Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Special Drink

I have a special drink. I can usually find it at Safeway for a dollar. I use it in place of dessert (sometimes). It makes me feel like I've had a treat, when really I haven't. There is no sugar or fat or even artificial sugar. It is carbonated water and a bit of lime juice. I love it. Chris doesn't. And that works out wonderfully because I can drink ALL of it and never wonder if there will be any left when I finally sit down at night to enjoy it.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Goodness gracious today and yesterday have been as different as night and day! Yesterday was possibly a perfect day, and I'm not only referring to the weather. Besides a few short tantrums Alec was happy and kind and so enjoyable, giving his brother toys when he cried and asking in that cute "happy voice" to play FILL-IN-THE-BLANK with him. Charlie was slightly fussy but still easily excitable with standing up and being "walked" around, throwing balls and giving kisses. There were too many moments I wanted to remember to write in my Happiness Journal that I can't actually focus on one long enough to fully record it: beautiful house plants, long naps, Charlie on the slide, Alec tossing the frisbee, quick and yummy leftovers, Chris playing with the kids and smiling at me, girls movie night, the stars.

Sometime during the night Alec embraced his inner Hyde. Without embellishment I can honestly say that every phrase out of Alec's mouth spoken to me (and many not directed to me) have been voiced with a cross between a whine and a guttural scream. I should mention and be grateful that at least his transformation hasn't turned physically destructive, just elusive as he twists and runs away from whatever he can tell I want him to do. Somehow I've actually managed to last all day without yelling (a feat so unusual that it must be recorded for posterity). Maybe it is because I still have some leftover happiness from yesterday. I guess, on a contemplative note, there truly must be "opposition in all things" for how could I know joy if I didn't also know misery? So here's to making it through misery.

**I actually have a wonderful picture to put with this post, but unfortunately for you its mental so I'll have to describe it. I'm standing in our kitchen with my purse on my shoulder, ready to go out the door to take the kids to the library so Alec can turn in his list of 50 new books read this summer and receive a "special surprise." I've got PB&J on my fingers since I'm half-way through making lunch for the boys to bring with us/eat immediately when we get home since I know we'll be cutting our library trip close with lunch time. I've got the gate closed off to make the sandwiches without Alec and Charlie tripping me up by clinging to my pants as they've done earlier this morning. Both Alec and Charlie are holding onto the gate jumping up and down. Alec crying about wanting to eat some cookies, Charlie throwing his head back and screaming about who-knows-what. With my clean hand I'm searching through my purse for the cell phone to take a picture of this scene as I somehow find it humorous. But I can't find it and decide to not prolong their agony by leaping over them to find the camera. Instead I open the gate and pick them up. Chris would've been so proud.** FYI - this picture is only worth 220 words, sorry you got short changed.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More from Tiff's visit

We really had a lot of fun with my sister, Tiffany and her kids. The kids had a sorta rough first day where they were getting used to the dynamics of each other but by the middle and through to the end of their visit the kids really played so well together! Especially Andrew and Alec. It was so cute to see. I even think that getting experience playing with Mary, who is 6 and is starting to develop good problem solving skills, has helped him get along better with his friends. Instead of getting in a rut and just yelling the same thing in a conflict (ie. No, lets use THIS frisbee! No, lets use THIS frisbee!) he'll be ok with switching or turn taking (ie. ok, first THIS frisbee, then that one). Not least of all the benefits of their visit, was the fun sister time. Thanks for braving the drive and single parenthood for a week, Tiffany... we loved having you. Also, let this be an idea seed to other family and friends about how fun visits to us can be! We'd love to have you ALL come. Just at different times since our apartment about exploded with the 7 of us.

We got the baby tub out so the kids could wash off their hands and feet after painting and Charlie got so excited splashing in from the side, he put caution to the wind and crawled right in by himself! It looked so fun Alec joined him before I could get his swimming suit on and being in the water with his clothes on reminded him of something we talked about that morning. Check out the video for his comment and to see Charlie's splashing enthusiasm.

We made a bed for Alec on the floor and a pack 'n play for Charlie in our room so Tiffany could use the boys' room for her and her family. Bedtime was especially cute and not as difficult as it could've been. I love Mary's expression in this picture... Chris is a wonderful storyteller.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tri for fun

Saturday my friends, sister and I did a sprint triathlon. We had a fun group. Tiffany was planning on a visit around this time and when she found out about the tri, she changed her trip to come a few days earlier and do it with me! It was so incredibly fun. I loved every minute of it. Tiff and I stayed together throughout the whole thing which made it even more fun. I most appreciated her company on the run.

The swim (400m) wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be. The water was warm and clear and people weren't swimming on top of me the whole time. The transition was fine, I had a few extra minutes to dry off before hitting the road for the 11 mile bike. I borrowed (THANKS STEPHANIE!!) a niiiiice road bike that was so much easier to ride than my cheapo Walmart mountain bike. I had a cheesy smile on my face for most of the bike section! It felt like I was flying. The transition to run was about like it was when my friend and I tried it a few weeks ago. My legs felt really heavy and stiff for the first quarter mile or so, but after that it wasn't so bad. I started getting tired and a side ache around mile 2 of the 5K run but we mustered up enough energy to sprint the last 1/2 mile or so to the finish line. I got goose bumps when Tiff and I saw Chris and ALL 5 of our kids (Mary, Andrew, Alec, Charlie and Will) cheering us on. Then we heard my friends, who had just finished 10-20 min before us, yelling for us just shy of the finish line. It was awesome to have support. We finished in 1:28. I really enjoyed myself and can't wait to do it again.

Monday, August 10, 2009

5 Years, 10 Years

This weekend was full of celebrations. Chris has had to deal with me as his wife for 5 years and also has had 10 years to try and recover from High School - not that it was too difficult for him to accomplish either of those. We were lucky enough to have Chris' parents agree to watch our boys while we had a night away, a temple trip, and a dinner/dance (which was more of a dinner than dance) with his HS cohorts. Chris will have to give more details on his high school reunion. For my part I enjoyed myself due to his witty friends and yummy food, although I REALLY wish there had been dancing as it was advertised.

I've never had so much time away from the boys in so few days. It was quite fun. We also squeezed in some swimming time with my siblings and their kids at a man made lake which was a blast despite the cold and rain. And of course, it wouldn't be a complete Utah trip without clothes shopping and eating some Bombay food, excellent as always. We didn't break out our camera even once so unfortunately we don't have pictures. I really would've liked to capture a few images like Alec's golf time in the backyard (he had some great big swings), or how the beautiful dark summer-storm clouds set off the skyline of the mountains we love so much. It was a relaxing wonderful weekend but like always, its good to be back. This week is the last week of classes and I know Professor Archibald is looking forward to being done teaching his class, despite how much he's enjoyed it. Now lets see if we can survive the post-vacation aftermath.

Chris and I on our Honeymoon