Thursday, July 30, 2009

Super Hero

I love this picture. One day C was running around with his blankie, so Andy tied it around his neck like a super hero cape. Now the boy can't get enough of it. Several times a day, he'll bring his blanket to us and wrap it around his own neck, motioning for us to tie it on. He'll run around and around the house until it finally falls off.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

When Mommy Primps...

I know these pictures make it seem like we never dress our kid. I swear we do. He goes through three or four outfits a day, mostly because he loves anything with water and is constantly soaked and in need of a change.

When I get ready for the day, he'll usually stand outside the shower and whine for me to let him in. When I do let him in, he doesn't like the spray and leaves immediately to stand outside the shower again, watching me and whining through the glass. When I put on make-up and blow dry my hair, he begs to get up and this is his favorite spot. He'll sit in the sink with a bit of water running, pulling out everything he can get his hands on to play with, he'll drench it, throw it, and then look for the next thing. He's always so happy in the sink though, so we continue to do it day after day.

Monday, July 27, 2009

First Bee Sting

We have lots of wasps around our house, so it's always worried me that Calvin likes to try to catch them mid-air, or poke at their nests when he finds them. We have a ton less than we used to because the yard was so overgrown when we moved in and Andy has stayed on top of things, but we still have a few new nests pop up every week.

It's strange that Calvin is often around wasps, yet it was one lone bee on the deck by his little pool that just landed on his tummy and stung him for no reason. Calvin whimpered a bit and swatted at the bee, but that was about it. We had a small operation to pull out the stinger, but overall it didn't seem to faze him too much. I took this picture to document his first bee sting, and then I realized how his elbows are all scraped up and he has bruises all over his legs. Poor little boy looks so beat up. He climbs on everything and has no fears. He's all rambunctious, adventurous, tenacious little boy.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pioneer Day

July 24th is the day we Utahns celebrate the day that settlers arrived to set up shop out here in the wild west. It's always a big hurrah with fireworks, parades, rodeos, etc.. Today it was fun to celebrate in our new city, with all of its small town charm. Here are the highlights:

MR talked me into going to the parade. I know it makes me a bad person, but I hate parades. I hate all of the pushy people trying to get to the front of hoards of people, I hate the rude people that put up huge umbrellas so no one behind them can see, I hate the endless bands that play the same song over and over, I hate that it's inevitably hot and uncomfortable and boring.

This one was really fun though. There were no huge crowds camping out for three days as if a celebrity was going to walk by in the 4th of July Provo Parade, so we got a great spot on some nice ladies lawn; the whole thing was done, start to finish in 30 minutes; everyone walking in the parade was throwing candy and OtterPops, and they all threw it right at Calvin and Little Buddy; and I actually knew quite a few people in this parade. It was quaint and cute and fun. I've decided I love this small town stuff.

Me and the boy posing.

I just loved that some random 3 year old was riding his horse down main street and waving at people. Adorable.

Without any prompting our coaching, Calvin clapped for every float, fire truck, band, horse, and even dog.

Later that night the city put on a firework display that was really quite impressive. We learned last week that the rich man who lives up the hill, at whose ostentatious house we always stare, actually donated his time and thousands of dollars worth of fireworks towards this show. Apparently it's a hobby of his, so he puts it on with very little cost to the city, and it was really a fantastic show. The best part?

It was in the park right across from our house. We had front row seats - right on our back deck. All of our neighbors came by that day to tell us they were jealous. I couldn't tell of they were angling for an invitation, but instead we invited over the family members who weren't still sweltering and vomiting in the desert of Arizona. We made smores on the little deck fire, ate watermelon and ice cream, and had a fun time visiting in the privacy of our own space while watching hundreds of people gather across the street.

Everyone on our deck.

Jared and Alicia's family. I love the cute girls in their tiny lawn chairs.

Riah and Curtis. I think they're sleeping. (Umm, sorry about the angle guys, but it was the only one I took of you. You look great, I promise!)

MR and Little Buddy. He seemed to like these fireworks, unlike the 4th of July ones at home in Texas that freaked him out.


A very bad sampling of the magic. That's the line of our roof in the photo.

Andy and the boy. Calvin really seemed to enjoy them.

No one cares about this picture, but I found it amazing. The park was so packed, and cars were literally bumper to bumper on every street within blocks. This is in front of our house after the show. Our quiet little street was flooded with traffic that took a half hour to clear out. It's apparently a really big event around here.

After the fireworks, we went out on the driveway and did sparklers for the kids.

Aysha twirling.

Alicia and the magic baby that never cries.

Maria taking it very seriously.

A few weeks ago was my brother's birthday. Once he blew out the candles on the cake, C was going crazy so we relighted the candles and let him have a go of it. Ever since then he's been trying to blow everything out. Here's Calvin doing his best to blow out the sparklers.

MR and cute, tired Little Buddy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Trip from Hell

Every three years my dad's family gets together for a family reunion. He has 14 siblings, and they all have large families, so we're in the 300ish range for these reunions. Most of the time they are a lot of fun and people travel from all across the country to attend for the entire week. My dad grew up in Florida in a swampy area in a little house with a tin roof. 11 of the 14 kids were boys, so they spent their time with quality pursuits like daring each other to go get a Mason jar full of swamp water at night, from alligator infested waters, or playing a knife game called "Stick Frog" where you have to go through a whole regime of moves and have the knife land with the blade stuck into the ground. One such game ended with a fight over the knife and the boy holding the blade almost lost several fingers. Needless to say, these reunions are interesting.

For example several years ago the uncle who was in charge of the reunion opted for the cheap route, and literally had us camping on the acreage surrounding a slaughter house in the middle of nowhere Arizona. We went to sleep at night to the sounds of pigs and cows squealing as they were being butchered. There was a stream that ran through camp which would have blood trailing through the water every morning. The stench was awful, and every hike we encountered at least one or two dead bloating cows with birds pecking at them. We even saw one cow pecked so much by crows that he exploded. That is a smell I will never forget.

They built a pen in the middle of the dirt for the small kids and toddlers, there was mud wrestling, wrestling on a log over a river where the loser got drenched, knife games, and the cooking pot was so big that there wasn't a spoon big enough to reach the bottom. They actually picked up a 2x4 off of the ground and proceeded to stir the food that everyone would eat. The highlight for me was that the boys were collecting buckets full of these huge frogs - probably 12 inches from nose to toes stretched out - to race them. I don't have a problem with racing frogs, but I do have a problem with the fact that they would just leave them in these buckets for days and there was no room to breathe and they never got fed. One night after dark I sneaked into camp with a couple of my sisters, and we took all of the buckets to the river and dumped out the frogs, chasing them off before anyone would see us and recapture them. The boys screaming at me the next morning was actually very entertaining.

(a pretty picture during my long drive)

So all of that is a long preface to this past week. Three years had rolled around again, and the reunion was once again being held in middle of nowhere Arizona. My family all left several days early to be involved in a small parade, rodeo, and other festivities to be held in the town where my dad's mother grew up and where he still has a lot of family. Andy couldn't go with me because of work, so Calvin and I set off on our own for the 10 hour drive. Half of the drive was over a Navajo Indian reservation where we encountered dozens of animals just walking leisurely through the middle of the road, and a dust storm where I couldn't see anything at all for several moments. As soon as we left any kind of civilization and entered the reservation, Calvin had a poopy diaper. There were a lot of places where I didn't dare stop, but after about 2 hours of driving with the smell, we found a place that looked semi-clean and semi-decent. I stopped in a parking lot, and the only place I had to change his diaper was on my seat since every other surface was covered in camping gear and food. As soon as I opened up his diaper, a big ball of poo rolled out of the diaper, down my chair, and under the seat. Digging for that had to have been one of the better moments of life. I didn't realize it at the time, but pulling off put my coordinates slightly off, and when I got back into the car, I took a wrong turn, driving 2 hours out of my way, and ending up in middle of nowhere New Mexico.

We finally arrived late that night. Luckily Calvin was amazing. The only time he got upset was about 8 hours into the drive and I realized I hadn't fed him for about 6 hours. We stopped to get something to eat, and then he was great again. We were both exhausted and frustrated by the time we finally reached camp.

This time we were at an actual campground, not a slaughter house, so that was nice, but it was still in the middle of the desert. There was a large pavilion for group meals, and thankfully running toilets and showers, but the rest was just dirt. Red sandy fine dust that got into everything. The temperatures ranged between 95-102. It was hot and dry and miserable. There were a few fun things though.

My uncle built this adorable little train for the kids out of water barrels which he decorated and then pulled with a small tractor/lawnmower. It was a huge hit. Calvin especially loved it. He would go sit in the cars even when they weren't running.

Then there was a stream with canoes to play in. Strangely, it's called Silver Creek because of its silvery clear water. I found that amusing.

All dressed up and ready to go.

Carrie was nice enough to take him into the murky depths while I watched from the sidelines. He didn't seem to like it in there, so we tried him in the raft with the my sister's family.

He didn't like that either.

Then we freed him from the life vest (the water was only 2 feet deep) and he was a happy little camper.

Happy inside the raft with uncle Tom Sawyer.

Cute little family in their water gear.

This was my genius cousin getting ready to dive into the lake. He was shocked when it hurt. He said, "ow! I hit something!" Umm yeah, the bottom. It's 2 feet deep dude.

This is where the rest of the story begins. Cute little Maria asked to get out of the boat because she wasn't feeling well. They weren't sure if it was the motion of the boat, but they took her back to camp where she vomited for the rest of the day. Followed shortly by her mother, and her uncle, two of her aunts, her grandpa, and then her grandma. The rest of the night was spent with everyone in our camp being deathly ill. Not sure why it skipped me and Calvin, but everyone else got horribly sick. Through my tent I heard people retching all night long. The next morning we found out that several others throughout camp were really sick. Alicia's family decided that after a night of a sick little girl and mom, and then with dad following in the morning, they were going to head home so that if the three other girls got sick, they wouldn't have to deal with it in the dirt and lack of facilities. My sister has a baby that she wanted to keep from getting sick, and since I had Calvin to worry about and the heat had been giving me horrible cramping and contractions anyway, she and I packed up our kids and headed out with them. We felt horribly guilty leaving my sick parents and two siblings behind, but my dad was stubborn and wanted to stick it out. The reunion should have lasted all day Monday through a drive home on Saturday. I got there late Monday night and left early Wednesday morning. It was one of those weeks that just wasn't meant to be for me.

Late Friday night, I finally got hit with the horrible flu. It was nasty and painful, but at least I was in my own bed with my own bathroom, and my wonderful husband was there to take care of our kid in our clean house. Here's to another three years of planning for the next reunion...

Enjoying Summer

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Twenty Months Old Today (umm, 13 days late)

Calvin always has something clutched in his fists. He goes in phases - back and forth between balls, trains, cars, etc, but he always has something he can't let go of, even at nights. The first thing he does every morning when I come to get him up, is grab his blankets and then look around his crib for whatever he was holding the night before and dropped in his sleep.

Water. His biggest passion.

His first roller coaster ride with Auntie Carrie. He was not a fan as you might imagine from the worried expression on his face.

Dear Calvin,

A few months shy of two years old, I think this is the month I have seen the biggest changes in you. It has been amazing to watch you turn almost overnight from a dependent baby to a small little boy who thinks and talks and jokes, one who has thoughts and wishes and ideas of his own. I love it. Part of the reason I haven't been blogging lately, is it's just so much fun to spend time with you, and you love to keep me busy. Here are some of my favorite milestones from this past month:
  • You've learned to say "no." I knew it would come, but I wasn't prepared for the day that I would say, "Calvin let's change your diaper" and instead of you getting a mischievous look on your face and running away, you stood your ground and defiantly said, "no!" I think it's going to drive me crazy, but then there's an adorable side to it. Like when you're playing outside and it starts to rain, or when you drop something, or when your favorite tv show is over and you say in this indescribably sweet whiny little voice, "oh no!" and then I love it.
  • You've learned to say "boo!" You'll jump out at me from around corners, or cover your face with a blanket, or hide wrapped up in the shower curtain, and then yell "boo!" with this devilish, proud little smile on your face.
  • You sing along with everything. For songs you've heard a lot, you have fantastic pitch and timing. You'll hit the right notes and time the holds and pauses just right, even if your gibberish doesn't make any sense. For new songs, you'll just say "duh, duh, duh, duh, duh" along with the music.
  • You have this strange fixation on skin. If your daddy has his shirt off, you'll take your shirt off and just press yourself into this huge hug. In the morning when we're all lying in the big bed, you'll come pull up my shirt and just lay your cheek on my bare belly. You love the contact of skin, and you use every opportunity to get close and give the best, longest-lasting hugs.
  • I haven't done a ton of bubble baths with you, but the other night we did one and you kept saying, "wow! bubbles!" the entire time. Then you put suds all over your face and caught a glimpse of yourself and your white beard in the reflection of the faucet, and you just laughed and laughed like it was the best thing you had ever seen.
  • All of a sudden out of nowhere, you are responding to our requests to point to parts of your body, point to certain colors, point to certain shapes. You can say several of the shapes, and you can identify five or six colors, but you'll only say "blue" and not any of the others. You are so smart with puzzles and blocks and building and identifying. You now say several more animals, and often will even accompany their names with the sounds they make. I love the best that you're always pointing out your nose, head, belly, mouth, ears, etc. just to hear us say the names over and over again.
  • You've started doing the funniest, most random thing. When I'm somewhere in the house doing dishes or laundry or whatever, you'll run as fast as you can towards me, and then without slowing down, you'll face plant straight into my butt or front thighs, whichever is facing you. I always catch you so that the momentum doesn't knock you over, and then you'll laugh uncontrollably at your clever little joke.
  • You have this obsession with the Wii Fit that is beyond annoying. It's the first thing you want to do in the mornings, and anytime we're in the basement, you'll run to pull it off of it's shelf. Once I spend forever getting it set up, you'll play for like five seconds, and then you'll drag me over to it and want me to play so you can watch. I absolutely hate when it's 6am and a 1.5 year old kid is forcing me to play stupid video games that tell me I'm out of shape and unbalanced. The only cute part is that you've learned a lot of words from it. They say "ready?" and you'll mimic the voice perfectly. You'll also count down with them, 3-2-1, and when the lady weighs you and says "oh!" like you're fat and she's surprised by the weight, you say "oh!" along with her and clap with delight. Anytime you look at us with huge dark expectant eyes and say "ready?" we know you want to go play the Wii. You get that 100% from your father.
The biggest thing I've noticed this month is how you actually seem to be processing things. It's like finally you're listening and understanding and actually thinking through what we say. Like if you start to throw a tantrum, I'll explain to you why we can't do this or that or what we have to do first, and you'll usually calm down. If I say, "we can't go outside because you don't have any clothes on" you'll run to where we get you dressed. I love it. I love that when I say we're going bye bye, you run to the garage door, and once we're out, you go straight to your door on the car. I don't have to carry you or chase you most of the time. It's like we understand each other and we respect each other. It's like we're actually friends. Every single day I'm so happy that I was the one lucky enough to be your mother. I can't imagine a day without your sweet antics and I'm doing my best to enjoy every single second. I love you Calvin!