Friday, July 31, 2009

July 24th

We spent the 24th holiday in Fairview with the family this year. We had intended to camp for most of the time, but we didn’t arrive in Fairview until late dusk. So, we crashed at Little Brother’s house where we were treated to very tame Utah fireworks in the yard with a couple of beers. (Thanks for the fireworks, though. We didn’t even think about getting them! Maybe it’s one of those things that you have to learn to do as a parent?)

On Friday morning, all hell broke loose at 6am – or at least that’s what Bub thought! Actually, it was the Fireman’s muster – big boom firework explosions and any city vehicle with lights and sirens driving through the town at full volume. All so that folks would wake up and go to the park for pancakes. It’s a fun tradition unless you don’t know anything about it. Bub was NOT happy. We all know that she’s not a morning person, and that grumpy attitude is compounded by over eager fire fighters.

Little Bro and I had been up for a while so that we could run the 5K which started at 6:30. Which means people mill about and continue to register until 6:50. And, then the kid’s 1-mile run begins. And, then when all of the kids are finished, the race director and his stop watch quickly drive to the 5k start line that we all walked to while the kids were running. And, then it’s finally time to start. The course was “out this road until you meet pavement again, then make a sharp left turn and go back to town.”

Little Bro was going to jog alongside of me, but I told him to just go. No sense in wasting his $10 when he could be a contender for a prize. (Unfortunately, he got 4th…) Tucker missed the start of the race because he had wandered off to find something or someone. I let Liz off of her leash after about a half mile; she’s much better behaved off of it than on. She had a good time. I got a horrible (worst ever) stomach cramp about mile 2 which actually caused me to stop and bend over for about a minute. (Otherwise, I may have PR’d.) Right after the stomach cramp had mostly passed, Tucker and his ridiculous ostrich legs breezed nonchalantly passed me and said “C’mon! I gave you a ten minute head start!” And, then he cruised along trying to catch Little Bro. With about ½ mile to go to the finish line, Little Bro met up with me to “run me in.” He had finished and wanted to be supportive. Awwwww… He’s the cutest 34-year-old that I know. As I gasped for air and ran as hard as my lingering stomach pain would allow, he asked “Is this our pace for the marathon?” Cute? He’s an ass! I just laughed in his face. It might be his pace for the ‘thon, but it certainly won’t be mine! We didn’t win any awards, but we had fun.

We returned to Little Bro’s house for some breakfast and showers then he and Bill Bailey were off to get the derby car to the parade on time. About this time Nana showed up, and we all played in the yard while waiting for the parade. As we played, my cousin, Ace, and his wife drove by and hollered. They took all of the police detours around Fairview and came back to play with us and watch the parade. The kids had a good time, and we turned on the sprinklers to play in. The dogs had more fun in the sprinklers than the kids, but the kids loved getting the dogs wet. There was giggling galore!

The parade was typical Pioneer Days in Fairview: candy, fire trucks, and derby cars. We had fun getting to know the cousins better. (I haven’t seen Ace for 20+ years and had never met his wife/kids. That side of the family doesn’t get together very well…. Or, actually, EVER.) Little Bro and Bill Bailey had run out of candy by the time that they got to us – but this is OK. The boys don’t need much! The parade ended with two very tired little boys, so a nap was in order. We all sat around and waited for the social event of the year to start: THE DEMOLITION DERBY!!!

I haven’t been to the derby since probably the first year it took place – 25 years ago. And, I’ve thought of it as redneck, hillbilly fun (which it is), but we had a really good time! It was probably more fun because Little Bro was driving in it, but I still think that we would have had a blast even if he had been sitting next to us. He did well, but didn’t make it out of the first heat. The first hit that he took broke his right rear axle, so he didn’t have much power coming out of that area. A few hits later took out the right half of his engine (or something like that) that severely diminished his ability to accelerate. A few more hits and his drive train (very important car part – even I know that) was disconnected. He was completely immobile. But, it was fun watching him and the other drivers get bashed and trashed. He and Tucker worked furiously on the car with the hopes of getting it running again for the free-for-all heat, but no luck. No amount of welding would keep the drive train in place. When baling wire and duct tape didn’t do the trick, he knew that he was out.

We finished off the weekend by heading up to the mountain and fishing again the next day before returning home.

Totally Making Sense

The vocabulary explosion amazes me. Just the other day while rummaging in mommy’s tackle box, the Peanut approached me with a bottle of power bait and said, plain as day, “I can’t open this.” Complete sentences – that make sense - that we can follow!

Geniuses, I tell ya....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Circles, Squares, and Triangles - Oh My!

When we put the boys to bed at night, we always say “I love you, love you.” Since there are two boys, we say “love you” two times. Now, the boys repeat this all of the time. “I love you, love you, mommy” or “I love you, love you, cat” (even though the cat despises them).

So, the other day, Meatball was sitting on the carpet with a frisbee. He would put it on the floor, edges down, and push it into the carpet while twisting it. When he would pick it up, it would leave an impression of a circle in the carpet. So, he looked at the circle and said “I love, love circles.”

Last night in the bath with our tub crayons, both boys correctly identified any shape that I could think of: square, rectangle (which Meatball used to call a rec-triangle), triangle, circle, oval, star, heart, diamond, hexagon, octagon and flower (which I know isn't a shape, but it's something that I can actually draw). Now that they've mastered the octagon, I think we'll move on to something like tetrahedon, parallelogram, trapezoid, or rhombus.

Chipmunk Hunting

We went fishing again last weekend. And, by “we” I mean that Bub fishes and the boys and I play around. So, on this particular day while she was catching 18” albino trout at Potter’s, the boys and I decided to take a walk and look for chipmunks. The last trip to Potter’s had included chipmunk watching (since the little creatures were eating the peanut butter sandwich, potato chips, and other various treats that the boys had dropped all over the place), and the boys thoroughly enjoyed it. So for this trip we climbed over logs and walked along the path whispering the entire time (no small feat for two 2-year olds!). Each time we would hear a bird sing or a chipmunk/squirrel/groundhog chirp, we would stop and look into the closest tree trying to find something. Yes, I know. Most of the time, the creature was probably several yards or trees away, but that didn’t stop us from looking. Then, we came upon two very large holes in the path. A family of 372 chipmunks would have a hard time filling up these holes, but that didn’t stop us from stopping, crouching down, and whispering “Here chipmunk. Come out, chipmunk!” Which eventually turned into “Chip-monkey, chip-monkey! Wheh ah you, chip-monkey?” from the little Peanut. Then, we spent about 45 minutes putting handfuls of dirt into the holes, waving at mommy, and cheering for her as she landed some niiiiice fish.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Excuses, excuses

I thought that bedtime excuses started a little bit later in life, but they are in full force in our household. And, none of those silly I-need-a-drink-of-water excuses for Peanut!

“I go see mommy.”
“OK – go give mommy a kiss.”
“I go see cat.
“No, you don’t need to see the cat.”
And, the sense of urgency increases.
“I go see Lizzy.”
“No, Lizzy is fine.”
Desperation sets in.
“I go see gack-ume (vacuum). I go see gack-ume! Goo night gack-ume! Goo night! Bye, fee-ann (fan), bye! Goo night fee-ann!"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Holy Fish!

We recently took our first fishing trip of 2009. It was supposed to be a mini family reunion, put together by Juanita with the date chosen to accommodate Sheri’s busy schedule. Then, Sheri’s plans changed and she didn’t show up after all. Sadly, very few people did. We arrived at Pete & Carolyn’s campsite and set up our tent. Then, we waited for everyone to show. They didn’t, so we tried to find other things to do.

Carolyn took me and the boys “sea shell” hunting. Actually, they are more like little snail shells, but it was fun to search for them. She’s really good at spotting them, and soon the boys were too. We had bunches in our bucket. Of course, I have a really crafty idea for their use, but we’ll have to see if I actually get it done. The boys and I also took a little walk up to the state sheds near the road to check out the orange tractor (snow plow). It was a favorite all weekend. Then, dinner and bed.

Toddler’s don’t do “bed” well when camping…..

We got up the next morning and headed out for fishing after breakfast. We stopped at Miller’s first, but we didn’t choose a very good spot. It was muddy (the slimy kind) and the boys couldn’t go near the water without getting stuck in the mud. The highlight of this stop was the sight of me trying to keep my balance in the slippery muck. I almost biffed it, but managed to stay upright (don’t ask me how!). The boys were restless and fussy, so we walked along the road while Bub packed everything back up.

We headed off to Potter's where Bub caught two while the boys and I played. Potter’s is the place to go with little people. There was something to look at, climb on, pick up, or throw. We took walks, we banged sticks on fallen trees, we looked at flowers, we jumped off of logs, we threw sticks for Lizzy. When the boys got tired, they sat down together in the grasses along the shore. Meatball sat in back with Peanut right in front of him. Then, Meatball proclaimed “We sit tall grass.” They were so cute, but alas - no camera.

When something is noteworthy or interesting for the boys, I say “Holy Cow!” Or “Holy Cats!” in an exaggerated way so that they understand the relative importance or excitement. So, when Meatball helped Bub pull her second fish out of Potter’s and yelled “Holy Fish!” we just lost it. It was hilarious. And, it’s good to know that he understands. So smart! Both boys got to help her land a fish, and while it was fun, they wouldn’t go near them while they were flopping around on the ground.

On the way back to camp, we ran into dad who would be camping for a week with Jake. We promised to see him again soon – for sure the next morning for some fishing. Once we got back to camp, Juanita, Richard and Kesli were all there to spend the night, and Darrell and Calli brought three of their kids up for lunch. It was fun to see everyone. Calli is pregnant with #6! Meatball took a real liking to Anna, and he followed her around like a puppy - talking and gabbing the entire time. Peanut was more interested in opening every compartment he could find – like a cubby hole in Carolyn’s trailer or hinged gas tank hole covers – as well as jumping off of the trailer steps. After another trip to see the orange tractor (which involved a lot of blowing of the puff balls), we cooked up some dinner and went to bed.

We got up the next morning at the butt crack of dawn and loaded everyone into the truck to get in some early morning fishing. We ate pop tarts as we headed off to find dad. He was camped at Miller’s, but it was too early to get him up. So, we headed down to the water. This area was much less muddy than the spot the day before. While Bub fished, the boys and I moved down the shore a bit and threw rocks into the water. I know that this is irritating to other fishermen, but I now understand why parents let their kids do it: it keeps them occupied and happy. I will always hold in my memory the sight of the two of them sitting next to each other in completely mis-matched camping clothes, throwing rocks into the water, and giggling wildly as Lizzy tried to figure out what was going on. I don’t use the word “precious” much, but this definitely qualified.

Dad got up and came down to do some fishing with the boys. At the same time, Bub had brought a change of clothes (still totally mis-matched) since they were all damp from sitting on wet sand, having rocks splash back, and having Lizzy shake water every three minutes. Meatball wanted mostly to dig in the sand and dirt while Peanut insisted on holding Dad’s pole and reeling the line in by himself. He, of course, got the line all tangled, so they weren’t doing much fishing at all. It wouldn’t have mattered, though since no fish were really biting. (Not counting the two that Bub totally missed because she was still tired and zoning out.)

The boys were getting fussy, so we headed back to dad’s camper for some sourdough pancakes. It was here that they played in the bunk bed area, laughing the entire time – well, until Meatball fell while climbing up. They didn’t eat any pancakes, but Bub and I really enjoyed them! Then, the boys played while dad did dishes and I swept out all of the mud that we had just tracked into the camper. Then, all of us got into the truck and headed to Potter’s.

The boys were asleep when we arrived, so I sat with them and read a book while Bub and dad headed off to get a good spot. There were very few people since it was Sunday and everyone was on their way back home. By the time that the boys woke and I got them to the fishing spot, Bub had already caught two. We did a lot of the same things as the day before, but added in smearing power bait on the overalls, extending Bub’s fish measuring tape about 100 times, and refusing to eat. Bub had also rigged up an extra line (no hook) that Peanut reeled in time and time again.

We also watched chipmunks! The little creatures were very close to us – risking all to pick up potato chips and pieces of peanut butter sandwiches that were scattered everywhere. We had a good time watching them run up and down the logs and tree trunks.

Jake and Bill showed up the last hour, and Meatball followed her around gibber jabbering the whole time. Before packing everyone into the truck, dad and Jake stood with the boys for their first communal stand-up pee which didn’t go great considering the fact that Meatball didn’t have anything and Peanut peed on his sweats. But, peeing with the guys – what a rite of passage even though they don’t understand it yet.

Oh yeah - Bub totally outfished dad, 7 to 1. She's quite proud of this.

Teach A Man To Fish

Give a man a fish – feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish – feed him for a lifetime.
Teach a boy to pee standing up – make Papa very proud.

You So Funny

Peanut has started to attach characteristics to people/things in his sentences. While camping, he declared “Lizzy so funny!” He also looked right Bub the other night and said “You so funny!” He even exclaimed “So funny!” while sleep talking the other night. It’s nice to know that he’s enjoying everything so much.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Clean it up!

I always said that I would NOT be one of those parents who licked her finger and then wiped stuff off of her child's face. That was until I realized that wet wipes aren't always wet nor are they always available. And, I refuse to walk around with a rag-tag looking little person trailing behind me.

So, the other day, Meatball had some something smeared on his adorable little face. I licked my thumb and started to wipe it off. He then licked his thumb and started wiping it on MY face.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Always Use Protection

After not hearing the boys for a couple of minutes yesterday, Bub went to see if the angels were reading a book (don't laugh, it happens), playing blocks, or jumping on the couch. She found them on the floor with the dog covered in sunscreen. It was on their faces, arms, legs, in their hair, saturating their shorts, and matting the dog's hair. It also created a thin and slippery film on the newly mopped floor - but at least our linoleum won't get burned!