Monday, June 25, 2012

Do As I'm Doing

Mostly John follows Tommy around all day trying to copy him.

It's adorable really. And Tommy is a sweet big brother usually helping John.

Tommy wears a blanket-cape? Tommy smothers John in a blanket-cape too. "Is, SOOOP-er John!"

But I love to watch Tommy mimic people. Because he's shamelessly copying them right in front of their faces. He makes no bones about it. He studies them to be sure his movements are an exact match (which they never are) and checks himself often; looking down and up and down and up studiously.

I'm pretty sure he thought he was as high up as the boy way above him. He was so proud of himself for climbing. I giggled because his feet were barely off the ground.

I feel the same way in a yoga class I just started going to. "Check me out! I've got this! I'm doing it!" But then we turn to face the mirrors and I cringe. I don't look like the people around me and I certainly don't move like them. I forget often that I'm not as high up the tree as those around me. In fact, I'm barely off the ground.

But I bet my mom still thinks I'm cute too.

Summer Nights

Over the weekend Josh and I sortof pretended that we didn't have any responsibilities and we pretended that our kids didn't really need to go to bed - ever.

Ask me at about 3 this afternoon if that is true or not. (not. the answer is not.)

After spending the day in Logan for a wedding, then swimming in the afternoon we went to the drive in on Friday night. By the time I took a picture it was late. And dark. And the kids were snuggled up in the back of the car and were NOT thrilled about the flash going off.

Miraculously even when they're making this face they are still freaking adorable right? Right. (This picture was taken at 11:30 and both kids were still wired. It may or may not have had something to do with the sippie cup of kool-aid and the giant bowl of M&M's which we called dinner.

The next morning Josh was working, so he pulled the stuff out of the car and dumped it in the middle of the living room floor before running out the door. Tommy was thrilled and made sure all the most important people (him, Scary & Scout) got a turn with the blankets.

Saturday night I tried my darndest to put the kids to bed at a reasonable hour, but I was busy working and Josh was busy playing and just like that bedtime flew past us again

On Sunday evening we were fulfilling a church assignment to find a pretty place to roast a marshmallow. And we are nothing if not dedicated to the church, so we headed up the mountain for some s'mores with friends. 

Mostly the kids ate dirt and rocks and mostly the parents told them to "spit it out" and "take 3 steps back from the cliff edge please". 

Even John stayed awake for most of the party.

As we packed up and drove down the mountain, the sun started to set and the whole world lit on fire. It was simply beautiful.

I'm not sure what we would do if we didn't live so close to these mountains. Because when you don't get to see this kind of sunset on a regular basis I can only assume that you have a sad sad life. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

So handsome

Considering this child has had at least a million photos of him taken in his 2.5 year life, you'd think I'd be bored of the outtake and goofy photos by now.

But I'm not.

It's OK, out of a million pictures, sometimes I get one I really love.

Friday, June 22, 2012


You might think that Josh is not the writer in our family. But you'd be dead wrong. Because look at this awesome treasure Tommy found in Josh's parents' basement!

Watching these 3 read this book made me so so happy.

Mom Reilley was beaming with pride in her biggest boy's accomplishments.
Tommy was fascinated by the story. 
Josh was *slightly* embarrassed by the drawings. 
I was glad that Mom-Reilley had kept this project. Because it's so sweet and cute!
"Then he trotted to the mother's Barcolounger. It was too soft."

But then I read the ending.
"Next they hurried back upstairs. They first looked in their front room that featured a fireplace along a side wall, and they surprised a little bear. He woke up with a start and glimpsed at the family, then tried to attack. Of course the dad blasted him with the shotgun. The family enjoyed barbequing meat, and used the skin for a rug!"

And our reaction to that last line is the reason Tommy comes up to me at least 4 times a day saying "skin a WUG! ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!" He throws his head back and laughs hysterically at what is evidently the funniest joke anybody has ever told. 

I think this might be the last writing project he ever did. A shame don't you think?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Important discoveries

A few weeks ago I discovered that John was content like this:

While Tommy and I were doing this:

And soon a daily tradition was born. We'd head over in the late afternoon and enjoy a swim while John B enjoyed a nap.

But then I learned some extraordinarily disturbing information involving the pool, the vole infestation and the reason there are chains on the gate every morning.

Which is why we haven't been back to the pool since then.

So we've been spending way too much time in our living room. Living in piles of blankets and learning to hold hands.

Of course John boy would be content to stare at Tommy all day long and never leave the house. Because clearly Mr. T. is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Unless of course you're counting Uncle Caleb, then Mr. T. might come in a close second.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Sometimes I like to think we're hardcore campers because we THINK about camping so much.

But the truth is that this weekend was the first campout of the season (first of John's little life!) and it was just an overnighter in a place with picnic tables and toilets with concrete walls.

So.....really how hardcore can I claim to be?

Whatever, I ate s'mores for breakfast so that's probably as hard core as it gets.

Bottom line, we went camping this weekend and it was awesome.

Josh miraculously found a space that met all of everybody's criteria for camping.

I require shade + water because I grew up camping in the Uintas and I believe that is the only true way to camp.
Tommy requires water + rocks.
John requires nap space availability.
Josh requires 2 strong trees close together for hammock purposes.

Ordinarily I don't hesitate to share a good thing with the internet, but I'm having anxiety about telling you my new favorite camping spot because if you reserve it for the rest of the summer and I never get to go again we might not be friends anymore.

Somehow, I love you just enough to share the wealth.

Affleck Park. Site 14. You're welcome.

"I'm the king of campsite 14!"

Tommy and Josh got to work setting up the tent right away. Tommy was a bit heartbroken when he learned that tent poles are not "whacking sticks" and we took them away.

Dad & Tommy build a tent.

But he immediately fell in love with the tent and found more whacking sticks so it was OK.

"I said, come on in mom!"

John-Boy had to wait while we built a camp. He was not thrilled. 
As soon as John got down for a nap, the "big boys" got straight to work.

Josh & Tommy swinging in the hammock by the river.

Meanwhile I sat around reading about the horrors in a concentration camp. Something about reading about crematories then throwing garbage in a campfire to watch it burn made me feel a little creepy. 

So I put the book down and threw rocks with Tommy instead.

I can't explain to you how much this child loves throwing stuff in water. We managed to pry him away long enough to play in the tent while Johnny ate. This kid is remarkably good at Go Fish. But he cheats. He was holding the 10s the whole time!

But the child can only read books and play cards so long before he drags us back to "that pond up there!"

See all that white stuff up there in the pond? It's cotton. Even if we called it snow. and it didn't stop coming down the whole night. It was crazy.

The stream really was perfect. Plenty of low on the water standing space. Enough rocks to last us all summer.

And even a plank to walk.

Probably the best piece of camping equipment we own is our big fat 2 man sleeping bag. It changed my camping sleep forever. 

But this year it became a 1 man and 2 boy sleeping bag and I got the boot at 6am. Rude. 

The good news is that my boys love me in the morning. They each need a turn on my lap first in the morning. And I am happy to comply.

Anytime Tommy wasn't throwing rocks, he was looking for bugs. I was less thrilled about the invasion of the wildlife. But even I couldn't tell him this one wasn't cute....

I came back from the bathroom to find my boys lounging by the river in the hammock. And this was the best part of the weekend for Josh. These boys, they love each other. 

The weekend was short, and filthy ("dirt EVERYwhere!") and beautiful. Simply beautiful. 

I love these mellow kind of weekends. Even if they require a week of cleaning and laundry to recover.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

My boys are totally whooped over their dad.

Pretend Tommy's face is clean
or pretend this wasn't as clean as it got all weekend
or don't look, there are 2 other handsome boys to catch your attention 

And I'm glad about that.

He's a hardworking, generous & loving dude.

Plus he has some killer wrestling moves that they'd never learn from me.

And he teaches them not to be ascareda bugs.

And he lets them help with projects.

So it makes sense that they love him so much.

Which is why I wanted to do a "super awesome top secret" project with the boys for Dad.

Of course Pinterest said that if I let my 2 year old walk in paint and on a poster I'd have adorable baby footprints.

But Pinterest lies.And doesn't tell you about how washable paint doesn't come off the sidewalk; or how paint on feet = slipping, sliding & falling; or how 2 year olds think if you can do it once you can do it a thousand times. LousyGoodForNothingPinterest.

So instead we flipped it over and made a picture of Dad. Complete with googly eyes and pipe-cleaner "muscles". Tommy insisted I give Daddy 2 hearts "one. TWO!" and added at least 5 ears all over his face. 

Daddy was not at all surprised by this "painting projects with our toes" because SOMEbody spilled the beans within 7 seconds of Daddy coming home on Thursday. *cough*Tommy*cough*

Happy Father's Day to the grown man sleeping in the dragon tent.

To My Dad

If I could only post one picture to explain to you the essence of my dad, it would be this one even though he's not even in it.

A few years ago my dad built a swingset. And when my dad does something, he really really does it. Somehow it took us 5 years before someone realized we could do a double decker swing. Then (obviously) it became triple-decker and even quadruple. But then my dad's neighbor was going up the back lane and had some extra carabiners and suddenly 5 "children" (ages 2-30) were swinging at once.

To my dad it doesn't matter how old you are or if you're scared of heights or not. You just get on and play.
To my dad if it's fun with one person, it's 5 times as fun with 5 people.
To my dad if you can think of it, you can (and probably should) do it.

Fortunately this is my blog and I can post as many pictures as I want, so here's another to give you perspective. My dad is "only" 6'2" and he couldn't even reach to put the kid in the 4th swing - forget about the top one.

My dad is the essence of everything cool and exciting and fun and AWESOME. And I'm glad he's mine.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The test

When Josh and I were dating (7 years ago) he was doing the pre-reqs for nursing school.

That one day when we got stranded on the side of the road we joked that I helped him study anatomy all day long. The the truth was I really did help him study anatomy. The boring kind. Out of the book.

Somewhere between then and now I stopped helping him study and limited my involvement with his school to laying on the sofa while he checked my blood pressure for fun. 

When he asked the nurse at the hospital if he could put in the catheter when we were having John, I emphatically informed him (and the nurse who was probably caught off guard by such a weird request) that "NO YOU CAN NOT!!!!!" 

So to say I've been supportive and helpful over the last few years is probably generous. But at one time I was more helpful than I was today. 

Still, when Josh graduated, nobody knew better than me how much he had put into this degree. The year of pre reqs. The waiting period after acceptance and the LATE nights studying, preparing and writing papers nearly did us both in. The missed events, the working all hours of every day and the constant worrying about what he was missing nearly cost Josh his sanity. If I had any semblance of sanity mine would have been at risk too. But let's be honest. Mine was long gone. 

So graduation was a sweet sweet day, but we could only celebrate so much when THE TEST was still looming over our heads. 

Josh studied his guts out. Took a prep course and answered what must have been a million practice questions. 

Wednesday was the big day. To say Josh was nervous would be a gross understatement. 

The way the NCLEX runs you have to take at least 75 questions, then depending on how you're doing they'll keep giving you questions of different difficulty to see if you pass or not. You have to get a certain percentage of questions a certain difficulty or higher correct to pass. 
You could take 75 questions and do really great and be done. 
Or you could take 75 questions and bomb them all and be done. 
Or if you're Josh you could answer every single one of the 265 questions. 
Using nearly every second of the 6 hours time limit. (5 hours, 59 minutes.) 
And if you're Josh you might leave with 100% confidence that you failed. Not just a little nervous about it, but completely 100% positive that you failed.
Because by the end of the test any question over 2 lines long wasn't even worth reading because he was so cross-eyed it wouldn't make sense anyway. 

So on Friday when a fellow student texted Josh congratulating him on passing he had a tiny meltdown. He learned that the State of Utah had given him a license number. But still wasn't sure about it because sometimes people just push paper without validating stuff. 

On Monday evening he got online to pay the fee to find out the results of the test early and as I was walking out the door to go swimming he told me that he passed. I screamed and jumped on him not like that, get your head out of the gutter and and miraculously the boys didn't wake up.

When I got home at 10pm we broke my #1 phone rule: Don't call people between 9 & 9 unless you're giving birth or dying and got on the phone texting and calling everyone we dared. 

And that's why at approximately 10:02 on Monday night cheers erupted all over the state of Utah.

And NOW it's finally over. No studying. No tests. No assignments. No labs. No care plans. No "just one more report". Just working. Just 40 (or 55) hours a week. And coming home to swim and nap and play and cook dinner and watch a show and RE.LAX.

So my dear friends. It's over. 

About dang time isn't it?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Like Father Like Son

The man that Josh grew up with is not his biological father. And although I am well aware of that fact I swear he somehow inherited some DNA from Frank. (Osmosis yes?) The two are so much alike you'd never know they don't share genes.

I love to see little (and big) boys act just like their father's. It makes me happy.

And when the little boys I love more than any others are acting like the great big man I love more than any other, I get so happy I giggle.

In case you can't tell, they are standing in exactly the same "hands behind the back catching the water" position. And they both stood there far longer than is socially acceptable. And they both loved every second of it.

These boys of mine......

Thursday, June 7, 2012


When I wrote about John at 7 months I knew it wouldn't belong before he started off on his own, but I thought I'd have longer than 12 hours. 

But that's about how long it was before Josh texted me to let me know that John got on his knees and did some crawling.

And just like that my world is over.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Missed

My expectations of motherhood have certainly changed over the last few years. And I'm certainly not the mother I thought I would be.

I dare say motherhood is teaching (forcing?) me to learn to CHILL. FREAKIN'. OUT.

My heart breaks a little that we don't have a backyard for my little boy to explore so from the beginning I was well aware that my living room would double as a playground. And that was OK with me. (I'll hold for the applause.)

So the first rule was "only jumping on the love sac"
which quickly dropped to "no jumping on the couch with your shoes on"
but the words that just came out of my mouth surprised me "please wipe your shoes before you jump on the couch."

Soon jumping on the couch got too predictable and Tommy has now taken to jumping across the couch. He starts at the end which meets the love sac, and he launches his little but as far as he can along the couch until he lands on his butt at the other end shouting "BOOOOOOM shaka lacka (shacka lacka)" then giggles as he scrambles back to the beginning for a repeat.

I've been impressed with just how far this kid can long jump.

My back was turned (lousy good for nothing work) so I don't know where he started this jump, but suddenly I heard head meet floorboards. I turned and he had flown right over the end of the couch.

I scooped up the weepy puddle that my boy sometimes becomes and rocked him while I kissed his noggin' asking if it hurt anywhere else.

He sobbed and wept and whimpered.

Then quite suddenly, he jumped out of my arms, pointed to the floor, accused it of "whacked my noggin'" and explained to me in his very best 2 year old language that he "missed". He pointed to the arm of the couch and told me "not right there. on the floor. bonka noggin'. I missed."

One talent Tommy definitely definitely has is being sad adorably. The child pouts for 1/2 second and you immediately fall in love with him. Heaven help you if he whines a little.

My goodness I love that boy.

I dread the day that he is too big for scooping and too brave for whimpering.
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