Monday, June 28, 2010

Totally Jazzed for Jellystone

Taking at 10am break here -- haven't had my coffee yet, and I can't see straight (although the latter is caused only by a lack of sleep). I'm totally jazzed outta my mind for our Yellowstone trip and to claim the boy-O from his summer camp! I slept like crap last night, tossing and turning, just too excited to settle. This always happens before a big trip.

At least I no longer have that damned tendency to pull an all-nighter the very night before we're to leave someplace.... those n' babies don't mix too well.


Before getting settled in for a new day at work --my last for the next week-- I was sure to check "Straight Outta Lynwood" made it on the iPod for the car, especially for the angel boy-O's enjoyment come our drive home from Yellowstone. He and I can sing all the words to "White & Nerdy" played on repeat, all that we want, no matter how hard my honey-man shall protest.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What Did She Say?

Our lil' sweet potato's becoming quite a talker ~ The latest additions to her spoken vocabulary, plus some modifications of previous spoken words:

Hi andBye - - and bye just became 'buh-bye' this last week.
Mine (that's a favorite of hers which arrived on the scene 2 weeks ago, along with 'No')
Baubles for bubbles
Ball (sounds like ball, but with the 'L' nearly cut off)
Bwoon for balloon
Bahr for bear
Ho for hose
Fawa for flower
Cah for car
Bow for boat
Woo-woo for a train
Duck - -went from 'dah' to becoming her first word spoken with a hard 'K'
Shwa-wa for shower
BTW, she still refuses any attempt to say the word 'water'...
Cup -spoken as is
Spoo for spoon - - And she says 'bwah' for fork, but I don't get at all how she thinks to call it that, especially now that she's mastering the sound of a hard 'K'
Yeah, so Milk is no longer "mil" - - spoken now with a hard 'K' ending, and Book also has a hard 'K', finally - - Book had been her first word, sans the hard 'K'
Peee for peas
Ba-ba-ba for banana
And her peach is spoken in French - - sounds like 'paysh'
Yo for yogurt and 'bir' for berries of any kind.

She still says 'bi-bi' for her blankie and now a single 'bi' for her binky. Occasionally she'll refer to her bunny as her bi-bi as well.
She doesn't drink bottles anymore, so no more 'ba' for bottles, but she'll say bouteille when referring to her sippy cup, which is French for bottle. And she asks for both her socks (bas) and her shoes (soulier) using French.

Animal noises she'll imitate listed in order from the first to the very latest: Doggie, elephant (complete with a chubby arm flung upward from her own face as an elephant's trunk), lion (this one is ferociously cute), horse (complete with flapping-lip blows), owl (complete with huge open eyes), a sheep (while shaking her head back n' forth - - and I don't know why), monkey (my own monkey imitations are pretty rowdy, but hers are a bit tentative yet, although she giggles every time I join in), cat (finally!!!), birdie, mouse, bear, a snake.

Body parts she can point to when asked to do so: Hair, ears, head, forehead, eyebrows, eyes and eyelashes, nose, cheeks, chin [she sometimes confuses the latter two - - although she really loves to point to her chin, cuz I then eat hers!], neck [I eat her neck too, all the time], elbow, arm, bellybutton [my very favoritest way to distract her is to suddenly ask her where her bellybutton is], tummy, bummy, back, hands, thumb, fingies, knee, leg, foot, heel, and toes.

All the signs she's using now:
All done
Brush Teeth
Wash hands
Blow nose
Wipe face
Train with a 'wooo-wooo'
Car with accompanying 'beep-beep' sounds
And her airplane is much improved, complete with flying sounds

We're still working on Thank you. And sorry.

And she can point out/identify over 200 images in her 'big books.' I think she's doin' purty dang good.

P.S. I forgot some! She both says the word and signs for 'juice' and she can identify her teeth and her tongue. And she tries to jump to imitate a frog!

Racked Up n' Inventoried - - Um, is that even a word?

We successfully installed our roof rack on the Matrix the other night - - and although the Thule cargo bag meant to contain up to 17 cubic feet of gear lays, oohh, about 15 inches in length past the rear rail bar, it'll work (fingers crossed).

Our camping trips of the past, were, um, well, excessive in terms of readiness. We've been quite, let's say, thorough in terms of our planning; planning for anything that may possibly be needed. For this latest trip, however, off to Yellowstone with two kids in the car who will need room to breathe, it calls for seriously brutal consolidation measures.

I spent a couple hours in the garage last night running an inventory of sorts. This was a feat in itself, rummaging around FOUR different bins of camping/hiking gear, and although they're highly organized, the sheer volume to sort through was daunting all at once. At least each bin is categorized by types of gear... You can -no, you should- skip this next part- - This is another listing inventory exercise of mine meant for my benefit (I love lists, um, because I'm a total dork that way, amongst other ways):

1) Light-producing/propane/fire-related bin: 2 massive citronella candles, one bug-attracting-killing lantern thingy, box of wooden matches, butane lighter, grilling charcoal, 2 packs of fire starter, spare newspapers stash, 2 pivoting handheld flashlights, 2 LED lanterns, one which has a remote control for inside the tent, 1 propane lantern and a duel-fuel lantern. And we'll be taking only the LED lanterns this trip due to our highly curious, highly assertive sweet potato. Oh, and this bin also holds 2 axes (did I spell that plural right?) and a few bungees for hanging up lanterns.

2) Our 2nd largest bin contains all our cooking supplies: 5 gallon collapsible water container, 1 gallon water container with side handle, two 1-qt containers, 3 collapsible food storage containers with lids, our 'french toast dipping' container with lid, butter container with lid, 8 various teeny-tiny spice/condiment containers (creamer, sugar, flour, french toast spices, ketchup, mustard, mayo and our favorite grilling spice mix), 1 medium sized mixing bowl that our sauce pan with lid sits inside, 2 mess kits, 1 dutch oven, 1 cast iron fry pan, 1 massive non-stick frying pan, a non-stick griddle, 1 splatter screen, 6 roasting sticks, an extra-wide roll of heavy duty aluminum foil, large roll of 1/2 sheet paper towels, 2 mesh mess drawstring bags for hanging up wet and/or dirty dishes, a 6"-deep bin for washing dishes, a 9 cup percolator and a large enamel, 16 cup percolator as well, and and we have enough serving gear for 8 people - - plates, bowls, cups, and mugs, plus a red tool box that holds all our cooking utensils; 2 chef's knives, 2 flat n' 2 rubber spatulas, 2 small whisks, 2 stirring spoons of varying lengths, a small grater, 1 can/bottle opener, various tongs (3), enough nylon flatware for 8 people, a set of kabob skewers, other spices, dish soap, extra matches, an extra butane lighter, small plastic grocery bags and small Ziplocs, and a container for herbal teas and cocoa.

3) Our largest bin holds all our sleeping gear: 2 floor pads, a queen-sized air mattress, 2 uber large, multi-heavy-duty Mexican wool blankets, n' 6 different sleeping bags - yes, 6 for a family of 4... Two of them are meant for below freezing temps. And we have two 'truckers' blankets as well. [BACKGROUND INFO: Early 2001, I'd bought an old Honda Civic hatchback from a trucker who lived in my neighborhood at the time. The car had belonged to his wife, who had also been a trucker. In the car I'd later found two matching, very old, navy, gray n' orange plaid, merino wool throw blankets in the back, but he didn't want them - - they had been he and his wife's car-cuddling blankets, he'd told me, and he asked me to please keep them and use them well. They're very soft and cozy, and one of these blankets was the very blanket the angel boy-O had asked me for, after our first trip to the Santa Monica beach together in 2004. The boy-O slept with that blanket for several months after I'd given it to him. A couple years ago, before a camping trip to Zion, he had suggested, all on his own, that we keep the two blankets together for campfire-cuddling, thus the 'truckers' blankets are now our campfire blankets.

4) This bin contains all our containment/shelter-related gear: A roll of large, black trash bags, other various trash bag sizes, gargantuan Ziploc storage bags to keep things dry, a container filled with various bungee cords, 3 different kids of lashings, some plain old rope, 3 tarps (two 6x9, one 9x12), and our 6-person tent. And there's a red, child-sized, folding camp chair kept in this bin as well. It had been the angel boy-O's chair and now his lil' sissy will be using it. Written along the back in casual hand-type font in yellow print, reads "Little Camper."

We also have 3 other folding camp chairs - - but I'm almost sure we won't have room for them this trip (despite my honey-man's insisting) = I don't imagine we'll really need them, with all our running around Yellowstone during the day, coming back to our campsite for dinner, juggling our lil' pee-wee, getting her to bed, etc. Hmmm... maybe after the kids are out, we could sit n' soak in the forest sounds n' campfire crackle... but we could sit on a log, side-by-side n' do that just as well, and with our campfire-cuddling blankets! For sure we'll be taking the girlie's Kelty pack. Oh, and we should bring the 5-gallon shower bag for easier hand rinsing... And now the random rambling has begun. There's more gear I could list, but I've got other things to do... like write about our sweet potato's vocabulary development!

P.S. I told my honey-man that his juggling pins WILL NOT be coming on this trip... especially when every time he's brought them camping, he only brings them out the very morning we're packing up to leave camp! For the sake of principle alone, he winds up juggling for the 5 minutes before we pull out, just so he can say there was reason to bring them. I love my little clown-man, I mean, mah honey-man.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Heading North to Jellystone

For the past week now, the angel boy-O has been at an awesome summer camp up near Dubois, WY, of all places. This camp is, can I say, a totally kick ass summer camp. I'm certain he's having the time of his life!

The camp ends June 30th, so we'll be leaving town the 29th, at the crack of dawn, to head up north. After 10+ hrs of driving [RELATED TANGENT: I soooo hope our sweet potato girlie does okay in the car, as she's been such a fantastic lil' car traveler to date, but she's such an active busy body now, I'm afraid she'll go nuts confined in the car for that long, even if we plan take a break every 2 hours!], we'll overnite it in Bear Lake with my Grams. From there we'll leave EARLY, EARLY, the morning of the 30th, in order to drive up to Jackson, WY and then SE, down to Dubois to claim the boy-O by 11am. I'm certain we're all gunna lose it -the girlie too- when we get our hands on him!

Once we've gone through the whole check-out rigmarole and we've somehow added his pack n' gear to our packed-to-the-gills car, we'll return to Jackson for some minor grocery shopping and then we'll head further north through Grand Teton and into Yellowstone Park. We'd originally planned 5 days of camping, and the boy-O's mommie n' step-dad were to join us, but work schedules are what they are, so it's just us now, and with my new found concerns re: overnight camping in bear territory (and that's a WHOLE 'NUTHER STORY THERE!), and this being the girlie's very first camping trip, we've decided to opt for only 3 nights of camping. We'll be at the Madison campground, my 2nd favorite to Norris. Then we'll spend the boy's birthday back in Bear Lake with my mum's fam, and their valley's 4th of July celebrations, and by noontime on the 4th, we'll be staying in Ogden, UT with the boy-O's mommie's own fam, staying overnight there. We'll spend the 5th driving back home to Vegas... after we've gone to Hires in SLC.

And I'm certain that once we're home and all unpacked, I'll bawl, homesick for our UT and ID families... but let's not get ahead of myself, right?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Going Pink?

If we weren't going to be in Iowa the end of July, visiting my parents, and getting our family portrait taken for the first time since 2007, I think I'd go back to pink highlights = = clearly bored with my hair and this whole 'growing my hair out' phase... My honey-man tells me to be patient and to leave it alone and tells me again to leave it alone, as I reach for the hair-cutting scissors. *sigh* I'm trying hard to leave it alone.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 55

Because morning or night, he brushes his teeth while laying on our bed. For the first time in 6 years' time, I asked him tonight why he does this. I'd never asked him before because it was always so clear that it's what he always does, and as he lays there brushing his teeth, his eyes are always closed with a peaceful expression on his face, and anything I may say while he's brushing his teeth, he doesn't -or can't- hear me anyhow, and I've never really wanted to interrupt this zen-like state he seems to fall into whenever brushing his teeth.

So yeah, I was already in bed and reading something, and he comes over in his boxers with his toothbrush, and he lays down beside me, and he begins to brushaway. And for some reason, it struck me so funny that he does this... So, laughing -and mind you, he's completely unresponsive to my erruptive giggle fit- I finally, for the first time, ask him why he always brushes his teeth lying on the bed: With his eyes still closed, he paused long enough to tell me it's so he'll be sure to take his time to do a good job of it, and so as to not waste water, to avoid standing at the sink, letting the water run.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Why I Love Mah Honey-Man ~ Reason 54

Because he insisted (threatened actually), on all days to do so, that I sleep in this morning -on Father's Day- so he could spend some one on one time with our lil' sweet potato.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Bye" aka "No Thanks"

For about a months' time, before our lil' sweet potato caught on to the whole "No" thing last week, whenever she didn't want to either take or do something, she would instead tell us "Bye," while waving a chubby lil' hand in the air to indicate her darling version of "No thanks."

Last night when I wanted to change her diaper first, before she was to eat her dinner, she gave me a clever lil' grin and turned away with a wave goodbye, headed for the stairs, squealing "Bye!"

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You Ain't Ready for this Jelly- ?!?

I never knew that what they were singing in the song "Bootylicious" was this:

"I don't think you're ready for this jelly."

And now I can't get this out of my head...

Gunna hafta play the chicken song now... I know that's just trading one earworm for another, but I just can't be caught singing "I don't think you're ready for this jelly."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Had I Known...

...that $80 in cash (when I NEVER CARRY CASH!?!) and my digital camera worth $350 would be stolen during the mid-day of a normal blahzaay workday, right outta my bag which was stashed in the lowest left-hand, very closed drawer of my office desk, located the furthest away from the door into my office, I wouldn't have bought (fill in the blank) or (fill in the blank).

Just sayin'.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Life As We Know It Has Forever Changed

My darling baby sweet potato girlie, she said the word "NO" for the first time yesterday morning and she meant it.

And earlier tonight she ramped it up with some repetitive "No-No's"

Yeah, we're done for.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Becoming Her Own Little Person

After work today, as usual, I had to go claim my lil' sweet potato girlie from her preschool. When I arrived, she was in the midst of a diaper change and she didn't yet know I was there for her, but I could see her inside the changing room through it's top-to-bottom glass door.

After she was all clean n' changed, the teacher who had her, she set my lil' babe on her feet facing the door. My lil' toddler then turned round and lunged for the teacher's legs to give her a big thank-you hug, and she looked up at the teacher with a huge, uber darling smile while patting at one of the teacher's knees, and then my lil' chica spun right back around n' took off for the door with a squeal that could be heard from where I stood.

And then she saw me and she squealed again, even louder, "mommie!" and with 100% focus upon my face, she made a bee-line for me, smiling the whole way. As she met me, she threw herself into my legs, arms spread for giant leg-hug, all while looking up at me, "Moma, mahhhmmiee", she cooed. As I knelt down to her height, she offered me a sweet lil' puckered kiss, and she leaned her head into my shoulder, and she hugged me and held me and she gently patted the side of my face with one of her lil' chubby hands, all the while softly cooing "moma, moma, mommie."

And she does this kind of thing nearly every time I pick her up from school, and nearly every time it happens, I about die from overwhelming amazement, wondering how it is I got to be this lucky, to have a little person like her in my life. And I'm so grateful to be her mommie.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Letting My Buttons Be Pushed

Inner Thoughts for Next Time: "Ah, yes... Step back and recognize what's going on here - I know this feeling. Yes, my button is being pushed. Yup, you're pushing my buttons. Okay, now don't engage; just feel your response, but don't act on it. Just feel it and think about it, let it wash over you. Examine the push n' pull at play in this moment and the history involved. See it for what it is and then let it goooo."

Someday I'll get used to this - - I'll stop expecting to be given anything other than a contrary "No" response.