Friday, December 31, 2010


A year swings by too fast! Happy Birthday my sweet boy. Happy New Year's everyone else... catch ya on the flip side or the back swing or 2011 if ya dig.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Well it's Christmas Eve and I think I got everything done... wait... you didn't get your card yet... it's not our fault... for unto us a child was born. Unto us a son was given and unlike the little Lord Jesus, MUCH crying he made. In fact, we have been praying for a silent night ever since. Wise men brought presents and left early, so they could sleep in heavenly peace, but as we await the first Noel we celebrate with River, we look back with wondering awe and can't help but feel joyful and triumphant! Peace on earth, good will to men and glory to God on the highest. Oh and Merry Christmas from The Bears of course.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Growing Up

Doesn't he look so grown up in this picture? Doesn't he look two days away from grabbing a backpack and heading off to school? I'll not have it River Lucas.
I am not the grinch who stole Christmas, but I am the mean mom who put the Christmas tree in a cage. He has so much fun pulling himself up on the gate, I think he forgives me for the separation of tree and hand.
I now have more years behind me than flavors of ice cream at Baskin Robbins, but who cares, because Rocky Road is the only flavor worth my time. I'm sure there is deep meaning about the journey of life in this sentence, you just have to look for it. I love my birthday, because I love being alive. So I can find happiness in it, even if I'm at a work party for a job I just got let go of and I have to stand in front of everyone and smile, while accepting a birthday card from the manager who has done her darndest to get me let go of. Harry Potter fans, when I write of this manager, please picture Delores Umbridge in your minds. Yes... she is that bad. I hate to speak ill of others, but I Must Not Tell Lies.
Speaking of Harry Potter. I know I missed the bandwagon by ten years on this one, but I love it. Maybe you picked up on that, by all my references to wizards lately. Bear and I just listened to the whole series on tape... reading is a little harder these days.... but it was okay, because Jim Dale (narrator) is awesome. I am totally having post-book depression. Do you get that? Where you are searching for a job instead of hallows and hoarcruxes and you think BUHoring. Good thing I have a wizard baby, who helps me see the magic in everything these days.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Nice List

We we went to the ward Christmas party the other night and River got to meet Santa for the first time. He was relieved to find out that skipping naps for no good reason does not keep you off the nice list. He gave Santa a pretty searching look, but kept right on sucking his thumb and did not cry. When Santa handed him a plastic bag full of candy, he lit up like he had been handed some serious dough... more for the fun of shaking a crinkly bag, than for the candy, which Bear and I ate.
The food was delish and I'm always in a good mood when I get to eat without cooking. I had a very simple part in the Christmas play. I hadn't done any stage acting in a long time. It wasn't serious acting, just fun, but the reaction of my little boy in the audience made me feel like a super star. He was so excited to see me on stage, he was ooohing and ahhing and flapping around so loudly Bear had to take him to the very back of the hall. It took a lot of effort not to look at him, but at least the part I was doing called for a lot of smiling.
Happy Christmasing everyone. It's getting close.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

11 Months Young

Someone dared to call my wee babe a toddler the other day. The devil you say! I prefer hefty newborn... thank you very much. The eleventh month has been crazy! Who knew you could fill an entire day cleaning up dvds. The mess in my house in these videos could only mean one thing... Hurricane River... aka... Tidal Wave of Mass Destruction is mobile.

As of November 15th, 2010, River can crawl. He almost always mutters the entire time he crawls. I'm pretty sure he is steam powered. At first he was so slow it almost seemed like he was crawling in place, but to Noodle's dismay, he's quickly getting faster. This video was the second time he crawled.

Barely crawling and he's already trying to walk. He loves this toy, but still needs our help with it. He thinks he's So big when he uses it.

River still loves hand held transportation, especially when he can get his chase on. Thanks Big Noods for being such a good sport.

I was going through this month's pictures and discovered a well documented addiction to this hat. I can't help myself. If River is wearing this hat... I. Must. Get. Camera. Thanks Becca for the world's cutest hand me down. The hat lives on.

He has other hats too, but I prefer the snow pixie look over the gangsta my babe turns into when I put on this hat. Unless we're walking in dangerous neighborhoods. Ya better recognize!

River finally got a pair of shoes this month. He isn't the biggest fan of wearing them. We just figured they would help keep his socks on during winter. Please note cute wizard socks.

I thought our shoes looked cute lined up together. Brown anyone?

At 11 months River is crawling, clapping, and climbing every moment he is awake. His sleeping schedule is usually 7pm-7:30 am or 7:pm-6:30 am (nurse) and then back to bed till 8:45 am. This all goes out the window when he's teething. Right now he's getting four teeth on top. The two fangs (told you he was part vampire) have cut through and the two front teeth are almost there. This means multiple extra wake-ups. I give him a few minutes and sometimes he can calm himself back to sleep, but most of the time I end up nursing him back to sleep. I know this is a no-no, but nothing else works. River has realized the extent of the power his sad face has over us and we went through a whole day of him not letting me set him down. In his defense, he is teething and in my defense... well... I'm just a sucka! He dances anytime he hears music. He stands up and sings the hymns at church and I'm pretty sure he's part wizard. He is always pointing things at me and shouting words that sound like Kissiumus. He must be a talented wizard too, because I can't stop kissing him when he does this.

River says enough of this Mamarrazi! I am having a love/hate relationship with him growing up. I love seeing his bravery, his success and the joy he gets from learning new things, but does it have to keep going by so fast? See you all too soon for the One Year Post. Crazy! Now please excuse me, I have 72 messes to clean up before I hit the sack.

Monday, November 15, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Thank you! Of course I agreed with every comment you wrote, since I picked them all out. I was having the hardest time making up my mind. I had decided the tie breaker was going to be the price tag and in that case The Onesie would win, but then River took matters into his own hands. He brushed all the other boxes aside, grabbed Rudolph and wouldn't stop playing with him. Thankfully, Rudolph is the only one he can't break. Yay for sterling silver!
In other news, there is only a month till my birthday. I still haven't made a wish list and my husband says I lose a present for every day I don't make one. I better get on it. I am already down to only 249 presents. (My count, not his.) I am on a Facebook fast, but I still log on for ten seconds everyday to see if Arika Shockmel has had her baby. 9 days late and counting. Please everyone think releasing thoughts, so Arika can finally meet here babe and I can stop cheating on my fast. I am also giving up my beloved CoCa-Cola for a month. River is almost a year old and I am still 10 lbs up on my pre-baby weight. I am going to see if soda makes the difference. I only have one a day, but who knows... nothing else is working, so fingers crossed.
I know this is a blog, not a brag, but this is so super cool it has to be shared. My husband booked a role in a film called Darlin' Companion directed by Lawrence Kasdan. Lawrence, or Lawrie as we call him, (okay that last part is not true) wrote The Empire Strikes Back, Return of The Jedi and Raiders of the Lost Ark and directed Silverado. Needless to say, my husband is a fan of his and was excited to work with him. Now here is the cool part. After Bear finished filming, Lawrence Kasdan called the casting director to tell him how great Bear did and what a joy he was to work with. Actors never get that kind of feedback. Yes, we get to hear everyone's two cents and suffer through the hoards of cowardly online critics, but to get genuine, unprompted feedback from a member of Hollywood's elite is a pretty big deal and I am very proud of him.
P.S. I am not just saying that to win back some of my presents.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Help Me Decide

I've had a lot of weighty issues on my mind lately, what, with the election and all. Now you can help me put one of these uber important issues to rest. Which one of these lovelies should be River's first Christmas ornament? Let me know what you think and why. No thesis sentence needed and if you turn a blind eye to my punctuation errors, I'll turn a blind eye to yours. Peace.


Horizontal Rattle

Vertical Rattle


Crystal Rattle

Star Onesie

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Good Bye Bob

It was Halloween and River's 10 month birthday on the 31st. We were returning home from a vacation to Northern California on Saturday and missed all the fun Halloween celebrations. It's okay, because being in the car for 13 hours with a baby who refuses to sleep in his car seat is totally more fun.

Gardner Village-Thanks Lynnell and Angela for sharing your pictures.

Monkey Business

I pick the Camo Pumpkin!

Pumpkin Patch and Halloween Night

The only piece of candy he got was from dad and we just let him chew on the wrapper.

I didn't want River's first Halloween to pass by unmarked, so we dressed up and went for a walk to see kids costumes. I thought there would be some trick or treaters out. Not everyone in Salt Lake is LDS and goes to a trunk or treat the day before right... wrong... there must have been a state wide memo sent out. The streets were utterly abandoned. Good thing we went to a pumpkin patch and Garner Village earlier in the month, or I would have felt shafted.

River asked me to let you know that he CAN crawl... he just doesn't feel like demonstrating yet. Apparently the more he hears about everyone's six month old that can walk, the less he feels like showing off his skills. What a booger.

He continues to talk our ears off. We love it. He totally has a sense of humor too. He knows every time I'm doing something funny and belly laughs. I truly wonder how he knows that wearing a hat that is too small is supposed to be funny. He just seems so smart to me.

I am no longer Bob. As of September 15th, River is saying Mama. For the first few days, he couldn't stop saying it. It never got old though and not to be cliche, but my heart melts every time... Well maybe not during a 3:00 am wake-up, but every other time.

On Sunday the 17th River took the Sacrament for the first time. It was unintentional. I was passing the bread to the person next to me and he grabbed a piece and popped it in his mouth. I figured he deserved the water too, for his speedy little effort. Seriously though, it has been so cute to watch him get better and better at feeding himself. I run out of ideas of things to give him, so feel free to post some.

He slept all the way through the night multiple times in a row and then I messed up everything by going on vacation again. We are getting back on track and as of last night, he went to bed at 7:00pm, woke up an hour later when he accidentally rolled on his stomach, couldn't be soothed by anything other than nursing, so after half an hour I caved. Then he went right to sleep and slept till 5:30 am, nursed again and woke up for the day at 7:30 am. Sorry for the boring details, but I really want to remember things accurately, so on round two, I keep from getting discouraged, or discouraging others.

He can snap his fingers and loves to watch himself do it. Speaking of watching himself, he loves seeing the videos I take of him and I can always get him to stop crying by showing him a picture of himself... an actor in the making???

He tries to climb everything, especially me and especially when I'm trying to feed him. It's made for some big messes, but I love to see him working so hard to accomplish things.

After about an hour of being inside, he gets fussy and we end up going on multiple walks a day. We're a little worried about Winter coming, but will most likely have to just bundle him up real tight.

He's super ticklish, especially his armpits and because he's a squeaky clean and fresh little babe, I can't get enough of them. Plus his laughter cures all things and I am completely, madly addicted. I will try to ease off, because one day he will be bigger than me and you know what they say about pay backs.

He claps block together, but has only clapped his hands together once and for the life of me, I can't get him to repeat it. He does give a cute high five though. I say cute, because what it lacks in accuracy of aim, it makes up for in enthusiasm of delivery.

His favorite activity is having his dad hold him and run around chasing things. He loved chasing all the kids in Northern California, but settles for me or Noodle here in Salt Lake. I think he feels like such a big boy and it's adorable to watch his legs kick back and forth like he's running.

The best thing about this last month was the cuddles. River is totally starting to hug me tight and lay his head down on my shoulder. These moments are precious to me. They fill up my inner cup, which was more than a little drained during the first couple colicky months of his tiny fists pounding on me as he nursed. I know it wasn't personal, but going in expecting tender, serene moments of bonding and getting screams and beatings, left me feeling very unqualified, drained and totally replaceable. Now I feel like this boy knows I am his Mom. He reaches out and strokes my hair while he nurses and if I am not paying attention, he grunts until I look at him and then smiles.

I feel the moments rolling by too quickly and the details already slipping away from my memory. Thanks for letting me share some of these moments with you. Being accountable to others on this blog is the only thing that has kept me on task. My actual mother's journal is completely empty. Good thing River likes to update as well. Happy Halloween and full speed ahead into the holiday season!

Monday, October 18, 2010

9 Months In, 9 Months Out

This post is a little late in coming, because Mom just had to figure out how to do collages. Seriously Mom, isn't one picture of me enough? We don't want to send the blogosphere into sugar shock. By the way, all the fantastic pics were taken by Marianne Wiest, the rest were taken by Mom. (She tries.)

So where do I start? Now that I am 9 months and three weeks old, it's hard for me to remember clear back to when I was only 9 months. I got a second tooth. Which if you look at these bath photos close enough, you can see the nubbin just starting to pop through.

It was another birthday on the road. This time it was in Kalispell, Montana. We went to Glacier National Park and since I LOVE being outside, it was perfect. As a bonus, I hear we missed a pretty nasty heatwave. Thank goodness, because us Bears do not do well in direct sunlight.

We were visiting Andy and Marianne Wiest. Everyone was so excited, because they just found out they are having a baby. I'm hoping for a girl. (wink, wink) Mariandy, for short, have a dog Maggie. I couldn't get enough of her. She had me laughing so hard, mom had to take me away to catch my breath. I love animals. Did I mention my homegirl Brooke was there too. She always buys me the best clothes. Thank goodness my mom has friends with style... you should see some of the things she puts me in. Just kidding mom! You know I like being naked the best.

I'm getting a little more attached to my mom and dad. I give strangers the once over now before I let them hold me and I definitely want to be in eye sight of my parents. This doesn't mean I'm not social. I just prefer people my own age. These guys were all born right around my birthday. They can crawl all over the place. Not me though. I wiggle, swim in place, roll and squirm, until someone takes pity on me and gets me what I want.
The milestone I am the best at is protesting. It really is a talent. I had to learn the fine art of making all these faces and using different volumes and lengths of squeals. Good thing I learn pretty fast. I still have one wake up at night to nurse and I stay on my schedule better on vacation, then I do at home. I think all the fun people and places wear me out. Besides chocolate, my favorite thing to eat is yogurt. My favorite baby food is peaches and if I have to have a veggie, I like sweet potatoes. I also like pickles. Do those count as a veggie? Mom has this thing about me eating veggies, so I do what I can.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about month nine. I'll be back soon, ummm like in a week, to tell you all about month 10. Tune in to find out if I can crawl yet... ba, ba, bmmm!

Friday, October 8, 2010


How do I love you? Let me count the rolls.

These photos, taken by the lovely and talented Melissa Plowman (Melissa Sue Photography), are River's six month photos. Through a series of unexplained phenomena, i.e., I've been out of town a lot, I just now received these gems in the mail. I was getting ready to do River's nine month post, when it occurred to me, it would be a crime not to rewind time and share these beauties with the world and I of all things, am not a criminal. Well... let me rephrase that... You won't "catch" me breaking the law.

Are you smiling yet? I call this last photo, "If Angels Liked to Fish". Thanks Melissa. As always, I love them!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Funeral - Orem soldier laid to rest (Gallery Viewer)

Funerals are strange things. They have all the ingredients of a great party; old friends you haven't seen in awhile, nostalgia, photos, pomp and circumstance. The only problem is, you can't give the guest of honor a really well needed bear hug. Some things will have to wait.
Matt's funeral was my first military funeral. I was worried I wouldn't find the building, but the hundreds of American flags not only cued me in, but also took my breath away. The Patriot Guard was there. They are a group of bikers that dedicate themselves to honor fallen servicemen and women by attending the funerals, helping in anyway they can and shielding the family from any protesters. Walking by this rag-tag, leather wearing group, I felt the spirit so strong I got goose bumps. Their love and respect for those who sacrifice their lives for freedom was a palpable thing.
All of the many speakers echoed Matt's kindness and willingness to go above and beyond for all he came in contact with. The last speaker summed it up perfectly when he said there was no way of saying what Matt meant to him and his family in a little speech. The only way he could figure out how to honor him was by continuing his legacy of helping people without needing to be asked. Easier said than done, but I will try to do so as well.
There is great healing power in the military rituals. The helicopter flyover, the 21 gun salute and the flag folding ceremony fill you with strength. In the end though, laughter truly is the best medicine and the most cathartic moment came when Matt's father interrupted his own speech to talk to Matt for a second, because he had just remembered to tell him Utah Sate beat BYU 31-16!!! The timing couldn't have been better for that one. Talk about your tender mercies.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Big Matt

I'm sure Big Matt got his nickname because of his rather large stature. If he got his nickname because the size of his heart, he would have been Gigantic Matt or Gargantuan Matt. I'm so very sad to say, I will be attending his funeral tomorrow. He died flying a Black Hawk helicopter for the US Army in Afghanistan. It didn't surprise me Matt joined the army after college. He had an amazing habit of taking care of people. I came to know this first hand at Utah State University, where he literally picked me up and removed me from more than one bad situation. As a 17 year old, 85 pound, college freshman, I had an inflated idea of my own strength and thankfully Matt was there to be my muscle.
I hadn't seen Matt much since our college days and was happy to reconnect with him on Facebook. His updates on how miserably hot it was there, would put into perspective my complaints about Salt Lake's summers. I knew Matt was serving in a dangerous place, but seeing him write on Facebook, made it seem like he was doing what everyone else was doing. Which is part of the reason this has been so hard to process.
Matt was serving in the 101st Division, which has spearheaded every major conflict since WW II and was the longest serving division in Viet Nam. Matt died doing what he loved, flying, but more than that, taking care of people. You guys might not have known him, but having Matt get our back is something we all have in common.
Till we meet again...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Hi guys. It's me River. Mom says I better hurry up and tell you about being eight months, because before you know it, I'll be nine months. I gave her this look to say, I KNOW, but I don't think she understood, because she just pointed to her nose and said Mama's nose.

Anyway... this is the only picture of me on my eight month birthday. Pretty sweet right. I love football... Go Chiefs, Mizzou, Utah State and Wyoming! This picture was taken at my Grandma's house in Wyoming. It was hard for me to remember where I was, because I spent this whole month traveling.

See... I wasn't lying!

Wow... These pics are all over the place. Someone needs to teach my mom to make a collage already. I am really good on planes, as long as I get to nurse on take off and landings. It also helps to have a whole row of seats to just mom and me. That happened on two of our five plane rides.
Sometimes I even sleep on the plane. I have to cover my face, because the lights are so bright. This is something I won't do on road trips. I can't sleep in a car seat anymore, so I just get really tired, fussy and loud. Thankfully, only the last part of this trip involved a car.

We went to Texas, New Mexico, Missouri, Colorado and Wyoming. New Mexico was fun, because I got to roll with some big kids. Mom's friend Becca has four. I'm a little sweet on Hannah, but I don't want to say anything until I can crawl. I'm still working on my moves, but one day soon...

This is me at my Mom's favorite restaurant in Kansas City. It's named Andres. Can you believe she put me on the floor? The nerve. Well I made the most of it and kept biting her leg. That's why she calls me one-toothed vampire baby. I bite her when I give kisses too. She's either a big sissy, or my one tooth is pretty sharp, because I sure hear her squeal a lot.

I'm a little naughty, but I am mostly sweet as can be. I make friends wherever I go. This is Abigail. Her mom Heidi was worried she might not want to share, but no one has been able to resist my smile yet. Well... Mom sometimes... but I'm mostly winning that battle. For proof... see the picture below.

No sugar till I'm one... Pah Leeze! Thanks Pops and Nomee. I knew you would be on my side. Rocky Road from Baskin Robbins, no better way to start my sugar addiction.

Time for bed? Yeah right mom. It's time to party!

Nomee showed me a piano that was just my size. I loved it. Music always makes me think of my dad and by this point on the trip, I was really missing him. I'm glad he was making a movie, but three weeks is like 10% of my entire life. I felt better after playing the blues with Nomee.

My mom's cousin Jason has chickens, but he lives in the inner city... Crazy. I got to meet my second cousins Titus and Asher, but the picture won't load. We really hit it off. I also got to meet their Great Dane Truly and she's truly a crazy pup still, so Pops had to hold her.

Then off to Margaret's in Colorado where I got to take a bath in a copper bathtub. You can't tell from my expression, but it was heaven.

It was so shiny, I had a water twin. He was fun to play with, but I kept bonking my head every time I tried to touch him. By the way, do you know what you clean a copper tub with? Ketchup. Hence the name of the post. I bet you thought it was because I was catching you up on the trip. I would never be so obvious.

The tub was heaven, but my bed... aka this box... was not. I was okay with it, until my mom hung a sign on it that said free kittens.

Then to Wyoming, where my dad drove up and met us. Reunited at last.

No offense to mom, but dad gives the best rides.
Some eight month stats off the top of my head at this late hour.
I weigh about 20 pounds. I hate meat pureed baby food. I love pickles. I still like my bjourn more than my stroller, but mom doesn't know how much longer she's going to last. I push things away I don't want, I know how to protest and I love dropping things and looking for them over and over again. I am getting a little more cautious about who I get passed too. No offense, I just really love my mom and dad. I love being outside and it will always calm me down. I would be a tv junkie if my mom let me, but that's always been the case. I love animals, especially Noodle and I can't figure out why he runs every time I go for his tail. I still only have the one tooth, but I've had a few bouts of teething and it's no fun. I usually add a few wake-ups at night and need to be nursed to sleep and sometimes I run a temperature. I say dad, dada, daddy and one time my mom could have sworn I said, "I'm gonna tell my dadeeeeee!!!" When I try and say mom, I say bob. It keeps her on her toes. And on that note... Bobs the word.