Thursday, July 29, 2010
Harris replies, "Nuh uh, cuz it would cost a hundred bucks!"
Brigden, "yeah, and we don't have a hundred bucks, huh?"
Up all night with 2 high fevered children. Are children allowed to get sick on vacation. Play video games, war with cards, watch comcast instal cable boxes for hours, Swim in the rain.
I decide to kill time to put in Nemo, one of my favorite cartoon movies. Halen asks if I'm really going to watch it. I say, yes. She replies, "cuz the kids in my school say only babies watch Nemo." "Well, I tell her go back to school and tell the kids your mom must be a baby then because she likes Nemo. I love Nemo! I think it is so heartwarming and funny. Of course, only on a kick back vacation like this would I actually sit down and watch it.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Harris, "Mom, when am I going to get an iphone?"
After watching me change Bevan's diaper, Brigden turns to Harris and nonschalantly says, "Hey, look, her private doesn't stick out like ours does." To which Harris nonschalantly replies, "Yeah, neither do other girls'."
To which we had a very brief, but blunt, discussion on the differences in the bodies of boys and girls. I remember reading the advice of many professionals to be that of 'don't avoid the topic if it is initiated by the children and their curiosity. Just be brief, honest, and give only the necessary age-appropriate information.' Well, that is just what I've tried in the past and it works quite well. They aren't embarrassed if we aren't embarassed. It seems, in my experience, they only learn embarassment from us.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I asked my Aunt JoLynn once what she thought about as she walked every morning and she said , "I pray." I found that to be such a profound idea. I've tried to make that more of my practice as I find myself alone exercising. It is such a great time to talk to my Heavenly Father and think more deeply than I do in my regular prayers. This was one of those mornings where the beauty of the outdoors made it impossible to be ungrateful for such creations.
Upon returning, we continued vacationing by hanging out in the condo and playing video games until it was warm enough to go to the pool. Then we spent the midday at the pool, returned for some relaxation in the condo, and then went to a park for a little bit. The evening was spent by dining in and loving every minute of it. While there is definitely something to eating out, I am completely content to dining in on this vacation for many reasons. It saves us the looks at our 'large' family, the money, the hassle, and the questioning of what to order on the very limited menu.
Monday, July 26, 2010
It was really fun to listen to her do her own suspenseful vocals and then tease me as to when she would poke her belly, or if she really would. She loved being in control of the tease.
We also taught them how to do a back float. Bevan was, as expected, resistant, but compliant when she found there was no way out of it. I'd say, "Ok, Bevan now we're going to breath, go under the water, and then do a back float" all the while she'd try to talk me out of it by crying until I finished the following, "Ready, Breath" and then she'd breath, I'd put her under water, bring her back up, lift her chin and hold her neck, "Look up, look up." and then lifting her chin and holding her neck in the water as she did a back float say, "A, B, C, D, E is enough."We were taught not to count because it confuses them with the original counting in the previous lessons of going under water and breathing before hand. It was always fun to watch her comply in the back float and seem to hate it, but then come up with a huge smile. Such a huge smile that we all couldn't believe how happy she was compared to how unhappy she seemed as she "complied" in her back float.
One of my all-time favorite moments with Bevan was during swimming lessons this year. I love to recall this moment because it completely defines her personality without having to say much.
Each time we would teach them a new skill we would show them the skill beforehand. The skill I was trying to demonstrate to Bevan was blowing bubbles under water using your nose.I demonstrated the skill and she giggled immediately upon seeing the bubbles under water. She loved it so much that she decided she needed to see it again, much to my surprise. When I told her it was her turn, I said, "Ready 1, 2, 3, Breath" and then I went to put her face under water. She was stronger then I, given my ignorance, and she pushed my face into the water with her hand instead of putting her own face in.
One of the last things Bevan learned was to jump into the pool with Mommy nearby. I held her hand the first many times, but then near the end she would do it by herself. It was so fun! I can't say that enough. Such a change from the other water fears we've encountered as a family over the last 5 years. The skill we worked on was jumping into the water....
after breathing of course, ....
lifting her head up as she came to the surface of the water,
floating on her back...A, B, C, D, E is enough, and then....
I wonder if being on vacation is more fun or more work and honestly, I think it's both. My children really aren't used to "being on vacation" and relaxing. They couldn't sit still all morning at the thought of swimming and doing something in glorious Aspen, Colorado. Yes, we built it up to be more than it probably is, but compared to our usual non-vacationing lifestyle, anywhere is a step up.
After cleaning all messes up, we finally began to prep for the pool. The kids were so excited! We ended up spending 4 hours at the pool and it was so great to watch them enjoy themselves and dare to swim instead of our usual sit on the steps of the pool and listen to Mom beg them to get their heads wet. They had fantastic swimming lessons this year again (Thanks Angie!) and they continue to drastically improve our swimming life!
When we returned, the kids asked for snacks and at first I wanted to give them something healthy, but then reminded myself we were on vacation and it would be ok for once to just give them unhealthy flavored refined carbs. So I gave them some Cheezits, turned on cartoons and watched them immediately get sucked in. Wow! The power. I should be less healthy more often. It really does have it's perks.
The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent with a family trip to the pool and then a drive to Aspen for some dinner. To save money, we opted to bring all of our food with us and dine in most nights, but since we needed groceries we headed to town for a rare evening dining out.
I was shocked to see what a different type of place Aspen is compared to Park City. It was very small and downscale in comparison. It's the same type of city, given the ski resorts and outdoor appeal, but there are hardly any family priced restaurants. Hardly any restaurants to begin with. We chose a BBQ joint and were seated only to find many people staring at our "large & different" family. I'm sure the fact that our family with 4 children and 2 young parents is quite a phenomenon to most of these people. Regardless of the many questioning looks, there were a few very pleasant gentlemen who befriended our children and were accepting of our differences. Having lived in Utah most of my life, I forget what it's really like outside of Utah, especially for young mormon families. I wouldn't change it for anything, but it sure makes for interesting trips to different places.
After packing from 10 - 12 last night, Dave and I awoke early to finish the process and head onto the road for a long drive to Aspen, Colorado. Dave had to come for a business trip and so we figured the kids and I would tag along. It was a great deal since it was a business trip we were able to vacation for basically FREE. What a blessing!
We were quite excited to find that our planning ahead had really benefited us as we drove off only an hour after waking up. It was one crazy busy hour, however. I'm also learning with each driving trip how to travel in a car with many kids scrunched in small spaces. We've come to realize over the last few years that we purchased a very small minivan. This wasn't a problem when we purchased it years ago, but now that the kids are growing, it's becoming a problem. There is still one seat available, but the back seat just isn't big enough for 3 carseats, even though it claims it's big enough for 3 people. Quite a difference!!! After much shifting and strategizing, Dave and I figured out the optimal seating arrangement, taking into consideration issues such as these:
1. Harris and Brigden can't sit by each other because they cannot seem to get along without teasing or being crazy for more than 1-2 minutes.
2. Everyone needs to be able to see the DVD player since we only have one working portable player and it has to strapped from each headrest of the front seats.
3. There is not sufficient storage space in the back of the van, so we need to remove a seat from the middle in order to store 2 storage totes and a cooler full of food.
As I read these issues back to myself, it sure doesn't seem like a lot to worry about, but it's amazing how much it really is when you're in the thick of it.
Well, once we figured it all out and were on the road..I realized the many errors we made in our departure: leaving totes in the front yard, milk that will go bad while we're away, overdue library books that need to be returned, and leaving our front door unlocked. I made a phone call to my saving grace and friend Angie Wood who graciously accepted my request to fix all of them and returned my attention to the beginning of our family vacation.
The drive was actually a very peaceful one. The kids watched movie after movie. We were able to answer the frequently repeated question, "When will we be there?" in terms of how many more movies they had to watch until we were there. Although I'm not a huge fan of sticking my kids in front of a tv, there is just something to be said for a dvd player on road trips. It's a major life saver! Especially when the kids just can't get out and roll around like the good old days! We've also learned in the past to only give out snacks in small portions and at designated snack times (like every 1.5 hours or so) because of the major mess they make with them as they eat. This was also very helpful.
Over the past 8 years I've become accustomed more quickly to the children and the patience necessary in working with them than Dave merely because of proximity as a mother, but I was very impressed with his patience with their constant needs, messes, and requests. More importantly because road trips with whiny kids just aren't his forte and therefore I was very impressed that he took it all in stride and managed to maintain a cheerful attitude the entire day! It ended up being as good as it could be with 4 little ones stuck in a small minivan for 8 hours during the middle of a hot July day driving in the dessert.
One of my favorite moments was when we were coming upon Spanish Fork and Harris asked,
"Mom, where are we now?"
"We are in Spanish Fork."
"Do they speak English here?"
To which Dave and I couldn't help but laughing as we replied, "Yes" and wondered how is it that he didn't already know the answer to that question. I guess we failed to ever actually inform him in his 6 years of life that the language he speaks is English. He knows it's not Japanese and Spanish, but I guess that wasn't enough. At least now he knows it is English.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Brian, Kazuko, and their children live in Japan so it is a rare and special occassion for us to be able to have them visit. We absolutely love and look forward to their visits. The cousins love being together when they get the opportunity.
Brandon (B & K's son), Justin (B & K's son), Harris, Brigden, Halen, Jonah (N & J's son), Elisabeth (N & J's daughter), Jasen (N & J's son), and Rachel (B & K's daughter.)
The kids were great candy catchers, well, except for Brigden. He begged for Dave to help him the entire parade because he was so intimidated by all the floats and parade participants. At least they had fun.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Grandma Tammy worked very hard on this event, as you can see in the picture below, by preparing tea party food, placecards, hats, flowers, etc.
Halen, Nikaila, and Marissa. My brother Corbin's daughters. It's rare I can get a picture with these wild and crazy girls sitting so still since and pretty since usually they are all over the place having so much fun together.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Baskets for of laundry to be folded.
Cleaning supplies to be sorted through and organized.
Odds and Ends to be put away.
Rotating of clothing for each child and their upcoming new school year clothes.
2 Very Large piles of necessary mending. I’m running out of clothes due to these growing piles.
A basket full of ironing.
But instead…praying Dave will forgive me for not having any ironed clothing; I accomplished...
Cheering Harris on as he independently jumped off the diving board for the first time ever.
And who would ever want to miss out on a giggly smily charmer like this?
Halen showing off her back float.
What a fantastic day at the pool!
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Dave has been a fisherman his entire life and over the last few years has dreamed of taking his own sons fishing as his dad did for him. Just recently has this dream become a reality since his boys have become more manageable due to their age.
Harris has been asking for quite a while to go fishing with Dad and has wondered when it would be his turn. When Harris and Brigden were told a week ago that they were going to be going fishing with their Dad in a few days, they couldn't have been more excited. It was all they could talk about for the week before they went.
They all got up early to go and had no problems doing so. They even woke Halen up due to their screaming with joy just outside their bedroom early that morning. She said to me, "Mom, they were so excited they just sat and cheered and jumped in the hallway. I woke up and heard them and realized what they were doing, said to myself, 'those silly boys,' and then closed my eyes and went back to sleep." She said it, "those silly boys."
I must also admit, however, what an amazing blessing it was for all the boys to go fishing. All morning long, Halen and I just smiled at each other because we were able to be in our own home so calmly, quietly, and happily without those silly boys. It was so peaceful! Halen and I both agreed the boys should go fishing as much as they want!
Upon return, Brigden and Harris excitedly announced they caught 11 fish. Brigden caught the biggest one at the age of 4 and they threw all of them back into the water. They loved it and I am so pleased! I'm also grateful Dave had fun with his new fishing buddies!
Friday, July 16, 2010
This one below is by far my favorite! What a wonderful mother/son moment. I'll never forget it! I love him dearly! It felt so great to have him so happy to have me with him.
What a blessing to have this tornado of joy in our lives! We love him dearly!
She is a wonderful loving child and usually content, but those frequent occurances where she wants what she wants and she doesn't get it can be quite piercing to the ears. She yells as loud as she can and we all cover our ears. We've been working on educating her on better (and quieter) manners, but in the meanwhile she's our little bold beauty!
Here she is with our sweet, submissive, and kind Halen. You can almost just see the difference in their personalities in their faces.
This is one of my favorites. Bevan is basically Dave's female clone. It's amazing how much she resembles him in his baby pictures. I love this picture because she is seriously crying and yelling at me because I won't let her have Mountain Dew. Will someone please tell her she's not even 18 months old yet. It's probably what Dave would look like if I tried to take his Mountain Dew away from him. So ironic and yet so perfect that his clone would be so angry that she couldn't have his favorite drink.
Strangely, she is an amazing helper. She loves to pick things up and is frequently found putting chairs back under the counter, wiping down furniture, or cleaning up messes. Here she is dusting the end table and not even under my direction. She wanted to do it all on her own after seeing her brothers and sister cleaning and found the rag all by herself to do so.
Just the other day I found her putting sunscreen all over herself in the front room on the carpet and was very frustrated upon finding the excess on the carpet. She immediately sensed my frustration and ran and grabbed a rag to clean up her mess. I was amazed at her initiative, not so amazed at her thoughtless mess. She was quite frustrated when I wouldn't let her clean all of it up on her own.