Saturday, January 30, 2010

Portland - January 10-11

Waiting on some pictures. More to come...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sundance Film Festival

When I left Utah, I didn't think I would be back. The awesome part about moving back with Andy is seeing everything in an entirely different light. Growing up here I didn't take advantage of all of the incredible things the state has to offer and in the year since moving back I feel like I've experienced more of the culture than I ever did in my 20 something years living here before. One of those very cool things is the Sundance Film Festival which Robert Redford started about 30 minutes up the canyon from where we live.

The whole premise of the festival is to show independent films that may or may not make it to the big screen. The whole audience has a more bohemian artsy feel to it than is typical in movies in general, and especially in these parts. Instead of popcorn, the theaters smell like beer and patchouli. The showings have no previews and are introduced by the writer and the director (and often the actors) in person, and then there's a Q&E after each film. The entire back row of the theater is saved for scouts and critics, and the crowds get really involved in the show with no distractions of cell phones or giggling teenagers. There are also "ushers" lurking about to make sure there is no recording going on. All in all, a very cool experience.

So tonight we left the kids, drove up the canyon to this gorgeous little resort nestled in the mountains, and went to a film. I had really wanted to see Blue Valentine with Ryan Gosling but all shows were sold out. We just randomly picked one with Dax Shepherd that turned out to be intensely thought provoking. We had a fantastic evening and the only sad part was coming home and finding out that at the exact same second we were in Sundance, Ryan was in Park City, UT at his preview of the film we had wanted to see. He answered questions and shook hands. I'm sad we missed that aspect of it, but I'm still okay with him being delicious from a distance.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Play Day

Today we had a play date with Calvin's cousins. The girls came over early and then all of the kids ran around like crazy little chickens without heads. We ate lunch together and then they went home so everyone could have a nap. We had a great time and feel so lucky to have cousins close enough to visit. Here's a picture of all of the cuteness.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2 Year Check-up

We were quite late on Calvin's two year check-up because I hate the office we've been taking him to. After hours researching and a bit of trickery to get into a doctor not accepting new patients, we now have a pediatrician that I absolutely love and trust.

Andy happened to be in town, so we all piled into the car and went to the appointment. Calvin was great. We were in a pirate themed room with lots to look at and I went armed with some Dora and Mickey stickers that he put all over himself while we were waiting, so by the time the doctor arrived he was very chatty and interactive. We had to fill out a developmental worksheet ahead of time, and when they scored it he did really well on language and motor skill development. The only area in which he didn't score above average was social interaction. The only points he lost were based on questions about whether he pretends dolls are babies and nurtures them by rocking, talking, and playing with them. I didn't think it was entirely fair since he's never had any dolls to interact with. Whatever. The doctor kept saying that based on his size and how much he talked, she could not believe he was only two. Here are his stats:

Weight: 33.29 lbs (92 percentile)
Height: 37.5in (96 percentile)
Head: 20.25 in (96 percentile)

A few things about the boy right now:

He loves taking baths. He routinely takes 3 or 4 a day. He plays with plastic animals, draws pictures with tub crayons, and tonight he just laid back and read a bath book. He wouldn't come out even though the water was freezing. This picture is of a bath the other day when he decided he needed an "elf hat" for the occasion.

He will often bring me the camera and say "cheese." The picture above is of him hamming it up.

This is another time that he brought me the camera, and for once he insisted on taking a picture with the baby. This is them both smiling for the camera.

Of course I think Calvin is the smartest, sweetest, most funny boy ever. Some of the things he says lately are:

A few nights ago my mom watched Calvin for our Valentine's Day date. I said "Calvin, Grandma is coming over to play. Are you excited?" and he yelled "yes!" and then he cocked his head to one side and thought for a minute before saying "well, yes AND no." I don't know if he even knows what that means, but I thought it was hilarious.

Loves watching "Bible" (Fivel) on American Tale and will sing "Somewhere out there, 'neath the pill moon lime"

Still asks for Christmas and sings, "Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy Soap"

If he drops a toy, he'll say "uh oh Lion, are you okay?"

Counts to 18 perfectly. Can sing the ABC song and recognizes about 10 of his letters.

"blue slide" means he wants to go to the park,"green slide" means he wants to go in the back yard.

Instead of "yes" he says "okay" so if you're trying to interpret what he says and restate it, he says "okay!" like it was your idea all along.

Says his "s" funny. Says Peacha (pizza), yesh (yes), Curtis (Curtish), etc.

He is such a fun kid. I love that every single day is something new and entertaining with him around. He keeps us on our toes and we couldn't adore him more.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Boy Toys

As I've mentioned before we have a park across the street from our house. When Andy is in town, rain or shine, he'll spend about an hour a day at the park with the boy. A few days ago he came home amazed that even in the deep white snow Calvin was able to sniff out a baseball to bring home (he now has about 13 baseballs and 4 soccer balls that people have left at the park). Today Andy was gone, but Calvin wanted to play baseball so he started throwing the ball AT me.

Growing up my parents were big into quality family time, which usually meant some kind of sport. Since we had enough people in our family for our own teams, we would spend countless hours playing mostly basketball and softball. We had a huge bag of random baseball mitts and bats so that anytime we wanted to go to the park to play, we would grab the bag, invite a few friends, and go play a game. These times are among my fondest childhood memories, so this summer when I was yard-saleing and found a bunch of mitts for a dollar each, I snatched them up. Long lead-in to a short story. Today when Calvin was throwing the ball painfully at my face, my chest, my stomach, and even a knee cap, I ran to the garage and grabbed two of the baseball mitts. He thought I was the best mom EVER! We spent close to an hour throwing the ball back and forth, catching it with our mitts. At one point he ran and grabbed the camera, and stood there saying "cheese!" hence the picture below:

After he was tired of baseball, the girl was still asleep so we sat on the kitchen floor and shot Hot Wheels across the floor, watching them slide and crash. He would line them all up nicely and then we'd shoot them one by one with his car shooter (who knew those existed?).

Remove Formatting from selectionWe haven't had a Calvin day for a while, so it was fun to spend some quality time together. I look forward to all the pink and Barbies in my future, but there's nothing quite like a little boy and his love of baseball and matchbox cars.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

One Month Old

Dear Autumn,

At this point you mostly eat and sleep, except at nights when you are wide awake. You are darling and cuddly in every way that a baby should be. You smell like a dream, you have the softest skin, and your big blue eyes melt my heart. You have amazing head control and are very alert for such a tiny little thing. You already seem so curious about the world around you and I couldn't be more in love with you.

I wanted to tell you about your name. Autumn Mary-Hazel is a mouthful, I know. I'm one of those awful parents who has misused my naming power by subjecting you to a lifetime of having to explain yourself. But here's the deal: As long as I can remember I have wanted a daughter named Autumn. For me fall is the season I wait for all year long. The smells, the colors, the crackling of leaves, the crisp air, the anticipation of holidays, the excitement of a new school year with crisp clean paper and sawdust smelling sharpened pencils... My heart feels content in autumn like at no other time. I swear every year that I'm not going to wish the year away, but then I do anyway. My soul craves autumn. I recently read about a survey where 63% of all people consider fall their favorite season, but I like to pretend it's my thing. Your dad wasn't 100% on board with your name until we met a gorgeous blond rodeo princess named Autumn, but that's a different story. You, like the season, are a breath of fresh air with the promise of endless possibility and potential

Your middle name is after your two grandmas. Mary who is strong and independent and will fight to the death for what she believes in. She is the most giving person I've ever met, and if there is any goodness in me as a person, I owe it to your grandma Mary. Hazel is kind and good and has unlimited patience. She can make any plant or animal thrive and is never confrontational. As a mother, I want nothing more than for you to be a strong and intelligent woman who follows your own path in life, but for me it is essential that you do it with dignity and kindness. Mary and Hazel are very different from each other, but I hope that you will take the strengths from each of them and use your name as a reminder of the great heritage they have given you. When I look at you I have nothing but confidence that you will be amazing.

Autumn, I couldn't be more thrilled to be your mother. After 9 months of imagining what you would be like, you are better than anything I could dream of. You are so loved by your mom, your dad, and a big brother. We are so grateful that you have come into our lives.

Love, Mom

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
George Eliot

Saturday, January 2, 2010

All in a Day's Work...

Today while I was inside with the girl, the boys were outside creating this darling snowman family. They made one for each of us and I think it's the cutest thing ever.