Tuesday, June 26, 2012

baby girls do grow up

This morning I spotted a toddler strutting around our home like she owned the place.

"Can she really belong to me? What happened to my baby?" I wonder.

Pressing an imaginary 'pause' button on life, I hope to capture a few Lottie-isms in an effort to reassure myself that this darling toddler who know occupies our home is actually ours.

Her round brown eyes, which are highlighted by Snuffuluffagus sized eye lashes, don't resemble her blue-eyed siblings, but are lovely just the same. Her frame is petite, her hands dainty and mannerisms feminine. The crown of wild curls that adorn her head seem to suit her free spirited personality.

Refusing to be confined to a high chair, Lottie insists on standing on a chair at the kitchen table during meal time. In fact, she has no problem kicking me out of my own seat if she senses that I am happily occupied. When it's time to run an errand, she is the first one to the door. As soon as the car door is open, she quickly helps herself to anyone's car seat, except her own. If she discovers Henry or Eliza sitting upon her royal throne (Mom's lap), she will rage. Some would say that type of jealous behavior would be off-putting, but I can't help but find such a strong and open display of possession affection endearing. ;)  

Curly hair, a permanently messy face and a smile that melts my innards are other hallmarks of this phase. Hearing her answer simple questions and respond to a request fills me with delight. I've traveled down this road two times before, but the thrill of watching a child begin to communicate feels fresh and new. If Lottie spots a pair of shoes or walks past someones bedroom, she enjoys telling me who they belong too. Disciplining her has proven to be difficult as she relishes the attention. Not wanting to out myself, I will skip the part where I planned to tell you how adorable it is watching her dance and sing along to Justin Bieber and Lady Gagy as we drive in the car: "A-be, A-be, A-be, Oooooh"

She has a special bond with each sibling. She thinks Henry is hysterical. Eliza, who remains a huge help to me as she fulfills favor after favor, feels territorial as she sees Lottie eyes her belongings. We've caught a small glimpse of what's to come and ... oh boy. We're in for a teenage sized treat!

Here's a cute video, for lack of a better description.

Busy keeping tabs on her brother and sister, Lottie went behind my back and transformed from a baby to a toddler. 
This is what 'arts & crafts' looks like at my house. For anyone wanting to post this activity to Pinterest, the instructions are as follows:
 
Forget the bib.
Remove lid from yogurt.
(jello works well for this activity too)
 
Discard all proper eating utensils.
Dip each finger into the yogurt 
and smear on your
palette of choice!
 So much fun, right Lottie?
 We sure love you, big girl. 

And because I am rebelling against the idea to add these remaining photos onto a separate post, here's a few random extras:
 The children were delighted when Callie, Mia and Emee came by last week after an afternoon of swimming. We had to pass up their offer to go, but are happy they still made time to include Eliza afterward.

 Delicious muffins, play-dates with cousins, outings to the park... how about one more reason to smile, Eliza?!
  
Your cast comes off tomorrow!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

casting the father's day scene

To the greatest 'catch' of my life, Happy Father's day!

  Ah, come on. How could I resist such an easy 'line'?
 

 
When our relationship was a few weeks old, Andrew introduced me to that same boat up at Jordanelle Reservoir. I remember trying to assist him as he transferred the boat from the trailer into the water. Having proven myself practically useless, he ended up loading it up on his own, He-Man style, when it was time to leave. At least I had brought the food. That morning I had ordered him a Subway sandwich, another first in our relationship, and remember it being a total guessing game as I had zero idea what vegetables, bread, meat combinations and/or toppings he liked and didn't like.

"What kind of chips should I choose? What about Doritos? Everyone likes those! Right?!? Nacho Cheese or Cool Ranch? Shoot, I hope I have gum in my purse." ;)

Those were the days when putting on a pair of size 2 capris was as effortless and easy as it was for him to offer forgiveness over the fact that his sandwich was smothered with onion and pickle... *Sigh. It would be another six months before he would correct me on the proper way to spread miracle whip on his bread. In case you're wondering, a healthy smattering of condiment has to cover the entire slice of bread. You can not neglect the edges. Slapping a bit of it in the middle and swirling it around in a messy array is not acceptable. I would learn this, and other quirks, as our relationship progressed.

Blessing of all blessings... that quirky fisherman would become my husband and the Father of my children. My reign on that boat, however, would be short lived. Since that time, my seat has been taken by another young lady... and her darling brother.
Waking up a pair of sleepy children, I saw to it that they were ready and loaded into the car door bright and early. After lining them up for a mandatory Mom picture, it was easy to tell that Andrew, subdued expression and all, was the most excited to go. I confess to feeling a pang of sadness as I watched them leave without me, but am pleased to say that the group of explorers returned home with some positive reviews.
"We discovered our own private beach, Mom!" She reported. It's been determined that next time they go, Lottie and I will get to come. Their discovery seems to be a perfectly acceptable place to deposit the two of us while Andrew makes a fishing run with the older two.

With huge smiles, Eliza and Henry returned home in soggy, wet clothes. They raced to tell me the details of their morning. Having already received a call following the incident, Eliza gave an update on how her smashed finger was doing after she injured it while climbing into the boat. I thought it was cute that they kept using the word "nibbled" to describe their interaction with the fish. Sadly, nothing had been caught, but it didn't seem they felt to bad about that. I also learned that in his excitement to play on the beach, Henry had neglected the fact that he had to go potty.

"Hit the lake!" Andrew instructed as he observed the dribble on Henry's leg. Both children came home sporting a deep sunburn across their legs, just above their knees. So yes, they'd had their share of bumps that morning.
Even so, the trouble spots were nothing as we are all in agreement that the hassle was worth the new and exciting memory. Three cheers for a Dad who is always up for taking his family on an adventure and who is teaching his children how to work hard and play hard. 
"Did somebody say adventure?" Later in the afternoon, Andrew fed our excitement for an upcoming adventure when he set up our first tent! (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) 
And you know what else? Bubba loves a great adventure too. You don't have to look far to see why Andrew is the way he is. We love you Bubba!  Thank you for raising Andrew. Because of you, the business of Fatherhood is a natural fit for him.

It was a treat to be able to spend Father's day in Salt Lake. I was able to sneak over to my parents home to spend sometime with my own Dad whom I love and admire very much. In short, I think my Dad is brilliant. He leads a consecrated life. Despite being a warm, friendly and outgoing person, he is humble which is why he will most likely writhe in pain if he reads this little shout out. Sorry, Dad! He provided me with a happy, special childhood and can be counted on for sound advice when needed. I love you, Dad.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

More Free Nature

Another day, another water-free adventure... that's our motto these days. Tuesday, we met a crew of cousins at the the Utah Botanical Center. It was Aunt Jen's week to plan the outing and I must say on behalf of the Fleglets and myself, that it was a great activity.

To be fair, the day wasn't completely void of water.
They all stayed dry. That's a definite win in my book. 
 Note to self: Bring bread for the ducks next time. Rocks, however, made a fine substitute.
 
 My camera and I took a break from each other once we hit the nearby park. The kids had a great time chasing each other, playing on the playground and raiding each Mom's snack stash. I did, however, catch a picture of  lovely Miss Lottie.
 {20 months old}
 It was a great morning!

Pretend Nature

Last Saturday, we ventured to the Ogden Nature Center. Looking for a weekend thrill, I thought this breath of fresh air would suit our family well; not to mention, the admission had been waived for the day. Despite my advertisement that the activity would be FREE (his favorite word), Andrew balked at the idea. Considering the "nature center" is located in the middle of the city clearly meant, in his mind, that it was simply a money trap that had been cleverly cloaked as something special; when in reality, it was nothing short of a synthetic, artificial experience. According to Andrew's man law, you should never have to pay for an outdoor experience.

While I packed our snacks and filled the water bottles, my spontaneous husband busied himself with finding a legitimate, authentic nature experience to replace my idea. Understanding that we had other obligations waiting to be fulfilled that day, the time frame for his plan b and plan c,didn't accommodate said plans. With a reluctant heart, yet an improved attitude, we made it out the door!

Folks, I am pleased to report that the hours we spent there were some of the best in our week. The dirt on the walking trails was ACTUAL dirt! The grass my children played, "Hide and Go Prey" was GENUINE grass!
 
 
The smell of the wildlife gave witness to their authenticity! Andrew even saw a deer running through the grass. 

  Perhaps the only piece of false advertisement would be labeling this pond, "The Black Pond."
  
I renamed it, 
"Leprechauns-go-wee pond"
Not super appropriate, I know. 

 We saw owls, an eagle, a raven and other fowl.
  The children took their turn to build a nest of their own.

Eliza was thrilled when we saw the "Whomping Willow" (her words, not mine)!

The children bravely held my hand as we crossed the troll bridge.
 After walking through a deeply shaded path, we found Rapunzel's tower.
 
Henry continued to run up ahead of us, plant himself in the grass and POP out unexpectedly. It frightened us horribly!

 Lottie was happiest trailing behind these two. She seems in a hurry to be a big kid. The weather was pleasant and the crowd was small. I hope to go back again soon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pre-cast

And while it's unfortunate that Eliza's arm has been taken hostage by a hot pink brick of plaster, her injury has provided the necessary 'breaking point' (get it?) I've been looking for to begin a friendly game of blogger catch up. It's not even worth expressing my hope that I'll keep this rewind brief, because looking at my track record, it would be a promise made in vain. IT IS ALWAYS IN VAIN!
Memorial day weekend , there was a solar eclipse. Andrew tackled this at home science project with deep, nerd like, enthusiasm.  


 As we watched the eclipse progress, we held hands, swayed back and forth and sang, "Total Eclilpse of the Heart." Okay, mostly I sang it since Andrew only knows five words of the song and cares about what the neighbors think.
 Earlier that same weekend, Andrew took Henry to the airshow at Hill Air Force base. They showed up the same time the rain did. Luckily, the mess of traffic did not have time to unravel itself before the sun came back out. Still in line waiting to exit, they flipped back around and scored a stellar seat. Eliza had her mind made up that if she went, an airplane would crash directly on to her, turning her into a concrete pancake. Sorry Lottie, but I opted out on your behalf; which left us at  home. Don't worry about us though; unpacking groceries was super fun.

Two days before Eliza took her spill from her bike, we met Aunt Jen and company for a lovely outing. Each having our own train enthusiast, we thought it would be fun to ride Frontrunner downtown to play at the splash pad at Gateway. It is much larger than city creek's and they permit children to play in swimsuits. We picked a good day considering it ended up being the hottest day of 2012. 


It made me happy to see Brynn and Eliza bond. Brynn came home with us and played for a few hours. Cousins are awesome.

We made it down to see Grandma Popcorn too. She is as special as can be. We all thought her roses were lovely; with the exception of Henry. Losing his balance (this is becoming a most unfortunate family trend lately), he fell backwards into a rose bush. They attacked! Henry was left with horrible scratches from the nasty thorns. Other than that mishap, we had a great visit.

 The popcorn is great, but my favorite thing about visiting Grandma is watching Andrew interact with her. He becomes her loyal puppy dog. Sitting on the floor, he looks up at her and promises her the world as they talk. His tenderness is born of incredible love and respect. I like those soft sides.
We sure love this lady!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The unexpected bummer of summer


Breaking News!

We interrupt the previously scheduled 'summer adventure' recap, to bring you word that Eliza has fractured her arm. I repeat, a Fleglet's bone has been broken!

Wanting to honor the fact that this is Eliza's story to tell, permit me to direct you the 9 + minute video we shot Friday afternoon. From one long winded female to another; I am pleased to say that Eliza's account is layered with deep detail. Her description of the pain involved is both vivid and original. Without further ado...

After that glowing endorsement, 
it's hard to imagine that you wouldn't want to listen to the entire tale. 
However, if you do find yourself short on time 
(or attention, I can't say I'd blame you), 
I recommend you catch the second half.

 As her Mother, the chief sentiment I would like to reiterate is that I am so thankful she was wearing her helmet. She always does and {hopefully} always will.

While waiting for an x-ray,
Eliza sports the homemade sling Andrew made.
The doctor was super impressed, 
he couldn't stop talking about its efficiency.
Looking at me, he asks...
"Do you know who MacGyver is, Ma'm? Cause, that's who made this sling."
"Yes" I reply. "I'm married to him."
Eliza leaves the hospital with her new cast.
A half hour later, she would get her first unreachable "itch"

and suffer a mental breakdown.  

Lottie is leading the cause of all things cheerful to help keep Eliza's spirits high.