being mauled by a 5 year old is worse than being eaten by a bird.  Enjoy your stay.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Trouble with the Law

The red and blue lights flashed as Adam climbed into the backseat of the police car.  "Mom, are we getting arrested?"

--------- 2 1/2 HOURS EARLIER ---------

The kids and I had been on the road since 5:00 pm, on our way back home from Garden Valley, Idaho.  The kids had slept until about 7:00.  It had seemed perfect at the time, but in reality just gave them the energy to still be awake and crazy at 10:00 p.m.  I passed a sign that said "Salt Lake, 182 miles."  Quick calculation: at 90 mph, that meant we'd be home in 2 hours.  I can do this.

I continued to drive as the backseat noise level continued to escalate.  Thankfully, they weren't arguing... just playing very loudly.  Once or twice, I had to play mediator and solve the minor disputes.  I tried to focus on putting each mile behind us, intent on our destination.  I noticed a change in the mile markers.  Weird.  I focused harder and noted the upcoming green sign.  "Massacre Rocks State Park."  I remembered once commenting on this horrible name for a state park to my brother during a different road trip and felt assured that despite the strange mile markers, I was still on the way home.

I glanced at my odometer.  Driving with a broken gas gauge meant dutifully minding the odometer and filling up according to schedule.  Something had strangely been affecting my gas mileage lately, so I'd decided to play it safe and fill up at 200 instead of waiting for 300 as we usually do.  It was getting close, so I figured I'd take the next exit and fill up.

Next exit: Pocatello.  Crap.  Amidst the backseat noise, I'd missed the split in the freeway at which point I could have chosen to go the right way home.  I'd always heard tales of going the wrong way and ending up in Pocatello, but I'd never actually taken it.  Not knowing I could just continue on this longer, alternate route, I figured I'd better turn around.  The gas gauge said 200, but I was too frustrated to stop.  I'll just get back to the right road before I stop for gas.  

I call Kirk to express my frustration about having cost myself time in getting home.  I again passed the "Massacre Rocks" sign and realized that while I had indeed seen that sign before, it had been on a trip from Boise to Lava Hot Springs, a drive that requires going through Pocatello.  With my frustration doubled, I just couldn't wait to be on the right road home. 

I had the cruise control set on 90 mph.  The car shuddered and the cruise kicked off.  Weird.  "It's like I'm running out of gas!" I told Kirk.  Then everything smoothed out again for a mile or so, and I thought I was in the clear.  I knew as soon as the car started to shudder again that I was indeed running out of gas.  I looked for a mile marker and pulled over just as the engine shut off for good.  Mile marker 3/23.  I checked my cell phone battery, because I knew it had been dying.  It was flashing the extremely low battery alert.  Nice

It was now 10:39 p.m.  I explained to Kirk that he'd have to handle roadside assistance for me because I doubted my phone would last.  I turned on the hazards and locked the doors, a little wary of being in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no street lighting and with my 3 small kids in the car.  "Mom, I have to pee."  Of course.  Both boys and I stepped out into the wind and I was again grateful that it is so easy for boys to pee anywhere.

Back in the car, we waited for Daddy to call back.  We said a prayer and asked that Heavenly Father find someone to help us quickly, that the boys would not be scared, and that Dylan would not cry too much.  Adam announced that the prayer was working because he was not scared.  5 minutes later, though, when Dylan started to cry, Adam said, "Oh, Mom, I guess the prayer isn't really working."  I cried.

After a series of phone calls and a lot of tears, it was decided that I would wait an hour for roadside assistance and pay $80 for them to bring me a couple gallons of gas.  Kirk would try to find someone to drive out with to meet me halfway so I wouldn't have to drive the whole way home, because at this point, I was exhausted.  I hung up the phone and continued to wait.  The dome light I had on in the car started to flicker and I realized the car battery was dying.  I double checked my cell phone, and it was now completely dead, too.  Kirk and I had never finalized where to meet, and I didn't know the latest updates about the roadside assistance.  I cried again.

I heard a sweet little 3-year-old voice from the backseat say, "Mommy, calm down.  It will be okay.  Just calm down."  So cute!  I arranged all the boys with blankets and amazingly got everyone to go to sleep.  I even caught a few z's until someone knocked on my window.  I woke up to see the red and blue flashing lights of a police car. 

I stepped outside to speak with him, trying not to wake the kids.  I explained what was going on and he said, "I know.  Your husband sent me."  Thank you, honey!  We discussed the options and decided to call off the roadside assistance.  He would give me a few gallons of gas, I'd head back to American Falls to fill up, then head to Snowville, where Kirk would meet me.  I spoke to Kirk on the officer's cell phone, and I finally felt hope that this ordeal was over.  As the officer poured the gas into our tank, I told the kids we'd be on our way soon.

I turned the key.  Nothing.  I really wasn't that surprised.  It was now 12:40.  I'd been on the side of the road for 2 hours.  I just had a dead battery.  I told the officer so, but he noted that my hazard lights and my clock were still working.  "Can't be a dead battery," he informed me.  I explained that I'd been in the car when the battery started to go.  The lights had started to flicker and fade.  I knew it was a dead battery.  He assured me again that it wasn't.  I backed down, because I really don't know much about cars.  Resigned that something more serious was wrong, I resisted the urge to ask him one more time to try jumping the car.  The kids and I climbed into his vehicle, and we headed to the American Falls Police Station to wait to be rescued.

I called Kirk who had recruited my mom for my rescue mission.  I informed him they'd have to come the whole way to American Falls.  I plugged my cell phone in at the station and decided to call my dad to talk to him about the car.  I described the situation and symptoms and he said without hesitation, "Dead battery."  Lame!  He called my mom to make sure she had jumper cables, and while the kids and I tried to get some sleep, Kirk and my mom drove up to the car, jumped it with no problems, and drove to American Falls to rescue us.

It was 3:30 a.m. when my knight in shining armor drove up.  The kids were out cold on the floor of the police station, and I had actually managed about 45 minutes of sleep.  We loaded up and headed home, careful to fill up at 200 miles.  We pulled into our driveway at 7:00 a.m.  Adam woke up and said, "Mommy, it's morning.  You said when we got home it would be bedtime." 

I was exhausted from my 14 hour trip home from Boise and from my trouble with the law... Murphy's law.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Picture This







 

 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Taking Turns

After reading a friend's blog about a terribly sleepless night taking care of her little one while Daddy was away on a scout campout, I couldn't help but think of this story Kirk told me.  I can't remember where the telling of this story originated, but it is completely true, and it went something like this.

A woman wakes up her husband and asks him to take a turn with their fussy baby.  He rolls out of bed, incoherent and exhausted, and stumbles across the hall to the nursery.

He retrieves his crying son and begins to change him, rock him, etc. to calm him and help him fall back asleep.  All the while, he is angrily ranting and raving to himself about having to get up in the middle of the night.

"What do you mean it's my turn!  We'd have to be taking turns for it to be my turn!"

He gets his son back to sleep and returns to his bedroom, where his equally tired wife is sobbing.

She apparently heard his entire tyrade through the baby monitor.

Props to all the daddies out there who, without complaint, take their turns in the middle of the night.  We are so blessed to be women in a generation where the fathers are expected to do more than just bring home a paycheck.  I, for one, am grateful for all the emotional support and physical help that the daddy of our house contributes.  I can't say he never complains at helping out with laundry or kids or cooking or dishes or cleaning the bathrooms.  But he does it.  And that is good enough for me.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Good:
Camping in the San Rafael Swell


We had such a great time camping this weekend with Mark & Rachel (and kids), the Spragues, Gr. & Gr. Fife, and Heather (and kids). Highlights included hiking through the large and small canyons of the Swell, visiting Indian pictographs and petroglyphs, and hanging out around camp.





The Bad:
My dog sliding down a cliff face into a pond


Aunt Rachel dropped Dylan's bottle 30 feet or so down into a pond. When I went to rescue it, Sadie followed me. She lost her footing on a section of rock worn smooth by water. It looked just like a park slide. She slid about 10 feet down into the pond. While I was about to give up and just buy a new bottle, Sadie definately needed rescuing. Down I carefully went, but there was no getting up the way I went down. I had to take off my shoes and walk through the pond so we could climb out the other side.





The Ugly:
Losing a tire on Highway 6


I'm still not sure exactly what went wrong, but somehow my tire lost all its studs and fell off the trailer. When I first saw the back end of my trailer completely on the ground, I was certain I'd broken the axle. Fortunately, it was just a matter of replacing the studs and tire rim. Unfortunately, finding a rim was easier said than done. Thankfully, after a trip to every tire store in Price, I finally found a tire that would work at Walmart. I bought two, because the size difference was significant. My brother-in-law, Mark, was such a lifesaver, fixing my trailer and getting us back on the road.



The Bonus:
Watching Mark and Rachel's dog try to fetch the dirt when the kids would thow it.

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