Monday, March 18, 2013

Van O'liscious

From Mr. Cool...

To Mr. Carpool

Introducing the newest member of our family... no... not Ash... Dexter!!!

I've been a little remiss in the introductions department.  Dexter joined our family December 1st, 2012 and I finally just got a picture of him.  My bad, but it has been sooooo cold for soooo long and I just couldn't bring myself to brave the snow/ice/inversion just for a picture.

While I will miss the Wayne-mobile and even unexpectantly cried when we sold him (pregnancy hormones), I could not be more thrilled to have a van.  I know it's not very hip to admit and the typical thing to do is complain,  drag your feet, or try a bulky, gas guzzling, less roomy SUV instead.  I, on the other hand, have been unashamedly pining for a van since the second I tried opening a car door with a grocery bag in one hand and a baby in the other.  Heaven is a door sliding open at the touch of a button.

I told Bear that driving it makes me feel like a millionaire.  It's not a vehicle normally associated with millionaires, but it was one of those amazingly rare moments in life where I asked for something and the universe responded ASAP.  Bear did have some hesitations.  He really liked his truck and it is so nice to have a pick-up around, but he was finally convinced that we should all be able to fit in both vehicles.  Since meeting and driving Dexter around, I think he's been fully converted.

The previous owners took excellent care of him and he really does have a lot of get up and go.  He's nice and roomy too.  The first three weeks we owned him, River would ask to go play in the van and since we were trapped in our apartment for so long, I was happy to oblige.  Bonus for us-Everyone in Utah wants a Honda or a Toyota, so Dodge Grand Caravans sell way cheaper here.  I am an American Made girl at heart and wanted a Grand Caravan, so win/win for me.

And in case you want to know, he is named after everyone's favorite fictional serial killer, since I used Dexter as an example of mini vans not being emasculating, while trying to convince Bear to sell his truck.  I am okay with this for three reasons.

#1 Dexter is fake.

#2 He kills bad guys


#3 It worked.  I got my van!!!

Friday, March 15, 2013


It all started out so wonderful.  My little swimming super hero, The Stingray, loves the water.  Why not get him into swimming lessons during this long, harsh winter?  He gets to get out of the house, use his muscles, wear himself out, sleep better and learn a life-saving skill.  What could possibly go wrong?

As you can see from the smile in this picture, River was just as clueless as me he was about to be kicked out of swimming lessons.  Having taught swimming lessons before, I was super surprised we got the axe.  Sure kids cried, some refused to get in the pool, you just hoped they'd have a better week next week.  I thought it was a universal rule if you teach toddlers anything, you must expect moodiness with a double dose of tears at any moment.

This is the teacher telling River he should never say no to an adult.  That is way too much power for a child to have.  She also didn't like the fact he said, "I don't like swimming lessons.  You make me nervous."  She thought he had no business knowing the word nervous and kept giving me sidelong glances as she asked him why he possibly would know that word.

Just so you know, I was a kid that constantly got in trouble with authority figures.  I was not a rebel, but truly believed I deserved respect the same as any other human being and I hated being condescended too.  If you think kids don't pick up on that, you're wrong.  So, while it drives me crazy that River tells me no sometimes, I would never say he doesn't have the right to tell me no.  He has every right, but he also must learn actions have consequences and being disrespectful isn't all that fun.

Not to mention, there are plenty of adults in the world that don't have his best interest at heart and I want him to feel free to scream, shout, kick and yell NOOOOOOOOOOOOO to the ends of the earth should he ever come across one.  So hows bout ya just stick to the swimming lesson (which she is pretty dang good at) and not tell my kid to never say no to an adult.  If he needs a consequence, give him one.  And about the vocab issue... I kind of think it's cool my kid has a pretty extensive emotional vocabulary, so leave it be.

My sad little Stingray.  Not even the baby sea turtle eggs in his hand were making him feel better.  He was a trooper though.  He tried his hardest to stop the tears and finish the lesson.

The pink goggles kill me.  I think he is the most amazing thing.

Perfection!  This is my Stingray edging out Michael Phelps for the win!!!

So after his lessons, Bear swims with him for half an hour.  River looks forward to it and loves practicing with his dad.  This time the teacher said Bear couldn't get in since River cried so much and then told us to stop the lessons.  River was so bummed he couldn't swim with his dad, so Bear took him to a different pool and they swam for three hours.  Yep... we're those parents.

But the Stingray will live to swim and smile another day and that's all that matters to me.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mirror, Mirror

Not all mirrors are created equal.  I am sure you have discovered an unkind mirror or two on your life's journey.  I happen to have a really nice mirror in the bathroom of my apartment.  I'm not sure if it the smattering of natural light coming through the window, or what, but I always look good in that mirror.  It also happens to be the only mirror in my apartment, which can kind of be a curse.

You see, no matter how little sleep I have had, this mirror convinces me that it is indeed okay to go out without applying make-up.  This mirror assures me that one more day without washing my hair is totally fine.  No matter how low my hygiene standards go, this mirror says you look great and I believe it, because it is the path of least resistance and then boom... I come across my reflection in a less friendly public mirror and I am horrified.  Not enough to not do it again, but just enough to let my self esteem drop a few notches.

The other problem with this mirror is that it is small.  I don't own a full length mirror.  The lowest I see on my body is my decolletage.  Well, having just had a baby, this can be a hazard of sorts.  I'll put on an outfit, think I look great and I'll be in the middle of a dinner party (play date at McDonald's) when I have to take River to the restroom and whoa baby.... Those Hips Don't Lie.... They also don't hide, shun the fight, politely excuse themselves or cower in any kind of way.  In fact they boldly declare... You just birthed a baby and you might not want to accentuate me in wide horizontal stripes next time!

Today might have been my worst offense to date.  I was at church when River needed to use the restroom and while washing his hands, I happened to notice that I was beyond nipply in my shirt.  The temperature has risen to almost the 50's, which means it's time to break out the summer shirts made of soft, flimsy material.. which would be fine and completely church appropriate had I not just had a baby, turning my nipples into jumbo milk-a-trons.  My no good deceiver of a mirror did not catch this faux pa and I just got home from three hours of church, parading around in a highly embarrassing state.  Awesome!

Perhaps I need a new mirror.  Perhaps I need a thicker nursing bra.  Perhaps I don't really care enough to make any changes and I just want you all to know I am fully aware that I am a hot mess ninety percent of the time.  Yep... the last one for sure.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Full Circle

In many ways the pressure to have a second child was worse than when I had my first.  Of course I wanted another baby.  I knew my family wasn't complete.  I could vaguely see these little faces on the other side of the veil waiting to be with us.... but more than that.... yes, even more than that...  I really wanted River to have a sibling.  Love em, hate em, best of friends, drive each other crazy or all of the above, he would have someone to travel this world with.  His stories, traditions, inside jokes and crazy relatives would match another's.  I wanted that so badly for him and every day that passed I grew more nervous that it wouldn't happen, or they would be too far apart in age to be close.

Then a year ago... March 8th... a faint pink line.  An amazingly beautiful pale pink line of sweet relief.  I was pregnant.  River would have a sibling.  I had the proof in hand.  I was so happy.  I knew I was on the cusp of being very, very sick and nerves about post partum issues would soon roll in, but in that moment, there was nothing but pure high-pitched squealing, tip-toe dancing happiness... and I hadn't even met him yet.

My sweet Baby Ash.

It's about time I shared Ash's newborns... Thank you Melissa Sue Photography.