Thursday, August 30, 2012

Love Stories

(How it all began here.)

A fish funeral.

Never in a million years did I think the story of how I fell in love with Evan would include a funeral for a fish. A fish named Milkbone.

After spending a few hours with Evan and his friends at a bonfire in Provo Canyon the night before, stealing his hat in a rousing game of ultimate frisbee, then being largely ignored for the rest of the night, I had developed a small crush. Well, maybe it wasn't even a crush yet. I didn't know Evan hardly at all, but I did know I wouldn't mind bumping into him again in the near future.

When my friend Kristi told me her brother was going to be having a funeral for Milkbone and that some of his friends (not the fish, her brother) would be there I nonchalantly mentioned that I'd tag along. How often do you get to attend a fish funeral, complete with a presiding bishop in attendance? This was some pretty serious stuff.

It was a Sunday and out of respect for the deceased I thought it appropriate to wear my Sunday best, which just so happened to be a cute black number that was extremely flattering. (Oh how I wish that dress still fit...) We walked into the apartment where the funeral was to be held and I did a quick scan for Evan. Well, let's back up. At this point I don't think I knew his name was Evan. All of his friends had nicknames for each other and Evan's was "Magic". And when I asked Kristi what all of her brother's friends' names were, she wasn't even 100 % sure. So I knew him as Magic.

I saw Magic and apparently caught him off guard. He wasn't expecting me to be there. And in the wake of such tragedy, he wasn't going to get his hopes up in thinking I might make an appearance. Eventually he made his way over to where I was sitting and sat behind me. As my heart started to beat a little faster, I did my best to pretend like I hadn't seen him. The funeral began and there may have been some faux tears here and there. When everyone was invited to go outside for the burial (and I think it was at this point that the bishop in attendance had started to wonder if any of these boys would get married), I turned around and said something to Magic. (Or he may have initiated the conversation. Or maybe it was Kristi. I can't remember, but someone started talking.) Plans were made to get together the next week at our apartment and have a barbecue. Magic would be there and so would his friend Jex.

I'm not sure if I expected to be asked on a date at that fish funeral. I do remember leaving a little disappointed. I would have said yes to a date, even though all I really knew about this guy was that everyone called him Magic and he liked bonfires. Magic still thought I might have a boyfriend and was kind of testing the water to see how a group hang out would go. Surely he'd find out if I was dating someone if I showed up to this barbecue with a guy. Or at least it was bound to come up in some sort of conversation.

I left the funeral with a little bit of hope. At least I knew I'd get to see him again.

What I didn't know was that hours before our next encounter, I would be running several blocks to a friend's house with shower essentials and clean clothes in an effort to look somewhat decent after our toilet backed up into our shower. I was really excited to see Magic again and I wasn't going to let a little poop ruin that night.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Morning routine

3 out of my 5 weekday mornings go a little something like this:

wake up
combination of laying on the couch/playing with Blake
convince myself we'll walk to the far playground since we haven't been there in a while
talk myself out of doing that (too far, too hot, it smelled terrible last time we were there)
convince myself we'll go to the not-as-far-away playground
talk myself out of doing that (still too far, still too hot, last time we went Blake threw the mother of all tantrums when it was time to go)
convince myself we'll go to the super close playground
talk myself out of doing that (we go there all the time, no shade, shirtless old men sitting around)
think of something to do on our stoop

By the time 10am rolls around I've gathered what energy I do have to get myself ready for the day and we're out the door to sit on our steps for a little while blowing bubbles, painting the sidewalk with water, or collecting leaves.

On the rarest of occasions I'll think of a fun activity we haven't done before and it will come together beautifully, with very little effort and planning on my part.

So today at 10:30 when it was apparent we weren't going to do any of the grandiose things I had laid on the couch thinking about doing, I thought I could handle walking to the closest 99 cent store, picking up some paint, and letting Blake paint outside for a little while. We got our supplies and headed home, where I was able to fashion some easels out of an old diaper box. Once outside, I explained to Blake the basics of using watercolors and let him go.

one for Blake, one for Mom

so focused he didn't notice me snapping pictures

chasing the fly that wouldn't leave him alone

Ahhh, much better

Gallery worthy
So that fills my good mom quota for the week, right? I don't have to try to come up with anymore fun stuff to do until next week, right? Ok good.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Things I Saw Today

Shirtless older gentleman at the playground. Reading the newspaper.

This isn't the first time I've seen an older man with his shirt off at a playground. And I'm kind of confused as to why.

I can't imagine he was working on his tan. The tan lines caused by the fence he was sitting next to would be horrendous. It was probably about 85 degrees outside, so not super hot. He wasn't dressed in running attire and the loafers and high socks he was wearing were certainly not conducive to exercising.

The only reason I can think of is that most people that live in Brooklyn don't have a yard so most of the things one would do in the privacy of one's yard are done in public places. Unfortunately.

Friday, August 17, 2012

coxsackie and bubbles

Blake recently came down with coxsackievirus. Scary sounding, right? Its other name is hand, foot, and mouth disease and it's pretty common among young children. Our week has been spent mostly indoors while we've bravely battled record-breaking fevers and a painful rash.

Blake is slowly getting back to his normal self today so we ventured outside today to do a little stoop-sitting and bubble blowing.

My name is Blake. And I have coxsackievirus. Yes, the rash on my face hurts.

Mom, the bubbles went all the way down there!

Did you see?!

Ok, no more pictures after this one.

Why don't you take a picture of me, Blake?


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Potty Training: Day 3

To be perfectly honest, this whole potty training thing has gone incredibly well. Blake hasn't had an accident since the first day and he's going to the bathroom unprompted and taking care of most of the duties that come along with toileting oneself (not all, of course). We haven't ventured far from home, so teaching him how to hold it for longer periods while we are not near a bathroom will be our next hurdle. I know there will be accidents and bed-wettings in our future, but that's normal. My only concerns now are:

-being away from home and not having a bathroom accessible (as mentioned above)

-weaning Blake from the treats he so readily receives for a successful trip to the bathroom (I've only been giving him a treat if he remembers to ask for one. I figure I won't buy anymore candy/small toys and when we're all out then that's it for potty rewards.)

-him using going to the bathroom to stall nap/bed time. (He's already started to do this.)

All in all, this potty training stuff has been a very positive experience. And I think it's due in large part to Blake being ready. While I think the techniques* I've used have worked well (especially for accidents), I don't think the past 3 days would have gone nearly as well if Blake had not been ready to learn how to use the potty. And I can't imagine struggling with him day in and day out if he had decided it wasn't time. So thanks, Blake. We make a great team! (And Daddy, too!)

*And thanks, Lindsay for letting me borrow your potty training book!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Potty Training: Thoughts on Day 2

6:45 am:
Blake: Mom! Mom! Momma! Mom!
Me: (Ugh, seriously!) (stumble into Blake's room) Good morning, Blakey!
Blake: Need go pee-pee!!
Me: Oh ok, let's go fast fast fast!

-I can't believe he stayed dry all night. That's awesome!

-I should have bought a stash of treats for myself.

-Wow. I think poop in a training potty is more disgusting than poop in a diaper.

-No accidents so far! Maybe we can go for a short walk outside.

-Short walk turned into playground visit. Wonder how long this will last.

-Do we walk home or do I let him pee at the playground? If we go home we aren't coming back and we've only been here 5 minutes.

-Ok, so I'm one of those, "You can pee in the bushes" kind of moms. Note to self: don't let Blake play in the bushes anymore.

-2 potty attempts in the bushes. Time to head home before he wets himself.

-Yes! Nap time!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Potty Training: Thoughts on Day 1

-Ok, let's get this started!

-I'm too tired to do this.

-2 accidents already? We've only been at this an hour, but I thought for sure he'd get the hang of it pretty quickly.

-On the other hand, how much can I expect from a 2 year old who's only ever peed when the urge came? 2 accidents probably isn't that bad.

-When is nap time?

-I think I've said, "Blake, do you need to go to the potty?" almost 300 times today.

-Another accident. He caught himself and ran to the potty, so I guess that's progress.

-I'm never going to be able to leave my house again.

-I should've made Evan take work off so he could train Blake.

-If this bout of training doesn't take, it's Evan's turn to try next.

-It's a good thing I started this training now, because 8 months pregnant Whitney would've said, "Let him stay in diapers."

-I didn't realize how much of my day was being spent on the couch. I miss you, couch.

Friday, August 3, 2012

in training

When my mother-in-law asked me if I had any big plans for August, I thought for a second and realized this month is going to be pretty low-key. Well, let's be honest. Since I found out I was pregnant my life has been as low-key as it possibly can be with a 2 year old (which doesn't feel very low-key, but walking too and from the playground every day takes about as much energy as I can muster so that's pretty much all we do.)

So, a wide open August plus the fact that Blake has started to demand a clean diaper anytime he wets the one he is currently wearing have led me to the decision to begin potty training Blake.

-I'm starting too early. I've heard if you start before your child is ready it can be a total nightmare to try to get them to learn how to use the potty.

-That's pretty much my only fear.

So that's my August. I will be potty training my almost 2 and a half year old. Prayers appreciated.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


With Evan's parents and brother coming to town, we got to spend 6 days being tourists and showing his family the ins and outs of city life. It was incredibly fun and just as exhausting!

Natural History Museum
Looking for Blake

Found him!
Didn't want to be found.

Woody and Jessie at FAO Schwarz
Beau as an Astronaut

THE Big Piano


Jane's Carousel in DUMBO
Pretty good pizza!

Brooklyn Bridge
Flying through the air

"Yzma, put your hands in the air!"

Grandpa and Blake

Shore Promenade
9/11 Memorial

Not too sure about all these pictures
Blake thought Lady Liberty was Jesus' mom. Haha!

Secrets on Liberty Island

Playing "chase you"
Fun on Ellis Island

We had a lot of fun running around the city, taking it all in. We will also be taking the whole month of August to recuperate! 

(Did you notice how I stopped trying to arrange the pictures nicely towards the end? That's because blogger makes it impossible for you to do so. Extremely annoying.)