So Here's The Deal...

I’ve seriously been aching to tell all about our two-week jaunt to the grandmothers’ houses – do you know how sad it is to have so many one-liners or a running commentary to make, with nary a computer in sight? – and now I am feeling crummy (actually worried that I might have strep throat), life back at home is presenting a myriad of bloggable occasions, and I have no idea where to start.

So I am going to give you the talking points of our two weeks out West, hopefully be able to add some pictures for entertainment value, and if you want to know more about any of the red-text items, just come back again sometime because I plan to elaborate on those once the laundry is done, the groceries are put away, and the boys are asleep.

The Highlights

The day we flew out to Salt Lake was a string of miracles and blessings. I was reminded again that Heavenly Father cares even about our day-to-day stresses and that He answers our prayers in real, tangible, recognizable ways.

My sister has an ADORABLE studio apartment in SLC. She is studying interior design and as soon as she graduates, she is going to help with my dream redo. We had a ball staying with her. Her name is Joeli. We’ve had a bout a million nicknames for her throughout her life, and Henry added two more while we were there. I called her Aunt JoJo and he turned it to “Aunt YoYo.” And sometime later I asked him who she was and he said, after a dramatic little pause, “Whoa.” He used the names interchangeably for the rest of the time we were around her.

I revisted one of my favorite places - Salt Lake City. I lived there briefly once, we were married there, and I've had this sentimental notion of living there again someday. That's not going to happen, but it is a great city, and I spent a whole morning riding the Trax with the boys. We did the whole University loop, and they were thrilled. Cal played “I Spy” with me and Henry just watched out the window. Good, cheap entertainment.

It was so great to see all six of my brothers and sisters. They are the best things my parents ever gave me. And Calvin and Henry adore them.

Henry celebrated his birthday with his cousin Keely who shares the day (she turned 8). He thoroughly enjoyed the cupcakes and his Aunt Lesli gave him a “Big Daddy” truck (giant Tonka dumptruck).

We celebrated the 4th with lots of extended family, had a swim party at the pool across from my parents’ house, which included a waterslide extravaganza that thrilled Calvin to no end. Luckily, there were lots of uncles and cousins who would take him down with them. (I almost drowned both of us both times I took him – I have no grace under water, that’s all I have to say.) We finished the night watching fireworks from my parents’ beautiful yard – they are launched from the quintessential small-town hill with the high school letter on it that happens to be less than a mile from the house where I lived while attending said high school. It was a very nice time.

My Mom did her 2nd annual Christmas in July with the grandkids this year, which continues to be a big hit. Calvin was a little confused that the 4th, Henry’s birthday AND Christmas were all at the same time. He thought Christmas was by his birthday (he was born in December). But he rolled with the parties just fine.

Went on a Girl’s Night Out with some cousins, aunts and my sisters – we watched “The Devil Wears Prada.” Not a bad show. Not a see over and over again show, but it was fun to be with the girls, nice to have a popcorn and chocolate break from the little boys, and it did make me want to read the book a little. Glen Close was marvelous.

We celebrated Henry's birthday again with Gram and Grandpa Jim. More yummy cupcakes (the boys' favorite form of cake) and fun puzzles and books for the birthday boy.

We went with David’s parents to Lake Powell. We were running from the rain that seemed to be prevailing in southwestern Colorado and managed to enjoy a pretty temperate day and a half on the lake. It was beautiful and fun, even if the boys kept us up way too late both nights refusing to sleep in what Cal ironically calls the “sleeping trailer.”

David’s Mom drove us back to Salt Lake for our return flight. I loved talking with her and learning about her experiences and sharing the boys with her.

The Memorable But Probably Shouldn’t Be Termed "High"lights

A small plane crashed into a parked semi truck just down the street from my parents’ house while we were in town. Two people were killed. We saw the fire and carnage. Calvin talked about it for days, trying to process the scene, I think. Somehow he picked up words like “treeline” and “plume of smoke” from the discussion of it, and he actually started monopolizing any conversation he overheard about it. The self-designated resident expert. I felt bad for exposing him to it.

Calvin threw up at Appleby’s in Salt Lake. The waitress didn’t even notice – I asked her for some extra napkins and she said she’d bring some, but what would I like to order? Um, just napkins right now, please. As Calvin gagged and she realized what was happening.

Calvin threw up on our drive back to Salt Lake going over Soldier Summit. We left the booster seat on the side of the road since there was no way to de-barf it. He hasn’t thrown up this much since his infantile reflux days.

Interesting Developments

Sometime along the way, Henry exchanged “botbot” (his first word, my favorite food) for “chockit.” My baby’s growing up.

After meeting so many relatives, and probably after hearing me call his grandpa “Dad,” Cal took to clarifying anything we said about his dad by saying, “the dad you call David?” I was beginning to worry that it was a long-term change in his identification of his dad and might lead to some interesting inferences if he did it among strangers, but luckikly it only lasted for the last few days of our trip. Now that we are home, he seems to be more sure about which dad we’re talking about.


I should apply sunscreen to myself as carefully as I apply it to my little boys.

Even (or especially?) when surrounded by family, I really, really, really miss my husband. (I started crying full-on baby tears one night when he answered the phone. It's not like we don't ever get to talk either - I just wanted him.)

The 2-hour time change really does significant damage to the sleep habits and regular routine of preschoolers and their mom.

My time away from blogging was probably hardest for the dad I call David, who didn't get regular tales of little boy glory or pictures of our adventures on a regular basis. He loves the blog. He depends on it. And I think even he will admit that.

On that note, I need a laptop and wi-fi.


Gabriela said...

Wow, sounds like you had a busy trip. Do you feel like you need another vacation? :)

That's sweet what you said about your brothers and sisters.

And I am intriqued by Christmas in July-please expand.

P.S. I was thinking of you while writing my last post. I can't imagine doing the solo thing for as long as you. You are a trooper!

T.S. Eliot said...

It's great to read about your trip-- thanks for taking the time to share all the gory details. Can't wait to hear more about your brothers and sisters and the miracles and blessing. By the way I LOVE the pic of Henry on the boat. Too cute!

Angela said...

Okay, 3 things.
First, DWP, Meryl Streep. All is fair in love and war.
Second, "the dad you call David" is absolutely priceless. What a bright and adorable boy he is.
When Ben refers to his dad in public as Jay, I get all self-concious because it sounds like my live-in boyfriend of the week when he does it.
Third, that plane that crashed was from KC. I'm sorry Cal had to see it. It's hard to process that stuff at a young age, but it's good he can do it in your loving care.
Fourth, I can't count---and "Whoa" is right on---Joeli's beautiful.

Super Happy Girl said...

I love the Christmas in July idea; your siblings sound like fun. I'd love to have a get together (with my family) like you guys.

"The dad you call David" -->super cute!

Too bad about the un-barfable booster seat. May it also rest in peace.

We all need a laptop, wi-fi enhanced.

Angela said...

P.s. Soldier Summit makes me want to throw up too.

Anonymous said...

I was gonna say but RL beat me to it... that plane crash was on KC news because of the connection so I thought of u during my 5,6,7,8,12,5,6,9,10 news on the couch time that day, sorry to hear it was sooooo close. I am glad to hear you had a great time with family, sounds like a start of a lot of great traditions:) On a side note real quick be careful with is it terrible two's or I need my dad NOW! Kids say the darnest things with emotions:) Glad you are home safe and sound. Missed you on the air:)

Millie said...

I was going, "Glenn Close was in 'The Devil Wears Prada'?" :) Heaven forbid she and Meryl ever do a movie together. Or did they?

We all missed you. Glad you're home and Cal's throwing up has stopped for now. Sounds like you had fun with your family. I love getting together with my sibs too, now that we're all grown up.

The dad I call Brian, I also call Bunny, or Dada (for the kids' benefit, I promise). I would laugh fit to die if any of my kids ever called him "Bunny" in public.

rena said...

Sorry to hear your throat is sore. Hopefully that'll go away soon! Sounds like you had a great time, other than the little one throwing up. Hope he's on the mend too.
Glad to have you back.