Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Notes from the Underground

Ohhhh! Nothing melts my heart like Hannah hugging her blanket and sucking her thumb. It is so sweet when she settles down with her blankie and thumb. Yes, she sucks her thumb. Yes, I am prepared for horrible dentist bills and social outcast status. But hey, I figure even without the "bane" of thumb-sucking I might have to prepare my children for bad teeth and being the brunt of jokes. I never sucked my thumb and I wasn't exactly an All-american smile popularity queen. (Just ask my mom how many thousands of dollars she sank into my mouth. We're talking major surgery here.)

Mckenzie is already proving impossible to break of the habit. We told her her thumb would fall off if she didn't stop sucking it. This makes her very upset, but does no good. I guess we will just have to wait for it to fall off. Because we don't lie to our children.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Mckenzie!

Two days ago, I told Mckenzie that her birthday would be the next day. She immediately wanted to take a bath at 11:00 a.m. so that the day would be over (We take baths at bedtime). I didn't really mention her birthday again, and thought nothing of it. We had a regular day of excitement; I made some cupcake wands for her Joyschool friends; we let her choose some frosting for her cake, and then we went to bed at half past bedtime (8:30).

This is how the cupcake wands are supposed to look.

Here is my ghetto version. Sigh.

At 10:00 p.m. she came out, wide awake. She wanted a drink. At 11:00 she came into our bedroom. She was scared. At12:00 I heard her pretending to throw-up. At 12:30 a.m., after multiple threats of no birthday presents and a seriously ticked off version of "I am a Child of God" she went to sleep. She was so excited for her birthday. She woke up at 7:30 a.m. minus four hours of much needed sleep.
We are still trying to recover. Mike drove to school that day so that he could stay home for a breakfast of Kenzie's favorite: Fruit Loops. We have tried to entice her with pancakes and eggs, but she is a girl after her Mom's heart: Cold cereal, yeah! She even chose that for her Birthday dinner.

That night we had some of our family over for presents and cake and ice cream. Mike and I have decided to do the two party route (one for each side of the family) since our house is too small anyway.

Once again my cake skills were tested to the limits, but I don't think the birthday girl cared. I had visions of cake-splendor and even printed out some directions for them, but Mike talked sense into me, thus saving hours of stress and preserving the chance that guests would actually see the cake.

Kenzie was so happy to have all the attention and presents. She's been waiting for her birthday since her cousin Kandelyn's in Nov. She was pretty gracious too, only asking Shaelynn twice if she could have some more presents. I tried to explain why we were happy with any presents at all, but Kenzie thought I meant she needed to ask more nicely. "Please Aunt Shaelynn can I have another present?"

So she was spoiled and happy, and tired. She almost took a morning nap today. Almost.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

An epic of Odysseun proportions

The Odyssey is a long trip by Ulysses, full of peril. I tried to invent a word (it wasn't in spellcheck) in my last newspaper article, but they wouldn't let me. The editors changed it to Odysseus. So my "Odysseun feel to the event" (which is what I wrote the Xterra Winter World Championships is going to be) ended up the "Odysseus feel" or something like that. Perhaps competitors will get to touch Odysseus during their events. How annoying. Don't you think Odysseun is a good word?

So today Mike and I took on our own Odysseun epic. We climbed Malan's peak with our snowshoes. I was testing out my new Mountain Hardwear Ascent Ventigaiters, and they ended up being pretty awesome, not clumping up with snow, like my old ones did, and venting nicely when it got too hot. I like to wear shoes, instead of boots, because boots rub me wrong, and the tight elastic in the back did slip up the last half hour and let a little bit of snow in the back of my shoe. I think I just need a bigger size so they will sit a little lower on my shoe.

We forgot our camera, so we have no pictures of the awesome view and the beautiful bowl where they want to build a tram and resort and stuff. It would be so sad to turn it into a resort. But it seems inevitable. Maybe not though. They've been proposing a tram up there for 100 years now.

We were inspired to climb Malan's by this retired guy who has climbed Malan's peak every day for almost 500 days in a row. It's about 7,000 feet high, and has a gain of about 3,000 feet from trailhead to summit. We were tired of going on hikes where we never reached a destination. Although these were exciting and fun to do as a family, this was a leave-the-girls at home hike, so that way we could hike for more than 40 minutes without hearing, "I want to go home." (By leave the girls at home, I mean leave them with my mom)

When we got to the top Mike was obssesed with rolling snowballs off and walking on the cornice to see if he could fall to his death. What is it with men and rolling rocks/snowballs/danger? Maybe it is just Mike. On the way down, Mike short-cut the switchbacks (which is probably a huge no-no in the summer, but didn't seem to be bad in the snow), and I followed because it looked really fun. It was almost like skiing in some parts. We made it down in half the time it took to get up. It took us about three hours to do the whole hike.

Next time we win the lottery we want to buy randonnee ski equipment and become true backcountry folks. We figure with the exorbitant cost of ski passes, this will be the only way we can afford to daytime ski.

It was a fun hike, but we think the guy who hiked it 500 times in a row is kind of crazy. A fun kind of crazy, but still.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I love you!

This is a neat trick. I can pretend that I posted on an earlier date than I really did.

I love my little family:

I love Mike for his never-ending patience and for laughing with me

I love Mckenzie for her sweet smile and tender personality. Today we told her that if she went in the road she would be hit by a car and have to live with Heavenly Father. She was soooo sad. We felt awful. She feels sad when other people are sad. In a book of poems I have, there is a picture of a baby with only a diaper and he looks kind of lonely. She brought it to me with tears in her eyes and said, "He wants his mommy." We had to give him a pretend blanket and a real kiss. She cries in movies already. She has such a tender heart.

I love Hannah for her squinchy-face Hannah smiles, her curiousity (mmm. . . this will probably taste good) and her grouchy demands to always be standing. (She needs our help, and gets really mad when we aren't holding her up by her hands.)

Sometimes I think that Valentines Day is just a nice day for sales of roses, and I want to be one of those people who sneeze at it, but if I'm honest I love the day. After all those years of having to celebrate SAD I have someone to celebrate with, and he's perfect. Perfect for me.

Here is his version of roses (new Bose speakers for our computer, hooray!):

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sherpas are nice

How is it that my sisters got all the good looks?

Kenzie looks happy in this picture, but the only way we could convince her to not cry is to tell her the baby mooses (I'm adding this word to the dictionary) would be scared away if she wasn't quiet.
The Sherpas. That one on the left sure is cute.

For my birthday we went up to Snowbasin with Alisha, Dustin, and Shaelynn. My mom was going to come to, but she was sick. Poor mommy.

Nothing is better than doing something you love with people you love. We hiked the telephone pole trail (not sure of the official name here), and Dustin carried Hannah. Snowshoeing is a heck of a lot easier without a small child on your back. Thanks Dustin. Mike had the heavy work with Kenzie. She was ornery from staying up too late the night before.

Val and Bagel (Dan) were in town visiting so we had a small get together on Friday where we practiced our lazy parenting skills, allowing Kenzie to eat badly and stay up late. It was so good to see them, and we felt like we had kept up with them because of their good blog.

While we were hiking we saw a moose! It was our first luck with wildlife. Every time we go hiking we tell Kenzie we are going to look for animals. Usually we have to count birds as our exciting wildlife and look at holes in the ground to speculate that wildlife must be out there. So it was fun to see an actual large animal (at a safe distance of course). Last week when we were supposed to go hiking with Matt and Cristina (Kenz was sick) they saw elk and moose-- go figure.

Anyway it was a fabulous birthday and now I am older and wiser. Yes, wiser. Wiser than what I don't know. Maybe I am wiser because next time I go snowshoeing I will hire a Sherpa to carry my children. Or leave them at home (safely supervised by a caring adult).

Monday, February 4, 2008

Ackkk! Snow and sickness.

The snow this year has been enough to convince me to buy a snowblower. I must admit that before this year I thought of snowblowers as tools for decrepit, lazy people. After shoveling the driveway four times in the last week, I now know that snowblowers are for smart, industrious people who wish to save their backs.
We have so much snow! Mike and I agree that it hasn't been like this since we were kids. Shoveling aside, it is really fun. Last year we couldn't find a place to snowshoe, there wasn't enough snow. This year, we could snowshoe around our neighborhood.
Kenzie and I have played in it tons. We've built a cave in the front yard, a sled hill, and played fox and geese. Hannah is not so excited about the snow, especially since going outside involves covering her hands, so she can't grab anything and stick it in her mouth. This annoys her.

This weekend we had plans to be adventurous, and we were even going to be social to boot. Matt and Cristina were going to come with us to hike Wheeler with the kids on our backs, however Kenzie threw up an hour before we were supposed to go. She really wanted to go. She kept saying she was better, but then would lay down on her pillow and act tired. "Mom, my tummy doesn't hurt. I want to go." We wanted to share our adventure with the Pebleys, but not necessarily the stomach flu, so we called it off and spent a day at home cleaning. Bleck.

Kenzie felt fine on Sunday, but Mike started to feel queasy that night. It was a nasty night involving extensive use of the toilet. During one of Mike's "episodes" he went to check on Hannah and she had thrown up all over and was sleeping peacefully in it. Poor girl.

Today Hannah is acting fine, and Mike is feeling a little better, but my stomach is starting to feel funny. Oh no.

This week has been full of adventures that should involve a doctor. On Thursday, I was "walking" Hannah to the couch with her arms, and I heard a terrible "pop!" She started crying and then her arm fell useless at her side. She wouldn't use it for anything! I was so distressed. I called Sherrie, because Josh is a PT (by the way if you need a physical therapist, he is smart and good, so go to Rock Run PT and ask for Josh). Sherrie called Josh, and and he said she was probably okay, but he would look at her that night. In the meantime, I was still freaking out and called her doctor. She wasn’t continuously crying, just every time I tried to move her arm. They probably think that I am an abuser, since I set up an appointment and called to cancel it later. Anyway, long story short, I laid her down for a nap, and she was fine one minute later. Josh took a look at her and said that it was probably “nursemaid’s elbow,” which can be quite common, and easy to fix, unlike the alarming Web sites say.

Anyway, all is well as long as my stomach holds out and the snow stops coming.