Monday, November 17, 2014

Our Super Awesome Life: Nov. Weeks 1&2

The past two weeks have been so fun! I actually wrote a lot of things down on my calendar so I can still remember what we did. I definitely want to keep better track in the future.

First of all, here are the pictures from Halloween. I am a little embarrassed about the last two since they are such poor quality but I didn't take my Canon and I was having trouble with the settings on my small camera. Anyways, Ezra caught on to trick-or-treating really quickly. He didn't know what people were putting in his back, but he walked around with his bag over his arm and offered it to the people I led him to so they could put something in. When we got all the way around to our own car, he went up to Tanner several times asking for more. Camille and Brandon were very obliging as well, although Camille decided she needed all the Butterfingers back because she was pregnant and hungry.

Ezra had his 15-month checkup at the beginning of the month. He had been sick with a bad cold for a whole month that kept him up all night coughing (and sometimes even throwing up), so the doctor finally gave him antibiotics. Ezra’s cold cleared up in about three days! I’d been in a couple times before that because it was awful watching Ezra suffer, and I wish the doctor would have given him something sooner. I know that doctors don’t want to over prescribe antibiotics but it doesn’t seem fair to let kids that need them go without until they’ve been that sick for that long. I’m so glad he’s better. I’m glad for him, and I’m glad for us. No more runny nose, no more coughing, no more sleepless nights.

His stats were the same as they have been: 98th percentile in height, 93rd in weight, and 82nd in head circumference. (He actually did lose a little bit of weight when he was sick though, so he did go down in weight a little.) The doc said he is now almost the size of an average two-year-old! I don’t notice it much unless we are around other kids. Next to his skinny cousins last month, he looked like a little thug. And I am constantly switching him into the next size up of clothes, and he’s just starting to fit in 2T’s.

He got a few shots, which, of course, he was not happy about. At home they turned into big red welts that looked like spider bites. And the red marks lasted a long time too. I’m sure most parents have the same ambivalent feelings I do about shots (I say most because I’m sure parents against shots don’t agree): I feel sorry for my little one about the pain he has to go through but glad that he is building up immunities to one more thing that could hurt him.

Anyways, I am also ambivalent to Ezra’s doctor appointments. I don’t like waiting for over an hour to see the doc and I feel bad for Ezra about his shots, but I am happy to get Ezra treatment that will help him feel better and to see his stats. So at the end of it all, the appointment was a good thing.

That same week, Tanner had a class where they needed people to bring in their kids so the kids could walk around and the students could get a look at their feet and the way they walk. Tanner wanted to take Ezra in so he could show him off. (Tanner never said that but he loves his little mini-him so much that wanting to show him off is instinctive.) And Ezra was really cute. The whole time he was in front, he patiently sat on Tanner’s lap at the front of the class with a huge smile on his face. When Doctor Losito took off one of Ezra’s shoes to talk about it, Ezra reached out for it with his hand open and tried to request it back as politely as he could. Tanner gave him his other shoe, but Ezra kept his arm out and said, “Mmm. Mmm!” It wasn’t whiny, just expectant, and everyone was laughing over it. Finally the doctor gave him back the shoe, and Ezra put them on his hands and clapped with them while Doctor Losito talked about Ezra’s legs and feet.

Then it was time to watch him walk. Tanner put him on the ground and backed up. Ezra waited for just a second while Tanner backed up, and then he ran to him and hugged his legs. They wanted him to walk back and forth so they could appraise his step better, so I came up to the front opposite Tanner, and Ezra ran straight to me. Then he just ran back and forth, back and forth, smiling the whole time like it was a really good game. It was perfect for Tanner’s class, not to mention really cute.

A lot of Tanner’s classmates came up to play with Ezra afterward. One reached out to give him a high five, which Ezra is a pro at, but for some reason, he didn’t quite get what the guy wanted. He hesitated, then ran up to him and hugged his legs.

I was surprised at how well Ezra did with so many people. When it’s one on one, like in the elevator, he is usually really shy. And when there’s a lot of people in his face, like in Young Women’s, he gets agitated. But apparently, when there is a roomful of people staring at him but giving him space, he is happy and playful. So it was a fun day.

That Saturday, Tanner ran the Tough Mudder! It was such an experience. It was all the way up in Kissimmee, by Orlando, so it was quite the drive. We packed snacks and headed up early in the morning. We did pretty well on time getting there, but the event was so crowded that the last two miles took us over half an hour and Tanner’s group just made it in time for the last wave of runners.

Trent was running too, along with a few other of Tanner’s classmates, so Star and Brock were there, as well as one of the other guy’s moms, so I hung out with them for the day. We hustled along the spectator route to make it to the obstacles before the runners did, so we could watch.

Going from obstacle to obstacle was a lot of work! The spectator route wasn’t always flat—sometimes, it was over deep crisscrossing ruts in the mud—and I do not own a running stroller! I was getting really exhausted trying to keep up—I really think I wouldn’t have made it without the help of my amazing pregnant friend Star who switched strollers with me a few times, Josh’s mom, and random strangers who helped me carry the stroller through the hardest parts. We were watching the runners jump into a pool of ice water, and I was trying to rest my arms for a second before we headed off to the next obstacle, when I realized that one of the locks on the stroller wheels was on! Ha. And we had pushed it all that way with the lock on. After taking the lock off, the going was much smoother. It still wasn’t a cakewalk, but compared to what it had been, it was easy. So I was grateful I noticed that before the day was over. And I was happy that I got a workout alongside of Tanner.

So—now to what Tanner did! Basically what a Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile track with obstacles interspersed throughout. So the runners run a while, then jump over a 10-foot wall. The goal is not to win the race, but to help your team complete every obstacle. Star and I got some good footage, but the spectator path didn’t touch all of the obstacles, so there were a few not shown here. The only one I can remember that I didn’t see was the one where Tanner had to wade through a stream for about half a mile. (And where he lost his wedding ring. But it’s okay.)

The first obstacle!
(At least the first one we could see.)
And Tanner killing it.

Just look at that pro jumper!
10 point landing
The group after they'd been through a little mud
Jumping into ice water--Tanner's in the back
Josh's mom + Tanner & Robbie after the ice water obstacle
Ezra waiting for Daddy to get to an obstacle. He would point
at a lot of the runners as they came up and say, "Daddy?"
Ezra and Brock having some fun while they waited.

Still a champ.
Tanner did really awesome on this one. It was fun to watch.
This Army wall was pretty cool.
It was neat to see everyone helping each other over.
Tanner helped this guy over. Wow.
It was nice of him to return the favor.
And he made it!
This was pretty funny. Ezra had missed nap time 
at this point, and was just really concerned 
about what was going on.

We waiting a long time for the group at this obstacle,
so Ezra and I spent our time wisely by taking a couple of selfies.
After jumping in the pit--so much cleaner!
Is it just me or does Tanner look like a Muppet in this one?
p.s. This was posted on the official Tough Mudder site, haha.
Woah, right?
Ezra "hiding" under the banner.
I didn't include all of the footage for this one. 
There may have been 1 to 3 previous tries.

Just two kids patiently waiting in a field while their daddies climb up plastic walls
and their mommies take pictures.
The last obstacle! Tanner rocked it.

And we're done! Good job, Tough Mudders!
Definitely not the most romantic kiss. 
They both fell asleep at the same time at the last obstacle.
We're proud of them for being tough too. They made it through a looong day.
He proudly wears Dad's headband.

After the race, we were both so muddy and tired, and it was so late, that we decided to celebrate his race by eating out. We had seen Sonny’s Barbecue in Kissimmee, and having eaten there before and knowing that it was amazing, headed back.

Embarrassing story: I headed to the bathroom to wash my hands before we ate, and while I was in there, I looked down at my feet and my mud-caked sandals and thought, “I should just rinse everything off. No one’s in here. And I can just quickly slip my foot down if someone comes in and no one will even know I was washing my feet.”

So I started rinsing. The mud came off my feet and legs all right, but there was so much mud caked on my sandals that was not coming off. Instead, the sink and all that surrounded it was getting covered in muddy water, and when the first lady did come in, and I threw my shoe on the ground and slipped my first foot in, the mud started getting all over the floor as well.

How do I describe the expression on her face? Shock? Disgust? Horror?

I grabbed some paper towels and started wiping up as she went into a stall. “We just got back from a mud run,” I tried, when she came out.

“I can see that,” she said as she washed her hands in the next sink, again with an expression that is difficult to recreate with just a few words.

She walked out.

Well, I’d “washed” one side. (Mud was still encrusted on the bottom of my shoe, and every move I made spread it further and further around me.) I decided to just rinse of the other side, really quick. After all, it would be so much more bearable on the long drive home. I got busy rinsing.

Another woman came in. Her initial reaction was similar to that of the first lady. She stared, then hurried into a stall. This time, I did not attempt conversation or explanation. I grabbed some wipes, wiped what I could (not very effective, to say the least), and fled the bathroom.

The floor was tiled up until the tables, where a dark carpet began. All the way across the cream colored tile, I left muddy footprints behind me. I was so grateful for that carpet, on which my footprints were entirely hidden. Two women had seen me, but I was so embarrassed, I hadn’t looked directly at them, and could not have picked their faces out of a crowd. And whoever now would see that mess, and those footprints . . . at least they couldn’t track it to my table.

I told Tanner what had happened. And he still had to go wash his hands! He said that the custodian lady was just opening the women’s bathroom door as he walked by, and they both saw inside at the same time.

She uttered an exclamation of disbelief.

We left a big tip.

So, um, other things . . . J

We had Dave and Lauren and their three adorable kids over for dinner on Friday night, and it was a lot of fun. We had bacon, sausage, eggs, and pancakes and waffles topped with strawberries, chocolate chips, Nutella, and whipped cream. It turned out to be really yummy.

After dinner, Roxy and Atticus put on quite the show for us. Atticus would stand behind the curtain, and Roxy would put both her hands out and up and say, “PRESENTING…. Atticus the AMAZING!” and he would come out and do a trick. We saw one-armed push ups, somersaults, belly rolls, juggling, etc. Then they would switch. It was better than Cirque du Soleil, because it was free, in our own living room, and just as, if not more, entertaining.

We all talked for a long time, and Lauren and I decided we need to hang out more. So we came up with a plan of hanging out at the same time on the same day once a week, whether or not it’s at home or at the park of if we have anything special to do. And anyone who wants to is welcome to join us.

Our first time doing it was a couple days after that, and it was really fun. We spent the afternoon at Lauren’s house (with Brittney and Star too) just chatting and watching the kids play, then eating chili, cornbread, and brownies. It was so fun and I am so happy we are finally doing something like this. It’s been difficult (at least for me) this past year trying to get to know all of the families in our ward and I am excited to have a catalyst. It’s nice that it’s planned into the week too so that my sometimes over-anxious brain can prepare for it and I can get all my other errands done.

Star, Ashley, and I have been on a couple walks, around the three-mile loop by Star’s house and on the four-mile trail by us. (Ashley has been here for about a month and will be here for one more while her husband does his rotations.) It's been good to get outside after Ezra being sick so long and being mostly cooped up. Star also hosted a great girls' night on Friday. We walked the loop and went back to her house for smoothies. So fun to be with people and to leave Ezra at home (as much as I love him).

Star, Ashley, and the three babies. Ezra was so happy to see those ibis. He calls birds "bis" or "bidibidibidi"and points at them in his books or in the sky or on the trees or on the grounds. He is definitely an animal lover. 
We also had an Enrichment Night that was a lot of fun. Tanner watched Ezra and I went with Ashley and Star. The food was really good and it was nice to just relax with the other sisters in the ward. And Brittney gave me her marigolds that she won because she didn’t want them (Yay, flowers!)  And we played Two Truths and a Lie. Mine were: 1) I discovered a new species of spider, 2) I’ve eaten a sea urchin, and 3) I’ve ridden a camel. Can you guess the lie?

Other than all this stuff, Ezra and I have just been having a good time together while Tanner studies for tests. (As I type this Tanner is conked out on our living room rug after a late night of studying. And Ezra has finally begun his nap after a good hour of chirping away from the bedroom.) I've read a lot lately, since our apartment library is getting rid of all the books and we are allowed to take whatever we want. Most of the books are 30 years old but we found some good ones. I read City of Ember because I saw the preview a long time ago and was intrigued. It is a young adult fiction book with an interesting premise but the plot seemed dragged out and I thought it wasn't very interesting after all. I also read The Joy Luck Club, which took a while to get into because it is so Chinese, and I don't have a Chinese background at all (have you ever realized how Asia is almost completely left out of our education? We Americans are so Westernized.) But I loved it. Once I was into it, I could have read on and on and on. If only it had been longer. I also read some Agatha Christie, which is more like an addiction than anything else. I was obsessed with her in high school and probably read about 40 of her 80 books, as well as a couple of her plays, and even saw The Mousetrap in London (thanks to my dad, of course). So now I am a little addicted again since I found about 6 of her books down in the library. I read Death on the Nile and Curtain, and I'm currently in the middle of (and fascinated by) The Hollow. So that's been fun.

And lastly, Ezra developments! He's started saying a lot more "words." Like his words for birds. Mostly his words consist of the first sound of something. He calls his bath toy octopus "Ah" and his duck "duh." He says "Aah" for apple and "ba" for "ball," "buh" for "book," and "meme" for "monkey." And "bobo" for bellybutton. And he said "Hippo!" We were watching his Baby Einstein movie (pictured below), and the narrator said, "Hippo." Then I said, "Hippo." Then he looked at me, and very clearly, said, "Hippo." I tried getting him to say it again but the closest he got was "bobo."

Other than that, he is very good at elephant noises, he can howl like a wolf, and he can hoo like an owl. And just this morning he learned how to hiss like a snake. He knows where his eyes, ears, mouth, nose, tongue, hair, and bellybutton are. And he understands so many things. If I ask him to get a book and come sit in my lap, he will go to his little bookshelf, pick out a book, run back, turn around, and back up into my lap. He will knock on a door if I tell him to. And the list goes on. He is the cutest, happiest boy and we love him so much and feel so grateful to have him in our little family.

His first word!
He is the worst with our computers.
This is just one of many reasons.
For being 15 months, he is a pretty creative little guy.
He figured out about 15 different things to do with this pot.
He loooves wearing our shoes around the house. They always trip him up and
it makes him sad but it is a hobby he is not willing to give up.
Somehow he got ahold of my Ghiradelli....
He spent quite a lot of time trying to get as much
chocolate out as possible.

Ezra lovin' up on Monkey.


  1. Oh Alyse, Ezra is so cute! I feel like he just gets cuter and cuter. I love the picture of him with the chocolate (He and Harp both have that adorable slit-eye smile) and the one of he and Brock asleep in their strollers. And isn't it so much fun to have them start to say words and start to understand things and just become like real little people? Harp is starting to do some of those things too and I am LOVING it. I miss you!

  2. we loved those videos. Reid and Lily thought the picture of Ezra with the pot were especially hilarious. HE IS SO CUTE!!!!