Monday, July 28, 2008

take a guess

My BFF and I took our little boys to Wheeler Farm a couple of weeks ago to see the animals and play in the water. Which one of those two activities do you think my baby enjoyed more?

Playing in the water???

Or visiting the animals???

(seriously, how entertaining is that face?)

Monday, July 21, 2008

just say no

Since everybody is doing it (and I succomb to peer pressure very easily), I am jumping on the bandwagon and playing this memory tag. Here are the instructions:
1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

has it really been 372 days?

Guess who turned one last week?Here he is with cake #1 (we had two celebrations for him-- one on his actual birthday, and one the next day when some family and friends came for a swimming party). Whenever someone would say, "Are you one?" to him, he would immediately hold up both of his pointer fingers and shake them up and down (a trick that we have been learning for the past few weeks in preparation for the big day).Ripping off wrapping paper was most exciting.Imagine his delight when he realized that he not only got to keep the wrapping paper and box, but there was a stuffed monkey inside for him to play with as well! I have never known a baby who loves stuffed animals as much as Baby G.And here we with birthday cake #2 (actually, they are cupcakes). Notice him proudly displaying his age, once again.Using a paring knife, I painstakingly carved tiny fish out of a fruit roll up to make these. And no, Baby G did not seem to notice (sorry it's sideways... blogger will NOT let me rotate it for some reason).Here is a sampling of some of the other sea creature cupcakes that my partner in cake/cupcake decorating crime (Aunt K), and I made. I wasn't going to have Baby G do the whole "eat the cake by yourself because you are one" thing, but my sister-in-law said it was pretty much a commandment. So I obeyed.
And the babe seemed to be glad about it all. So glad, in fact, that he thanked us by flexing his muscles for all to see.
Word to the Wise: If you want to be the giver of a one-year old's favorite gift, simply purchase one of those cards that sings a song when you open it. Thank you, Grandma.
Following a necessary post-cake eating rinse in the sinkit was time to go swimming with friends. Here are the three boys playing in the little wading pool.
It is sort of surreal to me that a whole year has passed since I pushed a tiny baby out of an unmentionable place. Looking at my 23 pound one-year old it almost doesn't seem real to me that he was that same newborn, and that that much time has gone by. But then I think about all of the milestones we have reached together, all of the memories we have made, and the enormous amount of love that has grown in our family since Baby G's arrival, and it almost feels like we have had him forever. Oh how we treasure this little person!
Here are some tidbits about our boy:
*he folds his arms when we ask him to for prayers.
*he says about 12-15 words, including "cool" and "shoot." Thank you, dad.
*he has taken up to 16 steps on his own.
*he dances on command and can shake his hips like crazy.
*he says "da da" constantly when his dad is around, but only says "ma ma" if he is tired or hungry.
*he LOVES water-- doesn't matter if it's cold or warm, put him in the water and he's happy.
*he squints when he is fake laughing or crying.
*he makes a machine gun sound when he wants to pretend to laugh.
*as soon as he wakes up he wants to give his lion and horse stuffed animals a giant hug.
*when he gives "loves" he lays on your shoulder and hums.
*he has 5 teeth.
*he loves tools-- chalk that up to the fact that for his entire life his dad has been handing him tools to keep him occupied while working on the house.
*he loves "The Wiggles" much to his daddy's dismay.
*he gives open mouth, slobbery kisses.
*he likes to hold as many things in one hand as possible.
*he thinks that all animals say "baaaaaa."
*he relentlessly points at whatever it is he wants.
*he likes men more than women, and is especially fond of men with facial hair.
*he is finally starting to get used to all the cheering at ReAl games-- he used to cry everytime people cheered loudly, but now he mostly just looks around with startled eyes.
*he is truly a happy baby-- he rarely just gets fussy.
*he loves blueberries and cottage cheese-- he's a pretty good eater (albeit slow).
*he loves other babies.
*he sleeps with his "lovie" every night.
*he is a good sleeper-- he goes 10-12 hours every night.
*he is sometimes a good napper-- some days they only last 45 minutes, but most days are more like an hour and a half.
*he makes messes. I can't believe how many times a day I put away the contents of our entertainment unit cupboards.
*he has a sweet, calm disposition (he gets that from his daddy)-- even though he is mobile now he will still sit in my lap and give cuddles.
*he thinks the nursery rhyme "One, Two Buckle My Shoe" is hysterical.
*when he gets really tired he gets loopy-- he laughs at everything and acts like a crazy man.
*he still nurses like a champ (about 3 times a day).
*he loves drinking out of straws.
*he brightens our lives and makes us happy-- he is the joy of our home.
Happy Birthday, little man!

Here he is in his ReAl jersey that he got for his birthday:
And here he is sporting it at the game:

Monday, July 07, 2008

willow lake was lovely and then we almost died...

What does one do when one needs to get away from the the stresses and pressures of work and school?

One packs up his wife and child and takes them away with him to Willow Lake, of course.

At least that is what my husband does, so when he called me on a Thursday from work and told me to come home so we could get outta dodge right then I wasn't taken by surprise. He would go camping and fishing every weekend if he could. Luckily for him, I quite enjoy those activities myself. But the baby? He had never slept in a tent before. So even though I was mildly concerned that we would have a few miserable nights, the thought of a little get-away with my two favorite people sounded like too much fun to pass up. We packed the truck in record time (which is remarkable considering the fact that the amount of stuff we brought with us caused my brother to ask, "Are you moving to Willow Lake?" Who knew a baby required so many things?), and we were on the road a little less than 3 hours after we had spontaneously decided to go. We had the entire campground to ourselves and picked out a site right on the shores of the lake. I loved that we were the only people up there. It was pretty dreamy. Here is photographic evidence:
The babe did SO great sleeping in the tent. I had the wisdom to bring the pack-n-play and, holy cow, it was so nice to know that he was enclosed in his own little space to sleep and off the cold ground. Here he is right after he woke up.

J wanted to get out bright and early to catch the fish when they are super active. Baby G and I decided to join him fresh from our cozy beds in the tent. Baby G's morning hair is pretty nice, but he definitely has had better.You cannot tell me that doesn't look like one of the most beautiful, peaceful places on the planet. It really was so serene.

The first fish of the day, and it was a beautiful tiger trout. Baby G thought it was cute. J and I are sort of neglectful parents-- we would sit the baby down on this blanket with a grahm cracker and a few things to play with and go fish until either 1)the baby got bored on the blanket and had moved onto the grass/weeds and begun to eat them, or 2)he cried for us to bring him down by the water. He is a pretty content little guy though, and so he spent about an hour on the blanket that morning.
Tailgates make for fantastic tables. We were so grateful we had the truck for things like that. Baby G loved just hanging out in the back of it.
Another reason I have a testimony of bringing pack-n-plays on camping trips? He could just hang out somewhere without needing to be held or getting filthy on the ground.An amazingly beautiful and large tiger. Mountain lakes typically aren't known for big fish, so you can imagine J's excitement when he landed this guy. We are normally all about catch and release, but we decided to save this guy and have him for dinner. I was shocked at how yummy the fish was. It looked and tasted so much like salmon. See what I mean about the pack-n-play? Hours of entertainment.

I love my cuddly little boy. He gives the best hugs.

It got chilly enough to need the leg warmers a couple of times, but the weather was beautiful most of the time.

Proof that I caught some fish as well.

So we had such a great time at Willow Lake, but I came up with the idea of heading to Manti for our 3rd day so we could catch the pageant and eat some funnel cakes. We consulted our trusty atlas and saw that the moutain road we were on actually could get us there pretty quickly if we just kept going up over the mountains instead of heading down the way we would have gone to go home. This is the part where we almost died (not really. sort of).

We're driving along the road, gaining some altitude, and we start seeing patches of snow. No big deal, right? Yeah, don't think that. That's what I thought and that is what got us completely high centered in a fairly small snow drift in the middle of the road. I honestly was so surprised when we got stuck because the snow drift really didn't look very menacing, and we had put the truck in 4 wheel drive, which normally enables it to go through whatever we throw its way. Not this time. It had been such a warm day, and we had gotten far enough into the snow, that we just sunk down in and got so stuck. The tires couldn't get any traction. To make a long story (and an even longer night) short, we tried a couple of tricks to get it out, but none worked. We quickly realized that we would just have to dig the truck out. Which, as it turns out, is harder than it seems when you don't have a shovel, it is quickly getting dark and cold, and you can't run the heater in the car because you need to conserve gas. I saw the water thermos in the truck and realized we could dig with that. It honestly saved us. We wouldn't have ever been able to move all that snow without it. Here is J trying to get some of the snow out.This is us inside the truck being hopeful that we would be able to get it out that night. And this next picture is us the next morning after a really long, uncomfortable night of sleeping stranded in the truck. J had been digging for over 2 hours the night before when he started to realize how cold he was. He was completely soaking wet (laying down on your back in snow will do that to you), and had been expending enormous amounts of energy. I was in the truck trying to keep the baby happy and get him to sleep. At about 11:30 PM J opened the door and sat down. I asked him if he was done digging and he didn't respond. He was just looking straight forward. I realized that he needed to get warmed up fast. I told him to get out of his wet clothes. He took off his shirt and then just sat there. He honestly couldn't process thoughts very clearly and I had to go through each article of clothing he was wearing to get him to remove them. I started the car and turned on the heater and made him get under some blankets. His body just started shaking. Once he got a little warmed up he immediately realized he needed calories in his body. He downed a huge gatorade and about 4 handfuls of brownies. I was laughing at him because he seriously looked like he had been starved for weeks. You know it was sort of serious because I didn't get any pictures of him. I asked him why he couldn't respond to me earlier and he said that he heard me, but he couldn't get up enough energy to form words. His body was so exhausted. But other than some tingly body parts (the places on his back and shoulders that had been laying on the snow tingled for a few days), he was fine. It was a little scary, but I think he came in the truck in just enough time to spare himself anything serious. Sleeping in the truck was NOT fun, but it was a good adventure, right?The next morning we had a little more digging to do in order to get out. Baby G supervised from the back (if you look closely you can see J digging on the left side of the truck).After about an hour we thought we had cleared enough snow out to move the truck. One try was all it took and the truck practically zoomed out on its own. This is how tired we were after the long night.The babe slept most of the way home.

Now, anyone wanna come camping with us? We promise it will be exciting.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Do you want to know what makes me unreasonably happy?

I love looking in my rearview mirror and seeing that little face. I love having this tiny person that I get to take with me wherever I go. I always have a someone to talk to and someone to go to the store with me. I love that being a mama means constant companionship with a person who thinks you are the greatest thing on the planet. It truly is the most rewarding thing I've ever experienced.

P.S. We are loving the forward-facing carseat. Growing up definitely has its perks!