Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Moth

Tonight Andy and I were outside doing yard work while the boy was playing. He found this huge moth that couldn't fly but had enough life left in him that he was twitching violently. Calvin thought the movement was interesting, so he picked the moth up by one of its wings and held onto it for about 45 minutes as he ran around and played. I felt bad for the poor thing, but the boy was actually really gentle with it, so I didn't take it away. At one point he started screaming so I ran to see what was the matter. He had been trying to climb the slide with his little buddy in his hands and couldn't do both, so he had dropped the moth. I gave it back to him and he sat at the top of the slide just watching it twitch.
Finally after a while I saw him off playing with something else, so I went looking for the moth. I found him in the grass (still twitching) where Calvin had discarded him like one of the toys he plays with and then loses interest in.
In this picture we're trying to make the boy pose with his friend, but he just threw him to the ground. He had enjoyed him for quite a while, but when he was done, he was done. We sent the boy away to play with some trucks and then Andy performed a mercy killing. The End.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Color Me Ecstatic

Friday night during our ritual weekly viewing of The Soup, Joel McHale, my long time obsession and safe lister announced that he was coming to Salt Lake in June. Andy and I looked at each other and at the exact same second said, "we're going to that!" So he slaughtered the name of Abravanel Hall where he'll be performing, but all is forgiven - that's how true love works after all. I just know it's going to be magical. Our tickets came in the mail today and that makes me H-A-P-P-Y.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Wig

I guess if there's anything at all that's positive about cancer, it's that people buy cool wigs. My mom has a few of her own, and one that looks exactly like her real hair. It's short and brown and layered and styled just like her own hair.

The other night she was showing me her new fantastically remodeled closet (I'm extremely jealous. My closet blows.) and I saw her wig sitting up on its little fake head so I pulled it down and tried it on. Just then my sister came in holding Calvin so I went to see if he'd recognize me. He looked like he was going to cry, and kept pushing me away. That gave me a better idea.

All of the men were at the kitchen table talking about whatever it is men talk about, so none of them saw me walk up behind Andy. I bent over behind his chair and started nibbling on his neck. I heard my 23 year old brother yell in a panicked voice, "Mom, stop it!" and then Andy reached his hand back to feel my head. He patted around for a split second until he recognized that the feel of the hair had to belong to his mother-in-law, and then he just stiffened and went totally still. When he turned around he was the brightest red I've ever seen him. I laughed for like an hour.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Mixed Bag

I kept telling the boy to smile for the camera, and he would give me these big fake smiles. Even though this one was blurry, it was my favorite.

My favorite parts of today:
  • Calvin has never shown any interest in identifying animals, body parts, colors, etc. even when we've tried to teach him. He makes the animal noises when we point them out, but that's it. But today we sat down with him and a book of animals, and Andy would say, "where's the owl?... the cat?... the duck?" etc. He pointed to the correct animal every time. We were amazed because it seemed like it was out of nowhere, and he knew them all.
  • For lunch I was eating a sandwich and breaking off pieces to share with the boy. All of a sudden he wanted to get down, so I pulled him out of his highchair. He walked right over to my place at the table, grabbed the rest of my sandwich and walked down the hall towards the bedrooms. After a couple of minutes of mourning the loss of my lunch, I followed to see what he was up to. He had climbed onto my bed, was propped up on our pillows, and was watching tv as he took small bites of the big sandwich. He isn't usually a big eater, but he ate the whole thing.
  • Tonight Calvin was playing with some cardboard eggs I had used to decorate for Easter. Andy grabbed a few of them and started to juggle. Calvin threw back his head and laughed and shrieked harder than I've ever heard him before. He thought it was the funniest thing he'd ever seen.
  • Around noon when we put the boy down for his nap, it was pouring rain. The huge drops were pelting the roof and windows, creating that magical sound that's perfect for either reading a book or sleeping. So Andy and I took advantage of Calvin's silence, curled up together in our cozy bed and took a long nap. It was wonderful.
My least favorite parts of today:
  • At around 3pm the rain turned to snow. Dear Mother Nature, it is almost May. Can we please be done with this already? Sincerely, All of us.
  • At 6am Andy went with my brother-in-law and some of his friends to blow up stuff with explosives. I was freaked out the whole time that he was going to die. Normally intelligent men do really stupid things when there are fire, guns, or explosives involved. I'm glad they all made it out in one piece. Apparently the highlight was shooting an office chair 30ft into the air.
  • Tonight I felt like having a snack. I had a hostess cupcake and a glass of milk. Andy sat next to me and ate granola in yogurt. There's a lot of guilt involved in being married to a health conscious man.

A Snippet

A boring 3 minute video that only Calvin's parents and grandparents will enjoy. And maybe one or two of his aunts.

video

Lately he's started enjoying tossing balls and bean bags. His arm isn't great, but he's really improved and he sure tries hard. We can't wait to take him out this summer and teach him to toss a ball around the yard. He loves to mimic anything that his daddy does.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just Because

This picture was from a few weeks ago, but I figured I would post it because it's the only one I haven't put up yet. The boy is becoming an elusive creature and it's hard to capture him doing anything. He spends most of every day outside, so imagine him thinner, blonder, and a bit tanner. He's darling. I'll try to get a picture soon.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Day Outdoors

The other day was warm enough that we were able to spend most of the day outside playing. The boy was having such a great time that I wanted to snap some shots. There is nothing that makes him happier than just being outdoors.

The first thing he did was go sit in the dirt, pull weeds, and throw them while he laughed.

Climbing the ladder for the slide.

Checking out the new spring growth.

Throwing grass clippings.

laughing as I bounced him on the trampoline.

Watching an airplane.

Pulling cobwebs from the grill.

Climbing everything in sight.

My favorite picture by far.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An Emerging Artist

In Calvin's Easter basket he had a package of these toddler tub crayons. They are the best $4 the Easter bunny ever spent. They are round and just the right size for little fists to grasp. Even when it's not bath time, he wants to sit in the tub and draw. The crayons at this point are worn down little stubs, but he's drawn over every surface of the tub enough that he's still convinced he's creating colors every time he catches an artistic fancy.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Evergreens and Five Guys

When we lived in VA we went to Five Guys about once a week. Sad, I know. There's just something about their juicy burgers and peanut oil fries that are better than anywhere else. We have really missed it since moving here, until a few weeks ago when they opened one right by us. Tonight we were out shopping for some trees and were right by the new Five Guys so we dropped in. It was all of the goodness we remembered, plus the added benefit of fry sauce (a fatty delicious dipping sauce invented in Utah but now served in burger joints in UT, ID, NV, WA, OR, and CA). It was magical.

We were shopping for trees because when we moved in, we had four dead ones. Luckily it looked like they had just dumped them out of the container, brushed some dirt over them, and never watered them. They came right out of the ground and hadn't established any roots at all. We popped the new ones in, and the yard looks 100 times better.
We also had a cat come hang out with us while we did yard work. Andy gave him chicken, the boy chased him around, and then he bit my hand so we sent him packing.

The boy loved holding the hose and watering the plants. He was soaked, and the happiest I've seen him in a long time.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Today was a beautiful, warm and sunny day. The perfect day to celebrate Easter. I love Easter, it's one of my favorite holidays - it's all about hope, second chances, and new beginnings. We went to church with my sister because they blessed their baby girl, Miriam.

Our family and my brother-in-law Jared's family. Calvin is screaming because he rolled down two carpeted stairs and some random man picked him up. It wasn't a pain cry, it was an "I feel sorry for myself" cry that lasted much too long.

My sister's cute family. Alicia, Jared, Miriam, Aysha, Maria, and Aby who is wearing a tiara because it's her 2nd birthday.

After church we had a luncheon with the two families, and opened presents for Aby's birthday.

Our visit from the Easter bunny.

He loved his new train for his train set, fuzzy little Easter wind-up toys, and his bathtub crayons. It was a good day all around.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Egg Hunt

Today was a great day - Jesse went to the temple for the first time, and we had our Easter egg hunt at Grandma's house. Sadly it was raining all day, so we ended up having an indoor hunt. The kids tore apart the house and found all of the candy within about 10 minutes, but it was a lot of fun. One of the good things about having it inside was that it seemed less competitive. They had hidden eggs on two different floors of the house, so each kid could clear out an entire room without the other kids seeing that they'd hit a hot spot and trying to move in on their territory. Calvin did a lot better than I thought he would. His dad showed him how to find the eggs and put them in his bucket, and then he was off. He seemed to have a great time, as did the other little girls. Here are some of my favorite pictures of the mayhem.

Fias giving C a pep-talk before the big moment.

Everyone lined up and ready to go. Calvin, Aysha, Maria, Aby, and Jared's niece Jaray.

He had a basket, but when he saw the girls using the metal buckets, he refused to use his basket.

Little fuzzy blue monkey with rabbit ears that Grandma bought just for him.

Exhausted after the long search.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Special Delivery

Today Calvin had a big mail day. He got a package addressed to him from Grandma and Grandpa N. It contained a cute Easter card to color, and a new Mercersburg sweatshirt. He also received a card from Grandma and Grandpa B. inviting him to an Easter egg hunt with his cousins on Saturday. He loved opening the envelopes and enjoying the cute rabbits, and we can't wait to try him in his new soft, warm sweatshirt. Thank you D&H!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stretching

I love this sequence from dinner tonight. Mac-n-cheese is a pretty standard fare when it's just the two of us. He usually eats it really well, but tonight he was just smashing it all over the place. He was going crazy beating the noodles with his bowl, cup, and spoon so I ran to get the camera and by the time I got back he was stretching.

Cute Stretch

This is where he noticed I was taking the picture and started laughing.

This is where he started hamming it up for the camera. He was holding his breath and making motor boat noises. The pictures don't show it very well, but he was being pretty funny. It's one of those moments where I appreciate that he's developing his own little personality and doesn't just do everything I think he should.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Church Stuff

Since we moved here, it seems like there is always church stuff going on. Not all of it is bad, it's just always there.

I'm now a scout leader for the 8-9 year old boys. It's fun at times, but it is so time consuming. This month we're learning about dinosaurs complete with paper mache' dino masks, clay fossil collections, a dinosaur skit for pack meeting, and a trip to the local earth science museum. We have scouts every week, a regional meeting once a month, a local meeting once a month, and a pack meeting once a month. Too much time with obnoxious little boys.

Two weeks ago I had to give a 12 minute speech in front of the congregation. It was not fun. However, two good things came from it:

  • 1) I learned a lot about the humanitarian stuff the church is involved in which I hadn't known before. My favorite thing was learning that for many years the LDS church has partnered with the Red Cross and United Nations, sending funding and volunteers all over the world to vaccinate children for measles. In the 90’s when they started, deaths each year were in the millions. Last year in 2008, the number of children who died from measles had fallen to around 190,000 worldwide. When my kids are grown and gone, I would love to live in third world countries and give kids measles shots.
  • 2) a lady that lives down the street sent me some hot, fresh homemade bread and a thank you note for sharing my thoughts. As soon as the door closed, Calvin and I sat on the couch, pulled it apart with our hands, and ate the whole thing. It was divine. Too bad for Andy that he's always out of town.
My youngest brother just received his assignment as a missionary. He will be going to Birmingham, Alabama. Mormon missionaries aren't generally the most popular people in the world, but between the Baptists and the KKK we tend to be less popular in the south than anywhere else. Seriously. My dad has written books about the missionaries killed in the south. At least my brother is a big guy. Should be interesting.

The other day Andy and Calvin were playing on the front lawn. They waved to a man down the street, who didn't wave back and just went inside his garage. Two minutes later he pulled up in front of our house in his golf cart and took Calvin for a ride around the culdesac. I absolutely love our neighborhood.

Andy is teaching the 8 year olds on Sundays. He generally doesn't like it, except that 1) he makes fun projects like construction paper pinwheels and the kids love him, and 2) his partner is a bomb detective and they love to share macho boy stories.

And finally, before I'm done boring you, I will share one last thing that happened last week. For those of you who don't know, we're all assigned a few ladies, and each month we visit each other. It's not my favorite thing. The other night my partner couldn't go, so I went alone with Calvin. The lady I visited was really nice and had three little girls running around. Calvin started wandering around her house, and I was embarrassed, but the lady said, no, just let him go he can play with the girls. Well at some point all of the girls were in the room with us, and there was no Calvin to be seen. I started to get nervous, but I didn't want to be rude and wander through this person's house, so I just called out to him. When he didn't come back, the lady went and looked for him and then screamed. I ran back to see what had happened.

I found them in the bathroom, and my stomach just dropped. Calvin had taken the soggy t.p. from the toilet and thrown it all over her walls, floors and showers. It was disgusting. She was explaining that the toilet hadn't been flushed because her little girl was just learning how to use it and didn't know how to flush yet. I don't know if I was more humiliated that my kid had thrown stinky pee-soaked tissue all over her house, or if she was more mortified because her toilet was un-flushed. It was very awkward. I will never take that boy with me anywhere ever again.

The End.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Seventeen Months Old Today

Dear Calvin,

You're just about at another huge milestone, but this month has probably been the month where I've seen the most changes in your personality and capabilities. You seem more like an independent little boy every day. Here are some noteworthy details from this month:

If you are hungry, you go open the doors of the pantry. If you are thirsty or want cheese, you go open the doors of the fridge. Both sets of doors are very heavy, so I don't know how you get them open. I also don't know why you feel the need to open BOTH doors every time.


If you want something, you pull us there. You grab both of my hands or your dads and walk backwards, dragging us. It's like if you only grab one hand, you're not sure we'll follow you to wherever you want to go.

You are obsessed with the toilets. I could write dozens of disgusting stories, but I won't. We currently stack a pile of miscellaneous bathroom paraphernalia on top of the closed toilet seat so that if you try to get in, you inevitably drop something and we hear you. When we find you, your face looks guilty and shocked. You KNOW you're not supposed to do it, but you try it all day anyway.

You can open all of the doors in the house (see previous bathroom issue). We have to keep all outside doors locked at all times or you'll just let yourself quietly outside and start roaming.

You can eat with a spoon. It's not always pretty, but you do a fantastic job of feeding yourself.


You talk in complete sentences most of the day. We can't understand most of the words in those sentences, but you are a very verbal little boy and I love that.

You love wrestling. You'll jump on me or your dad and tickle and bite us. I think you get the biting from watching Simba wrestle in Lion King and because I chew on your thighs and tummy to make you laugh. The problem is, your biting HURTS! You laugh a lot as you roll around and "get us" though, so it makes it all worth while.

You've gotten a lot better at socializing. You will now play with other kids around you without just bullying them into giving you what they have. The other night we played with your cousins and at 10:00pm (you're usually beside yourself if you're not in your bath by 7:30pm), I had to finally drag you away from running around and around the house with them like a pack of wild animals. I love seeing you interact with other people. You still hate any baby/child that is being held by me or your dad.

Between 7:30 and 8:00 when you decide you're ready for bed, you'll open the door and let yourself into the bathroom. You'll throw your bath toys into the tub, just waiting for us to come turn on the water for your bath.

You know airplanes by sight and sound. If you are inside when you hear one overhead, you'll run to the windows and point. If we're outside, you'll stop what you're doing and point at the "uh-oh-plane" until it's out of sight.

You could spend all day in the yard. You love to push the swing on your own, even if it comes back and hits you, you'll push it hard and then duck while it comes back before pushing it again. You can now slide on your own and most of the time land on your feet at the bottom. You are VERY proud of yourself every time you do it. You can also climb ladders, stairs, and any furniture. We'll go into your playroom and find you standing on top of your school bus, just enjoying the view from the top.

You don't watch Baby Einstein anymore, you now enjoy more complex plots. Your favorites are Make Way for Noddy and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I even heard you laughing out loud the other day and went in to see that it was this strange British dog named Kipper. He makes you laugh like no other show. You don't watch a lot of tv, but you definitely have your favorites.

You love sorting shapes and puzzles. You are recognizing shapes correctly and putting them in their correct holes. You have always enjoyed puzzles when we helped you, but you are now recognizing that certain pieces go in certain places and may have to be turned a certain way to fit. We no longer have the frustrated screeches as you try to jam a chicken shape into a cow.

You are smart, adorable, complex, cuddly, and wonderful. Every day is a new challenge and we love it! We are so grateful that 17 months ago today you came to live in our home.

Love,

Momma and Dada