Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wet - Again

This boy hasn't met a sprinkler that he doesn't like. I am learning (slowly, apparently) that if there are sprinklers on and I want him to stay dry, I cannot unbuckle him and set him down while I unload other things, or take him into the house and leave the door open while I go back to grab something else. Nope. No chance that he will stay away from the water if he can hear it or see it. (Not even the mushy pears on the ground are a deterrent. They definitely are to me, but not to the younger crowd, I guess.)

I guess it's OK since I love doing extra laundry so much. ;)

Fall Piano Recital

For the grandparents who may want to listen to a little music by Jonas:
I am always so impressed with my kids when they have recitals or performances. They just don't seem to be phased by it. They don't get nervous and don't get upset if it's not perfect. They just treat it like another part of their day. Man, I wish I had been more like that. I used to get SO nervous and worked up about things like that. (Still do, as a matter of fact.)

And this kid here may look all cute and innocent, but taking him to a piano recital is no picnic in the park. He is just at the wrong age to make it at all pleasant. We listened to most of the recital (including Jonas's part) from outside the room.
Ah well, he still manages to make my heart smile - even when he's being a stinker.

Monday, September 27, 2010


While Amelia and Samantha went to a birthday party on Saturday, the rest of us took a quick trip up to Snowbird to enjoy the beautiful weather. It was pretty crowded because of Octoberfest but Jonas still decided to wait in the line for the for the bungee trampoline thing.
After that, we rode the tram to the top and enjoyed the view.
Peter absolutely loved just wandering around and kept making me nervous by getting too close to the edge. He is definitely an independent little boy.

It was absolutely beautiful and now we need to go back because we didn't have time to ride the alpine slide or do the zip line, not to mention that Samantha was mad that she missed out. I hope the weather holds out for just a little bit longer. This is my kind of fall!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Coach Shawn

So, when Shawn announced that he wasn't going to be a ski instructor this winter (at least not very much, maybe only 5 or 6 days) you would maybe have wondered how he would choose to spend his extra time. Wonder no more. Since Shawn can't be idle for long, and in fact seems to need to be doing a million things all the time, he is coaching swimming again. He is helping to coach the Olympus High School team in the early morning and is also coaching the age group team in the late afternoon. He loves coaching and he is good at it, but I think he might even agree that this is a bit much on top of his regular job, his family and being Young Mens President. The afternoon coaching job is just temporary until they can hire a full time coach. (If you know of any swim coaches looking for a job, send us their information.) He will still be involved in the management of the team, but then won't be required to be there every day - which will be good for his real job, and for me.) These are pictures of the age group team because I just didn't have it in me to go to the 5:30 am workout with the high school kids.
One of the perks (or not, depending on who you ask,) is having your Dad be your coach. Amelia seems to be pretty happy about it.
Shawn is definitely pushing the high school kids and was wondering how they all felt about it. Late the other night after we had gone to bed, there was persistent knocking at the front door. When Shawn finally went to answer it, he found 15 to 20 of his swimmers posed in our front yard - some even hanging from the trees. I told him I thought that was a pretty good sign that they liked him, because after all, if they hadn't, they probably would have thrown eggs or something instead.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Can I Opt Out, Please?

So, we've spent the last several days with me and 4 of 5 kids having the stomach flu. Lots of fun. At least we tried to be efficient with 3 of us coming down with it within 10 hours. Somehow I was remembering the forms that they sent home from my kids schools to allow you to opt out of listening to Obama's school speech. I started thinking that I wished they had a few of those for parenting also. I would gladly opt out of any illness that involves the spewing forth of bodily fluids. (Snot, I can deal with when I have to. Not pleasant, but there are worse things-like the afore mentioned.) I thought I would also opt out of potty training because there's not any of that that's fun. I decided I would keep a bit of the whining and complaining and stuff because, otherwise, how would I know to appreciate everyone being happy and pleasant. I'm sure that in the long run it's all good for me somehow, and I know I signed up for it the second I decided to become a parent, but still, it was a nice thought while I had it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Super Secret, Special Trip to the Zoo

Last week, I decided we needed to get out of the house. So,after getting the big kids off to school, Peter, Duffy and I went off to the zoo - without telling the other kids. I guess the secret's out of the bag now since my kids usually read this. I can just hear them now. "What?! You went to the zoo with out us?!! That's SO not fair!!!!" Nope it isn't, but it's not really fair that the little kids spend most of their life being carted around to all of the big kid's activities. And the big kids forget that they used to get to do things like this all the time. Anyway, the 3 of us had a great time.
Yep, they got a ride on the carousel. (Things are so much easier to do -and pay for, when there are only 2.)
The giraffes were very friendly, leaning right up where we could touch them. Not that either of these kids would dare...
And yes, we also rode on the train. (My older kids will be really mad about this. IF I let them ride on something, they have to choose either the carousel or the train. Never both in the same trip.)
We had a good time. Now I just have to prepare myself for the onslaught of whining and complaining. Maybe we'll just go back again with everyone.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Parenthood - A little Vent

Is it supposed to be THIS hard? This relentless and this incessant? Must there be battles over absolutely E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.!!?? There are battles over diaper changes, brushing teeth, going to bed, getting up, going to school, unloading the dishwasher, doing flashcards, brushing hair and then hairstyles. Battles over practicing, doing homework, playing video games, buckling car seats, putting on pajamas, who gets what, what we are eating, going to the dentist, who made the mess, doing jobs, mowing lawns, picking up pears, and talking kindly to people.
Is there supposed to be this much crying, whining, pouting, and yelling? (I'm referring to theirs, here, not my own - although that can't be entirely excluded.) Is there supposed to be this much convincing, cajoling, bribing, begging, nagging and even pleading? Is it supposed to be this exhausting? And this messy? Or am I doing something wrong here? (Don't bother answering that - there are plenty of people around here that keep me up to date on my many faults and shortcomings.) Seriously, some days I absolutely dread going to bed because the thought of getting up just to do it all over again is more than I can handle. (These are also the days when I feel like I could really use a nap.)
OK, I think my little rant is over for now. I love being a Mom, but it is really hard and sometimes, I wish someone else could be the Mom for just a little while. But I know I am also very blessed to have these children that are all healthy and well and (mostly) happy. That I have them all here to hold and cherish and learn from. (And I am definitely learning some things, although apparently, I'm a little slower at some lessons than others.)
I'm off now to check on my little darlings while they sleep so that I can see their more angelic sides and be reminded of why I wage these daily battles. Thanks for allowing my little vent, I think I feel better now.

Monday, September 13, 2010

LOTOJA 2010....It Wasn't Pretty, But He Finished

Here are the bikes all loaded up on the support vehicle. (Rob's, Shawn's and Danny's.) And the reflection of Shawn in his yellow jersey.
It's looking like beautiful weather for biking.
The car all labeled and official looking.
Rob and Shawn rode for Team Firestorm - in honor of our friend, Ben Jacobsen who is currently fighting cancer and wishes he could be riding, too.
Meanwhile, the kids and I went to Bear Lake to stay Friday night, with plans to meet up with the riders later. Amazingly, in the morning the air was actually colder than the water and so the whole lake was steaming. It looked really cool.

As always, we all just love this place. Everyone can find some happiness when we're here. (Unfortunately, Peter's happiness was not in having his picture taken, but in roaming around instead.)

Danny and Troy in Preston at Feed Zone 1. (Thanks so much for driving support, Troy!)
The riders in Preston. Shawn, Danny and Rob.
This is the feed zone in Alpine, where we met up with them. (We had passed them on the road and cheered loudly, of course.) Rob, looking good with just 47 miles to go.
Here's Shawn before his trouble started.
Trying to get some fuel, but needing to sit down. Already, not ideal.
Faking an "I feel great" photo with the kids.
And here's where it all starts going bad. As soon as he walked off by himself like this, I knew it wasn't good. Here's the start of his puke fest. (Don't worry no photos of the actual puking.)
Already not looking great in this photo. Getting ready to ride off with Rob. At this point I was already worried. He clearly wasn't feeling well and now had no fuel in him to push through to the end. I said to Rob, "get him to the end."
A photo with Danny Allen, as well. Initially, Rob and Shawn were worried about how he would do. He's 15 and this is his first attempt at anything like this. Turns out he did just fine.
We drove ahead and stopped and waited to cheer them on. First, I saw them stopped at a port-a-potty....for a long time. I guess Shawn was taking a little power nap and trying to find the will to keep going. When we saw him again, he was not looking well. Eventually, Rob came in to the finish - alone. That was not good because I knew he had planned to stay with Shawn. Rob said Shawn sent him ahead and Rob told Troy to go back and get him because he was only going about 4 miles on hour and wasn't going to make it. I knew he would be so frustrated if he didn't finish #5. Every time I talked to Troy on the phone, he told me Shawn was still pedaling. I think Rob was amazed. And when he actually crossed the finish line after throwing up all along the way, we were all amazed. He essentially crossed and the EMT's took over. He was shivering uncontrollably and was just gray.
Eventually, they moved him into the ambulance for a possible IV and to try to warm him up.

He finally decided to try to make it out to the car and back to the hotel. He continued to throw up until about 10:00 when he finally fell asleep. (I think the total was about 11 times in 8 or so hours.) At about 1:15, he woke up and took a few sips of his sprite and then asked me where his vanilla frosty was. He was starving and finished his frosty, some fries and some cheeseburger, then wanted more frosty. (Apparently, that was soothing to his acid-burned throat and mouth.) More sleep, and he was fine. Maybe down on weight a little, but otherwise, just fine. No idea what set him off, but so glad that he was able to finish. I am so proud of him and amazed at his ability to keep pushing himself physically to finish the race. I'm positive I would have climbed into the support vehicle.
Now he's earned his 5 year medal and we can all take a break from LOTOJA training (At least for a couple of years.) And he still wears this badge of honor until he can scrub it off.
Congratulations to Rob, Shawn, and Danny and everyone else who rode in and finished this race (Scott, Laurel, Julie, to name a few.) After driving along most of the course, I have a whole new respect for everyone who accomplishes this feat. You are all crazy but amazing, too.

(Shawn, I am sorry that I have no photos to document the portion of the race where you were "riding like 2 men" and feeling good, but I know it happened.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Duffy's First Day of School

Duffy has been excited to start school - for the most part. She wanted to go back to preschool, but only at Mandy's house. We finally resolved that she was going to a different school so she could meet some new friends and learn some new things. She met her teachers and visited her classroom, and was all set to go - until this morning, when, for no apparent reason, she decided that she didn't want to go to preschool. (Too bad for her - it wasn't an option.) At least there weren't any tears.
For all of her complaining about it, once she was in her classroom, I couldn't even get her to turn around and say good-bye to me. She was perfectly happy to be there. It's a little sad to be sending her off. Things are going to be so quiet. I might even miss her non-stop narration some days. Now, it's just me and Peter. Duffy thinks Peter and I will watch movies every afternoon. I'm not sure that that's my plan but I bet I'll be able to find something to do while she's gone and he takes a nap.

My Big, Blue-Eyed Babies

Although, technically, neither of them is actually a baby anymore. What a sad realization. They both seem so big and grown up. Love them to pieces.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Long Post About a Couple of Things That Make Me Feel Old

The one year old in the house is doing his absolute best to keep me from spending more than 10 seconds at the computer - just enough time to see if there is an important e-mail that I should remember to check when I get the chance. That's not what's making me feel old though, just tired. Anyway,

1) Jonas turned 12. TWELVE!!! Just yesterday he was obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine and now he's just so big. Honestly, I don't feel old enough to have a 12 year old. I know the numbers all add up, but how is it possible? Looking back, I just can't believe how fast it has gone.

On the day he was born:
About 1 1/2(?) with cool trampoline hair.
Age 12:
Shawn and I surprised him by showing up at school to take him to lunch - all by himself. All in all, he thought his birthday was awesome. Of course, all it takes to make him happy is a couple of books and occasionally a new video game. That's a win for me.

2) Shawn and I just celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. Our marriage is now old enough to drive. Don't know how that happened either. I still feel like I'm 22 (Okay, maybe 26, but still!) This picture is our very first date. (November 2002. Whoa - almost 18 years ago.) It was to the Kappa Fall Formal. Yes, I asked him out first. (He was supposed to be a safe date. You know - fun because we were already friends, but not a threat since I had a boyfriend who was at school somewhere else.) Well, we can all see how well that worked out. But how lucky am I to have spent the past 16 years married to my best friend?
To celebrate, we went to Jonas' Court of Honor where he was awarded 10 merit badges, his Second Class and his First Class. (Whew. That was a lot of hard work.)
The happy scout:
Then back to the house to eat cake and ice-cream with Grandma and Grandpa for Jonas' birthday. The Cake Boss and his assistant (me) came up with this in honor of Jonas' greatest love - reading. (This was a 2 cake affair. One chocolate for the cover and one vanilla for the pages.)

So, to sum up, Happy Birthday to Jonas and congratulations on your scout awards. You worked hard and we are proud of you. And, a day later, Happy Anniversary to Shawn. Thanks for still putting up with me!