Monday, March 30, 2009

Arctic Pools and Easter Goblins

This weekend marked our first real vacation of 2009. We went “uncamping” in Goblin Valley. This means you pretend like you’re going camping to make your heart happy, but submit to the voices in your head who tell you you are crazy to make two small things who have no idea how to stay in a sleeping bag to save their lives sleep in a tent when it is 29 degrees outside…so you whimp out and get a motel room in Green River with a continental breakfast . That’s really long to say, hence we say, “uncamping.” Sadly, the only “roughing it” we did was when we tried to swim the first day and the pool had icebergs floating in it. We tried to find relief in the hot tub but it was completely filled to overflowing with all of Park City High School’s track team. The only wildlife viewing was of a few of these aforementioned teenage boys trying to pull off each other’s swimsuits. Jane was definitely a little traumitized.

Anyway, on to the story. So we have these awesome, super tough friends (the Jacksons) who came with us, and who did the real camping for us. They have two small kids who toughed it out with them and together we all had a great time. The first day we drove in from Green River and met them for a hike in Little Wildhorse Canyon. The weather was great and the kids did surprisingly well. All but Allie hiked the entire time. We collected lots of rocks, found lizards, climbed trees and bribed them to keep moving with LOTS of treats (our friends had a bag of candy for their kids aptly called their “energy pills.”) We finished the day with a swim in pool (which luckily got all of it’s heating problems worked out and the track team had gone home) and made a campfire in a little random State Park in Green River in which I fed my newly vegetarian friends some beef stew. Go me.

That night we thanked the voices in our heads that told us not to take Allie camping as we tried frantically to get her to sleep in a bed with the family. She would have none of it. My favorite part of the night was when she woke up at 3 am and started playing “Duck, Duck…Goose!” on the tops of our heads, yelling it out at the top of her lungs, and then body-slamming us as she tripped over our whimpering sleep-deprived bodies. Jane wanted Allie to sleep under the bed and Jevan voted for trapping her in the bathroom. Benedryl was the only salvation in the end.

The next day we spent in Goblin Valley, playing hide and go seek and searching for Easter eggs that the Easter Goblin had left for the kids (this was me playing out one of my favorite child hood memories of when my family spent Easter in Goblin Valley. I just had to do it for my kids). We had a great time until the Goblins figured they had had enough of us and conjured up a nasty wind storm that sent sand flying everywhere until you could barely see and had sand in every orifice of your body. No wonder camels have two sets of eyelashes. I would have liked my own second set. At that point, we ran for our lives.

All in all, a great trip. Thanks Jimarie and family!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Allie Cat Turns Two

So it's official. I no longer have to give out Allie's age in months (I hate it because I can never remember how many months she is...the numbers get too big and I can't count that fact, I think she has been 18 months up until....yesterday). She's finally a two year old. Now she is just one year off from fitting her 3 year old body. Hooray for Allie!

We had a birthday bash for her on Saturday night with the grandparents. She had a grand time being the center of attention for a while, despite all efforts by her sister to make herself the star. Allie spent the day singing her version of "Happy Birthday" to herself and putting things on her head in celebration. She also broke out her favorite kazoo and did a few rounds on that while circling the kitchen.

I made her a cake (or tried, anyway) that didn't look like anything fancy but it tasted pretty good. It was a lemon poppyseed (jane calls them "poopyseeds") cake with raspberry filling and lemon buttercream frosting. I still really lack talent in the decorating department. I could not get my frosting to go red - instead it came out this wierd shade of salmon pink. Allie ate a HUGE piece of it and finshed it all off by deciding to comb her hair with her frosting-covered fork. Very nice, indeed.

She got a few presents, one of which was a new scooter, but in typical Allison style she decided that the cheap Nemo plastic ball was the best present of all. She loves Nemo with all her little heart. She calls him "Meeemo."

All in all I think it was a great birthday for the Allie Cat.

In celebration of her 2 year old birthday, here are some of my favorite things about her:

1. When she wants to snuggle, she's really good at it. When she doesn't, watch out for flailing limbs.

2. She is starting to finally say words, although she kinda just skipped to short sentences. Instead of saying "mine!" when you take something she wants, as most two years old do, she says "But I neeeeeeed it, I neeed it!" We have been trying to get her to say please for things but she listened to Jane say "can I have that please Mom?" in her little singsong voice for so long that now Allie thinks saying please involves some long sentence of babble with the exact same singsong tone. I keep telling her that saying one word is a lot easier, but she can't seem to get it.

3. Allie is tough. She takes some serious spills all the time, but very seldom cries. She can also beat you up if you get in her way. Ask Jane. Although, with the way Jane bosses her around, she has to have some kind of self-defense.

4. Allie has to sleep with two blankets, two teddies, a frog, a duck named "Quack!" and a waterbottle filled to the top. Maybe it helps her get through her nights in the "tent" or maybe she has severe packrat-ism. Beware future husband.

5. Allie has no fear. This is good because she will try anything. This is bad because she might die - she will leap headlong into a swimming pool, caring less if someone is in there to catch her or not. She will also take the highest slide at the park on her stomach, head first. Face plants are her specialty.

6. Allie might have a future as a graffiti artist. Crayons and walls are her favorite paint and canvas. She has done it in multiple homes now, not just mine, and one included my sister-in-law's newly painted downstairs in her new house. Honestly!

7. Allie knows what she wants out of life. She wants to make all her own decisions and insists on "picking" everything. From her clothes to her crackers, she has to have just the right ones. That's why none of her clothes match if you ever wonder.

8. Allie has the cutest giggle and smile in the world. She also melts my heart when she puts her head on my shoulder when I hold her and snuggles a while. I live for those moments.

I could go on for a long time, so suffice it to say: We love you Allison!!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

McDonald's ain't got nothin' on this....

So we all know that in today's society, the "Kids Meal" is all about the cool toy that comes with the food. It certainly isn't the food. I must admit I almost never visited McDonald's before I had kids, and now, we probably hit it once a month. And everytime, Jane begs me to dig through the greasy fries to find the little prize at the bottom...the Hannah Montana finger puppet, the monster truck road rally kit, ...the ....spy kids GPS tracking system. It's amazing the stuff they stick in there. But all their high-tech gadgetry does not impress me. I have now found my favorite Kids Meal place, and if you like random, you gotta go.

This was one of those moments that was so random, you just have to blog about it. I have no idea why I find this so funny but I do.

So I spend a fair amount of time in Heber. I have 2 of my 4 siblings living up there as well as a dear friend. Yesterday I was visiting this dear friend who just had a baby (a darling little girl) and on the way home, we stopped at this funny fast food joint called Dairy Keen (awesome huh?). I have only ordered kids meals there twice - once last summer and then again yesterday. The first time I ordered a Kids Meal there, all seemed normal as this nice lady handed our food and such out the window - drinks....a couple bags....some straws and napkins.....giant 4 foot swords......WHAT THE? Yup. She handed me two huge plastic swords complete with carrying sheaths. Jane and Allie were bouncing up and down with excitement. I honestly just stared at the giant plastic poking sticks wondering what to do until the car behind me honked impatiently. So so random. As I drove away, I was still in shock as the kids began hitting themselves and me with their new prize toys.

So out of hunger and curosity, we stopped there again yesterday and here is the treasure that awaited us this time. I had the girls model them for me:

Yes friends, there be two stunning cowboy hats, one in bright neon pink tiger print and one in fabulous blue leopard print. You don't want to miss out on these beauties. Go on, take a drive to Dairy Keen.