Monday, June 22, 2009

a first

Last Friday Ryan decided to take both Alex and Benjamin with him to work. When it was time for lunch they decided to try sushi. Alex has been curious about sushi for a long time, so he was pretty excited and could hardly wait to try it. I've never had more than a California roll (which Ryan informs me is not really sushi), and I've never had a desire to try more than that.
Alex ended up liking the seaweed soup, but not the sushi so much, and Benjamin was the other way around.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Oregon Coast

We started off our summer vacation with a trip to the Oregon Coast to visit my side of the family. My oldest sister's family is moving out of the country, so this was our last opportunity for us to get together for a few years. We had considered not going because I was throwing up Saturday night, and because of some other complications, but we made it. My family isn't the type to jam pack every day with adventures. We're kind of the sit, read, and veg type. So when I told Ryan how disappointed I was that out of the three books I brought I only got halfway through one of them, he said he considered that a huge success! That means we actually did something!

Day one, Sunday: 15 hours in the car driving to Portland. Stay with John and Sadie and their kids.

Day two, Monday: John and Sadie make us a big breakfast, then we drive out to Silver Falls.

They were catching water droplets in their mouths:

Later we drive out to Lincoln City to the beach house we were staying at. Our boys finally get to meet cousins they have never met, and reunite with some they have met.

Day three: In the morning we head down the stairs (180 or so of them) to the beach. There were some good tide pools with more starfish than I've ever seen. The boys learn how to squirt sea anemones.

Back at the house, wrestling ensues:

Later we visit the Newport Aquarium.

Alex, with water above and below.

Trying to get a peek at some sharks:

After the aquarium we visit Flashback, a 50's style diner, and fill up on milkshakes, fries, and onion rings.

Day four: Tidepools and beach combing again in the morning. Dad makes a huge breakfast that leaves all of us worried that we won't have room for lunch at one of our favorite places on the coast: Tidal Rave. Luckily we all manage to eat lunch even after the dispappointing news that "Genoa Bread" is no longer on the menu. They still make it for us, but without salami. While at the restaurant some of us spot a whale out in the harbor.

We stop to look into the Devil's Punchbowl while the tide is in.

Day five: We head out to Otter Crest in the morning to visit the caves and explore the Devil's Punchbowl while the tide is out. We watch a few seals playing in the water, then head over to Mo's for the famous clam chowder. I had the Marionberry cobbler instead.

Later the kids and two dads all go out to see "Up".

Day six, Friday: The Haslams are the first to leave at 6 am, excited for another 15 hours in the car.

Other highlights: dancing to Cusco,

playing wii (it was the first time for our boys and they are hooked), hot tubbing, hide-and-seeking (Benjamin played it about 100 times this with his cousins), and all the gorgeous scenery we drove through. Everything was just so green and open and I kept thinking, where do all the people live?

And it wasn't as if we didn't have any down time. There was plenty of lounging around with laptops:

Mostly we enjoyed seeing family and we missed the ones who weren't there, but hope to see them soon. I for one wouldn't mind this trip becoming a tradition (all except for the long drive.)

My 30th

I had a birthday two weeks ago, and I am going against my inclination to not say anything about it. Ryan deserves some praise for how it turned out.

The morning started with two of the boys throwing up within about ten minutes of each other. (At first I blamed it on some old watermelon we had the night before, but now I think it was some kind of virus thing since I ended up catching it a couple of days later.) This happened while Ryan was making a special birthday breakfast for me. So most of the day was spent at home with the boys like this, barf bowls close at hand:

I didn't really have any big plans for my birthday, but since I was stuck at home I spent a lot of time thinking about where I wanted to go to dinner, and I got the kids all excited about going out to eat, provided they felt better.
When Ryan got home later he said, "Okay, let's go to dinner! I have a babysitter for the kids and our friend is coming with us." This is where I fell apart. I tried to explain (through my tears- this is embarassing to admit) how I had built it up for the kids all day and they were counting on coming with us, and how I didn't want to exclude this friend of ours, but I felt like this was more of a family occaision. Ryan looked a little stunned, and luckily I was able to think logically enough to realize he had put in quite a bit of effort to find a babysitter since it was the high school graduation that night and most babysitters weren't available. I told him not to change his plans, and I would try to pull myself together. When he told the kids they were just as excited to go to the babysitter's house as they would be to go to any restaurant.
I got ready but couldn't quite pull myself out of the mood I was in. I was pretty silent in the car and couldn't quite get the tears to stop. At one point Ryan said, "I think I should warn you that it's not just going to be our one friend. There will be a lot of people, but I don't know how you'll handle it so I want you to know now." So, he had planned a surprise. I still had some mixed emotions and was having a hard time letting go of what I thought I really wanted: just a simple family dinner. But now I felt even more guilty for almost ruining his plans and I knew I'd be okay once we got to the restaurant.
So we walked in and there was a table full of our friends. I didn't even have to fake surprise too much, since I really was glad to see them there. We had a fun dinner and Ryan had even made up a little "How well do you know Megan" quiz. He admitted that he did that to make amends for the Sunday before when I was Spotlighted in Primary. He had filled out my Spotlight form with a bunch of stupid answers like "Sister Haslam's favorite TV show is TMZ" and "Sister Haslam's favorite scripture story is Balaam and the talking ass." To add to my embarassment, they made me come up and give some "real" answers.
Anyway, it really turned out to be a fun surprise. For someone like me who doesn't like a lot of attention, I can even say I enjoyed myself. Ryan later said that once during dinner he looked around and thought how much he genuinely liked all the people who were there. So we are blessed to have good friends and I'm blessed to have a thoughtful husband. (Seriously so blessed, if you will.)
And we learned a lesson in communication. Ryan told me that in his head he kept thinking about how the dinner was a surprise so he couldn't say anything at all about it, when he probably should have told me he was planning "something". And I learned once again how convenient it is to blame my emotions on pregnancy hormones.

Monday, June 15, 2009

T-ball party

On June 5th Ryan and Benjamin's T-ball team the White Sox had their end-of-the-season party. The players each got a trophy and a baseball with their nickname on it. Benjamin's nickname was "The Intimidator" because he was always in the baseball ready position on the field.
I didn't bring my camera to Alex's team party, but it was a fun swimming party and he got a nice big trophy as well. Alex and Benjamin both showed a lot of improvement during their first season and Ryan managed to pull off coaching even with a crazy work schedule. He was a great coach too, very patient and encouraging to these little guys who were just learning how to play. It was a fun and loooong season and I'm glad it's over. I know this is just the beginning, though, since there is no end in sight to the number of our boys. And we've already signed up for soccer in the fall. Heaven help us.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I totally forgot to bring an octagon

We have several episodes of Sesame Street recorded, and on one there is a part where Jack Black is talking about octagons. The boys have watched this several times, and the other day I was getting Charlie dressed when he said, "Oh, bring Octagon!" (The best part is his delivery, which I can't convey very well in writing.) Luckily I recognized what he was saying and now it's becoming a habit whenever he's getting dressed to quote this little bit.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

goodness gracious . . .

Background: Way back when Ryan took piano lessons, one of the songs he learned was "Great Balls of Fire." He can still play it and does occasionally to the boys' delight. (We may or may not even have an old videotape of Ryan playing it at a piano recital while wearing a tux with tails. The recital took place in a chapel and the song was a surprise to his piano teacher.)

The other day we were driving in the car when Benjamin says:

Hey Mom, remember that song, "Hot Balls of Fire"?

It's been over a week and I'm still laughing about it.