Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tap Class

Today was our second tap class and it was so much fun!  We both felt immense progress in one week, even without practicing at home.  It was just a relief to know where the studio is, what the room and teacher look like, what the vocabulary is, and what the class structure will be.  With all those stressors gone we could loosen up and enjoy tapping.


My falaps were rough the first week.  My left side felt immobile - I couldn't get it to do what I wanted!  It's like my brain and foot weren't on speaking terms.  This week my left foot was in a better mood and I could get the rhythm going.

We worked on the same combination at the end of class from the week before.  I took a video so I could practice at home.  You might enjoy it too, even if it isn't a video about the boys being cute.  ;-)

Darn Amanda hid behind me the whole time, but you can watch her a little too.  I totally biffed the shuffle ball change on the second run.  But still, can you believe this was just our second class?  Tap is so fun!

Derpy Hobbit

Sam's birthday is coming up.  I wanted to do a photo shoot and make nice cards for him, like I did for Jack's party invites.  After mulling over a party theme I decided to go simple - gardens.  Flowers, plants, sort of a Beatrix Potter / Sam Gamgee theme.  Then I decided I had to re-knit a sweater for Sam.  I made him this one last year but he outgrew it before the weather turned cold.  I unraveled it, bought a second skein, and spent the last week hurrying to knit it up.  He had all those fevers in the meantime, so it's just as well I waited.  Then I had to visit two garden stores to find some decent flowers to stage the photo.

Finally today, with a beautifully overcast sky, I was ready to take some pictures.

Sam was not in the mood.

I was going to hide these.  I shared them with Ben who was laughing so hard he had to share them with his office mate too.  After reflection, I see how gloriously doofy they are.  They need to be seen.

Derpy Hobbit

Derpy Hobbit

Derpy Hobbit

Derpy Hobbit

Derpy Hobbit

Derpy Hobbit

Derpy Hobbit

Derpy Hobbit

And finally, my personal favorite:

Derpy Hobbit

Oh, my beautiful child!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Grown-ups doing kid things!

Ben is great about helping me get out away from the kids for some fun.  This week Amanda and I ventured to a tap class.  I've wanted to learn to tap since college.  Now seemed like the perfect time to try.  We did some research and decided to try TAPS professional studio in the Baker neighborhood of Denver.

It was super fun.  Also super hard.  Tap is very much the opposite of everything I learned in ballet and modern.  I haven't felt so inept about dance in decades.  I can't wait to go to class again!  Maybe I can sneak some pictures next time.

Last night I procured a babysitter for a date to the Alamo.  They were showing The Monster Squad with special guest: star of the movie Andre Gower.  I'd seen Monster Squad some years ago, probably at a Halloween movie marathon.  It's a horrible 80s kids movie.  The famous line that every quotes (and yelled along in the theater) is "Wolfman's got nards!"  That about sums up the film.  Here's the trailer if you are interested in learning more:

I was not going to attend with friends until Trevor sent this reply to Brian's invitation, that I hope he won't mind me re-printing:

The City Market in Grand Junction used to have a video store. This video store was where I'd spend most of my time if I got pulled into grocery shopping. It wasn't particularly large, so I'm not exaggerating when I say I think I saw everything that was worthwhile in that store, and knew where the videos were stocked better than the clerks. The Monster Squad was my favorite. From the box alone it had everything that would appeal to an eight year old boy: Wolfman, Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula and a group of kids that saves the day. The problem was very often the video was absent behind that oh so alluring case. 

I would only learn about 6 years later why. Brian's Mom worked in the pharmacy there. And anytime I wasn't hoarding that VHS, he was.

I'm in.

I'm a sucker for nostalgia so that convinced me.  Well, that and some time out with my husband.  And an Alamo experience. And a Royale with Cheese.  And a Coke Zero as big as my head.  And free cookies.  They gave theater members free, freshly baked, gooey cookies.  Mmmmm . . .

Anyway, now you know why this meeting was sort of sweet.

Thumbs up from Van Helsing.

Happy Lappy!

My computer is back!  I thought it would be tomorrow, but it came early.  I went up to Flatirons as soon as the boys woke from naps. 

My trackpad was acting wonky for about a week, then it stopped functioning all together.  I took it in Friday and they shipped it out to the warehouse.  Since I have Applecare on it they also replaced the battery, the logic board (?), two memory cards, as well as the trackpad.  Hooray! I'm in tip-top shape again. 

The previous post was re-edited after it failed to post correctly from my phone.

No computer this week

I have things to write about - school, date night, tap class, but my computer has been out for repairs. You'll have to make due with this picture post.

A nice walk to the grocery store. Life is good.

A wagon ride by the butterfly bush

After the roseola resolved, Sam got another fever three days later.  This one has a slight cough and runny nose.  Must be unrelated to the first illness. 

Feeling a bit better today.

We're going to need to buy an all-red pack of markers for this one.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Red shirt

At school they decorated drawings of shirts.  I saw everyone else with paints, swirly rainbows of color, and even glued on bits of colored paper.  Jack's shirt?  Well:

And how meta is he?  He started the shirt yesterday.  Today I bought markers so he could finish it.  He walked over to show it to me holding it up like this.  Just happened to be wearing a red shirt today!

More of the same


School again for Jack.  He loves it, and I love it.  He comes home so tired and hungry every day though.  Maybe he needs a bigger breakfast.  The only downside so far is all the car seat action I have to do for two quick trips every day.  When the weather cools off I might start walking it.  It's 3 min drive versus 22 min walk according to Google.  Not a big deal until you consider that it's a round trip - so about an hour to walk, sign in, and walk back. That's an hour that I need to ensure Sam can be awake for.  After his illness I'm anxious to get him back on a regular sleep schedule.

Speaking of Sam, the rash is bigger this morning so I'm pretty sure of my diagnosis.  He's getting happier every day too.  I think you'll agree his belly is still cute with red pinpricks.


My big project was cleaning out and organizing Jack's room aka the Toy Explosion.  Success!  Jack discovered he could pair his mask with his cape.


And the boys took to the spinning chair.  You can enjoy it in video, and see Sam's googly eyes at the end, or click the link to see an endlessly spinning gif.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


He stopped having a fever last night.  Now he has tiny red bumps on him.  It doesn't look like the classic rash, but I think it might be roseola.  
That's good news if it's true, it means the illness is over.

Second day of school

Too fast for pictures

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First Day of Preschool

This pretty much sums it up.


Yes, today was the first day of preschool.  It was great to have a couple hours to myself.  I look forward to having this most days of the week.

Jack protested all morning about going to school.  Then he slipped wordlessly into the class, lured by a sticker.  I could hardly coax him back for a hug.  He was said he had a good time when I picked him up.  He said he is excited to go back.

But he also complained of hunger, complained and threw his biggest public tantrum ever at Jimmy Johns.  Because I bought him a cookie for his first day and as thanks for running errands on the way home.  So of course you scream and retch and pound your feet on the ground, right?  Because you picked the wrong flavor, or you didn't want a piece, or you wanted to eat it at the table but spent the whole time crying.  All perfectly legitimate reasons for freaking out at high decibels.

Meanwhile, Sam is still sick.  I've called the doctor a few times and we agree he can wait longer (sick visits cost me about $120 out of pocket with my insurance).

Every little scrape for the rest of the day unleashed Jack's full fury and outrage with tears, and it always caused Sam to break down too. There's been a lot of tears in the house today, and not enough laughs.  But I think that will change eventually.


(There are a few more staged first day of preschool photos on my flickr that you are welcome to enjoy.)


Uh oh, there's a simple GIF maker out there.  I already make one.

Now I just need to figure out if I can embed them.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Jack the public speaker

Last week they asked Jack to give a talk in Primary today.  We wrote it together and put it into book form.  We read it together every nap and nightly story time so he could give the talk himself. 

See, traditionally a parent goes up and feeds the kid their lines one by one.  But I knew Jack was up for the challenge of speaking on his own.  He loves to be picked to do things in Primary, so that was a big motivator (the fact that he was "chosen" to give a talk and got to stand on the step stool and talk into the microphone when no one else gets a turn).

I took little sick Sam in just to watch and film.  I couldn't resist!  The teachers were all gushing too and asked if he would repeat it for the Primary Program later this year in front of the whole congregation.  I'll bet he will!

Update: I posted this quickly, then watched the video.  Thought I would add a couple things
--Sorry for the swaying.  I was holding Sam too.
--He messed up a line on the hard page.  We practiced it a lot the last couple days.  He repeats a line instead, stops, shrugs, then says the correct line perfectly.  I was so proud!
--I can understand him well since I know the talk, but I realized if might be helpful to print it here.

Heavenly Father gave us a family.
My family has Dad, Mom, Jack, and Sam.
Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to show our family love by doing things together.
With Dad I like to play legos.
With Mom I like to bake desserts.
With Sam I like to wrestle and play.
All of us like to go on family walks.
I love my family.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Can I brag about Jack a little?  He's totally teaching himself math.  While we were driving one day:

Mom!  Two twos make four!

That's right dude!

And three threes make six.

Well, no.  Let's count them out.  (We do so, he agrees that two threes make six).  So what do three threes make? (We start to count them out.  Before I can finish)

Nine!  Three threes are nine!  

Then on another day we passed a family walking by.  Jack said:

There are two girls and one boy . . .  two and one make three!  

That's advanced, right?  I'm pretty sure pre-preschoolers aren't doing math yet.  But then, I'm biased :-)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Week in review

Let's see.  This week my oven broke when I was supposed to feed the missionaries dinner.  I was able to make a stove top meal instead.  Remember it broke last year?  Then magically fixed itself?  I went ahead and ordered a replacement circuit.  Today the part arrived and it's working perfectly again now.  Maybe better.  The old electric panel was always wacky (clock ran fast, button menu skipped steps). 

I've been enjoying going to the gym.  I go 4-5 times a week, doing either Zumba or elliptical+stretching+calisthenics.  I really want to start lifting barbells.  I looked into the Lift Strong 5x5 program, then started reading Starting Strength.  Unfortunately my back pain has returned lately.  I went to the chiropractor Monday and today.  I'm hesitant to start lifting until the pain is gone.  On the other hand, getting stronger will make my core stronger and prevent it returning.  Grrr. 

We tried to go to the gym tonight, but Sam had an amazing blowout in the car ride there.  Down the pants, all over the car seat, and soiling Ben when he took him out of the car.  Of course I didn't have any diapers or wipes or spare outfits with me, so we turned around and went home.  Just as well.  After a bath and laundry, we had family movie night in the basement with popcorn and the projector.  Sam was extra fussy.  I put him to bed at 7 despite him napping late this afternoon.  The poor guy was 99.6F.  A little while ago he woke up cry at 103.6!  The little dude has had so many fevers his first year!  It breaks my heart.  I hope he feels better in the morning. 

That reminds me - Jack has been having weird urinary symptoms.  He's at the age where I probably shouldn't detail his bathroom habits on a public forum, so I'll just say that he's doing better now.  But if anyone else has experience with bladder spasms in little boys I'd like to discuss him with you.  Preschool starts Tuesday.  Fingers crossed that things continue to improve so he's back to normal by then. 

Oh, we went to Lakeside last weekend.  Dang, I haven't put those photos up yet.  I hope I remember to do it later.  It's getting a bit late to edit and upload now.

Amanda and I are planning to take tap classes!  We looked at different offerings across the western suburbs and metro area and found a couple to try that will fit our schedules.  I ordered some shoes but they don't fit great.  I might have to take a trip down to Penny-Robin to try more shoes on and get them before class next week. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sam is 11 months old

Look at my little Samwise sprout!

Sam is 11 months old

He's turned into a wild bean.  Always on the move, always ecstatic or tearful, curious, jealous, enthusiastic, rambunctious, and every changing.

Sam is 11 months old

Cruising is a breeze.  He's working on standing balances.  He's better at being hand-walked.  I can't wait for the day I don't have to carry him everywhere!

More teeth are in.  Four on top, four on bottom, and I saw both lower incisors creeping up this morning.

Sam is 11 months old

Sam is 11 months old

Sam is 11 months old

Toys and objects of every kind.  I have to keep a constant rotation of toys around the house to keep him interested.  He's really good at finding Jack's too small toys and trying to eat them.

Sam is 11 months old

Sam is 11 months old

His appetite is still strong, although he's starting to show preferences.  Vegetables are already getting the boot.  Sweets and salty things are his favorite, like all of us.  He also likes cheese, fruits of all kinds, yogurt, and goldfish.


Sam is 11 months old

Where's Sam?

Sam is 11 months old

AAAH! Peekaboo!

Sam is 11 months old

Almost one year, baby.

Sam is 11 months old

Gotta go-- off to explore more corners unknown.

Sam is 11 months old

Friday, August 08, 2014

I caught him!

After he did four squat to stands, I finally got my camera out without him noticing.  Sorry for the portrait framing.  Best I could do in a hurry.

Thursday, August 07, 2014


He's too quick for video, but I finally caught a photo of him standing.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

San Diego (aka Sandy Lego)

This past weekend we joined the whole family in visiting my Dad's side, who all live in San Diego.  Jack was just about Sam's age the last time we all went.  The weather didn't cooperate, but we still had loads of fun.

Here's a smattering of photos.  We even used our nice camera at Legoland for the morning, but I haven't gotten those up yet.  More from the trip are on my flickr.  

San Diego 2014

San Diego 2014San Diego 2014

San Diego 2014

San Diego 2014

San Diego 2014San Diego 2014San Diego 2014

San Diego 2014

San Diego 2014

San Diego 2014

San Diego 2014

San Diego 2014

San Diego 2014

San Diego 2014

San Diego 2014

San Diego 2014

San Diego 2014

San Diego 2014

San Diego 2014

(I think you can follow it to the flickr site and view it there)

Lyrics for the Grandmere's song.