Monday, February 20, 2012

Caving With Uncle Lyle

Uncle Lyle came back!  With the hopes of hunting a mountain lion with Tom, he made us his base camp as he attended an outfitter convention in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately the lion hunt didn't happen - apparently they needed 4-6" of snow to track the lion and we only got 2-3".

So we tried to come up with some other fun things to do.  We got all set to go explore the lava tubes - a 3/4 of a mile long underground tunnel formed from cooling lava.  Unfortunately the forest service road was closed.  Bummer...well bummer for Tom, Lyle and the kids.  I was like, "Ah, shucks.  We don't have to crawl down under the earth; walk in complete darkness,with only one way out.  Yippeee!!!  I mean, big bummer."  Of course I did not verbalize any of this.  I wanted to be a good sport for the kids, and look like a great adventurous wife for Tom and his good friend.

Then Tom and Lyle tried going caving in a different location, a "not-kid-friendly" cave, but also came upon closed roads (Flagstaff is so silly, closing down the forest during the winter).  Bigger bummer.

Fortunately, or unfortunately for me, a good friend of ours told us of another "kid-friendly" cave that you didn't need to drive down a forest service road to get there.  We headed East down I-40 to Diablo Canyon - sounds ominous doesn't it?

Out in the middle of nowhere, there's this crack in the earth:

We got the kids all geared up with jackets, gloves and headlights.  With Jon on my back, I put a smile on my face and followed the happy explorers.

We went down into the earth.  The walls closed in on us.  At one point, I had to scoot on my butt to get Jon and I through the narrow passageway.

Thankfully, the cave ended in a big room with no way to continue on for us adults.  "Ahh, rats.  Too bad.  Guess we'll have to turn around and get out of here."

 A little sleeping friend that shared the room with us...along with a couple of his buddies.

I was very happy to be back on top of the earth, under the clear-blue sky...ahhhh...

The kids, and their fearless father, decided that one cave wasn't enough.  They had to explore a literal hole in the ground.  Tom backed the van up to the hole and tied one end of a rope to the ball-hitch and the other to himself.  Down they went.  Check out the huge smiles on the boys - it's as if they were being given a huge bowl of ice cream!

While they disappeared back into the ground, I occupied my mind with taking pictures of the scenery...every mom need a good distraction when her beloved husband and children are willingly crawling into a deep, dark pit, where who knows what kind of danger lurked just steps in front of them.

OK, so I'm exaggerating just a bit.  It really wasn't dangerous.  But mind wanders and can be a bit melodramatic every now and then.

Anyway, we all survived and had a good time.  It was especially fun that we got to go with Lyle.
I was so proud of all the kids.  They had a terrific adventure!  I wish I could be just as fearless.

Oh, just a side note, Lyle helped the kids build a bunny trap in our backyard.  They haven't caught anything yet, but they check it everyday and are very excited about the possibility!  Here's to rabbit stew!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Jonathan - 10 Months

I write the most insightful, witty, deep and intelligent my head...usually while I'm driving, changing a diaper, or while making lunch and teaching at the same time.  By the time I can actually sit down and blog, nothing.  My mind goes blank.  The only things that pop into my head are fragments of the day with no cohesive thoughts.

Like right now, I'm desperately trying to recall what Jonathan, my sweet little baby boy, is up to now...hmmm...

I'll start with the obvious, he is 10 months...well, he turned 10 months about 2 weeks ago, which kinda makes him closer to 11 months than 10, but...

He is crawling.  He figured it out about 3 weeks ago.  He loves to explore every hall, closet, and open every cabinet door.  Tonight he even tried climbing the stairs - he didn't get past the first one, but now he knows that it's there.  I'm going to really have to keep my eye on him.  I lose him repeatedly throughout the day - one minute he's in the kitchen and the next minute, gone.  I usually ask one of the big kids to go and locate Jon.

Let's see what else...He usually wakes up happily around 6:30am.  I go get get him and bring him back to bed with me to nurse. When I first pick him up, we snuggle cheek to cheek and sucks his thumb. So sweet!  Once we're curled up in bed, he makes this impatient breathy cough telling me hurry.

Speaking of nursing, my supply of domperidone is running out so I will probably only have another 2-1/2 to 3 months left (my milk goes away when my babies are around 6 weeks old, no matter what I do - and for the first two, I really tried everything to keep it -  nothing seems to work except domperidone).  I'm taking 3 a day right now, and am trying to plan ahead to see how I'm going to wean Jon and myself.  I'm really going to miss nursing.  It's such a sweet time.

We're working already on training Jon to "come".  A couple of nights ago after cleaning up from dinner, I called his name because I didn't see him anywhere.  I heard a little laugh coming from the school room so I walked over to the french doors and smiled at him.  I held out my hands to him and said, "Come to Mama," (for months now I've been saying that whenever I pick him up - I think it helps him to know what "Come" means before he can actually do it).  He looked at me and then started to crawl the opposite direction, somehow he got the idea in his head that I should chase him.  I don't mind playing chase with my kids, but when I say, "come," I expect them to come. 

In my normal voice I said, "No, no, Jonathan.  Mama said, 'come'".  He stopped, sat back down, and looked at me.  I could tell he was debating if he was going to obey or not (it starts so young).  He started to crawl the other direction, and again I told him, "No."  Thankfully, his desire to obey won out, this time, over his will to go elsewhere, and he crawled over to me.

I really like this age, the training.  It's easy.  It's clear-cut.  I feel so clueless when it comes to training the the grumpiness, whininess, fighting etc. of the big kids.  I'll take training a 10-month-old any day.

Anyway, that's all that I can think of for now.  My brain has been pushed to the max.

Here's my little handsome man: