Monday, November 30, 2009

A Random List

This is where he saw me holding the camera and said "cheese!" until I took a picture.

Things I love about Calvin right now:
  • When Andy or I start to walk away from the boy and he's not done with us, he yells in a pleading voice, "wait! stop!"
  • He loves to ask himself questions. Like if he knows a balloon is red, he'll say, "blue balloon?" and then answer "nooooo". "Yellow balloon?", "nooooo". He'll go through several before saying "red balloon?" and then get excited when he yells "yes!"
  • When we play the high five game (give me five, up high, down low... too slow!) he laughs until he drools.
  • He loves to dance. He has some funky little moves that are hilarious. He rolls his shoulders and stoops low and does a moon walk type thing. His dad actually has rhythm, so I'm pretty sure he dances like me. It's so funny to watch him do it whenever the mood strikes, whether he's at home or in public.
  • He loves to fly around the house and tell us he's a butterfly.
  • Whenever he does something he's proud of he says "great job!" Once when he accomplished something he was working on, I said "good job, Calvin!" and he said, "no, GREAT job!"
  • Whenever he's telling someone goodbye he always blows kisses. He has started doing it when he's playing with his dad and doesn't want me. He'll say "bye mommy!" and blow me a kiss. He spreads his fingers really wide, and kisses the palm of his hand.
He makes us laugh constantly. We often wonder how we were blessed with such a great little kid.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Paper and Fruit

Tonight I walked into this. His destruction of the roll of parchment paper was accompanied by his singing of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, his current favorite song. Again, it's hard to be mad when he's just so cute.

Calvin isn't a big eater. He's picky and overall just too busy to be bothered with it. I think this is how he stays alive. He climbs onto the counter, takes a bite or two of an apple, and then puts it back until next time. He's careful never to eat the same spot twice (probably because it's brown and gross), but he loves that he can just nibble off what he wants and then move on to something else.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Milk and Frogs

I, like most parents, have learned that when your two year old is very quiet, something isn't right. I was working on dishes and the kitchen tonight when I realized I hadn't heard the boy running around for several minutes and went down the hall to check on him. I found this:

I know I'm a bad parent, but sometimes it's hard to discipline kids when it really is so funny the things they come up with. I just had to laugh as I scrubbed milk off of the floor.

He then spent the remainder of the night leaping around the house saying "ribbit!" I'm not sure where the frog bit came from, but he kept at it for quite a while and seemed to enjoy leaping back and forth between the floor and furniture.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dinosaur Museum

Tonight my family decided to take all of the kids to the BYU dinosaur museum. It was really crowded and I spent the entire time trying to chase a hyper 2 year old through swarms of people, which is hard to do when you have a 3ft protrusion on the front of your body. It was a lot of fun though and the boy loved spending time with his cousins.

Posing under a big skeleton.

Cute kids in the jaws of the beast. I think Calvin cracked this statue towards the end of the night when he kept trying to climb it. Oops.

When I was taking the previous picture, Calvin was standing in front of whatever this is yelling "cheese! cheese!" He obviously wanted a photo of himself, so there you have it...

Checking out the lab and the woman inside cleaning bones.

Scoping out fossils.

The whole group.

After the museum we went into the parking lot and had donuts. Here the kids are enjoying a treat while sitting on grandpa's tailgate.

Poor Bek. They came from VA to visit in mid-October. Not long after they got here, Bek was playing basketball with the boys and ripped her ACL and a few other bad things. She had to be on bed rest for several days and is just now making it out and about. I feel so bad for her. She had been in the process of training for a marathon, and now she's stuck at her in-laws doing physical therapy and wondering when she'll get to go home. She's a good sport though, and secretly I'm so happy to have them around for such a long visit.

Carrie playing Simon Says with the little kids in the dark parking lot. They had a great time, and Calvin especially loved it - he really got into the spinning and marching.

Good baby who never ever cries. Even in the dark, cold night with the crazy people spinning and eating donuts instead of just going home or some place warm.

Calvin and his donut.

Luckily I had blankets in the car. Happy kids talking about dinosaurs and enjoying the night time picnic.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Snow Day

When we got home on Friday it was clear, but by the afternoon we had a blizzard and several inches of snow. The boys were thrilled. They played outside for an hour throwing snow, making snow angels, and building a mini-snowman.

Whenever I opened the door to take a picture, Andy would throw snowballs at me. The snow would hit me and come in the open door, all over the kitchen floors and counters.

Calvin thought it was HILARIOUS.

Then they built a cute little snowman. Calvin was so excited. All I could find for his face were a baby carrot nose and oreo halves for eyes. Not classy, but at least he is well loved. Even after they came in for the night, Calvin kept looking out the windows to check on his little "no-man."

St. Louis (Nov 12 - 14)

We left SLC early Thursday morning and arrived in St. Louis around noon. After grabbing a rental car and lunch at Chevy's, we checked into the downtown Marriott where the conference is being held. Andy's a Hilton man, so he wasn't too excited at first, but the hotel was gorgeous. It's a whole mall type complex built on the old Union Station train station. I meant to take pictures, but forgot, so here are a couple from online. You should go there. It's amazing.

After we checked in and looked around, we did my new favorite thing - we took a long, uninterrupted nap. After dinner at Houlihan's, we registered for the conference, got our fancy name tags and programs, and then Andy ripped apart my paper just in time to make me even more afraid to present it in the morning. We went to bed and I tossed and turned most of the night.

Friday morning we had the continental breakfast at the conference, and then went to find my room. Here's me all ready for the big day.

The good and bad thing about my slot on the schedule was that I was the second time slot of the entire conference. It was good to get it over with, but bad because I had no idea what to expect, so I was only able to attend one session before my own presentation. The other three members of my panel were almost finished with their PhD's and had done several conferences. All I knew was that we weren't allowed to read our paper, just give a brief summary. The doctoral candidates all had nice little synopses typed out. I winged it. Andy who I love for his honesty said I definitely seemed unprepared, but had some good moments too. Overall, I think it went well. People were nice, we filled all the time with discussion, and people talked to me after the session about my topic. I would do a lot of things differently, but it was a great experience for my first conference. I'm glad I went, and I'm even more glad that it's over.

Then the fun began....

First we went to see the arch.
Picture from underneath the arch.

They lined us up by these tiny little doors to wait for the "shuttle." I was expecting an elevator. What we got were these tiny little spaceship looking pods with tiny seats and a low ceiling.

I'm not sure that this picture completely shows the smallness of the space. It rocked and clicked all the way to the top, and there was a tiny window where you could see the bazillions of stairs you were passing on your way to the top. It freaked me right out.

Andy at the top.

A view from the top.

Then we went to the Botanical Gardens. It was acres full of gardens from different parts of the world. It was the perfect fall day, and the grounds were some of the most beautiful I've seen. We spent hours walking through, and it was some of the most laid back time we've had together in a very long time. Andy and I talked and laughed and enjoyed nature. Life was good.

By the time we left the gardens, we were so tired that we grabbed an early dinner at Texas Roadhouse, drove to the Hilton closest to the airport, and I was in bed asleep by 7pm. Do we know how to party, or what?

Saturday morning we were up at 4:30, caught our early flight, and had our sweet boy picked up and were home by 10:00am. It was a great trip. Short but sweet.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

St. Louis

St. Louis was wonderful. We had a fantastic time.

The best part was this:

But then we went from this:

Back home to this:

The weather was bearable, however, because we also came home to this:

Details to come. (I just knew if I didn't post a picture of Calvin very soon, I'd be receiving nasty calls from his grandparents.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm bringing sexy back...

I have a funky looking belly button. Naturally the bigger I get, the more retarded it looks. Last week at my doctor's appointment I had them check it and it turns out I have a hernia. The Dr. was pretty nonchalant about it. She just said to have as many kids as I'm going to have, and then get surgery to fix it. Apparently they put mesh in there to keep everything in place. When I did some research on my own, I found the following statement: "Hernias occur when your abdominal muscles stretch or tear -- as they can during pregnancy -- causing part of your intestines to poke through the weakened area. Hernias can be serious because they could become "strangled," causing the blood supply to the trapped intestine to be cut off." Sounds disgusting. This baby has been so active that we always joke about her poking a hole through me. We didn't know that she really would.

Also, a couple of days ago I was curling my hair and got distracted. I was holding the curling iron down while I watched the boy do something, and next thing I knew there was a searing pain on my stomach. Somehow I forgot how much I stick out, and managed to burn a big mark in two places on my belly. Between the herniated belly button and the angry red marks, my stomach region is H-O-T, even on top of the sexiness that is my very inflated belly.

I've been having strong contractions lately, but my doctor still gave me a note and said that the worst thing that could happen is I could have a baby in St. Louis. But since it's not a third world country, I'm not too worried. She gave me her note of a approval, and tomorrow we're on our way to present my paper at the conference in St. Louis. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Twenty Four Months Old

Dear Calvin,

Wow, you've made it to two years old. You rarely walk - you like to run everywhere you go. You're always going a million different directions, and you chatter incessantly. You have picked up so many words this month that it's amazing. You've started putting sentences together and are expressing what you want and what you think. You make us laugh all of the time, even though once in a while we want to strangle you for being so obstinate and strong willed. You love to tease and laugh. You love to concentrate on what you're doing and learn how things go together and why they work. A few things you've done this month that we want to remember:

You are great at understanding things that we don't remember teaching you. You say "there it is, here we are, Come on" and "go this way." You're always confident about where things are or which way you want to go.

When your PA grandparents called on your birthday, followed by your UT grandparents, you kept saying "two grandmas, two grandpas" You understand that they're different people and that you're lucky enough to have two of each!

You like Yo Gabba Gabba!, the most obnoxious kids show ever. They have this song about trying new foods. One puppet says they don't like some kind of food, and then the other puppets sing the song, "try it you'll like it!" So the other morning you woke up with a cough. I was getting you dressed and you were coughing and I said, "I don't like the sound of that cough!" and you immediately looked at me and said brightly, "try it, you'll like it!" How cute are you?

We were in church a couple of weeks ago and it was very quiet. A woman right behind us sneezed, and you turned around and stared at her and said loudly, "Excuse me!"

You always wake up earlier than your parents would like to wake up, so we pull you into bed with us where you doze off between us for another hour. The other day you were sitting up bending over me, and I was pretending to still be asleep hoping you'd go back to sleep. All of a sudden with your face an inch away from mine, you said so clearly in a loud chirpy voice, "Wake up!" We still have no idea where you learned that one. Now we have a daily alarm clock of you telling us when it's time to wake up.

You have this darling, merry/mischievous look in your eyes. Like you're happily plotting how next to be naughty. The other night when your dad was giving you a bath, he said he was thirsty so I offered to get him a drink. He asked for OJ. When I came back with a glass of orange juice, you squawked until I handed it to you. You barely drank a sip before getting that impish look on your face, and before I could grab the glass, you dropped it in the tub. You'd think that the water would pad it some, but immediately the tub was full of orange juice and small shards of glass. Needless to say bath time was over, but you still seemed pleased with the show. Your poor dad spent the evening scrubbing the tub and never did get a drink.

Calvin, you're such a great kid. You're happy and gregarious and we can't get enough of you. I think about you all the time and just want you to be happy. Lately I lay awake at nights worrying that you're not going to feel as loved in a few weeks when you're not alone anymore. You will always be something special. There's nothing boring or the same about you, and we feel so blessed that you are our little boy. We are so grateful that 24 months ago you came to live in our home.

We love you!

Mom and Dad

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Calvin!

I can't believe that Calvin is 2 years old. The time goes so quickly. Last year at this time I felt so sad that my baby was growing up too fast, but this year I just adore the little boy he has become. I never imagined that motherhood would be so wonderful. I never imagined that such a smart, creative, funny, happy, and adorable little boy would become the purpose of my life.

Calvin woke up this morning very grumpy. He was uncharacteristically whiny all morning. Then he swallowed some marbles and got in trouble. He was a pain.

We decided to take him to McDonald's for lunch just as something fun and different. He wouldn't eat anything, threw several tantrums, and then freaked out at the top of the play area in a play tube, so Andy went after him and found him trying to steal toys from another little boy. We didn't stay long before we decided to get out of there. In the car he wanted his chocolate milk. We hadn't brought a sippy cup, but since it was his birthday I gave it to him anyway. He dripped a bit, so Andy tried to take it away from him. Calvin freaked out and jerked it away, spilling the entire thing all over his clothes, car seat, and the car. We took his shirt and pants off because they were soaked, so he sobbed and sobbed. They dropped me off at school and then headed home. The boy wasn't happy that I had left him and cried all the way home. He then went down for a nap. Andy and I texted back and forth about postponing his birthday until another day when he was more pleasant.

And then a miracle happened. He took a long nap, and woke up happy!

We had mac & cheese and tater tots for dinner.

We opened fun presents.

He read this entire cloud book, cover to cover. The next book we gave him, he took one look at one of the pages, then shut it and said, "the end". Guess that one wasn't such a hit.

Ate delicious birthday cake. Andy has this thing with ice cream cake. Yesterday we went to DQ an BR looking at cakes, but ended up ordering one from the local grocery store. The fancy ones were just ice cream which Andy likes, but I think is weird. But at the grocery story, they were actually cake with a layer of ice cream. That's my kind of cake. So we had chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream with buttercream icing. They decorated it, and I just had to stick candles and zoo animals on the top once we got home. Easy and delicious. The boy loved it. We relit the candles a few times because he loves blowing them out.

The rest of the evening he played with his gifts. The biggest hits of the day were the Little People barnyard, the Little Einstein rocket that his grandparents (Nelson) sent, and a Melissa & Doug puzzle with little doors and magnets hiding behind them.

And then the day ended with the kid insisting on wearing my pj pants. He stumbled around in them for a while, and then went to bed. Throughout the day he got phone calls from both sets of grandparents, and most of his aunts, uncles and cousins. It was a fun evening and I'm glad the day ended much better than it had started.

Happy Birthday Calvin! We love you so much and look forward to a whole new year of surprises with you.