Monday, August 12, 2013

Yellowstone, July 26-27, 2013

TJ did not like the loud sounds some of the geysers made.

We drove two cars up to Yellowstone (from Rexburg) on Friday so mom, dad, Matt, and Nathan could come. Rob and I and the boys stayed overnight in the Roosevelt Rough Rider cabins, but the rest had to go home Friday night.
Grand Prismatic Spring at the Midway Geyser Basin

Andy contemplates his mortality after his attempt at swimming (he cannot yet swim); the boys were wading in the lake, and Andy kept wandering in deeper. Very suddenly, he dove into the deeper waters, and his head went under. We all started in after him, but no one was faster than dad.
Dad contemplates Andy's mortality after pulling him up from under the waves. Dad is dressed in his heavy Carhart overalls and leather workboots. Perfect lake attire.
And then, since he was already wet, he decided to stay in and wade about with the kids.
Playing on the shores of the lake together, drying out and waiting for dry clothes to be fetched from the car.
Matt and Nate enjoying the lake view.
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

TJ also did not like the smell of the sulphur.
Norris Geyser Basin
Andy liked the sticks and dirt as much as anything.
Yellowstone is always fun. We had a great trip, and the Rough Rider cabins were lots of fun. I don't think they've changed one bit since I stayed in them as a kid. When we pulled into the cabins, I could remember the exact cabin we stayed in when I was little. It's funny how well I remember that trip. I must have really liked it for it to have made such an impression. Here's hoping my kids made some similar kinds of memories.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

These Endless Numbered Days

This morning started out with TJ spraying half a can of cooking spray on Andy's beautiful, mostly-bald head. That was a mess that nearly rivaled the can of diaper ointment.
And then he slammed the toilet lid shut on Andy's arms, and sat down on top, trapping Andy's hands in the toilet bowl. After he had used the toilet. Perfect (and after some of the messes I've cleaned up lately, I DID breathe a sigh of relief that at least he had used the toilet; it's perhaps a sad commentary that I'm breathing a sigh of relief about Andy eating poop out of the toilet, instead of off the floor).
If I'm gone from the room for longer than 3o seconds (truly, I can't even visit the bathroom without taking one or the other with me), Baby Roo will be screaming, and the Big One will be responsible.
Sometimes I think TJ is trying to do Andy in. Missing the only-child life, that sort of thing.
Other times I hope he's not just mean.
Then I remember that he's only 3 and a handful of change. It will be okay.

Andy is a picky eater. I used to think that a parent could help their children not be picky eaters. And maybe they can, to a point. Andy was born picky. He has challenged my concept of how babies are to be fed. Everything that went in TJ without comment seems to elicit screams and hunger strikes from Baby Roo. Avocado? Forget it, mom. Baked yams? See ya later. Banana? Ah... on good days. Maybe. So I frantically rush about the kitchen looking for more options, while Andy sits in his throne on high, I mean highchair, yammering in displeasure and throwing everything I've tried on the floor. Tyrant. But it will be okay. Other kids have survived on little more than rice and processed peaches and flavored milk. Mine can, too.

Motherhood. *sigh*

I've read some really excellent articles/blog posts lately about the joys and pains (and pain and pain and pain and PAIN) of mothering tiny ones.

Like this one . The Don't Carpe Diem article.

And this one, To the Mother With Only One Child.

And I take comfort in knowing it's normal, this second-guessing, overwhelmed, am-I-doing-it-right-panic. And it will be okay. My life is on hold. It's okay. My blog never gets updated. It's okay. I haven't been able to sit down, REALLY sit down, and create and design at my sewing machine in... let's see, 1o months? Yes, Andy is 1o months old. 1o months. It makes me crazy. And it will be okay. If I am very clever and organize my day very carefully, I can usually get in a workout and a shower. That's the only "me" time. But it is enough. These days feel endless. They start at 7am, often with a bang. Or a poop-fest. Or a crib full of vomit. Or worse. Or, like today, half a can of PAM spray in fine, wispy baby hair and all over surrounding tile and cabinets and carpet. Sometimes I'm ready to put them both to bed by 9am. 6:30pm can't come fast enough. Yes, these days are endless.

But they are numbered. My babies will grow up. Are already growing up. All I have to do is look at TJ to know it is true. And that's okay, too.

These endless days will come to an end. It's okay. These endless days truly are numbered.

Monday, February 20, 2012

My boys are SO so cute

And my photographer rocks. Thanks, Randy Coleman!

Hello world! Anyone still check this thing?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

This year Rob picked out costumes for the family. I agreed with him that we really did need to take advantage of our children's complacence, since I believe this is the last year we can choose TJ's costume for him.

My little Chewbaca enjoying hotdogs@ our church's Halloween party.
Andy really was the cutest Yoda I've ever seen. He got a little hot in his robes, which is too bad since they were SO CUTE. I feel a little bad I didn't get a picture of me holding him all dolled out.

Our friends, the Fifes, also dressed up as Star Wars. I think we have almost every character represented.

And since I just can't resist that smile, here's one more:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

He Crawls!!!! and other news

Somehow I'm WAY behind on posting again. This keeps happening to me! And Rob has the camera at work with him, so I'm limited in what I can post pics of right now.
September/early October kept us busy, mostly in good ways.
-TJ turned 3 (pics later)
-Andy started to crawl--well, army-crawl really, and it's not too pretty, but who's going to criticize the little guy? After all, he's only 5 months old(!!!), which is way too young to be crawling around at all. But he can get where he wants to go, and he can really cover some ground. The week he turned 5 months is the week he started crawling, too. And I thought TJ was an early crawler. This video is about 10 days old already, so he's already drastically improved. It's amazing how every day he's better and faster than the day prior. I love this age.

-a foot surgery for me
-a visit from my mom (and since the camera was in Guatemala with Rob, this largely went unphotographed; which is maybe just as well, since I couldn't really walk, so it was more of a work-trip for her than a fun trip).
-Rob went to Guatemala to operate with Iaomai Medical Ministries. Check out the trip blog here and a photo blog here (shots taken by the fabulous Josh Newton, whose work is likely all over your iPod, as he does lots of cover work for musicians).
-a new haircut for me (I'm loving it). Sorry for the lousy self-photos

And here are a few fun shots from Parkhurst Pumpkin Patch and farm this week:

Friday, September 2, 2011

4 Months Old

Dear Andy,
Happy Four-Months-Old Day! I'm happy you are growing, and I think you are, too; you seem to think this whole helpless baby business is for the birds. I can tell that you are ready to get living.
You've been a finger-sucker for weeks now, but in the past month you have developed a clear preference for your right thumb. You are also ridiculously strong. You've been rolling front-to-back for a little over a month now, and this week you've learned how to roll back-to-front. You do not enjoy being on your back, and now that you can roll off of it, I doubt you'll ever lay and play with a mobile again.

You are enjoying (and demanding!) much more interaction. You smile, laugh, coo and giggle, and love having everyone pay attention to you.

The Bumbo has been a good thing for you, and you like to command the troops from your seat on high.

You are also sleeping through the night, albeit not always willingly, *wink, wink*.

TJ enjoys you more and more as you become more interactive, too. Here he is arranging stickers on your head:

We've been working really hard to get you taking bottles well again, as mommy is having a little foot surgery at the end of September. Boo. No Fall marathons for me. Alas, there's always Spring.

Yeah, actually, that's how I feel about it, too:

You still think you have to be held ALL THE TIME, but I know it's just because it's so much easier to be involved that way.

Generally speaking, the day a baby starts to crawl is to be dreaded; however, with you I think it will be a good thing.

Maybe you're just channelling all the frustration around you, though. This has seriously been the longest, hottest summer ever. We've barely been able to set foot outside (except to go to the pool in the evenings when it's cooler) since May. Blech. Bring on September!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

All Dogs Go To Heaven

This weekend
I could have expected lots of things.
Like maybe a post about my sweet baby AndrewAnd how he is growing and changing.
Or maybe a post about our trip to Great Wolf Lodge,
an indoor/outdoor waterpark in Dallas

and how darling Andy was in his frog suit
and how I couldn't get a decent picture of TJ
because he wouldn't get out of the pool and stop moving
for long enough for the flash to go off

But life gets pretty unexpected
I never expected to be posting about a dog.

July 5, 2004- August 27, 2011
We adopted Chasqui from MSGAO in August of 2007
and he's just BEEN there ever since
I'm so used to him, I don't even think about it.
A hip-height shadow
that follows me through my day
room to room:
Lays by me while I fold the laundry
Joins us on the floor of TJ's room every night for prayer

The house is strange to me without the sound of dog tags

TJ has loved him from day one
I think he liked having another creature at his eye level
they've spent thousands of hours this close together
foreground or background
he's just been there
the family dog
I Google'd "dog poems"
they were all cheesy and terrible
and Chasqui may have been a doofus,
but never cheesy or stupid.
Nothing really expressed how I felt.
So I gave it up.

Robert Frost's "Fire and Ice" kept coming to mind:

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Not that it has anything to do with dogs.
It doesn't.
But it does have to do with passion.
So maybe that's why.

I think we always knew we'd lose Chasqui in some bizarre accident
I just always thought it would involve food
after all the near misses:
the stolen turkey
the two batches of chocolate cookies
and the ever famous Christmas rolls
(yes, you may laugh)

The bizarre accident was all heat and running.
So I guess what killed him was doing what he loved,
even if it's not how he died.
I'm not sure what to tell TJ when he says,
"Chasqui, again?"

or, "Mommy, get a NEW Chasqui?"

"Chasqui" was what the King's messengers were called
on the Inca Trail.
They were elite sprinters.
We always thought it fitting.

If I have a regret it's that we didn't get to tell him "goodbye"
Kristen, I'm so grateful you sat with him.
No dog should leave alone.

Run swift, buddy
You were a good dog
and will be missed