Sunday, August 18, 2013

Airport Fun

Caleb and I took a quick trip home to New Mexico at the beginning of August.  I went so that i could attend my 20 year high school reunion, Caleb came along because my mother would have killed me if I had come to visit and not brought him with me.  We flew in and out of the El Paso airport and with plenty of time to kill before the flight I found a corner that was open and had a little fence so Caleb could get down on the floor but not get into the flow of traffic.  I have noticed that he pretty much charms everyone around him so it was only a matter of time before he had a host of admiring fans.  One of the toys Grandma Larsen had given him while we were home was a little stuffed soccer ball, which he was happily flipping out of his hands and scooting after.  Well on one of these flips the ball bounced into the the contraption intended to measure the size of carryon bags.  This is open on both sides so Caleb calmly followed the ball right on in.  He then decided this was the perfect place for him to play.  The co-pilot who was waiting, along with the rest of us, for the plane to arrive asked him he could take a picture.  Which reminded me that I should probably get a picture of the cutest carryon to ever fly Southwest Airlines.

Monday, August 12, 2013

20 Years? Really?! Are you sure?

I can't believe it has been 20 years since I graduated from high school.  I certainly don't feel like have a significantly better handle on life.  There are days that I am sure someone is going to realize that I have just been faking everyone out and that I am not really an adult.  There are also days that I wish I could voluntarily turn in my grown up card and go back to building blanket forts and reading books all summer long.  It was a fun weekend, flew in late on Thursday night,  my niece Megan and her husband were kind enough to pick me up from the airport.  Everything went smoothly except for the fact that while I did not change planes in Vegas evidently the car seat did.  It decided it needed a trip to Phoenix,  but Southwest is prepared for things like that and had a loaner car seat we used to get Caleb safely to my parents house.  Half the fun of the trip was getting to see family.  Megan hosted a dinner at her house and the next morning everyone who could met up at IHOP for breakfast.  Caleb really enjoyed his blueberry pancake and I think he actually ate most of it.

 Later that afternoon some of us from our graduating class met at a local park for lunch and a little family time.  As usual Caleb was busy charming anyone who would hold still long enough to get smiled at.  Greg Groves father of 2 beautiful girls was having fun playing with a little boy, and Caleb loved the attention.  Greg's girls also had fun playing fetch with Caleb, he would drop things and they would retrieve them. He had them well trained.

 I didn't pull my camera out as often as I probably should have but I was having so much fun chatting with people that I would forget until I got home that I hadn't really taken many pictures. Oh well.

 Liz made a beautiful cake for the dinner on Saturday night, the best part is that it tasted good as well.
Great group of friends that it was fun to get to see again.  Sometimes I wish I lived closer to home, until I go home during August and realize I like the cooler temperatures in Northern Utah.  It was a fun weekend and I am so glad that I was able to go home.  Glad that Christi was able to come to visit as well.  It is really true of good friends, you can spend years apart and pick up like it was yesterday.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

1 Whole Year!

I try to keep my blog updated but it seems like there is always something more fun to do, like play with my adorable baby boy.  On that note let the cuteness begin.  We decided to incorporate our summer Bbq with Caleb's first birthday.  We invited friends and family over to enjoy hamburgers, hotdogs, watermelon, and birthday cake.  Caleb had a great time watching all the kids running around he thought they were great entertainment.  After having some dinner, which in Caleb's case meant munching on pieces of hotdog and sniping chips off everyone else's plates we brought out the cake with the #1 candle light.  Daddy helped blow it out.


We then stripped Caleb to his diaper and let him have at it.  To start with he just picked at the frosting because it broke off in nice little bite sized pieces.

Finally he got to the soft stuff and the demolition commenced.

It is never pretty when a muppet gets eaten.

Okay mom, I think I have had enough
What can I say he is cute and knows it.

Even made an attempt to use a fork
Thank you to my friend April Olsen for making such a wonderful cute cake.  I had kids fighting over who got the Big Bird or Cookie Monster Face.  There was a consensus that Sesame Street trying to turn Cookie Monster into a veggie monster is just plain silly.

I do have to say that I can not believe this little man has only been a part of the family for a year.  It feels like he has always been here.  There is nothing in the world quite like his baby giggles, I still maintain the world would be a much better place if everyone could listen to a baby laugh at least once a day.  He is so much fun and is growing and changing so fast I almost can't believe it.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same

A little over a year ago Caleb joined our family, still can't believe it has been that long. I was fortunate enough to have my mother and father come and visit for a week to provide some support as we adjusted to having a new member of the family.  During those first few weeks the 4am "I am hungry" wake up call was the hardest for me.  I could get up and feed him but my brain would not function well enough for me to have any ability to then get him back to sleep.  Fortunately my mother is a light sleeper who also gets up early and she would hear me crying out of exhaustion because my sweet boy wouldn't sleep and I was in no condition to process what my options were.  She would get up take him from me and shoo me back to bed.  Every time this happened I would wake up a few hours later walk out to the family room and find my mom and Caleb asleep on the couch.  Well a few weeks ago my parents came to visit for a weekend and of course mom wanted to take care of Caleb as much as possible.  The circumstances are evading me now but I came home at one point to find mom and Caleb asleep on the couch.  I think it is their thing.  As I am writing this it is making me wish I lived closer to my parents so that Caleb could see his Grandma and Grandpa Larsen more often. Oh well.  Here they are Grandma and Caleb couch sleeping.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Cute Baby to Brighten your Easter Morning

First order of business.  Caleb is officially 8 months old. He is also the best entertainment in the world.  He is currently playing in his excersaucer next to the desk while I type, providing vociferous commentary on what I write.  In case you were wondering if he is still adorable below is photographic evidence.  (Thank you to our next door neighbor Susan for letting us use her photo studio to take some pictures).

 I found a lady through facebook who makes these cute "Easter buckets" and I figured that I might as well get ahead of the curve and get one now.  Evidently I made a good choice because Caleb loved playing with it while we took pictures.
 Not only did he wear the hat he didn't care when we turned it around backwards and put it back on when it fell off.

 This is Caleb's Easter outfit.  Thank you to Children's Place for having the cute little hat and polo shirt. Silly me thought that because there were Easter dresses all over creation that I would be able to find something cute for my little boy.  Not so.  Evidently little boys aren't expected to need to dress up.  I finally found cute little shirt, vest, tie combos on but of course I had waited too long and they wouldn't get here in time.
 So after a few rushed lunch hour shopping trips, a plea for suggestions on facebook, and little frustration I managed to put together this cute ensemble.  Of course it never hurts to have a cute baby to dress, that smile makes anything look good.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter, Passover, First Day of Spring, or whatever you choose to celebrate.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Catching up on Christmas

For the first time in 3 years we were able to go home to my parents house for Christmas.  It was fun to get to see family and spend some time with my parents.  Mom and Dad had a great time giggling with Caleb.  We of course loved watching him get fussed over and spoiled.

My parents have a cabin on 10 acres of land in the Lincoln National Forest and that is where we have always gotten our Christmas trees from.  Needless to say our trees have never looked like those at the tree lot.  When I was little mom decided that she wanted to be able to have Blue Spruce Christmas trees like she had when she was growing up.  Well Blue Spruce don't grow native in Southern New Mexico, so she got saplings from the Forest Service and we planted them all over the mountain.  This of course means that for the next few summers we spent lots of time hauling buckets and hoses all over the mountain.  After about 10 years mom was finally able to harvest her first blue spruce Christmas Tree.  Mom has always been a fanatic about Christmas. Multiple Christmas trees, nativities on every flat surface, and lights and garland galore.  This year mom's Christmas tree was a long needle pine, with flocking and white lights on it.  She had placed cardinal ornaments all over it.  It turned out really pretty and artistic.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Think before you Tweet.

This isn’t going to be your typical update on my adorable little boy, so if that is what you are looking for feel free to skip this post.

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

Most days I just revel in the fun of being a mom to an adorable baby, eating up his smiles, giggles, and snuggles.  Every once in a while, though, a situation arises that makes me realize what a huge responsibility my husband and I have taken on by bringing this little boy into the world.  It will be our responsibility to teach Caleb literally everything he needs to know to interact successfully with the world, from tying his shoes, to proper hygiene, to polite table manners.  Fortunately for him and us he will learn a little bit at time and we will learn how to teach him a little bit at a time.

I would be lying if I said this world doesn’t scare me sometimes and there are issues and situations my little guy will face that weren’t a big a problem when I was a kid. 

One that has been rattling around my brain for the past week or so is bullying, and not the “Your ugly and your mother dresses you funny” kind of bullying.  Trust me I don’t have on a pair of rose-colored glasses when it comes to bullying and maintain that it never happened to me.  I am sure I was mean to other children when I was young, and I can remember being called names and crying at home from time to time.  There is a difference between then and now, when I was young I could run home, stay inside at recess, or hang around the teacher on the playground and thereby get away from the mean kids.  It isn’t that easy in this increasingly digital age for children and adults to get away from the words of those who seek to tear them down.

I had a reaction to an acquaintances Facebook post this last week that surprised me.  This person had made a comment about a recent Esquire interview and photo spread done by Megan Fox.  In the article Megan Fox made the following comment concerning fame and bullying,

"I don't think people understand. They all think we should shut up and stop complaining because you live in a big house or you drive a Bentley. So your life must be so great. What people don't realize is that fame, whatever your worst experience in high school, when you were being bullied by those ten kids in high school, fame is that, but on a global scale, where you're being bullied by millions of people constantly." 

It wasn’t the quote that got to me it was the extremely derogatory comments by this individual and their friends, concerning the type of person Ms. Fox must be.  This seemed to me to essentially underscore the validity of her words. Now I don’t know much about Megan Fox, and I am not trying to defend her, her words or her actions.  But the situation gave me pause. When I made the following comment on this Facebook thread, I was essentially told she is in the public eye therefore she is fair game.

"Regardless of what you may think of her as a person or actress. Regardless of how silly her statements about the perils of being a sex symbol seem when paired with the photos in the article. Your comments just validated her point on bullying. How would you feel if your sister or daughter were the target of such comments by someone who didn't know her personally? Just because it is the Internet and they are a celebrity doesn't excuse the comments. No matter how vapid or hypocritical the target may come across."

In this increasingly interconnected yet disconnected world this attitude of “Those who are in the public eye, can’t complain about what others say about them” really bothered and scared me.  We try to convince ourselves that what we say on Facebook, Twitter, etc. doesn’t matter. Yet when some kids back east post on Facebook that if they can get 1 million likes their parents will let them get a puppy and they accomplish that in less than a week, that undercuts the assumption that the things we say don’t and can’t get back to those we say them about. 

I am not writing this to say be nice to the poor picked on celebrities, I am writing this to say that you should never post, text, or tweet something you wouldn’t be willing to say to that person face to face.  So if it is okay to take personal shots at those who are famous where do we draw the line, if someone is only famous within your community, or within your school, or your church, is it still all right to be mean, after all they are a public figure shouldn’t they expect that.

“Hate people on an individual basis only - you must actually get to know someone at least slightly before you can properly hate him or her.”

The endpoint of this whole thought process is how am I going to teach my son to be nice when meanness, snarkiness, and bullying are used for entertainment in media.  Read any best and worst dressed article and the comments are truly cutting, written to be funny but definitely not intended to build up the subject of those comments.  Numerous movies use bullying to forward the plot, either to show how far the main character has come or to prove that those who are mean usually get their just desserts.  I hate those parts of movies and frequently fast forward through those sections.  It is an older movie but in Never Been Kissed they show a flashback in which the character Drew Barrymore plays is being humiliated in high school.  I know it is fiction, but it hurts me so I fast forward through it.  But for people who are being bullied, made fun of, or humiliated they don’t have that privilege of fast forwarding through that period of their lives, and in this digital age it can be everywhere.

Just think about your words are they intended to build up or tear down, because tearing someone down will never build you up.

Before you speak (post, text, tweet), Think!
T – is it True?
H – is it Helpful?
I – is it Inspiring?
N – is it Necessary?
K – is it Kind?

I am not saying that I am perfect in this regard, I am just trying each day to be a little better and maybe bring a little light and insight to my part of the world.