We haven't had any trouble with mosquitos this summer, and my kids are outside all day every day, so I haven't purchased any mosquito repellant yet - there seemed nothing to repel! Until this morning, when Caroline woke up with 18 mosquito bites - eighteen! I covered them all with calamine lotion and she looked like a chicken pox kid, but before the morning was over she'd gotten at least 2 more bites, for a grand total of 20 bites in less than 24 hours. Patrick and Eli were relatively unscathed (about 4 bites each) but Eli got bit on the ear and his ear apparently didn't like THAT and it swelled up so big! The more he scratches the bigger it gets, so I gave him some Benadryl before his nap in the hopes that it'll go down... but FIRST (like any good mom who laughs when their kid gets hurt in a funny way) I took a picture.
He REALLY didn't want me to take a picture, but I though this provided a pretty good angle, too
Finally he sat up. It sticks out so far! And it's really red and rubbery. Reminds me of Will Smith's lip when he has an allergic reaction in "Hitch."
So we're out of milk in the house, but I ran a special errand on got some bug repellant.
Ethan turned 10 months on Monday! I was so excited, 10 months is when both boys started walking and Caroline walked at 11 months, so Ethan should be pretty dang close! That's exciting! But then I realized that although the prospect of walking is cool, spending the day with my 10-month old is mostly what I classify as "NOT AWESOME." Here's why:
-He crawls 100 miles an hour, which is fun to watch, but he mostly crawls toward me. He crawls to me to be picked up.
-If I pick him up, he bites me shoulder, which really hurts! Then he pulls my hair HARD, which really REALLY hurts! So I tap his head and say "no" for biting, and smack his hand and say "no" for hair-pulling, then put him back down.
-As soon as I put him down he crawls toward me at 100 miles an hour. Since I won't pick up a kid just so they can abuse me, I ignore him down there on the floor. He then pulls himself up on my legs and bites the back of my thighs. What the CRAP?!
-To avoid bitten thighs I use evasive maneuvers - as soon as he's close to me, I immediately step over him and walk the other direction and find something to do in that quadrant. He follows at 100 mph. Evading is pretty easy to do, but Ethan gets tired of it quickly.
-When he gets tired of something, he SCREAMS. Not crying, yelling, or fussing, he has an ear-piercing scream that grates the nerves and destroys the soul. I HATE IT.
-Instead of picking up Ethan only to get mauled, or sidestepping over him so he can't chew on my leg flesh, I often try confinement to his high chair. Perfect! He needs to eat and I need to stop getting eaten. He's been eating solids for nearly half his life so he thinks he's a Big Baby and can use the spoon himself, so I am only able to spoon-feed him about 2 bites before he gets feisty and grabs the spoon, or turns his head, or clamps his mouth and refuses more, or WORSE - opens his mouth, takes a big bites, and blows a raspberry right back at me.
-Forget spoon feeding, let's try small solid chunks he can manipulate himself. Cheerios, graham crackers, fruit chunks, green beans or corn kernels... All of it ends up on the floor. He's a food thrower and (you guessed it) I HATE IT.
-No food, no problem, at least the high chair contains him so he can't follow me and drive me nuts. But then he starts in on the SCREAMING. Back down.
-He can't be up, he can't be down, he can't be fed, but he can't be left in his high chair, and now I've spent most of the morning wearing him out with evasive maneuvers, so it's probably naptime. He's only 10 months so even though he didn't eat it's still possible for him to survive solely on formula (I stopped nursing at 8 months - non-stop biting did not only apply to me shoulder and my legs) so I make him a nice warm bottle. Won't take it cold, of course, that would be too simple. So Ethan, the bottle, and I sit down for a nice snuggle so he's drink the whole thing and it's like wrestling a squid. Sure, he's drinking most of it, but a good portion is getting drooled back onto me, he arches his back so he can look at the world upside-down, he pushes off my legs so I have to engage my biceps into a wrestling hold so he doesn't completely fall out of my arms onto his upside-down head... it is anything BUT relaxing.
-You don't want any snuggles, you don't get any snuggles! So I drop off Ethan into his crib with what's left of his bottle and suddenly he's SO SAD that I'm not holding and snuggling him! Well, FOOL, you lost your chance.
-Take a nap, wake up, and DO IT ALL AGAIN.
I'm going out on a limb to declare that 10 months old is NOT on the list of my favorite things.
Sometimes a big event is SO BIG... you just don't even talk about it. Casually skip the event on the blog in favor of videos of your children riding their bikes in pajamas in the middle of the afternoon. Inane stuff, THAT'S what I like to post about.
So I skipped my family reunion in Estes Park. NOT because it wasn't awesome, NOT because it wasn't worth mentioning, and NOT because I don't have any pictures of it (I do!) but because there was so much awesomeness I didn't want to sit down and write a whole blog about it.
Our family reunions are now divided semi-annually into "Big Reunions" with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and all the cousins' kids; and "Family Reunions" where I AM the aunt, Joe IS the uncle, and my kids ARE the cousins. The Big Reunions are still fun and awesome, but it's nice to pass the torch on to the next generation and enjoy "small" reunions (there were still 23 people), like our Family Reunion this year with my siblings.
In lieu of a long, drawn-out post about it, I'll hit the highlights! For me to look back on, mostly, but you are more than welcome to sneak a peek into my post. Then again, sneaking after you've been given permission is no fun, so DON'T LOOK! You are FORBIDDEN to read this post. It is PERSONAL and you will get in BIG TROUBLE if you read any further!!
Ok, so first we actually reunited in Denver. We enjoyed a lunchtime picnic, the Museum of Nature and Science, then DIDN'T enjoy waiting for our hotel room to get cleaned while our kids desperately needed naps and/or bedtime - such First World Problems, I know! But seriously, check-in was 2:00 but our room wasn't done until 6:00. Luckily the hotel acknowledged the First World problem and comp-ed the room. Joe stayed at the hotel for out little guys (Caro & Ethan) to sleep and the boys & I went with the rest of the troupe to dinner @ my dad's cousin's home in Highlands Ranch. We were all beat by the time we got back, so it was bedtime and effectively the end of our time in Denver, since the next morning we left.
Before hitting Estes Park we hit Sam's Club - 23 people carting around 23 people's-worth of stuff around was pretty adventuresome! But all the kids were great shoppers (and all the adults were quick shoppers), so we were back on our way to the REAL Reunion unscathed (except for my dad's wallet). In Estes Park we stayed where we stayed 2 years ago at a Big Reunion: Aspen Brook Rental Homes. Beautiful homes, set out of town and next to a creek, where we spent the next 4 days LIVING IT UP! We enjoyed activities such as:
-Roasting hot dogs and s'mores on the fire pit
-Taking family pictures in the picturesque location
-An evening of family talents, referred to as the "First Annual Family Follies," which included memorable performances of my parents dancing, Karl & Erica "working out," dad & Eric reciting the classic "Cremation of Sam McGee," and Amelia singing the Little Mermaid with her eyes covered
-Eating delicious food
-Karaoke! Need I say more? (or sing more)
-Daily excursions to the playground at the rental homes
-Horseshoes at the playground
-Fishing at Trout Haven pond - you pay for the fish, but you're really paying for the experience
-Shopping in downtown, made heavenly by some Salted Caramel ice cream
-Relaxing at the "cabins," followed by eating more delicious food
-Renting pontoons and motoring around the marina, then getting screamed at by the marina staff girl. Apparently the "fun police" do not approve of Navy SEALs executing risky maneuvers, such as pulling two pontoons up alongside one another at 0 mph.
-Visiting the Alluvial Fan, which is a gorgeous waterfall with none of the "hiking" or "sweating" involved with seeing so many waterfalls.
-Eating more delicious food
-Playing excellent games with the whole family: Guesstimation and Cineplexity - I highly recommend them both for get-togethers of friends or families! They can be played with a wide age and IQ range. I'm a genius, as you now all know, but somehow other people still managed to win sometimes. Sometimes.
So that was Estes. We topped the whole thing off with even more relaxing, talking, and catching up before we were forced to leave and pack up any uneaten delicious food (a surprising amount!) to take home with us. LUCKILY the reunion wasn't quite over! My parents and Karl & Erica came to Pueblo for a few days, which we spent WILDLY partying - walking the Riverwalk, getting sloppers, going out to eat at a Mexican dive, having blizzards for dinner, more games (sadly, no more Karaoke), and SURPRIZING our family by walking across the street to the home Kari and Jonathan are buying! Closing on July 31st, I'm sure Kari will fill in all the details on her own blog one of these days (it's just so big, I'm sure she doesn't want to tackle that post), but it is literally the house across the street. We are SO EXCITED but they kept it a secret so my parents (and Karl & Erica) would be surprised in person. So that was Pueblo.
Patrick is at it again, and made a book during some spare time. This time it's "theiliisardswirdritinbipatrickjacobs"
Add spaces, like so:
"thei liisards wird ritin bi Patrick Jacobs"
Adjust phonetically, and you figure out the book is titled
"The Lizard's World, Written by Patrick Jacobs"
Unfortunately he did the first page in pencil so it's really hard to see in the picture, but the paper is 11x14 so it's too large for me to scan. Then, of course, blogger is turning the picture sideways even though I didn't take it that way, so the poor cover is having all KINDS of trouble. I guess you'll just have to take my word for the first page.
adjusted: liisirs or similar tioo snaks
translation: Lizards are similar to snakes
adjusted: sim liisirds kian evin kil snaks
translation: Some lizards can even kill snakes
adjusted: thei kimiodo liagon is win iv the miost firsist liisds as soon as the lsrd bits t nix da thn it dis
translation (you'll need it!): The Komodo dragon is one of the most fiercest lizards. As soon as the lizard bites the next day then it dies.
adjusted: Diniswrs or big lisrs
translations: Dinosaurs are big lizards
Unfortunately, this isn't true.
adjusted: htei skiid iv lisrd can sispris its tibs awt too gid
translation: This kind of lizard can spread its ribs out to glide
This was on an episode of "Wild Kratts," from PBS Kids, that the boys watched. They LOVE this show.
adjusted: krokadils ort lisds their wit yoo kal anfibewins
translation: Crocodiles aren't lizards, they're what you call amphibians
translation: Lizards began
He decided that was all he wanted to write about lizards, though, so he abandoned this page and called it "THE END."
Kari was over with her kids today but took a quick break to go grocery shopping. While she was gone we busted out bikes, but then I had too many kids, not enough bikes... so what about the bike trailer? I needed to stay with the babies (Kari's and mine) in the yard, and I had the GENIUS idea to make it a trailer on the tricycle. I loved it, the kids in the trailer loved it, and each of the kids thrilled to be the hero biking the other kids around.
Gotta love the outfit - inside-out & backwards pajama pants, Tony Hawk t-shirt, neon yellow goggles. Eli has his own sense of style.
Patrick also wore pajamas. We were just staying home playing, he was usually off by himself, so by the time I realized it was really too late to make him get dressed. Not that I need to justify myself to you, I hope if you're reading my blog you think, "yep, that's about right."