Friday, February 18, 2011


Charlie recently finished a little tumbling class. I've signed each one of the boys up for this so far when they are three. It's kind of their first experience being in a class and following directions, and it's always interesting to see how they do. Charlie did pretty well listening to the teacher, but he had to warm up to some of his classmates. (One day he told me he didn't like one of them because she had dark skin. Great.) He seemed to be particularly good at bouncing and hopping, and he finally mastered his somersault. When he got his medal on the final day, he gave me the biggest smile I've ever seen from him.

Being a tiger.

Some things he's said/done in the last couple months:

Charlie recently graduated from Nursery into Primary. He had to say goodbye to Sister "Owl" and Sister "Frisbee" (in our last ward it was Sister "Ellie" and Sister "Aber"), and again I was curious to see how he'd do. So far so good. He has had a couple of Sundays when he didn't want to go to his class, but he can usually be persuaded. I don't think he pays much attention to the songs or lessons, but he hasn't been disruptive. The first week in January he was visiting a different ward and came home with a big sign around his neck that said, "Welcome to Primary, Boston!" Boston must have been absent that day.

He went through a phase when his favorite thing to say was, "Mom, it's not a big deal."

He makes up little songs all the time, sometimes with nonsense words and sometimes with real words like "What the heck is going on" or this one to the tune of Old McDonald- "Limpett is a cabaret, He is forty-five".

Once I heard him exclaim from the bathroom, "This is so serious!"

choo-choo-choose me

We had our traditional Valentine's dinner of homemade lasagna. Actually I'm pretty sure I haven't always made it from scratch. Sometimes we do the frozen kind. But this year I served it in courses and we made the whole thing kind of a learning experience about what it's like to dine in a fancy restaurant. The hardest thing for the boys was waiting in between courses. And we definitely need to work on suppressing burps and other bodily noises at the table. (Even Wesley will fake burp and laugh at himself.) They did a good job of chewing with their mouths closed, though, and of keeping their voices down a bit more than usual. It turned out to be a nice evening. Alex even remembered why we have lasagna every year.

this guy

I haven't said anything about Mr. Wesley for a while, so I guess it's about time.
Within a day or two after returning home from Christmas in Idaho, he finally mastered going down the stairs on his own (intentionally).
His vocabulary is growing, too. He has been our latest talker, and was stuck on four or five words for months. (Uh-oh, dada, nana (banana), mo! (more), whoa).
Some of his newer words are juice, shoes, cheese, car, bubble, diaper, and noodle. He makes a "ssssss" sound for a snake and for all other animals he makes his horse snort noise. He can also sense when we're getting ready to go somewhere and will head toward the garage door saying, "Deh-do!" (meaning, "let's go!"). He can understand a lot more than he can say; he can point to his belly when asked, for example, and if anyone mentions the word "bath" he'll head upstairs to the bathroom.
He is a pro at going down the slide at the park by himself, and loves playing outside in general. He loves trying on shoes and will go through our closets putting on different pairs and marching around the house. He likes to hum to himself and the two songs we hear him humming the most sound remarkably like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Old McDonald Had a Farm. He's been doing this for months, so we weren't sure at first if his songs were intentional. Maybe he just plagiarized them.
He has his favorite books now- one being Blue Hat Green Hat. He can "read" that one ("Duh-duh, duh-duh, duh-duh, Ooooo!").
He can be quite charming when he's in a good mood, but still wakes up once a night most of the time. He's very attached to a pacifier now (he didn't take one until he was close to 1), but we try to only let him have it for naps and bed. He's teething- getting some back molars on the bottom, so we've been letting him have it more often. We'll crack down soon. It does come in handy for keeping him quiet at church, too.
Other than that he's the typical toddler- getting into anything and everything. He still likes toilets, and yesterday he pulled my purse down from the table and managed to eat half a pack of gum before I caught him. He kept cocking his head to the side and saying, "Mmmmmmm!".


Alex and Ryan got to go on a special field trip to Edwards Air Force Base. I don't know a lot of details since I didn't go, but they both enjoyed it and Alex even brought back some surprises from the gift shop for his brothers.
He didn't get to see one in person, but he learned about the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber and was pretty impressed.


The wallpaper has been gone for a while now but last month we (meaning Ryan) painted the entryway. It's a neutral yellow, and we like it.

Nine times

Alex turned 9 last month. We just celebrated as a family, but he planned the whole thing. He wanted a Harry Potter cake (he recently finished book 5), and he made up a bunch of Harry Potter games to play. He even mapped out a Quidditch game for the backyard, brooms and all. I think we'd need about 20 people to actually make it work, but we faked it. He also wanted to go to Five Guys for lunch. We happily obliged. Later we took advantage of the nice weather and my new bike and went for a family bike ride. We've done this a couple of times now, and each time I'm impressed at the boys' endurance, and at Wesley's ability to fall asleep in an uncomfortable seat while wearing a big helmet.
As for the spoils, Alex got a microscope, a crystal growing kit, a plush version of an amoeba, and a Harry Potter game for his DS.

a milestone

Benjamin lost his first tooth in January. Fittingly, it came out while he was eating an apple (his favorite food). And the tooth fairy even remembered to come.

Another note about Ben- recently he had an epiphany while we were driving somewhere. He said,
"Scooby Doo is a lot like the Wizard of Oz."
I hadn't thought of that before, but he's right.

cali weather

Within a few weeks of having our historic snowfall, this was blooming in our front yard:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

snow in Cali

A couple of days after we got back from Idaho it snowed here in Santa Clarita. It was Sunday January 2nd, and I was home with a sick Wesley while the other boys were in Moorpark at William's baby blessing. It started in late afternoon, and by the time the boys got home it was getting dark. That didn't stop them from getting their snow clothes on, doing a little sledding on the driveway and throwing a snowball or two.

Christmas 2010

It's been a while, so we'll see how much I can accurately remember here. This year we took Christmas to Idaho to visit the Baer side of the family. We left during the rain (it had been raining for a week straight here in California) and our wipers never stopped during the 14 hour drive. I was worried that we wouldn't have room for all our stuff. To put my mind at ease Ryan went through quite an ordeal to get one of those car-top storage containers. Well it turns out we didn't even need it. (He returned it later with no problems.)
It's always good to see my family and enjoy the slower paced feel of Idaho. We can always count on lots of food (I'm never hungry during our stays there), unique Thai gifts from Shannon, being introduced to fun games by Jeremy's family, music and conversation from the Bachelors, some kind of unplanned complication or surprise from Heather (car dying, pregnancy announcement), and running into lots of people who know Dad around town. Our kids were sick off and on so we didn't venture out too much and we didn't get to sledding. There wasn't even much snow until the day we left. We got to see Amy (Ryan's sister) and her husband even took us on a tour of the U.S. Marshals facilities in Pocatello.
When it was time to go we packed everything up, saran-wrapped my Christmas present (a cute beach cruiser bike from Ryan), put it on the bike rack, and headed out into the blizzard. On the drive home we encountered snow, rain, wind, and sand. The sand beat up our car a bit, and we now have a cracked windshield. But the bike survived!
We in St. George and even met up with a friend of mine from my preschool days who I hadn't seen for probably 25 years. We had just found each other on facebook. It was a lot of fun to see Chanda and meet her family. Ryan approved too, and said it was too bad we lived so far away since they seem like they'd be fun to hang out with. I'm kicking myself for not getting a picture, but it was definitely a highlight of the trip.

11 years down

Ryan and I usually try to do something out of the ordinary on our anniversary (which was way back in December). This year we went to see Brian Regan since he is the most beloved comedian of Mormons everywhere. It is hard to find the clean ones, you know. In fact, while we were there we were people watching in the audience trying to point out all the Mormons. Anyway, he didn't disappoint. We highly recommend going to see him, whether you happen to be Mormon or not.


The boys ended another season of soccer in December. Alex moved up an age division which meant this was his first time on a "competitive" team with goalies. He got to play goalie quite a few times and enjoyed it. Ryan was his team's (The Panthers) coach. They had kind of a rough season, but they muscled through it.
Ben also moved up to an older division and it was fun to see him become a lot more aggressive on the field. He did really well and ended up earning the Sportsmanship Award for his team (the Blue Lightning Bolts).