So Maybe He's Not Completely Fearless
Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wyatt LOVES dinosaurs--so much that he can identify without hesitation a handful of his favorites, including Triceratops, Tyrannosaraus Rex, Stegosaurus, and Hadrosaurus. So when the Oregon Zoo announced it would be featuring a dinosaur exhibit throughout the summer, I was thrilled for the opportunity to take him!

Ticket in hand, Wyatt excitedly hopped, skipped, and jumped his way inside the exhibit when, like Dorothy, he suddenly realized he wasn't in Kansas anymore. The jovial sounds of children frolicking in the zoo had quickly been replaced by an eerie and uncomfortable silence. After cautiously scanning the dark forest with his curious little eyes and hearing the faint echoes of dinosaurs roaming the land, it was only a matter of moments before the little lip of Mr. Fearless himself started to quiver. When asked what was wrong, he replied, "I'm scary."

The lip quiver

Not really feelin' the dino love

Contemplating over a graham cracker

Startled by the roar of T-Rex
(and most likely peeing his pants)

Once we survived the T-Rex encounter, Wyatt felt a bit more at ease--and even made the acquaintance of a few baby dinos, which really made his day.

Aside from the wee bit of mental torture Wyatt sustained at the beginning of the tour, we all managed to survive the dino invasion unscathed. Any lingering fears were all soon forgotten once Wyatt stepped foot on the zoo train at the end of the day. Dinosaurs? What dinosaurs?

Wine Selection:
Guenoc Cabernet Sauvignon
Personal Rating: ***Good***
Comments: It was pleasant to drink, but nothing specific really stood out to make it a very memorable wine, except for the fact that it doesn't pair well with cheddar cheese. Blech!!! I'll be surprised if I buy this again, but it was a pretty decent wine in my opinion.


Life In the Fast Lane
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

There's something about the first birthday that seems to jump-start life into high gear. Perhaps it's the nicer weather, or maybe the fact that we're no longer homebound due to a morning nap, but it certainly isn't showing any signs of slowing down for us in the near future. In fact, I've been working diligently to iron out a fall activity schedule for everyone, and I've found the process to be much more difficult than I ever thought it would be. But I suppose it's great practice for a future soccer mom--juggling back-to-back activities and trying to be at two places at once. Hopefully scientists will get this whole cloning thing figured out between now and then so I won't have to worry about it!

Now that Avery is toddling around and showing more of an interest in learning and playing, I'm planning to enroll her in a music class one day a week for the rest of the summer. She'll be in there with Wyatt, so I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing considering he's such an attention hog. But I guess we'll just have to see how it goes. Once Wyatt turns three, I'm hoping to get him involved in a drop-off activity so I can accompany Avery in a class of her very own. Again, the stars must be perfectly aligned for all of the timing to work out, but I'm hoping we'll get lucky!

As you can see, I finally managed to get around to having her 12-month photos taken. I must be just about a month behind on everything, because it wasn't until yesterday that we finally made it in for her 12-month doctor visit. Better late than never, I guess. She handled those pesky shots like a trooper and was even given a nice Dr. Seuss book (right up her alley) as a reward for her bravery. In addition to growing like a weed, she's learning to communicate at a much faster rate than it seems her brother did. She will point, grunt, or growl for something she wants and will sometimes say "peez" if you ask her to. She's still trying to learn to hold her own when it comes to having such a rough and tumbly big brother, but overall I think she's doing well. She still sleeps like a champ, which makes everyone very happy!

13-month stats:
Weight: 20 lbs 14.8 oz (40th percentile)
Length: 30 inches (70th percentile)
Head Circumference: 18 inches (70th percentile)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Neophyte blogger alert!

Eric here, guest blogging. This is my first blog ever. Actually that's not true, some of you may remember my short-lived webpage back when Wyatt was first born. I guess you could have called it blogging, but back then I thought blogs and iPods were the same thing. I only figured that one out recently.

Anyway, Wyatt and I escaped the womenfolk and headed to Willamette National Forest southeast of Eugene to camp, bicycle the Aufderheide Scenic Drive, and fish the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River.

We drove down Saturday morning after watching the last Tour de France stage. By the way, despite my general disdain for all things not American, I am convinced that the Tour de France is the single most impressive and compelling sporting event in the world (followed by World Series, US Open, Daytona 500). It is probably the only way Catrina is going to get me to leave the Homeland (North America north of Mexico).

We set up camp and then took off on a 30-mile bicycle ride up the Aufderheide Scenic Drive, which is really nothing but a paved forest road. Passed by lots of old growth, a ton of speedy motorcycles, and a few sunning garter snakes. The first half was mostly uphill, which just means that when you turn around you get to "go faster" as Wyatt puts it. We came upon this neat area called the Constitution Grove. Thanks to a big fire that went through the area, all the trees date back to about 1787 (for those of you like Catrina who did not pay attention in school, that is when the Constitution was signed). Every tree is named after one of the signers.

After returning to camp (3 1/2 hours later), we quickly transitioned to fly fishing mode and hit the river. There were lots of little rainbows, easy to catch on elk hair caddis and little yellow sallys. Nothing bigger than maybe 8 inches though. In retrospect I probably should not have fished so far upstream. Regardless, Wyatt was on my back and got an up close view. He likes to pet the fish. We fished nearly until dark, then walked back to camp.

The camping was great. We were able to find a secluded site off the forest road, all to ourselves. There was some bear scat around, if that excites you. It was near a good fishing hole. I forgot to bring a lantern or flashlight - which makes for a scared little boy when the truck lights go off - but his eyes adapted quickly. We star-gazed for a moment and then he was out. He slept well and even tried to sleep in the next morning, but that of course is forbidden on camping/fishing trips.

The morning fishing was more of a scouting trip to find some good holes fast, without any luck. Nevertheless, it sure was fun to spend some time with the boy. We drove back in time to catch most of the Brickyard 400. Now how many blogs do you think reference the Tour de France, old growth forests, fly fishing, and NASCAR all within 24 hours?

Virtual TAG Isn't Nearly As Fun.

You don't even get to hit anybody, for crying out loud! Rather, you're forced to reveal information about yourself that people otherwise wouldn't know. What fun is that?!?! And do you really even care? Well, I tried to keep it interesting for you, anyway. I have Rachel to thank for the tag. Feel free to toilet paper her house.

3 JOYS (outside of the obvious family/friends):

Running: Sometimes I think I'm in better shape now than I was before kids, especially after pushing 30lbs of stroller lugging 55lbs of child. I certainly get some type of unexplainable high from it (from running...not pushing the 85lbs), and can totally tell a difference in my mood if I go a few days without it.
Getting Away With Hiding Vegetables In Food: There's nothing more satisfying than hearing your kids "ooh" and "ahh" over mashed potatoes loaded with broccoli, cauliflower, and cheese. I take every opportunity to slip them into a meal, whether it's scrambled eggs, pancakes, mac n cheese, or muffins. I have frozen cubes of cauliflower and sweet potatoes on hand at all times. It's awesome. Mom's are the best at trickery!!!
Online Shopping: I'm not really sure there is another girl on earth that despises shopping as much as I do--the crowds, rummaging through sale racks, kids kicking and screaming as they try to escape from the stroller. That's just not for me, folks. It's totally worth it for me to pay a few extra dollars in shipping than to make a dreaded trip to the mall. And the options?!?!?! I can't tell you how many times I've gone into a store (to save that beloved few bucks in shipping) only to hear, "I'm sorry...we don't carry that in the store." Well, hells bells...that was a waste of time! I'm so much more content taking my time to search through an online catalog while the kids are napping than to rush through a mall, sweat pouring from my brow, only to walk away with nothing.

3 FEARS (Since I've started this blog, I've realized that I have a few too many irrational fears in which I need to work to resolve. I won't bore you with them yet again):

$10/gal gas: Not kidding. I'm sure it will be in our future soon enough. Those smart cars are looking more and more attractive by the day.

Hmm...can you picture a family of four in this vehicle? Perhaps the car seats attach to the roof? There is a strange and somewhat demented part of me that would be absolutely fine with that!
Losing a child: I've known mothers who've lost children and I pray on a daily basis that I'm never forced to endure such pain.
Mascots/Masks/Costumes: It's not really a fear, but I just get really creeped out by people in costume. Does this mean a Disney World family vacation is out of the question? I think it has more to do with not being able to see a person's eyes. Wearing sunglasses can kind of be lumped into this category as well. I certainly understand why people wear them, but I don't particularly like having a conversation with someone when I can't see their eyes. It's for that very reason I never wear them myself. I suppose I would rather have the sun just burn holes in eyes!


To have only one chin again: Hey...I started (after pregnancy) with three and am now down to one and a half, so I'm almost there! YIPPEE!
To run a half marathon: By this time next year, I hope to have another half marathon under my belt. If I really wanted to, I think I could do one this summer. But I don't. :-) Half marathons are great because they do require a great deal of training, but they don't kill your joints like a full marathon...and the recovery time is much shorter. I suppose I should start looking at a calendar and get my booty in gear!
To learn how to quilt: No...I'm not 85 years old. However, by the time I actually get around to learning how to do it, I just might be! I have a couple of projects in mind that I'd like to undertake someday. There isn't a big rush. I just need to be able to devote enough time to become a master quilter before I get started on them. Yeah...we're probably looking at somewhere around 85!


Eye Cream: Since I've turned 30 (only a couple of weeks ago), I've purchased three different brands of eye cream. I've diligently applied them to my almost-visible (okay...moderately visible) "laugh lines" every morning and night. I'm really not afraid of getting older, but there's certainly nothing wrong with a little intervention. And an ounce of prevention goes a long way!
Drinking Water: I have a 32-ounce jug of water that goes everywhere with me. Well not everywhere...I have received a few strange looks from people when I've been out in public. But it's at least in my car or in my house at all times. Aside from my morning coffee and occasional glass of wine in the evening, it's all I drink. I seriously can't get enough of it. You could hook me up to an IV and have water pouring through my veins, and I'm willing to bet that I'd still be thirsty for the real thing. At least it's a healthy obsession. It could be worse, I suppose.
Flossing: I have a dentist appointment tomorrow.

I tag: no one. I don't handle rejection well.

I Give Up.
Saturday, July 26, 2008

I've pretty much given up on the possibility of ever capturing a photo in which both of my kids are looking at the camera, expressions ever-so-pleasant, and at least appearing as though they actually like one another. I stopped trying months ago to achieve such an impossible feat on my own, and have since been relying on the professionals to try and capture that one glorious moment--you know, when all of the stars are perfectly aligned, eyes twinkling, and smiles stretched ear to ear. A moment kind of like this one:

"Who are these children?", you may ask. Well, they're certainly NOT mine. They must be little models hired by the photography studio, right...tricking you into thinking you can actually walk away with a photo like this one for your precious family album.

Nope. They are my friend Shelley's kids, Brayden and Sienna. You see, our kids are the exact same ages, and we take them to the same photography studio, Yuen Lui. Shelley had the great fortune of bringing home this picture of her two precious gems, most likely to a gorgeous frame that is now adorning the walls of their beautiful home.

Meanwhile, what does Catrina get to come home with?

One little bully stealing a flower from his baby sister, then
proceeding to hit her with it. Lovely.
Just lovely, I tell you.

Of course, I had the option to come back for more torture (I mean, "re-takes"), but I'm fairly confident I'd get a similar result, so I decided not to put myself through the agony. We'll just try again in two more months when I take Wyatt in for his 3rd birthday pictures. I can just imagine the chaos now. Is it too early for Calgon to take me away?

Wine Selection:
Tin Roof Cellars Merlot
Personal Rating: ****Excellent****
Comments: Very rich in flavor with some extremely bold cherry flavors popping out at you, which I usually have a hard time distinguishing. The finish was a little weak, but the front was so flavorful that I can see past a few imperfections. Great complex merlot. Highly recommended.


You Should See The Other Guy!
Thursday, July 24, 2008

The past month Avery has been duking it out with the pavement, which apparently eats brand new walkers for breakfast--as evidenced by the almost daily battle wounds she sustains. The latest altercation ended with Avery in a face plant, begging for mercy. Fortunately, she made it out with only a minor scrape to the nose. It must be some kind of hazing ritual for all new pavement pounders.

They Should Be Used to 'Soft Sprinkles' By Now
Monday, July 21, 2008

I wish I could figure out why neither of our kids likes water. I was holding out hope for Avery since she seemed to really enjoy the bath, but as of late, bath time is just plain torture. We have one of those little plastic kiddie pools that neither of them will step foot in, so when Grandma Edgar recommended the Soft Sprinkles Tide Pool, I thought it would be an excellent way to get them both excited about playing in the water. It's still too early to tell since today was the first day we tried it out, but it's very apparent that Avery isn't quite sold on the idea.

Wyatt, on the other hand, was very excited about the VERY cool new....


I don't even know why I put Wyatt in his swim trunks. He put his foot in, and that's about as close as he would venture into the deep blue abyss. Speaking of deep...I couldn't help but chuckle at the warning printed on the mat in big bold letters that read, "WARNING...NO DIVING!" Really?!?! The water isn't even ankle-deep. It's amazing the disclaimers you have to put on things these days. Sheesh!

As it turns out, the brave one of the bunch ended up being Avery. After becoming increasingly more comfortable playing in the water from the sidelines, I picked her up and stood her right in the middle of the mat. Granted, once she was in there, she hardly moved a muscle. Meanwhile, Wyatt broke out in devious laughter as he ran in circles around the mat, ultimately expecting Avery to get swallowed up by the sea of sprinkles.

I suppose it probably would've been a better idea to wait for a warmer day. I think it topped out at 80 degrees today. But I was eager to try it out. Hopefully next time we'll get a little more enthusiasm out of the fraidy cats. Wyatt has already been asking to do it again, so I guess that's a good sign. Maybe he'll actually decide to get both feet wet next time.

Wine Selection:
Newman's Own Cabernet Sauvignon
Personal Rating: **Fair**
Comments: Not what I expected and I probably won't buy it again. It just seemed very acidic to me--kind of like drinking one of his marinara sauces. Perhaps I should stick to my cheap wines. I seem to like those a lot better!


The Ponytail

After seeing other little girls Avery's age sporting cute little pony and pig tails, I decided to give it a shot. I still need quite a bit of practice, but it wasn't a bad first attempt. The hardest part, aside from getting her to sit still long enough, was keeping tabs on the super tiny, clear, latex rubber band!!! I swear, I can't tell you how many times I'd have the hair (all of 10 strands) in my hands, ready to go, only to lose the blessed thing! I'll get the technique down eventually, but let's just say that I don't foresee pig tails in her future any time soon.

For those anxiously awaiting camping news....I managed yet again to squeak out of a camping trip, as the overnight temperatures were expected to be a bit low. Darn. It's always nice when Mother Nature is on my side. However, it's only delaying the inevitable, as Eric has already made campground reservations at the coast for us in two weeks. At least I have that much longer to plan and get excited about a family weekend in the great outdoors--lightning bugs, a cozy fire, and SMORES! See...positive thinking (and smores) does the trick every time!

Turning Over A New Leaf
Saturday, July 19, 2008

A word of caution for all of my girlfriends: If you ever plan to gift me with a beautiful floral arrangement for which I'm expected to maintain life, please do not take it personally if within a few weeks, it looks like this.

For the past several weeks this floral carcass has graced the
entrance to our front door.
Pretty inviting...don't you think?

What can I say...I'm horticulturally challenged. It's just one of those things I'd love to be better at, but haven't quite made it a priority. Needless to say, we have absolutely no plants or flowers inside or outside of our house (that aren't self-sustainable), unless you count the occasional bouquet of flowers I pick up from the grocery store. But they're supposed to die, so I guess that really doesn't qualify.

Anyhow, I was thrilled when Shelly gifted me with such a beautiful arrangement--although I must admit, the thought of returning it for the plant's sake did cross my mind. But I was so moved by her sweet gesture that I was more determined than ever to give it the proper shot at life it so deserved. Yeah...that lasted, oh...two weeks. To my credit, I did remember to water it a few times. But once we left town for a week, that pretty much sealed the deal. It had absolutely no chance of survival.

Even though the plant didn't make it, I wasn't quite ready to let go of the sentiment behind it. So, I put it through even more hell by letting it bake in the hot sun for a few weeks and serve as a nice home for several spider families in the neighborhood.

Today, I finally had enough. I put the poor plant out of its misery and brought new life to my Shelly bouquet.

I promise...this one is going to stick around for a while. FAMOUS.LAST.WORDS!!

Wine Selection:
Hayman Hill Merlot
Personal Rating: ***Good***
Comments: I think I had higher expectations of this wine. The first few sips tasted very strange--a very spicy front followed by a really weak (almost sweet) finish. But after a few sips, it seemed to balance out. Overall, I think it's pretty darn good with just a funky first sip.


Not Your Average Park
Friday, July 18, 2008

We discovered a new park today thanks to our resident family playgroup, and boy...WAS IT SOMETHING!! Ibach Park in Tualatin (pronounced too-all-i-tin) had just about everything a two year old dirt-monger would love, and everything a one year old little princess would love to admire from a distance--sand, water (together equals a muddy mess), sliding, climbing, and jumping. There is no way a child (or parent) could walk away from this park experience and not be in desperate need of a bath.

There was a really fast tunnel slide that "plopped" the kids right onto the sand, but Wyatt actually preferred sliding down one of the walls. I think the first time was an accident, but after he realized how much fun it was, he kept going back for more. That's my boy.

There was a really interesting boulder that, with all of its craters, resembled the moon. Since Wyatt loves the moon so much, it was only natural for him to want to spend some time there climbing and exploring--taking an occasional millisecond rest break in one of its craters.

And what park experience wouldn't be complete without a blast off "to infinity and beyond"?

What form. What grace.
Slap a helmet on him and call 'em Buzz Lightyear, folks!

I tried to get Avery to play in the sand and even ride in the swing, but she was much more content riding piggyback and observing the muddy madness. But I was able to finally convince her that she'd be safe and have fun playing in the sand. As always...mommy knows best. She loved it!

But by the time she decided to finally get out and play, we had already been there 2.5 hours! We were the first in our group to arrive and the very last to leave. After a whopping 3.5 hours, we called it quits. Wyatt had slowed down only long enough to scarf down a PB&J, so it wasn't a big surprise when he didn't put up much of a fight when going down for his nap.

(I usually prefer color photography over B&W, but I made an exception for this one. Her expression is just so sweet.)

Wine Selection: Hayman Hill Merlot
Personal Rating: ***Good***
Comments: I think I had higher expectations of this wine. The first few sips tasted very strange--a very spicy front followed by a really weak (almost sweet) finish. But after a few sips, it seemed to balance out. Overall, I think it's pretty darn good with just a funky first sip.

Pure Brilliance!
Thursday, July 17, 2008

I purchased this bowl at Bed Bath & Beyond last weekend with very little to no expectations. I brought it home and explained to Eric that it is apparently spill proof, to which he replied, "yeah, right." Of course, I put it to the ultimate test by filling it with goldfish crackers and placing it in the hands of our 12-month old, who is not only a little klutzy right now, but has no concept of eating out of a bowl.

As you can see, Avery has the bowl tilted on its side, but none of the contents have spilled. What an excellent concept! There is no doubt this inventor has children of his/her own.

Oh, The Wonderful Sounds Little Avery Can Do.

I guess she figured that if Mr. Brown can do them, then she can too!

It appears as though Avery's recent obsession with books has sparked a new fascination with animal sounds and learning how to make them. In the video, she was really on a roll before her brother rudely interrupted (distraught after his IV of apple juice ran dry). Fortunately, I was able to get a bit more video of her the next day.

My favorite sound by far is the tiger.

Blogging Lull
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Apparently life gets pretty boring after 30, for it has been a very slow week in blogging. We've actually been very busy now that Avery is transitioning to just a single nap in the afternoon, but aside from the grandparents, I'm sure one can only handle so many pictures of my kids at the park! I'm still trying to adjust to this new-found freedom of leaving the house for extended periods of time without the mad dash to get home in time for someone's nap. It has definitely been a breath of fresh air (literally!).

We're also in the midst of trying to iron out our upcoming weekend plans. Eric is attempting yet again to get me to agree to a camping adventure, just as he has virtually every weekend the past 3 years! It has been an ongoing battle that I've somehow managed to win, but I'm afraid my overflowing well of excuses is finally starting to run dry. It's not the camping that bothers me, as much as it is trying to anticipate and pack accordingly everyone's clothing and dietary needs while simultaneously assimilating in my mind the best course of action for ensuring a good night's sleep for everyone involved. Seriously, if we can't fit a pack-n-play into a tent, I don't think anyone stands a chance of catching any Zzzzz's!! Even then, there's just really no way of knowing how Avery will respond in an outdoor sleep environment. I know...I'm being rather pessimistic about the whole thing. I'm sure both kids will do just fine. But after enduring major sleep deprivation the first 14 months of motherhood (Wyatt would only sleep 1-2 hour stretches), I get a little cranky when I suspect my sleep might be voluntarily compromised. Can you blame me? If we decide to give it a go, I'm sure I'll be back with a few interesting stories--better known as "Griswold moments" in our household.

Hopefully I'll have something more interesting to write about in the next couple of days--which reminds me--I was tagged by Rachel to complete one of those get-to-know-you type questionnaires. Maybe I'll do that. I usually don't, but since I was called out by name I sort of feel peer-pressured into doing it. I'm sure it was all part of her devious plan. Thanks Rach!

To avoid the wrath of the grandparents, I thought it wise to post at least one picture of the kids from the past week. After an exhaustive search, this is the best one I could find.

It's just been one of those weeks. What can I say?

Wine Selection: Black Mountain Chardonnay
Personal Rating: **Fair**
Comments: Trader Joe's special. It's okay. Definitely not a favorite.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm really not sure where he comes up with stuff.

Celebrating Three Decades!
Thursday, July 10, 2008

Another decade has come and gone. I have now officially reached the age that middle-schoolers consider "old"--a pill that's just a little hard to swallow. But for the most part I'm embracing my thirties, for I have a sneaking suspicion it's going to be the best decade of my life. For me, the twenties were great. I graduated from college, married my best friend, ran a marathon, and became a mother. But there were also some years in which I was drenched in self-doubt, in debt up to my eyeballs, with no true sense of direction. Those were some very uncertain times in my life that I hope to never again revisit. I'm incredibly excited about what the next decade has in store for me and my family--traveling, little league, dance recitals, community involvement. Bring it on. I can handle a few crows feet and laugh lines. I said a few.

Today was an amazing day. I have not a single complaint. I woke up this morning to my two year old whispering sweet nothings in my ear. "Lightning McQueen is a very fast race car. ", he said in such a soft, sweet voice. You know it's gonna be a good day when you wake up giggling. I then managed to get everyone dressed, fed, and out the door in a reasonable amount of time to enjoy some gorgeous weather. Mommy was able to sneak in a 4-mile run without any complaints or protests to get out of the stroller, which earned the kiddos extra playing time at the park for being so pleasant. After nap time, we hopped in the car to pick up my birthday cake. Wyatt said he wanted birthday ice cream instead of birthday cake, so we compromised and bought an ice cream cake from Cold Stone Creamery. He felt very important as he helped make the selection--although I'm sure any one of the mouth-watering cakes in the window would have sufficed in satisfying his little sweet tooth. We then met Eric for dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant, where I enjoyed one of my most favorite drinks--Margarita on the rocks.

And Wyatt wanted a picture with the birthday girl so he could showcase his new (and very Portland-esque) "Peace and Love" Volkswagen van.

After dinner, we enjoyed a little family time outside. Avery has the cutest walk I've ever seen! She brings her arms up to her chest and makes a fist with her hands. It is absolutely adorable. Wyatt is usually pretty good at helping her stumble to the ground, but I guess that's what big brothers do. She's a pretty good sport about it.

Wyatt was thrilled to finally come inside, sing Happy Birthday, and help blow out the candles. Avery wasn't too interested in the cake. She obviously hasn't yet developed a sweet tooth. I suppose we're still waiting on that one to come in--along with about 16 others! Hehe!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to give me a call, or send some birthday wishes, cards, or cash (ooh-la-la). I'm so fortunate to have such caring friends and family in my life. It means a lot.

Wine Selection: Forest Glen Merlot
Personal Rating: ****Excellent****
Comments: This has always been a favorite of ours. I think it is very easy to drink by itself or with food. If I had one complaint it would be that the finish is a little weak. However, Eric thinks it's perfect.

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Apparently I Missed A Couple of Spots

This is proof that sunscreen does actually work...if applied appropriately. Obviously I failed. But I guess you can look at the bright side--at least the other 98% of his body remained burn free. Poor baby. I feel horrible. Fortunately, he hasn't even really seemed to notice. I, on the other hand, want to soak in an ice bath just looking at him.

Another mommy lesson learned the hard way. So, I suppose I'm no longer in the running for the Mother of the Year award? What do you know...disqualified 3 years in a row. Motherhood is hard work, I tell ya.

Trying To Beat the Heat
Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Since we don't have the luxury of air conditioning in our house, we decided to spend the morning at a nearby water park (beautifully designed with toddlers in mind). And because I didn't have to worry much about Wyatt getting himself into too much trouble, it was a great opportunity to bust out the butterfly bathing suit and introduce Avery to a little splishing and splashing of her own.

She enjoyed it for several minutes until the stampede of preschoolers on a field trip came rushing through the park, armed with ginormous water pistols and mischievous laughter--on a mission to drench anyone in sight. It didn't take her long to figure out she needed to get the heck out of Dodge. Instead, she found contentment under a little shade tree where she enjoyed munching on crackers, sipping some good 'ol H2O, and rifling through Mommy's wallet.

At one point, I actually glanced back at her only to find she had pulled two $20 bills out of my wallet and began tossing them about. It's a good thing it wasn't windy out (or that I didn't have any more cash than that), or I'm sure there would have been a couple of lucky kids (and parents) awfully glad they came to the park today! Once I spoiled her fun, she decided that sitting still just wasn't her thing anymore. Rather, she wanted to run around like the big kids and there wasn't much stopping her. I had to rescue her a few times, but she did pretty well overall.

Meanwhile, Wyatt stayed busy jumping off waterfalls and rescuing other kids' Spiderman figures from drowning. Always looking out for Spidey, that one.

It's plainly obvious when Wyatt starts to get bored because his energy usually shifts from innocent play to devious antics--like trying to get a rise out of Mommy by wandering out of her sight. This is usually my cue to pack it up and head to the car, as things usually progress into a downward spiral quite rapidly. Fortunately, we made it out with nary a power struggle or tantrum to be had. It was a pretty good morning, I'd say.

Last summer at the water park
It's amazing how much these little critters grow in 12 short months!



My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition (most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very characteristic of a merlot. (more)


“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771