Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Many Faces of Tate

Little dude is now six months old. It's been awesome. I'm finally feeling like a {mostly} normal person again and like I can handle this three kids thing. Tate is getting so much more expressive and his little personality is beginning to emerge. I tried for one cute smile today but ended up with a variety of silly looks instead.

This one is my absolute favorite. He pulls in his lower lip quite frequently and I'm sure it will stop once he gets some teeth.

Some little deatils about Tate:

  • He crawled for the first time yesterday!
  • Despite trying to grab all my food for the last month or so, he is not a big fan of eating. So far he's been most enthusiastic about bananas, potatoes, and salmon... even though I probably shouldn't have given him any fish yet. 
  • He's becoming a mama's boy. 
  • He has started laughing at peek-a-boo, but is quite stingy with it. He will either laugh easily and frequently or not at all. 
  • He loves attention from his sisters, even when they are not as tender or delicate as they ought to be. 
  • His favorite toys are Sophie the giraffe and his set of stacking rings. He also really loves his jumperoo. 

I know the last picture is a little blurred, but I just love it. My boys snuggle in the evenings when we watch a little TV and it melts my heart.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

First Bike Ride

Tate the Great is now 6 months old, which opens up the door to a great many baby opportunities. To celebrate we hooked up the bike trailer and took an inaugural ride. Or rather, Jim and I talked about how it was going to be soon that T could ride in it and I assumed it was an arbitrary someday-in-the-future thing until I noticed the trailer being hooked up... then the baby testing it out... then the hubs riding away with the baby in tow.

The little dude was not too sure at first. I can't say I blame him. We tried to make sure he had all the comfort items imaginable within his reach, Sophie, his silky quilt, and who knows what else since the kids kept bringing him toys, yet all he really wanted to do was chew on the ends of the seat belt straps.

They went for a quick spin around the apartments and while it may be difficult to know what was going on in Tate's little mind, it's pretty clear how Jim felt about it.

So we all loaded up and went for a quick spin around the block. I even managed to pull my phone out for a pic without falling to my mortal peril.

Somehow at the end he managed to flash a little smile. Here's to a new world of family outing possibilities! This is going to be fun.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Butte to Butte

Last year when the girls and I cheered Jim on as he ran the Butte to Butte 10k, we talked about how we could do the walk together this year. They were really enthusiastic about it and so I took the opportunity to convince them they still wanted to and get on that. Actually, Ellie had said that she wanted to run a 5k with her dad so he figured they would do that one... a day or two before when we finally signed up Ellie had decided to walk with Aeryn, Tate, and Me. We did it, but don't be fooled, this is no "race report." The word "race" is hardly applicable to our experience.

Don't we all look thrilled to be starting? I know that I for one don't usually look like this (or else my mirror is lying to me) and the girls usually have more easily discerned expressions.

Because we were walking with a stroller, we started out at the back. I didn't want to be in the way, and let's face it, we were supposed to start there anyway. The girls were so very excited. Honestly, I don't know if they were excited to actually do the 5k or if they were just thrilled to have their own race bibs on. Things started out really well and I figured this would be my view for the first mile or so.

By the time we got to the first mile though, the girls had slowed to a snails pace, if the snail were in fact taking a quite leisurely stroll and thinking very seriously of taking a nap.

I started taking random pictures to try and motivate them. "Run to that tree and then do something crazy." "Stop there and pretend you're having fun." "Show me your goofiest face!" That worked for a half mile or so.

Then it was "Here - you take the pictures!"

Which, again, worked for a half mile or so.

After that, they decided they were over it. Almost the full second half was spent just trudging along. There were a couple walkers with dogs at the back of the pack with us (we were quite literally at the very back) which kept Aeryn moving. Ellie was content being at the very back and seemed tired of walking, a very surprising thing since her natural sense of competition usually pushes her along and makes sure she doesn't let Aeryn easily pass her at anything.

When we got to the finish, we hadn't actually arrived at the finish. We'd been talking with the nice dog walkers and just trudging along and never actually saw the route head over toward the finish. We had walked a quarter mile past the finish before we realized that no, it wasn't going to do a sudden and weird loop around to get to the big arch. We turned around and by the time we finished had walked an extra half mile or so. The girls cut across the lawn and ducked into the street so they could cross the finish and stop their timers but Tate and I had to go farther out of the way in order to get the stroller into the street. As he and I came through the finish we were doing so with the early 10k finishers and were announced as the "first stroller to finish!" Are you kidding? There was not one drop of sweat on my body, we were walking slowly at that point, and I wasn't even using a jog stroller. I'm going to assume the announcer was just being kind and not drawing attention to the fact that we finished DEAD LAST and were pathetically slow at that.

Moments later we found Jim and the girls got chocolate milk. Tate was perfectly happy the whole time, as he usually is. I found this to be a memorable experience, but not one I would consider to be an aerobic event by any measure.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Utah Part 2

After several days with my parents we headed to Jim's family's home. I always have fun with them. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I won the lottery. I never knew marriage could be so awesome or that I could enjoy inlaws so much. Enough sappiness...

The girls had so much fun playing with this slip-n-slide Grandma Debbi & Papa Jim had. Ellie is far more adventurous on it than Aeryn, but that matches their personalities and isn't surprising.

It didn't take long for the kids to learn that skin slides much better than clothing.

I love this little face.

We spent days at Trafalga playing games and earning tickets. I hate games that give tickets. I'd much prefer the kids just do something for the experience rather than to earn some petty little trinket that will clutter their room and never get played with again.

This frog hopper is Ellie's favorite ride. She went on it over and over and over. There wasn't a line so this meant she rode it for probably twenty minutes straight.

Aeryn likes rock climbing, but she hasn't figured out that the harness is just to catch you if you fall. She was trying to sit down in the harness while climbing which made her muscles tire out much faster than they needed to.

Grandma held the boy while I made sure the girls were staying out of trouble. I often hesitate to let people hold him because I don't want to inconvenience anyone (even Grandparents), but I have to realize they love holding him almost as much as I do so it isn't an inconvenience at all.

The girls attacked each other on the bumper boats...

And Aeryn got to drive the cars...

It was a blast.

Back at their home, Tate fell asleep with his hand up on the side of the portable crib and I thought it was the cutest thing.

The girls snuggled with Papa Jim...

Tate saw his first fireworks...

And scootched himself under the bed to chew on the bed skirt...

Some highlights from when we were with Jim's parents:
Games & Rides at Trafalga
Waterslides at Seven Peaks
Ellie getting to eat her weight in berries
Z&L getting to meet Tate
Shaved Ice
I broke away and went shopping briefly with L, and even bought myself a new shirt! (I don't really do this much)
The pantry full of snacks the kids could grab from whenever they wanted
Bridal Veil Falls and feeding the fish
Deciding that Treehouse Masters is one of their favorite TV shows

Utah Part 1

This summer the girls, the boy, and I headed to Utah for about 11 days to visit family. Unfortunately, Jim couldn't get time off to join us. The adventure began when we hopped in the car with Jim's dad for an epic drive. We weren't sure what to expect with a baby, but he did famously well. After eleven hours he was still smiling! Somewhere around hour fourteen that changed, but really, who can blame him after being strapped down for the better part of a day...

Our first stop was with my parents. One perk of having parents 3ish miles apart is that it's easy to visit all the grandparents in one trip. We visited the Bean Museum which recently reopened after an extensive remodel.

Aeryn was eager to pose with the giraffe, one of her favorite animals since she was a very little girl.

Ellie excitedly shouted "Take a picture of me in front of the hippopomotomus!" after which she proceeded to explain that her dad was sad when she learned to pronounce it correctly so she still says it incorrectly because he likes it.

We did have some rough patches. Ellie has a really hard time being away from her mom & dad and really hates both being alone and being in the dark. This made sleeping in "her room" at Grandma & Grandpa's house a bit of a challenge. The first night she ended up sleeping in my bed, but only after two+ hours of trying to get her to sleep in her own room. We figured it out after that and she and Aeryn often slept in the same room so she wasn't alone. I am thankful for that as I was hardly sleeping anyway just with Tate in my room.

The little dude was quite a charmer. He was smiling and agreeable pretty much the whole time. On the drive out he learned how to make spit bubbles and the last day at my parents' he started hiding his face somewhat bashfully (which we have since learned is him playing peek-a-boo).

We headed for a walk up the river trail and let the girls run amok. They had fun holding hands with Grandma and skipping up the path not unlike The Wizard of Oz. Tate was content in his wheeled chariot with Grandpa at the helm.

The girls were racing (of course) and if you know our family at all you will not have to guess who won repeatedly, nor will you be surprised that the rules continually evolved to make sure that outcome was certain.

Ellie took this picture of Aeryn & Grandpa. The girls each wanted to take a picture with the big camera and Ellie's turned out ok, but Aeryn's had a subject who wouldn't stand still for even a millisecond so it turned out quite blurry.

Even though you don't see many sets of eyes, this is my favorite picture from the trip. My Grandma is one of the most special people in my life and I love seeing her with my kids.

Some highlights of the time with my parents:
Swimming at the Lindon pool
Visiting the new Museum of Curiosities at Thanksgiving Point
Having a big family dinner at home
Great Grandma meeting Taters
A BBQ up the canyon
Me breaking away to visit a good friend
The girls playing with the neighbor kids - including late night movies in the park and outdoor games