Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summery Summary

Once upon a time I attempted to potty train Carson. Here are a few things I learned in the process:
  1. He is completely unmotivated by cars, candy, stickers or any kind of reward. "Carson! Look at this cool tractor you get if you go potty!" I'd say, trying to entice him. "Wooooooooow!" He'd say while jumping up off the potty to run around the house naked, unbothered by the unopened toy he left behind. Grrrrrrr.
  2. Carson has the bladder of...something with a really big bladder. It didn't take him long to figure out he didn't enjoy wetting his undies. So, naturally, he just held it in. All. Day. Long. Even with all the juice I was filtering into his body, he still kept it all bottled up.
  3. He quickly learned saying he needs to go potty got him out of nap time. He happily spent hours sitting on his potty if it meant he wasn't stuck in his room for nap time.
  4. Likewise, I made the mistake of letting him play my phone while he was sitting on the potty, so he would declare he needed to use the potty any time he wanted a few episodes of Curious George.
  5. All my potty training tactics were VERY effective...on a 4-year old. Eli was eager to slurp down his juice like a good boy, and then proudly reward himself with candy every time he managed to release any kind of bodily fluid. Made me realize maybe I should just wait until Carson is 4 and all my attempts might actually get me some potty progress. Until then, we've given up!

About once a week we've been having mini pool days. The boys love when we put our tiny slide into our tiny pool. Anything to beat the heat!

Our days are filled with lots of grasshopper and rolly polly hunting when we're not swimming.
We also love to hit up the park! Eli was so cute to pick me "flowers" at the park one day. I don't know how he even knows it's nice to give people flowers. It was darling.
Carson has grown attached to a dinosaur I made a couple years ago. Melts my heart.
Thanks to my mom, the boys think it's mandatory to pose with these balls outside of Target every time we make a trip there.
One day at the park the boys were spontaneously hugging each other. Coincidentally, it was the day after I wrote this post about how crabby and whiney they had been. Always trying to prove me wrong.
It's true. They definitely have their cute moments.
If we are able to go on our walk before 9:00, Eli usually comes home with a handful of rolly pollies. With every bug he picks up, he proudly says, "Mom! I'm protecting this rolly polly!"
After a particularly successful rolly polly hunt,  Eli came home and made a cage for his shelled friends.
It takes a special boy to give himself an ice-cream mustache.
Carson is so funny. If he is bored, everyone knows it. As I told my sister, Carson gets abusive when he has nothing to do. On many occasions, he has walked past complete strangers and smacked them on the legs. So he had no problem flopping all over my mom when we went to a splash pad last week to let her know he was done with the outing.

If he finds himself bored, and he's not hitting or flopping, he's usually perfecting his grumpy face in the mirror for future reference. Two-year-olds!!!! I forgot how crazy they are!

It's a Zoo

I must admit, I was a little nervous to be the sole caretaker in a place where my kids could so easily bolt in opposite directions, or be kidnapped, or fall into a tiger's cage. But I did feel a sense of relief from knowing I could strap the boys into the double stroller and tote them around that way if need be.

Until I got to the zoo, pulled the folded up stroller out of the back, stared at it for a minute in panicked confusion as I came to the realization that I had no idea how to open the dang thing. I sheepishly came to grips with the fact that I had NEVER taken the double stroller out in public without Jeff there to help me, and I had no idea how to work the thing. 

I tried to yank on it really hard, hoping it would magically fly open, but it didn't. Then I went over to talk to the boys, because I didn't want passerbys to notice I was in a minor state of panic. Then I called Jeff 368 times, but he wasn't answering. I wandered back over to the stroller and nonchalantly tipped it from side to side, searching for any hints as to how the blasted thing works. 

I found handles and levers and all sorts of things that looked like they COULD hold the secret to making my stroller useable. I was sure to smile at strangers as they rushed by, because I was too proud to let anyone know I was seriously struggling with my baby apparatus. 

I called Jeff 489 more times and he finally picked up. "You just use the lever that connects the whole stroller together." Were his words of encouragement. Uuuuuummmmmmmmmm. How is that supposed to help me?!? I felt like I needed to be a certified mechanic to understand the inner workings of the crumpled ball of stroller that sat in front of me.

The boys patiently sat in the back of our Rav watching me fidget, curse and groan, more and more with each failed attempt to loosen the clamped hinges of my contraption. I finally got the guts to ask someone for help. Only to realize after their kids got out of the car that the guy only had teenagers, and as he admitted, it had been a while since he had dealt with the complexities of a stroller. 

I released him from my stroller's captivity and retreated back to the car with the boys, feeling a little less incompetent to know that at least some stranger couldn't walk up to my child carrying jigsaw puzzle and crack the code right off the bat. 

After roughly a half hour battling my stroller, and several thousand phone calls to Jeff, Leslie, who had invited us to the zoo with her, pulled up and I snatched her phone so YouTube could educate me on how to properly open my stroller. Within 2 seconds of watching the video, I had the thing opened and we were ready to forge ahead with our day at the zoo. 
My two favorite animals at the zoo are the gorillas and the polar bear. The polar bear is so funny. He (or she? I'll assume it's a he) is the perfect zoo animal. We have seen him 3 times now, and every time we've seen him he does the same, cute little show for the kids.
He whooshes by the big glass window where all the kids always are.
Then he pushes off the wall to float on his back.
He sometimes wanders over to a few of the other windows, so in the meantime it's the perfect opportunity to snap some shots of your cute gang.
We heart Izzy.

Forced hug.
Forced reciprocation.
Yaaaay for play dates.
Then BAM he's back.

Doing his same little routine.
I would pay the zoo admission JUST to see the polar bear. I like to think he enjoys putting on his little show every day for all his guests. He's so much fun!
Then we saw the brown bears who could stand to learn a thing or two from their neighbor because they did nothing but hide under the rocks. We attempted a family picture in front of the bears, but Eli had a sudden bout with shyness and refused to emerge from behind my leg. Perhaps he was channeling his inner brown bear.
We ended the day with a train ride. Eli said his favorite animal was "the blue one." It took me forever to figure out what he was talking about because I couldn't remember seeing any blue animals. Then once as he was explaining, he fanned his hands out really big and he said, "the blue one that does this!" I realized he was talking about the peacocks! I thought that was a funny animal to be his favorite, but he is biased to anything blue, I guess that carries over into the animal kingdom as well.
I had visions of a darling group shot of all the kids in front of the Hogle Zoo sign on our way out. This was not quite what I had in mind, but it will do. Fun day with some of our favorite friends!

Baby You're A Firework

We may not always spend Thanksgiving or Christmas together, but my siblings and I are starting to make a habit out of gravitating towards each other for the 4th of July. We've made it a tradition to head down to Bountiful for their yearly fireworks show, and it even brought a certain sibling all the way from California to see the spectacle. 

Popcorn was mandatory to lure the kids back to us if they started wandering once we got up to the golf course to wait for the show to start.

Matching t-shirts and hats were also mandatory. As was anything at the dollar store that had "glow-in-the-dark" written on the label.
After chasing kids around here, there and everywhere, the show finally started. And that's when Carson began convulsing in fear, clutching onto Jeff for dear life with each explosion.
My one complaint other than the show not starting until 10:30, and the lack of fighter jets flying overhead was that they didn't even play the National Anthem. What?? Instead, they played Katy Perry's "Baby You're A Firework." And sadly, that was the most patriotic song I heard all night from the D.J. #missingstonemountain
It was a fun night and one of my fav traditions. Even with the disappointing tunes.
Ben called me at the beginning of the summer to tell me he wanted to run a couple races with me before school started. We decided on The Color Run, and a 4th of July race. When I was in high school, we always ran the North Salt Lake 4th of July race, so we thought it would be fun to do that again...until discovering it was 5 days before the 4th of July and that just wasn't going to work. We settled on a 5k in Centerville and we roped Abe, Jeff and my Dad into running it with us.
It was so fun for me as I realized I was running a race with all my running buddies throughout the years.
And it was even more fun when I was able to beat two of them! I finished just over 28 minutes. Jeff kept me going strong throughout the whole race until he started whining about his foot hurting around mile 2. He got in my head and so I walked thinking he was going to walk once I did, but he kept going! I caught my breath for a minute and then picked my pace back up because I knew Ben wasn't that far behind me and I couldn't have him pass me. Just as I turned the last corner, I could see Jeff halfway between me and the finish line. He was going pretty slow, so I sprinted. Just as I was approaching him, he started sprinting, and he finished ONE SECOND in front of me! I was so mad.
When we got back, the kids were rolling out of bed. And then hopped on Ben's motorcycle for a little photo op.
Then we went to see How to Train Your Dragon 2. Eli seemed to enjoy it. Carson started getting fidgety one hour into it, and we eventually had to leave early. As we walked out of the theater, he sassily proclaimed, "I don't LIKE that MOVIE."
The night of the 4th, we went on a hike, and then the next day I went to the temple with Abe and Klarissa. Then we rushed over to Cookie Cutters for a cousin hair cut.
This was both of my boys' first professional haircut. It was long overdue.

I couldn't part with Carson's long hair, so they just trimmed his up a little bit.
 And then the three stud muffins refused to smile and cooperate for a picture. Maybe next time.
We ended our Independence Day Vacay with a delish shrimp BBQ, a suspenseful round of Clue, and endless bowls of homemade ice cream. We had so much fun!