Saturday, April 19, 2014

April is Hopping By

Good grief, this month is hopping by - see how high I can hop these days!. Apologies for the delay in posting. You'll be happy to know Mother Nature appears to have figured things out and we think we're done with snow; we've even attempted shorts a few times in the past few weeks! Related to that, we decided to have a "park-a-thon." What's a park-a-thon you ask? Well, it's when we go to as many parks as we can in one week...also known as total awesomeness. We hit ten different parks in six days with more than a dozen friends, always staying for a minimum of three hours at each park. What about Gates? Lucky for me God gave a cool little brother. He loves parks. His favorite things are going down the slide on his belly, swinging, and eating bark chips and grass. I've tried to explain to him that bark chips and grass taste gross but, as my mom points out, he's never had ice cream so he has little to compare them to. For all he knows, bark chips and grass ARE ice cream!

Tee ball has begun. And by "begun" I mean it started based on the calendar date but that every
practice and game has been rained out so far. Not to worry, I'm super excited about my team, The Storm. And when I say the team name, I like to say it like I'm announcing a scary sci-fi movie title, "The Storm," it makes our team seem really tough. Thanks to my Nana and PopPop who gave me a new tee ball set, I've been able to practice in my yard.

We did get to participate in opening day and wear our uniforms; that was cool. My mom said she had a surreal moment at the ball field when she was sitting in the stands with Gates as the different teams began to parade by and over the loud speaker they started playing John Fogerty's song "Centerfield." This was the song her favorite coach, Gary Gates - who Gates is named after - would play 25 years ago as her softball team warmed up before each game. She said she felt like Gary was there just enjoying the moment with her - watching HER son start his baseball career. Pretty neat.

Our buddies, the Bormans, came to town from California for their spring break. Amy, their mom, and my mom drove across the country together 20 years ago when my mom moved to DC. They were trying to tell us how they used paper maps with highlighted routes to make the trip - I think they drove by some dinosaurs too. Anyway, you know it's fun when us kids never got to bed before 10pm at night...Parrrr-tay! We visited the sites and played nonstop.

Lastly, I should probably let you know the preschool influence has finally infiltrated our home and I have gone bonkers for anything related to superheroes. It doesn't matter that I have never seen any superhero cartoons, movies, or comic strips. Nor does it matter that my only real exposure to them is the theme songs on YouTube and through recent library book loaners. What matters is I have more superhero t-shirts than anyone in my class...and I can sing "Du nu nu nu nu nu nu nu, du nu nu nu nu nu nu nu nu, BATMAN!" louder than any of my friends.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Crazy

Let's start with the crazy weather. Now I know this is my first winter, but even I know that a big snow storm in DC in March is ridiculous! Last Saturday it was 70 degrees. We went for a four hour walk/bike ride. Monday was St. Patrick's Day and it was 29 degrees and snowed 8 inches, closing the government and my brother's preschool - WHAT?!?!?! At least we all got to dress in green snow clothes!

On the sunny days, my big brother washed the cars while I soaked up some rays. This week it's been in the high 60s and we've gone to a ton of parks, bike riding and jogging and now they are saying it will snow on Tuesday! My wardrobe is a mess.
We had crazy fun yesterday when we went to the B&O Railroad Museum 
in Baltimore. There are dozens or real-size trains, a carousel, a train play area, outdoor electric trains, and a train park - do you see a theme here?!?!  This was the wildest ride I got on - it went almost one mile an hour. Lucky for me I have Bodie and he hung on to me tightly.

I'm learning how to go down the slide at he park. Sometimes I go solo on my belly. My mom sets me at the top and then lets go. Sometimes I sit in front of my brother and he holds on to me  and we go down together. Oh, and sometimes we get going a bit crazy and this happens....(Please don't tell my Nana that my parents are constantly forgetting to put shoes or socks on my feet, regardless of the temperature.)
I've also been trying lots of new foods lately. Some stuff I love and other stuff I'm not too sure about. On St. Patrick's Day we woke up to this craziness - a green breakfast! My brother said green pancakes taste the same as regular pancakes but I think they looked a bit weird. They also tried to give me oatmeal. Seriously people, who eats that crazy stuff? video
 
And my brother's preschool is having spirit month. They get to dress in something crazy once a week. They had crazy hat or crazy hair day, pajama day (Bodie wore his Batman pajamas that have a detachable cape), and pirate and princess day. Yes, my mom sent him to school with a 2 and a half foot giant plastic sword! (I understand it was immediately confiscated by the teacher - oh well!) This week is "wear your favorite sports team" day. Bodie owns a gazillion football shirts and jerseys; I honestly think his closet could outfit his entire preschool!
 
And finally, my mom says this picture is crazy cute so I should include it.





Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Smorgasbord

There was skiing, dance competitions, a wedding, more skiing, the zoo, visits with friends, more skiing, and football. If this is an outdoor smorgasbord, then Count. Me. In!!! We enjoyed a winter week in Utah and would do it all again in a second. It was a blast.
video
We skied five resorts - Snowbird, Solitude, Deer Valley, Park City, and Sundance. Good snow and good weather greeted us at each one. This year I really figured skiing out and well, I was gone. Thankfully, I also figured out how to stop, so no trees (or brains) were injured during our trip! I worked extremely hard to find every jump on the mountain. My mom said I pulled the same amount of air off of the jumps as my grandma... ONE INCH! (That must be a ton!)

Gates lounged in the warm lodges and kept whoever took a ski break company. He didn't seem to mind not having skis, but maybe that's because he doesn't know how to walk yet - I guess he should master that first.

My parents spent a day and night celebrating our friend Anne Marie and her new husband Kevin. They got hitched and then headed to Costa Rica for a honeymoon adventure.  Several fun friends were in town for the party, so they also got to enjoy their company too - score!

Lots of cousin time including getting to watch my cousin Lindsie compete in an enormous dance competition - does every girl in the state of Utah dance?!?! Seriously, there were about 10 billion dancers and my cool cousin got first place in her division! 
And play time with the St.Jeors and the Cook brothers!
And TONS of skiing! Okay, so my form isn't great, but I tried really hard to keep up with my big cousins Mallory and Troy.










Monday, March 10, 2014

Giggles

Bodie is THE BEST big brother and will do anything to make Gates laugh. But honestly, just about anything Bodie does makes Gates laugh. I grabbed my video camera and caught this moment the other day, it brings a smile to my face every time I watch it. I hope you enjoy it too... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSWwhh8ngHM

Monday, February 17, 2014

USA!

Our home has Olympic fever. My parents have even made a deal with Bodie that he can watch 90 minutes of the Olympics every night if he'll take a nap during the afternoon. This would normally be near impossible, but Bodie is TOTALLY on board and crashes every day on cue, wakes for dinner, then heads downstairs for the big event. I am well into my REM sleep by this time, but I have heard some cheering in the night - though perhaps that's just me dreaming about the Olympics.

With the Olympics has come a barrage of questions in our house, "Where is that country located? Is men's hockey playing tonight? What is this event called? Is figure skating really a sport? How fast is he going? Is that a two man or four-man bobsled? Is he American?" and the list goes on and on and on. My parents smile at the initial curiosity but by about the 4,000th question, one of them usually says, "Shhh, let's just watch the event, okay?"

They even got him a talking globe so he could find the countries himself and start to answer his own questions. It may have backfired a bit because he now has more questions about even MORE countries, "Mom, tell me about Kazakhstan....", and thinks we should be flying to see them! (Which could have been part of my mom's plan....she sure is sneaky!)

Bodie's Olympic fever is just as strong in the daytime. Luckily we've had more snow days this winter than in any previous year my folks can recall, so we can recreate the winter Olympics in our neighborhood. Snowboard jumping has been popular - always involving the noises, "Swoosh, swish, shwaaaaaaaaaaa..." as he leaps around the yard. Ski jumping has been mimicked while using his "snow tire" bike (see previous post for explanation). After an impressive wipeout the other day, my dad - in an attempt to redirect Bodie's attention from his pain - told him he'd done a full flip before his head introduced itself to the pavement (yes, he was wearing a helmet). Bodie totally forgot the pain and has subsequently retold the "I did a full flip on my bike" story to several people.

Sledding is an easy duplicate for the bobsled and skeleton (depending on which direction you're facing). The bigger the crash, the better the sport. I even got into the action while I was strapped to my mom in a front pack - how did she think she would steer, with here eyeballs?!?!! Probably not our brightest idea but we survived.

With so much energy about winter sports, we headed to the local outdoor ice skating rink today so Bodie could try out speed skating - one of his favorite events. And while I admit I have been asleep and haven't actually seen any of these events, the name implies - at least to me - that a person would skate fast. This, however was not what I saw at the rink.

Initially on the rink, Bodie gripped a large, penguin statue like his life depended on it. (Note: I checked my kid's LeapFrog laptop and there are NO penguins in speed skating.) Then, with assistance, he pushed said penguin around the rink. The penguin, however, was no match for my brother and was forcefully shoved to the ground multiple times in an effort to keep my brother in a somewhat upright position. Oddly, Bodie thought he was the Apollo Ohno of Arlington and confidently discarded the penguin to another flailing child. This is when the entertainment value skyrocketed.

My parents, neither of who claim to be ice skaters, were then responsible for not only remaining upright themselves, but also keeping my brother from spinning out like a moose on a frozen pond. Each took a turn attempting to get the Bodester to skate solo. This did not happen but I remained fully entertained throughout the activity.

The winter Olympics will always have a very special place in my parents' hearts because, as they recently shared with my brother and me, the last winter Olympics took place right after Bodie's heart surgery. My parents had been told a possible complication to the surgery was that Bodie may never be able to be in high altitude and enjoy the mountains. Then they learned Shaun White had the exact same heart defect and surgical repair and watched him fly through the sky and earn a gold medal during those Olympics. Shaun's success gave my parents much needed hope.

Oh, and one more thing. Bodie announced this week when he grows up he'd like to "Be an Olympic snowboarder, an American, and a dad." USA! USA! USA!