Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Sweet Boy!

Happy Birthday to my sweet Dan who came yelling into the world two years ago today -- much to his parents delight since yelling equals healthy lungs. We were glad when he chose not to yell too much at night. Actually he might have yelled a lot. For some reason I just don't remember.
Here he is as he continued to grow and be our happy little boy who learned early (very early) that you smile at cameras. He is, of course, the most photographed child we have since his sisters and brothers all help take pictures of him.
This is one year ago when he was having his happy birthday number one. He didn't eat any of that cake but it sure looked festive! Today he is having pumkin cookies which is the only dessert that he seems to like besides popsicles.
Moving right along, he has continued to grow and learn, and now he loves televisions like his siblings before him. We are, of course, trying to make sure he doesn't watch too much of that (though it's fun when he sings along to Leap Frog's letter factory). In order to give him more things to do, and because he asks to go and ride this every time we go to Walmart, we gave him a bike for his birthday today (yes I let my little boys ride bikes and play toys at the store -- my girls were required to look only -- I've gotten nicer).
As you can see, this is a happy day for him. It is a happy day for us too since we really love our sweet boy. We worry over him, we get frustrated when he doesn't sleep through the night, but he makes us smile more often than not with his enthusiasm, and it's hard to beat a smile and a hug from Dan.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The verdict is ...

Well, maybe you need to have a trial to have a verdict. Let's just say that I owe thanks to all of you -- especially "T" who went out of your way to comment on my "Comment" blog. It hit an all time record of comments for me. Of course, I realize that I can comment myself, thus bumping the number up.

Next topic. How did my day with just Dan go? It's still waiting to happen. I've had days with Dan and Kayli but not just Dan yet. I've had plenty of nights with Dan though since he insists on waking up and having me sit by him while he goes back to sleep. His bad boy record was 6 in one night this week. His good boy record was two last night. Hooray! I felt like I'd actually slept some. He did have a night where he only woke up three times but then Jake made up the difference by getting up twice. Can anyone say Zombie?

School. Jake got up for it every day without complaining and went without a fuss. I was very thankful that he did so well. He did ask once when he was going to get to play (that was Friday morning). I told him he could play after school but his friend wasn't available then so he played with Dan. I liked that. The other children have done well too and they all ate their home lunches -- except Jake. He's already tried to convince me that his teacher doesn't want them to bring home lunches. He's eaten two unpaid for school lunches while his nice home lunch got limp in his backpack. I'll have to try sending a note to his teacher.

Did I read, or clean the bathroom during naps? Hmm. I can't remember. It wasn't the bathroom though because I finally did that today. Speaking of which, how do you get tubs clean? I have applied several cleaning solutions (AJAX -- Mr. Clean) and it still looks a bit dirty. I've scrubbed with scrub brushes too. I suppose the trick is to clean it a bit more often than I do. I won't tell you how often that is so you'll still come visit. Maybe the real trick is to have muscles like "Mr. Clean". I'll start weight lifting soon -- right?

I just realized that my music in the other room was playing Silent Night. I honestly thought that I took all but two Christmas songs off -- but I guess I have three on there. They don't come up often but it's a nice surprise when they do! Merry Christmas to all -- and to all a good night (with no surprise visits from your little ones).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Did you know that sometimes I check my own blog hoping for more comments even though I didn't write anything new? It's that desire to get something for nothing -- clever conversation right here on my blog without me having to come up with something to start it all out. I'm not sure what I'm hoping you will say because I'm pretty sure I'm not wanting you all to tell me I should get with it and write something! Who knows though -- maybe I write better under pressure?

Maybe I cook better under pressure too and that's why it's almost 4:30 and I still haven't started dinner or figured out for 100 percent certain what we are having. I'm only feeding the boys tonight (no I'm not starving the girls they are just away hiking) so it should be easy. I think I'll try out an easy recipe from my new "allergy friendly" cookbook. A whole pile of recipes that Dan can eat and we can too and they are supposed to taste good! Thanks to Di for the heads up on that one -- and to Mom C. who told me about it too.

Finally, in a stroke of oddness -- Jake sounds excited about school and he says he likes his teacher (who he met today) -- though him liking his teacher isn't the odd part. He was really curious about what color her hair would be. It's brown. I hope he's excited for school in the morning when he will want to be sleeping.

Kayli had her first school day today and I felt bad to discover that she didn't know she needed to take pencils and pens and paper and therefore some teachers were grumpy with her. I forget that what I thought should be obvious isn't to someone who has had those things provided for them at school their whole school career. I felt like a bad mom and still found it secretly amusing (just a little Kayli!) that she hadn't taken any.

Tomorrow Kayli gets to stay home and so my first real official day with just Dan and me at home will be Thursday. I'm planning on being really fun that day and I'm also really hoping that Dan takes a good nap at which point I will try to determine whether I can read a book guilt free or whether I need to spend the time frantically cleaning my bathroom or something. Ugg. Any guesses which will win?

Ah, well, I wrote something so now you can make many witty and clever comments and I'll be so happy to see them when I visit my blog.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Attacked by a snake, hugged by an owl, and treated well by the store we all love to hate!

Dan has found a plastic snake -- I'm not sure which of my children it belongs too -- and he gets a kick out of chasing me with it making scary hissing noises. At least it would be scary if he wasn't so cute the whole time but his persistence is a bit scary.
If I'm sitting still he holds the snake like he is above and "bites" me with it over and over. I'd be in bad shape if the snake were real.
Last night we went to the Orem Owlz game. This is their mascot and this picture came from the official Orem Owlz site. I forgot my camera or I could have illustrated the owl (Hootz) hugging the children. Jake and Dan loved him and went to visit him several times. I think the owl probably thought Dan was stalking him. Jake and Dan liked giving him 5 and "the rock", but when the owl wanted to hold Dan, Dan ran and hid behind me. The owl hugged Kayli and hug/tackled Connor and offered to hug Derek (when Derek said that owlz have (arm)pits too). Derek declined. Kayli quietly informed me that "the owl stinks" -- which didn't surprise me since I'm so smart -- and it was hot -- until later in the evening when I got cold. Two broken bats and a homerun later the Owlz won!

Finally we went school shopping and decided to start in town at Walmart before heading to farther away locations. Today, Walmart did well. We were looking for a lot of things (we ended with 18 total items) and we got out under nine dollars a thing -- lots of jeans, a couple of shirts, and some belts and we now have some well dressed younger kids. We took one short trip to payless where Jake picked the first pair of shoes he tried on and we were home in just over two hours total. Hooray! I wasn't looking forward to that trip and am glad it ended so quickly and so well. The changing room lady was nice, the line wasn't long, and we saw some people we know to say hi too. All in all, a rather charmed trip.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Mud Mountain Fire Revisited

The picture above is our recreational property (The Mud Mountains) in July 2007 right after the forest fire burned it. There used to be sage brush taller than Derek where Connor is standing. We revisited this year at the end of July and the following pictures show what a year can do.
This was taken looking in the same direction that the picture of Connor was taken the year before -- I think. No signs of sage brush but there is growth!
Underneath these scrub oak new scrub oak are appearing but there are some spots that got so hot that the roots didn't make it either.
Being directionally challenged, I can't exactly tell you where on the property this is but it's intersting anyhow -- right?
Finally, even burnt the property has great views and it's own wild beauty -- just no shade -- great for tanning. My Dad was there and enjoyed finding, and identifying, animal tracks and plants. The deer tracks even I could find. The bear tracks took a more experienced tracker. The funny thing was that the road was more overgrown than the rest of the property since it didn't really burn the first time. We rode on it anyhow. Let us know if you ever want to see the affects of the fire first hand -- just try to pick a cool / shady day.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bully Baby

Which of these two cute boys is the bully? Any guesses? Okay, I won't really call either of them real bullies but the one on the left reported to his Mom a few times that "baby Dan hit you". I suspect C. (we'll just call him that in case my sister is appalled that I put him in my blog) was just trying to reclaim some of his own toys. Dan is rather possessive of things even if they aren't technically his. He really liked that little tractor. Of course it is possible that Dan decided to take it from C. without asking too.
In the bath they were happy though -- except Dan was jealous the day that C. got possession of the one cup. At least he didn't hit his cousin to get it -- he just kept pointing at it and looking pleadingly at me. The floor stayed more dry when C. had the cup than when Dan had it. I hear that was just luck though as C. also enjoys watching water fall onto the floor. Dan was distracted from his desire to possess the cup when the paparazzi showed up with their cameras. Both boys were happy to smile for the cameras and said "Cheese" whenever they were asked to.
Generally speaking they were good little boys and Dan only bullied C. sometimes. They were cute the whole time even if having them around didn't help us get lots of sleep or get lots done.