Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An Affair To Remember

Remember back when you were in Elementary School? ....Jr. High? ..... High School? College?

Remember when you fell in love with someone and practiced writing your name with their last name all over your notebook? Because it was fun. And you wanted to see what it would look like at the bottom of your checks from your joint bank account? Whoa, flashback! Remember checks? 

It's been a while since I did that now that I'm all married and stuff, but yesterday we got a piece of mail that made me fall in school-girl-love all over again. With a very unlikely candidate.

The HOA.

I'm not even lying. I am not generally a HOA lover. In fact often I'm downright annoyed by the HOA and in the interest of full disclosure I think I'll never live in an HOA controlled area again.

But this. This extension of the pool season has me all sorts of whooped again.

Daddy & Tommy have a routine when Daddy comes home from work.

Tommy hears the door open downstairs and his makes his fake-surprised face with his lips all O-shaped while he gasps and I say "who could it be?" Then he gets down on his hands and knees and crawls over to the top of the stairs to peek around the corner.

Daddy thumps and bumps and drops his shoes and keys and other noisy things, then starts to stomp up the stairs while Tommy waits anxiously to see if it really is Daddy coming up here. It always is.

Daddy crawls up the last few stairs so he's already on his hands and knees when he reaches Tommy and says "Hi my fam-i-leeeee!!!!" and Tommy gives him hugs and kisses. By now my heart is mush and I've breathed my sigh of relief signifying that we might survive the rest of the night now that Daddy is home.

After a bit of post-work wrestling Tommy drags Daddy to his bathroom to find his "simma-suit up high!!!" (because we store his swimsuit draped over the shower curtain rod where it dries) and begins to demand that they go to the "poo! poo! poooooool!!!!!!"

The boys swim for a couple of hours and come home water-logged, exhausted and hungry. Tommy walks straight to the bathroom to splash in the tub for a second before jammies, dinner and bed. He initiates all of these activities, pointing to the next step in the process and dragging the adults around by their pointer fingers.

This is why I knew my life would be over after Labor Day when the pool closed and Josh entered full-blown over-worked, under-paid, exhausted, unavailable student/bread-winner mode.

This is why the pool staying open through the month of September gives me a new kind of hope that I simply can't explain.

Maybe my life isn't over.

Besides, Amy Lavina HOA doesn't sound so bad. Does it?

Jump! Jump! Jump!

Summertime is all about new romances. Right? Right.

Tommy's new love is jumping. Tigger taught him how.

He walked around the house for 2 full days (and counting) practicing bouncing and jumping every step while hauling Tigger around by his little spring-loaded legs. I'm working diligently on capturing the adorableness on video, but my sitting around his really hindered my ability to follow Tommy around lately. So here's a really pathetic picture of it instead.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Power Shift

As a general rule Tommy is the king of this castle. He has free reign and dictates what we do and when. For the most part that's OK with me because he has pretty good taste.

But I think Little John has started to notice and is fighting back. Today he wants to be the boss, so to teach Tommy a lesson he disallowed us from going to playgroup by forcing me to my knees to revisit the first trimester.

Poor Tommy has no idea what hit him. He just knows that his mommy doesn't care what he does in the living room while she's making horrible noises in the bathroom.

He did "happies!" all over the magna doodle and tried (unsuccessfully) to branch out to the walls.

He has evaluated our entire DVD collection and deemed a few unworthy of a continued existence in our home.

He "read" yesterday's paper and tried out his skills as a shredder. (I see a future career.)

He discovered that he can take the top off his special cup for goldfish crackers. Then he rediscovered that goldfish crackers go crunch when you put your toes on top of them and push real hard.

All of these tasks were completed happily and without tears. Calmly. Quietly. Gladly.

Meanwhile I discovered that I really don't care much about the carpet or paper or the DVD collection.

And we're all learning that The Reign of Tommy is nearly over, and Little John is gonna change everything. Which is strange because this time around (unlike last time) I'm not quitting my job or rearranging my house or buying thousands of dollars of baby stuff.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Indecent Exposure

Sometimes we're fun.

And spontaneous.

And cheap.

So our hot Friday night dates are free concerts in the park and we take our kid and a bag of cherries and pretend it's "going out". (What? We were out.)

Within 2 seconds of sitting down, Josh (the dad) dug through my purse for the snacks and popped a whole cherry into Tommy's mouth. Pit and juice and all. I'll give you 2 guesses who does all the laundry and feeding around here....

Because I'd rather not spend eternity scrubbing cherry stains out of Tommy's shirt, we took it off. In public. Josh was mortified and threatened to tell the police on me.

I told him to take a chill-pill and that when your nakeds are this cute it isn't illegal.

But once the cherries were gone I agreed to put the stained shirt back on the boy. Maybe I won't bother to scrub the stain out - apparently he can rock that look.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Today our Stake had an Emergency Preparedness Fair.

Since it's Saturday, but Josh was at work and school and it felt just like every other dang day of the week, I thought we'd go check it out.

Plus I heard there'd be a firetruck. And refreshments.

We were not disappointed. Tommy had his juice box and his hat and would've been content to sit in the parking lot with apple juice dribbling down his chin for the rest of the day.

But then I told him we could go touch the firetruck. "Weeow weeow weeow!" And he ran across the parking lot to the unattended fire truck.

That's when the real live Fireman came and showed us the coolest parts about his truck. Tommy was stoked when he saw the other kids getting up in the driver's seat for a ride. And he wanted to go so bad he even let Stranger Fire Dude put him up there.

I have high hopes for Santa this year.

He thought it was so cool to "drive" the fire truck and didn't want to get down to share with the next kid. Poor boy, he has no idea what's about to hit him.

And THAT is reason number 453 to go to free mormon events. You just never know when there's going to be a fire truck.


Remember when Tommy used to do this all the time?

Turns out that when he does it as an enormous nearly-2-year-old it's just as adorable.

Friday, August 26, 2011

As His Volume Increases

My 30 week baby update this week says "a pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds him, but that volume will decrease as his volume increases." 

Do you think I could post a notice on our bedroom door explaining that concept to Josh so he'll understand why there is no longer room for him in our bed?

Also, could we make a deal about using the phrase "increasing volume" instead of "Wow! You're huge!"? Because I feel another belly-meets-head experience coming soon.

Door-opening and fly-swatters

Yesterday I went to a movie with my sister and my mom while my other sister watched all of our kids and prepared our post-movie snacks. How glad are you that you aren't The Other Sister in our family? She volunteered since she just saw the movie two days ago....still....

While we, 4 adults & 7 kids, were at The Other Sister's house, a period of about an hour, I'm fairly certain her front and back doors were opened more times than all of the doors in my house have been opened since they day we moved in (nearly 4 years ago).

This is surprising because based on the number of Super-Duper-ultra-long-lifed flies currently in my living room I would've bet that Tommy had learned how to open the door and spent all day every day simply watching the doors swing on their (totally awesome - and totally removable) hinges. However, he has yet to master the knob-turning task. So I'm left to wonder, how did the flies get in here?!?!

When I'm done wondering, I'm ready to kill them all - a job I find disgusting, frustrating and even unsatisfying.

That's why we don't own a fly-swatter.

So I thought I'd buy one. But guess what? Places don't sell fly-swatters. Fly-swatters are the kind of thing people don't really buy. They just have them. Maybe they are built-in to their house. Maybe they inherited them from their great great grandmother. Maybe they have always had it. Maybe they were given as wedding gifts from people they love. I don't know where they come from, I just know that they are not for sale and I'm the only person on the planet who doesn't have one.

I can tell you don't believe me. You're rolling your eyes thinking "clearly someone sells fly-swatters. Take a chill-pill." So I ask you, where did you get yours? Go ahead, admit it. You don't have a clue.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Little John

Today I fell in love with the name John all over again.

It has been kicked around through the entire pregnancy (family name on my side) and I've always liked it since way before this baby was even a twinkle in his daddy's eye (what a creepy phrase....) I've thought our next baby would have Johnathan in his name. But we simply haven't found a way we love it yet.

But today, Tommy said it while patting my belly Bee bee Yawn? and now I simply can't imagine this child being named anything other than John.

Of course after we watched Toy Story 3 a few weeks ago and I asked Tommy what we should call the new baby he said "Andy!" and then I was in love with the name Andrew. Until Josh made a face when I told him, that face made me like the name a lot less. It also made me like Josh's face a lot less....but that's another story for another day.

So I'm not saying that this baby will be "John" forever, but right this second when his brother and his mommy are particularly swoony over him, he is John. Little John. Little John Junior. (OK, not the Junior part....OK maybe the Junior part.....)

I wonder if this baby knows how much I love him.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

NBE Countdown

This morning Josh and Tommy wanted to come with me to see Dr. Man.

In truth I think they wanted to come with me to my traditional Keva & Great Harvest stop on the way home from Dr. Man's office. But I like to tell myself it was about me. They LOVE me.

Either way the two of them accompanied me to Dr. Man's office this morning.

Dr. Man came in to find NBE's heartbeat which sounds strong even when it's smothered with the small talk of our summer plans and Josh starting school again. How can Dr. Man find a heartbeat while we're all talking over the fuzz of the radio-machine? He has a gift.

Tommy was OK with the whole situation until Mean Nurse Lady walked in with a needle in her hand. Somehow he has a negative association with women in scrubs holding needles. I can't imagine why. He squirmed and cried and tried to escape from Josh's lap while Mean Nurse Lady sucked the life out of me through the needle. Sometimes it is simply amazing to me how much my child loves me. He would've taken Mean Nurse Lady out if Josh had let go of him. As soon as my blood was adequately drawn for the glucose test, Tommy scrambled up onto the exam table with me.

I showed him my cool blue arm band and he wept and asked me to "hoade-ewe-up-aye!" (hold you up high) so I snuggled him and we got ready to go look at the Nemo fish. Dr. Man actually has Nemo in his office. Have I mentioned how great Dr. Man is? He's great.

Tomorrow Dr. Man's receptionist will call and tell me that I don't have diabetes. That's the deal NBE and I have made. Then in a few more weeks we'll go back and hear that beautiful heartbeat again. Until then I have strict orders feed & grow that baby.

Because at 30 weeks that's all NBE has to do. Grow. And move every day.

Wait a second, did you catch that?
30 weeks.
That's right we can officially start the countdown because I have enough fingers to count how many weeks are left in this pregnancy.

I'm not exactly sure how that happened, but apparently 30 weeks have passed, summer is almost over, and this baby will be here before we know it. Here's hoping I manage to get ready for him before he shows up. On the other hand, being unprepared seems to be the key to guaranteeing he's here before his due date.....

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


If Tommy had never peed in my face, setting in stone the fact that he is a boy, I might wonder if we could blame PMS for his current fit-throwing habits.

When he's happy, he's very happy. But no matter where we are when the unhappiness strikes, he simply MUST throw himself on the floor and weep.

Even if we're in the middle of the road.

But when he is good is he VERY VERY good.....

Spruces: Day 3

Our last day started off right with a delicious gourmet breakfast provided by Megan and Tayler.

Seriously it was way better than any breakfast I ever eat at home.

And while they worked and slaved over a hot stove, the rest of us sat around and enjoyed the view.

The best part of camping might be the morning. I love the cold camping air, the sun coming through the trees, the smell of warm campfire, the fact that all of the morning jobs are man-jobs.

After breakfast Tayler got out his totally awesome car. Tommy kept his distance at first....

....but before too long he got brave and sat right next to Tayler...

.....and the two of them drove the car all over the place.

After cleanup we said bye to all the trees, and the rocks, and the sticks, and the water, and the leaves, and the pinecones, and the balls, and the friends, and the people, and the chipmunks, and.....and......and......

Miraculously Tommy didn't fall asleep on the way home (thanks to my incredibly entertaining stay-awake tactics) and even more miraculously neither did Josh.

It's now been 3 days and none of us smell like smoke. We packed up all of our camping gear for the rest of the summer and settled into the fact that school is starting and all our fun is over.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Camping: Day 2

On Friday morning we made all the early risers (aka anybody who was up and bored by 9:30) hike to Doughnut Falls. We all remember how much we love Doughnut (Donut?) Falls right?

As usual Tommy was the center of attention.

But how can he not be when he does things like this the whole way up?

It turns out this hike is perfect for Tommy because at the top there are enough rocks to throw in water to last as long as the adults can stand to sit around watching. Which is a surprisingly long time.

Because it's beautiful and cool down at the base of the waterfall.

While we were there we learned that Tommy has superhuman strength.

Which came in handy when it was time to stop Grandpa from leading us home.

Somehow Tommy wound up barefoot on this trail.....again.

When we got back to camp everybody was thirsty and tired, so we drank and napped. Oh what a beautiful thing. 

After some games, and fire, and stretching, and more rock throwing down at the "otter. otter? otter?!" (water) we ate a new (to me) dutch oven meal which will definitely go on my list of "things we must eat while camping". Have you ever tried stacked dutch oven enchiladas? Yummy. Unfortunately this means we'll have to extend our camping trips by a day. Because there simply isn't enough time to eat all of our standard meals plus the new ones Josh's mom is always introducing. Note to Self: Request Mom-Reilley's dutch oven cook book as our inheritance.

Fortunately we also learned that peach cobbler is good with what can only be called ice-cream soup. Maybe because it was dark and camping, maybe because HELLO?!?! IT'S COBBLER AND ICE CREAM! What's not to love?

Day 2 = smashing success.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Hat

Sometimes Tommy's allowed to play with Daddy's hat.

Which is awesome because it makes him so SO happy. 

Nothing beats this smile.

Spruces: Day 1

Remember how camping with your parents means built-in babysitters?

Is anyone else freaked out by the fact that Tommy is as high as  Grandpa's waist?

That's only one reason we had so much fun this weekend.

Tommy was in heaven approximately .2 seconds after we got out of the car and Tado showed him how to jump across the river.

"See Tommy? You just bend your knees and jump! Like this."

"Yay Tado!"

It only got better when Dad showed up and showed him how to walk across the log balance-beam style to get to the other side.

This campsite was awesome, with the water far enough away to keep Tommy safe, but close enough that people* were still willing to take him down there to throw rocks.
And sticks.
And dirt.
And mud.
And sand.
And pinecones.
And dead bugs.
And, and, and.....

*People is code for not his parents. We spent loads of time down at the water with him, but we made significantly fewer trips to the river than anybody else there. Go us!

One Thing I Love About Camping

One thing I love about camping is seeing Tommy sleep.

He a relatively light sleeper, so when we're home, once he's in his room and that door is closed we don't go back in for anything. (Except a fire of course...which has happened exactly zero times.) So we never really see him sleep.

But when we're camping, we put Tommy to bed in the tent, then we stay up and play games or stare at the fire until our eyes are going to burn out of our heads and then we go in to bed. That's when we get to see him sleep. My child may be a fit-throwing "no!"-yelling two-year-old most days, but when he sleeps he's immediately my teeny tiny adorably perfect angel baby again.

So, when he cries in the middle of the night we gladly put him in our sleeping bag and enjoy his snuggly goodness.

Waking up to these handsome boys starts my day off right.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Tommy loves to make all the animal sounds. But for some reason he can't quite tell the difference between a horse and a cow. Plus he thinks that "moo" is more fun (or easier?) to say than "neigh".

That's why he thinks all horses say "mooo".

Also why I think it's so fun to take him places like Thanksgiving Point's Farm Land.

Fortunately my 2nd cousin, Gina, was nice enough to let us tag a long with her and her adorable son Aiden last week.

Poor Aiden couldn't figure out why Tommy wanted to stare at those boring cows for so long.

But he was all to happy to show him how to go in and out the doorway and windows of the tiny house.

We loved the wagon ride and especially loved that going back to ride it meant we got to wash our hands again. osh. osh. osh. 

But the real fun came when we got ice cream cones and Tommy & Aiden started to play together. Tommy would have chased him around this tree for hours. Plus Aiden taught Tommy how to play "I See You!" which is Tommy's new favorite game and makes him crack up laughing every time.

These 3rd cousins loved each other so much, we'll definitely have to get them together again soon!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Friends and Other Side Effects of BlogStalking

One thing I love about blogging is the people that you meet. When you're walking down the street, it's the people that you meet each day....

You just never know when you're going to accidentally try to blogstalk someone from Jr. High and form a 5 year co-stalking relationship that ultimately results in a real live friend!

Last week in our end-of-summer cram session we finally met Nancy-from-Egypt (and her girls) in REAL LIFE! Nancy isn't actually from Egypt, but she lived in Cairo while she was pregnant with Miriam and I was pregnant with Tommy and we bonded. So, everyone in my family knows her as Nancy-from-Egypt anyway. 

She was gracious enough to welcome us into her home and entertain us clear through lunchtime. Tommy was overjoyed at the idea of playing on the back lawn and even more thrilled when Rachel (Nancy's 4(??)-year-old) immediately handed him an oversized hammer croquet mallet to play with.

Rachel is as darling in person as Nancy makes her sound (which I very nearly doubted since it seems unreasonable that so much personality could be in such a tiny body) and Nancy and I chatted like 2 old ladies who have been friends forever sitting on the front porch.

Meeting new people sometimes always makes me nervous, but chillin' with Nancy while our children played was, quite simply, comfortable. And we all know how much I love to be comfortable.

I giggled when I saw the pictures on Nancy's blog because Tommy looks so much smaller than her girls in this picture. He's not THAT much smaller than Miriam - it's just the angle of the photo.

And I look SO much larger than Nancy in this one. I am. I'm pregnant. She runs marathons. You do the math. 

And when it was time to go (and take pictures) the girls melted my heart by loving on Tommy. This kid has no idea how good he has it.

We had such a great time, it's too bad I have no reason to believe Nancy and her family will stay in the country for much longer than a year. It would be cool if we hung out more often than every 5 years.
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