Tuesday, June 22, 2010

To sum up 3 weeks in a paragraph....

Well, we have definitely done enough stuff in the past couple weeks to fill my blogging quota for the the year, so I have REALLY pared down the photos and I will only write on the interesting stuff. First off, I have very few *cute* pics of my kids. I set a goal a while back to take more good pictures but have failed miserably...you will see why in a moment. First a shot of Mags with her FAVORITE person in world....And here you see why I have all but given up taking good pictures of my kids. Every time I get the camera out they all start acting goofy. Well, at least, the BOYS act goofy--Maggie only wants to hold the camera and when I won't let her I get this....
She looked SO cute this one Sunday and the best picture I got of her is this....
Nice. She must take after her dad (just kidding, Eric....or not). Of course, nose picking is her favorite activity right now anyway, so at least the picture is true to life.

After the failed picture attempts, the kids and I took off for Utah for a couple weeks. Eric had a business trip to Boston for a week, then he came out and joined us. We all had a blast, especially the boys. My sister-in-law, Hillary, and her 2 sons, Nate and Josh, were there too. The days were filled with exploring, getting dirty, playing with a neighbors' dog, getting dirty, more exploring, more getting dirty.....you get the idea. It was great. The boys were always occupied and they played really well together considering the close quarters.

It seems like we were outside most of the time. Except for a couple days of rain the weather was pretty nice. Definitely cooler than Fort Irwin anyway, but it is a testament to the dryness of Death Valley when you think Utah Valley is humid.

Maggie loved being part of the action...at least she thought she was...which is good enough for me. Her favorite outdoor activity was stacking and unstacking some kid-sized plastic chairs that Grandma keeps on her deck. She loved it, but now that she is Miss Independent you couldn't help her at all or she would throw a fit. She is like that with most things now, including eating. Have you ever seen an 18-month-old after trying to eat a container of yogurt by herself? It is not a pretty sight. Nevertheless, Maggie had a blast and I am trying to remember to keep my distance and let her try things--maybe it will pay off when it comes time to potty train?

Here are the chairs pre-stack....
And post-stack....
One of the boys favorite things was tying some twine/rope to rocks and playing with them. I am still in shock there were no broken windows or heads by the time we left. Here is Tyler and cousin Josh with their rocks. Of course, Aunt Hillary and I almost got blisters from retying those darn things 100 times!
Sharee has lots of dress-up stuff which the kids loved. Tyler put this outfit together and called himself a ninja. He didn't care that the brown suit was the base for a monkey costume or that the eye cover was lined with sequins. Hey, who am I to judge? He can be the first "Femme-ape Ninja".
And then there was Jake.....
The adults had fun dressing up Maggie. This was my favorite outfit...she kept pulling the wigs off though. But she did LOVE the skirt. She wore it for a long time, danced in it, playing with it. It was sweet. Maybe she will still be girly even though she will have 3 brothers.
Another wig look....this time a blue wig we saw while walking through the BYU bookstore. I love her expression.
She has always loved riding in this baby buggy toy (see posts from Christmas) but she is getting a little big for it now. That combined with my growing belly making it harder for me to bend over and push her made it so she didn't get too much time riding in it---and thanks to Aunt Hillary for the times she did!
Craig and I took the kids for a small hike one morning. From left to right: Jacob, Tyler, Josh, Grandpa Craig with Maggie in tow, and Nathan.
The kids had a lot of fun. The trail was steep and each one of the boys fell at one point. Of course mine were the only ones to get hurt. Tyler scraped up his arm and Jacob took a good chunk of skin off his chin. I don't think I have a single picture of that boy without some kind of wound on his face.... I was glad Jacob came. He was a little slower than the big boys and I could use that as my excuse to lag behind. It is so sweet watching Jacob try to keep up with the big kids. He tries so hard and rarely gets frustrated. Maybe he doesn't even notice he lags behind. It is very endearing. Of course, I have never met a kid who can cause my own mood swings as quickly as Jake--one second you want to hug him forever and the next you are contemplating selling him on ebay.
I had lunch one day with my mom, her husband and my grandpa. My grandpa lives in the Salt Lake area and my mom happened to be visiting him while I was there. So we went to lunch and then to a SUPER fun park. The whole park is like a giant fort. I took tons of pics, but will just post one. The boys never wanted to leave! Lucky for me it started to drizzle so I used that as my excuse.
Maggie loves to drink. People kept asking me in Utah if she is dehydrated or something. She will stick her hands in anything wet and then suck on them) which is why we keep all the bathrooms locked at home--yes, she drinks toilet water if we let her..... Here she is dipping her hands in a puddle on the Swenson's driveway and licking them. I have given up trying to stop her long ago--though I did draw the line when she laid on the ground and tried to stick her face in the puddle to suck up the water. More on this in a minute.
Tyler was a big help to Grandma. He loved helping her prune her yard. I think he would have stayed out there all day is we would have let him use the pruners unsupervised. I only wish that love of hard work would translate into his chores at home.
When Eric came up, we all went for a little walk up Hobble Creek Canyon. We passed by some cows and the kids were enthralled. Maggie in particular, even though she kept calling them "doggies." We literally had to tear the kids off the fence to keep walking. And of course Tyler asked at least 200 unanswerable questions about cows, "What does it mean when the cow moos like that?" "How do the hooves grow on their feet?" 'What is their favorite kind of grass?"
Eric took Tyler fishing. They went fly fishing so Eric would cast it out and Tyler would reel it in. They apparently caught a ton of fish but only brought one home. Tyler couldn't have been prouder. He made me take about 10 pictures of him with his fish. I even cooked it up and he ate almost the entire trout all by himself! One side note about this BYU shirt--I bought it for him when we went to the BYU bookstore up there and he wanted to wear it EVERY day, and I mean, EVERY SINGLE DAY! Luckily with all the people staying at the Swenson's house someone was doing laundry most days and I could throw it in, but now that I am home he better get used to wearing it once a week!
Eric took Tyler, Jacob, Josh and Nate up camping for a day--it was supposed to be overnight but the weather wasn't too great so they came home in the evening. They hiked, had a weenie roast and made s'mores. They came back SO dirty. Imagine rolling in dirt, then standing in campfire smoke, then smearing melted marshmallow all over your face, then rolling in dirt again. Then rub hot dog grease on yourself....

Craig has a Rhino--like a 5-seater 4-wheeler vehicle. The boys loved going for rides in it so we decided to take Maggie and see what she would do. She loved it (though you can't tell here) but it made her hair stand on end. It looked so funny!
Toward the end of our trip we were invited to a fish fry up at a place called "The Ranch", a giant area of land with tons of trails, a picnic area, pond and water stuff. Very fun. Tyler decided to try out a canoe/kayak thing. At first he couldn't manage it at all, then got the hang of it and made his way all over the place!
Maggie even took a ride, well, tried. She hated the life-jacket (can you blame her?) but I wouldn't let her go out without one so she had to play by the water's edge.
So here I will continue with the fact that Maggie drinks anything...now that includes pond water and muddy pond water mixed with dirt in a bucket. She was such a pain at the ranch. If you tried to stop her from drinking it she would scream. So my choices were to 1)hold her down for 3 hours while everyone played and she screams or 2) give up the fight and hope she doesn't get giardia. I went with option 2 but got some flack for it from others. But hey, I doubt any of them would be willing to hold her while she screamed and fought back at them either. No signs of disease yet, but it may take a few more days. Though for all of you who gasp at the fact that I let her put that in her mouth (truth be told she didn't ingest more than 1/4 cupful...she mostly dipped rocks in the water then sucked them) I did find an interesting article today. You can check it out if you want (www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/nov/23/grubby-children-scientists-immune-system) but the general idea is that scientists have now found that children exposed to more mild bacteria and such as small children have less incidence of disease as adults, including even allergies and hayfever! So for all you who suffer from allergies, don't you wish you could go back to your toddler days and drink a little pond water yourself? Maybe, maybe not!
To round out the trip we had dinner on Father's Day with Katie and her family. And what better way to end the trip than a nice summer day and 3 boys in the hammock with ice cream cones? Makes you feel like summer....