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Month: July 2013

we’re a camping family, it turns out

we’re a camping family, it turns out

We’ve suspected that we were a camping kind of family for a while now, but our suspicions have been virtually untested until last weekend. And let me tell you, this was a bit of a test. The trip was somewhat “last minute” by our definition, since we had been aware of the opportunity for less than a week and it took a few days to find someone who was willing and able to let us borrow their car.

The somewhat rushed nature of the outing led to a couple of “malfunctions.” Most notably: one sleeping bag, no blankets. Less notably: no towels. The towels were easy to overcome. We played in the lake, but gave ourselves time to to dry off. The lack of blankets, however, led to a 3am run to a nearby town to hit up the Walgreens for some warmth.

Other than that, however, good times were had by all. We camped with two other families and a couple of other friends came up the 2nd night we were there. The kids ran around the grassy field together, they explored the woods, and they put together an obstacle race (mostly Simon, as he has two years on the other kids). Elsa learned a lot about how rocks taste. And acorns. And dirt. And sticks. (Although sticks are actually a delicacy she is quite familiar with.)

Micah and I counted among our blessings the fact that we just bought a “beach shade” that is actually a min-tent. Perfect for two little boys. So we slept as we do at home, with the boys in another room andElsa by our side. It worked pretty well, except for when Oliver woke up crying in the middle of the 2nd night and the only thing I could think to do was trade places with him. He slept the rest of the night on my air mattress and I slept on his thin mat. The sacrifices we make for our children . . . .

But, all in all, our suspicions have been confirmed. We like camping. We want to do it again. As much as we can. Hopefully, we can find people to let us borrow their cars.

elsa turns 1

elsa turns 1

I took the kids out yesterday morning to try to get some birthday pictures of the girl at age 1. The plan was just to stay in front of our building, maybe find a nice wall to put her in front of. That sort of thing. But as soon as I put her on the side walk off she went. She had something she needed to do and she was going to do it.

I chased her, camera clicking, to the end of the block, but she still hadn’t done what she set out to do. I led her around the corner and chased her down that side of the block – and still, she had places to go. By the time we were half way around the block, it was clear that she was thrilled at having the freedom to go as far and as fast as she could. (Wonder where she got that?) And by the time we arrived back at our apartment the boys were ready to go in and have lunch, but she was having the time of her life.

That’s my girl.

She’s a bit of a firecracker, that one. She loves to be in the thick of things and is pretty good at letting us know what’s up. Turn on the water in the bathtub and she’ll come running, pulling at her clothes to get them off. Ride down a hill on the bike and she’ll lift her arms to catch the breeze. Show her a piece of watermelon at your own peril: it will soon be dripping all over you and her, and she’ll be begging for more.

She’s also a bit of a long, lean thing. (Wonder where she got that?) At 20.5 pounds and 30.5 inches, she’s tall (91st percentile), but fairly average weight (61st). She says “Mama” and “Da,” asks for more, food, and water, and can tell us when she’s all done. And she gives the best hugs probably in the whole world. Melt-into-you hugs that remind me of the newborn “I’m-part-of-you” hugs that make you forget all of the pressing matters you had at hand because all you want to do now is hold her all day.

Which is fine, because we would if she let us. But, unfortunately, she’s a busy girl. There are plastic cups and plates that need to be scattered through the apartment. Books to be torn. Egg shells to fetch from the trash can and chew on (<– true story). Brothers to with hair that needs to be pulled. And entire city blocks that need to be circumnavigated.The world can stand still for a few seconds, but then it’s back to business.

Birthday girl!

Birthday girl!

There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to write everything I want to these days. I hope to find some time soon to be more thorough in my family record-keeping, but I couldn’t let the day pass without writing a tribute to Elsa.

Because she is 1 today and we love her.20130724-231347.jpg
Happy birthday, pretty girl.

i stand corrected

i stand corrected

It was just a couple of weeks ago that I mentioned that Simon is, perhaps, the less athletically gifted of our two boys. And then, the very next day he set out to prove me wrong by showing us his skills with a ball and bat.

What started out as t-ball “practice” (at the first birthday of our friends’ daughter), quickly became Simon learning to bat for real, and surprising us by being . . . “not bad.” And then, after a few pitches, improving to “pretty good.” (Meanwhile, his brother seemed much more interested in hitting Elsa’s head with the bat. Ugh. Oliver.)

Of course, I’m not sure how that would translate on a real ball field, but it is intriguing. And it makes me think that it’s high time we actually put the kid on a field with a ball and his peers. With a coach and all. I think we’re going to wait until school starts to see if there are any partnerships the school has with sports leagues, but I think it might be time . . . .

still employed

still employed

Some of you know that June was a bit of a rough month for me. So rough that I pretty much decided to quit my job. And I told them so. But some of you may have also noticed that I’m still writing for Babble. That is because they talked me into staying. I’m writing fewer times a week, which feels good. It is much easier to plan and prepare posts that I feel good about.

After one week, the change feels really good. Granted, it was a bit of an “odd” week since Micah was gone that last half of the week, but next week will be odd too because I’m going to Lake Tahoe (work-related yoga festival . . . ). And the next week might be odd as well if we go camping, and the week after that we’ll have guests . . . so, what I’m saying is, they’re all odd. But, I hope, not ridiculously stressful.

And that is all I have to say about that. For now.

vacation in pictures

vacation in pictures

This pretty much sums up our vacation – at least the parts that I didn’t already cover in previous posts. The more everyday, mundane moments. Just a few of them.

I consider it a victory that I got it up before we’ve been home a month.

 I pretty much want to die every time I see that picture of Elsa on the top middle. I’m sorry to all of those I’ve killed with it as well. She’s too much. Much too much.

bat-boys return

bat-boys return

I’d just finished bathing and dressing the boys when they suddenly disappeared and a couple of crazy, jumping, rolling, flying bats appeared in their place!

Sorry the footage is so choppy! Clearly, I was taken by surprise and had to protect myself and Elsa from these intruders. :)

disc to the head

disc to the head

I can’t think of the last time I was bloodied playing a sport, or running, or really, doing anything but chopping vegetables or giving birth. So it was a bit of a surprise to me when my face failed to catch a flying disc and I walked away with a drip of blood coming down my nose.

On the one hand I feel super tough. A disc to the face? That’s pretty hard core. On the other, I’m confused. How did the three other people going for the disc not stop it from getting to my face? Especially when I was by far the shortest dog in the fight. 

But it looks cool, right? If you’re not bleeding, you’re not trying?

hi-king

hi-king

First, answer to previous riddles/jokes:

1. What do you call it when a king climbs to the top of a mountain?

Hi-king!

2. What’s high in the middle and round on both ends?

Ohio! (The word.)

3. What’s low in the middle and flat on both ends?

Ohio! (The shape of the state.)

4. What two words hold more than a thousand letters?

Post office!

5. What do you call a spider who likes to play on playgrounds?

A slider!

6. What do you call it when cars play checkers?

Wreckers!

7. What do you call it when chickens play checkers?

Chickers! Or Peckers!

Are you laughing yet? Because my boys are.

Anyway, that first one, about hiking, is one that Simon and Micah came up with when we hiked up to Elephant Rock when we were in Utah. It was, I believe, the boys’ first real hike and they did well. Simon fell once or twice, but he kept on hiking. He found a way to distract himself from his misery as we neared the top of the trail and he thought it would go on forever: searching for pill bugs. And picking them up. And naming them. He was  a little upset when we told him they were mountain pill bugs and they needed to stay in the mountains, but he got over it.

Oliver needed to be carried quite a bit, but he was good a sport about the whole endeavor.

We hiked up with my dad (who, incidentally, hiked in a boot meant to immobilize his foot since he was recovering from a stress fracture in one of his metatarsals), and my brother and sister-in-law, and they were also great sports about putting up with a couple of city-dwelling kids who are, by turns, really excited about nature and really puzzled about why anyone would want to be out in it. And also, who don’t really stop talking and asking questions. (I’m slightly terrified to think that it isn’t going to be too long before Elsa is right there with them, adding her little voice to the interrogations.)

But the views were excellent. And it was really fun to tell Simon that he could tell his class that he hiked a mountain over the summer. You know, because he is going to school and is going to have a class and summer break is actually going to mean something to him.