Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Girls and Grandsons

Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Nana, Emily, Luke, Ben, and I went on a little trip to the KOA in Willits, CA. The trip was dubbed 'Girls and Grandsons'. We loaded up the Suburban, hitched on a rented pop-up tent, and set off. First, I must mention the slogan of KOA and a gentle reminder:

Remember. It's not camping. It's kamping.

There were so many things to do: 3 playgrounds, a spray park, regular pool, kiddie pool, hot tub, a private hot tub at our site, a trail head, a catch-and-release fishing pond, outdoor movie theater, dog park, basketball court, an arcade, a game room, a petting zoo, 18 hole disc golf, 18 hole mini golf, bocce ball, and horse shoes. I may have even forgotten a few. So many things to do, in fact, that you might forget to do nothing and take in the beautiful surroundings.

Sunday night after we got unpacked we chilled in the hot tub and had roasted marshmallows (except for Luke who abhors sticky things and had an un-roasted one, and Ben who isn't eating anything 'cept milk).

Monday morning we had organic whole wheat pancakes. From a can. Weird. Oh, and some Krispy Kreme doughnuts. To go along with the Kamping. And to counteract the organic whole grain.

We then went out on a little hike.

All that hiking tired poor Ben out.

Luke had a blast climbing around the playground.

It was sure fun to watch Luke and his tiny plastic club playing mini golf. His technique reminded me of Happy Gilmore.

Luke thought all the animals at the petting zoo wanted to eat him. I wouldn't put it past them, but these two just wanted to but heads. Running around the park were bunnies who had escaped from the petting zoo.

Luke's favorite parts were the hiking and the hot tub.

Ben really seemed to love the animals and the outdoors. I've never heard him be so vocal. Although he did do a lot of this.

My favorite parts were the hiking and the swimming. My least favorite part was the sleeping* (or lack thereof).

I think Nana loved all of it.

Emily is just on the cusp of being a teenager. Since she's a Schofield there may be some rough waters ahead, but for now she's still innocent and un-jaded and seemed to enjoy everything.

Luke will have to teach you the S'mores dance.

If it can be taught, that is.

Tuesday we ate, packed up and left. We got lost, but it turned out to be a blessing because we saw a whole new part of California. It's hard to find a part of California that's ugly, but driving through wine country was especially beautiful.

*The first night Luke was up about a bajillion times in the night. Maybe just a gazillion. It's hard to say because I lost count. He kept sitting up and saying things like "Don't eat the watermelon", "I want my mommy", "my tummy hurts", and "I'm having fun". Despite the fact that I am not the queen of falling back asleep and lost several hours of sleep, I kept my sense of humor about the situation. I just think of nights like that as some sort of a parental hazing from the universe. Plus, I assumed he would sleep better the next night. He did not. He started having a stuffy nose and he has a miserable time sleeping with a stuffy nose because he forgets how to breath through his nose in his sleep, wakes himself up, and is M-A-D. I have a hard time seeing the humor in being woken up every ten minutes to a child that is extremely distressed. He woke me up at least every ten minutes between 9 pm and 2 am. That's more than just parental hazing. That's like hidden-military-base grade torture. They could learn a thing or two from Luke. Next time I'm bringing the drugs. I'm not quite sure which ones yet, but I'm bringing them.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Wall* (*not the Pink Floyd album)

Sunday, June 26, 2011
One day I caught myself looking at the wood paneling in the kitchen thinking "You know, it's not so bad. It's kind of homey." It was then I realized that I had become desensitized to the ugliness of the paneling, and that they needed to go immediately before I sunk further into my bad taste. We started the project that weekend, back in late January or early February thinking that we could get it done before the baby came. The baby is nearly 4 months old now, and we 'finished' yesterday. We're more 'tortoise' than 'hare'.

Step 1: Remove the paneling. Live with the glue residue that makes the walls plaid for several months.

Step 2: Chip away at the glue. This takes several weekends.

Step 3: Patch the walls where the glue took off all the paint and even some of the dry wall.

Step 4: Sand the putty and left over glue.

Step 5: Spray canned texture on the walls. Fret about whether it's all going to turn out (it did).

Step 6: Paint!!! We went with 'milk pail' by Martha Stewart for a couple of reasons. One being we had to make sure it didn't clash with our ugly counter tops and the second being I really wanted to venture out and do some color. I'm pretty terrified of color so I thought I would start branching out. I think it's lovely. If you have to shatter that illusion, do it gently.

This was the only part of the project that I could really help with. I was glad to come off the proverbial bench.

Step 7: Relax a bit. Don't look down at the floor. Remind yourself that someday, somehow, a child will draw on the wall and that will be o.k. because we have more paint left in the can. Figure out what the next project will be next.

It's not quite fully finished because the trim needs to be finished. We don't want to do that until we do the floors, but I don't want to do the floors yet for several reasons. We were discussing what's next over Cheerios. Refacing the cabinets, replacing the counter tops and sink? The hall bath? Fixing the weird texture throughout the house? We'll see. If only projects were less costly and time consuming...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Father's Day Weekend

Thursday, June 23, 2011
You get the condensed version today. Lucky you!

1. Swim Meet.

Peter made this cap. Silly Peter.

"Uh, Papa? You have no games?!?!"

"Could I be any sweeter?"

2. Dinner at some Italian place in Folsom. Yummy!

3. Sunday Dinner at the Schofield's with Bryan. Yummy again!

4. Father's Day movie with the Schofields.

It's cheesy. It's Canadian. It's "The Little Kidnappers".

The opening credits bring on a Pavlovian emotional response of choking back tears.

Luke took turns with everybody. He came to me for the scary parts. I'm glad he still needs me for something.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Tuesday, June 14, 2011
It's so interesting to see Luke's vocabulary, mind, and attitude develop. Here are some of the funny things he's been saying and doing:

Luke found some of my money so I was telling him all about George Washington and the Revolutionary War. Afterwards he said "OK. You're the Bad King and I'm washing tub. Pew!"

Luke: I'm going to have lots of brothers and lots of sisters.
Me: Oh, yeah? How many?
Luke: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Me: [Stunned silence]

He's been making up songs:
  • We went to the market with JoJo and Babo and Hannah and we were looking at stuff and we bought a rake... (The tune wasn't so special but the lyrics made my heart happy)
  • Daddy is my favorite pal and he plays with me and he comes home from work to be with me

He likes to do both parts of the conversation, which may show how predictable I am:
  • "I'm helping. That's nice."
  • "I like that game. Me too."

One morning I asked Luke to tell Mac breakfast was ready. This is what I heard:
"Breakfast is ready, daddy... Time to be finished with the computer, daddy... I'm sorry, daddy"

Our Elder's Quorum had a pine wood derby. Mac's car was up on the high book shelf because it was falling apart and had a nail sticking out of it. Luke knew he wasn't supposed to play with it until it was fixed. While we were out of the room he climbed up and got the car. When he walked by Mac he was tucking the car under his arm and covering his face with one hand. He figured if his face was covered we couldn't see him and he would get away with it. I'm still laughing about it.

I was reading a parenting article on my iPod when Luke walked up and asked to borrow it. I explained what I was doing and when he didn't want to wait I asked, "Don't you want me to be a nice mommy?". He replied, "No, be a silly mommy". Silly mommies are much more fun than nice ones!

He's noticed the pattern of our dinner conversations. Last night he turned to Mac after the prayer and said "So... How was work today?". After listening a bit he said "Ok. Let me tell you about my day" (This made me think of Kramer from Seinfeld, just look up Kramer's theory on marriage on You Tube).

We've been listening to the same CD in the car for a while, so after we listened to all the songs yet again I turned on a Mazzy Star song. Luke asked for the CD again and I said "I'm going to have a turn and just listen to one song and then we'll listen to the CD again". Luke said "I don't like this song. It's disgusting. Disgusting, disgusting, disgusting".

Saturday, June 11, 2011

TNT is dynamite

Saturday, June 11, 2011
Summer isn't really summer for me without going to a TNT production at Royer Park. TNT (Take Note Troupe) is a local non-profit theater company headed up by a lady I've known since Schofields first roamed these parts: LaRee Florence. She's all kinds of wonderful, and the work she does with teenagers is life changing. While it may seem to the naked eye she's putting on a play, what she's slyly accomplishing is so much more. They almost exclusively do community service with their plays and teach workshops in using principles of improv to improve relationships and build leadership skills. Need I go on? I really hope that my children get involved someday.

This summer TNT put on As You Like It. Just grab a blanket and some organic junk food. Regular food works fine, too. I dare say it was their best production yet.

(Ben stole one of my carrots and tried to put it in his mouth. Silly Ben!)

Some highlights of the show: When they came to the pancakes and mustard part they did an audience applause poll to see which was naught and which was good and tossed pancakes and mustard to the audience. I'm not sure if they were meant to be eaten, but they were. Together. Ew.

When the wind blew down some of the scenery the reaction of some of the actors was adorable. While the main actors continued with their lines some minor players acted extremely agitated and embarrassed and awkwardly put it back up. It looked rehearsed and it probably was. I think LaRee teaches them to not take the play so seriously that you get flustered by things going wrong, which they inevitably do. See? One of those life skills.

The integrated lots of fun music, mostly "They Might Be Giants". It fit, oddly enough.

Luke's favorite part was the wrestling match. They did a few seconds of regular wrestling and then interspersed slow-mo sequences as if it were a cheesy sports movie. Then some actor-spectators blocked the audience's view so that Orlando could wrestle a dummy and toss it in the air. Luke (and the rest of the audience) was delighted.

The fact that the show kept Luke's attention for so long is a tribute to both Shakespeare (or as my father has only ever called him, Bill) and to TNT, but eventually he tired. We left at intermission after visiting the swings for a minute or two. On the way home I asked Luke his favorite part and he said [Touchstone's] "funny pants", "the music" and "the guys and the girls". Oh, and he kept calling Duke Frederick "Count Dooku". Too funny.

Besides the play I think my favorite part was playing 'musical parent'.

I know it's cheesy, but I'm not sure if it's a Diana blog post without some over-sentimentality about how much I love my family. If all the world's a stage and the men and women merely players, then I think whoever did my casting is pretty great (I know, you can go puke now).

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Getting Unstuck

Wednesday, June 08, 2011
We get stuck around here. In various ways and for various reasons. For now I'll expound on our playing rut. Seems like we get in this routine of what we usually do on a certain day and this monotony is getting old. So why not change things up?

Play dough first thing on a Monday instead of my usual clean-the-house panic and resulting foul mood? Sure. While you're at it, scrounge the kitchen for everything that might be good for playing.

Never mind that while I am away for a minute (cleaning the house I vowed I wouldn't) Luke uses the scissors on the reusable cupcake liners. Obviously I don't think outside the box enough to realize that a 2 year old is going to use the scissors on anything he can find, not just play dough.

We make the play dough and mix the colors ourselves. I take a few deep breaths when my beautiful green, blue, and purple balls get mixed together to make something that looks like the Grateful Dead threw it up. It's moments like those when I really wonder about myself. Really? Should mixed play dough colors even be a blip on my radar?

While we're getting creative, how 'bout playing some dress up with Mom's freshly laundered shopping bags? Sounds good to me.

While Mom takes a few minutes to transfer this sleeping babe from sling to bed...

...grab a pillow, blanket, and book and jump in the shower. You know, to read.

Fully refreshed, head out to the front lawn. The back yard is so yesterday.

Stare up at our beautiful tree and see the sun shine through the leaves.

See all the bugs climb through the grass.

Color and read.

Play hopscotch. For two seconds.

Then go inside for the scissors. You must know what is inside of the bags.

Poke yourself in the eye while you're trying to get your fist to your mouth. It's a must.

Fall asleep while playing baseball. In the sling. Facing out.

Then have a Popsicle.

Not too bad. Now let's get even crazier tomorrow.