It's the most wonderful time...of the year

Oh Halloween, how I love you.

We had our ward Halloween party last night. I spent all afternoon masterminding different costumes that might work with my current physique. Several of my ideas included painting and exposing my belly, but I couldn't figure out a way to do that without simultaneously exposing the back fat that is helping everything stay balanced around here. I finally gave up after trying on about 20 shirts, none of which fit - and went with the one that did. Dave's soccer jersey. Yes, I was a soccer player...possibly the lamest costume in the history of the world. I promise to come up with something better for Sunday. And yet, I still won funniest costume at the party which leads me to believe two things:

1. There was very little costume competition
2. No matter what I'm wearing, I look funny.

I do find it ironic that literally the only picture we've taken of this pregnancy I happen to be dressed as a soccer player. I really need to get a less ridiculous shot for the picture montage I will make of baby girl's birth story.

And as long as we are looking at this picture, I would like to draw your attention to the girl in blue sitting behind me. I know, I know. It would be a lot easier to see her if I wasn't quite so wide. Anyway, she is actually pregnant...and only about 3 weeks behind me. I know what you are thinking. "But she doesn't really look pregnant..." TELL ME ABOUT IT! When she tells people she is 31 weeks pregnant I know it shouldn't feel like an insult directed at me...but...

Pictures of the rest of the fam in costume coming soon.


Sunday style

Upon picking up Oz from nursery today, this was what awaited me. Apparently he had a blow out, so Trav had to take off his pants.

Nothing goes better with Blundstone boots than a diaper! and very chunky thighs. Mmmmm.


Apple picking...in the backyard

We have an apple tree in our backyard. Our first year in this house we got zero apples due to a late frost. This year there were so many apples growing I was dreaming of homemade apple sauce, apple cider, apple pie, apple butter, apple crisp & apple jam. Little did I know there were others in the hood who had their eyes on our apples also.

At the end of the season (today, as proclaimed by Dave) we picked 35 good apples off the tree, and we think we got maybe 1% of the apples. So, we estimate the rest of the apple harvest was divided as follows:

2% or 70 apples went to "the kids." Brig and his friends liked to pick the apples, throw the apples, roll the apples down the slide, you get the idea. For some reason the hundreds of apples laying in the grass held no appeal. They insisted on doing their own picking.

16% or 420 apples went to worms. So many apples looked nearly perfect from the outside but had that little black spot indicating some creature had inhabited this apple for a time. Argh.

85% or 2975 apples went to the most obnoxious gang in the hood, the squirrels. Have I mentioned how much I hate squirrels? Perched on the highest tree branch they would pick an apple, eat a bite, and drop it in our yard. Pick a new apple, eat a bite, and drop it in our yard. While Brig was playing in the backyard I would pick up the ruined apples and throw them at the squirrels. I never even got close enough to make them flinch. After hucking about 100 apples over the course of the summer it occurred to me my neighbor might not be a big fan of me throwing apples directly into his backyard.

Well, the apples are fantastic. They are crisp, sweet, and organic. I'll be lucky to get 1 apple pie and a few apple slices. Next year I'm going to be a little more defensive about protecting my crop. That's right, some squirrels are going to die.


Week 1

It's been a crazy week. CRA. ZY. We made it through though, in one piece... but man, are we tired. Overall Croz had 3 rough days at school and 2 good ones, but he ended on a high note (his teacher today told me he was an angel and had a great speech session) so I'm calling the week a success.

For some reason, when I learned that Oz would be in a full day school program, I thought I would have gobs of time on my hands. I pictured myself leisurely reading in the middle of the day, going to the temple, meeting friends for lunch. So far, none of these things have happened. I've been running around like mad each day, trying to pack the millions of things I have to do in before it's time to go and get him. Hopefully things will settle down soon because I've got Mockingjay to read! And the Bachelor Pad finale to watch. And, yeah... I need to go to the temple.

Let's reflect back though to happier, simpler times. I'm going to do several posts on our summer vacation, since I just synched my iPhone and got all my pictures off. Some examples of the fun we had in Zion:

We got to hang out with George. The sweetest little baby, but not a fan of sleeping at night. Poor Amy and Brian were thrashed.

Riding the carousel with Brian, Ella and Vera. This was at the base of the Alpine slide. Right after this we ate ginormous shave ices.

Someday I'm going to make a book, filled with all the pictures I have of Scout on carousels all over the world. The only thing she likes riding better than a fake horse is, of course, a real horse.

Ye-Haw! You'd think by this awesome pose Calder rides carousels as often as Scout, but in fact, he NEVER rides them. I think he was pumped from his Alpine slide adventure and that's why he agreed to go on the carousel. He's a natural, no?

Sadly, the only picture I have of the Alpine slide. And it's not even of the slide. We rode the chairlift up and then cruised down the mountain. Look how peaceful and happy these two look. What you can't see is Calder freaking out to my left as I took this shot. He insisted on the bar being put down, and had both my arm and the back of the chair lift in a death-grip. Apparently, he's afraid of heights. And Alpine slides. We forced him to go down though (all by himself!) and after two turns he was racing Scout and loving it. When we got to the bottom he asked if we could go again. Uh, not for another 70 bucks. Sorry bud.

Croz and Scout sleeping together. So cute! I love that his head is on her chest.

Calder trying on his jumpsuit to prep for his baptism.

Oh look! There's two jumpsuits. I guess Scout should try one on too... but why?

Hot! Trav's jumpsuit. (Or is he in Calder's?!) He opted for a white shirt and his temple pants instead. Probably a good choice.



Today is Sara's 37th birthday. She brings so much light to everyone's life that she touches. I stand in awe at her strength as in 2009 alone she faced among other things:
  • Crosby's diagnosis
  • Lice
  • Death of T Gordon Lewis
  • Multiple squatters who she opened her home to for months (we love you Palmers)
  • Psycho neighbor
  • Broken refrigerator
  • Possible cancelling of Friday Night Lights

But through it all she still laughs, takes her children to do multiple fun activities, religiously applies sunscreen, follows Perez Hilton and showers on a regular basis (something some of us may or may not do). She leads the Lewis family in fashion and I couldn't survive without her.

I love you S



First day of school

Last Wednesday was technically the first day of school for Crosby, but I was way too emotional/stressed to take any pictures. Here we are walking down the steps to put him on his little bus.

Here he is on the steps of the bus, about to go get in his car seat. He looks a little stunned, but trust me, he was fine.

An artsy shot of him in his car seat, taken by Trav through the window. Bye Oz! Have a great day at school! Mom's going to try not to cry all day long while you're gone...

Then we have these two. (The gnome/dwarf is not going to school this year.) Calder couldn't have been less thrilled, but it's a far cry from the crying/screaming/anxiety of school 3 years ago, so I'll take it. Scout was PUMPED.

Walking to school with dad. I'm realizing more and more that we wear a lot of black. It just shows the dirt so much less than any other color! Except maybe brown. But we wear a lot of that, too.

Bye guys! I miss you already!


3 seconds before a timeout

He really has the innocent look down, doesn't he? You can almost hear him thinking, "I have no idea why my cousin is crying! I hope he is ok..."

And I would almost believe him if we hadn't caught this on camera 3 seconds prior:


A special day

On Thursday, September 2nd (or to you hard-core crafters, Swiss Days EVE), Travis baptized Calder in Grandma and David's pond in Midway, UT. It was such a simple, beautiful evening. Nana came from Colorado, Grampa and Oma came from Ephraim, the Barkers were there from D.C. (and blessed baby George), the Defords from Grand Junction, and Calder, Starr and Stella came all the way from 3 blocks away. All the hymns and songs were done by guitar and mandolin by Sally and Willie, and Scout sang "When I am baptized" while Willie accompanied her. George was blessed and Hank wore pretty pants that were filmy, pink, and jingled when he walked. There was of course a Costco cake (Calder's favorite).

Sally took some beautiful pictures. See them here.


Recommitting to Blogging Excellence

Carrie and I had a frank conversation the other day where we recommitted ourselves to the blog. We've realized we can't keep a journal, so this is the next best way to document our lives for our children. And our mom.

I would have forced a similar commitment from Yah Yah, but she is way too busy when she gets home every night from work. She has to help me pack for the cabin, unpack from the cabin, make Calder's birthday cake, make Calder's birthday treasure hunt, give Oz a bath, put Calder to bed, comb through the dreadlocks gracing Scout's hair... it's a busy job being my nighttime helper. So there hasn't been a lot of time for idle conversation with her, but hopefully she'll read this post and get inspired to blog more as well.

I have tons of pics I took with my phone this summer, but to kick things off here's a gem. Scout's been into eating red onions (raw) dipped in ketchup. One day I walked in and this was what I found:

Apparently, the onion was a tad strong so she used her goggles to protect her eyes. I wonder what alternative uses she will come up with for her swim cap?


Brig's 2nd Birthday (times 3)

Who says you only turn 2 once? Brig got to turn 2 three different times this year. We first kicked things off on his actual birthday with a little party at our house. Aunt Yah Yah had been charged with making a "choo choo" themed cake, and as you can see below, she did NOT disappoint.

There were a variety of train cars, each unique, and all made from candy. But WAIT! Don't eat them...they have been hot glued together. When Yah Yah showed up with the cake Brig pointed at it for a solid 12 minutes while jabbering away in "Brig talk." We have no idea what he was saying, but the cake was definitely the topic of conversation (he loved it!) The only problem with this picture is you can't tell how freaking delicious it was!

Aunt Yah Yah also showed up with a Thomas the Tank Engine Pinata. Don't you wish you had an Aunt Yah Yah? (If you don't - you should). It didn't take Brig long to figure out how the bat and the pinata were related. Here the cousins are collecting and enjoying the loot.

Next up was presents. In typical 2 year old fashion he opened one present and wanted nothing to do with the others. He sat right down and wanted to read his choo choo book indefinitely. Why am I ripping a book from his hands and forcing him to open more gifts again?

Here is a picture of Brig's gift from us this year - a play structure my mom's neighbor was getting rid of. Dave had to take it apart, haul it from Boulder to Denver, reassemble it, sand it, and stain it. No small feat - but Brig loves it. And so does Dave. Every time it starts raining Dave yells "to the fort" and Brig and Dave climb up there. I've never actually seen Dave go down the slide - but I can't monitor his behavior 24/7...

Last but not least we ate the fantastic train cake. Brig had been practicing for months with a yankee candle and started blowing well before the singing began. After 20+ blows he extinguished the candles and the eating began.

Brig's 2nd birthday celebration was the very next day at Dave's parents neighborhood pool. We celebrated 4 July birthdays that day - Uncle Chris, Calder, Brig, and Anne.

It is a good thing we snapped this picture of Brig because I don't think he smiled again for the rest of the party. Try explaining to a 2 year old who just got the concept of his birthday yesterday, that he is now "sharing" his birthday with 3 other people. He spent most of the party running from person to person trying to open their presents and collapsing in anger when he realized the gifts weren't his. It didn't help that his 3 year old cousin got a scooter for his main gift, and Brig got a pottery barn activity table. Don't get me wrong he now loves the table - but it wasn't of much use to him at the pool party.

Here is a good shot of Brig trying to claim the party for his own, once again blowing well before the singing has stopped.

Brig's 3rd and final birthday celebration was a little party with friends and their moms. My master plan was to put a hose at the top of the new green slide and let the kids go wild. I only had 2 problems - the hose wouldn't reach, and the slide ends in a dirt pile which I figured would quickly become a mud pile. I wasn't sure how the other moms would feel about the party turning into a mud wrestling match. So instead we did pin the tail on the donkey, and a bean bag toss (aka, throw these balls in this wagon.) Brig wanted nothing to do with either game - instead he gathered up all the balls, and sat in the wagon so no one else could play. I love this picture of him suspiciously eyeing the nice, patiently waiting kids. You can just hear him thinking "This isn't happening people - no way are those kids getting near my wagon."

To sum up, I think Brig's birthday was well celebrated and (mostly) a success. Brig is one feisty little man. He has a passionate will and probably twice the amount of personality meant for a little body like his. But I couldn't change anything about him - he is just too funny, already an entertainer, and I love him too much just the way he is!


Now you tell me!!!

Tuesday after work I met Scout, Calder, and Sydney (chauffered by Nana) at SuperTarget. The plan was to procure a birthday present for Calder. Two Leggo sets, 1 Playdough ice cream making set and 1 remote control spider later we got into the car and headed for Flatiron's Crossing.

We played on the dinasaurs and headed to Fuzziwigs to fill sacks with candy. Distracted by getting my own mix of goodies, the pitter pat of candy falling on the floor and the dirty look from the cashier pulled me from my Willly Wonka reverie to find Sydney with a FULL bag of candy moving from bin to bin. Not feeling comfortable enough to put some back, I quickly paid for Scout, Calder, Syd and my treasures and exited before they called the resident mall cop.
No one was hungry for "dinner" so we headed home. As we passed the shaved ice booth on the way to the parking lot, suddenly they had an appetite so everyone chose their flavor and we ordered. Suddenly I realized I didn't have any cash. Sydney assurred me she would "wait there" (I guess she figured I would go somewhere to get the cash). I apologized over and over and explained we couldn't buy it but she wasn't deterred and assured me she would stay and wait there until I.....? Finally I convinced her we would come back later in the week. We hopped in the car and headed for home.

Finally back at Nana's house (keep in mind we had been together for several hours) we were getting out of the car when the following dialogue occurred:

Scout: "Um Yah Yah, don't take this the wrong way but do you ever date?"

Me: "No"

Scout : "why not?"

Me : "well I've never really dated much and no one ever asks me."

Scout: "have you ever thought that you aren't doing it right?"

Me: "hmmm, what do you mean"

Scout: "well you have to crush on boys and talk to them a certain way"

Me: "do you like boys?"

Scout: "sure, in fact I crush on _ _ _ _ in my class but I'm in love with Jonah and JP Pacheco"

She then preceded to explain to me how it all worked.

Where was Scout 20 years ago?


Baby #2 is a girl!

Luckily we already have a general idea of what she will look like...


My sister is a genius...

Sara suggested we put food on tooth picks to try and get Brig to eat something new.

Worked like a charm with Mangos. He kept saying "mmmmmmmmmm!" and handing me the empty toothpicks for a refill.

Just beware how you use this powerful tool. The next item I tried was zucchini. He put it in his mouth, chewed it, and spit it out. He hasn't touched a toothpick since.


Like father, like son

Like Father......

Like Son......

Happy Fathers day Dave. Thanks so much for being such an amazing father. I really couldn't hope for anything more. I hope Brig turns out just like you.

(And based on the number of times he ran off the diving board today - I think we are off to a good start).



These are the sunflower cupcakes we took in to Scout's class. How clever are we? Actually, we copied them out of this awesome cupcake book Yah Yah bought us. The brown is an oreo, which as reported by Scout the next day, got rather soft from the frosting and was THE MOST DELICIOUS THING SHE HAD EVER TASTED. The red lady bugs were M&Ms. Hilma gets props for doing most of the tiny black dots on the ladybugs' backs. There were spearmint leaves on the cupcakes too that were disgusting, but people could just pick them off easily.

All Scout's friends said they were the best cupcakes brought in all year. Just call us Martha Stewart.

Scout turns 10

It's been so long since I've posted, I could hardly remember how to add a picture. Apparently I did these in reverse order (see, I used to know stuff like what order to add the photos in) so just know that these events happened in reverse order for the party. Are you confused yet? Good. So am I.

Scout turned 10 in April, but this year she REALLY wanted to do a carriage ride in Central Park (something she's always wanted to do but we've never been willing to shell out the money for) so I did a little research and discovered that actually, it's not nearly as expensive as I had always assumed. AND you can have 1 adult and 4 kids in a carriage, which is perfect because she has three favorite friends so it made where to "draw the line" at who to invite easy.

We spent quite a bit of time in Central park... climbing on rocks, walking around, trying to find this awesome playground we had been to once before with our cousins. We finally found it. They could have played there for hours, but we had to catch the 8.25 train back to Scarsdale, so I loaded them into a cab and headed for Crumbs bakery. MUCH TO OUR DISMAY, it was closed. We were so bummed. What is a party without cupcakes? And I really had my heart set on a red velvet one. Luckily, when we went down to the dining concourse of Grand Central, we found that Magnolia had put a bakery in! So we bought 6 cupcakes but then had a mishap and half of them dropped. We bought the last cupcake and ran to catch our train back home.

This is outside of the Museum of Natural History, where we sat by the fountain and ate our dinner from the Shake Shack. I was so glad Emily was along. I had forgotten to charge my phone, on which I had mapped out every place I was taking them. Plus I use the Maps app all the time to figure out where I'm going. But my phone was dying and I was afraid to use it, in case I needed it later on for an emergency, so I was trying to go from memory of where the Shake shack was. This was difficult since I had never actually been there. Emily knew exactly where to go from Central park! She knew it was one block AWAY from the park by the Natural History museum. What a genius New Yorker. The food was AWESOME and as you can see from Sydney, we had plenty of ketchup for all of our burgers and fries. We had to top things off with a concrete, too. Mmmmm.

This is the horse that pulled our carriage. His name was Michael. Or maybe it was Joseph... I was unclear on whether the driver was Joseph or the horse. At any rate, who names a horse Joseph OR Michael? What happened to something like, "Merry legs"?

Thanks to Joseph (Michael?), I got to be in one of the pictures. The driver took this picture, not the horse.

Seriously. How cute are they?

This is the the train ride IN to the city. We couldn't find a big enough spot for us all to sit together on the way home, so they sat a row in front of me and ate their cupcakes and then got very loud. I pretended I didn't know who they were and surfed the web with what was left of my iPhone battery.

Sorry for the backwards telling of the party, but it was kinda cool like the movie Memento, right? All in all, it was the perfect day. The weather was awesome, the girls were lovely, and I felt so lucky to have the best daughter in the whole world. She really is fabulous... worth a thousand days like this in the city.

I love you Souter!!! Happy 10th birthday.