Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Busy weekend

We decided to go camping with some friends last weekend. The weather has been getting cooler and we wanted to camp one last time before it gets too cold. I planned for cool weather and brought lots of layers to keep everyone warm. What I didn't account for was rain. The weather forecast said it would rain, but I figured it would be a light drizzle and we'd all survive just fine.

We were one of the first families to arrive and we set up our tent. As we started working on a fire to cook dinner, a light drizzle started. 
The boys didn't seem to mind.

Then a heavy downfall of rain appeared just as we got a good flame going. Other families had arrived by this point. Some had set up tents already, some had the smarts to just stay in the car.

 I ran to our car with the 2 boys.
 After a while of sitting in the cold rain and kids being uncomfortable, we decided to call it quits. The plan was to ditch our tents, go out to dinner somewhere, and come back for the tents in the morning. (Luckily, we weren't camping too far from home.) As if the rain hadn't "dampened" our spirits enough, one of our friends couldn't find her car keys. We searched in the torrential downpour for a while, but to no avail. So we ditched the car along with our tents! The only (working) cars left at that point had one seat each, smashed between two car seats. We took our friend's son in our car while she road in the other.
 The 3 boys were pretty cozy in the back seat.

And then we drove to Pizza Hut! The boys were all passed out by the time we got there.

We were a sad looking bunch when we arrived. Five adults, five kids ages 3 and under, sopping wet and smelling like smoke. Some people changed into spare clothes (pajamas) which helped with comfort but not with our level of ghetto-ness. But there's nothing like warming up your cold hands on the heating lamps of a Pizza Hut buffet.

 It was an exhausting night, but we managed to have a few good laughs. We woke up early the next morning so we could stop by the campsite and take down our tent. Amazingly, it hadn't floated away in all the rain. We found the missing keys and everyone was on their way. 

We made towards Indianapolis to attend a Williams Syndrome Family picnic. It was no longer raining, but it was pretty cold and windy. That didn't stop the kids from playing on the playground.
 We had a great time seeing old friends and meeting new ones.

Connor crawled all over the place with no fear for swinging bridges, slides, or sudden drops off the edge. He is very daring, and he managed to kick off both his shoes in his adventures.
Even though it was a very busy weekend, we had a great time with our friends. And it was nice to sit and relax once we got home and not have to worry about dinner, since we had uneaten foil pack BBQ Beef sandwiches from the night before.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Guest Post

I was featured as a guest poster on a blog!

The Pickled Bean

Ashley at The Pickled Bean blog is the mom to an adorable little boy with Williams Syndrome. We met through the WS support group on Facebook. She has family in Utah (so do we!) and lives in San Francisco (close to my parents!) so we have a few things in common. Every week she features the story of a WS parent and she chose me. If you haven't already, you can read my post on her blog HERE.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A little too happy

This is a pretty typical "just before bedtime" scene at our house. The boys seem to be their happiest and cutest right before bedtime. It's like they think if they behave and act very cute, we won't want to throw them into bed. And it works for them most of the time!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Growing up

Connor is growing up so quickly. He's already past 10 months old, one week away from 11 months. I realized a few days ago I forgot to take a 10 month side by side comparison shot of the boys. The only way to get Connor to lay still was to let him eat my phone and Dallin decided he wanted to look dead, so this is the best you get. (See 8 month comparison here, 6 month here.)

Connor has 6 teeth now which he uses very effectively to eat all kinds of foods, even meat! He's becoming a better eater than Dallin. Example: Last week we had Pad Thai for dinner. Dallin wouldn't eat any so he had a peanut butter sandwich instead. What is wrong with this picture?
 Dallin wanted to sit in the baby high chair and barely finished half a sandwich, while Connor happily sat at the table in the booster seat and ate a good portion of noodles.
Full disclosure: about half those noodles fell on the floor.

Connor loves cherrios.
He eats them by the fistfuls.

 He is *almost* walking. He will stand all by himself, and a few times he has taken one step before falling down.
 We're not calling anything official on "first steps." Mostly because Mckay hasn't been home to see it and I don't have video yet. But I'm anticipating multiple steps in the next week or so.

 Connor loves being outside. What kid doesn't? We got a lot of rain last week and that brought cooler weather with it. During one rainy day, I had the back door open with the screen closed to let some cool, fresh air in. Connor opened the screen door (all by himself!?) and sat by the open door watching the rain.
For like 10 minutes. I'm sure he would have escaped if there wasn't the danger of getting wet.

Connor has discovered he can reach most things he wants by climbing.
We had a little evening bonfire at a friends house. All the older kids were sitting and eating at this picnic table. Connor managed to climb up on the table by himself to finish off their leftovers.

Dallin is growing up a lot too. He is becoming very opinionated. He will often veto my outfit choices for him. His favorite pajamas are the warm fleece ones with footies, which are great for the winter, but not the best when he chooses to wear them in the hot summer months. This morning, while getting ready for preschool, he asked me to put the hood up on his jacket.

 He also like to help me with things. Most of the time it's great. During Mckay's birthday weekend, we surprised him on Saturday morning by picking up some fresh Mary Lou Donuts. Dallin (who is developing quite the sweet tooth) demanded that he carry the box out of the store. 
He held it on his lap the whole way home. I counted the donuts when we got home to make sure he didn't sneak one on the drive.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Birthday Weekend

I love that Mckay's Birthday is always close to Labor Day, because it means we get a three day weekend to celebrate and relax as a family.

Mckay usually requests something new and different for his birthday dinner and cake. I think he likes to keep me on my toes and really challenge my cooking capabilities. This year for dinner he requested Nahm Toke, one of his absolute favorite dishes he ate on his mission in Thailand. I'd never made it before but luckily, our friend Lynn (from Thailand) taught me how to make it before she moved away from Indiana last year. Nahm Toke is served with sticky rice, another thing I'd never made! If you're familiar with how sticky rice is made, you'll know it requires a special funnel like basket for steaming the rice. We don't have the basket, but several googled recipes and youtube videos claimed you could use a strainer or steamer basket instead. I'm sure the bamboo basket has magical sticky rice properties and makes a far superior rice, but mine turned out pretty good, and being my first time ever attempting sticky rice (bamboo basket or no) I think it was a success.
 We ate outside on out Thai straw mat. Food in Thailand is served with a Pepsi so we had to be authentic. 

Basically, Nahm Toke is marinated sirloin steak cooked on a hot grill "until the juices fall." (Nahm Toke literally means "water fall.") The sliced steak is tossed with lime juice, fish sauce, onion, cilantro, dried chili peppers, and little bits of toasted rice, which gives it a nice crunchy element. Serve alongside fresh cucumber and cabbage leaves. So good!
 Mckay said this was some of the best he's ever had in the USA.

All Mckay wanted for his birthday was books. He's always loved reading, and right now he is on a reading craze.
 So he got mostly books for his birthday! And some hugs from his cute boys.

From his two volume set of boys (Dallin and Connor), he got a two volume set of War and Peace published in 1938. Just what Mckay wanted! How did they know...?

He got 6 other books from his parents which he will probably finish in a month. My gift to him was that I fixed his pants. Mckay had a favorite pair of pants that got a huge 6 inch rip down the back. These jeans were still very nice and in good condition, except for the extra air vent. So he held on to them for 2 years (this rip happened when we lived in Utah), intending to have them fixed but it never happened. Finally, I felt confident enough in my sewing skills to attempt a repair.
 I think it turned out pretty well. He wore them the next day and the stitching held up fine, except in one place. And looking at the picture now I can see my flaw. Hopefully after I fix that he'll be able to wear these pants for a long time.

Mckay requested a red velvet cake. I don't think he'd even had red velvet cake before (or at least not for a long time) but it has a cool name and it's something new and exciting that I've never made before. So I made it!
 I underestimated just how much red food coloring this required. I think it turned out as more of a raspberry color, but the beauty of having a color blind husband is that it looks totally red to him!
It was very tasty. Despite Dallin "helping" me and dumping ingredients into the batter at completely the wrong time, it still turned out well.