Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Biggest Losers

I forgot to tell one more little story about the things that Gunner says. This is a pretty good one, so brace yourselves.

I have been watching old seasons of The Biggest Loser on Netflix with Gunner. He doesn't nap anymore, and I sort of use it as his down time in the afternoons when I don't feel like doing anything else. Judge me, if you want, since it is TV, and it's not educational kid shows, but we have a good time together. He really enjoys it, too. When he has been playing really hard, and I can tell he is craving some down time, he requests that we pop some popcorn and watch "The Biggest Losers." (Yes, that's plural. Hee hee.)

So, two funny things about his watching this show. I turned it on one day, and he asked me, "Are the people flat yet? Or still fat?" And when he caught a glimpse of Bob & Jillian, he asked, "Are those the people who make them flat again?"

I love that it's a difference between fat and flat.

Also, my neighbor lent me her foam roller a while ago after running a hard set of intervals on her treadmill. It was painfully awesome to roll out my aches and pains, and it was a big hit with my kids, as well. When I was finally able to convince Gunner that it was Mommy's turn on the roller, and that he needed to give me some space, he sort of squatted down on the floor next to me, put his hand down on the floor with this intense look in his eye and said, "I know it hurts, Mommy, but you have to do it anyway."

I think I am creating the next generation's Biggest Loser Trainer, and I think he'll have an early understanding of how to bring the pain.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Things He Says

The Talk:
Gunner's talk on Sunday went surprisingly well. His teacher had told me that he wanted a turn talking at the podium, and he seemed excited to do it. But I thought for sure that he would chicken out. All week long, he was insistent that he tell the story of Jesus being resurrected, but I got him to "write" a talk with me about King Benjamin and keeping the commandments.

On Sunday, he bravely got up in front of the primary, and he didn't even hesitate for a moment. I whispered in his ear, and he said, "King Benjamin...No, Mom, let's skip that part." (He did not say, Let's get to the good part about when Jesus was resurrected, but that's what I heard.) I cracked up, pulled it together, and together we delivered his talk. It was awesome, and I am still so proud.

The Possessive:
Okay, so he is actually growing out of this one, but I wish he wouldn't. I love it, and I have to record it before I forget. When he talks about something that belongs to someone else, it goes like this:
I want to go to Louis is house.
Can I play with Holly is toys?
Look, there are Hobbes is cars!
Did you see Isaac is daddy?

The Phrase:
He is also experimenting with phrases that we say all the time, even when he doesn't understand them. Some examples from the past few days:
(As we drove in the car) Step it on, Mom! Go fast!
(As he giggled at his brother) Hobbes is cracking me out!
(As he carried a paper from the car to the house) I don't want it to wind away!

The Finale for Today:
My niece spent the day with us on Friday. She and Gunner played and played happily together all day long, which I have to say was awesome beyond belief. While she was here, I overheard him say to her:
My dad will be strangely excited to know that you're here!

I will be strangely excited if these made you smile. He makes me giggle every day.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Gunner's First Primary Talk

Gunner is supposed to give his first talk in primary tomorrow. The theme we were given was Mosiah 2:22. I started to prep him for actually sitting down to write the talk, and we had this conversation.

Me: Do you remember the story of King Benjamin?
Gunner: I don't want to tell that story. I want to tell about when Jesus was resurrected.
M: Why do you want to tell that story instead?
G: Because I like it.
M: Oh, can you tell me the story?
G: I can't read it from the scriptures.
M: Can you remember what happens in the story? Can you tell it to me?
G: Well, Jesus was resurrected. That's all.

I don't know about you, but I think he's ready.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This is how a 3-year-old skis

Spiff gives him a push at the beginning, and then walks next to him while Gunner slides down the hill.
I like the part when Gunner says "Bye" to his daddy.

That's my kid! He dives in head first. Spiff said that as they pulled into the parking lot, Gunner said from the back seat, "Daddy, I want to go fast down that hill by myself."

I think that sums up their experience in a nutshell. Gunner was thrilled to be there, and he picked it up so fast! Spiff took him up the bunny hill ski lift before he realized that there was a useable bunny hill. Gunner told me later that the operator had to stop the lift just after they got on. One of his skis had fallen off his foot, and it was dangling from the toe-clip, which is a little device that connects the tips of the skis in order to keep them together.

Spiff quickly realized that it was difficult to manage a 3-year-old on skis while he was on his own skis. So they headed over to the "bunnier hill", which has a "magic carpet" to transport kids from the bottom to the top of the hill. Think of a long, uphill conveyor belt, which is way better than the rope tow I had to use as a kid. I could never hang onto that thing!

Gunner made Spiff ditch the toe-clip device. Apparently it was cramping his style. Spiff said that he handled the skis really well, and that he was skiing circles around some of the other little kids on the hill who were taking private lessons. He had an amazingly good attitude about it. He fell a lot, but he hopped right up. The equipment was big and heavy for him, but he tried his best. He wasn't intimidated at all. He was a complete natural. He laughed the whole time. It makes me wish we lived here permanently so that we could foster his enthusiasm for this sport.

He has a little lift ticket hanging on his coat now. And he has to tell everyone he sees that he went skiing "today" or "last more" or "last week." He really was the happiest little boy on earth.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Winter Updateland

Spiff had a great rotation in January. He did an elective in Pathology, and while he found the subject boring, the hours were great. Mon-Fri, 9:30-somewhere between noon and 3, with weekends off. We had four glorious weekends where he got to go to church with us. I also enjoyed four weeks of running without my kids. It felt quite luxurious, and the whole thing made me remember what it feels like to have a husband at home. Easy months always make it that much harder for all of us when he returns to Medicine Wards, when he's gone before the kids wake up and home after they go to bed. We miss him.

During his pathology month, Spiff studied for and took Step 3 of the board exam. We are still awaiting results, but no one in their right mind can wonder whether he passed it or not. It is exciting to have jumped one more hurdle on the road of becoming a licensed physician.

We traveled to Idaho for him to take the test. We stayed with my parents for the weekend, and then stayed with my brother's family for a couple days while Spiff took the test. I enjoyed seeing my family, and he enjoyed two fun-filled days of multiple-choice questions in a testing center on the Idaho State University campus. I also got to show Spiff a little of my college campus. It was so weird to be back there, having graduated and moved on almost 10 years ago. I felt old, but I have such great memories of my college days, beloved professors and friends, and it was a fun walk down memory lane. It feels like a different life from the one I have now, having grown and changed so much from when I was a college girl. And it was definitely strange having Spiff with me, since he was never a part of my life while I lived there.

In other news, Hobbes is walking more and more every day. He has slowly worked up the courage, and I'm sure that he will be a walking-boy 100% of the time in about a week. I love watching him hobble around. I love this milestone because it's so permanent. Unlike so many phases babies go through and skills they learn, walking is one that they never grow out of. And it seems to change them from a baby into a toddler, and they all the sudden seem so much more grown-up than they did the day before.

Also, Hobbes has figured out how to manage stairs. All on his own, he discovered that the best way to descend stairs is to go down backwards! I'm so proud of him. And I love the freedom that it gives me, not having to worry (so much) about him falling off every stair he encounters.

Gunner has started swimming lessons. I signed him up in a class with his 5-year-old cousin, neither having taken lessons before. I was worried about him not paying attention, or not respecting the teacher. I was worried that he would just run off and splash around in the pool, ignoring his group. But he is doing so well! He listens. He participates. He takes turns. He does what the teacher asks him to do. And best of all, he loves it! He is always excited to tell me afterwards what they worked on. They did "bobs" in yesterday's lesson, and he even did a demonstration for us by putting his head down and blowing into the air. I think we may have found a great outlet for all of his energy, and I love that he's learning a really useful life skill in the process.

And last, but not least, Spiff is off work today (his last day off for 10 days!!) and is up at the mountain with Gunner. He borrowed some child-sized ski gear from a friend, and is taking Gunner skiing for the first time. What a lucky little boy we have! He woke up to find ski gear in the living room, and had to immediately try it all on. Helmet, goggles, snow pants, boots and tiny little skis that have got to be among the cutest things I have seen. He was so excited. I think Spiff might have been just as excited at the prospect of taking his son skiing with him. I'm at home with the baby, anxiously awaiting news of their great skiing adventure.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Open Book

I should have born my testimony today at church. I almost did, but chickened out before I stood up. I don't do it nearly often enough because it scares me. I am a back-row-sitter in classes. I don't raise my hand to make comments because it makes me nervous. Being nervous makes me blush. The most benign of comments will cause my face and neck to turn the brightest shades of red, which embarrasses me...and so I turn even redder...which embarrasses me more. So I rarely make comments in classes, and I even more rarely bare my testimony in testimony meeting.

I should have today, though. I had a great experience to share with my congregation. I was given the opportunity this week to explain the basic doctrine of our church with a member of another faith. She is a solid, faithful member of her congregation, and she asked me about the LDS church out of curiosity, nothing more. And even knowing that I wasn't under pressure to impress her by the possibility of her conversion to the church, it was an experience that almost knocked me flat. I found myself fumbling over my words, stumbling over explanations of church history, and stuttering over trying to find a concise way to explain the basic doctrine.

I came away from the experience wondering why it was so hard for me. I have been a faithful member all my life and have attended church on a weekly basis. I should know the answer to that question backward and forward. I have decided that it comes down to a lack of preparation. I have spent the last three years wrangling my children during sacrament meeting. I have also spent three years not attending Sunday School and Relief Society meetings because of my callings serving in the primary and nursery. Both of things are important, but they don't necessarily give me the opportunity to fully fill my spiritual glass during church, as it were.

I also did not serve a mission. I have never had the opportunity to teach the gospel, nor have I really been taught how to properly share the principles with others, despite the fact that we are all encouraged to be daily member missionaries. I realize that the spirit will guide us in situations like these if we are spiritually in tune, but I can't necessarily say that I'm so in tune these days. Perhaps I was guided in my answers. Perhaps I said just what she needed to hear. That is a nice thought.

But the point I want to make is that now I feel like I need to study up on how to answer that question so that I will be prepared the next time I have an opportunity to share. I should go read up on the history of the church, memorize some dates, re-memorize the Articles of Faith that I learned as a kid in primary (20 years ago!), and really have a good answer ready.

And then I will wait, perhaps ten years for another opportunity like this to come along, and by then I will have forgotten my perfect answer. I will probably no longer be prepared, and will fumble through it once again. Sigh.

The thought that ran over and over through my mind while I sat in sacrament meeting this morning, trying to talk myself into getting up at the pulpit, was that while I hope to be prepared to testify of the truthfulness of the Gospel the next time I have an opportunity, I really hope to be prepared to meet my Savior when the time comes. Since we don't know when either of those events will happen, it is up to us to be as prepared as possible at all times.

That's a high standard to uphold. And the more I think of it, the more I realize how short I'm falling of my goal. What with the demands of the children, marathon training(!!!), and Spiff's schedule, I find my spiritual preparation to be fairly low on my priority list of things to get done every day.

We are all busy, and my question to you, my faithful readers, is this: How do you do it? How do you fill your glass and prepare on a daily basis, despite your many life demands? Anyone have any awesome little tricks on how to fit it all in, in the midst of the craziness that is all of our lives?