Monday, June 30, 2008

Go, Go, GO. . .

. . .that is what Chris' family likes to do! We did so many things in the short time that we were with them, it seemed to fly by! I don't know how Chris survived it with his back. Actually, I do. He took some leftover Vicodin I had from my surgery. He was such a good sport, and even participated in some Pickle Ball, which I guess has become quite popular in St. George.

We traveled to Zion Canyon and had a picnic by the river. Lily and Addi played in the FREEZING river water and although we did not have time for, and Chris was not up for, a hike, we loved sitting at the foot of that lovely canyon. That afternoon we went to a concert at the Zion World Flute Festival. This woman played 15 or so different kinds of flutes. Wood, clay, silver, combos, it was amazing. She was a little odd, but she really was so interesting. Her music was truly amazing. I found myself enjoying it much more than I anticipated.

The next morning we were off to the north for a family gathering on the Nilsson side in American Fork.
The drive went as well as could be expected for the first half. Jay was in the back seat by Lily and I and he slept the whole way. Chris was in the front passenger seat and he had to be reclined the whole time and Chris' father was driving. This means I entertained Lily the whole way, by myself. I was doing fine with the books, dolls, snacks, coloring, songs, fingerplays and puzzles I had brought. I kept telling myself that if I could just make it to Filmore (about halfway) then we would stop and when we got back in I would put a video on my computer and hope she falls asleep. When we got back in the car, I pulled out my MacBook and opened it up. To my horror, the battery was DEAD. Then, like a hurricane, it hit me. I had left the charger in St. George! Lily is crying. My car-mates are sleeping or driving or pretending to sleep. I am completely tapped out from the previous two straight hours of entertainment and I had mentally prepared myself for this to be my break. Now, with no hope of digital distraction and no hope of it for the rest of my travels (charger in ST. GEORGE!!!) I start to cry as well. I do not mean this metaphorically. I was actually crying. Lily and I were both crying. We were both crying over an Elmo video. If only I could have blamed it on Chris, then I could have focused my frustration and exhaustion on anger. But, no, it was my fault. It was all my fault, and we still had at least another hour and a half in the car.
I let myself break down for a good 2 minutes and then I rallied. By 'rallied' I mean I pulled out my make-up bag and let my 20 month old put any and all make-up I own on her face, my face, my hair, her car seat, and Jay's hair (he was still sleeping). I have no idea the actual cost of this endeavor as I still haven't replaced the cosmetics. I can say, will all honesty that I would do it again. Even the part where she dumped a quarter cup of glitter into her lap and then threw it in my eyes. I knew I hung onto that glitter for a reason!
Four and a half hours after our departure from St. George we rolled into American Fork. Lily did not sleep one minute of the entire way and was covered in cream, eye liner, glitter and eye shadow but she wasn't crying, and by that time, neither was I.

We had a great time with the Nilssons and we were sad to say goodbye, but we had more people to see and places to go, go, go.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Thursday we tried to beat the heat in St. George. We went to a fun park that had fountains and buckets tipping and sprinklers etc. I think the adults had more fun than the two toddlers in tow. Lily gave a good showing and got pretty wet but the water was pretty cold. The boys (including Grandpa) all got soaked and we all had fun relaxing in the breeze on the grass.
Later we went to a street festival downtown. We ate dutch oven food (meh.) and walked around in the river/fountain thing they have downtown. That things is awesome. Who knew you that if you don't have a stream nearby, with enough tax dollars, you could build your own! It is actually perfect for little ones because it was so shallow.
At the street festival a little girl (probably 5 or 6) came up to me and asked if I would give her some money. She wanted to go on the big blow up slide.
"Go ask your mom" I said, chuckling.
"I did. She said no."
"Well, then, I guess I better not, if your mom said no."
"I am not going to tell her. Puh-lease! Please please please please. I really want to go on that slide!"
Although I admired her moxy I wasn't about to hand over five bucks to a whiny kid, let alone my own kid for a blow up slide. I started walking away and told her again to ask her mom. She followed me.
"Why? Why won't you give me money?"
""Cause you're not my kid! I don't even know you!"
"But I really want to go on that slide and so does my brother!"
I really want to have a dishwasher and maid and while we are dreaming, a pet pelican who delivers roses to my window every morning and dances the polka on command!
I avoided eye contact. I walked briskly. I tried to weave in and out of the crowd like a zebra trying to confuse a pouncing lion. How pathetic! A kindergartener in hot pursuit of a grown woman! I don't know if I was more afraid that she would follow me home continually begging for slide money until finally, after months and months I give in, because it is Christmas and I am not sure if she is my kid or not, or if she was going to knock me to the ground and leg wrestle me Honest Abe's bill.
I finally lost the pint-sized peddler and our group made our way back to Chris' parents' house. That evening Chris, myself, Garrett and Ruth went to Tuacan's 'Les Misarables' and Susie and Mark watched Lily and Addie. It was amazing. I still am singing the songs to myself. It was long, of course, and Ruth and I were nervous about our babies (both of us being first-time and somewhat neurotic mothers), but it was amazing. It has been a really long time since I have been to any play let alone a professional one. Our seats were so close we could practically pull off Val Jean's faux mustache, but we didn't need to, because it fell off on its own.
I actually teared up during the performance. I have never seen Les Mis, although I was familiar with most of the music. I really loved it. Thank you Mark and Susie!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Whistlin' Dixie

Wednesday we finally got on our way to St. George! Chris was reclined in the front seat, his mom drove and Lily and I kicked it in the backseat of Chris' parents natural gas car. That thing is awesome. 6 bucks to fill up! The downside is that you have to fill up every 200 miles. Way to go green, Susie!
We stopped in Cedar City and got to visit with Garrett, Chris' brother and his wife, Ruth and daughter, Addie. Chris and I also got to visit Erin and Beth. I called them when we got to Cedar and they were nice enough to make some last minute time for us. And I got to hold Beth's new baaaaaaaby. That was a highlight. Rori is so, so cute. She was so sleepy and calm and perfect. Lily was a bit jealous at first but Mikey soon distracted her. It was so good to see them, I wish I could have spent more time with you B and E!
In St. George, we went full speed ahead (restricted only by Chris' injury/illness) the whole time. Wednesday morning Chris' brother, Garrett, and family, joined us in St. George. We went on an amazing, hike to some petroglyphs. Chris' parents are part of the St. George club that studies petroglyphs and ancient cultures. They were able to interpret some of the glyphs and even tell some stories about the cultures that resided in the area. I really didn't think I would be as excited about this as I was, but there was something so awe inspiring about looking at these teaching panels that were thousands of years old. Stories of the creation, the life before this one, our purpose here and the next life seemed so humbling permanently carved in the rocks. I found myself pondering my own belief of what is important and why I am here for a long time after the hike.
I kept thinking that these people took time to write about religion, the meaning of life and water. I have a blog and I write about misunderstandings, embarrassing family moments and cute pictures of my daughter. Is this a reflection of my relative shallow-ness? Or is this just because carving stone takes more effort than tickling my MacBook? Did ancient cultures record less important things in a non-permanent medium? Should I take my own record keeping more seriously? All of these questions swirled in my head and actually kept me awake much of that night. Then I found out that there was an In-N-Out in St. George so my attention was shifted. Now that I can hold my beef, I do appreciate a good cheeseburger. I hope that last sentence isn't the one that is preserved for next 55 centuries.

Friday, June 13, 2008

It Can Only Be Up From Here. . .

Our first 24 hours in Utah were a little rough. I did not sleep a wink the entire flight and Lily only slept about half the way. Chris, who was already quite sick when we left slept a little bit more than we did but I am guessing we still didn't get 8 hours between the three of us. We were so exhausted and I was ready for Lily to fall apart any second. Surprisingly, she was happy as could be. My sisters played with her on the trampoline while my mom snapped shots with her new fancy camera. Chris slept.
Later, Chris went with his mother and brother to visit his youngest brother, Quinn, in Salt Lake. Around 9:30 pm I get a call saying they are taking Chris to the ER because he stopped breathing and collapsed! I guess you really do need oxygen after all. I left Lily with my mom and my dad drove me to the hospital to see Chris, in gown, getting a breathing treatment. Chris had injured his back just before our trip and wasn't able to cough up any of the yucky stuff from his lungs and then it just built up and blocked his breathing. Three Rx's later, he is doing better but still not 100%.

We have been doing lots of fun things here in St. George and I will write about it later. Tomorrow we head north.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Heading East to the West

Monday night we leave for Utah! I am excited but not ready. I have so much to do! I had plans to sew gifts for all the new babies and small cousins and some friends but with my machine in the shop (boo!) all week that was put on hold. We have grad parties to attend, missionaries to feed, laundry to do etc. but we are getting ready for the trip back home.

I can't wait to see all of my Utah friends. I would LOVE to see all of you. I will be in Utah until July 8 (whoa) but don't let that give you reason to procrastinate. Please call me and lets get together. Email me if you want my cell or my parent's number.

On an unrelated note: my address (physical address, that is) has changed. No, we didn't move, our landlord was tired of getting crap from our mailman so he made us a separate residence. Just add an "A" after our house number and you will be updated. If you want our full address you can email me. I am not posting it here on the open blog.

See you soon!

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Thing

Every parent has their "thing". There are so many reasons to be completely neurotic with our little ones (germs, kidnapping, falling, tripping, vaccines, trans fats, detergents, sunburns, perfumes, too much TV, too much stimulus, too little, teaching the too early, too late. . .etc.) that we all have to let a few of them slide if we are expected to stay sane. The downside is, while we all let some of the intensity slide on some of these dangers we all pick a few of them to be our "thing" about which we focus our efforts of protection. One of my "things" is food dyes. I don't even know exactly how I got on this, besides all the research that tells you they are cancer causing among other things. So I don't buy stuff with dyes in them. It is just my "thing". Don't get any ideas that we are super health freaks. We are not. I think for lunch Lily had fig Newmans and corn chips. I digress. The reason I tell you this is the following picture. I love it so much because it looks like I gave Lily a bottle of red food coloring, or painted her to look like Bozo the Clown. The red face, hands etc. is really a result of these freeze dried raspberries that Lily LOVES. They are just raspberries, that's it. But boy do they make a mess. And yes, yes that is a bone colored couch she is sitting on. In my defense, she was sick and I felt sorry for her. Also my couch has a slip cover that is machine washable.


I really think that Lily is probably too young for Barbies but she LOVES them. I had some old ones I picked up from a garage sale and some my mom was going to toss. I have a lot of friends with older kids and before I had Lily my house was really boring to come visit. So my mom hooked me up with some toys from her house and I scouted a few yards sales to make sure I had at least some toys to interest all age groups. That is how the Barbies came to live at the house of a one-year-old. I don't know why but I really felt like I had to justify that. Anyway, Lily plays with them CONSTANTLY. Barbies are really the only thing she will play with by herself for a long period of time. She was being so cute making them dance, do somersaults and jump but of course as soon as the camera came out there was no performance. Here she is being stubborn and having fun with "ba-ba" (Barbie).