Monday, August 24, 2009

Rashes and Dogs

Last week Calvin had a temperature of 101-102 for a couple of days, but then it went away so I assumed it was part of his teething issues. On Friday I noticed a dozen little white canker sores all over his tongue. On Sunday we noticed a rash on his back and chest. By Monday, the rash was all over his face, arms, legs, and everywhere in between. I called first thing in the morning and got him into the doctor. While checking him out, he noticed that Calvin's tonsils were horribly swollen. He said that rashes often accompany strep throat, but his test came back negative. After going to the oh-so-professional source of Google, the doctor diagnosed him with Roseola, a virus that he probably picked up at church or from one of the kids at my party last week. Apparently young babies don't get it because they still have some immunities from their mother, so the most common ages are 9 months to 2 years old, and after that kids usually have the antibodies to fight it off. The biggest issues come from high fevers and sore throats, but it's supposed to just work its way out of his system in a few days. The poor kid seems miserable.

I couldn't get a very good picture because of the lighting and how much the subject matter moved around, but this gives you a general idea of what it looks like.

A few days ago the boy discovered the Fox and the Hound DVD. I think it's partly because he hasn't felt well, but he hasn't wanted to do anything but watch it over and over, all day long. At 5:00am he runs in and turns it on himself. He's obsessed. His favorite part, of course, is when Copper does his adorable, weak little howl. He loves watching Todd and Copper wrestle. He thinks the birds are hilarious. Watching his face while he watches the movie is much better than almost anything I can think of.
We found this little chair at Costco and Calvin was so delighted that it was just his size. We put it in our cart, and he rode it around the store like it was a little throne. For the last few days, it has been nearly impossible to get him out of that chair, and away from his friends Copper and Todd. He's oblivious to everything else. I hope he gets feeling better soon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sleep Issues

As I mentioned a while back, we are not doing well with sleep in our house these days. Calvin has gone from the most ideal sleeper, to a little nightmare. Every night we have to go into his room 3 or 4 times through the night, and sometimes every hour. We decided to try the tough love approach and let him cry it out. Unfortunately, Calvin has learned that if he throws his blankies out of the crib and then cries "want that, want that, want that, want that...." over and over again, we always give in. It's just too sad knowing he's up there alone in the dark sobbing, reaching for his blankets, and wishing we would come and rock him to sleep. Lately Andy's been the one going in. He has the magic touch. When I go in, he wants me to take him out. When Andy goes in, Calvin lets him rock him for a minute and then he'll reach for his crib. Most of the time we trade off throughout the night. Life is painful when Andy is out of town.

At about 4:30 every morning, we usually just give in and bring him into bed with us. The other day, I heard Calvin making fake snoring noises so I opened my eyes. His face was less than an inch away from mine, with his eyes scrunched tightly closed, pretending he was snoring. I'm assuming he was copying me as it seems to be an unfortunate side effect of pregnancy for me. It made me laugh. As opposed to the mornings where I'm trying to sleep with him in the bed next to me, and he sits and bounces on my face or stomach, drives his train over my head, kicks me in the ribs, or throws blocks at my head.

Today we walked into his playroom about 20 minutes before his usual nap time, and this is what we found:
He looked so peaceful, it was hard to be upset that his parents are beyond exhausted, yet he manages to curl up wherever he likes and just doze off.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


After last week's bee sting, and me feeling so smug about Calvin never getting stung by wasps, he got stung on his cute little finger. So did his cousin Maria about 5 minutes later. Stupid pests.

Sisters' Social - August 15th

That was then...

It's been almost 10 years since I served as a missionary for my church in Berlin, Germany. I loved it there. One of the best parts was that since there were so few females, every six months or so, our mission president's wife would do something she called "Sisters' Social." It was a day where the girls got to get out of regular work, and do something fun like go on a day cruise or other things that I don't remember right now. Some of the girls were way outside of the city, so we never saw them, and it was fun to get together for a few hours to play. The guys hated us for it.

I've been thinking the past several months about how much I would love to see some of these ladies again, so what better way than to throw my own Sisters' Social? Of all of the people who live in Utah, only three didn't come (one because she had a baby 2 days before the party), and they brought their husbands and children as well. It turned out well, I think, and it was great to see everyone. I think we'll have to make it a tradition. Here are some shots from the evening:

...and this is Now.

There were 15 kids there under the age of 5. I was planning for disasters but they all played really well together.

Me and my man - the grill master for the evening and yard boy for a full two weeks before. I couldn't have pulled it off without him.


Lots of food.

Calvin sneaking away to sip an apple juice beside the fireplace. Odd boy.

Jenny and Kammie. Jenny mad at Kammie because her new haircut is clearly a Mama Kardashian haircut and not the Kate Gosselin 'do that Kammie accused her of having.

Calvin and Lincoln. I'm not sure if Lincoln was aware of their friendship but Calvin followed him around most of the evening and seemed to have the time of his life. I guess while they were both climbing the slide, Calvin got impatient and passed Lincoln which did not go over well. Calvin pushed him aside, so Lincoln bit him on the arm. His parents were very apologetic, and Lincoln's dad made me laugh when he explained that Calvin "took it like a man" with no tears, or apparent notice of the incident.

Susan and her family. She was one of my favorites. She made me laugh nonstop for months. Also in the area where we were together, there were a lot of crazy people, but she made it bearable. I can't go into specifics without having PETA on her tail. We had so much fun together and I still think of her every single year at Halloween because she may be as big of a freak about the holiday as I am.

Wendy and I never worked together but we had a few classes in German together back in college. I love her because she stayed until the bitter end helping me clean up and haul in the leftovers.

Lindsay spoke better German than any of us and always kept us in line. We love her. We also love that her husband hung out with the girls all night and joined in the conversation. Two days after the party, they moved to Qatar for a teaching position for the next three years.

Suzanne. Another favorite and known all over Germany for her incredible baking. She and I were fast friends and applied for The Amazing Race together when we got home.

Holly and her adorable family. She and I were only together for a short time in a small town, but it was quite memorable. We met up again when I saw her on Oprah (one of the three times I have ever watched it) as a Katrina volunteer in the audience that they were honoring for their services. So we've been emailing for a few years, and now I blog stalk her all of the time. It was fun to see her and her boys in flesh and blood.

Jenny was the last person I trained before coming home. She is this perfect mix of gorgeous, confident, and spunky, so everyone loved her, but then when it was just the two of us her white trash side would come out. She is hilarious and I loved every second with her. And how cute are her boys, Bjorn and Rome?

Jessica - the most cheerful upbeat person I've ever met, both then and now.

Bree went to Germany after I left, so I don't know her but she and I chatted a bit and she was a lovely person.

Kammie - always the poser and always a little spitfire. A party just wouldn't be a party without her.

I had set up tables and chairs by families, but what actually happened was that all of the girls sat together and caught up, while their kids ran around and their husbands chased them. The guys were all good sports. And as for the ladies, it was like picking up where we left off. You'd never be able to tell that it had been ten years.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Chore Boys and Such

I've mentioned before that Calvin has become quite the exhibitionist. What I didn't mention is that he's also an excellent little chore boy. He loves sweeping, helping me transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer, and he has single-handedly kept my patio flowers alive all summer. I have a large watering can that he tries to lift but gets frustrated with, so we bought him a mini-can. He will dip it into his wading pool to fill it up, and run back and forth between all of the pots until they're all sufficiently saturated (i.e. drowning). This is a picture I caught one day of him doing his chores.

Today Andy laid down on the couch for a minute, so Calvin ran and grabbed his blankets, and came back to cuddle. I thought it was cute.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ready to Go

Today I said to Calvin "Let's get your shoes on so we can go bye-bye" and then I left the room to find his shoes. When I came back into the room 2 minutes later, he had grabbed Daddy's shoes and gotten himself ready to go without my help.
In this one you can see his fat lip. Yesterday we were playing a game and I was chasing him with a little musical push toy. He was laughing and looking behind him when he tripped and hit the corner of the stereo speaker, busting his lip open. He sobbed for much longer than he usually does and there was a lot of blood, but it didn't look like it needed stitches, so I just ice-packed it. By the end of the day he had a huge white canker sore on his lip and it looked very painful. This morning he was playing on the slide with his dad, tripped, and busted his lip open again. I thought it was the same cut, but when I looked closely, it was an entirely new cut. That one was kind of funny because he didn't cry, he just kept running and sliding. He was literally choking on blood, but laughing at the same time. Bizarre kid. By the end of the night he had a new canker sore on his new cut.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


When Andy and I met there were a few things that told us that we were meant to be. Never mind that we had completely different backgrounds, we both drain all of the water off of our Ramen noodles before adding the spices, we're both horrified by the thought of dunking cookies or sleeping with socks on, and we both have an unhealthy obsession with all things Halloween.

Since we tend to start looking at Halloween decorations in July, and since this summer and the next few months have and will continue to be some of the busiest in my life, I've been trying to plan way ahead for things that we know are coming so I can at least alleviate some of the stress and anxiety of doing everything last minute. So last week we purchased Calvin's Halloween costume. I had just planned to put him in the one from last year because he still fits it and I love it so much, but we saw one that is so appropriate for him right now, and Andy said, "that's the one. Let's get it!" So we got it in the mail today and tried it on. Calvin loved it. He pranced in front of the mirror laughing, ran around the house flapping the wings, and cried when we finally took it off. This year, because it fits his personality so much, he's going to be a little devil.

At church on Sunday I stayed in the boy's class with him because he's been having a hard time staying the whole time. Mostly they played with toys and ate snacks, but one of the teachers did try to do a two minute lesson on something spiritual. It was interesting in general to watch Calvin compared to other kids his age. He is MUCH nicer. He doesn't take away toys or push other kids or throw tantrums like a lot of the bratty little kids, but it was also interesting to see him when they did the church related stuff. When they had a prayer, all of the kids closed their eyes and folded their arms reverently; Calvin took the opportunity to steal the toys he'd been eye-balling and climb on chairs. When the teacher held up a picture and said "who's this?" all of the kids yelled "Jesus!" while Calvin stared blankly. I guess now everyone at church knows that we're just heathens in our home.

So that's a long story as background to this conversation: As Calvin was in his costume looking in the mirror, he said "what's that?" pointing to himself. I said "that's a devil. You're a little devil. Can you say devil?" (just because we try to have him repeat every new word he hears) and Andy shouts from the other room, "Good job, honey. We have the only kid who doesn't know Jesus, but we'll make sure he recognizes the devil."

We'll work on the prayer thing, and I'm sure identifying important people will come - for some reason I have given priority to farm animal and shapes (I thought that's what you did with < 2 year olds) - but for now he's just going to be the cutest Halloween devil anyone has ever seen.

The last four days have felt like fall. The air has been cooler with a slight breeze, there have been a few rainy days to get rid of all of the hot summer dust, and it even smells like the season is changing. I know it won't last just yet, but for now it makes my heart feel happy beyond belief.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Twenty-one Months Old Today

Dear Calvin,

You amaze me every day as you continue to learn and grow. It has been a busy month for you. You get smarter, more precocious, and more independent minded every day. Here are some of my favorite things about your past month:

New words: purple, bug, bzz (you do this thing where you put your tongue between your lips, and just kind of spit to make the bug sound. You do it when you see bees, spiders, grasshoppers, or anything else that you think is a bug) , banana (nana), choo choo (reserved for your favorite train - the orange one named Billy), boat, cow, moo, car, back pack (for some reason your dad knows Dora the Explorer songs, sings them to you, and you love the back pack song.)

You are moving full-fledged into your imaginary play stage. You drive cars and trucks around the floor making vrooming noises, you fly planes through the air making motor noises, and you pretend to eat play food like bananas, cookies, and carrots complete with chewing motions and swallowing, followed by a "Yum Yum!"

You love my big Buddha belly. You're always pulling up my shirt so you can slap it and laugh, or else lay your cheek against it in a quiet moment.

You have the funniest sense of humor and love to tease your parents. We'll say, "where's daddy?" "Where's Calvin?" "Where's mommy?" And of course you'll point to the right person (when we say where's Calvin? you always grab your belly. It's the cutest thing ever). But sometimes, you'll do a cheeky little grin and point to the wrong person, and then laugh at your little joke.

Also funny, you are always asking us what things are. Sometimes you'll have one toy in each hand, and ask what one is, then the other. Then you'll hold up one and then the other as fast as you can, so that we're saying it really really fast. For example, you'll hold up a car and a train. We'll say "car. train. car. train. car/train/car/train/car/train..." until you're moving your hands so fast we can't say the words correctly. You think it's hilarious.

I have always been so grateful for your sleep habits. When you're tired, you've always grabbed your blankets, stood by your bed, and then gone straight to sleep every time we laid you down. Since you were nine months old or so, we've never had any problems with you and sleep. Well about 2 weeks ago you started to freak out every time I put you in bed. You would scream for hours. Finally I started rocking you to sleep, but often you would wake up again when I went to lay you down and the crying would start all over again. I finally made a bed on the floor where I fall asleep next to you, and then sneak out once you are asleep. You like the floor situation, but in the middle of the night you'll wander into our bedroom and get in bed with us. Nap time and bedtime has become a nightmare with you. I hope this is just a phase that doesn't last very much longer. You're tired and cranky, I'm tired and cranky. So now we're trying the tough love approach, and the first night you screamed for an hour and fifty minutes. Kid, just go to sleep!

You love bubbles. You demand them about 5 times a day.

You currently have four teeth coming in. 2 on the top, 2 on the bottom. They look sharp and painful, but unless there's more molar space in the back that I'm not aware of, these should be your last ones.

The other day while I was doing dishes I was looking out the window over the sink and saw the funniest thing. You and your dad were jumping on the trampoline together, and every few jumps, you'd both fall simultaneously on your bums. You would lay there and laugh, and then get up and do it all over again. You two were right on sync the entire time. I asked your dad if he had been counting so you'd know when to bounce and fall, and he said no, that you would just watch him jump and when his legs would bend, you would go down as well. You are such a smart little cookie.

Lately you feel the need to be naked all the time. You'll take all of your clothes off, and then your diaper. One time I asked you where your diaper was and you led me into your play room, where you had strategically left 6 or 7 little piles of poop all over the floor. You pointed to the piles and then ran off. Those weren't bad to clean up because they were like little deer droppings, but a few days later, when I asked where your diaper was and you ran to show me, this time you pointed to some not so nice and orderly little piles. These were runny and gross and made me want to cry. As I was scrubbing your floor, the doorbell rang and some nice lady told me she and her husband were opening a business and that as a promotion they were cleaning one room of carpets for free. I figured it was divine intervention and let her in. What she neglected to say was that she was a Kirby vacuum dealer, and in order to get my room cleaned, I ended up with people in my house for FOUR hours doing a sales pitch! Salespeople from hell. All because you can't keep your clothes on.

Monkey, your dad and I say every day how lucky we are to have you in our home. You bring so much laughter and energy and joy. The other day I told your dad that I never would have imagined when we met that he would be such an amazing husband and father. He said,"I had no idea I would love it so much." With you we have a sense of purpose and a sense of contentment. We adore every facet of your personality and look forward to many more months of learning and growth. We love you more than you can know.



Monday, August 3, 2009

Mariah's Baby Shower

My sister Mariah is expecting a little girl mid-September, so Saturday we threw her a baby shower. We had it at my mom's house, but I got to be in charge of the details. I think everything turned out well and that everyone had a great time. We're so excited for the new little addition coming soon!