Monday, July 9, 2012


2/2012 "I braved your hair mommy. Did you brave my hair?" (braid)

2.10.12 While riding a rocking horse and pretending it was a princess horse, with crown and all, she said: “I’m riding to the promised land.”

2.13.12 "What? What? What?" She asks this all of the time, ad nauseum or maybe ad frustrateum.

2.13.12 I traded the car at Centre with Benjamin so that I could go to the gym. When he returned to trade me back, she said “ you came back to me mommy. I sure do love you.”

2.13.12 Good bye, Miss Abby. “Good bye, miss daddy.” She thought that she was being so funny here and refused to call him Mr. Daddy as he requested.

2.13.12 Today she was playing grocery shopping. She took an upside down cardboard box and pushed it to the pantry. Then she loaded it up with groceries and took them over by the sink to her “house.” Here she proceeded to tell herself that she needed to eat her vegetables before she could have a treat. So she opened up a bag of croutons and began munching. Then she brought me the bag of marshmallows and asked me to open them. She argued that she had eaten her vegetables and now could have her treat.

2.26.12 "I'm out of batteries. I can't run anymore." While outside on a walk/chase with Mom and Dad.

3.10.12 While trying to figure out how death works and after seeing a dead bird be buried, she matter-of-factly declared to her mom: “When my body doesn’t move anymore then I will be dead and you will be sad.”

3.10.12 “ouch-a-daisy”

3.11.12 “oh my, oh dear, o my grosscious” Cat in the hat

3.12.12 She speaks with a southern accent on the vowels.

3.11.12 “Why? Why? Why? What?”

3/12 Ouch-a-licious.

3/14 Sierra Hicks
“While in the car this morning my friends daughter who I am babysitting kept telling me about a giant spider
sitting next to me. I kept listening just thinking she was being silly. Finally at a red light she insisted that I
look at the spider and I turn and there is a huge real spider about an inch from my ARM. Eek!
.” –Sierra.  Sierra said that she also described the size, color,etc. of the spider. However, in Sierra’s defense, Abigail is always imagining that there are dragons, dogs, cats, etc. in the car with us and happily tells us about all of them.

3/24/12 "why did the dinosaurs all die, daddy?" "that's a good question - we're not sure" "it's not a question, daddy. It's a hypothesis. And we can test it."

3/22/12 after looking at the pictures in a book and ‘reading’ the story she said: “this story was made possible by…” Too much PBS?

4/28/12 - "you're distressing me." When she did not get her way.

4/15/12 We told Abigail that if she did not obey she would earn a time out. Her response: "I don't want a time out. I'm distressed. Mommy, daddy, my energy is drained.”

5/17/12 "Will you share daddy with me, mommy? I'll give daddy back when I'm done marrying him."

5/18/12 “Well mom, that sure was one squishy hug.”

5/18/12 “Mom is amazing”. Spoken to dad, randomly.

5/20/2012 – “I am a fish eater, I am a fishivore.” Spoken while playing with her pteranodon stickers.

7/6/2012 – “I’m not nocturnal. I’m turnal. I go out in the day.”

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fun at the Cabin

While at the cabin we played, ate, relaxed, and played, ate, and relaxed.

Christian created a slide out of the staircase and the smaller people especially enjoyed sliding down. The braver people (i.e. Christian) even enjoyed going down surfing style.

We then repurposed the cushions into a fort. The girls all hid inside while Christian pretended to be a dinosaur outside. He would roar and shake the walls. Bee was thrilled and really had fun.

The flashlight was a hit in the fort as well.

We also had a smashing/wrestling match.
Bee brought all of her 'minerals' and proudly displayed and organized them for everyone. She cherishes these.

This slide was custom built by Christian and his father and it was Bee's favorite part. She even wanted to be out on it at 11:00 p.m. That's a pretty impressive feat for a slide, considering she usually avoids them in general. She talked most of us into going out to see her slide.
  It was colder outside than we had hoped and we had experienced a few sprinkle showers while we were out. Undeterred, we went to a small beach on the lake and played in the sand. We brought plastic cups and plates to help us dig but they were unable to withstand the pressure and failed us. Christian and Denali still managed to dig a substantial hole. Bee built several sandcastles. She spent most of her time looking for sea shells. We found lots and lots of small round shells. She used them to decorate her sandcastles and then she started collecting them in cups.

Here I think that she is pretending that this branch is her dinosaur tooth.

When they finished digging their hole, Denali decided to sit in it. Then I proceeded to bury her in the sand.  It did not take long and she seemed to enjoy it. Bee was upset. She said that she had wanted to live in that hole.

Dirt tan. She had sand in everything, and I mean everything.
 It warmed up after that and we decided to spend an hour at the cabin community pool. Thanks to Jenny and Christian for spoiling us all day. Denali, Abigail and I spent an hour swimming around happily in the pool. Bee especially enjoyed the kiddie pool where she could touch and float around while walking with her hands. This swimsuit was a little big on her and kept falling off. I was proud of how brave she was. I was attempting to make her swim without her floaties and trying to help her learn to swim. I also loved being in the water. I love swimming and would love to own a pool. I am not particularly interested in the upkeep of a pool, but I would love the convenience of having one in my backyard.

 We were hungry, sunburned, and tired by this point. Next we went to a famous local place to try the raspberry shakes. I also ordered a turkey avocado sandwich, which was fabulous beyond belief. The fries were excellent as well. So much for my diet. Eating healthy on this trip proved to be a challenge. There were so many delicious options. I tried to compensate by exercising most days.

After lunch Ben, Denali, Bee, and I drove back through the canyon to grandma's house where we relaxed all evening while grandma entertained, or was entertained by, Bee.

Friday, July 6, 2012

First Day

One of my goals this trip was to continue my exercise routine and to not lose the momentum that I've had since January. Everything worked out perfectly. Bee was so thrilled to be with her extended family that she had no interest whatsoever in her parents. When she woke up in the morning, she would bypass our room without even saying hello and then head upstairs. She was in heaven. We enjoyed it too. I was able to go jogging many mornings. Running is easier when not pushing the jogging stroller. When it was too cold outside, which it was most mornings, I could go to Lora's gym. 

The scenery was gorgeous and it was nice on my lungs to jog without the humidity. My skin was pretty dry by the end of the trip, though.

Grandma surprised us by offering to take Bee to work with her. I am not sure how productive anybody was that day at work. Bee enjoyed herself at the glass factory. She got a tour of the warehouses and collected many samples of glass along the way. She even saw the large furnaces where they melt the glass and then crush it into small pieces. Apparently she was very entertaining to Lora's bosses and she sat herself down in the middle of the floor with her dinosaurs and ponies and got them to come sit on the floor and play with her. 

Lora then met us for lunch and Bee happily told us about her day at work and showed us the many presents that grandma had given her. Her glass samples were organized into small plastic cases. She calls them her 'minerals." Over the course of our trip and after several more visits to grandma's work, she ended up with about ten pounds of the stuff. It, unfortunately, somehow did not make it all back with us. We have lots though and she makes sure to show her friends and she has even shared pieces with them.  On one walk that we took with Jenny we planted the glass pieces on the ground as we were walking and Bee would excitedly pick up each piece and place it into the bag I was holding. I would then, unbeknownst to her, pick it out of the bag and throw it a few yards ahead of us for her to find again. This was a great 'Easter egg' hunt and she could not have been more excited.She also is always scouring the ground now and looking to collect more 'minerals.'

Benjamin's grandparents stayed an extra day in town after Layne's high school graduation to see us. They took us to lunch at Burgerzz Exprezz. It was so great to see them. After lunch they came over and we had a fun afternoon catching up. Grandpa told us fun stories and grandma let Bee show her how to uncover the dinosaur tracks on the phone. We really wanted to visit them in their home but we were not able to make it to southern Utah on this trip. 

This picture is one of the first examples of how many pictures I failed to take on this trip. I wish we had taken one of all of us together. 

That evening Benjamin, Bee, Denali, and I headed to Bear Lake to spend the night at Christian's cabin. We followed Jenny and Christian there. It felt so good to drive through mountains and to feel the mountain air. I miss living in a desert where the air cools off at night. I'm writing this on a hot, humid day that was 105 degrees at its high. It is 8:30 p.m. and it is still 99 degrees outside.

This is the view from the cabin.

Here is Denali trying to play games late at night. We did not end up eating the yummy pizzas until about nine and then we played games after that. Bee was still going strong, but we started losing Denali and Benjamin. We played scattergories and maybe rook. I love to play games. Jenny brought some dark chocolate covered pomegranates that were delicious. I had to count out how many I ate to keep myself from eating the entire bag. In my defense, I had not had chocolate in a while. We ate so many that we had to buy her another bag. Somehow that bag went back to grandma's with us when it wasn't supposed to (I did not do it!) and they all got eaten.
 Denali got up with the early riser and they watched cartoons while the adults slept in. Vacations are wonderful. I have felt so much healthier getting to sleep in every morning. I was so spoiled on this trip to have so many willing babysitters. By the end of the three weeks Denali was not as willing. At one point she offered to watch Bee for most of the entire day as long as I kept Bee out of her room so that she could sleep in the next morning.

Seriously, this cabin was so beautiful and relaxing and the view was perfect. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Vacations Begin

Our summer vacations included a three week trip to our home state of Utah. Benjamin talked me into flying instead of trying to tackle the 1,670 mile drive. I was willing to drive in order to bring down costs, but Ben talked me out of it. I'm mostly glad. Flying was a lot easier and quicker. The flights were delayed by several hours because of bad weather in Dallas. We didn't miss our connection and Bee played happily with all the fun surprises I had bought at the dollar store ahead of time. I got some exercise by walking up and down the terminals and Benjamin read his scriptures and other articles on his phone. We are those parents now. The ones that are next to their child but are often busy on their phones while she plays by herself by their side. Sign. Smartphones are so addicting. Our departing flights were in the morning and we arrived in Salt Lake by dinner time. Jenny and Denali met us at the airport and took great care of us. After a quick stop at Wendy's for dinner, we began the trek home. Bee happily entertained herself for the long drive. Denali did not seem to mind.

Lora had the entire basement suite set up for us. I was so impressed by the all the many many hours of work she must have done to rearrange everything for our visit. They were so kind to set up a private room and bathroom for us and a special bed for Bee. They thought of everything and it was nice to have a place to call home during our three week stay in Utah. My only complaint is that I am not very good with cold and even in the summer, basements in UT are cold. I wore sweaters and socks a lot of the time. Bee did not seem to notice or mind. Even Benjamin donned his sweatshirt a time or two.

I think that there are still some stickers stuck to the roof of Grandma's car. Sorry.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

As most of you know, I usually write five to seven blog posts in one setting and then I publish them over several weeks. I am writing this post several days before the fourth of July and not actually on the 4th. I assume I'll be out celebrating or at least listening to to Benjamin's yearly recitation of the declaration of independence. I am, as always, extremely grateful for the country that we live in and for the freedoms and opportunities that I enjoy. I was profoundly touched by everything that we saw earlier this year while visiting our nation's capital and appreciate all the sacrifices that have been made to provide me with the wonderful life that I have.

Here are some pictures of Bee happily playing with all of her Disney figurines.

I do not remember why she was wearing rain boots that day. Probably not for rain.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Real Hike

The next day we packed up our campsite and tackled a real hike. We started at a historical site called the Iron Furnace. This stone structure was one part of an iron mill and is hollow in the center. I cannot even imagine how hot it must have been when it was in perfect working order. It almost looks like some kind of temple structure. 
On our way to this point of interest, Bee was most fascinated by the small streams that we crossed; she loved throwing rocks, branches, and sticks into them. We had to bribe her with time at the streams on the way back just to get her to start the hike.

We also had a huge parenting dilemma when twenty minutes into our hike Bee let us know that she need to empty her bowels. Great! Now what. I was still worried about poison ivy and other plants like that. My mother has always warned me about not wiping with itchy plants. We all survived the ordeal and Bee was, as usual, pleased to go outside like a wild animal. We wiped her with large tree leaves and she seemed to be fine. Just as we were pulling her pants back up a group of twenty or so hikers (family with young and old) passed by where we were. Hope they did not see anything.

Here we are taking a break. The climbs were steep.

 We went off on a side hike to visit the "triangulation station" where three states touched. It's not quite four corners, but at least it was located on the correct spot. Benjamin especially geeked out about being able to jump from state to state to state. We practiced reading and she sounded out several of the states. We even each stood on a state and held hands.

This hike was a great workout for all of us. Hike steep trails with thirty wiggly pounds on your backs is a challenge. We had lots of fun talking with Bee on the hike. We practiced letters and played games. She would play games that she had learned off of dinosaur train. She would play "I smell with my be smeller." Then she said that she smelled something 'rooty.' She was referring to a tree. Her dad thought she had made that up herself and was quite impressed. It wasn't until later when he saw the same phrase on the Dinosaur Train that he realized she was mimicking a tv show.

We started working on her numbers and decided to teach her to count by tens. We made up a song to the tune of "row, row, row your boat." She learned it in about a day and has not stopped singing it since, we're going on a month now. She sang it to everyone we visited in Utah and even sang it enough that her cousins in Utah learned it. Here is an unenthusiastic version of her singing it that I took today.

 Then we hiked back down that hill and continued on the hike. We followed some of the original Cumberland Gap trail.

 We hiked and hike and hiked and hiked and hiked and hike. Bee was, as I mentioned earlier, a good hiker and did not complain much until about the third hour.

We finally made it to the top to a lookout of the gap, the valley, the tunnel, etc. We rested her for a while. Then she wanted to play pteranodons and she and I 'flew' around on the grass. Apparently the three hour hike did not wear her out enough. We pretended the shelter area was the train station and we had many adventures on the dinosaur train.

Then we started back down. 
This stump was perfect for a picture. I got her to smile by telling her not to smile.

 Two hours later we made it back to the streams and she happily threw rocks for a long time.

We had fun on our five hour hike and we were so proud of Bee for walking so much and for enjoying herself. Our car was a sauna by this time. We rolled down the windows and continued to let her play while we cooled off. Then we headed home. What a successful trip!