Friday, June 26

Yellow Rock, aka Yellowstone

I'm back! I know you were all eagerly awaiting my arrival. Here's the sad news: I didn't see a single bear. Or wolf! I'm pretty sure I heard coyotes during the night, and we saw a lot of bison/buffalo and several bald eagles...but no bear.

I forgot to pack Tyler's tennis shoes, so we stopped at Wal-mart (I gagged a little because I HATE that store), bought him the only choice we had (white), and they actually stayed pretty clean. It was fairly cold the first night, but we took about 80 gazillion blankets so we all stayed warm and when Alexis woke up in the morning she said, "I can't wait to go to bed tonight so I can sleep in my sleeping bag again". They are turning into quite the little campers. My parents brought along a kid sized shovel and Tyler went to town digging holes and throwing dirt in true boy fashion. And in typical Alexis fashion we made new friends with a family who was camping by the bathrooms. They had four little girls for Alexis to play with, and she was very sad to part with them.

On Wednesday (my birthday) we got up at 4:45 AM to try and see wildlife, but still no bears! We spent the rest of the day in a cloudy sleepy stupor and went to bed at 9 PM. I got more sleep all in a row that night (10 1/2 hours) than I probably have since before Alexis was born.

One of the days Tyler had a kool-aid mustache that could rival any kool-aid mustache ever.

We only took a few pictures with our camera, my dad took probably close to 200 with his, if not more than that. He emailed me a few today but I still need to get the rest from him. Here's a few from our camera:That's Yellowstone Lake in the background--beautiful!

Yellowstone was really pretty, but here's a question for you people that go every year. What do you do there?? We felt we'd seen everything worth seeing (especially with little kids) in the 3 days we were there. I suppose we could go back and hike all the trails and do everything more in depth, but I'm not sure I could go back annually.

Now, here's something that will knock your socks off. My dad takes some gorgeous pictures and if you aren't stunned by this picture than you probably need to adjust the colors on your monitor because they are awesome.

Photo by Steve Hegji

I believe this is Grand Prismatic Springs?? I stayed in the car for this one because Tyler was sleeping. Or had been until we pulled Alexis out of the car kicking and screaming--which woke him up. Did you know Alexis hates geysers and hydrothermal pools of any kind? Well, she does. And seeing as how that's the majority of what you stop and see in Yellowstone, you can imagine the fun she was.

We also saw Old Faithful, which isn't entirely predictable. We showed up a little before we thought it would go off, sat down and expected to wait half an hour or so. 4 minutes later it went off! Talk about lucky.
Photo by Steve Hegji

We are glad to be home , sleeping in our own beds, using toilets that are closer than 50 feet away, and taking daily showers. And though I'm thrilled that it's the end of June and I have yet to turn on my A/C, I am a little tired of the gloom and doom. Some sunshine, PLEASE!

Saturday, June 20

7 tips for throwing your spouse an awesome 30th birthday party

1. Invite three guests. Only have two actually show up.

2. Hang up streamers. Make sure half of them fall down before the party even starts, leaving them for the birthday person to fix.

3. Put the four year old in charge of making the birthday hat.

4. Wrap the presents with Christmas wrapping paper.

5. Cram all 30 candles on one average sized cupcake.

6. Wrap up things that are actually for the kids. Then when they "give" the kids "their" gifts, they lock in the coolest dad/mom status. (thanks mom!)

7. Make sure you don't give them gifts they actually want, or clothes that fit. That way they can return every gift they got.


I hope these tips help you when planning a birthday party in the future!

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If you don't hear from me for a week it's because I'll be too busy wandering around Yellowstone looking for a bear that will let me stick my head in it's mouth. Like the circus trick, except not with a trained animal and without any practice, I'm sure it's more thrilling that way.

Wednesday, June 17

Tuesday, June 16

30. Really?


Today, this handsome guy turns the big
3-0!

Wish him luck, and wish him a Happy Birthday.
Maybe give him advice on how to handle saying
"I'm in my thirties"!

To make him feel better I remind him that at least he has a wife who is in her twenties.
And that he is still incredibly cool.

Saturday, June 13

stormy

Image found here

We have had some very inconstant weather this week. As we drove home tonight in another rainstorm that seemed to appear out of no where, I thought about how weather truly is similar to human nature.

We sat in the car watching the rain, listening to it on the roof before finally making our way inside, where it seems the storms would continue. Jeremy got the kids ready for bed while I vacuumed, though I still heard intervals of the crying through the steady whir of my Dyson. Vacuuming, I have found, is a good time for reflecting. And since children are my specialty in this time of life (and the ones crying in the background), naturally my thoughts turned to comparing them to the storms outside.

One day, one hour, one minute, even one second, can be completely different from the next. First their disposition is sunny, their outlook is cheery and you make grand plans for future events. But just like with the weather, the storm eventually comes. Sometimes you see it coming, a series of events to give you warning: gray clouds in the distance, a wind followed by calm, the smell of moisture on the air all give you a chance to brace yourself for what's to come. It allows you time to open your umbrella, and prepare yourself for the worst. Sometimes the worst comes in a downpour, sometimes it's just a sprinkle, and sometimes it resolves itself and the clouds fade before they even get to you. The same is said of children. A fight with their sibling, a missed nap, a cup/bowl/plate of the wrong color all lead up to a breakdown, which usually comes, but occasionally (for reasons we can't understand) doesn't.

However, then there are the storms that show up unexpected. Out of blue skies quickly develop those menacing clouds, and you're wet before you know it. Similarly, a perfectly happy child can wail some of their hardest and a parent will never quite know what hit them.

Fortunately the storm always ends. After the crying, no matter the warning or lack thereof, the child will again be happy. The sun will always come out. This realization came to me when, with a sense of dread, I turned off the vacuum. But instead of crying, my ears were met with the sound of laughter from their bedroom. It lasted for a few minutes...but I'm sure you can guess what happened next.

Just like I'm sure after reading this, Jeremy will say, "All the same can be said of you, wife".

Wednesday, June 10

Monday, June 8

moday mash-up

Today is June 8th (happy birthday dad!) and it's gloomy outside. It's been gloomy all weekend actually. So this morning, during our morning snuggles, I thought about what music would best suit my mood today. You know, for cleaning purposes. I don't clean well unless I have music on--and even then my cleaning is still probably not considered "well". Maybe "fair".

Anyway, I decided that "O Come All Ye Faithful" was what I needed. So now we're listening to Christmas music. And I think it almost feels better to listen to it now then it does on Christmas Day.

On Mondays it's near impossible for me to write a cohesive post because I have all the weekend events stewing in my brain and they all need to come out I guess, but they can't seem to do it in an orderly fashion.

You know that point when your child changes from being a two-year-old into being a two-and-a-half-year-old? We are there. Tyler is becoming the king of fits. He can't be reasoned with, so we just let him carry on with his crying. The good news is that I'm learning to be less afraid of his fits, because they are going to come no matter what I do--you never know what's going to set them off. Yesterday while walking home from church something upset him so much that he just had to collapse on the sidewalk, put his head on the cool cement and SOB. I still don't know what was wrong. And last night you should have heard his screams when he dropped his cookie on the floor...three times. THREE TIMES!

And you know how sometimes one of your kids is the bad one and the other seems to behave like a perfect angel (though I'm sure it's just in comparison)? Well, I thought we were making the switch now--Tyler will be hard and Alexis will be easy. But then the thought occurred to me that they could both be hard AT THE SAME TIME. And if this morning is any indication, that will be the case. Which makes me want to eat A LOT of cookies. So if you people were wondering why I don't have a third child yet it's because I would gain 50 lbs and an admission to the state mental hospital. Plus, I'd have to get a new car which I'm in favor of but my bank account is not. Yeah, I don't think they are good enough reasons either.

Jeremy was at Youth Conference all weekend, which means by the end of the weekend I had to lock my kids in the backyard and force them to play in the sandbox and leave me alone. I know I'm not the only one who's done that. Please raise your hands.

And now my almost 5 year old is complaining because she went #2 and won't wipe herself. We have this fight daily. I say, "Alexis, you can't go to kindergarten if you don't wipe yourself because your teacher is not going to do it for you". Her reply is "I don't need to go to kindergarten, I already know too much stuff".

I got to drive Tyler in his grandpa's big old truck with no airbags so he sat in the front seat right next to me. That child is OBSESSED with trucks, so you can imagine this was heaven for him. My favorite part was making him give me a kiss every time we stopped.

And now we have to get on with our day. Here's some pictures from our weekend. Why take a group picture when you can take individuals? Really, why did we? I threw one in of myself because I know when I read other people's blogs I like to see pictures of them, and not just their kids. And here's a picture of Jeremy drinking a squeeze-it.

Wednesday, June 3

Tuesday, June 2

night awakenings

A few times a month I wake up in the middle of the night to a tap on the shoulder and a "mom, can I sleep in here?" I really try my hardest to be sympathetic, maybe she's had a bad dream, but more than likely she needs to use the bathroom and hasn't quite figured out that's what woke her up. But some nights, especially if I'm woken up 3 minutes after falling asleep, I cannot muster up any sympathy. None. Still, I try to not be too mean while sending her back to bed. But this is Alexis we're talking about--she doesn't do anything without first pushing her limits. Which means of course she doesn't go back to bed easily.

Last night was one such night, and when the episode was over (or so I thought) I told Jeremy, "By the way, we're bad parents".

So my question: Are we bad parents because we are not sympathetic when they wake up in the middle of the night? Actually, don't answer that. Just tell me if you are the same way, or how you manage to muster up the loving sympathy for your child in the middle of the night.

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And here's something that makes me laugh. For awhile Alexis was in the habit of saying "How DARE YOU mom!" whenever I did something that bothered her. She doesn't say it anymore, but Tyler does. Except it comes out as "DARE YOU MOM!!" and it's not always used in the right context. It makes me laugh every single time.