Friday, September 26, 2008


Two days ago, Eric and I optimistically (read: naively) bought 500 square feet of sod, hoping that our purchase would pressure a prompt project deadline. Oh boy. I had never even handled a wheelbarrow before (they look so easy to maneuver on video!), and my sod-laying education consisted of a single (yet very encouraging) eHow clip. There's no better instructor than actually doing a home project, however, and now the grass is in and ready for some soccer! 

We took this picture halfway through the project. A true "before" picture would show all the dirt areas covered in foot-high weeds. 
Here I am with my work crew. Jacob's job was to dig up weeds, and Zachary watered the new sod.
Tonight, Eric and the boys enjoy the new turf!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Last night Eric and I went with his parents to see CATS at Capitol Theatre, and I've been swept up in a Jellicle Ball ever since. Fabulous! It was truly a "Moment of Happiness" that we won't soon forget! 

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wheeler Farm with the Alldredge cousins

Yesterday we enjoyed a trip to Wheeler Farm, a working farm right here in Salt Lake County. We fed the geese and ducks, rode a tractor-pulled wagon, saw a cowgirl clean horse hooves, and made barnyard noises at the animals. 
Zachary, Spencer, Andrew, and Jacob fed dozens of (hungry!) geese and ducks.
Like the rest of the boys, Michael was most interested in two things: dirt and tractors.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Why my children didn't eat dinner until 8 p.m.

After coming home from a fun day of soccer practice, swim lessons, and the park, my kids were ready for dinner. I took Jacob and Michael in first and put a pot of water on the stove to boil. Then I went out to get Zachary. Zachary was crying, and he was pointing to his mouth. He looked like he was going to vomit, so I ran him inside. 

He did vomit. The vomit was white. White, bubbly, sweet-smelling foam. I gave him a drink of water while I went out to the van. There, tragically overturned underneath the center console, was an empty 40 oz. Super Size bottle of Mr. Bubble (completely full 90 seconds prior). Zachary ingested approximately 2 oz, which converted to one gallon of bubble-vomit; the driver's seat was completely saturated with the remaining 38 oz. So dinner was postponed for two hours: one hour to repeatedly rinse and shop-vacuum the seat, and one hour to clean up three muddy boys who had gotten into mischief while I was shop-vacuuming.

Now I've heard that last month Mr. Bubble filed for bankruptcy. This is sad news for all of us, especially for those of us who have enjoyed "Big Bubblin' Fun" throughout our childhoods. But to be honest, there are some serious problems with the packaging. The advertising on the back of the bottle asserts that the product "Makes Getting Clean Almost As Much Fun As Getting Dirty!" Yesterday the product made us both dirty and clean, and neither was fun. In addition, I see no directions on the packaging that indicate how to remove the product from automobile upholstery. Finally, why in the world is there no child-protective cap?

P.S. I wish that I could include pictures. In an unrelated but equally tragic event, our camera was recently submerged in the fish tank.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Virtuoso Michael

Every child needs a video of himself playing the piano as a baby so that if he becomes really great he can see where it all began.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Temple Square

Yesterday we went downtown to see the children's exhibit at the Museum of Church History and Art, and we also stopped by Temple Square. The exhibit includes over a dozen hands-on, gospel-related activities for kids. They had a great time, and it was a neat way to spend the afternoon.
I have a picture just like this one taken with my siblings Kim, Sandra, and James about 20 years ago. I think that I'm the one in the picture trying to hold the baby (James) up.
Jacob built a replica of the Sacramento Temple, Zachary built "a gate and a house," and Michael put the block pieces in and out of the box. 
I love walking through Temple Square, especially during the spring and summer when the landscaping is so gorgeous. By the way, three people yesterday asked me if the kids were twins or triplets. Honestly, don't they look different sizes to you?

Busy Zachary

At 2 1/2, Zachary has a busy schedule. Recently he was busy with toothpaste in the morning,
sour cream at lunchtime, and
Rice Krispies at night.
Where was his mother when all of this was happening? All I can say is that it only takes a minute. Or less.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Utah State Fair

Tonight I saw a woman win $150 for her macadamia coffee cake, a 100-lb. turtle snap his beak at a jumpy crowd, and a one-year-old taste his first cotton candy. Enriched by memories of a dozen state fairs from my childhood, I went home fulfilled with the sort of feeling that only a state fair can provide.The boys got to choose one ride. Here they are on the world-famous, never disappointing, "Wiggly Worm."

Michael, our perennially pleasant child, was especially interested in the "Tigers of India" show. The trainers are from Florida, and they traveled here by truck hauling 6 Siberian Tigers in a massive trailer, which they had to stop and hose out every three hours. Imagine being at a rest stop and having that crowd pull up!

When they said that we could pose for pictures with a boa after the reptile show, I thought that it would be plastic (or feathered?). Then they came out with this real boa and Eric just stands there as calmly as if the guy were putting a graduation lei around him. I always want to sing Salt N Pepa's "Whatta Man" when I see him do things like this. Seriously, Eric. 

The magic of the state fair makes everything taste unimaginably delicious, even delicious enough to run three blocks to go back to the van and scrounge for loose change to buy a bag of cotton candy.  


Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Living Planet Aquarium

Yesterday we went to the Living Planet Aquarium, a pilot aquarium until the organization raises funds to build a large, three-story structure. The boys loved the coral fish and jellyfish, and the octopus was a hit, too. I want to go back soon just to pet that sting ray again. 

Aunt Kim pets a sting ray while Zachary tests the water.
Jacob and Michael crawl through the kids' coral reef area, where there are small aquariums within the coral structures.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Chopper tour

The boys and I went to see Eric at the hospital today, and the LifeFlight guys invited us to come sit in the helicopter. They were doing some training runs, so we got to see some landings and take-offs, too. Incidentally, the K-9 trainer was out working with his dog at the same time, so we saw him jumping fences and performing other commands (uh, the dog, not the trainer). You would have thought that I'd planned the day, but I hadn't. I was just bringing Eric his lunch.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tender boy

Today, Zachary told me these things:
1. "I can't sneeze!"
2. "I have a boo-boo on my finger under there" (the band-aid).
3. "I broke my toe."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First day

Today was Zachary's first day of preschool (a co-op in our neighborhood), where he learned about apples and the letter A. And this is a picture of Zachary on his very first day, with his very first preschool art.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Merrily Go Round

Have you seen the carousel at the Hogle Zoo? It's pretty much the best thing a-round. If anyone wants to buy into it, I'm pretty sure that there are some brownish mammals that are still available for sponsorship.