Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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May '09

Buy buy buy kill kill kill

Now that Wes is into being outdoors and likes climbing and playing, I’ve been trying to find a second-hand plastic playset for our backyard, one that includes a little slide and some stairs for him to practice climbing. I’ve been checking the KSL classifieds online (they get more traffic than Craigslist).

It’s exhausting trying to find what you want. Once those playsets are listed online they’re gone in a snap. Yesterday I logged on and saw a Little Tikes one for just $25. The ad had been posted for 24 minutes, so I thought I might have a chance. I grabbed the phone, made the call, and was told they already had five offers and someone was on their way to look at the item.

Seriously? Five offers in 24 minutes? Make that six offers, counting my own.

So now I’m starting to feel twitchy and compulsive, keeping the classifieds open all day long and refreshing the page every five minutes. It’s like every other parent Out There is the enemy, bent upon swooping in and buying all the playsets whether they need them or not. They probably don’t even have kids and just want to horde them in their basements for the sheer thrill of knowing I can’t have them.

I’d better find something soon, otherwise I’ll need medical treatment for high blood pressure and possibly acute paranoia.

May '09

Running and running

Last year I started running. And stopped running once it turned cold and I started teaching aerobics instead. All spring long I’ve been meaning and meaning to get out and run.

And I have. A total of three times.

Oops, make that four–I just went again this morning.

Because this weekend I realized the Freedom Run is in five weeks, and I so enjoyed running it last year that I want to do it again this year. Which means I had better practice.

So this morning I went out and jogged for thirty minutes, just to see if I could do it, pausing twice for water. The first ten minutes I was moving pretty slow…but hey, I was moving!

I was stoked to find I can go for thirty minutes, which according to mapmyrun.com was about 3.25 miles. It wasn’t easy, though, so I hope that by practicing it’ll feel better in time for the 5K in July.

Anyone else game for running this summer?

May '09

Sugar Baby

I’m always trying to get Wes to eat good food. He’s a die-hard milkman (still drinks six 4 oz. bottles a day), which is fine, but I try to balance it out with “big boy food.” The problem is, now that he’s all, “I’m a big boy and independent and you can’t boss me around, Mom,” a lot of the food I give him ends up on the floor. If he doesn’t want it he’ll throw it, but lately I’ve been saying, “Give it to Mom,” and he’ll hand the unwanted bits back to me and smile like he’s doing this really great thing. Sometimes I get frustrated, trying to offer him a variety of good food when he won’t eat any of it.

Yesterday was one of those days; he wouldn’t eat much of anything I wanted him to, and by the time we left to go bowling with family I was DONE trying give him big boy food. While we were sitting around by the lanes I had Wes on my lap as I munched on some M&Ms. He took one look at those colorful gems and smiled really big while giving me his “more!” sign. I was skeptical, but I broke off a small piece and put it in his mouth. Instant success. He did another “more!” sign and smiled up at me pleadingly.

So I can’t get him to eat sensible stuff, but M&Ms? Bring it on.

May '09

Mega Wes Updates

Wesley’s latest thing is putting stuff into containers. This is great when it’s time to clean up because he can help me put toys back in their baskets. It’s not so great when he does what naturally comes next: dump all the toys back out again. Our house doesn’t stay clean for long.

He’s discovered the lower shelves in the pantry. His favorite thing to do is pull down the basket where I keep our instant pudding and put the boxes in…and out…and in…and out….

He’s non-discriminating when it comes to what items can be put where. If there’s a container, Wes thinks he ought to put something, anything, in it–as we learned when I found John’s shoes in our kitchen trash can.

Every Friday morning I take him to a playgroup for kids with special needs ages 18 months to two years. He LOVES the ball pit.

They have an indoor playground area that he’s a fan of, now that he can climb up the stairs and (with help) go down the slide. Here he is at the top, giving me his “more” or “yes” or “I want some, please” sign, signifying he wants to slide down.

He still has the one tooth. I think it’s getting lonely. When I want some peace and quiet I give Wes a Biter Biscuit because it takes him at least 15 minutes to gnaw through one. But it’s m-e-s-s-y.

Wes is the proud owner of a camp chair, complete with cup holder. It’s supposed to be for toddlers, but he’s still a little small for it. To get out, he has to kind of fall out.

He likes the Zumba-green pool noodle I bought to use for Limbo in my Zumba Kids classes next month. It’s a lot bigger than he is, but he doesn’t seem to notice.

Wes is turning into quite the climber, much to our joy and chagrin. This morning I was sitting next to him on the living room couch and for the first time saw him climb onto the arm rest in order to reach the window blinds behind the couch. And later this morning I was sitting at the dining room table while he played on the couch nearby. When I heard him whimper I looked over to find him here, with his leg stuck between the table and the couch:

Hmmm. Will have to keep a closer eye on him now.

Lastly, any of you who have met Wes while he’s asleep knows he’s a loud sleeper. He not only breathes loudly, but he’s a snorer, too. I think it might be related to the Down syndrome, which makes his nasal passages narrower than other kids’. Recently I videotaped him during a nap when he was unusually loud. I think it’s the loudest I’ve ever heard him.

Video of Wes snoring

May '09

The Big Mexico Post

Last month John and I spent a week in Mexico on vacation (sans Wesley). It just so happens we picked the one week of the year that the swine flu was making international headlines. We were staying south of Cancun and north of Playa Del Carmen, which is miles away from the heart of the swine flu problem, so we weren’t much affected by it.

We stayed at the Mayan Palace Riviera Maya. It’s right on the beach, wherein I did lots of this:

The hotel had an amazing pool that went on forever. Here’s just one small part of it:

One day we spent all day lying on the beach, reading, and swimming in the pool. The pool has a swim-up bar (a bar IN the pool, with actual stools in the water). Being a non-drinker, this was kind of a foreign experience. I knew strawberry daiquiris and pina coladas could be made virgin, so that’s what we had. And we discovered something called a mudslide, which is a pina colada with chocolate syrup. Truly heavenly.

Check out the blue water of Mexico:

The one major way the swine flu affected our trip was that the Mexican government closed all the Mayan archeological sites to help contain the spread of the flu. This was a major bummer to us, since a primary reason we chose Mexico was to see the Mayan ruins. The only tours we had booked in advance were two full days with LDS guides. And the night before our first scheduled tour our guide called and said the sites were closed. Disappointed as we were, we managed to find other things to do that we probably wouldn’t have done otherwise.

One of these was a romantic lobster and steak dinner cruise on a lagoon in Cancun. We really didn’t know the details of the cruise until we got there, so we were happy it turned out well in spite of our ignorance. The guides picked us up, drove us to Cancun, and got us on board an old Spanish sailboat, like so:

There was an open bar (more strawberry daiquiris and pina coladas for us!) and a terrific saxophone player that reminded me of Kenny G. We cruised out to the middle of the lagoon near the famous Cancun hotel strip and cast anchor. We watched the guy put the anchor in, and John asked him if the water was very deep. (John served an LDS mission in Guatemala City ten years ago, and the locals said his Spanish was still very good.) To our surprise the guy said the water was only teen feet deep. Then he thought a second and amended it to five feet. So any fears I had of drowning that night immediately fled.

Dinner was surprisingly good. They grilled the lobster and steak right there on the deck. I wasn’t sure I would like lobster because I’d only had it once when I was eleven and in Boston, and what do eleven-year-olds know about fine cuisine? Turns out I like lobster.

When we finished dinner we went back on deck and sat and watched the sun set while the saxophonist played and the breeze warmed us. Such a nice night.

One day we went to Xel-Ha (pronounced Shell Ha), which is an ecological park. We floated down a lazy river in inner tubes, went snorkeling and kayaking, and got mildly sunburned. Here’s a photo; see how clear the water is?

Iguanas were everywhere:

On our last full day we took a snorkeling tour to Cozumel, an island twelve miles off the coast of Mexico. Apparently it’s only second to Australia for coral reefs and amazing snorkeling/diving. Our tour picked us up at our hotel and drove us to Playa Del Carmen where we caught a ferry to Cozumel. The ferry ride took about 45 minutes and was very choppy. The ferry boat had two levels; we were in the lower, enclosed level, and pretty much the whole time we watched huge waves of water crash up against the windows as the boat rocked side to side. Yeah, I got motion sick.

Cozumel was a fun day trip, though. We met our snorkeling guides on a boat that took us around the side of the island to two different snorkeling spots. We were provided snorkeling equipment, snorkel vest, and flippers. The water was clear and there were a lot of fish that would swim right up to your face to say hello. It was like swimming in Finding Nemo-land. The snorkeling was great, and I also enjoyed the boat ride back to land.

We sprawled on the deck, drying out in the sun and warm breeze, listening to Latin music. This was an unexpected benefit of being in Mexico–Zumba music all the time! I loved hearing tunes on the radio and being like, “Oh yeah, I know that song. And how to dance to it.” I heard a few new songs I’m going to add to my Zumba line up, too.

After our snorkeling was finished we went to Mr. Chili’s, a restaurant that provided lunch as part of our tour. We had fajitas and orange soda. Man, we were so famished by then that the food was the best food I’d ever eaten. I can still taste it. Best. Food. Ever.

Then we had time to walk around and shop. Normally Cozumel has thirteen cruise ships docking there EVERY DAY. But with the swine flu NO ships were docking. (In fact, when we got back to the states we learned that our bishop and his wife had been on a cruise to visit the western coast of Mexico the same week we were on the eastern side. Their cruise ship didn’t dock once. They spent all week on the ocean.)

Normally the streets of Cozumel are buzzing with shoppers, like this (photo from Internet):

But with only the lone ferry bringing people from the mainland (and our ferry wasn’t even half full), the streets looked like this (my own photo):

Other things I liked about our vacation were taking a nap if I wanted to without worrying about Wes waking me up, the banana and Nutella crepes with gelato in the hotel creperie, and having lots of time with John. Things I don’t miss about Mexico include using bottled water to brush my teeth, the huge gap between the touristy areas and the actual living conditions of most Mexicans, and speed bumps on the highway. Seriously. BIG speed bumps.

We’re glad to be back.


Wes and his tooth

Today Wes has a fever of 100.6. Much thanks to Tylenol for changing him from a hot lethargic lump who slept for 5+ hours earlier today to the current baby who is happily rolling an old popcorn tin around the kitchen floor.

Some pictures of us and Wesley, courtesy of my sister. They’re from last week when we ate at The Roof in SLC to celebrate my big brother getting his Ph.D. from the U.

Here you can see Wes doing his single, signature sign that means “more” or “yes” or “I’m happy.”

And another one of Wes, wherein you can see his token tooth. It appears to be coming in crooked, but I guess considering my teeth and John’s, that shouldn’t surprise us.

What a happy little guy.