Sunday, May 24, 2015


James's favorite getup before the weather started warming up. A hat, his blue vest, and a baseball glove.  One day he even managed to sqwuak-talk Max into giving him a baseball bat from the garage right before we all got into the car, and we were driving down the road and almost got bonked on our heads by his excitement.   So the bat went into the back of the car and James wailed for a minute.

JB calls James "sandlot" sometimes because of his recent obsession with baseball. He takes Ben's glove everywhere, even after Ben swears he put it in a safe place, making us all scramble sometimes before Ben's baseball games to find the glove. He throws overhand with his left hand, so if that continues I predict a major league contract in his future.

Recently, a friend came over and told about someone we both know who is pregnant and found out she is having a boy. She has a girl, and wanted another I guess, because she lamented, "I have nothing to look forward to."  Nothing to look forward to?!  I think she meant "I don't know what to do with a boy," but she said it to my friend, who has two boys, who said it to me, a mom of four boys.

While we were talking about it in the front yard, I was playing catch with Ben, Max was talking to me about Star Wars, Andrew was pretending to be a dragon, and James was coming up for a cuddle before wanting to be part of the catching game.  Boys are the best. They are fun and sweet and imaginative and just....perfect. I think that mom will realize it soon.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

He's so Jamesy, you already know

(The title is a version of "I'm so fancy" that we sing to sweet baby James)

James loves to be sung to and cuddled and read to. He is speaking so much more -- sentences even, like "I want that!" "I want it!" and "Here it is!"  He will repeat something adamantly that he's excited about (FLUFFY!  BISCUIT! CHOO CHOO! (favorite book characters)). He can spot basketball hoops anywhere in people's driveways if we are going somewhere in the car.  "BASKETBALL!"

Sweet baby James is becoming a bit of a temper-tantrum-throwing toddler. He's 23 months, and wants things NOW -- like his brothers' toys, or milk warmed up (STILL!) just so, or a baseball bat or glove or hat that's up high. He can run super fast away from me, then go all wailing and limp and floppy when you try to pick him up.

Look how peaceful he is sleeping. He still falls asleep on his back, but will often turn to his right side.

That was from the last night of our California trip, when he gave in and thought the playpen would be fine, and slept solidly for hours and hours.

Last week he climbed out his crib three days in a row. He had been screaming in protest at being left there for nap time and bed time. It was the day JB left on his trip, and then the next two days following. I popped him back in, and he hasn't done it again.  So I really really hope he forgot about climbing, and can stay sleeping in a crib for a long while yet.  Meanwhile I am looking at crib tents.

Last Sunday morning, I was getting ready for church and had left my makeup out while I attempted some sort of braidy updo I had seen on Pinterest or Instagram. I took it out in frustration, then looked down to see that James had given himself some swipes of mascara.  So I took a selfie.

He also had JB's headlamp flashlight around his neck. Stinker!

The older boys are very patient with him. 9-year-old Max is still his favorite when we leave the boys with a babysitter. 7-year-old Ben calls him "Buddy!" and will hug/tickle him when he comes home from school.  But 4-year-old Andrew and James scuffle more over toys now. And Andrew has been sent to timeout for biting James during these scuffles. But James is starting to hit, so, that's a fun new thing to handle.

I think James's times of sqwuaky-screaming for attention could be because of birth order. Hundreds of years ago if a 4th child didn't speak up, their needs weren't met, right?  But the fourth child in my family and the fourth in JB's family are the nicest, most mild-mannered, peacemaking adults, so maybe this is just a phase.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Coyote Gulch

Last weekend JB took a 3 day, 3 night camping trip with some good guy friends to Coyote Gulch, in the Escalante area of Southern Utah.

He left Wednesday night, and Thursday morning the meteorologist in my newsroom had talked about flash flood warnings for that area. Gulp.  Then another wife showed me a picture her husband sent of funnel clouds nearby them. Double gulp.  But when JB got a cell signal and called, he said they were really lucky that the major storms all missed them.

One of their group is a professional photographer, so feast your eyes on the beauty:


JB's picture of the storm clouds that missed them:

Some more images:


This is before they prepared to drop down into the gulch through the "Crack in the Wall". Those words gave me pause but JB says it wasn't as scary as this perspective looks.  They backpacked in and camped there one night.


See that narrow crack in the image below.  It's about  18 inches wide.  You have to kind of shimmy sideways to get through it.  In all about 700 feet elevation difference from the rim to the canyon floor.

This is my main squeeze, being squeezed.

Saturday's hike JB says was much more doable for kids (and high-maintenance Marys). It was flatter, and ended with a beautiful waterfall.


I am always amazed at the beauty and diversity of my own state, and think I ought to get out more and show my boys these amazing things.  

The boys and I stayed with Nona and Papa Wednesday and Thursday night so they could help the boys the next morning, because I leave so early to be in the newsroom at 4 AM. Then JB was back Saturday night to lots of hugs.