Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer perfection

We've been having a little bit of summer perfection over here. Not every moment, but glimpses here and there. Lately I have had the feeling to stop and enjoy the moment I am in. The very moment--it's the only thing that is real. The past is a memory, the future an aspiration, only now is now. So I have tried to think more in the moment and savor little things. Like a drive to Kneader's on Saturday night (half off after 8, yes I am there every week! I think the staff hates me). I was by myself listening to an upbeat song, feeling the wind blow over the slightly down window, watching the fleeting sunlight on the most amazing mountains. I do really truly love the mountains in Switzerland--probably my favorite place on earth, but my favorite have to be the ones I get to adore every single day. How lucky am I to live in such a beautiful place. And each season brings its own joy on those mountains and even this weird weather year has made them green and lush for much longer than usual. Anywho and in this moment I hear the buzzing of machines behind me and that's it besides my typing fingers. And you know, that has its own rewards, how blessed am I to work in such a lovely quiet place where I get chances to reflect. And how nice is it once in a while to not have children screaming or dogs barking? But I admit as much as I enjoy the restfulness here (when it isn't busy of course) there's nothing as sweet as rocking my baby to sleep or kissing my boys tucked in their beds. I miss them every night I work--not that I regret working--but I miss them. And that handsome hunk of a man who is manly enough to be home, who after reading to his boys from their scripture books tucked them in and then gently snuggled his adored little girl until she was ready for sleep. And then who will do the dishes, play with the puppies, and maybe even fold the laundry before crashing exhausted into bed. I don't know anyone who could be more blessed than I am. I am literally crying thinking about it. I love my Lowell.
Wow, I will never get to dinner time if I don't move this along. Just some things I have been mulling over. That along with the trials of some friends who have little ones who are struggling or who have already returned to our Father in Heaven--I am reminded to love my littles for every moment, good and bad.
So we have been busy busy and I couldn't find my camera for half of it. Sheesh! Lame mom. Here are a few shots from t-ball this year:
Carter chilling in the outfield
And up at bat
D's big swing
And waiting in the in-field. This year they are the Gators and have the best coach ever. Seriously this guy rocks. He must be exhausted after every game, he has so much energy and is amazing at keeping the kids in line. And he has taught them in unique ways and has great ways of keeping them involved in the game. They have been getting better too, they have decent little arms and had a couple really good hits the last game. Big thanks to my friend Tara who has covered for me at work a few times so I could go to the games. She rocks too! They are doing better with focusing during the games too and I think they have had fun.
Last week the boys had a day camp at the Legacy Center every day--that was the biggest busy point because adding it to any other day just got a bit crazy, but also fun. They had a super hero day, pirate day, they climbed the rock wall, and did some cooking. They also had a water fun day in the park and scored a hat, apron, and backpack. Their friends A&A went too and I heard nothing but good reports from the kiddos. No complaints at all.
Tuesday we had a play date with a friend I hadn't seen in 4 years I think! Jillian and her triplets were in town and while I have been an avid blog followers I hadn't seen those kiddos in so long--and in real life they were so big. We played at Lyndsie's house and the kids had a great time and came back wanting Squinkies (we got a few Marvel ones and they were all the rage, for a week or so).
We saw Lyndsie and more of our twin friends on Wednesday as well at the splash pad in Spanish Fork. First time we had been to play, I think I like the Highland one better though SF's has a great playground attached too. Either way, good times and it was fun to play and to visit.(Photo credits to Jess, thanks!)

Thursday we had a cooking class and the boys did better than the last time--it was fun and the rootbeer float cake was delicious. I was totally surprised, but they made and ate and enjoyed tuna fish finger sandwiches as well. May have to add that into our lunch menu.
Friday we met up with Whitney and her kiddos for a pirate day at Thanksgiving Point, that was so fun. They hung out with a "real" pirate, made hats, played games, got face painted (Carter had a mustache and beard, it was awesome--I need to get the picture from Whitney), and then looked for the treasure chest in the museum and found it scoring themselved some gold dubloons. They were so excited about finding the treasure that I had a hard time keeping them where I knew where they were, but it was still fun. Thanks to Whitney for the pic.

And the new Notion of Motion exhibit was awesome. I adore the Exploratorium in San Francisco and they have been loaning exhibits to the dino museum. I just love these kinds of exhibits and so do the kids. My favorite was how many parents were busy playing on their own while their kids were trying other things. I was one of them!
Then last weekend we had a t-ball game and then went for a nice hike. Buffalo Peak was blocked again-grrr, so we tried the Big Spring trail also up Provo canyon. We didn't go the full length of the hike (5 miles round trip I think) but found a lovely place along the way and called it good.

Throwing rocks in the water
On a bridge that crossed the stream, they are apart because there was a huge spider web with the spider hanging out watching us that spanned the space between the 2.
At the little pool we found
See what I mean about summer perfection--see the video (turn up the sound). Just my little family splashing in this pool, listening to the water rushing by. The scenery was fantastic, the water cool, the sun warm. We were all happy. Ahhh.

Back home again the boys spent some time in the pool while I got a nap. They love drying off on the patio, and catching bugs (a grasshopper in the container).
On to this week--Monday the bubbas saw the dentist. It took longer than it ever has, but the 3 kiddos still did pretty well. The boys had no cavities and their teeth looked great except that they are grinding them. The dentist felt the teeth would be fine though until the new ones come in. Probably won't be until Carter is 7 when his dark tooth will fall out. Then we all spent some time at WalMart and surprisingly, they did pretty well.

Tuesday Hillary joined us for a visit to 7 peaks and it was heaps better than the last visit. It wasn't busy at all, about as good as I have seen it. The kids played all around and Claire was so happy splashing and hanging out in her tube. We all got a little sun and I was just so happy to have had such a good day.

Then yesterday was just a little nuts. We had reading class in the morning (Claire and I swapped out library books) then picked the kids up a little early for a Animals and Water class at the Central Utah Water Conservancy Garden. It was way fun--a tortoise, skunk, boa constrictor, bunnies, hedge hog (super cute!), chinchilla, cockatoo--we got to pet each one and learn about where they live and how they conserve water. We all had a blast (Claire was less happy about not getting to crawl around than the others, but mostly happy). Then we hit up the buy 1 get 2 free sale at Toys R Us (woot!), got some donuts and headed to our library class. A&A were there this time and the boys were wild. Maybe it was good they weren't together the rest of the classes though I enjoyed visiting with Reva. The class was fun though and so was the craft (foil punched pictures) and since it was the last class the boys got to spin the wheel twice (they both got movie tickets and Costa Vida kids meals--there are a lot of options on that wheel, I can't figure out how they both spun that!) and then got to get a book for doing their reading all 6 weeks. What a great program, I think we'll go again next year. Home again Claire and I caught a little nap:

Cutest darn baby bum--before heading out to Hollywood Connection:

Hey guys, I want to play!

It was great--pretty much dead. The last time I went it was so busy and they have a lot of summer promotions so I was expecting a mad house but there was no wait on anything. Weds afternoons must be the trick. They did all the rides they wanted (except mini-golf) even though we only had an hour to do it in. Yea! Then we were off to the Days of '47 rodeo!

Cowgirl Claire

Rob, Michelle, and Mr. C came along too--and Dinda. We all had fun. It wasn't too long (good for crazy allergic me) and the kids were rowdy but not terrible. Oy, the bullriding scares me to death! The kids had fun though. Rodeo, check.

We didn't get to bed until almost 11--it was a full day! We slept in this morning (9:30) and then went to the gym but Claire wasn't having it so we went home early. Poor thing was all blotchy from crying so much, she was fine when I left. I may not take her for a while, I hate to think of her so upset. She recovered over lunch though:

LOL, this little girl loves to eat! She has been such a busy busy baby. She is into everything now--especially the dog food and water. She is jabbering up a storm now and Lowell and I love her little voice. I almost think she is starting to make words, last night dropped her toy, put her 2 hands up and said, "oh". And today she grabbed a Donald duck toy and said, "Heydo" (like Hello). I don't know probably a stretch. She is crawling so fast now too and wants to be wherever I am. She is also starting to screech if she doesn't get her way. She is a handful already--and 10 months old now, as of yesterday. Sigh.

Anywho, I hope you are all also enjoying some summer perfection. This really has been the "best summer ever" as my boys would say. And more to come--next week we are going to Snowbird and then rafting and camping. I can't wait.

P.S. Thanks to Hillary and Todd for watching the kiddos so we could go out to dinner (IHOP) and to see the new Pirates. We liked it, our #2 for the series. Also of note for Lowell and I--we got to have a couple of great take out date nights and go to Shakey's once as well, even though it isn't our favorite pizza.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer has arrived (and is passing too quickly!)

I seriously did back to school shopping today. That is both scary and uncool. Well the deals were cool or I wouldn't have been doing the shopping, but how can school be looming on the horizon already? It seems like I was just plotting out the summer, calculating what activities would be best and how to occupy the munchkins and now their first activity is already over. There is still LOTS of stuff coming up, but I just can't believe how quickly it is passing by and how soon my teeny baby boys will be kindergarteners. Sigh. Not going to think about it.
The heat has arrived, shortly after my last post the heat really turned on and it started to feel like summer. That's part of why it is going so fast I think, the first part didn't feel like summer yet. And some of our hikes are still blocked by snow/mud. Stop stalling my summer mother nature. Oh and please let the "monsoons" pass--I had all the humidity I wanted in Florida, I want my dry heat back.
Anyway, it has been a busy few weeks since I last wrote. I have been such a blog slacker lately, I find myself sitting at my desk at work putting off both exercising and blogging. And yet I walked the track 5-6 days since I last wrote, so even exercising it winning out. Lame, I really want to keep this for a great journal since my memory is mush, so I need to get back on the ball. The last few weeks the boys have had a reading class on Mondays and Wednesdays, art day camp Tuesdays and Thursdays, library class on Wednesdays, cooking class every other Thurs, plus some park play groups, some play dates, and trips to the gym. Oh, and good old fashion playing in the backyard. Reading class has been okay, they aren't fighting me on it as much I thought they would, so they must be making it fun for them. And I see some skills improving. And it's free, I would never complain. While they are there I like to jump in the library and swap out more books. Can you believe I have never picked up kids books at the library?! We love books, but I have just bought them all. It's been fun to try out new authors without the price tag. We've enjoyed the How do Dinosaurs . . .books and a Splat the cat and Froggy book. And more Dr. Seuss and Curious George, fantastic classics. Art camp was so much fun, there are a number of pics of their creations. What a sweet teacher to spend the time with them doing so much fun stuff. It ended today and I am bummed already. Library class they bark about every week but like it once they get there. And extra bonus they get to spin a wheel for being read to (yea for the library books) and win treats and prizes. Great way to encourage a love of reading (I even enjoy the books they are read. The theme is One World, Many stories and we have learned about lots of countries and sang songs and made crafts--I love it). Cooking class wasn't great the first time we actually made it there. They like to cook, but they also like to screw around. And play groups with the twin club have been fun, they have enjoyed each time we have gone. Play dates have been super fun too, mostly with my cousin and her kiddos. And the gym, it is the most skipped activity on my summer schedule (except for 7 peaks, we need to go back but I don't want to juggle 3 kids alone so we haven't yet) but we did go (to the gym) today. I hate dropping Claire off, I'll admit it and I have been exercising so much outside that I am dragging my feet for the inside work outs. But I pay a lot of money (won't be renewing) for the membership so I push myself to use it. There's the summary, here's the pics:

Goofing off in the backyard, they were so pleased with themselves that they climbed up there.

How twins play basketball

Father's Day was fun at our house. Lowell got his traditional photo tie (I love artscow!) and a new wii game plus some treats made at art camp from the bubbas. I made a great breakfast (if I say so myself) of crepes with fresh fruit and eggs with ham. I brought some up to my dad as well. Then we had a great steak dinner at home. We have almost finished up the steak we got from a 1/6th of a cow, which is seriously depressing because it has been so good.

I was washing Nutrigrain bar out of Claire's hair the other day and it was curling, so I grabbed some gel and hair spray and this was the result:

Maybe she'll have a little curl? My mom has curly hair and my sister/brother (when he had hair) so I am hopeful. I just think it would be fun. Not tight curls but maybe long ringlets. One can hope. I am mostly excited just to have more hair finally. Claire is sporting a pony most days now and I even did pigtails for the 4th. She hates me messing with it by the way but I have been told you have to train them to get used to it if they'll ever tolerate their hair being done.

An art class creation, they made bandanas and clown pants out of old jeans, their teacher did the face painting. I absolutely adored it!

They made wanted posters that day too, a whole wild west theme.

Proof I am a bad mommy, here is my 9 month old sweetie, chowing down on Cheetos. She got a hold of some on a plate and went nuts on them. She was clapping them together and squealing and yelling if she didn't get another. I haven't bought more since, but I wanted to record her obsession with Cheetos for posterity.

The alpine loop finally opened so we went for a drive up to Cascade Springs. Such a lovely easy walk. And with a little soda bribe, I even got some great shots of the bubs. Sister would not be bribed.

My fav of the bunch.

The pool is up and running. I have only been in once and it was freezing! But I have been told it is very nice now so I'll have to try it out again sometime. Claire was pretty unsure at first, especially because it was so cold, but she was having fun by the end. The boys are just in and out of it non-stop. I love that I asked them not to get their clothes wet (i.e. don't get in the pool) so I look over and they are just swimming naked. Ahh to be 5.

We have a tradition of driving to Evanston, WY to get firebooms. I have never made the trip with Lowell and the kids but this year I was off so I went along. And this year we were actually buying fireworks that are indeed legal here now but they were still cheaper there with a much better selection, especially of kid novelty fireworks. We got the kids a Redbox and had a nice chat enjoying a lovely view while we drove. After acquiring said firepower we went for a walk along the very high rushing Bear River:

Then checked out the McDonald's and its Play Place, one of the coolest I have seen--those are saddles the kids sit on while they are eating, the play house was a big cabin, and there was a TV on the wall in the bathroom. We also got Lowell's fav, Wally burgers.

My little missy is 9 months old now and changing so quickly. She really is just coming to life. Crawling has changed her perspective of the world and she is all over the place. 6 teeth have changed the way her face looks too, seriously she's a whole other baby all of a sudden. My newborn is long gone. She is 50th percentile for weight and 85th for height. She's about to grow out of her infant car seat due to height. The boys moved out of theirs at 15 months even though they had not quite made the height or weight limits. Such an odd child I tell you! Developmentally she is doing great, right at or above age level. She jabbers all the time and the other day I swear she said Mama and knew what she was saying. I was walking away and she was crying and crawling after me calling, "Mama". Broke my heart, I was off to work at the time. She has been fighting sleep a lot lately which is annoying, but she's fairly pleasant most of the time otherwise. Crawling has really made her happier, she loves to explore and get where she wants to be, which is generally at my feet waiting to be picked up. She loves the dogs and the kitty (who has moved on, I miss him! I knew he was a temporary friend and I am glad he found a better home with some of our friends, but I do miss the mischievous thing) and her brothers. She doesn't care much for strangers, her carseat, being put down, or sleeping. And she loves to eat--pretty much everything. She'll still let us spoon feed her but she will eat most of what we are eating at each meal too. And she is nursing well still, I am trying to keep my milk up--2.5 months to go (at least!). I do enjoy that time we have even if she is pinching, kicking me most of the time. She still looks at me with the, "I love you Mommy, thanks for making my milk" eyes and it is all worth it. Speaking of, off to pump--I won't miss that in a few months.

K, success--I am going to make my quota today, i.e. as much milk as the baby is drinking. Luckily I still have milk in the freezer to cover the days I don't make it, but I am power pumping and taking fenugreek to make that stash last until 1 year. Who knew it would be harder to make enough milk for 1 baby than it was for 2? Anyway, here is that gorgeous baby, I think she is the cutest at 9 months as she's ever been. 6 months was my favorite for the boys, I think 9 months is for Claire (so far!).

She learned to crawl this way with skirts/dresses, she does hands and knees, or hands and 1 knee, 1 foot too.

Yep, the boys love swimming:

And snuggling up after, thanks J&B for our snuggly blankies. Spoiled boys had a good day that day, I brought them lunch on the couch and they chowed watching Spongebob. I wonder if I could trade lives with them for a day?

4th of July crafts from art camp

We hiked to Grotto falls with the twin club, that was fun. I did 3 kids hiking by myself too, go me. Well, I was there with several friends and we all looked after each other's kids but you know what I mean. Claire did great in the backpack--she is not asleep in the shot below, but was later.

Twin kiddos, the boys really did have a great time with these friends. The darling older set of girls the boys decided they are going to marry. Carter chatted about it all the way home, and how C was going to sleep in the room next to his and have a Tinker Bell room while he would have a Star Wars the Clone Wars room. Such a funny boy. Of course on the 4th they married their cousins, so not sure how much of a committed relationship it was! Who knew 5 year olds would be so girl crazy!

4th of July official photos:

I am in love with the boots--they are for going to the rodeo, but I thought they could do double duty. :)

Love her eyes, even if I still can't decide their color. They are brownish in the middle and bluish on the outside. Hazel maybe?

Handsome Carter, with decidedly brown eyes, they both have warm brown eyes and I love them even if my genes have played such a small role with them--I think I get ears, eye shape, and toes.


They are in to saluting lately, I don't know why, but cute shot.

All my loves--not an easy shot to get, but I'll take it!

4th of July desserts for Saturday. We had a whole celebration on the Saturday before the 4th with my family and then again on Monday the 4th with Lowell's fam. The kids thoroughly enjoyed the fireworks (Claire was already in bed) and the traditional popsicles. It was fun to legally set off aerials and to see so many from our view point. They were going all around us, it was quite the show. The dogs were inside freaking out unfortunately, July is hard for Max and Oscar.

So, that is as far as I have uploaded pics so far, more to come! Until then, here is some Claire, just being her cute self--I was trying to catch her stealing watermelon out of the bowl as I cut it, but I liked what I got anyway.