Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oh, Second-graders...

Although the opportunity cost was greater than I had hoped for my substituting last Friday, at least I was entertained by a second-grade class.  Here are some things I learned while "teaching" them:
    -Second-graders don't get sarcasm nor do they like to laugh and joke with the teacher.  I could never teach second grade.
    -If you cry at recess because the other guys won't let you play their game with them, lots of little girls will come running to your aide.
    -If you're the only one assigned to do a special job in the class, even if it's just holding open the door, it's awesome.
    -Whatever happens to these kids in the 5 years between 2nd grade and middle school changes them exponentially.

And of course, the quotes of the day:
    -(After lots of rambling and following me around on the playground) "My Nana has a chihuahua and she'd 2 and she's on her period."  Apparently, those fact were important for me to know.
    -(Innocently looking at a globe for an assignment) "What's that country?  Niger?  Is that country called Niger?"  I made a swift correction to his pronunciation of "Niger" to have the letter "g" making the "j" sound.  Yikes.
    -Kid 1: "How do you spell helicopter?"  Kid 2: (Rolls eyes--duh.)  "H-e-l-l-a..."  Nice try, but not quite.

Oh, second grade, you are so naive...but cute.  :)

Missing Something?

When I was in 5th grade, a friend of mine called (and a phone call was a big deal to a 5th-grader) and we talked for a little while until she revealed her reason for calling: she wanted ideas on what to get the birthday girl for a party she was attending later that week.  I knew this birthday girl, too--we were all in the same class--and I also knew I wasn't invited.  My friend knew I wasn't invited, but still wanted to tell me all about how much fun it was going to be.  I hated the feeling of exciting stuff going on with out me. 
Fast forward a few years.  During my junior year of high school I was working at a lovely cart/kiosk in the mall that sold gel candles and came home one after work one Saturday exhausted.  I decided to take a good nap before going to the church Valentine's Dance that night, which also happened to be one of my favorite nights of the year.  (Ya know, booty-shakin' while looking around for a little cupid-esque action.)  I woke up at 8 a.m. the next freakin' morning!  I had slept right through the dance and totally missed out.  The next day in church I heard all  about it, especially about how much fun it was.  I hated that I had missed it. 
I suppose I know that's why I was usually the last to go to bed among roommates in my college days: I didn't want to miss anything.  Somehow this desire amplifies significantly when a child is in the picture, particularly my own.   
I felt the same "let's-talk-about-a-party-you're-not-invited-to" feeling right after I dropped off Ty at a friend's house to watch him for the day as I went to substitute a 2nd-grade class.  I took the sub job before I realized that it coincided with the day the playgroup was going to the pumpkin patch.  We went to this pumpkin patch last year (twice, actually) but since Ty was only 3 months old, we had only taken pictures.  This time he got a "group pass" for unlimited rides, the petting zoo, a train around the place, and a little goodie bag, not to mention watching Ty "Oh! Oh! Oooo!" at every pumpkin he saw.  And....I missed it.  I may or may not have gotten a little choked up while driving to the elementary school.  Dramatic?  Yes, but also frustrating to me because this is why I don't work full-time/regularly: so I can be around for the "events."  As a large-mouthed man I never knew once said, "I don't wanna miss a thang."  And I don't.  There will be more pumpkin patch-like trips and lots of things that I will inevitably not be around for, but for as much of it as I can, I'll be there.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Spirits of Halloween!

BOO!  Did I scare ya?  Didn't think so.  I've come to the realization--or perhaps have just matured enough to realize--that Halloween is an awesome holiday.  I like "cute, friendly kind of scary stuff, and dressing up" Halloween, not "gory, creepy, scary stuff."  I also like Halloween colors.  I suppose I'd like to send out a big "thank you" to for letting me check out all kinds of crafts and treats, but mostly it just gets those rusty wheels in my head a-turnin.  Here are a few of the Halloween things that I'm using to liven up our place and get into the spirit.  

These I made back in September with some wood chunks, paper, mod podge, and foam stickers I found at the dollar store (as in $1 for the pack of 'em) and thought "hey, I can do something with these!"  So I did.  Total cost: not much.  Kinda fun and easy to pack away for future years.
 I did see this on Pinterest, but followed the tutorial loosely.  I love me some candy corn, so candy corn garland was perfect.  It's like a big visual reminder of what Halloween is all about: candy, duh!
This cost a real small amount: I already had the paper plates, orange cardstock, yellow and white paint, and some black ribbon.  I did make more than I have strung up (but I gave that away) and had to buy some more ribbon to finish.  Still, I don't think this will be too hard to pack up and break out again when the season comes back around.  Maybe they can stay up year-round.  Maybe not...
 Then for Family Home Evening we decided to take some cupcakes to a couple of people.  Also, I needed to use up the leftover frosting I had already in bags from my last cake decorating class. 
 Russell did a good job helping by getting out the chocolate chips and feeding Ty while I decorated.  I like this (cup)cake decorating thing as long as it doesn't have to be perfect and I can have fun with I did.  In case you can't tell, they're supposed to look like Frankenstein, a mummy, or skull n' crossbones.
 ...And this is what I did with the leftover frosting in the bags.  Russell--who has held human brains in his hands--said that my attempt to make a brain (the one on the left) was a feeble one.
 This is us giving cupcakes.  Ta-da!
 And check out this happy/surprised/shocked/ecstatic face of the recipient.  Perfect--just the reaction were hoping for. ;)
Okay, this isn't Halloween-y, but Russell and I (equally together in the kitchen=love) made some "Hot Pockets."  It is autumn-y, though because we can actually use the oven without raising the indoor temp to heat stroke levels.  Here we have broccoli, alfredo, onion, and chicken and meatball, onion, garlic marinara, and mini bell peppers all wrapped up in a wheat crust.  De-freakin-lish.  I recommend you make your own...or hire Russell to use his I-used-to-work-at-a-pizzeria skills to make some for you.  He will not disappoint! 
Now all I need is to put together our Halloween much pressure.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

DPT class of 2033?

While watching (well, sort of...watching was kind of a painful experience) the BYU v. Utah football game last month with some friends in Russell's class, our kids were playing with magnets on the fridge.  At the time this collection of kids comprised all the kids of the UNLV [University of Nevada, Las Vegas] DPT [Doctor of Physical Therapy] class of 2013.  (Since then, we have added Thor to Addie, Asher, Ty, and Ashley.)  Who knows--20ish years from now their kids could be playing with magnets on the fridge while they root for BYU (who may even win!) and try not to think about upcoming exams and dry professors.  Oh, innocence...

And speaking of innocence, how can you not just love this dirt-eating face?
Or perhaps the eyes on this nectarine-shoved-in-mouth little guy?  I love it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cutlery Independence

Meal time with the Ty Guy is usually no big deal.  Sometimes he'll refuse to eat anything offered by shaking his head "no" which is a huge help--way better than just smacking the food down.  And sometimes he'll eat but only if he has his own spoon to hold/use.  During many meals in the past, his spoon is his toy to swirl around in the food/stab a bunch.  He is just getting the hang of actually putting in with something on it into his mouth, though!  He ate this whole yogurt (just about) by himself.
 (Unfortunately, it blends into his skin too well so you can't quite see what a beard he's created.)
 After many failed attempts, Ty has also mastered the snack trap cup, which goes with us just about everywhere.  Now instead of having to hand him one little bite at a time, he can get them himself.  Brilliant.  I'm sure he doesn't mind that I rarely empty it out; just keep filling it up with more goldfish/Annie's bunny crackers/oyster crackers/cheerios/veggie straws. 
Ty also had--and enjoyed!--half of a children's multivitamin today, which the doc recommends just to make sure he's getting all he needs minerally.  Sure, he makes a big ol' mess, but I like watching him try to do things on his own and even clap for himself when he can.  What a big kid...

There's a First and (Hopefully Only) Time for Everything

I lost Ty in a store today.  There--I said it.  I feel awful about it, but we're all okay now, safe and sound at home.  We went into Anna's Linens so I could return a pillow that I should not have purchased in the first place.  Anyway, the store is pretty small (and inconsequentially, lame) and carpeted so we went in without a cart.  I was just going to do a quick once-around through the store to make sure that there wasn't anything fabulous that we needed.  Ty saw something he needed and bee-lined straight for them: pillow pets.  He's never seen a commercial for the things, but he was a fan of the brightly-colored animals on a shelf from floor to...up high.  I let him walk over to the stuffed bed animals and play with one (he picked out a dog and pig) and I checked across an aisle--literally 10 feet away.  There wasn't anyone around/in the store that I saw, so I really thought nothing of it.  5 seconds later, I go back to Ty and he wasn't in sight.  I freaked out inside a little bit.  Russell'd probably be mad if I lost our firstborn.  It took me about 20 seconds to find him, which seemed quite long, and he was just crawling on the floor next to a bunch of sheets.  I scooped him up and we headed out.  I feel really bad about the experience and hope that we never have another situation like this.  Now that I've confessed by blog, I feel better.  I'm adding to Ty's Christmas list a backpack leash.  Ya know--the one's that look kinda like a pillow pet.  ;)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wedding/Family Reunion!

Again, love a wedding, love getting together with family and friends to celebrate lovely love.  We'd like to send a huge "thank you" shout out to Jordan Grimmer for choosing to marry someone from the Bay Area (Dublin, CA I believe) so that we could visit and stay with our family in Fairfield/Vacaville.  So convenient!  Convenient or not, though, we were happy to go see Jordan (Russell's former roommate and pseudo little bro) marry in the Oakland LDS Temple to Gabe, who will make a fabulous addition to the family.  (Which, isn't technically ours, but we're happy to associate with them and be included whenever we can!) 

The second shout out of the post goes to Allegiant Airlines.  While you may be slow, nickle-and-dimey, at times a bit scuzzy, and altogether inefficient, you are cheap and for that we appreciate you.  We were able to fly (all 3 of us roundtrip) for a grand total of $132.  Ty had decent behavior on the flight up--probably because he was asleep for 1/2 of it--so we let him play on this arcade racing game located in the hallway across from the bathrooms in the Stockton Airport. 
 He LOVED it.  Maybe we should consider getting him one for Christmas.  (Yeah, right.)

 My mom and Ty walking back to the car from the airport. It sure is different having a "walker," wobbly though he is, at the airport.  Not so much as easy to just sit and wait for our flight.

 Saying "hi" to Far-far!  He really was excited, but he must have been concentrating on his shadow at the moment.
 After we dropped our stuff off, we ate at Texas Roadhouse.  This was my 2nd experience and Russell's 1st and it's pretty dang good.  Ty (who looks way too old here) rode in to lunch on his saddle.  It's really fun to watch him get excited about, well, just about anything!
 We hung out at Curt and Lel's house for a while before going to get a wedding gift and such.  I thought this was a pretty funny picture.  Carl had just come home from school with a fundraising packet (you know the typical elementary school ones: wrapping paper, expensive treats, junk...) so Julia was perusing out the magazine subscriptions, my mom was looking at the order form, Carl was checking out what prizes he could win, and Leslie was looking at the main item magazine.  Almost Christmastime!
 Meanwhile on the other couch, Russell was instructing Carl how to play a game on his phone.  Good Uncle.  Oh wait--this couldn't have been "meanwhile" because Carl's in both.  Whoops!  I mean: "A bit later on the other couch..."
On the short drive back to my parents house, we let the boys check out the DVD player in the vehicle.  In case you can't tell by the totally-sucked-in-to-the-movie faces, Ty and Sawyer were very much into watching "Cars." 
At the main event!  I did a bad job of taking pictures the day of, but I'm sure someone did a good job, so we should be fine.  Ty did a lot of leading people around the Temple grounds for a few hours.  He holds on to hands to walk sometimes, but we're definitely not holding on to direct him!  This kid has his own agenda. 
Gorgeous day in Oakland which is lucky for the bride and groom, but I was planning on cooler weather, so I was a bit warm but it could have been much worse.  I like this group here of the Grimmer siblings (most of them, the groom was taking pictures still).  I wish we lived closer to them--any of them--so we could hang out more!  I'm know Russell and Ty-ty concur.
 The little fam in front of the fountain at the temple.  Very similar-looking to another picture we have from a wedding ~10 months ago in the same spot.  Maybe this should be a tradition...
 Of course, we did have to do a little baby wrastlin' to get there...
 After the ceremony we went to the Macaroni Grill (or "we're having macaroni with the girl" as little Ashlyn Grimmer put it).   The food was good, the behavior of the children?  Not so much.  Ty wanted to get down and play (I really can't blame him) and with a group our size, it took a bit longer to get the meal going and finished.  Ty likes to feed himself and his "kids meal" (seriously--is that not a huge amount of food?!) came with pasta, which we found out was spaghetti, so he tried his best to make it in his face...
 ...But we had a lot of noodle casualties.  I feel bad for whoever has to clean up the table, floor, all over the high chair, etc.  We took care of cleaning up the kid, which was bad enough!  We plucked noodles off of his shoes, pants, shirt, and covered up the white/spaghetti tie-dyed shirt with his vest.  I don't know why I didn't take off his shirt in the first place and let him wear his onesie.  And now I know; lesson learned.
 The reception was decorated beautifully.  (Funny story about that: I was about to take pictures of the whole set up and decor to bring to my mom/her friend who does this kind of wedding decoration until I found out that her sister was the one behind it and my mom's friend also came to help!  I guess she doesn't need pictures, huh?)  Ty had a fun time with all of the people who gave him attention and lovin' like "Auntie" Linne Heywood.
 The only decent picture I took of the bride and groom (silly me).  We were lucky enough to sneak in there with them, too and look forward to their visits to Vegas!
 At the airport: last-minute picture of the cousins.  They were all a bit squirrelly...
 There were a few open seats on the plane, so the flight attendant suggested we take a 3-seat row (instead of sit in the 2-seat rows like we usually do).  Boy, were we glad we did!  The flight ran into Ty's bedtime, so he had room to sprawl out and lay down even if it was for 5 seconds at a time.  Let me tell you, it is WAY more comfortable to have him climb on the seat than all over my lap!  After the mini meltdown at the very beginning, he did a good job on the plane. 
All together, a fun and FULL weekend.  Congrats to the newlyweds; thanks for letting us celebrate with you.  Now: who's wedding do we go to next?!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Wedding/High School Reunion

I love celebrating things: birthdays, weddings, anything used as a reason to get the idea.  I was incredibly excited to go celebrate the marriage of 2 individuals last weekend!  I flew with Ty and Michelle W. (who was a lifesaver on the flights to and from with a wiggly, nap-less little boy who wanted to push anything that looked like a button and grab/throw anything that looked like a ball) home for a quick trip to be in attendance at Amy Encalada--I mean Amy Dibble's wedding.  I've known Amy since we were in kindergarten, but we really were great friends in high school.  I'm so glad that I could go and that so many of our "group" from high school could be there, too!  Unfortunately, not everyone could make it, but it was awesome to be able to catch up with old friends.  My camera died partway through the festivities, but I'm fairly confident that I'm not the only one who was taking pictures. ;)  
Here comes the bride, who looked perfectly gorgeous, by the way.
 The setting was beautiful: at a flower farm in the evening.  The weather was perfect, everything seemed like it went smoothly, and good times were had.  I hope everything was just how Amy and Tyler wanted it.  They sure seemed happy!
Our group!  I really like these people and am glad we have opportunities to stay in touch.  4 marriages, 5 babies, lots of degrees, and tons of experiences later, we can still have a fun time with each other.
FYI, because I know you were wondering [not], Russell said I could get a new dress for the occasion.  I know black isn't really ideal for a wedding, but I didn't have much time and it was on super sale  for $14.97 (like I'd buy anything that wasn't) and I found the shoes for $5.99!  I really like them and they're actually quite comfy for as tall as they are.  The necklace was also part of The Ensemble and because it was missing the earrings that were supposed to be with it, was also only $5.99.  Suh-weet.  Sorry for the boring closing to the post.

As you can see from his absence in any pictures, Russell wasn't able to come (something about studying for school, whatever that means), but it was almost better that he didn't so that he didn't have to be bored with our "remember when in high school..." stories and such.  I'm lucky to have such good friends--makes me excited for our annual Christmas breakfast only a couple months away!

Ty as of late

I realize that I've posted mainly about events lately, but not about our "main event:" the Ty Guy!  He's changing quite a bit and picking up new skills.  He is 14 months old now, after all.  Russell says it best (and frequently), "I like that kid."
Ty typed this: zxZXCCCZAxc cz.  Aaaand that's kinda how he talks nowadays.  He says "full sentences" of total jibberish, but he looks at us like we're supposed to know what he's saying.  It's really cute to see him get so into his talking and try to tell us something.  Sometimes he'll laugh after he says something like he told a joke that obviously nobody else got.  He is his mother's child.  :)

Lately, Ty likes eating out of the bag/box/biting off of the banana and not the little pieces we give him.  Naturally, after his bath while I was getting his jammies (I'm pretty sure he has a diaper on), he climbed up on the couch and helped himself to come veggie straws because, ya know, he's a big kid like that.
 Everything is a hat!  He had some help with this headdress, but he sure thought it was funny.  If you tell him to put something on his head, he'll usually do it.
This is Ty wanting the camera.  He likes to play with it, push the buttons (he can turn it on!), and especially watch videos of himself.
 I think he was just in a goofy mood.  He likes to climb on/all over the "big green pillow" to reach stuff around him.  Doesn't he look kinda old?
 I'm telling ya--this boy and his hats!  As you can see, this one's a bit big for him; he found Russell's hat and was crawling around with it on, sometimes covering his face.  When he wakes up from his naps, I usually find him standing in his crib pointing to his hats hanging on pegs on the wall.  He doesn't want to put one on, though.  He wants to put ALL of them on!  It is nice that he will keep a hat on while we're outside.  Can't complain.
 If you look carefully, you can see that there is a small yellow ball and blue ball on the seat he's climbed on (like the one he's holding in the picture above).  I found out that's why he's in this awkward spot: to get the balls.  They came with a ride on toy (Thomas the Train, shown cast aside on the right), which he sometimes will play with, but other times, he's content playing for a while with those balls.  We used to have 10, but I think we're about down to 5.
 Cute little goober.  Ty likes wearing our glasses.  These are ones from the dollar store, so he's welcome to 'em. 
 Remember that one time when I said that he likes to get hats when he wakes up?  Exhibit A.  This one's probably my favorite hat for him to wear.   Nothing like a little pirate eating breakfast, right?

 For those who have met the Ty-Ty, you know that it is (usually) very easy to get him to smile.  When he smiles, though, it's a whole big, face-scrunching thing and I love it.