Monday, June 30, 2008

Mini Vacation-Part 2

One of my favorite things to do while in Utah is visit Salt Lake City. The city is incredibly beautiful and most things are free. SLC is set on a hill, and there are tons of historic buildings and houses, plus new modern buildings that give it a very metropolitan air with a feeling that things move at a slower pace.

The best part for me is that it's not just a big city with commerce dominating the landscape. It is chock full of Pioneer History. Of course, all that pioneer history is intermixed with LDS Church history since the pioneers were Mormon, but that makes it all the more interesting.

The following shots were taken from the 26th floor observation deck in the Church Administration building. The views of the Valley are breath taking. Free, free, free.

The Capitol Building

This is the newly built Conference Center that covers a full square block and has the holding capacity for about a gazillion people.

Salt Lake City also houses THE best pioneer museum (PIONEER MEMORIAL MUSEUM on Capitol Hill) I've ever seen. If you are in the area, you must browse around. Admission is free and they sell the best bag of honey taffy ever, for a mere buck. There are 5 floors of artifacts; pianos, medical equipment, navigation and transportation equipment, clothing, everyday implements, photos, toys, Indian artifacts. The list is endless. They even have a stuffed two headed lamb. My kids loved it, and I wasn't able to spend enough time there.

Salt Lake City is incredibly clean, and you can always count on manicured grounds and amazing flower beds.

In the middle of all this sits the Salt Lake Temple. It's so beautiful and my children always love seeing "the castle". The grounds are truly peaceful. The adjacent buildings are great to explore, too. If you are into music, The Tabernacle is a must see.

Don't forget to stop at the Family History Center and see how fun searching for your ancestors can be, and get an idea of the immense scope of the operation. The Lion House tour is fun if you don't have little twin destructo's, and the Joseph Smith Building is worth a walk around. It used to be the Hotel Utah and boasts some pretty splendid architecture.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Snail Races

Good Free Fun. You should try it. My kids loved it.
Look closely and you'll see the snails.
Ready, Set, Go.
DISCLAIMER: Lest you think I'm the cleverist mom around I suppose I should confess that I didn't think up this game. My dad did. In fact, he has quite a few tricks up his sleeve when it comes to free entertainment. He gave my kids their first pet. The only one I've allowed in the house. I was generous and told them that if they managed to keep their pet well fed and it grows in the next 15-20 years then I'll give them the OK for a real pet of their own when they are out of the house. Pet Rocks, rock. And they are free.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Photo Story Friday-Garrett

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

What more can I say about Garrett than he is just about the easiest going kid around? Well, actually, quite a lot. He prepared me for the twins. I think if I hadn't stressed and worried about him, I would have been a basket case with his brothers.

He had a 2 vessel cord in utero; he was missing one of the arteries in his umbilical cord. He was closely watched for growth and abnormalities and I had the opportunity to see him regularly on ultrasound before he was born. Then, this perfect little boy was born (with the cord around his neck twice) and I thought all the worry was over. That is, until he spiked a fever of 102 as a 9 day old. To the hospital we went where he was poked (two spinal taps) and proded and then hooked up to an IV and admitted to the hospital. In the end, it was only a virus, but the threat of meningitis was very real. We survived that hospital stay and a few days later I received a phone call from his pediatrican. He was flagged for having Cystic Fibrosis and needed further testing. After the sweat test (definitive test for CF) we were relieved to find out he was only a carrier of the mutated gene. All of these problems ended well, but served an important purpose as they emotionally prepared me for a pregnancy and babies that aren't text perfect from the get go.

Garrett was an incredibly easy infant, baby, toddler and continues to be as a little boy. He is so patient and self sufficient that many times I have to look around to make sure he is even in the room. He has always been a daddies boy and that was a real blessing when I went inpatient and then when the twins came home. I didn't have a fight for 3 on my lap, and he just cruised along, going with the flow, making my life oh so much easier. He was never very affectionate with me though. He didn't need or want to be cuddled by me (he wanted daddy) and to be honest, if I hadn't been so busy it would have really hurt me. I think he just seemed to know though that everyone needed something and he was patiently waiting his turn. Only recently has he become really affectionate with me, and I couldn't be more thankful. I notice and treasure the times that he comes up to me for a hug or to sit on my lap. I'm blessed to have a child that is just so good. My heart aches with the love I feel for my middle child.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Vacation-Part One

This post is more than just a post about my vacation, it's a photographic view of part of where I came from.

This is my grandfather, and the occasion for the vacation is his 80th birthday. He is a very special grandpa, for he helped establish my roots. He provided something stable when the goings on in my life were anything but. He is as constant as the day is long and his word is his honor.

This is the view that has always told me I'm coming home to the only unchangeable thing I ever knew. This temple is my beacon and tells me that all is well and nothing has changed. She was built by my ancestors and overlooks the cemetary where my mother lies. The stones that make up the sacred building were hand hewn from a local quarry, the furnishings inside were carved or sewn by hand; all by pioneers, some of them with my blood.

These are views of my childhood. Can you see my memories?

This is where my past and present collide and I get to share my history with my children.

And this is where I get to enjoy seeing my husband ride a horse (make that a mule) for the first time.

This is where I swatted swarms of mosquitos with my son....

And this is the stuff that memories are made of.

I didn't grow up in central Utah. I visited a few times a year, and every year I could count on the little town being just how I remembered it. I felt comforted by that. And still do. When I visit I get to revisit memories and see the evidence of families who've loved each other through the generations.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lost, Now Found-The Story

When the money went missing, I maintained that I handed it to Jeff. He maintained that he didn't touch it. I was wrong about the details. I did hand the money to someone. Just not to Jeff. I handed it to Garrett, and he hit the jackpot. Except he has no concept of money so he didn't know just how much money he was slipping into his Superman billfold. When I was searching frantically for the "$500.00", he didn't know that $500.00 was the money I gave him to hold while I finished putting away the other things in my hands.

The best part of the story is that he keeps his wallet in his underwear drawer, and I've opened and closed that drawer about 120 times, passing my hand over the wallet at least twice a day since it happened, never bothering to look inside.

Garrett did not get in trouble. It was my fault completely. What did happen is that Emma found the money and when I saw it I grabbed both Emma and Garrett and did a happy dance. Twice.

That money burned a hole right through my pocket and is now gas fumes. It took us 1800 miles though, and the mini vacation was well worth it. Those details are to come. Right now I have mounds and mounds of laundry to finish.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lost, now Found

Anyone want to guess what I found in this wallet that belongs to someone in my household?
Here's a hint.

Monday, June 23, 2008

You asked, I FINALLY answered

Your favorite question was posed by my cousin Kristen. She asked, "If you were to choose any religion other than your own, which would you choose?"

I might get lengthy here, so bear with me.

I would be a Buddhist, although whether I'd be Mahayana or Theravada, I couldn't say. I think I'd lean towards Mahayana since they have the Mahayana Sutras, and since I like to read, an additional text is good.

Here's why I'd choose Buddhism:

I like the idea of the Middle Way or using moderation in the extremes of self indulgence and self-mortification and also using moderation in the practice of wisdom, morality and mental cultivation.

The concept of dependent origination or that everything depends on everything else is very interesting to me as are the Four Noble Truths as they relate to suffering.

An instrument of discovery, The Noble Eightfold Path generates insights unveiling the ultimate truth of things. This technique used to eradicate greed, hatred and delusion is appealing. Don't we all want to know the ultimate truth and goodness in life?

One of my most interesting classes in college was "Great Religions of the World". I love learning about other religions and feel blessed that I am fully converted to my faith.

Laurie said, "If you could choose any of Snow White and the seven dwarfs to describe your personality which dwarf would you be?"

To answer this question I had to recall the names/characteristics of each dwarf. That took a long time. Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, Dopey. Let's see: I don't often confuse words, but I do like to lead, so Doc is in the running. I can be grumpy, but I wouldn't say it's a defining characteristic. I don't think I am the bubbly over the top type HAPPY person, so that's out. Content would be a better word to describe the happiness that emanates from me. I love to sleep, but I'm not sleepy. Definitely not Bashful. Not Sneezy. And thank goodness, not Dopey. So, this is a hard one. I'm going to have to go with Snow White. When it's all said and done, I relate more to women. Easy peasy.

"Who is more your "type", Batman or Robin??" is what Arizona would like to know.

I'm going to have to go with Wolverine from X-Men. Wait, that wasn't an option was it? Oh well.

Another cousin Brenna asked, "Are you a skeptic or a believer when it come to Ghost's? Do you believe that people from the other side visit us and try to get in touch with us and sometimes just try to scare us?"

Oh, I believe in ghosts all right.

Rosie queried, "Who is your hero? Not just any hero - but the hero that inspires you to get through the day? The hero that makes you glad to be alive and the one that stirs you to do your best?"

I've been thinking and thinking about this one. I don't have one hero. My idea of a hero is a mixture of many people that exhibit or cultivate traits that allow them to overcome adversity with grace and help others to become the best they can. My hero is someone that stops to hold the door for someone who is struggling. One who smiles at strangers and brightens their day. One who volunteers their time to make the world a better place. One who experiences loss and heartache but can overcome the sadness. To me, a hero isn't someone that executes ONE act that makes a difference, it's one that executes many and strives every day to be a better person and make the world a better place.

And yet another cousin by marriage (Melissa) asked, "Which adult do you think your the closest to? No one your age like people our parents age."

I guess it would have to be my dad for two reasons. One, I actually talk to him on a regular basis, unlike most people. I really rarely talk on the phone and that seriously hinders relationships if one doesn't live close geographically. Secondly, he reads my blog, and if anyone wants to know anything about me, this be the place.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Should I be offended?

That my own email considers me SPAM? My email notifications head straight to my SPAM folder when I comment on my own blog.
Maybe they are trying to send me a message.
"Isn't writing your post enough? You have to comment on your post as well?"
Point well taken. Well, actually not.
But I get it.
I'm a moron, YET I'm STILL offended.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Photo Story Friday-Jacob

Do you see where this is headed? A glimpse of my kids each friday until they are all used up. Translation: 3 weeks to go. I'm original. I know. So, this Friday is ALL Jacob.

Jacob was my constant when I was in the hospital being monitored before he was born. For 10 straight weeks 24 hours a day, his heart rate was steady and variable and beautiful. Unlike his brothers'. He measured bigger than John via ultrasound and so I had this false sense of security before he was born. I thought he'd be bigger, stronger, healthier. But he wasn't. Well, he was a little bigger, but he was anemic, so pale and sickly looking. He also had breathing problems in the beginning. Once in the NICU he was put on CPAP but then had to go on the ventilator which almost broke my heart. I would go visit my little peanuts in the NICU and Jacob just didn't seem well. Not that NICU babies ever are, right? I worried about both of my 33 weekers, but Jacob really scared me.
One day though, he just turned the corner and made leaps and bounds. He went from being a few weeks behind his brother in progress to being even. Now they mostly do things together.
Jacob is my snuggler, my observer, my explorer. He only pushes one of my buttons, and for that I'll always be eternally grateful. He decided he was done with diapers and somehow got John on the potty training band wagon as well. I owe this kid alot. For so many reasons. And like all of my kids, he owns my heart.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My New Blog Button

Is happily installed. Again, all Rachel at Made with Love and Glue, Lot's and Lot's of Glue. I thought I loved my blog before the button. Now I'm over the top. Feel free to share my love and pluck the HTML code from below the button on my sidebar and add it to your blog. I promise it'll make you feel happy each time you see it, for it'll make you think of me. Or just my blog. And then click on over. Either way it's a win-win. I can't wait to see a little Circus Bling on your blog. Should you choose to add it. But I would. If you want my opinion.

Now, in case you don't do Angie-speak, the "button" is the image in my side bar under my profile with HTML code under it. The image is a smaller version of what is in my header (says 7 Clown Circus) and when you put the HTML code in your blog side bar, it will link to my blog when the image generated by the HTML code is clicked. Get it? Basically, it tells people that you are oh so cool, smart, and on the cutting edge (can you hear my laughter?) and visit my blog. This is an alternative to a blogroll link.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Experiments with Pee

Scientific Method
Will John be a scientist when he grows up, or is he just fascinated with his own pee?

1. Use your experience: Consider the problem and try to make sense of it. Look for previous explanations. If this is a new problem to you, then move to step 2.

Problem: John has peed in areas that are not appropriate. He has peed on the kitchen tile, a concrete slab, the carpet and a plastic bag. This is not an issue of him peeing his pants or not making it to the toilet in time, it is purposeful.

2. Form a conjecture: When nothing else is yet known, try to state an explanation, to someone else, or to your notebook.

John likes to hear the sound of his urine hitting different surfaces.

3. Deduce a prediction from that explanation: If you assume 2 is true, what consequences follow?

Perhaps John will become a scientist when he grows up. If this might be true, then it will follow that he will hand me a ziplock baggy of pee and proudly tell me it's his. If he is just interested in pee, then he will still hand me a ziplock baggy full of urine and announce it is his.

4. Test : Look for the opposite of each consequence in order to disprove the hypothesis.

In progress. Sinking suspicion......... I can expect more "experiments" in the future.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Daddy Boy

The best darn daddy around.
Now we can have Guitar Hero Battles.
At least someone found the time to slip in a nap!