Friday, July 30, 2010

Picture of the Day - 1st Grade

Ok, couldn't think of anything to post. And then I remembered my friend Leslie said once that if you can't think of anything, find an old picture and tell a story. So that's what I'm doing. I pulled out my old scrapbook that my mom kept for me growing up. Bless her for that, by the way. I sure wish Trevor had a picture book from his years growing up! Anyway, I chose this picture.

1st Grade
Mrs. Baum's Class.

I remember this picture very well. I loved that Mervyn's dress very much. I especially liked sucking on the bow. I sucked on the bow all the time. I think a lot of 1st graders suck on stuff. I knew this girl in my class that sucked on her hair all the time, until her mother got fed up and CHOPPED OFF HER HAIR. All of it. Uneven, and like a buzz cut. How rude is THAT? I mean, how could sucking on her hair possibly have done more damage than getting all the scoffs and scorns from her peers with hair like THAT? I wonder if she's still scarred from it? I wonder what HER 1st grade picture looks like? Her sister-in-law works at my school. Maybe I'll ask.

Anyway, I digress.

So, my mother was well aware of my bow-sucking addiction. I remember this very clearly. She said to me as I left for "picture day" to make sure I ask the photographer if my bow is straight. She swore me to it. I was determined to do this. I was not so determined, obviously, to just not suck on my bow. I remember when it was my turn, and I knew I had to ask the photographer--a GROWN UP that I DIDN'T KNOW--if my bow was straight. And you know what? I remember--I was no shrinking Violet. I didn't chicken out. I totally asked him. I don't remember his response--I'm sure it was something like, "Yeah sure, kid," POOF!!

I bet photographers hate picture day at schools. I bet they dread it. Tons of annoying little kids, whining, crying, sucking on their bows. He just wanted the day over. He didn't care that I sucked on my bow. And now--I have the proof of this uncaring and bored photographer to keep forever.
Here's to you man, whoever you are...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oregon 2010

Well, we've been back from our Oregon trip for almost a week now. I figured it's time to update! Ever since I was a kid, going to Oregon was magical. It was a yearly trip, every summer, and I couldn't wait. I even made homemade calendar's to count down. My mother grew up in a town called Vale--only about 17 miles out of Ontario. It's a small farm town, but to me growing up, it was an amazing place. It gave me an appreciation of another lifestyle different from my own--I think every kid should grow up visiting the farm! Trevor did the same thing going to visit HIS grandparents in Loa, so he really appreciates Vale, too. For years, we'd go up every summer. Then Grandma moved down here, and then she passed away, and we all got older--and for a few years we didn't see much of the family up there. But now, we try to go every year. My aunt and cousins still live there, and there is so much to do. The farm isn't quite the same as it used to be--but it's still Oregon. And there's nothing better than introducing your children to the same joy you had as a kid.

(Getting ready to go home from Oregon, about 1987. You can see how sad we were! That's grandma and grandpa Mikkelsen with us.)

(Visiting Aunt Carolyn's house, in about 1989. That little baby Samantha is all grown up and married now! It's so weird!)

(I think we took this before going swimming at the dam. Me with my cousins Loni, Chad, and JoAnna.)

(My mom with my Grandpa Mikkelsen--and ornery old farmer with the BEST sense of humor! I miss him!)

(Not sure what the cake is for, but that is my Aunt Janice, Aunt Sharon, Mom, and Carolyn--all sisters--and Kathy, who is Carolyn's daughter-in-law. I think she's pregnant with Jeremy?)
(Ah, the RAFT. My cousin Cheryl and I spent all summer playing in the ditch. on year we built a really crappy raft that we just loved. It took us all day.)

(Another "going home" picture, this time with my Aunt Janice's kids, who were from California. Clearly, they didn't want to go home either. This picture was taken in 1988. It was the last time I saw my cousin Jodi--in blue in the back right. He was killed in a fire only a few months later.)

Anyway, we're ALL grown up now. We've all got kids--and the grandkids range from mid-twenties to brand new babies. This was Afton's first time up there, and we were so excited to introduce her to the farm! After a surprisingly pleasant 7 hour drive up there (thanks to my friend Heather who lent us her DVD player, and my neice Kylee who kept her company) we visited my Aunt Carolyn for a while and then headed to Loni and Tonya's--Loni is Carolyn's second child. Anyway, they have horses. And let me tell you--my AWESOME daughter wasn't remotely afraid.

She was a real hit with them. It was so fun to visit! We got there first, since Nicki stopped in Ontario and poor Cindy had car trouble in Boise. The rest of the family came later that night. We stayed the night at Carolyn's. Friday morning Trevor went golfing with Matt. He was gone for most of the day, which sucked, but at least he had fun. We all went to Carolyn's and visited and let the kids get used the farm and play with their second cousins, whom they don't know so well. It was so fun to watch them! Afton loved the farm!

Then Friday night we went back to the Bed & Breakfast we were staying in (though I don't know why they call it that--the beds SUCKED and there was NO breakfast...)

We had dinner, and just sat and visited. There was a kiddie pool in the back that Trevor and my Aunt Sharon used to cool off in! And later, Afton sort of fell in it--but she was ok. That's the closest we got to a hotel with a pool in Oregon.

And then my cousin Shannon's husband brought out his guitar and bongo drums. THEN the real fun began.

Afton went CRAZY. She was a dancin fool! It was so fun to see everyone gathered around watching MY baby, and realizing what a special amazing little kid she is! I'd never seen her dance quite like that, even though I've known since I was pregnant with her that she loves music. She also was dubbed "The Binki Bandit" when she went up and stole a binki from Tyson, and later Shannon's Emma, and ran off grinning. Anyway, here's the video of her dancing. It's kinda long but I couldn't cut it--it's too cute!

Friday night after things were calming down, several of us walked all over Vale looking at the town. I love that Trevor came with us. Even though he didn't grow up there, he still appreciates it and is interested in it.

On Saturday we spent the whole day at Carolyn's. What fun it was! And I FINALLY floated down the canal! Growing up, the older grandkids did this from time to time, but as I'm the second to youngest grandchild, I was always too small. So this was my first time! My body got pretty beat up by the rocks and the unexpected cement barrier we went flowing over, but still--it was great! Luckily Nicki rode along the canal in her SUV and took some pictures!

I have no idea how Loni's girls were able to get out of the steep sides of the canal and then jump off, but it was fun watching them!

There was great food, and a weenie roast that we pretty much missed because we ran back to the hotel to put Afton down for the night, and Nicki stayed with her and with her kids. So when we got back, it was mostly over. But--SOMEONE still took pictures with our camera while we were gone, so it still looks like we were there...

When we got back, it was time for poker. Unfortunately I got no pictures--I don't think anyone did. I got out of the game quite early, and went home with Mom and Dad, but Trevor stayed a while. Aunt Carolyn ended up winning the jackpot!

And then it was time to pack up and come home! So sad! Afton was great on the way home, too, even through the ridiculous "construction" in Box Elder County, which added an hour to our trip for no apparent reason. Still, all in all it was a great trip! I want to go up to Oregon as much as we can for as long as it lasts--and each year Afton will "get it" even more. Here's a few more pictures!

(The five sisters--it's so awesome all five of us were there. That's a first in like--15 years. Seriously.)
(Afton on the tractor. We were taking pictures of her, and then Jen found a blade of wheat in the nearby field and it totally made the picture!)

(Mom and her three sisters. As you can see, we come by the all girls thing pretty honestly!)

(Trevor tries his hand at the bongo drums. Pretty much everyone did, especially the kids!)

(The kids loved the swimming pool at Carolyn's. Well, not Afton. She'd cry every time I took her near it. But it kept the kids busy and mostly out of hair, so we all loved it too.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Whatcha Doin?"

So I haven't updated much this summer. Maybe because things have been pretty boring. Well, not boring--I'm loving every second of my vacation. But there's not much to write about. I'm avoiding any actual thinking as much as I can--especially any thinking about work. Sometimes its like I forget I even have a job. It's awesome.

But I thought I'd do a little update on what I've been doing all summer. Not the big highlights--the trips and the camps and all the the things everyone ELSE is doing. I haven't done any of that. I pretty much hang out. Though I AM going to Oregon this weekend, and that is so exciting!

Anyway, how do I spend my days? Well, for the last three weeks, I've been getting going on working out. I do it EVERY SINGLE MORNING. Except Sat and SUn usually. But five days a week! And I'm working out hard--I have discovered P90X and I really like it a lot. So that's good. I've only lost 4 pounds and 4 inches, but I'll take it. My clothes are fitting better so that's awesome. And I just feel better about myself. I don't have to be quite so guilty about my size when at least I'm doing something about it.

When Afton is sleeping, there's a dizzying array of choices with what I can do with my time. Sometimes I go downstairs and make more hairbows, either for Afton or other people. Sometimes I play the Sims. Or I watch Reba episodes I got from the library. What I SHOULD be doing is scrapbooking, but I confess I've done very little. I've even started yet another rewrite on my novel, this time with a lot of HUGE changes. Who knows if I'll finish it. And I'm 99% sure it will never be published. But it's fun to do. It's challenging.

I heard a comment on Facebook the other day from a stay at home mom who was offended at the very idea of having a hobby while she's home with her kids. How can she have time? Her KIDS are her hobby. I whole-heartedly disagreed with her. Granted, I only have one kid. I know that the more kids I have, the less and less time I will have for me. But I've always been a hobby person. I've always had projects I'm working on in various fields. It's hard to give that up now that I'm a mom--in fact, loss of personal time for my hobbies has been the hardest thing for me to accept in motherhood. But I don't think I should have to give up ALL my free time in order to be a good mom. I think having free time can make you a good mom. If you make your kids your one and only hobby--what do you do with yourself when they move out? Who are then, without them there? And not only that--having time for yourself keeps you YOU, instead of getting lost in the daily drudgery, and joys, that come with raising children.

Am I right, or am I just justifying myself?

Well, anyway, that's the only remotely deep thought I've had in weeks. It's the SUMMER. I refuse to think to deeply until I'm forced back into it when school starts in August. This coming school year promises to be VERY challenging, (in other words, certain factors make me pretty sure it's gonna suck rocks) and I don't want to think about it. I don't want to think about leaving Afton again. I don't want to thing of going back to having no time for hobbies or working out or anything else. I'm living in the NOW people!

Alright, well, I figure I might as well end this post with some pictures of what we've been doing this summer, so here goes:

Afton is NOT fond of water. She seems to get more and more freaked out by it every time we try to do anything water related. She was just fine in the kiddy pool a few weeks prior to this, but on the 4th of July she FREAKED. She wouldn't go near the sprinklers, either. Poor baby!

Afton and Daddy during the fireworks and Grandma and Grandpa Rees's. She wanted off his lap all the time--unless the fireworks were actually going. Then she was just content to sit.

My little Broadway Baby! Sorry--I just think she looks like she belongs in "Chorus Line" in this photo...

Well, we tried to get a cute picture of her hanging from the bars, as my sister Nicki did with her baby. But, apparently, Afton is not so adept on the tricky bars as Tyson. Just like their mothers!

My sister Cindy's girls LOVE Afton. According to her son Logan, they are pretty much obsessed with her. Afton is ok with that. She loves the attention!

I took this one today. It made me laugh. I just got that garbage can (since Afton thought getting her dirty diapers out of the garbage and throwing them on the floor is hilarious) and she noticed her reflection. Seems to be a discovery this week. I mean, she's seen her reflection before of course, but this week she became acutely aware of it! (or, CUTELY aware...I'm SO funny...)

I just love Afton in the mornings. I go in there, and she's wide awake and bounding around her crib, her curly hair all over the place, and a grin from ear to ear. I love this baby!!!