Saturday, December 19, 2009
Yes, the orange pillow mine. Or it was mine until Avyrlie made it clear that I am just too big to fit in her mommy's bed and Liza is just right. Yeah, coal for that one.
(click below to read the rest)
Chelsi and Kendall came stopped by for a bit yesterday on their way home from the conclusion of their car shopping. They picked up a great (family sized...) AWD that they'll love this time of year. The Smith's were more than a little beat after a day of new puppy, work, and Christmas preparations, so my apologies to them for being very boring hosts.
Kim and Matt also stopped by with a new addition. They have a male goldendoodle puppy they named Sora (technically a girls name although they named him after a boy who is voice acted by a boy who plays girls parts. very gender confused dog...)
Sora is a bundle of timid enthusiasm. He rarely sits still (thus, none of my pictures turned out at all) and got along well with Liza (they both like the same potty places on my carpet :(
Avyrlie is still pretty wary of her teeth filled friend, but loves taking care of her especially when she can tuck her into bed for a shared naptime.
Friday, December 18, 2009
After realizing my being the minority non-dog-lover in the family was never going to change I asked Aimee to find a dog for her and the kids. Secretly I knew the outcome of having her make a dog decision would be that we would never have a dog because, quite unlike myself, she can not stand to make decisions that may cause controversy and not be fully supported by all.
After several months she finally narrowed down a breed that she like. While I am still pretty sure her warped sense of humor led her to choose a breed named after the reason I don't like housedogs, but it was an impressive enough decision making feat on her part that I decided to help her out and actually find her a dog.
Liza arrived a bit early for a Christmas present, but that was not really the point to begin with. Liza is an F1 Goldendoodle (very funny wife) bred from a purebred Golden Retriever and a purebred Poodle.
Our big, tough, teenage Ian almost cried with overwhelmed excitement when I asked him to help me get stuff out of the car and he realized what was inside. Avyrlie wants it to be a cute baby that she can take care of and is still getting used to her cute baby having very sharp teeth.
I'm just glad we have a good Bissel.
We took her in for her first vet appointment today at Willowcreek. The vet kept talking to me like I was in preschool puppy class so I was a bit put off, but the rest of the staff is very helpful and a bunch of crazed dog lovers. They are all very nice and have tons of answers and advice. Everyone thought it was pretty cute that Avyrlie kept asking for a bandaid to put on her puppy's bum after the rectal temp...
Monday, December 7, 2009
This afternoon I stopped at Home Depot to pick up a drill bit. Another gentleman, who seemed mostly normal but perhaps a bit socially challenged, was talking to an employee about power saws. I hadn't been paying much attention until the shopper's voiced got louder and quite exasperated.
"I just don't need a quality circular saw! My kids are still little and are very hard on stuff so it's just going to get broken when they use it anyway! Please just tell me which one is the best value for the money!"
The employee picked up the cheapest saw and through barely suppressed laughter/frustration said, "This one is inexpensive and will work well for the entire time it continues to operate."
Items of note:
- Aimee's food assignment stress is inversely proportional to the size of the item. Rack of Lamb = No problem. Little appetizer = Stroke.
- The length of Ian's attention span is determined by the amount of physical activity involved. Socializing = Major Eye-Rolling. He headed home shortly after realizing we were not playing football. He did tackle his sister on the way out.
- Avyrlie's attention span can be measured in several ways depending on the environment. If there are children willing to bend to her will, it is indefinite. If there are stubborn children, it lasts until someone insults princesses or uses the phrase 'bossy just like my mommy'. If there are dogs or uncles present (yes, same category) it lasts as long as they are willing to be mauled. In the absence of children and animals/uncles, as was the case last night, her attention is captive only so long as Diet Coke is available to her. She explained in no uncertain terms that wassel is not an acceptable substitute. Back in the days of bottles and sippy-cups it was no problem because you can hide anything in there. Now the habit is harder to conceal and we occasionally have to excuse ourselves to get Aimee or Avyrlie their fix.
- Few of our neighbors are permanent. There are quite a few renters and older folks. While neither is inherently bad, it just means they might not be around long. It also means we can find plenty of extra yard work for Ian.
- Avyrlie loves fudge. She was very polite to ask before she took each of the MANY pieces she ate, and I counted no less than 8 'pleases' from her.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
She did stay on task and paid attention to the instructor pretty well. I think overall she'll really enjoy it. On the way home she explained to me that she didn't need to go to school now because she has a class already and mom can just take her to dance in the morning from now on instead of preschool. So cute.
To clarify 'half-time': the first half of the class is tap, and the second half is ballet. They all come out to have their moms (and me) change their shoes.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Avyrlie and I dropped Ian off at a friends house yesterday. It was late enough that it was beginning to get dark (5PM so sad) that some houses had turned on their Christmas lights and trees. Avyrlie declared that we should put up our tree and without really thinking about it I agreed.
(click below for more)
She took that to mean I had now moved Christmas Tree to the top of my most urgent ToDo list because for the next two hours she talked about it non-stop.
"Should we put the Tree over here?"
"I have to put the star on top to make it beautiful!"
"Does Ian know how to put up a Christmas Tree?"
"Can birds live in our Christmas Tree?"
"My school needs a Christmas Tree!"
"Santa is sad that we don't have a Tree."
"Does Dylan have a Christmas Tree?"
"Tomorrow is not the day to do the Christmas Tree!"
"Dogs can't put up a Christmas Tree. They only make messes."
"Dad, if you don't put up a Christmas Tree the reindeer will cry."
"Mom said yes that I can have a Christmas Tree!"
Our actual tree setup time is about 5 minutes. With Aimee out of town at the moment I cut that down to 2 because I can skip all the cleanup ;) We keep the tree fully assembled (yes, it's fake and pre-lit) in the basement, bundled in plastic wrap to keep it clean. Aimee gets the ornaments. I just provide labor.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
We spent some time with the Wolseys yesterday who we haven't seen for some time. Ian was a bit moody, which is pretty much par for him, and was grumpy at everyone while we were shopping at Gateway. After a while Tif asked, "Is this what Kepler might start acting like? Is that really how teenagers are?"
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Enrolled the monster princess in ballet and tap today. she was so excited she could hardly contain herself while we picked out shoes and an outfit for her. She found a leotard with a longer, flowing skirt and proclaimed "I LOVE THIS! Can I put it on and dance now?" She has a week till the first class during which time I have no doubt her head will explode at least seven times each hour with rapid anticipation in the form of non-stop chatter about how much love she has for dance class. I can see Ian's eyes rolling now ;)
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
I realize the photo has nothing to do with the subject, but I found it the other day and thought it deserved to be posted, relevant or not :)
Ian has bus last game coming up this Saturday against Highland. We beat them pretty soundly earlier in the year, but managed to edge out Olympus in the play-offs which means they must have done something right. I seriously doubt we have anything to worry about except keeping our heads in the game, hands on the ball, and making sure we avoid silly penalties.
We are still down one star running back (#20). He is out for the next 8 months recovering from knee surgery. Jury is still out on whether he will be playing next year. It's a tough injury so I wouldn't fault him either way.
Ian ends up picking up a a lot of slack with #20 out. As much as I love to him running the ball, I'd like to see some more kids getting into the action as well.
Maybe next year...
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
So what's different with Aimee gone?
We go to the zoo more. Aimee has no great love for crowds, walking uphill, and the smell of poop so she tends to choose places that don't combine all three. I could spend time each day at the zoo and never get tired of it. Animals are just unpredictable and a little nutty and provide endless entertainment and fascination. Ian and Avyrlie fit right in :)
We buy flowers. It's much harder to say no to Avyrlie when she asks for flowers than it is to say no to Aimee (I've just had more practice saying no to Aimee ;) Also with Aimee gone, there is no one home to clean the bathrooms so we need something to mask the smell.
I occasionally forget dinner. Normally, I eat one or two meals a day and neither is dinner. After about 3PM I'm just not hungry any more. That's not to say that I don't eat any more if provided the opportunity, but if left to me to prepare the meals, I may forget about dinner and possibly lunch.
Avyrlie has proven that 4 year olds are endlessly adaptable and has taken to eating her unneeded toes. I figure a person really only needs three on each foot so she has another couple more days until we need to be too concerned.
Ian, on the other hand, can't go more than three breaths without one of them being accompanied by the inhalation of food. I had asked him to hold his breath so that not only would he stop spreading his lovely swine-like properties, but also to avoid the constant plea for additional afternoon meals.
I'm pretty sure we'll all survive a couple more days till mom gets home, but lets just say her flight better not be delayed!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
7-11 was kind enough to produce a cup poking fun at a serious affliction that I am plagued with. I'm still debating on the pain removal/lobotomy process so that I can once again enjoy frozen drinks. Aimee assures me no one would notice the difference afterward.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
I love watching Ian break tackles and leave behind nothing but sad faces and dust ;)
This year has been a whole new crazy adventure with football. I still have no great love for the sport myself, but enjoy watching Ian play and being involved with the team. This is their fifth year playing together with pretty much the same bunch of kids and coaches. They did have one 'star' player leave a couple years ago, but they beat the pants off the team he's on now so it's all good ;)
This spring Ian was invited to play indoor ball with a bunch of the kids from his regular season team and a couple newcomers. I didn't have a whole lot of expectations going into the season, but it turned out to be quite a boost to all the kids who played. In fact, one of the spring ball first-timers is now quite the animal on the regular season team, leading the team in sacks.
Ian fought a bit with pain and injuries for most of spring ball. He had sore heels and tweaked his neck a bit (with some help from a 250 lb lineman...). In the end, I think he toughened up a bit and hopefully started to understand why flexibility is a good thing especially when big kids are after you with the intention of sqeezing you in half until the football you're running away with pops loose.
After a summer working out with his grandpa and doing some reluctant stretching/screaming, he was more than ready to start regular season ball with the exception of 10 small problems; he was over the weight limit for ball carriers and would have to either shave off 10 lbs or play as a lineman. For Ian the whole point of football is the ball, so lineman wasn't an option.
We checked our owners manual and found that nothing on Ian was readily detachable meaning he would have to burn off 10 lbs he didn't have to burn :( If ever you have had the chance to see the kid eat, you'll know he calls breakfast, lunch, and dinner 'appetizers' and considers the contents of the refridgerator an after-school snack. I wasn't hopeful, but he was determined. Considering that Ian usually shows determination in one activity (staying asleep) we were happy to support him however we could.
It required some hard work, lots of sweat and tears, and a bunch of spitting, but Ian was willing and compliant throught the whole bit. For a kid whose primary method of communication is through non-compliance (secondary would be various body odors) this was just shy of miraculous. He even held out through candy torture during a sleep-over with his cousins.
The collective relief of the entire team as Ian hopped off the scale after making weight is why I enjoy football. It was a hard earned win for the entire team. We celebrated by letting Ian eat until he puked (hopefully that's the only celbratory puking of any kind he ever does ;)
The rest of the season has been pretty smooth in comparison. Hillcrest changed leagues this year so they no longer play Granstville or Park City which were the two big competitors. He's done slightly better at staying limber and stretching before practice and games but has yet to touch a toe.
He's working on a pretty sweet spin move that has payed off with whole lot of yardage this year and is still kicking really well. We just hope he continues breaking tackles and egos rather than bones this year :D
Sunday, October 4, 2009
I want winter. In fact, I'm desperate enough that I packed everyone in the car today and headed up the canyon till we hit snow. Avyrlie was the only one brave enough to jump out and play a bit.
I was ready to head off into it for a while, but Aimee didn't trust the roads. To me, that is the point of having 4-wheel drive. Really, she should have jumped behind the wheel and taken us over the pass.
It's a bit like food storage. If you never use it, when the time comes and disaster strikes you end up dead despite all the preparation. It was nice knowing you, wife :)
Friday, October 2, 2009
I love the camels in the morning. They totally have the right idea especially now that the weather is getting colder.
The baby tigers and elephant are running around to keep warm instead. Very cute, and very energetic. Make the trip to see them if you haven't already.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Both my cute girls are home in bed sick today =( Ian was home from school sick on Thursday and Avyrlie got sick (very literally) on the way to do family pictures last night.
Of course Avyrlie is quick to blame her brother for getting her sick and in this case she might actually be right ;)
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Avyrlie usually dances around the cart trying to get herself run over by myself or some other crazed Costco shopper (yes, they are ALL crazy). Today she agreed to stay on the cart making the whole Costco experience markedly less horrible.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
The kids and I headed up the canyon for a bit to get out of the house and give poor, sick mom a chance to get some rest. We walked up to Hidden Falls, stopped along the river for a bit to throw rocks and then climbed up some rocks just to see the view.click the pic for the rest of the gallery
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I had a back to school assignment from one of Ian's teachers to write up some info on him in a million words or less. Click below to read/see what I sent her.
Ian is a team member, friend, brother, football player, baseball player, skateboarder, sleepyhead, snowboarder, cousin, nephew, grandkid, biker, great-grandkid, student, citizen, and teenager in no particular order.
Ian is most at home on the football field, playing a tough opponent, with his family and friends cheering his team on. He plays running back, receiver, and kicker and excels at all three. He transfered from Albion to Union to be in the same school as his football team.
The only thing that has ever kept him off the field was a broken collarbone last year and even then he re-broke it twice during the next week while playing soccer with friends. Only after our third visit to the doctor where I asked them to please put his leg in a cast just to keep him off the field did he finally take it easy enough to let it heal. I think he figured he could still run in the cast, but it wasn't going to fit in his snowboard bindings...
Ian is a hard worker with the right motivation. We have spent a lot of time and effort trying to find the 'right motivation' off the playing field, but on the field it's no mystery: Coach Hinton.
For Ian's first year of football he had the nicest coach on the planet, and they lost every single game. Then he was invited by Coach Hinton to play with a different team in a tournament. Ian came home from the first practice in tears telling us how much Coach Hinton yelled at him and yelled at everybody else. Later that night Coach Hinton called the house to make sure Ian was ok and explain that he was just intense and passionate about helping the kids play to their potential.
For whatever reason, that phone call made a couple things click for Ian. Ever since he has loved being part of a team and has developed a strong sense of commitment. He does a much better job identifying strengths and qualities in others than he does in himself, but is always willing to put in any amount of hard work needed to help his team succeed. He is also very accepting of people without prejudice or expectation almost to a fault. We figure if a burgler were to break in the house while he were home alone, the police would at least have plenty of time to show up while Ian fixes sandwiches and shows off his latest PSP hacks to the would-be-thief ;)
(Coach Hinton at full intensity)
Ian also plays baseball and arena football in the spring and occasionally submits to posing for photos so long as it's sports related...
*** SLEEP ***
With Ian, sleeping is it's own special topic and one that lacks nothing for diversity or depth. Ian is the answer to mine and my wife's parents' prayers when they used to say, "Just wait until you have kids of your own!"
At four months old, Ian stopped sleeping for more than four hours at a time and spent the remainder of his should-be-slumber time screaming about the fact that he was not sleeping. We tried explaining to him that the solution was obvious and simple; just go to sleep! It turns out that with Ian, the solutions have rarely been obvious or simple.
Fast forward to age 8 and the kid now sleeps like a rock for days at a time until you physically pick him up and start moving his limbs around marionette-like in order to jump start him into consciousness. That worked ok until he gained another 50 lbs so now my wife and I play beanbag toss from his doorway in the morning. First one to land a bag inside his gaping, drooling, snoring mouth wins. Also he tends to roll out of bed once he can't breathe...
(sleeping in the entryway)
(sleeping before a game)
(sleeping at Lake Tahoe)
He can sleep pretty much anywhere at anytime, but for some reason has a hard time falling asleep at night. I love the that the first question any doctor asks is if he is active enough to burn off excess energy.
Ian has this idea that every activity should fit into every day. He is getting better at fitting homework, reading, and chores into that idea, but they still tend to get bumped out by skateboarding, biking, football, and teasing his sister. Getting his to wind down at the end of the day is next to impossible because he is always ready for the next 20 activities and always frustrated the lack of hours in a day.
We're still working on the sleep thing and haven't found the answer yet though not for lack of trying. If Ian is drooping a bit in class just send him out for a minute to splash water on his face and get his blood pumpin' again. He gets just as frustrated as us with how tired he gets sometimes when activites are more mentally than physically demanding and more individual than team oriented. Teamwork and intensity are his motivators.
('gearing up' for a sleep study)
Food has also become a very important subject for Ian who we lovingly call weed-boy as he tends to grow and grow regardless of the clothing budget restraints we try to place on him. I believe his goal to be 6'4" and naked ;)
(hands off my food!)
He still fights us about the whole shaving thing and would rather we just got a cat despite his entire family being allergic with the exception of dad who is immune to everything except grey hair apparantly. Thankfully he has figured out that using deodorant has made associating with other humans much easier now that they are no longer fainting or fleeing.
Ian (usually ;) loves being with family. Some of his favorite memories and activities are those spent with cousins, uncles, grandparents, and his little sister. Because he is the oldest child of two oldest children, he is many years older than his closest cousin and spent four years as an only grandchild and great-grandchild on both sides of the family. We are still working on unspoiling him after all the captive attention he had.
He is an awesome older brother and is always willing to help with his sister even as she has turned into a four year old monster princess. Her two favorite things in life are telling people what to do, and blaming things on her brother. The kids at her preschool call her 'Little Mother' because she is always supervising playtime, making sure everyone takes turns, and protecting the little girls from the mean boys. She thinks everything her brother does is awesome and wants to be part of it. Ian is very patient with her and all his little cousins who look up to and love spending time with him.
Ian loves to hang out with his dad's cousins who are only a couple years older. They have spent winters snowboarding together and summers at the waterpark. All of them are very athletic and act like peas in a pod.
*** Random Facts, interesting or otherwise... ***
Although Ian is sadly colorblind, his parents usually let him dress himself. It is both fascinating and entertaining for the whole family, as well as for all who encounter his unique sense of color coordination throughout the day.
Ian traveled with his mother to Australia last year to visit grandparents who were living there temporarily. They were unable to convert him from american football, but he did love the different animals and people he met.
(kangaroos are lazy)
Ian enjoys school most when the rewards are tangible. The science fair proved to be just such an opportunity last year where he learned a lot and did very well, advancing to district and then region.
Ian can solve a Rubik Cube. His dad can not. He loves this.
Every year Ian helps his grandpa pass out drinks for Pepsi at the Eagle Mountain parade. Every year he complains about it until he gets there and remembers how many cute girls are in the parade and watching the parade.
Ian hates to smile for pictures. His dad used to spend a lot of time trying to make him smile for pictures, but now just takes whatever he gets. Just having Ian is more than good enough.
Ian's favorite vacations usually involve animals and family. Seaworld, fishing, crawfish catching in Tahoe, and Disneyland with his cousins are some of his top picks.