Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I had to post something. It is 8am and my baby is still asleep! This is a new record! I keep wandering around not quite sure what to do with myself. You'd think I would be relaxing and enjoying this peaceful morning.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Future Mountaineer

We took Dean to Boone for the first time this weekend. My brother-in-law, Joel had a closing symposium for a high school group that he led this summer, and we all went up to cheer him on and hear about the trip. Boone is still one of my favorite places. Every time I go back now I think how much I missed out on and all the things I didn't take advantage of while I was in school. Such is always the case, I suppose.

We took Dean around King Street, got him an ASU tshirt, I gave him a full guided tour of campus and showed him where all my classes were. We let him see the Yosef statue up near the stadium, and he sat on one of Daniel Boone's dogs.

He ate Boone Bagelry and cried in the tunnel under River Street. I have so many memories of hot summer days spent touring UNC's campus with my parents, hearing the stories otld over and over about where they had what class, which tree they kissed under, and which dorms they lived in. I can't wait to take Dean on the same tour of ASU and retell the same memories over and over until it's like he was there.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Camping with a Crawler

We are ambitious parents. Josh and I took Dean camping last weekend with some friends of ours. I don't know why we thought it was a good idea to take a crawling child to the woods in the middle of the summer. Dean had a blast. I have never heard him laugh so much. He loved being outside all the time, watching the dogs run around, swimming int he lake, and playing in the dirt. We quickly gave up on trying to keep him from eating dirt and focused more on keeping rocks out of his mouth. Hard to do when you are in a campground with gravel lots. Half the time I would corral him in the tent (which he also thought was hilarious) to give myself a break from the gravel watch, but it was so hot that those moments didn't last long. Then there was meal are you supposed to feed a child like this without a high chair? Even with the 4 of us trying to keep him at least on a blanket while we shoved food in his face, it was quite an ordeal. He was so excited about everything that I could hardly get him to eat the whole time.

So, the daytime was exhausting, but all in all a lot of fun. Dean LOVES the water so it was great that we were 20 yards from the lake. We went swimming like 5 times. A nice way to wash off the filth that coated him from crawling through the dirt and the missed mouthfuls of food that I smeared all over him.

Then the nighttime came...Dean usually goes to sleep around 7:30pm and doesn't make a sound until 6:30am - -I know, we are the luckiest parents in the world. Well, I knew 7:30 would be too early for his excitement level. We all crammed in our big new tent and let him crawl around while we played cards, in hopes that he would finally just crash. 8:30 came and he wasn't slowing down. I proceeded to try to hold him and bounce him around singing him to sleep. He just thought this was more fun. After an hour I gave up and put him in the car and drove around until he fell asleep. Miraculously, he stayed asleep when I got him out of the car and laid him in the tent. He stayed that way while we played cards and ate scrumptious dessert of Cherries-a-la-bugspray and tick-brownies delight. Dean still didn't stir when Josh, Cooper, Jess, and I got in bed. Another peaceful hour goes by with nothing until Cooper hears something and jumps up, waking Dean up. Well, once Dean saw that all of us were on the ground int he same place he was wide awake. He thought it was the funnest game and laughed like crazy and just wanted to crawl around. Josh, somehow slept right through this for more than 2 hours. I had finally had it and woke him up so he could drive Dean around and try to get him back to sleep. The remainder of the night was spent with Josh driving Dean around until he fell asleep, and then the 2 of them slept in the car for a while until Dean woke back up...and the cycle repeated. So all in all, I think we got about 4 hours of sleep total. Josh brought Dean back to the tent at 6am and he was ready to go. We, of course, were done. We packed up and said goodbye to our friends. At 7am we were at the park gate ready to go home and pretend like the whole thing never happend. Only one problem - the gate wouldn't be unlocked until 8am. Lovely. We went back to our sight and had breakfast and coffee with our friends, lifting our spirits some and and letting the caffeine work it's magic. Dean fell asleep (go figure) during this time and slept peacfully in the car for an hour while we ate and drank.

So camping with a crawling child...not the best idea we've had. Doing it in 95 degree weather, during tick season, with no form of child restraint for sleeping or eating...even worse idea. So we had decided that we are not going to attempt it again until later in the fall when the weather is much much cooler, when Dean will be walking more than crawling, when the "everything goes in my mouth" phase is more or less done, and when enough time has gone by for us to forget that miserable night. We also decided that we don't care how rediculous we look, we are going to bring a booster seat and pack-n-play camping. We've done plenty of minimal backpacking and have no qualms about being overpacked car campers now. Times are a changin.

(PS. We have only one picture from the whole trip. I regret not having taken more of his first camping trip. Let your imagination do the work of painting the picture of the little guy spashing in the lake, eating all the dirt he can fit in his mouth, and laughing in the tent in the middle of the night.)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mama vs. Dada

Dean's babbling is beginning to take some shape. He is imitating speech rhythms and tunes to songs. When I sing "where is thumpkin" he immediately starts bobbing to the tune and humming along with me. Of course, I make that all sound like he is singing at 8 months old, when really it's more of one of those little things that only parents notice (mainly because it sounds like babble to everyone else). One thing in particular that we've noticed is his use of "mamamama" and "dadadada". At first it was very random, but it has morphed into this sound with a purpose. He says "dadadada" when he is playing around, and says "mamamamama" when he is upset and wants to be comforted...not like he is calling us as much as that is the name that fits his want or need. Fitting, right? Daddy is a play mate, a pal, a good time. Mommy is the one who wipes my butt, feeds me, and puts me to bed. Our roles are already becoming apparent to him. Facinating that such a tiny little guy is already picking up on these things. It has made me very aware of the fact that we are entering into a stage where everything we do and say is being absorbed and processed in his tiny little head. Makes you nervous what that first word will be :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

4 years

Josh and celebrated our 4 year anniversary today. Josh and Dean got up early and made me homemade crepes, with coffee and OJ on the porch. We then went to Urgent Care so I could get a shot for my poison ivy (now covering my face) - all in a days work in the summer time for me! We then came home and all took nice long naps, then ate more crepes, and set up our enormous tent that Josh got us as an anniversary present. We have decided to be serious car-campers. The backpacks and tiny tents are going away for a little while. We have replaced them with a 50 pound 7-person 2-room tent, a huge metal coffee percolator, LED lanterns, and maybe even an airmattress. Why not? Camping in style!

After the morning of crepes, steriods, and naps, Josh and I headed out for an afternoon date. We went to see a movie, have some sushi, and walked around drinking coffee. It was wonderful. We talked about how we've grown as a couple and as individuals over the last 4 years and how far we feel we've come. We pondered whether you continue to grow at such an exponential speed throughout your marriage, or if it slows down at times to give you a rest. We imagine the growth is continual though. We sat in the sun and talked about our excitement and fears being parents, what kinds of things we want to impart on our children and how we see eachother as mom and dad. We recalled events from our wedding weekend, and all the many challenges of that first year. We laughed at silly arguements we had and how futile they were. We thanked eachother for enduring difficulties and expressed how much our love has grown. What a great day.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Resort

Our friends (Alex, Rebika, and Sebastian) came down from Boston for Memorial Day to visit and introduce us to their son who is 5 days older than Dean. We had a WONDERFUL weekend. Alex is an amazing cook and pampered us day and night with his magical food. We spent almost all day in our swim suits or PJs, and took naps when our babies did. A vacation for all. They dubbed our house "The Resort". We did exactly what you do a resort:

We ate

We swam

We slept (no pictures for this one)

Then we ate some more

we swam some more

and we slept some more

The boys were so fun to watch. They were mimicking one another and constantly watching each other the whole time. Dean kept trying to give Sebastian kisses on the head. For the most part though, the boys just kept trying to steal each others toys.

I got a little blow up pool so they could "swim" together. We would put them in it 2 or 3 times a day and after 20 minutes they were so exhausted they could hardly sit up. They both napped like champs! I still put Dean in the pool at least once a day, but he doesn't enjoy nearly as much by himself. I'm not as fun as Sebastian.

I'm free!

This is sort of an update to the last posting (a month ago!). DEAN IS CRAWLING. Well, more like a bear walk. He uses his left foot and right knee, and half the time he tries to use both feet sticking his butt way up in the air.

He's always been a fairly independent guy when it comes to play time. He tends to do much better if we set him down with some toys and books and just walk away. He goes into his little world of babble and spit, and could stay content like that for at least a half hour. Our living room opens up into our kitchen so I have been able to block Dean off to that side of the house. I set him down after breakfast and can go about my business of doing the dishes and checking email while he tells himself stories and chases the dogs around. Our dogs have been so gentle and patient with Dean up until this point and they are obviously VERY annoyed by his new found mobility. They lay down just to get up again 2 minutes later to avoid being climbed on by a slobbery little monkey boy. They have gotten smarter though - - they now wait until the very last second to get up (right when he's practically on them) and then go to the farthest corner of the room so they can have 5 minutes of freedom before Dean gets to them again.

We were fairly kid proofed before Dean found his legs, but I never even thought about moving the dogs' food and water. It didn't take him long before Dean found the dogs endless water bowl and quickly flooded the kitchen. Apparently I don't learn very quickly because that bowl is still sitting in the same spot right now.

Now that the days are warm, Dean and I spend most of the day on the porch. We have a great screened in porch with ceiling fans that we treat as our dining room/living room/nap room most of the year. I have to keep the screen door closed so that Dean can't tumble down the stairs, and that door is the first thing he goes for when he's on that porch. He goes right to it to see if there's a weakness in my plan, then plops down and looks out forlornly. You can almost hear him saying, "I wish I could go out there." He blocked me out one day. I went out to check the pool chemicals and when I came back he was sitting in his usual spot, with his feet pushed up against the door. He thought it was hilarious that we were separated by the screen, but had no idea that I wanted him to move. Josh finally heard my cries and came out to free me from my oppressor.