david: why don't you take the boys on a hike? you have all day.
me: (giving david a blank stare while making my mental list for the day:)
scrub downstairs bathroom
make breakfast lunch and dinner for 4 people, do dishes from breakfast lunch and dinner
30 minute work out in the am, 1600m swim at night (i never got to swimming, i was beat!)
scrub the downstairs floorboards
scrub walls and doors up to 3 feet (where little boy hands make prints), then above 5 feet (where big boy hands make prints)
mow the lawn before the storm that is supposed to blow in blows in
go through leftover yard sale stuff to give to relief society in case any sisters need anything, then load it all up to drop off at the donation center
make sure items to sell are updated on ksl (i ended up selling an item, too, which was another 30 minutes out of the day showing and helping move it out to their truck...)
make tomato sauce from garden tomatoes, make bread (didn't get to these, either)
if i have time chores:
weed the garden and inspect the squash plants for squash bugs and their eggs
take a shower
activities with the boys:
at least 20 minutes of workbook and maze book with pace
letters and puzzles with max
nap time from 2-5
as always, the endless straightening up after an almost 4 year old and 2 year old...
me: (blinking a few times, replying with a slight note of sarcasm...) uh, yeah...i do have all day...
[why do dads think staying home is always an adventure/blast/play-all-day/funnest thing in the world, we have "all day" to do things, and randomly oblige to every whim throughout the day, and they say they would *love* to be a stay-at-home dad if you wanted to go back to work?!...i'm just sayin'...]
(pace loves his mazes! and although i've never read any studies on neurological advancements due to "mazing," i would say it creates new pathways/problem solving...wouldn't you?!)
(david is showing me how to use my new camera phone)
pace is quite the ring leader. he knows how to round up the masses and get them motivated. he's so energetic, excited about what he wants to play, and is fun to follow. (let's keep this harnessed for good things!)
we went down to riverwoods last night to play in the splash pad and ride the carousel. it got sort of windy and cloudy while we were there, and pace was sure a tornado was blowing in. he got out his tornado telescope, then started rounding up the kids to play emergency tornado. he was a little disappointed when his first 2-3 calls didn't produce the desired effect. he came back to us saying, "but mommy, the kids aren't listening!" i told him to keep trying. sure enough, within 10 minutes, he had all the kids running around, pointing at the sky, shouting "tornado!" he then grabbed two lucky kids as his crew and ran them around to check on everyone.
two more examples:
pace wanted to play emergency at a playground. i don't know how he does what he does...one minute he's running around shouting, and the next all the kids are doing what he's doing, shouting "emergency!" and making fire engine noises. he showed everyone how to make rescues, how to fight bad guys, and how to call the emergency vehicles.
another time he wanted to play ghost in the treehouse at the mall. there are a set of stairs inside the tree, and pace knew that was the best place for ghosty noises. so he rounded everyone up. after not seeing him for a little while, i tracked him down by following the spooky "woooo-ooooo" ghost noises to the little space under the stairs inside the tree. he was in the middle of about 6-7 kids squished under there with him, grinning from ear to ear.
pace woke up last sunday (the day after hiking timp) with his right eye swollen shut. he and david had gotten some sun, and david forgot to bring sunblock, so we chalked it up to too much sun exposure (maybe that was the side of his face that was exposed to the sun the longest?) it resolved within a couple days.
sunday afternoon after church max decided to take a tumble down the garage stairs. i was throwing out trash, and heard crying and came running back into the house to find max at the bottom of the 2 stairs leading out to the garage. a bruise was already forming on the outside of his left eye, and i don't know where/how he hit it. it turned into a full black eye before getting better.
so here we were, monday morning, getting our tags renewed and trying to convince the onlookers to not call dcfs. whenever we go somewhere, the boys go through phases of behavior. running around in circles is phase 2. phase 4 is silliness. pace busted out his silly moves and wanted me to take a picture of him.
( i copied and pasted from david's fightingmean blog)
Sometimes a mountain needs to be climbed. Sometimes the stakes need to be upped by escorting a three year old to the summit. Today was that day. Tyson, my neighbor, Pace my son, and I took on Mount Timpanogos today. This mountain dominates the landscape at 11,752' and provides endless breathtaking scenery. Climbing the mountain is relatively easy but was much more difficult and sometimes scary with the large heavy pack. At the end of the day taking my son with me proved to be rewarding and added to the adventure.
The adventure began at 5:00am Saturday morning. I'd be prepping Pace all week for the big hike up the mountain. You'd think a three year old would struggle getting up that early but this was as good as Christmas for this three year old. He sprung out of bed and was racing out to the car to begin the adventure. This trailblazer spirit stayed with him for the entire 10hrs that it took us to do the climb.
Because Saturday is always the busiest day to climb the mountain we were forced to drive 3/4 of a mile up the road past the trailhead. This is no big deal at the beginning of the hike but at the end of the hike it added a seemingly insurmountable paved road back to the car. The cool morning temperatures are almost entirely under appreciated by hikers. Many will begin at midnight to reach the summit for sunrise. Only to find the summit to be windy and freezing. This is ALWAYS the case. There is never a day during the year where the summit is warm early in the morning. But we were prepared and had Pace bundled up for the beginning of the hike. Here is Tyson feeding the local wildlife some Ritz crackers, which you should never do.
The hike starts gaining some elevation over the valley and passes a few springs and waterfalls. Then it begins switchbacking up a feature known as the 'staircase'. This set of cliffs makes for narrow trails and wide views of the peaks that fill American Fork canyon.
After the staircase a wide meadow opens up that is completely glowing with a nature's bouquet of Indian Paint Brush, Lupine, and Milkweed. The cliffs above the meadow are permanent residence for a herd of mountain goats. They are fearless in walking around on the cliffs and will permit hikers to travel within a few feet of them.
Once the scenic meadow is travelled the hike steepens and my heart rate rose in response. The pull up to the saddle, a dip between peaks that looks into both valleys, had my heart rate well into the red. It felt great to really hammer the steep trail with poles.
The final mile to the summit is unforgettable. In this last mile all vegetation, evidence of civilization, and remnants of safety are left behind. The loose rock, narrow trail, and sheer cliffs provide for a true mountain experience. The summit is marked by a small white steel shack that can be seen from the valley below to a trained eye. The rotation of graffiti provides for endless entertainment. Today was sponsored by the challenging 'Go Utes!' looking down on Utah County day and night. However, the most entertaining part of the hike wasn't the scenery, it was Pace's interaction with fellow hikers.
The female hikers would often let out their gender unique, 'aaaaaaaaaawwwwwwww' noise. This peculiar female coo has existed since the very beginning of mankind and has passed down from generation to generation. Some of the comments prompted by Pace were: "You're the man", "Father of the Year!", "How much does a ride cost?", and "Cute!". It cannot be overemphasized how courteous Pace is on the trail. As soon as he saw another hiker approaching not only would he make room for them he would fling himself off the trail with total disregard for his own safety. He would frantically climb up the steep side of the trail often falling back down to get off the trail for the coming group. When the passing group said "Thank you" he'd always reply "You're welcome!"
Somehow Pace proved to be the toughest of the three of us. Although I did carry him for much of the 16.5 miles he did walk for several hours. He would climb over rocks, wade through small creeks, and jump over roots that were in his way. He never complained, never asked for a break, and always had a smile with nearly limitless cheerful conversations. The topics ranged from the red landing lights on the movie 'Wall-E' to 'G-G-G-Ghosts' that only come out at night to enthusiastically commenting, "Daddy, this is a really long walk!" The last stretch of a hike always becomes competitive. Once we were almost within sight of the car I asked Pace if he wanted to race Tyson to the car. He took off at a dead sprint, laughing hysterically, and looking back challengingly at Tyson. Pace won.
while i've been slaughtering the mound of weeds in our garden/play area, the boys have been "practicing emergency situations" (to quote pace). pace gets all his stuff ready in the garage, adjusts his "microphone" on his bike helmet (the little clip under his chin), and rides out of the garage as quick as he can, sounding the "wee-ooo" alarms and calling out to max, "max, max, are you ok? what's the problem max? do you have a problem?" max replies, "no." then pace says ok and speeds back to the garage. on occasion he would come over to me and ask if i needed help. his crane truck helped pull out some weeds, and his bulldozer helped spread the rocks.
i had to get rid of a few blossoming weed ecosystems, and sent numerous spiders, beetles, and roly-poly bugs scurrying back into the dirt, found a great praying mantis (when i showed pace, he came over and said, "hey little buddy!"...he may have also started a roly-poly bug collection in our rug when i wasn't looking...), and on the bright side, uncovered a huge squash bug infestation on our squash plants. i think they have been successfully eradicated! and the garden now looks great!
emergency situation averted!
i didn't take any before photos because it was a pretty embarrassing bit of space. i looked through the photos from spring/summer, and i was also pretty successful in cutting out that area as the background...because it was a pretty embarrassing bit of space. ha ha...but here's a few before photos, and use your imagination to fill in about 10x worse weeds and stuff. seriously. it was kind of foresty.
aunt robin and cousin asher made a utah trip and we got to hang out! we had dinner at robin's cousin's house, and boy was that the best yard ever! the boys had a blast in their sandbox, on their playground, in their motor car, and with two very helpful little mommy playmates! i love asher's face in the boy photos--dude, why are you in my grass?! so fun to see our little cousin!
thanks to a yard sale, we sold lots of stuff that's been laying around collecting dust, and a handful of furniture we didn't want to hang on to anyway. the result: we now have an open front room for the boys to play in. they love it, and i love that they love it! i can actually make dinner without them crawling all over me in the kitchen--they happily play on their own in their little play area. they have open access to their toy drawers, a nice craft area, a work table, and lots of open floor space!
one of pace's favorite games: being a trash collector. he first found all his trash cans, filled them all with trash, then used his trash collecting arm to dump it out!