Sunday, July 24, 2011

MightyMax and PokeyPet

We did it!
Our Max is potty-trained!

Actually, I did not do a thing.
Nada. Nix. Rien.

When Noah was 2 1/2,
I read a bunch of books,
talked to my sisters-in-law,
and decided to not do anything.

None of the methods I had heard about sounded good.
Stay at home all day?
Give my child candy for using the potty?
No thanks.
I don't think so. Too expensive.

I like the
approach much better.

Maybe I am just lazy...

I had been encouraging it for a few weeks
but Max just was not interested.
Fine by me.

Then, while visiting grandparents in Utah,
Max declared one day:
"I am not wearing a diaper today.
I am potty training."

Oh. Really?
At Grandma's house?
Great timing!
But, hey, fine by me!

He did have a a few accidents here and there
(mostly #2)
over the last month.
But the last 7 days have been accident-free!

Dear Preschool:
Max is ready!

(Of course, now that I write this post,
he is going to have 3 accidents tomorrow.
But that is also fine by me.)

Did you see the pictures of our Lizard Hike in the last post?

Well, we actually took this short-horned lizard home with us.
Our first pet!

We gave him a home, fed him many live bugs,
watched his every move*, provided warmth and moisture,
checked out books about him,
found out she is a girl,
and named her Pokey.

*for a while

After 10 days we decided she would be happier in the wild
and brought her back to where we found her.

My kind of pet!

PS: The boys just acquired three new pets* today! Stinkbugs! The big one: Stinkbomb. The little ones: Stinkbean and Stinkbean. And that is what happens when your husband is an entomologist.

*Bugs don't really count as pets.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lizard Hike

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Favorite Summer Picture

On the way to the hot tub.
Luckily, its water is never actually hot
and thus makes for a nice little pool to play in.

Summer in Flagstaff is not quite what I dream about
but we are making it work.
A city with no public outdoor pool in the summer
should simply not be allowed.

Good thing we are planning on spending
all of next summer
in Germany and Utah
with pools and lakes galore.

(I saw a guy today with a shirt that said:
Everything is better in California
I might need to get myself one that says:
Everything is better in Utah
Or I could just stop complaining.)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

... you will turn into a girl!

Syndey and Noah at Slide Rock SP

Max and Noah have this thing with girls. They think they don't like girls when really they do! Well, at least Noah does. It is pretty funny.

I have had plenty of conversations with Max that go like this:

Me: "Max, we don't hit. Especially not girls."
Max: "But Mama! Girls are the bad guys!!!"

Who knew?

Noah has a new strategy.

Whenever Max has a toy that Noah wants, Noah says:

"If you play with X, you will turn into a girl!"

And when Max is doing something and Noah wants him to stop, he says:

"If you do X, you will turn into a girl!"

The last thing Max wants is to turn into a girl, so Noah usually wins.

We have had visitors the last few days. The Rue family came to Flagstaff, so Colleen could get in some high altitude training before the Scofield Triathlon. I was thrilled to have a training partner! She brought her awesome family along, so the kids could all play while we swimbikerun.

It was wonderful! The kids and husbands got along great. We had company at dinner every night and were actually able to have some decent conversations while the kids played. Noah enjoyed playing with Syndey very much and he is realizing that girls are not so bad after all! What a great family! Thanks for the visit and come again soon!

PS: Unfortunately, Colleen had to complete today's mission on her own, since I tripped and fell hard yesterday and am unable to run or bike. I sure hope I will feel better soon... More details on that on my triathlon blog.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My First Pioneer Trek

I always thought that pioneer trek reenactments would be a cool thing to be a part of but hadn't had a chance until this June, when I got to go with a church group. Many of my ancestors came to Utah as Mormon pioneers, so I wanted to know how I'd hold up in similar conditions (well, not THAT similar). Many LDS youth get a chance to go on a pioneer trek with their stakes (a group of congregations), but somehow I missed out when I was a teen. So when I was asked to participate* in a pioneer trek as an 'adult child' to help guide and encourage youth, I had no second thoughts in helping out.

Since we were out of town when they trained adult leaders, I didn't hear about any details on what to bring and when it started until a couple days before. Fortunately we got back in time, and some kind ward members dug up a wide-brimmed hat and suspenders** for me.

I made it to the start of the trek just one day after getting back to Flagstaff and joined up with my trek family. Since there were a couple hundred youth and leaders there, it was nice to spend the time with a relatively small group. The families consisted of a Ma and Pa, male and female 'adult children', and ten or so kids. That setup reminded me of a youth wilderness treatment program - a bunch of teens, enough adults to (hopefully) handle them, not very much stuff (e.g. no therm-a-rests or the like), and a long way to go.

Since neither you nor I want a whole book about the trip, here are a few facts and figures and guesses and opinions:

Youth in the whole trek: 250-ish
Youth in my 'family': 9
Hours pushing handcarts the first day: 12
Miles we traveled the first day: 15 (43 in feels-like miles)

Weight of loaded handcart: uhh, 25-ish lbs/person for 13 people + camp chef stove + food + water + heavy duty metal/wood handcart = super heavy thing
Time we got into camp the first day: midnight
Random crazy long nosebleeds for one of the youth in my family: 3
Youth in our family (and the others we were aware of) that sat down and refused to go further: 0

Complaining heard the first day: lots and lots
Complaining heard the last day: none-ish
Increase in respect gained for pioneers: 783%

Of course we all learned to appreciate and sort of despise modern stuff that we rely on so much, but aside from that the trip was incredibly motivating and inspirational. It changed my life.

Get yourself on one of these things.

I vote this guy to be the most handsome pioneer

* Sarah was asked to participate too, so we had to do a round of rock-paper-scissors to decide who got to go. Well, not actually rock-paper-scissors. I just wanted to go more than she did.

(Note from the editor: I wanted to go just as much as he did. I mean, who would not choose hiking, camping, suffering, growing spiritually over playing single-parent of 2 wild boys for 4 days??? But sometimes I am nice. And I felt like I had my share of fun taking little trips whilewe were in Utah. And I was worried they were going to let us go hungry...)

** I actually didn't mind the suspenders as much as I thought I would. They made me think of bib shorts. Not the lycra, just the over-the-shoulder part... I digress.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Guys Go Camping (by Karl)

Since Sarah was out of town for her big race last week, I decided to take the boys camping - my style. I don't plan particularly well for such things, partly because I'm not too organized, partly because I don't have the most spectacular memory, and partly I don't usually feel like planning.* So the plan was simple - head up Squaw Peak Road until we find a spot.

Finding a spot on a random Thursday wasn't hard, although we weren't alone.
First item of business: check out the area.
That includes bugging little creatures.

Then they had to get themselves to the sweet mud puddles
that we drove through on the way in.
That meant bikes, which is always fun.

Then the good stuff. The mud.

Next: clean up a bit. You'd think that we wouldn't need to do much of that, since we had their rain gear on them, but oh no. The video only shows the first few minutes of mud play. It got much more, uh, involved after that point. The mud was inside their boots, all over their hands, and much more. They did an excellent job of getting their skin muddy. Max was actually rolling in a huge mud puddle at one point.**

The boys are still trying to block the clean-up part of the trip from their memories, because
a) it's tough for young lads to part ways with mud, and
b) the water I used to wash them off was cold.

Next item of business: get warm by a fire. Unfortunately, the same rains that had caused so much lovely mud had also made all the wood wet. It took some serious wood collecting and lighting and blowing and relighting, but we got it going.

Then after a while they started getting comfortable enough to get goofy...

...which continued while eating dinner when it started getting dark and cold.

There was no need to tell the boys to go to sleep.
Once Noah was in his cocoon, there was no resurrecting him until morning.
Max was out pretty quick too.

We missed Provo Canyon!

*He also likes to take a break from my planning-frenzy. I am a planner and I just can't help it!

** I am sure glad I was not there for that part!

Thanks, Karl, for coming up with your own father-and-sons camping trip! The boys had a great time and I am so lucky to have you around!