The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Gonna be a Good Day, oh yeah and I went on a Trip

So I couldn't sleep this morning because I'm throwing CTP his 5th birthday party today and I have so much to do. I just keep thinking and thinking about all I have to get done, plus a few other pressing issues like unreimbursed church receipts and parking tickets and MY BLOG! I lay there thinking that if I didn't get up and blog about our trip to Colorado right now, it wasn't going to happen anytime soon, so here I am blogging in the dark. Of course, C woke up with a wet bed right after I sat down - help me people! How do you get a kid to stop wetting the bed? He doesn't do it very often, but when he does it seems like he does it several times in a week. Of course this happens on the day of his party, plus our washer is still on the back porch and the dryer is unavailable, and it's going to rain today. While the kids and I were gone, Troy worked his little keister off on the laundry "nook" (not quite big enough to be called a room) and it is going to be so awesome - it's so tidy and all the pipes and wires are in one neat little corner, there's a huge pantry above's going to be awesome. It just isn't done yet. Anyway, so now C is in the tub and R is still sleeping and I'm going to try to get a few details down about our trip.

I guess we decided during the summer to take a trip to Boulder to visit Adam and Whitley because we didn't feel like we got enough time with them on their last visit, plus Troy and I have been talking about me getting the kids out of the house for a few days so he could just work like crazy on the construction. I would have liked to visit Peter and Sheri and their wee babe in Monterey, but I didn't think my two kids all over their baby was a good idea yet, not to mention the drive being significantly longer. Anyway, we ended up going on this particular week because Whitley is the activities committee chair in her ward and they had a Halloween party on Saturday. We went to try to help out with the kids and stuff because it was a huge party. I hope we were helpful - we added enough chaos that it may have come out even in the help department, I'm not sure.

Luckily my Mom was coerced into joining us - I don't think I could have driven all that way without a separate adult to help the kids in the car. Poor Mom had just been on a quick trip to Monterey to meet her new granddaughter. She left a week ago Thursday, was home on Monday. We left on Tuesday morning, and the kids did great. We did have a really fun week. Having been back to Boulder only six months ago, I wasn't really there to see all the sights or hang out in town, we just wanted to be with Adam and Whitley. Mostly we just spent time together playing, going to the park, trying to help Whit. We did get in a trip to the Denver Zoo. I was hoping to have recognized something from my youth, but I really didn't. It was a fun zoo, though. We got to trick or treat at Adam's work, plus there was the Halloween party - it was a fun week.

You know, I probably should have blogged daily while I was there because there were a lot of fun things that happened, but now that I'm looking back on the whole week it just seems like a big fun loud messy blur. I would say that the highlights of the trip were RAP finally making friends with her uncle Adam, of whom she has always been very shy. It turns out that Adam is absolutely darling with kids. I kind of knew that already, but watching him with R was charming. On Friday evening one of Whit's friends held a "Witches Night Out" and Mom and Whit and I all dressed as witches and went - it was really fun. Adam totally handled all four kids, putting three to bed easily plus hanging out with R all evening. She had a nap every day of the trip so I didn't get her to bed before midnight a single night. But they just happily hung out, and she totally adores him now. That was fun.

The Witches Night Out was also a highlight, minus the degradation of my very silly costume. I'm definitely going to host one next year if I can - we all dressed up and hung out eating yummy treats and then we told scary or embarrassing stories. I of course told my classic and still super-great embarrassing story of walking on campus at USU with the entire back of my skirt tucked under my backpack. Let me know if you haven't heard it.

Other highlights? Well, Smith and C were kind of a highlight/lowlight situation - they'd play their hearts out together for hours then just totally melt down. Whit and I both got quite frustrated trying to keep them well behaved. I'm afraid my mom saw more than she wanted to of our, uh, firm parenting. I'll just say that by the time Friday night rolled around both Whit and I REALLY needed the night off. I wasn't sure what my mom was thinking until I asked her if she were horrified (both Whit and I had been totally frustrated with our boys because they were screaming and crying and unable to focus on us enough to let us even finish a sentance. I'll admit that voices were raised....) and she replied that she couldn't do anything but laugh. I asked her if she had ever just totally lost it, and she asked if I didn't remember the time we were fighting and she actually climbed up on the table, stood up, grabbed our crayons and THREW them on the floor. I'll admit that I have no memory of this, which is probably good. It might mean that my kids won't remember me losing it either. And it filled my heart with a warm flood of joy knowing that my own mother, so sweet, optimistic, cheerful and loving, lost it enough to actually stand up on the kitchen table to yell at us. I imagine her up there like mighty Zeus, fist raised above her head, clenching not bolts of lightening, but our beloved crayons, her eyes blazing....warm joy, I tell you.

Baby Laine is such a sweet happy baby. She was fun to spend time with. She doesn't have much stranger anxiety. She's also tiny. I mean itty-bitty, but she's trying to learn how to walk. She's only 8 months old, and she scoots and climbs and pulls herself up and is really trying to take a step. Sorry, Whit.

Of course the party was a highlight too - Whit put so much effort into the details. The decorations were so carefully crafted and the food was terrific - she needs to be careful, or they'll never release her. She's too good. Adam dressed up as Nacho Libre and was totally hilarious - I think he won funniest costume. I went as a troll - a costume mom purchased from a SLC theater company. Mom couldn't resist her Halloween fetish and dressed as "Red Death." She had a red cloak with hood, long red gloves and a scary sort of ghoulish face. She wanted me to paint her as the figure in the painting "The Scream" but I talked her down. I wanted our children to not be traumatized. This is an improvement from ten years ago when she wore this costume but also had a skeleton face, skeleton hands, a scythe, and she wore dry-waller stilts so she was about 7 feet tall. My mom has a Halloween problem. I think it's because it's the one day a year she feels that she can misbehave.

We also had a mini-birthday for C, who turned 5 on Sunday. We were leaving that day, but I made a breakfast birthday cake - all the grownups loved it and the boys wouldn't touch it. It must have been too brown without actually being chocolate. It had apples and whole-wheat flour, you see. Too brown. And healthy. He opened some presents and then we packed up and headed out of town. I only left one thing there - one ENTIRE bag full of dirty laundry, including the kids' Halloween costumes. Aren't I brilliant? I think we have some spares for the actual holiday, and I'm very sorry that Whitley has to UPS dirty laundry. That's just the kind of brilliant mind I have.

Well, it's now 10 in the morning, and R should probably get out of her nighttime diaper. I'll be back soon to report on the excited adventures of birthday parties and Halloween!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Happiness is a Good Dog

This is what a happy doggie looks like.

You know how a couple of weeks ago I took the kids up Millcreek Canyon and got all
desirous to go up there with just me and the doggy? Well...don't faint now...I actually did it. This is very unusual of me. My mom gave me a couple of hours on Friday morning. Normally I would do some cleaning, catch up on stuff around the house, maybe go for a walk, do a crafty thing, but I actually packed up poor old Alex and headed for the hills. I went to the same trail that I took the kids to the first time. That day we took about 30 or 40 minutes to get up the initial switch-backs of the trail, and this time I was done with that part in a few minutes, and was already sucking air really hard. Turns out it's harder to go uphill at a normal speed! But Alex and I had a wonderful time hiking along for an hour or so. He's so fun to hike with because he just takes off and bounds around like a puppy, and then he'll always check back every few minutes to make sure I'm still moving my sorry butt along. He comes roaring back down the path, skids to a halt to say hello and maybe get a little drink of water, and then is off again.

It wasn't much of a hike - I was worn out after an hour but Alex really didn't get all chilled out for the rest of the day like he does after a long hike. Hey buddy, I did my best, okay? I so loved being up that canyon - it's quickly becoming one of my favorite places on the planet. Really - the aspens were pure gold, and their leaves carpeted the trail like cobblestones. The color was everywhere, the air was crisp, I couldn't stop staring at the beauty surrounding me. I've got to try getting out into nature a little more often.

Here are some silly pictures of me trying to get a shot of me with Alex. Didn't turn out so well...

Oh well. I'll just end with a shot of a joyous sight - my puppy running right for me to see if I'm still there. He was such a good dog. It used to take some serious forsight to get him back in the car at the end of a hike - doggie biscuits in the pocket, the leash behind the back, etc, but this time (he's getting old!) he just ran up to the back of the car when we got back. Awww. Good dog.

One last note: sometimes Alex gets a little freaked out at home if Troy and I are moving around too much - construction, cleaning, playing with the kids - he just gets anxious and wants us to hold still. Here is Alex with Troy as Troy is trying to build the closet. He just squeezed in there despite the hammering. The picture isn't very good, but it's funny.

By the way, this is my 100th post! It comes just shy of the one year anniversary of my blog, which is pretty much my favorite hobby these days. I'm loving it, and appreciate friends who take the time to read it. Thank you!

The Scarecrow Festival

Just so you know, it's currently 11:30 on Sunday evening. I'm writing now because I have failed for four days in a row to write, and I can't take it any more. I guess I'd rather do this than sleep. I was hoping to have been sitting here much earlier than I am now, but of course, little RAP zonked out this afternoon. Who could blame her? She woke up at 6:30 in the morning. So sue me - I let her sleep for 90 minutes. She went to bed about 30 minutes ago. I had to use a Jedi Mind Trick - going for a drive. If you think this is bad parenting, please don't tell me about it, because I actually already know that. I try very hard to avoid the drive-to-sleep method, but some days, it's that or the benadryl and I think I know which one could be hazardous to my status as a parent.

Okay, on to the explanation of this lovely photo of my son. On Thursday my good friend April convinced me that I could handle a few hours at the Scarecrow Festival at Thanksgiving Point. We drove down after school and it was actually very fun. Here's CTP after a trip to the fishing pond, displaying the array of little gross Halloween things he caught on the end of his fishing pole. Most of them have already been placed in the trashcan, but please don't tell him about that. So the festival is a school fundraiser for my friend Paul's school (he's the principal) and it's a very big deal. They have about 10 of those huge vinyl blow-up toys you climb on and through and down. RAP fell in love with two aquatic themed slides - a shark and a whale, both of which you climb inside up a huge stair/ladder thing and then slide down the tongue and out the open mouth. I wish I had a picture of her on these things, but I don't because I was with her on every slide. I think I burned at least 1,000 calories clambering up and through, over and over, hauling my 2-year-old along. She's still asking for the shark and the whale, and I'm trying to break it to her gently that they just won't fit in our back yard.

If you ever get the chance to attend this festival, it's pretty worth it. They have everything. Face painting, pony rides, wagon rides, food, games, a really dorky juggler (okay, skip that part), a climbing wall, a haunted house... The last of these C really wanted to go through, but when I tried to accompany him R just freaked. C decided to go ahead on his own - I waited at the exit, listening for a panicking child, but he came out looking somewhat wide-eyed but very proud of himself. We really had a pretty good time. April's kids are younger than mine, so she had to take off an hour or so before we did, but we stuck it out through the cold evening, a very persistent wind and empty tummies to have every last bit of fun we could stand. By the time we were done we were tired, frozen and hungry. We stopped in at the food stand for corn dogs, which the kids devoured before we were five minutes out of the parking lot, and were begging for more food. There was an Iceberg on the way back to the freeway, so we stopped for more quality nutrition - I think I should starve my kids more often because they just ate and ate and ate. By the way, Iceberg french fries are delicious. I felt I had earned them after 20 trips up and down the whale.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

"I did it with my nose"

Sorry, folks. Time for more disgusting news from the Preslars. This time from C. He was playing with a balloon, and brought it to me to show me his creation: a long clear shining streak spanning the entire circumference of the balloon. Enough said.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"I gave it to Daddy!"

Imagine this phrase uttered sweetly by a happy and proud two year old. It seems innocent enough, doesn't it? Well, it wasn't. That's because RAP pooped in the potty for the first time today (hooray!) and this phrase was said in connection with her subsequent emptying of the potty. I guess with the 5:30 hustle and bustle of dinner-making, laundry-hanging, closet-building, etc. we failed to notice that the blessed event had taken place until she stood, log in hand, wrapped mostly in toilet paper, generously presenting it to daddy. I think Troy only accepted the offering because he was afraid of what would happen to it if he didn't. Anyway, enough of the gross. These are the cherished moments I hope to remember always. But hey, maybe potty training isn't that far away!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Okay, okay!

So I haven't been very inspired to blog this week. That's partially because I have been a single parent for a week. Troy found out last week that he had to go to and from Moab in one day, and then get on a plane that same night and go to Portland for a couple of days of company meetings. He left on Tuesday, came home on Thursday, and Friday morning left for the annual elk hunt (aka rifle hiking, in his words) with his dad and one brother. You'd think I'd be going nutty by now, but let's face it, I'm too far gone already. The week has been surprisingly pleasant, despite the lack of my husband. Don't get me wrong, I miss him and am pretty excited to see (though not smell...) him tomorrow. I'll smell him AFTER the shower. Of course. (That's from Christmas Vacation, by the way.) Anyway, it's been an okay week! The kids have been good, I've managed to be patient with them and we've done some fun things.

Last week we spent two separate afternoons up Milcreek Canyon. The first day was a whole week ago - a pleasantly cool and rainy day. I think we went because of our failed "leaf time" from the week before. I'm not super familiar with Millcreek, so I wasn't sure exactly where a good wandering/leaf-collecting trail would be, so we just randomly pulled over at a trail-head. Elbow Fork? I can't quite remember. Anyhow, the trail turned out to be a pretty steep one, with lots of switch-backs, but the kids did great! We just walked up the mountain for half an hour or so, pausing to take pictures, jump over things, throw rocks, and collect leaves. We of course didn't actually make it very far along the path, but we did make it to the crest of one little "mountain," and CTP was so proud! I must remember how well they did walking along and take them for more hikes as the weather allows. It made me wish I was up there with just the dog. Funny, I'm not usually the kind of gal who's in the mood for a good hike, but now I'd really like to go. Maybe next week. I did love that RAP insisted on bringing along her baby, who also seemed to enjoy our outing.

Our second trip up Millcreek was due to an invitation from my friend Emily, mother of three very cute boys. She wanted to do some fall-leaf photo shoots and I recommended the very near Millcreek Canyon as opposed to Big Cottonwood or American Fork Canyon. Spanish Fork? I can't remember - I get confused. Easily. Just ask my camp friends, but that's another story. SO we all headed up on Thursday, which was much warmer and sunnier, and found a much more level path along the river and got some fun photos. I think Emily may have come up with some frame-able stuff, but I was going for blog worthy, not frame worthy, so we're okay.

I made sure the rest of our weekend was very full. I kind of overdid it, but it sure helped our days go quickly. We packed in playdates like crazy. We ate Indian food (the most celestial of all food, didn't you know?) at the Mayfields while watching a mostly-satisfactory football game, (Go Utes!), we made soup and very yummy breadsticks for Becky, who is about 99.9% pregnant. We swapped playdates with friends in order for the grown-ups to have at least a shot at watching a few minutes of General Conference.

I think my favorite moment occurred when one of the play-daters, who shall remain nameless, decided to have an argument with CTP as to whether or not lizards are reptiles. He seemed to think that they were amphibians. He picked the wrong kid to argue with. CTP knows his biology, I'm telling you. So the kid comes out and asks me what I think. I confirm CTP's opinion, and the kid looks me straight in the eye and says, "You're a liar." You know how sometimes you have this immediate reaction to something where your blood is just instantly boiling? I got so ticked! What a thing to say! To a grown-up! I calmly told this young person that calling me a liar was not okay with me, and he just said, "Yeah, but you're a liar because they're amphibians." I'm sure that the word liar is in his vocab because his parents have tried to teach him not to tell lies, but when it comes out like that, well, I wanted to drop-kick him. And I had to laugh at myself at how much I needed this kid to know that lizards really are reptiles. I actually made him watch a video we have about reptiles. And I kept wanting to say, "See!! I told you!" Yeah, very adult of me.

So, big week. Lots of ups: a trip to Shivers with Grandma, playing with Adam, Whitley, Baby-Lainey and the infamous Smitty at Oma's house, enjoying a few talks from General Conference, rain storms, Indian food. A few downs: our dishwasher sounding like a jet-engine at take off and then suddenly sounding like nothing at all, missing Troy, RAP taking a 10-minute nap in the car and then staying up well into what was gong to be my alone-time, doing that again, and again, (you'd think I'd stop her from taking the nap in the first place - believe me, I tried!) working really hard on knitting a sweater and discovering several major errors. But I'm grateful that it's the end of the week and I seem to be reasonably sane. At least as sane as I ever am, which is not very, but let's put it like this. I'm still in a good mood! Wow.