Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Old, judgmental people attend local theme park, praise merits of hand sanitizer

Each August, Paddy's work hosts a Lagoon Day. It's pretty great, because otherwise I'm not sure where I'd fill that compulsive need to dress the family up in matching t-shirts and spend an evening carefully shielding my children from viewing an abhorrent amount of teenage PDA.

As I rapidly approach the ripe old age of 30, it seems I am out of touch with current teenage norms. When I was a teenager, see, articles of clothing that were entirely sheer, mesh, made of netting, or otherwise classified as transparent were not considered sufficient to cover ones undergarments, no matter how brightly colored or well-adorned with sequins said underwear might have been. If Lagoon represents an accurate cross-section of society, this has apparently changed. 

Things that are also now true at Lagoon (and possibly the rest of the world):

* Bubble gum is no longer relegated to the mouth or the garbage can only. No, no-- jamming it into painted metal fencing at eye-height is actually encouraged!
* One need not be inconvenienced by the terrible hassle that applying deodorant before going out into public presents.
* Is your text-based conversation incredibly urgent? Awesome! It's fine if your children push, shove, and holler at the top of their lungs while in line next to other children, so long as you don't have to look up from the screen of your super fancy smart phone and the obviously riveting conversation your thumbs are having with... someone who isn't here. 

My penchant for judging my fellow theme park patrons notwithstanding, we actually had a fantastic time watching Bug ride on various animal- or vehicle-themed rides. 

Even Mr. Baggins got in on the action on a few particularly slow rides.

The weather was great, the kids were surprisingly well-behaved and brave, and every single one of us had a blast.

Thanks to the reasonably affordable bounce back option, Schmoops and I actually headed back about a week later on a date night sans kids. I don't even remember the last time I rode Colossus, but even all these years later, it's pretty awesome. We opted not to wear our matching shirts on the return trip, though. 

Instead, I decided to wear a neon yellow spike-studded bra with an oversized sheer white tank top over it and booty shorts. You know, when in Rome.

Friday, August 23, 2013

You're gonna miss me when I'm gone.

Leave it to me to pick the only blustery, windy day all summer to plan a trip downtown with the kiddos. Figuring the kids would like a change of pace from the old carseat routine, we decided to take the train to City Creek to meet up with Aunt B.

Both of the kiddos loved it.

I loved it when the nice man helped me lift the stroller into the train. Turns out those blue handicapped squares on the platform only mean wheelchair accessible sometimes.

There are lots of things I really love about autumn. Leaves changing, sweater weather, college football, my birthday-- there are all kinds of things to look forward to! I've got to say, though, I have had a fantastic summer with these two babies, and I'm missing it already.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A wordy post wherein I love having two kids.

When Mister Baggins was still very small, I had this wild idea that I was super mom and that being outnumbered wasn't going to stop me and all sorts of other dangerous thoughts and I left the house by myself with two kids, to go to--get this--THE MALL. I had a gift card and I thought I'd just snag a scarf so I didn't have to try anything on and I hadn't yet learned the importance of only going places with carts to strap small people into and basically it was a recipe for disaster. I hauled that baby carrier back out to the car, dragging one two year old behind me determined to NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE AGAIN and that was my solo introduction to parenting two kids at a time.

Since then, we've gotten pretty awesome at venturing into public as a threesome, and handling both kids by myself is totally do-able. People had warned me that two kids was going to be a lot harder than one, but no one ever bothered to tell me that sometimes it's way EASIER than just one.

This business where your kids get old enough to entertain each other is freakin' awesome. It's like if you were 14 and you got to stay home from school only you weren't really sick and it turns out your mom had just stocked the pantry with Cinnamon Life and also there's a Boy Meets World marathon on TV. That's how awesome it is.

By way of example, my two munchkins are currently playing "Hiii-YAH!" together. This is a very complex and intricate game Bug invented after a couple of viewings of Mulan on Netflix (which she refers to as Fa Mulan since that's what they call her maybe like twice in the entire movie and it obviously stuck in her brain.) Essentially, Bug and Baggins both arm themselves with wooden spoons and run around the house striking poses as karate-like as a three- and one-year old can manage and shouting "Hiiii-YAH!" at each other. (And there is no way you could have mentally worked out those details on your own based on the name of the game, obviously.)

And, if you wanted to know, Bug is in her pajamas and Baggins is in, well, just a diaper because he's that size where he's a little too big for one size of diapers and a little too small for the next (not to mention we just bought a Costco-sized box of the smaller diapers so he's going to have to deal with it) which basically just means that the overnight diaper cannot possibly contain everything he's sending in to it and his PJs are soaked in the morning (please, parents, say that happens to your kids, too.)

And, if you wanted to know, I am using all this extra time that not entertaining my kids myself has freed up by... wasting time on the internet. Hello, funny Buzzfeed lists of humorous short GIFs and photos!

Sometimes, they decide instead to play the Laughing Game, which was also invented by Bug and is basically identical to Hiii-YAH only without the karate moves and with more giggling. (There is a lot of chasing each other going on at my house.) It turns out that my pots and pans, already spread all over the floor courtesy of Mister, also make for a great drum set, and Daddy's old electronic tennis racket makes a perfect 'buitar' (as Bug would say.) We're basically the Jackson 5 over here, minus the overbearing and abusive father-manager, and, you know, the talent.

Anyway, all of this to say that having double the littles really IS double the fun, and sometimes more.

And now, because I don't know how to wrap this up, some pictures:

Mister loves his puppy. "Doddy!" he shouts, excitedly signing dog every time he sees her. In fact, he can say doggy, Daddy, and Bug's name, with nary a Mama to be heard.

Every morning, Bug gets up our of bed, grabs a green yogurt out of the fridge, and treats herself to an early morning breakfast snack. One particular day, she must have had the horse before the cart a bit, as she was clearly not done being asleep. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Heave ho, or, Costa Rica Recap: Part III

After several days in the rain forest, we all loaded up on a bus and headed off for sandy shores. Along the way, we saw some wildlife you don't normally stumble upon during an average day in the American West.

(Note: My undergraduate college experience included a sort of difficult to describe sloth fascination by my roommates and me, so I was pretty excited when our bus driver spotted one in real life. Excited enough that I tried REALLY HARD not to whine when I fell on a mossy rock while trying to take pictures of it and scraped my knee. The real take-away blessing of the trip is that I didn't lose my leg to some sort of Central American fungal infection.)

Do yourself a favor and google a closer up picture of scarlet macaws. It's unbelievable that something that gorgeous exists. 

Roadside market. Somewhat cooler than a 7-11, huh?

We stayed in the most incredible beach house in Jaco, Costa Rica. The pool was awesome, the beds were comfortable, and in case you were wondering, yes, that is the ocean immediately outside the gates.

We headed into the water nearly the moment we got there, and let me just take a minute to emphasize that the water was 80 degrees. EIGHTY DEGREES. The ocean was honestly warmer than our pool. The sand was a darkish-grey sort of color, which is really different than any sand I had ever seen, and it was soft, like powdered sugar. Basically, a recipe for PERFECT.


I did feel sort of bad that this crab crawled all the way up from the ocean, through our security fence, over the grass and patio, and into our pool just to die.

A day or so after arrival, a few of us headed out for deep sea fishing. Let me be clear about the level of anticipation that a certain member of our traveling party had for this part of the trip: essentially, Paddy flew 2700 miles and spent 10 days in Costa Rica juggling his two small children and leaving behind a super hectic work schedule (in his business, if he doesn't work, he doesn't get paid) all for this one activity. Originally, I wasn't going to go along, but we decided to go together as our anniversary gift to each other.

All the way out to the fishing grounds, I prayed silently in my head.

 Please let him catch a fish, I begged. Please, please, PLEASE give this good man whom I love more than life a fish. PLEASE.

My prayers worked, to the tune of an 80 pound red dog-toothed snapper!

Unfortunately, I should have left the fish up to fate and switched the topic of my prayers a whole lot earlier. Why I would EVER think that someone related as closely to my father as I am could manage being on the ocean on a small boat without motion sickness medication is BEYOND ME. My much-bragged-about non-pregnancy puke-free streak came to a violent ending on multiple occasions throughout the afternoon.

In case you were wondering what I might look like if I found myself in a situation where I sought, yea, even begged for the sweet release of death to ease my suffering, I present the following:

Paddy has ME to thank for his giant fish, what with my generous offer to personally chum the waters for him with my stomach contents. Aren't I thoughtful?

 Anyway, that experience (and my lunch) in the record books, we headed back to the house to finish the remainder of our vacation in lazy, wonderful days on the beach.

Mister liked using the muddy sand as an art medium for whomever was within reach of his stubby little finger.

Bug collected sea shells, made sand castles, and even tried out a little boogie boarding. (I hope this one five second ride justified hauling two child-sized life jackets in our luggage, because that's the only time either one left our suitcase.)

We were unbelievably lucky to be able to enjoy such a fantastic trip, and can't thank Nana and PopPop enough for their generosity. We made the most amazing memories, and Bug's voice lights up with energy whenever she talks about COSTA RICA! (That's how she says it, too. Not plain ol' Costa Rica, but COSTA RICA!)

That my babies have stamps in their passports before preschool is just, well, mind-blowing. I am so blessed.