Monday, December 28, 2015

The Rest of November

November is my birth month (with quite a disappointing birth stone, I might add) and after our trip to California we were able to spend some time in Utah to celebrate my turning over to the dark, late side of the twenties.
 
We started the day with a killer (literally) workout with Tawny, breakfast at Guru's, and a trip to the beautiful Payson temple.
 
 Gabe and Jerica joined us for sushi followed by cupcakes. I don't know WHAT Jerica is doing with her hand in that first picture but it's hilarious.  Also, Zach, my man, what's with that face?

 
The day was pretty much perfect, and at the end of it all Zach asked me if this is where I'd pictured myself at 26 when I was still young and idealistic.  Nah... better.  I mean, just look at those two boys!


Also in November- Thanksgiving.  We managed to squeeze in a quick trip, during which we were chronically late for everything.  Sorry family!
Magleby Dinner


Porter after his own personal Thanksgiving feast, and Zach and Eli sleeping off multiple turkey dinners.


We were so grateful for a chance to spend time with our families and especially loved introducing Porter Dan to his namesake, Grandpa Dan.  He may not LOOK happy, but we all love him just the same.

Lessons Learned: Family Vacation


Back in November (better late than never, right?) Porter had just turned 10 weeks and we were suffering from some serious cabin fever.  Zach had been working non-stop overtime for months and I was in a newborn/toddler rut.  So when a break finally arrived we took off to California for our first non-extended-family-or-race-related trip in years.  We learned quite a few lessons over the four days and will share our wisdom here:

1) There is a reason that people avoid taking trips with new babies.  Unless you find a home-base of some kind nearby you will find yourself nursing in the wrong corner of a Chinatown parking garage and changing blow-outs on the side of the road.  Next time we'll wait for more advanced eating habits.

2) The Jelly Belly Factory may SOUND like a great idea for a toddler (bright colors! machines! candy!), but unless you're prepared to buy every single item they want, there will be crying.  Also, the tour is not even marginally interesting until they're at least 12. 




3) Chinatown is fascinating and HUGE.  Do not have a "We'll just wing it" attitude when coming with children of any age.  Also, the food is delicious.



4) WORK THAT BABY.  Our hotel in San Francisco was right off Lombard Street, and I felt like we had the only children for miles in any direction.  The lovely gay manager that served us at the super trendy eatery we stopped at was so enthralled by our boys that he gave Eli free food and sent me off with some complimentary "Mommy Juice" for when the nights get long.  According to our neighbors the brew was quite tasty.  For a beer, you know.

 
 
5) Boats of any kind are good. Seeing the water is good.  Next time we'll spring for the boat ride.
 

5) Anything involving animals or fish is sure to be a hit.  Eli loved the aquarium on the pier.  Porter stared in a vacant, but pleased way.




6) Kids don't care how cool the Forest Gump-themed restaurant is as long as there are fries.  We could have eaten at McDonalds the whole trip and Eli would've been in heaven.

7) Posing for too many pictures tends to bring out the ridiculous in people.  For Zach, it's crazy good looks.  In Eli's case: cheesiness.  For Porter: grump face.



8) Toddlers do not care about structures of any kind unless they can play on them.  It doesn't matter what their landmark status is or what historical or architectural significance they have.


The Nimbus Fish Hatchery was a highlight of the trip (see no. 5).  It was amazing to see the salmon jump up the ladder to the breeding grounds.  Eli could've sat there all day.


Until kids are older Zach and I have decided our trips will be simpler: sand, water, occasional forest hikes, and maybe some animals.  But I refuse to relent on McDonalds.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Halloweenies

I love fall.

I hate raking and bagging leaves.

But I love toddlers playing in the leaves.

So I still love fall.


 
There's nothing about carving pumpkins that I don't love.  Except potty-training Eli while doing it.
"Where did that water on your chair come from El- ohhhhhh...." 5th pair of underwear that day.
 
 

And there is absolutely NOTHING that Eli didn't love about being Batmam and trick or treating.



And I love themes. We didn't have the cool-coordinated kind, just the lazy-copying kind.


 
 
 

Things to remember: Porter

 

Nicknames
Port (obvs)
Port-Snort (snorting is his communication medium of choice)
Port-a-boo (unavoidable)
Grump-a-wump (kid has a bad case of "resting grump face")

Girl look at that belly
Eating
Porter is the sloppiest, noisiest and most restless nurser I have ever encountered. If he wasn't so chubby I would worry that nothing is making it to his stomach.  A few weeks ago I tried to very discreetly feed him in Relief Society- bad move.  Thirty seconds in he started making what sounded to me like wild goose mating calls while choking on his own gluttonous consumption.  Every eye in the room politely but intensely turned my way as the nursing covered writhed with his ferocious kicks.  Nothing to see here folks, just drowning my child in milk is all.


Sleeping
We won the newborn sleeping lottery.  For now.  Which means we'll probably win a bout of chronic head lice or something when he's 8.  Porter sleeps through the night and takes a nice long afternoon nap.  This is the result of zero effort on my part and I worry that easy come, easy go.  But for now we just shed tears of joy.


Favorite Activity
Diaper changes.  I kid you not.  He lights up and starts flashing those pinky gums when he's put on the changing table and coos and babbles all during the whole ordeal.  I got his first smile out of him during a particularly nasty episode.  Patty-cake is a close runner-up.


 Sibling Relations
Guys, it was bad.  Eli did so well for the first month, but once it was clear that Porter was really not leaving we had a very hard couple of weeks.  Our once sweet little toddler had murderous intent in his heart ("Mommy, can I die Porter?", "No, we love Porter!", "No.") and only resumed some measure of sanity after taking a "Special Eli Trip to Utah" for three days of being coddled by grandparents and cousins away from Mom and Porter.    Although I'm sure it will be a bumpy process with lots of ups and downs, we seem to be on an 'up' this week and I love watching my cute-again Eli love on his brother.

Cuddles
Fuhgeddaboudit.  Unless he is dead asleep Porter will not hold still in any arms, but especially not in mine.  It doesn't matter if it's been three minutes or three hours since he last ate he goes hog-wild and roots away.  Note that this doesn't mean he doesn't want to be held; just don't expect a peaceful or calming snuggle.  Also, he's enormous.  Who needs weights?



We had this boy blessed a few weeks ago on a trip to Utah so that we could enjoy as many family and friends as possible (not that I doubt everyone WOULD have made the drive to our wonderful little town had we blessed him in Elko).  To our groupies- you guys are the best.




These sweet girls below are my favorite.  Both of them lived at my house at some point during high school or college (or both) and I was lucky enough to spend a summer in Mexico with Anai's family.  Now here we are more than 10 years later with 1.5, 2 and 2 kids each.  It's a good life.
Great camera phone skills Mom!