About a week ago, a popular BYU Football blogger contacted Danny to ask if he'd be interested in submitting an article to his blog, BYU Footblog. Danny's been following this guy on Twitter for a few years now, and through their Twitter conversations the guy recognized that Danny isn't just a "Zoobie fan" - he actually knows what he's talking about! So Danny typed up a sample piece for him, "Why the Option Shouldn't be an Option for BYU". It's very insightful and Danny really shows that he knows his stuff! The blogger decided to publish it and make Danny part of the team! I'm so excited for him! He really loves football and understands it on a level I can only dream of, so getting to do something like this is a big deal to him. Way to go, love!!
I love finding fun activities in blogland to do with Mav. All too often they're too advanced for him (apparently only the 5-10 crowd needs entertaining) or complicated for me (let's face it, that doesn't take a lot), so it's a lot of fun when I can find something easy and amazing.
Today, while Bo napped in the bouncer, that was Magic Milk Art (originally blogged here). This is super cool and all I needed was milk (yeah, always have that on hand!), liquid food coloring, a toothpick (both of which I have for cookie-ing), and dish soap (or "magic," as I called it for Mav's benefit). You just put the milk in a bowl, drop in some colors, and touch the colors with a dish-soaped toothpick. The soap messes with the milk's surface tension, sending the colors rushing all over the bowl! It's instantaneous, it's dramatic, and it was so much fun we did it again and again. He would have done it all day if I'd let him!
This video shows how fast it happens and how much fun Mav had doing it!
Mav was very concerned at the end that the food coloring we'd gotten all over our hands wasn't immediately coming off.
Yet not so concerned with being messy in general that, not 10 minutes later, the window crayons made it all over the window and my little artist!
One of the first questions we're asked in regards to our new Bo is "How is Maverick handling everything?"
The short answer is: Like a champ!
Mav loves his new brother! He greets him every time he sees him with a gentle "Hi, Bo!" (luckily his name is easy for our still-learning toddler to say!) and plenty of kisses! He loves to show his brother off to visitors and has enjoyed the attention he gets, too. He is an amazing helper, always anxious to be a part of the action when it comes to baths, diaper changes, and meals. He likes showing Bo his books and the things that he himself is still learning about. He's such a tender hearted little boy, and we're so blessed to have them both!
This is our brand-new baby boy! We welcomed him into the world on July 15, 2012 at 8 pounds 2 ounces and 20 inches long. Since people like hearing happy stories and I think there need to be more positive birth stories on the record, here's Bo's.
Due to some pretty intense hip and back pain that I was experiencing toward the end of the pregnancy (and an evening of rather frustrating false labor), we decided with our doctor, Dr. Marv Erickson (best OBGYN ever!), that I was to be induced a few days early. I was put on the hospital's waiting list for Monday, but on Sunday morning at 5:30 they called us in! They asked us to be there in 45 minutes, so we scrambled! Danny and I laughed that this was probably the most hurried we'd ever been or would be to get to the hospital for a birth. My sister-in-law Emily was going to come up to stay with Maverick, but she lives about 45 minutes away, so we called our friend Taylor Proudfit to come over and stay with Mav until Emily could get there. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful, helpful friends!
When we got to the hospital, it was about 6:15-6:30. After checking in, they took me to the labor and delivery room to start my IV. They tagged me, stuck me, and then left me to start laboring. I started the whole process already at a 4 (why I wasn't in labor on my own, I don't know!) so they figured I'd progress quickly. I don't know what "quickly" means in terms of a labor, but it was about 3 hours later (during which time I had a few really painful contractions, but nothing crazy enough for me to scream "epidural" yet) that Dr, Erickson showed up and asked if I'd like my water broken. I hadn't had any pain medication yet, and when they'd broken my water with Mav I'd already been on the epidural for hours, so I was scared that it was going to hurt. A lot. But it was fine! It did, however, give me the worst shakes ever! I couldn't control my body at all. I guess the rush of hormones was just too much to handle with any kind of dignity.
Right after Dr. Marv left, the anesthesiologist came in with his nurse. She had me sit up (I'd been able to stay laying down with Mav) and hunch over (yeah right, lady, you put a beach ball in your lap and we'll see how far you can hunch over!). I wanted to hold Danny's hand, but she grabbed pretty much my whole body to hold, so I wasn't going to be rude and tell her I didn't think she was going to be enough comfort, haha. I think she was worried about my shaking throughout the process. Not as worried as the anesthesiologist, though. He kept asking if I was nervous and that I needed to just breathe. I told him I don't care about needles, he wasn't making me nervous, but I just could not stop shaking! So I don't think he believed me. Oh well. He got the epidural in just fine on the first try and that's all I cared about!
Danny and I settled in again to just wait it out. We watched a couple movies on TV, the coverage of the Kona Ironman (not quite the Olympics like we had with Mav, but still awesome), and just hung out. Waiting.
After they broke my water, I think they expected me to just whirl right into active labor! Not so much. I was about a 6 when they did that and I was still at a 6 an hour or so later. So my nurse, Andria, suggested that I try pushing, just once, to see if that would get everything aligned and get it all moving in the right direction. Darned if the girl wasn't right! At about 12:30, I started to feel the need to push! Andria said that since Mav had come with so little effort, we weren't even going to practice pushing until Marv got there! By the time he got there just a few minutes later, I was more than ready to go!
I pushed a couple of times through one contraction, with Danny by my side telling me what was going on and cheering me on. After the contraction eased, Dr. Marv told me to take a rest. Then he said something funny - and for the life of me, I'll never remember what - and I started to laugh. Danny, Marv, and Andria all jumped in surprise and started telling me to keep laughing, keep laughing! Apparently that was better than pushing, because in a few short chuckles, Bo was officially born!
Laughter brought my baby boy into this world. And I'll never forget that.
They put him on my stomach and I helped wash him off a little before they whisked him away. I love that Danny gets this time to be with his babies. I've gotten to do so much up to that point, but then it's Daddy's turn! He gets to be the one to comfort the first cries and see the weighing and measuring. He gets to help clean the baby and cut the cord. He gets to hold him first, all clean and dry and warm in a new blanket.
But then it was my turn. I had held my composure pretty well throughout the whole process, but when Danny handed me my second son, I lost it. I cried such tears of joy and relief. Relief that he was okay, that the pains I'd felt over the last few days had had no effect on him. Relief at not being pregnant anymore, haha. And relief that our family was, once again, completed.
So there it is. My Bo's happy arrival. It was a super easy labor, an easier delivery, and it all happened with a laugh. I like telling people how much I enjoyed giving birth to my babies. They both came with such joy and they've brought me nothing but joy since!
Up until a week ago, our backyard was nothing but dirt. Nasty, awful dirt that was covered in dog poop, pee, and all manner of construction paraphernalia like rusty nails and screws. Fun place for our toddler to play, huh? Also a lot of fun to have our dogs come in covered in dust every time they went outside.
So Danny and I decided to do something about it! We called a landscaper, got a plan in place, and within a couple of days we had a beautiful, playable backyard!!
Here's just some progressive pictures so you can see what they did for us.
The finished product!!
The lighter gravel is very small and compacted (ignore the dog prints at the edge of the patio - they hadn't compacted it all yet and the dogs apparently had to leave their mark before they did so) so that it's really easy on the feet - a far cry from tetanus-riddled nails! The plants we got to choose ourselves and I'm so excited to see them grow and bloom because I picked most of them for their beautiful flowers! Yay green stuff! Haha! Thanks so much, Danny, for giving us a much nicer place to play "O'side!"
You may have noticed from a few previous pictures that Mav has kind of crazy hair. There isn't a lot we can do about it - it seems to have a mind of its own! We detangle it, brush it flat, spray it with hairspray...
...and within 2 minutes it looks like this in the back:
Mornings are never complete without this little bedhead smiling at us.
Seen here in silhouette:
I think that, lately, he's gotten a little sick of me attacking him with brushes at every turn and has started sporting some pretty unusual headgear.
The Hat (Further proof my kid is almost never fully clothed, I guess.)
And The Bike Helmet (preferred because he thinks that if he wears this constantly, Dad might take him on a bike ride!)
Maybe it's a good idea my kid wears a helmet everywhere...
We're coming to the realization that the only possible solution is to just buzz the kid's head. And hope all of the people that have previously commented on his hair at the grocery store, Costco, and the playground just won't notice that it still gets tangled and matted, no matter how short it is.
Mav turned 2 on Valentine's Day! It's so crazy to me that my baby isn't a baby anymore.
But I won't dwell on that - I find it depressing and therefore there's really no way for anyone else to see anything else in it!
So on to pictures! Mav's had a thing for dinosaurs lately, so I figured I'd make him some dino cookies instead of a birthday cake - it's not like we'd eat the cake anyway, and Mav looooves the cookies I make! He's convinced anytime I have my mixer running that there's cookie dough inside. Can't say he's wrong often...
Anyway!! Dinosaur cookies!
The stegosaurus is my favorite. Considering Mav's two-fisted approach, I don't think he cared what they looked like.
We had a friend party at Chik-fil-a with his friends Olivia and Wyatt Griffith and Jameson and Lucy Proudfit (and their moms CJ and Becky, respectively). They all had a blast playing in the play place!
That night Uncle Ted and Aunty Jake came up and opened presents and had pizza with him. He's actually getting what opening presents is now! He knows how to rip off the paper and understands that when he does, there's usually something cool inside! Or clothes, whichever. Haha. It was fun to watch him open his presents this year.
His favorite present was the very first one he saw in the morning. Waiting at the bottom of the stairs was his very own truck! He saw it and got this just awed, inexpressibly happy little expression on his face - it was the cutest thing I've ever seen! He loves this thing!
Happy Birthday to our Maverick! We love you little bub!
Since Maverick was old enough to sit in a high chair at restaurants, the waitress has given him a kids' menu with crayons. Also since that time Mav hasn't been able to resist the urge to shove said crayons in his mouth, chew a little, and then spit them back out in a rainbow of spittle with a firm "Blech!" behind them! No matter how many times we tell him not to eat the crayons, he doesn't seem to get it!
Due to this little habit, I've been very hesitant to try anything artsy - nothing is worse than trying to feel all cool-mom-ish and then having to frantically clear spit-saturated paint out of a kid's mouth! So I turned to two things that have proven pretty fun and, while messy, really fast to clean up!
First of all is the Crayola Window Crayons. I've used the markers on windows before, but haven't liked the feel of them or their performance. Plus the idea of handing Mav a marker of any kind is enough to send me into deep breathing exercises. So when I found these I figured I'd give 'em a shot! He LOVES them! They're so smooth - they just glide over the glass - he doesn't have a tricky time making marks like he sometimes does with regular crayons. And they have caps so, as long as I stay nearby, they don't make a mess everywhere. But even if they do, they're so fast and easy to clean up that I don't worry at all if coloring on the back door turns into coloring on each other! I still put a smock on him, though. No sense washing a shirt that doesn't need to be, right?
Creating art is exhausting work, so he decided to lay down and work for a while...
He discovered his smock (a bib from IKEA) had a pocket in the front. Guess what you can do with pockets?! Spend 20 minutes putting crayons into and taking crayons out of it!!
Guess what else you can do with a big pocket?!
The other thing he loves is sidewalk chalk. It's super washable and he does it in his favorite place: outside! We're both thrilled. He's learned that chalk will color on pretty much anything hard, though his favorite canvas is the cinderblock wall surrounding our backyard. Easy access, I guess.
Rocks work well, too.
I promise I don't have issues with him getting his shirt dirty. I just didn't ever put one on him that day...