Remember way back when I said I was going to blog more so that I would feel like every day wasn't exactly the same? Yeah, then I went to Salt Lake and visited family and did some work there, so I kind of stopped having time to do said blogging. Oops.
We're back now, and it's nice, especially for the kids. Utah in a lot of ways still feels like home to me, but it's obvious my kids are really at home in San Diego. Paul chuckles whenever we do something he likes (he's got skilz when it comes to parent training) and he pretty much chuckled from the moment we stepped into the door. Sylvia, who had complained daily about going to school before our trip, made nary a peep about getting ready to go this morning, even though we got up at about 4 to finish the drive home. She took a (3 hour!) nap this afternoon, again, without complaint, and then ran around like a crazy woman when we went to visit friends for a few minutes. It's amazing. It's like my kids missed home.
There are some things I want to remember about this trip, so here they are, in no particular order:
1. Paul's belly-flop, leap-frogging crawl. Effective, and amusing to watch. I'm sure he'll figure out how to coordinate his legs, but in the mean time he's entertaining to watch.
2. Sylvia's super-smeller. She claimed to smell the dark.
3. A cousin (who shall remain nameless) telling me she didn't want any fish chowder because her morning sickness made it unappetizing.
4. Watching Downton Abbey with family
4b. Nacho eating about a third of a bowl of caramel popcorn during some movie I watched with Sylvia because we left for a few minutes and I stupidly thought the couch would be a safe place for it.
5. Listening to my Grandpa's funeral. My grandma read the essay I wrote (which was also used as his obituary) and I bawled through it. That was the only thing that made me cry, though--everyone else gave great remembrances of my Grandpa's life and example. I remember a couple of people complaining about the stake president who spoke at the end, and I see why they complained. My grandpa was a complex person with strengths and flaws, a very human man. The SP tried to reduce the man we all loved to something simple, perfect, and very faith-affirming, which just isn't grandpa. He was a colorful character and that's a lot of what we love about him. Not to turn this into a critique of someone I've never met, but some people I guess can't handle shades of gray in their heroes. Perhaps that's why so much of my family has a hard time finding teachings within the church that resonate anymore--all the complexity's been excised by well-meaning simplifiers.
6. Sylvia pulling out all of my Grandma's tissues and giving them to Paul.
7. Sylvia playing in the snow. Derrick hitting me in the face with a snowball while I was holding my camera. Grr.
8. Valentine's day Sylvia went with my mom and made us all valentines cookies. She then took the extra princess valentines and cut them up using Mimi's scrap booking scissors. Lots and lots of confetti ensued.
9. Blueberry scones of the Utah variety. Sooo good! For those of you not from Utah, fry bread filled with blueberry pie filling, covered with icing. Serious sugar rush.
10. Paul's leap frogging crawl all over the downstairs kitchen. He could only move a few feet, but man, the things he could get into in a few feet! Mimi has a collection of painted rocks. He was especially fond of pulling those out and eating them.
11. Derrick turning a beautiful paduk platter and turning into a carrot in the process. The beautiful platter is now almost fully obscured by his wooden rocks.
12. Princess party for Sylvia's cousin, L. Sylvia had fun, but was happy to hand over the dress and get back to being a tomboy once the party was over.
13. A day at Elisa's house. Beautiful light in her bedroom in the afternoon, so I took a bunch of pictures of Paul (the day after his half-birthday). A friend of hers was making a quilt and Elisa was going through old episodes of Glee to find her favorite songs. That night we went to the Blue Lemon (or something like that) for dinner. Elisa and Anna practiced signing as we ate. Across the restaurant was a table of hipster couples, all dressed like they'd just stepped out of a TV show.
I think people in (some parts of) Utah dress better than people in California.
14. Paul started out very worried about all the new people...
but by the end he'd grown accustomed to at least a few of his relatives.
15. Camping on a moonless night in the Afton Road campground, our tent filled with clean laundry to serve as insulation against the ground, the four of us covered by a single sleeping bag (fortunately warm!) and a couple of "blankets" I bought for the kids. The blankets were really 1 yard pieces of fabric from Joanne's. Paul needed a soft blanket to sleep, so he got a new orange blanket. Sylvia, not wanting to be left out, got a piece of polar fleece with skulls and purple roses on it--to scare away the monsters.