Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Becoming Utahns

So every weekend the questions is "Which lake are we going to?" I would plan, cook, and pack meals along with anything we might need for being outside with a baby. Then we're out in the sun all day, the kids miss naps, and we get home, bringing a big mess of dirty clothes and coolers. Then Sunday morning I go on a cleaning rampage, go to church, cook, clean, and put the kids to bed. Then I realized I'd had enough. Isn't the weekend supposed to be a time to rest and catch up? Now every other weekend is my choice.

This past Pioneer Day weekend was my first very own Helena's-choice. After living here for 9 years, I decided it was time to participate in some Pioneer Day festivities. During the week Shannon and I took the boys to the expo center that's close to see the parade floats up close. Here come the two best ones, one because of skill and the other out of a slight personal bias.

It was amazing to see how much work people put into these floats. So many great ideas and time-consuming details. Of course the one about the Miracle of the Gulls won first place. It was our favorite too. It had a "Cricket Cookbook" and huge numbers of hand-made crickets, each about the size of Eli.

Then us moms got the three buddies together to go to This Is The Place. They got to pet animals, ride a train and horse, and even learn.

Here they are writing their abc's in a pioneer school house.

And waiting for the candy cannon to shoot out taffy. I guess they didn't have snickers back then.

Finally, on Saturday morning, we dragged Bri out to the parade downtown. It was fun to be out in the community, seeing people's pride in their heritage and cheering for their ward's float, kid in the band, or favorite Republican, I mean politician.

Doesn't his face just say "I'd rather be fishing"?

On the train ride home we talked with this saint-of-a-lady that nurses kittens that were taken to the shelter too young to be taken from their mother and brings them back (after feeding them a special food every 4 hours and getting them used to kids and dogs) to be adopted. Eli was eager to have Shadow meet his (toy) kitten.

I guess next weekend we'll trade in the warm fuzzies for catching fish.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Esme Crawls

I finally got Brian to show me how to get videos converted and on the blog. Esme's been really close to crawling for a long time, just rocking back and forth, scooting backwards by pushing back with her arms, and somehow moving forward by going up and down from crawling position to her belly. Just after turning 8 months she figured out how to move those knees. This video isn't the perfect showcase of her new skills, but at least Brian was home so one of us could keep Eli from teasing and man-handling her while the other was holding the camera, plus it shows why I've started calling her "troublemaker."

And yesterday at church I was surprised to see her pull herself up to standing!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Look What Eli Can Do!

A couple of walks ago Eli experimented with picking his legs up and balancing while he rode his bike. My compliments and exclamations were met with embarrassment and even grumpiness. Tonight's reaction was quite the opposite. He was all smiles and excitement.

It was surprising to see my cautious little guy so daring, fearless, and full of pride, rightfully so.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The List

On the okay list, oh well.

My poor mother-in-law was making a salad with lettuce from our CSA on our trip to Bear Lake and noticed a bug that had made itself at home on one of the leaves. My first reaction was "that's GREAT!" Later I realized that was probably why she didn't end up having any and that I must've sounded like a crazy bug eater. Actually, I figure if something can live there, it must be a healthy sign. Lately I've grown scared of the suffix "icide."

At first, the transition to buying organic produce was hard, pulling that extra money out of my tight fist. But I eased myself into it, only getting what was on sale and when I was ready to make the full switch, I wondered if there are somethings that don't really matter if you buy organic. So I found a couple of lists, foods that should and also others that don't necessarily have to be organic. Apparently the USDA studied different crops and their residual pesticides, even after washing. First with the good news, what you don't have to spend the extra money for, generally things with a nice thick skin, which we don't eat and probably make it hard for bugs to get through anyway.

  • Onions
  • Avocados
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Mangoes
  • Sweet Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Cantaloupe (Domestic)
  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Honeydew Melon
And now for the scary list. I'm regretting all those cheap Chilean grapes in grocery trips past and still cringe when Brian comes home with "conventional" cherries:

  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Grapes, imported (Chili)
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries


  • Bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
So there you go. Maybe I'll link to a couple of articles: msn, doctor, greenies, and cnn. I wonder if fox news has anything. Better look into it for my mom.

Monday, July 19, 2010


This weekend we went with friends up to Wyoming, hoping Brian could experience some of the best fishing of his life. We were about an hour south of Jackson Hole where the water is icy cold and mosquitos swarm, both good for fishing. The best spot ended up being right behind the cabin we were renting in town, not even the beautiful lakes we drove forever to get to, like the one in the top picture. Bri loved practicing with his fly rod and was catching a fish almost every five minutes! Most were small, but a couple were big enough to keep and eat. Eli got into it too, preferring to use a stick rather than his spiderman pole. This last picture will serve as proof that his wildest dreams have come true.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Who Needs Meat?

I guess Brian would argue that he does. But I know he would not complain if I served him this vegetarian plate. Baked yam, kohlrabi greens, and polenta stuffed peppers (Thank You Martha). Eli ate every last bite (with much prodding, like any other meal except macaroni and cheese, homemade of course) and didn't complain about not liking any of it, not even the slightly bitter greens!

Bri's in New Jersey right now at Soo Bahk Nationals, so I'm free to cook as meatless as I like. Tofurkey (lunch"meat") sandwiches for lunch, Soyizo for breakfast, Korean tofu soup yesterday. I'm not against meat, some things just get on my conscience. So here comes my craziness. I just feel like it's too easy to eat meat without thinking about how it got to us, bonelss, on styrafoam behind plastic wrap. I've heard people complain about how yucky raw meat is or not wanting to see a bone or blood. This bothers me some. Where's the revrence and gratitude. I feel bad too about my past cheapness, wanting to get meat, eggs, and milk for as cheap as possible, not thinking about how that drives "ranchers" and "farmers" to give the animals no quality of life.

For now I'm fine buying meat, free range, grass fed. It doubles the price, and so I am avoiding the subject by just buying produce, tofu, and fish. We plan on ordering beef and pork from our CSA that raises it's own heritage breed, happy-until-the-end cows and pigs. I'm excited about ordering a Thanksgiving turkey from them too, actually. So there we go. Got a little heavy there, just planned on showing our fabulous vegetarian feast.
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Mr. Nice Guy

Watering The Plants At The House We Rented At Bear Lake

Eli is so fun these days, especially since he's talking more and starting to say more of those crazy things kids come up with. I love to ask questions to hear what's going on in the 3-year-old head of his.

A couple weeks ago Brian got a bad email from the bank. Between online bill pay and my debit card spending, 5 transactions bounced= $100 in fees. Upsetting but not stressful since all we had to do was watch things and transfer from other accounts. Eli could tell his dad was upset and asked what was wrong. To put it simply, I told him "we don't have enough money." Eli put his pointer finger in the air and declared, as he always does, "Oh, I know, I know idea" and ran to his room to pull out some quarters from a secret supply in his sock bin I never knew about. "E-I-uh have money!" Bri melted as the boy came running to share his stash.

Last night I kept him up with me a little later than usual in hopes he might sleep in until at least 7 this morning. He was riveted to the first few minute of the 9 O'clock news. During the main stories about a small fire in the hills above Centerville and the poor guy hit by a trax train he would gasp and cover his mouth and ask me what was going on. I told him. Each time he said again, "Oh, oh, I know, E-I-uh help." I asked how he was going to help and he answered that Wolfie, his stuffed pet "cat" (jumping on grandpa's face in a post below) would do it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I bought Eli a little doll a few weeks before Esme was born, hoping it would help with the transition. He didn't take much interest in it until a couple of weeks ago when I took him to see my friend Anna's newborn. He was completely smitten yet shy with tiny Everly. When we got home he went straight for his doll that he soon decided to name Eight. I assume the idea came from his recent church lesson about baptism, but who knows, maybe he's conjugating verbs and it's actually "ate."

I love this long-lasting copying phase. It teaches us both. I realize changes I need to make when I see Eli reinacting my bad habits. On the other side, it warms my hear, literally, when he's super sweet. He treats Eight just the way I do Esme. He's even shown concern that Eight has no hair. (Since all babies must have a full head of hair.) He gives her naps, claps when she sits up or rolls, swings her in the air to make her laugh, feeds her pretend baby food, and even nurses her. Brian was disturbed to witness the latter last night. I see it more matter-of-factly. He's just giving his baby milk the only way he knows how. He isn't aware of gender roles and constraints.

He's also extremely bossy. Part of his immitating also assumes that there is no hierarchy around here and that we are all equal in command. If Eight is sleeping and I talk above a whisper, he quickly commands "Shhhhh, be quatet!" and then tells me to finish my dinner.

Every day he learns how a family interacts, works, and loves based on what he sees. Yikes. I better be on my best behavior.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Corrales Family Vacation

This past weekend we finally made it to Bear Lake with Brian's family, a tradition in their house growing up. Eli had plenty of time to beat up, I mean play with grandpa, ride his bike and loved the beach this time. Esme met her new cousin for the first time, even got a taste of sand, and took a nap while spalunkering. Brian and I had a "date," floating off in our inner tubes while the grandparents wrastled the kids.

Can you tell where Esme gets her looks?

8 Months

If you haven't seen this girl smile then your life isn't complete.
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