Sunday, May 27, 2007

Our Memorial Camp-Out

We had our first camping trip of the year on Friday nite. It went better than last year's camping adventures - then I had to wake up every 2 hours and feed a screaming Jonas. This year I had to wake up about every few hours - but this time I only had to locate the moaning/crying child (either Jonas of Miles, of course), then feel around for the blanket, then locate the sleeping bag, then put all 3 back together again. Then all was quiet for another 2-3 hours. It wasn't bad.

I'll narrate the rest of the trip with our pictures:

Miles was so anxious to help Ben get the fire started. It's all he could say when we got there: "Let's make the fire, Dad. Let's make the fire, Dad." And on and on. He was a great helper by gathering up dried pine-needles.

Here is the Big Boy finally roasting his hot-dog. He ended up burning it and so that one was given to Ben to eat. (One of the many things dads are good for!) He then cooked another one. He ate the entire bun-part before he ate the hot-dog. The kid is pretty near being a vegetarian. I have to bribe him to eat meat. Crazy kid.

Jonas DID NOT want to wait and cook his hot dog. He wanted it right then and there! That's Jonas for ya! He was okay once we gave him the bun - he sat quite content in his chair then.

After dinner we went down to the water and fished and threw rocks. Ain't he a good lookin' fisherman??? I defnitely think so.

We both caught a fish here. There was Ben's Sunday lunch (he loved it, he says). I love the other picture b/c Miles is all blurry b/c he was SO excited about the fish, jumping all up and down (Miles, not the fish)! Last time we fished he wouldn't touch the thing. This time he touched it, poked its eyeballs out, and carried it the whole way back to our campsite. He told Ben that he could not cook it b/c "I need him." Sorry kiddo.

Rise 'n Shine. Miles let us sleep in until a lovely. . . 6:30. Nice. He did good for a little bit and came in the sleeping bag with me - that lasted for about 5-10 minutes. Then his whispers became loud "Wake up, Jonas!" "Wake up, Jonas." Jonas did wake up and by the looks and sounds of it he wasn't too pleased about it. :)

After breakfast we went on a little "hike" down by the river. It's a really beautiful area - I think almost any area is beautiful when it has a river. The weather was perfect for us.

We had to "check-out" of our campsite by noon, so after we had packed all up we went to check out another lake - about an hour from us. So we went there, weren't totally impressed by the area, but did some more fishing. Ben and I both got another one and then we headed back home.

It was a really great family camp-out. On the way home Miles kept telling us not to go home and to go back to the campsite. He told us some "naughty people came by and knocked down our house, so we can't go back." He would tell us this over and over and over. (But don't worry, his toys were okay - they just had "fallen out of the house, but [were] not broken.") I was able to convince him that we would go and check on the house - if it was knocked down we could go back to the campsite. If it wasn't, we'd go inside. We slept quite well that nite. . . in our beds.

Two Peas in a Pod

I love it when the boys do things "together." Well, more like side-by-side. It's so cute to me. And it goes both ways - Miles will do what Jonas does, and Jonas will often do what Miles does.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Proof is in the Pudding. . .

so i decided that since my blog is also my journal/scrapbook, i should document some of me during my pregnancy. so here is splendid me at almost 25 weeks pregnant:

now i did not post this picture for the following reasons:

1. to get comments like, "oh you look great!" or "you're not fat!" blah, blah, blah.

2. nor did i post it to get comments like (gasp), "oh, ummmm, i see what you mean," or "yeah, you're looking a little hefty there" blah, blah, blah.

so please refrain.

but now the big question - why is my tongue sticking out????

well it's in honor of the newest member of my extended family: Bruno the Pug. he belongs to my sis Erin and bro-in-law, Chuck.

ain't he a cutie!? and his tongue is ALWAYS like that, i guess! too funny. so we're excited for little bruno and can't wait to meet him! :)

Thursday, May 17, 2007


well i just have some random things to write about, nothing in particular.

ben and i and family had a good past weekend. we went to utah to run our 3rd Annual Maxwell Family Provo River 10K. okay, it's not called "Maxwell Family," but is the Provo River 10k. the first year we ran with miles in a stroller and i was about 2-3 months pregnant with jonas. the 2nd year ben pushed miles and i pushed jonas in separate strollers. and this year ben got to push the 2 kiddos in the double-stroller, while i lugged around baby grassy.

it was another fun run in the beautiful provo canyon. but it was the hardest one for me - i'm just slow now. and i've found out why: not only am i pregnant, but i am also FAT. it's true. i just had my appointment today to confirm that diagnosis. i weigh A LOT - with ben losing weight and me gaining it, we seriously might catch one another. I HOPE NOT. the nurse measured me (my belly) and told me my measurement was right on target - 24 1/2 (and i am exactly 24 1/2 weeks along!). i told her, "great, then i'm just getting fat in other parts of my body." she just laughed, and i just wanted to cry. :) just kidding, kind of. . .

anyways, back to the run. the kiddos did about the worse they've ever done in the stroller. we had about 1 1/2 miles of screaming, crying, throwing toys at each other (miles and jonas, not ben and myself), etc. but then they calmed down and had a fine time. considering things they really did fantastic, just their own "personal worst." hehe.

the worse thing about the race, though???? after the race we asked some nice man to take our picture - all 4 of us. he claimed to have taken 2 pictures. and what happened - nothing! we have no pictures from that man! i was so mad and sad when we got in our car. i'll now check my digital photos taken by other individuals as soon as i get the camera in my hand. sheeesh. i can understand messing up once, but twice? really.

we had a fine mothers' day, too. my mom is a dandy and made a yummy dinner for us - so i actually didn't have to do anything and my mom had to do everything. some things never change. . . although since i have kids, the same holds for them - they never have to do anything while i get to do everything. oh the joys of motherhood, right mom?!

so it was a great weekend.

now we're back in the swing of things and trying to get our garden planted this week. here are some pics of us working, and playing of course, in the backyard:

having fun in the wheelbarrow!

jonas getting some practice in so he can challenge his brother in the 2nd annual Tour de Grass (miles was our only contestant last year, so it should be a real good race this year).

busy bees. ben weeding and hoeing rows. miles picking up rocks in his trusty wheelbarrow. and jonas? dumping pulled weeds back in the garden! good work team.

the start of something beautiful, we hope! so there are the hills - hopefully we'll plant the seeds and plants tomorrow. the green plants already there are strawberries. we've already seen a few little green berries starting to grow, so hopefully we'll get a bunch.
alrighty, enough for now.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Ode to Mothers

Since it is close to Mothers' Day Weekend I thought I'd say a little something on the matter. Now, I'm not sure any of it will make sense, but I'll give it a go.

I'm reading "The River Why" (again) by David James Duncan. It's a crazy, weird book and seems even crazier and weirder the 2nd time around. Anyways, I was reading this one chapter and a couple of the paragraphs really reflected to me on some of the essense of motherhood.

In this chapter the narrator was describing how one winter he had to go out and try to sell Christmas cards to his neighbors. He didn't want to do it, but had to. One day he was out and realized it was almost time for his favorite TV program, "Gadabout Gaddis Show" to come on. He was on his bike, and thus began to pedal home very quickly.

"I remembered why I'd never bicycled down that side of the street before. . . I peeked toward the backyard: the Doberman hung high above the fence, its insane eyes rivetted to my ten-year-old flesh. When its feet struck earth it let out a Baskerville howl that turned my brians to cottage cheese. Blind and sick with panic, I set my crummy bike pedals whirring like an egg beater, hoping like any terrified young coyote to make it home to the proetection of my ferocious mother. . . I plowed straight into the curb, caving in my front rim, but clung somehow to the lurching bike, crossing our yard now and screaming 'MAAAAA! MAAAAA!' Then the Doberman sprang, hit my shoulder and sent me sprawling like a gunned jackrabbit. I curled instinctively into a ball, waiting for the beast to gut me, so drunk with horroor I thought I only imagined the explosion in my ears. But when the attack never came I uncurled just enough to see what delayed it. The Doberman lay quivering and jerking on the lawn a few feet away, its eyes rolled back, its tongue lolling out and turning gray, a hole in its chest the size of a cantaloupe. I squinted toward the house. There stood Ma, twelve-gauge still smoking and the wildest green-eyed grin I'd ever seen on her face. She said, 'Got'm.'"

So first case in point on moms is SURVIVAL. Not for ourselves, however, but for our young and relatively defenseless. We hear all the times of selfless, brave mothers risking their lives to save their kiddos' lives. There is almost nothing a mom wouldn't do to help one of her children in danger - not only physical, but also emotional, mental, etc.

Later in the chapter it reads:

"Ma's account of how she happened to be in the yard with her shotgun at the very moment the Doberman attacked was quite simple: she reasoned that since Gadabout Gaddis' show had started I'd be hurrying, that in my hurry I might forget the Doberman, that hurrying children were its favorite prey, and that the world would be a better place without the Doberman; so she jumped up from the TV, grabbed the shotgun (it's always loaded), heard the tires and me shrieking as she rounded the house, took aim and squeezed the trigger. . . "

So another case in point. This mother wasn't just sitting at home while her boy was out and mindlessly watching TV. No way. Maybe the TV was on but where were her thoughts? On her boy, of course! No matter how far a mom is, in the mental or physical sense, she is never ever ever far from her children. Never. Sure there are moments when it's just you and you revel in it, but your thoughts are never far from being focused, at least somewhat, on your kids.

And this mother showed incredible. . . intelligence. I won't call it intuition. Sure, intuition is alive and well with most mothers, but I believe intelligence (when it comes to Her Kids) is a stronger influence in mothers. The mom in the book was thinking and planning and knew exactly what her son would be thinking, and thus doing, as well. Mothers constantly think and plan ahead in regards to kids. They are intelligent women with regards to their jobs.

The narrator described intelligence as "native intelligence."

"A native is a man or creature or plant inigenious to a limited geographical area - a space boundaried and defined by mountains, rivers or coastline, with its own peculair mixture of weeds, trees, bugs, bireds, flowers, streams, hills, rocks, and critters, its own nuances of rain, wind and seasonal change. Native intelligence develops through an unspoken or soft-spoken relationship with these interwoven things: it evolves as the native involves himself in his region. A non-native awakes in the morning in a body in a bed in a room in a building on a street in a country in a state in a nation. A native awakes in the center of a little cosmos - or a big one if his intelligence is vast - and he wears this cosmos like a robe, sense the barely preceptible shiftings, migrations, moods and machinations of its creatures, its growing green things, its earth and

Now, for me to put it in Mothers' Native Intelligence:

A mom is a woman indigenous to a limited geographical area - a space boundaried and defined by walls, doors, and hallways, with its own peculiar mixtures of children, cars, balls, sticky things, pokey things, dirt, rocks, crumbs, socks and playdough, its own nuances of whines, screams, cries, moans and temperment change. Mother-intelligence develops through an unspoken or soft-spoken relationship with these interwoven things: it evolves as the mom involves herself in her home and with her kids. A non-mom awakes in the morning in a body in a bed in a room in a building on a street in a county in a state in a nation. A mom awakens to shrieks of "Mama! Mama! Dadada! Whaaaaaa" at ungodly hours in the morning. A mother senses the barely perceptible moans, the slight pushes of one child to his younger sibling, true meanings behind what is actually spoken, and the differences of a "real" cry versus a "fake" one of her creatures.

(Italics are the author's original words)

Yes, we are mothers. Amazing mothers. And I thank all the wonderful "mothers" I've had in my life: school teachers, church leaders, my mother-in-law. But mostly I thank My Mom. Thank you, you were and are great and I love you. And I am truly happy that I have chosen the most difficult and challenging of ALL professions out there, Motherhood.

God bless the experienced mothers - they deserve it.
God bless the new mothers - they need it.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Few of My Favorite Things

So this was my favorite part of today, Thursday May 3rd: (Yes, it beat out the 2 hours of weeding the garden.)

I was busy getting a meal ready for some family in the ward and Ben was busy getting ready for his 4 hours of Stake Meetings tonite.

In the kitchen walks Miles and he says this VERY excitedly: "I'm playing a game with Jonas: Don't Let Jonas Out!!!"

HA! That was obviously the name of the game - Don't Let Jonas Out. It, ummmm, sounded a little suspicious and upon further investigation we found out it was Don't Let Jonas Out Of The Closet. Miles would go and take things (pots, pans, toys, etc.) and drop them off to Jonas in the closet. Then, of course, close the door.

Since, ummmm, I was getting dinner ready AND Ben was occupied AND, especially, Jonas wasn't crying, I didn't do anything about it. . .

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Welcome to Puddle Season

Well looking out my window it appears that puddle season is here. The kiddos are thrilled about it. I wanted to get out of the house this morning but since it had rained last nite/early morning everything was still wet. So I decided we'd just go for a walk. Well I wish I would have thought it out a little better: rain = puddles. But I didn't and that was still okay.

We were only a block or so away from home when we spotted it: The Puddle. It was huge - streching the whole length of an alley-way street (dangit, I forgot my camera!). And, of course, it was dirty - full of mud, rocks, leaves, and other such debris. This meant one thing to my boys: jump right in!

Luckily I was there to first roll up their pants (a lot of good it did NOT do Miles) and then tell them, "Go for it."

And. . . they loved it of course. Miles was yelling at the top of his lungs - he wasn't saying anything, just yelling, hollering, whatevering. I was almost embarrased. . . for myself. But it made me laugh each time - well, one time I did tell him to tone it down a bit. :) Miles got completely filthy - he was running all across the puddle and was soaked from belly-button down. Soaked with water and every other sort of wet debris found lurking in the puddle. It was great.

Jonas at first spent most of his time throwing rocks. He loves to throw rocks and is really quite adept at it for a 17-month old. His pants kept falling down at the waist until I finally rolled them there too. After a while of throwing rocks he started to venture in to actually Puddle-Play. He began walking all around it too, splashing and stomping his feet. It was truly delightful to watch.

Since I didn't have my camera there I took some photos back at home. They don't do it justice, however. Miles was completely drenched and dirty, Jonas was from knees down. His socks were white when left for the walk. . .

If only I hadn't actually showered this morning AND worn something clean I might have ventured in with them. Might have.

It makes me miss those days of just . . . playing. Sure, that's what I do everyday now, but it's not the same when you're 5 and playing to when you are 28 and playing. I'd frankly rather be playing something else than with racing cars. It's too bad that I'm not at the same stage as my kids and could be content with playing for hours and hours. But if I was at that same stage then I'd probably be at the same age. And that just wouldn't work - I'd turn in to one of those girls that Miles doesn't like. :)

But I guess I'm realizing the somewhat sad and selfish truth: I've had my turn. I've had my turn to climb up trees, build forts, play cops 'n robbers, run around playing kick-soccer, engage in arts and crafts - real messy ones, play Barbies, have pretend school and pretend homework (yes, my sis and I did do that), catch fireflies and keep them in my room at nite, have lemonade stands, and, yes, even splash in puddles.

But, luckily for me, I have kids now and can enjoy these things once more. For them. It's all about them now. But watching them do these things is almost (ALMOST, not quite) as fun as it was for me my first times.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Happy 5th Anniversary

So Ben and I celebrated our 5th wedding annivesary this past Friday, the 27th. It seems like it has been so much more than "just" 5 years, really. In a good way, I guess. I just can't really remember life without him and my 2 other handsome boys. In many ways it seems like we've always lived life together. And so far the life we have lived together is pretty darn great.

Ben and I were super duper lucky to have had Jim and Diana come over to watch our kiddos while we had almost 24-hours sans kids. Wow. Knowing that Miles and Jonas were in good hands with people they know AND love, I was hardly worried about them and so I was truly able to just have fun and enjoy being with Ben.

We spent a few hours in Ouray - walking by the shops, strolling through the streets, and eating dinner. It is a beautiful area. Then we drove over to Silverton, Colorado and stayed the night there. Ben's co-worker has a vacation home there and let us use it - how nice! Silverton is a neat town - but very weird, too. We went running in the morning and that was very fun. Then we ate at the local Cow Palace Cafe - Ben's kind of place, :). It was yummy, though. We drove up to Silverton Mountain - a ski resort there. It's like for extreme skiers ONLY. The place was packed. It's only 1 lift - but takes you to like only triple-black diamonds or something. It looked cool, though.

Anyways, we got home Saturday afternoon and all was well at home. Jonas was truly glad to see me. Miles? Well I'm not sure he cared if I was home or not. :) When Jim and Diana were putting Miles to nap, Diana told Miles that we'd be home when he got up. His response? "YEA!" No that's not it. It was more like, "Will you still be here Grandma Diana?" In some ways that makes me feel so wonderful that he loves and adores his Grandparents, in other ways it makes me kind of bummed that he wasn't too excited to have me back.

But it was a great trip spent with a great guy, father, son, friend, but, most importantly to me - Husband.

Here are some pics:

The neat home we stayed at.

Here we are getting ready for our run. How's that for showing Grassy Rose (i.e., Baby Girl)!?
I was reading something online the other week about looking thinner in photos. One "tip" was to cross your legs. Ben thinks it looks like I need to use the bathroom. Whatever, I'm pregnant and so I probably do!

We took this for Miles' sake. Silverton's version of "Filmore" from the movie Cars. (We both think that Silverton has 2 times as many dogs as residents, and 3 times as many old and junky cars as residents).

Ben was completely embarrased when he found out I took this photo - well, gosh, think of me taking it! I just thought it was funny. I love that I got the menu showing the name of the cafe. Perfect.