Ya that's right, it's deluxe.
He used to go up there all the time as a kid... and a teenager... and a college student, but the visits kinda came to a stand still when he met me. I'm a total killjoy. I don't know why we don't head up there more often, it just seems to hard all the time, but Brent finally came to the end of his rope. Months ago he scheduled a weekend to go, invited some friends and basically came home and told me we were going. It was rather un-Brent-like, but I'm glad he did it.
This last weekend was our turn and we headed up with our friends Emily and Justin and their stinking adorable girls Caitlin and Mayci. It was awesome and I took some photos and then I took some more photos, and then I took a few more. Lucky you.
Why does it take THIS much stuff to leave for two nights?
Jane and Caitlin are best/worst friends. On Friday they were best friends... for most of the day and apparently they were on good terms while they were getting dressed.
All the girls got sunglasses. I think that Lizzy looks particularly awesome in hers.
We made the necessary visit to downtown Park City.
And stopped here for some ice cream. I swear their ice cream tastes like it comes from a more perfect world. I had the pralines and caramel and I am convinced that it was hand churned by angels.
Lizzy liked hers too. "cheeeeeeese!"
That night the girls took the 27,000 blankets and pillows in the house (it gets COLD in the winter) and threw them all on the floor to create the world's greatest landing pad.
We decided that had they been at home, we'd have lost it, but it's cute at someone else's house.
Seriously though, how can we ever get mad at this? Mayci = hilarious.
I was lured into buying what turned out to be some nasty doughnuts at the store and even the kids wouldn't eat them, so they took them to the duck pond. Judging by the amount of pond scum they were swimming in, we figured they wouldn't be nearly as discriminate.
And neither was Lizzy.
I love this photo. They all look so much like themselves.
Charlie didn't make it into many of the photos because he wasn't running around with the girls, but he was there, looking adorable as always.
This photo is all about Mayci. She's totally working that rock.
For pete's sake, Lizzy! Get your finger out of your nose! We're having problems with that lately.
We seriously had such a good weekend. We need to talk to Calls into playing with us more often.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Ya that's right, it's deluxe.
Posted by Laura Stringham at 8:38 PM
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Last Wednesday night was rather eventful for us as far as nights go. If you read this blog, you'll know that Brent and I are accustomed to late night awakenings of all varieties, but most of them don't end up with a trip to the E.R. Lizzy had what I guess one would call an asthma attack and Brent ended up taking her to the emergency room at 2:00 in the morning. I was very glad that he was willing to take her since I was a wee bit emotional and not really trusting myself in a high stress situation. It might have had something to do with the severe lack of sleep and small child trying to suffocate before my eyes. (Did that sound dramatic? I tried. I figured it would make me look slightly less pathetic.)
Anyway, she's fine, she's doing great, no harm done. They gave her some steroids and an inhaler which seems to really help. The next day, we went up to Park City for the weekend (post is a-comin') and as I was packing for the kids, I started to gather all the meds/creams that we would need for Lizzy while we were gone. The pile became so extraordinary that I decided to honor it and it's magnitude with a photograph.
There's lotion for whenever she needs it and then special stuff for after her bath. One steroid cream for her face and another for the rest of her. Two kinds of allergy meds, one for day and one for night. Antibiotic cream for the open wounds and Butt Paste to help them heal and now the inhaler and it's accoutrement's. And this photo doesn't include the oral steroids. These are only the ones that seem to help and we use regularly. If I were to photograph all the things that have tried and failed, I'd have had to stand a lot further away. It's a lot for a 2 year old.
Does it sound like I'm complaining? It does. I don't mean to complain, really I don't.
Actually, as I sat there photographing all the meds that my baby uses on an almost daily basis, I thought about how frustrating life must be for her, how uncomfortable she's got to be all the time. I was admiring her patience and thinking that she doesn't let these kinds of things slow her down. She's so full of energy and life and love. It was one of those cheesy, inspirational moments that would be accompanied by sappy music and a voice over, were I on a television show.
She puts up with a lot, don't we all in our own way? I'm certain that there's a reason for her allergy issues and I'm certain there's a reason for the things in the world that drive me crazy, but I whine about mine a lot more than Lizzy.
I've got to stop complaining so much.
And I love that girl.
These are a couple of my favorite Lizzy photos that I've never gotten around to posting. She kills me.
Posted by Laura Stringham at 8:35 PM
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I had a some motivation to make Father's Day a little special for Brent this year. First of all (and I'd like to think most importantly) Jane is getting to the age where she's old enough to notice things like that and how we react to them. I wanted to teach her how important it is to value her dad and all the things that he does for us and that it's also important to make special efforts here and there to show him how much we love him.
My second motivation was that the same man we were honoring today did a completely crappy job of teaching our small children to love and honor their mother on Mother's Day. On Mother's Day, I got a box of licorice and a movie card that he had received from his boss at work several months before. He called it a "movie date." I called it a pathetic, last minute attempt to get me something so that he wouldn't be sleeping on the couch. At first, I thought that I'd just ignore Father's Day altogether to teach him a lesson, but when I realized that he probably wouldn't care or even notice if we ignored him, I decided to take the self righteous, higher road and throw him a party in an effort to make him feel guilty.
Jane and I made the banner(I know, it's hard to tell. It looks so professional) she colored the whole thing, isn't it cute?
The party aftermath. I'm going to be bummed to take the paper chains down. Jane and I spent so long making them. I'm thinking I'll put them back up for her birthday.
My "Culinary Masterpieces" I made brownies with coconut frosting, Brent's fave and raspberries and mint for me.
We really do love Brent and there isn't anyone in the world I'd rather have with me to raise these kids, even if he's a lame gift giver. Happy Father's Day!
Posted by Laura Stringham at 9:21 PM
"A hula hoop!?" shouted a somewhat terrifying, old, haggard looking man from his equally old, haggard looking pick up in the K-Mart parking lot.
"I didn't know they even made those anymore!"
"Yup." I replied. "Apparently they do." and then I hurried my children into our minivan as quickly as I could mange while still remaining discreet.
Yesterday was a VERY rainy day, Brent wasn't home to entertain us all and I was about to lose my sanity (once again) trying to manage the kids. Suddenly, Jane had the great idea to go to the store and get a hula hoop. I must have been feeling particularly weak at that moment because instead of sending her outside with her raincoat where she couldn't make such outlandish suggestions, I agreed. And you know what? It was the best $6 I've spent all week. Better that the $5 I spent on a new shirt for Jane that she now has to be bribed into wearing and WAY better than the $4 I spent on a piece of less than mediocre pizza at the mall to keep her quiet. In fact, I would go so far as to claim that the literal hours of entertainment that it has provided her has made it one of the best investments of her entire life. She's getting pretty good at it too.
I guess it just goes to show that a good idea is a good idea, no matter how simple it is or how long it's been around.
Posted by Laura Stringham at 8:56 PM
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
What does one do when they realize their children are going out of their way to willfully deceive them? I remember trying to trick my parents when I was small. I thought I was so stinking clever and I couldn't ever figure out how on earth they could possibly tell when I was lying. I knew that I was a total pro at it, so they must have been psychic. I suppose it's about time I got my just desserts.
Today, Jane wants to go see the movie Up. So do I. She's a wee bit cranky, or a lot bit, as the case may be, and I told her that everyone needed to get a nap if we were going to go. She asked if she could have quiet play time instead.
"Nope." I told her,
"You have to go to sleep if you want to go to a movie later."
I should have guessed right away that she had something up her sleeves, she was way to compliant.
"Mom, I'm just going to go to the bathroom before I go to bed."
"Mom, I'm just going to put on some comfy pants because I don't like sleeping in jeans."
"Mom, I'm just going to grab my special blankie because it helps me sleep."
And she would have gotten away with her diabolical scheme if she hadn't said this:
"Mom, don't go over to that side of the bed." referring to the side I couldn't see from the door.
"Why, Jane? What's over there?"
"Nothing, just my stinky shoes." They really are VERY stinky.
"Why did you put your stinky shoes over there, Jane?"
"Just because, don't go over there."
And when I did, I found it. I found it all. Not only were the stinky shoes there, so were three Barbies, several books and other toys that she had stashed when I was getting her younger siblings in their beds. It appeared as though she never had the intention of sleeping at all.
Of course I took them out of the room and of course, this caused the wailing and screaming that has become customary when she doesn't get her way.
I finally managed to calm her down and told her that I didn't like to be tricked by her. I took the time to tell her about respect and honesty and I was having one of those moments as a parent. You know the moment. The moment when you feel as though you are taking the time to lovingly teach a valuable lesson to your child and the best part is, they are listening, understanding and learning from your experiences. It felt great. Before I left, I requested...
"Jane, you still owe me an apology for trying to trick me"
"I'm (sniff sniff) sorry." Jane managed to squeeze out between her sobs as put her arms around my neck and gave me one of those tear-y kisses on my cheek.
"Thank you, darling. Are you going to try to trick me ever again?"
She let go, looked at me with her big, wet blue-green eyes and said
At least she got the part about honesty.
Posted by Laura Stringham at 12:55 PM
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I see that it has now been a full week since I posted on my blog and a full eight days (or is it nine? for some reason days of the week can confuse my easily confused mind) since my oldest child officially graduated from preschool and I thought it was good and time I got on with sharing our jubilee with the world.
Ok, so let me start by asking if I'm the only parent in the world that thinks that it is totally NOT a bizarre that my child has "graduated" from preschool? Ya, I guess it feels kinda weird that she's going to be in kindergarten next fall and ya, it feels kinda weird that she's growing up, but I'm not heartbroken over it or anything. It feels really really normal and appropriate. I'm not dying because she's growing up so fast or scared that she's not ready. I feel really happy for her because I know that this is what life is all about, growing older, learning more and gathering new experiences as you go along. I'm prepared for a little more trauma when I drop her off at her classroom this fall, but not much.
We actually almost didn't go to the "ceremony" because we were supposed to have dinner with friends and Jane didn't want to cancel the meal and subsequent playdate, but in the end we decided that it was best that we show our daughter her achievements are important to us. Poor thing has a tough life. It's got to be rough being an oldest child. It always seems as though we have the least amount a patience with her, expect the most from her and have almost no time for her. Ya, it definitely takes a certain spirit to handle that position in the family.
Anyway... we went. She got all dolled up and sang all those songs that I've been hearing on the car rides home all year. They even gave the kids little graduation caps (that fell apart on the walk to the car) and diplomas to make the event super legit.
As we were walking out to the car, Jane commented that we hadn't gotten her a graduation present. I was a little bugged at this because if all the other parents hadn't brought things to the program for their kids, Jane would never have realized that she wasn't getting anything. I had two perfectly good reasons for not having a gift.
1- I forgot and
2- even if I hadn't forgotten, I wouldn't have gotten her anything
She was obviously feeling snubbed, so we asked her if she wanted to go get some icecream (McDonald's kids cones here we come) but she had more grandiose ideas. She informed us that she wanted "flowers and a treat." That totally busted Brent and me up since that's exactly what I would have asked for, I ALWAYS want flowers and a treat, preferably a baked good that will require several glasses of accompanying milk. If you ever need to buy me anything, make it flowers and treat... Jane too, apparently. Since her request hit home so hard, I drove straight to the Neighborhood Market (WalMart that is) and she picked out some pink roses and coordinating cookies.
The flowers and treat made her about as happy as they make me. You'd think she was my daughter or something.
And of course Jane was kind enough to share with her adoring siblings.
Now that I look at this photo, I realize exactly how nice and white trash Charlie was looking that night.
Congratulations to Jane. We really are proud of our little girl and I love her to bits.
Posted by Laura Stringham at 8:05 PM
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Dear Utah County-
Question. Do you hate me? Do ya? Because I think you do and if I'm right, don't you think that we should just get it out in the open and talk about it. I'll even start.
Do you enjoy the fact that I can't ever find anything down there and I drive around for the better part of an hour searching for some seemingly nonexistant address? The only three places I've ever successfully driven directly to are my Aunt B's, my Aunt Kathy's and the University Mall and half the time I'm worried that when I actually arrive to what I think is my destination, you will have moved them on me just for kicks. But Provo and Orem are the least of my worries, what's the deal with that whole Alpine/Lehi/Pleasant Grove/American Fork/Lindon mess? Trying to figure out where I'm driving down there blows my mind. I swear you even hide your freeway when onramps when I head that way.
I've noticed that you've made an effort to utilize the tried and true grid system when naming your streets, but it is a very half-hearted one, indeed. What good does it do me when all the cities run into each other and they all have their own grid systems? What the heck does it mean when I read a sign that says "2600 N/400 S" or something equally outrageous? And how can a street possibly be 700 North AND 700 East at the same time?
Oh, and I know that you and Mapquest are in cahoots. What's the deal there? Do you blackmail them to give me wrong directions or do you both sit around and laugh yourselves silly at your sick joke while you watch me make U turn after U turn? What about today, when it took me 45 minutes to find an address in Lindon, did you NOT hear my children screaming in the back seat because I'm fairly certain that orbiting space stations were annoyed with them. And then you had to go and put the grandma in her Cadillac in front of me. I bet you loved that her car never went over 15 mph, didn't you?
I'm telling you, Utah County, this whole thing isn't working for me. It isn't working at all. I'd like you be your friend, but you make it so hard! We can't avoid eachother entirely. I'm racking my brain here trying to figure out what I could have done that would cause such loathing on your part. Is because I went to the U? because if it is, listen, you're just going to have to get over it. You are the home to BYU and I still venture down there from time to time. No hard feelings.
I'm really hoping that we'll be able to work this out, but the ball's in your court now. You know where to find me, safely tucked away in Salt Lake County, where the world and the streets make sense.
Posted by Laura Stringham at 11:39 AM