Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer of 2014!!

Our first camping trip took us to the coast. It was a little cool, but it was like a billion in Eugene so we didn't complain.

Every new-ish parent is used to hearing the same three or four pieces of advice:

They grow up so fast.
Next think you know they're in high school.
Treasure these days.
Seriously, just lock them in the closet for a few hours and they'll learn.

On the one hand, I don't feel like these last 3 years with Wyatt have flown by. (He turns three in a month, so go ahead and start planning your party for him now). When you are a teacher, each year is pretty compartmentalized into two categories: "Summer," and "Sucky". So as a year goes by, I have a good feel and pace of it.

However, I did go into this summer with an understanding that Wyatt's only going to be two for a little bit longer. Right now, everything is new and wonderful and exciting for him. He gets wide eyed and takes big gasps when he sees a snail or a new type of bird, and his imagination is really starting to get a hold of him. I know that next year it won't be quite the same, and that he'll have tons of relentless, back-breaking questions and his words will be more formed and less cute and he'll have a better idea of what he does and doesn't like, and that next summer we'll have a little baby that will keep me from adventuring a bit more, so I really wanted to make this summer count.

For example, I had a goal of taking him camping every other week, during the summer. We went tent camping 4 times, in 4 different places, with 4 different groups of people, and we slept outside out grandpa's house and we'll probably sleep outside one of these nights too. But we did other things too.

The river spot we biked to at least 20 times.

We hiked and biked and swam in lakes and pools and rivers and threw rocks and saw waterfalls and ran races and built obstacle courses and read books and slept outside and slept in our hammocks and wrestled and wrestled and wrestled and we watched a snail cross the sidewalk and we tried to play cars with cats and we tried to learn about being a brother and we got him potty trained and got him sleeping through the night in his own bed and he pooped on my shoulder one time and we picked apples and we pressed cider and we picked berries and made cobbler and we went to like 12 different parks and we found waterfalls and we did so much more stuff.

It was a blast. It was a span of 10 weeks I will treasure forever. Really, we had so much fun and moved so fast I didn't get too many pictures of them all, which I am okay with.

Wyatt had the tow truck ready in case the snail broke down.

My two favorite people in one of my new favorite places.

Wyatt and Papa with Kambiz.

If you are a dentist and want to give us a free checkup, I assume this is the only picture you'd need? Just write me an email at to let us know of any cavities.

You can't tell from his expression, but these are Wyatt's two best friends, and the people who get mentioned the most in his prayers outside of mom and dad.

Wyatt's favorite neighborhood cat, who isn't very good at playing cars.

The best picture I have of him at campfire, with his favorite accessory on his head and what I am going to assume is a box of matches in his hand. No, wait, that's a graham cracker.

I do love my job, actually. Teaching is wonderful because it is challenging and exhausting and it's never the same thing twice, really, and young people have energy and excitement. I like to pretend like summer ending is the worst thing that could happen to me, but only because squeezing a month between July and August sounds so appealing. But I've learned that I need to reach this mystical point where I am ready for school. Where I feel like I've done enough fun to enable myself to look out the window when I am sitting in my classroom, and see the sun and the breeze and be okay with the fact that I am not playing in that right now. This summer, I did that, and in a few hours I'll gladly go to my first day of work.

The summer of two-year-old Wyatt is over, can't wait for the fall.

My mood: Ready
Wyatt's mood: He actually spends about a week waking up in the morning and walking around the house looking for dad. He's used to having me home, but I am usually gone before he wakes up. It's cute and sweet and maybe a little sad.
Cara's mood: Sad I am going to work, but glad that I have a job and am not a total loser for 12 months of the year, just three of them.
Listening to: Ocean Avenue by Yellowcard

Friday, August 8, 2014

Boy or Girl Announcement!!

Alright, little man! Today we tell everyone if you're going to be a big brother or a big sister! Crazy how that works!

   Here's the deal: we know if we're having a boy or a girl!! This is super exciting and the tension is building!! How long can I keep typing before I reveal!? We just learned today! THIS IS SO FUN!!

   Actually, I've already talked about how much pressure there is to be all fancy and cute with these types of reveals. You need clever pictures if you are going to tell the world you're pregnant. You need colored cake to tell the world if you're having a boy or a girl. You need a special dance when you find out you're not the father on an episode of Maury.

Have you heard about this new trend? People have parties to announce the gender. The parents have someone else find out and bake a cake with blue or pink frosting on the inside. You cut it open to find out, and then realize how incredibly self involved you are!! Cara and I are planning on doing this, because it seems like a good scam to get presents. We'll have a "gender shower" where everyone brings two presents, one for a baby girl and one for a baby boy, or just two for the baby's dad. Then we open them and eat cake and you leave and we keep all the presents. Maybe I should just write another blog post about this and not put it in a caption.

   So let's skip all the failed attempts at being adorable and just skip to the facts. Here's the only image you'll need:

   There!! I can't imagine anything else you'd need in order to know the sex of our new little baby! I can't wait to start getting cute, appropriately colored onesies from all of you!!

   Hmm. On second thought, that might not be obvious enough to all of you non-doctors like my wife, or non-masters like myself. Here's a second try:

   Gah! I think Cara has some splaining to do.

   Ok no but seriously we are having a boy. A boy!! Wahoo!! Here's an actually somewhat useful picture of Cara's actual, somewhat useful belly:

   Pretty cute already, right? I mean his ears are kind of big and his forehead is suitable for sledding, but that's one adorable little nose, just like this guy's:

I feel like I deserve some kind of award for having never actually taken a bite out of his cheeks.  Circa 7 months old.

   A boy!! I'll check back in later to tell you just how happy I am about this, but it sure is fun to get the word out!

My mood: Things got real today. I'm ecstatic.
Wyatt's mood: Concerned about losing his throne.
Cara's mood: Outnumbered instead of even.
Listening to: Tom Petty

Friday, August 1, 2014

Classic Comedy!!

This kid will play till he drops. And then keep playing. He actually built himself
a sand pillow. Then he muttered "Car wy night night sleep." Over and over.

   Wyatt loves to say lots of words, and is really able to communicate what he wants with specific words, grunts and gestures. I wish he'd start stringing some sentences together, and throw in some words like "the, it, or, if, we, me, you, I..." really any non-noun or non-verb would be appreciated. Is there a word for words that aren't nouns or verbs?

   But don't think I am not trying to get him to talk more!! When he wants something, I pretend like I don't know what he wants. I want him to use his words, to tell me what he wants without just pointing. This happens:


   Let's all agree he's absurdly cute and move on.

   Wyatt has some interesting definitions he uses in language. Calling a fire truck a "water truck" and a garbage truck a "trash truck" isn't odd and is totally adorable, and things like calling a plane a "high bird" or a helicopter a "big bird" are logical, sure, but sometimes he's pretty entertaining.

  He's defined the word "mine" to mean "Wyatt's." Cara will be eating food and Wyatt takes a handful. Cara says "No Wyatt, that's mine."
Wyatt agrees and says "Uh huh! Mine!"
"No, Wyatt, it's mine. Mama's."
"Uh huh! Mine! Wyatt's!"
Cara then grabs the food and says "mine" and Wyatt says "mine!" and then I come home and say "Cara! You're the adult here!! You shouldn't be in a game of tug-of-war-of-words with a toddler. And if you are - holy crap you better win!"

   That video you saw above is not the only time I've run a Who's On First con on unsuspecting citizens.

   My buddy RJ and I have floated the McKenzie river bajillions of times. It was our pastime during high school and college summers. We bought two cheap, small inner-tubes and, in order to be able to tell them apart, on a whim we named them "My Tube" and "Yours." We even wrote these names on them with Sharpie.

   Soon, the comedy potential struck us. We'd float with new friends and I'd ask Rj "which tube do you have?"
"I have Yours."
"Good, cause I have My Tube." (Imagine it without the capital letters, and you'd be more confused.)

   My little brother in particular was a fun float friend for this reason. Every time, we'd run some clever concoction.
"Rj, can I take My Tube this time?"
"No, you've been using My Tube all summer, take Yours."
"Yours is full of wrappers from the last float, I'm going to take My Tube."

   Garrett knew some joke was up, but never figured it out. Sometimes Rj and I would pause to look at him and see if he had pieced it together (the names were written on the tubes for crying out loud), but he never did. Later, when I explained it to ANOTHER friend on a float, Garrett exclaims "Oh so that's what you were doing all along. Then I saw him process it for about half an hour, running all those conversations through his mind.

   Um... I guess that's all? Here's another picture and then we'll get to the finish line:

Cute little guy walking a cute little dog.

My mood: entertained yet frustrated
Wyatt's mood: Frustrated yet entertaining
Cara's doing: really, really well!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Just The Cutest Little Prayers!!

   We've been praying with Wyatt at night as we go to bed. We don't really pray before our meals because we don't really have meals as much as we have a grazing system. Sometimes Wyatt repeats what we pray, sometimes he just sits, but he loves holding hands and cuddling. Here's the best video we have:


   He likes to translate things into his own language. If I pray for a good night's sleep, he says "night night," and if I thank God for mom he says "thank mom!"

   Here's the worst video we have:


   The other night, we actually got him to pray on his own. It went like this: "Dear God. Night night. Thx mom. Thx dad. Thx papa mama. Thx weem wy. Thx choo choo. Thx choo choo track. Thx dump truck. Thx water truck. Thx trash truck. Thx car. Thx wee car. Thx faith. Thx granmama." Just like we taught him. It's like how I pray "Thanks God for my Nintendo Wii, and my DS and my old Super Nintendo and my old Gameboy and also for my frisbees and for netflix and for bikes and for The Wire and for Arrested Development."

   Odds are pretty good this is about as cute as it will get. Pretty soon he'll be enunciating and using whole sentences, sadly, so I'm glad I have just a little bit of video here to remember.

My mood: Nostalgic
Wy's mood: Car racing.
Cara's Doing: Hungry
Listening To: U2

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Track Star!!

This picture has nothing to do with the following text. In fact
you can ignore my stupid grin and just get going, if you'd like.

   Living in Eugene, Oregon, AKA Track Town USA, AKA Smells Like Pot has lots of wonderful things about it. One of those not-wonderful things is the fact that there's a marathon or 5K or half-marathon for pretty much every cause and every holiday every weekend.

   So, you have to do them. They are for a good cause. They fight hunger, or you walk for a cure, or you walk for heart disease. I've never really understood why anyone would be "for" heart disease but I am sure I am missing something. You can even shuffle for a truffle, which, I'm sure is something we should all support.

   Worse, everyone you know except for you has run a marathon. I can't tell you how sickening it is to see 100 status updates one morning that say something like "Can't believe I did it! Another one off the bucket list!" or "Wow am I tired but I sure feel good. Team Beat Insomnia did it!" (there's a half-marathon to fight insomnia. It starts at 2:00 am. I am lying.) or even "Just finished a marathon and I bet my ex Jordan is still on the couch getting fatter." (Get over it, Sam, you just look sad!) These people are running marathons and you're reading about it while eating cereal because you were too lazy to make pancakes. The only thing I've knocked off my bucket list lately is "spend a whole day in your underwear," which was actually kind of awkward because I had to take out the trash. I mean, how do you expect me to do a 5K!? Don't you know that it's five thousand!!

   Wyatt, however, that kid is going to run marathons, man.

   He can run, non stop, for hours. This is not an exaggeration. He's done it after church, running in circles around the gym, he's done it at this courtyard in town where we go to eat Fro-Yo, and just today he did it around the neighborhood.

   Sometimes we go to visit our friend, Marianne. She's not home a lot, but we stop by anyways. She lives at 1933 Roosevelt Street, which is exactly 0.8 miles from our house. Marianne, who has tons of nice stuff in her living room, wasn't there today around 9:15pm during our run, but that didn't matter to Wyatt because he wanted to go "pas," which is his adorable way of saying "fast." He says it all the time. "Mon da go pas!" (Come on dad go fast!) is easily his most used phrase, distantly followed by "oh car broke" (whenever he sees my broken down Buick Grandma which is for sale by the way only $6000), and "oh no ma wor oh no" (we are sad mom is at work). He turned around and ran home, which means he ran 1.6 miles tonight. Which means I ran 1.6 miles tonight. Which means heck yeah. Here, look at the Google Mapping I made:

Google Map of the route we took.

   His first sentence he ever said was "I gon ge goo!" which, loosely translated, means "I'm going to get you!" He yells it and then runs away from me, wanting me to chase him. He literally wants nothing more than to go pas all the time. When he's not going pas, he wants his cars to go pas or his choo choos to go pas. It's an obsession on par with Ricky Bobby.

   We decided to test out this need for speed, and took him to the last All Comers Meet at Historic Hayward Field. Since you might not live in a track-and-field-and-not-deodorant crazy town like I do, an All Comer's Meet is a track meet put on for anyone and everyone who wants to. A couple even have official enough time keeping to count towards things like national meets and Olympic Trial Qualifying.

   Wyatt went, and here's what happened:

We're in the middle of the screen. Wyatt's in the yellow-orange shirt, I am kneeling behind him giving him pointers. "Okay, now, it's a 40 meter race, so don't go too hard and wait for the other kids to get tired, then sprint hard at the end! If you *accidentally* trip another kid, that's all part of racing and winning and making dad proud."

The race has just started! You can tell because Cara put her finger in the screen a little.

What's the big hurry, kid in the red?! It's just for fun and we weren't even trying to win anyways.

   Just so you all know, I wasn't even going my fastest. If I'd wanted to win in that race I totally could've. It's just that my hamstring has been bothering me a bit lately.

   Once Wyatt really understood what a race was, he wanted to do it again, over and over. We would ready-set-go a few of these for him:


   There was also a long jump that Cara filmed. Well, "filmed" probably isn't the right term. It's more like she was "out looking for sasquatch" who is always in a blurry field.


   Thanks for that glorious, one-second video of Wyatt's first-ever-athletic venture, honey!

   He had a great time, and got a participation ribbon for all three of his events!! (Long jump, 40m dash, softball throw). I am usually totally against the whole "everyone gets a trophy" mentality, but I am all for the "Wyatt always gets a ribbon" craze that is sweeping the country. It will only make him tough and strong. Besides, winning isn't everything, if you lost. If you won, well, winning is obviously all that matters.

   Without really knowing it, I've actually been preparing him for races all along. I've spent the summer building up a little obstacle course in the back yard for Wyatt. It's really not much, it just has him running some loops and climbing some things, but he likes trying to do it faster and faster. Watch!


   My intention with this was actually to work on a few things: Counting (when he does the slalom at the start), shapes (I have him run around a circle, square, or triangle and say the shape each time), putting his face in the water (he's afraid to do it when in pools), climbing and jumping (he is hesitant if there are no cushions), and running under hammocks (self explanatory). There were other things I wanted us to do, like color or make animal sounds, but he just likes the "go pas" ones, so that's what it's turned into.

   Cara's always been afraid that Wyatt will love baseball, because she finds it so boring. I've always been afraid that he'll love math, because then he'll be so boring. Now we are wondering if he's just going to be one of those runners, who just runs all the time and doesn't really know how to throw a hatchet like all the other kids. Still, we're glad he's happy going pas and having fun.

My mood: Actually quite tired from that run. My hips kind of hurt. Ugh.
Wy's mood: Not at all tired from that run.
Cara's doing: Well. Not sleeping great, but that's mostly due to the fact that I am taking up the drums.
Listening to: Third Eye Blind

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Big Announcement!!

   Yeah okay let's get this over with we're having another baby.

   I thought about mustering up some excitement and throwing down lots of my trademark double exclamation points!! and trying to build up some suspense or something, but that wasn't going to work. Let's face it: This new one isn't going to be our first one, and that means you aren't going to be as excited.
   My parents already have their first grandkid. My brother and sister already became an aunt and an uncle for the first time. Wyatt's cousins already have cousins. Now it's just more of the same old same old.

   But!! We can still make this exciting!! I'm talking about photos and updates and pinterest and fruit and all kinds of good things!! Here's what I mean.

   Spend half an hour on Pinterest (which my wife does like 6 times a day), and you'll see that pregnancy announcements and gender announcements are A HUGE DEAL. You have to let the world know how cute and artsy you are and how happy you are to be having a baby and also that you are going to be the best parents evar!! So, we've got that covered:

   These are 6 images that appeared on the first page of searching "Pregnancy Announcement" on Pinterest. Let's see what we've got:

Can't spell. Is that ring both an "o" and an "a"? Just trying way too hard here.

Whoa! I don't want to see people making out unless it's me and a steak. Also, walking around on those shoes must've been stressful.

Um, hmmm. Well, so, I guess anyone who can recognize those feet knows who this girl is and that she's pregnant. Angela?

Ah yes, the chalkboard with arrows and colors. Classic.

So, wait, boy + girl + tree = 3? I don't get the math on this one. Maybe it's boy tree girl plus sign three?

And this one!! Okay, actually that's really funny. You guys win.

   As you can see, there's a lot of pressure to pull this thing off right. People need to get excited for you and also know how wonderful you are, all at once. A while back, Cara and Wy and I were bored and decided we'd get a head start on this whole "baby announcement picture" thing. These were the results:

This is the creative process at work.

We realized people would take this the wrong way. WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?!
True story: We had a friend take these photos. The friend is actually a photographer. The friend didn't want us to use his name because he didn't want anything to do with these things. Thanks, Jake!

We figured we'd make a few with some random dates, just hoping to get the due date right. Notice we didn't put down any years or anything.

What fun we were having.

Our try at the whole mathy thing. Because there'd be four of us. I guess I forgot to add a tree in there somewhere. During this photo-shoot, someone actually walked by and said "What does that even mean? Are you having a baby or something." I politely replied with "MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS AND DON'T LET THAT DOG POOP ON MY LAWN!" (It wasn't my lawn.) (She didn't have a dog.)

It's not... you know, Cara ...  the baby's not going to be in my belly. Why are you doing this?! You know I've had body image issues ever since we were pregnant the first time around. It changes you.

What is with this belly obsession!?

Do you get it!? Cara drinks water, dad drinks whatever's in that bottle and we're not telling but it's probably just used for cooking anyways, and Wyatt LOVES milk.

Here, we gave Wyatt a bag of chips and said "spell out "I'ma big brother!" or something" and then came back a few hours later.
   So there you have it. The secret's out: Not only are we pregnant, but we aren't photogenic, clever or going to be featured on any pinterest boards.
   Now, I'm sure you have a ton of questions, so let me answer them for you.

   How did this happen?!
   That is not a question I am going to answer. This is a family blog. Well, it's a blog about a family. No, it's really a blog about a dad who needs attention. 
   Are you going to change the name of the blog?!
   To what? "My Kids Is Special!!?" That doesn't even make any sense. You should be embarassed for even suggesting that.
   You should be embarrassed that you can't spell "embarrassed" right. Those aren't my questions, Grant. I have questions like "When will-
   - "When will I get a new little plushy batman drawing for the new kid?" Great question. I probably need to update Wyatt's anyways to reflect his age and sensibilities. We don't know if the new kid is a boy or a girl yet, so the plushy image could be Link or Spider-Man if he's a boy, and Zelda or Samus if he's a girl.
   You are awful at this. At least you answered the question about the gender. When is the soon-to-be-forever-screwed-up-by-this-blog kid coming?
   The "doctor's" tell us it's coming in December, but I think I know my own body and have a good feeling about late August.
   Ugh. Are you going to find out the gender in advance?
   Probably. But not because of ultrasounds or anything. We have a neighbor who has visions about these sorts of things. He accurately predicted that Wyatt would be a boy and he'd be super cute and he'd grow up to be a rock star, so he's pretty reliable. He also knew in advance that Hillary was going to run for president.
   Ugh. How's mom doing?
   Yeah great fine who cares what else?
   Have you thought about names at all?
   Yes. If it's a boy, probably Link or Spider-Man. If it's a girl, um, can you trade those things in for boys?
   What, you don't want a baby girl?
   No no no, it's not that at all. I'd love a baby girl. I don't want a middle or high school girl. Those things are terrifying.
   Aren't you a teacher?
   Yes and if the girl's knew how scared I was of them and their drama they'd have all the control.
   Okay let's wrap this up.
   Well, I'm in charge of this blog. I ask the questions around here.
   No, seriously, I've been asking questions for like 15 minutes.
   Wait, what? Seriously?
   Yes!! That's been your whole gimmick!
   Are... are you sure that's right?
   Well, now I guess we've switched and you are asking stupid questions.
   How did you do this? Are you like a spy or something?
   You keep asking questions. And if I were a spy I obviously couldn't tell you.
   Okay. Got it. You can't tell me. I'll just have to do some digging on my own some other time. 

   I need to be moving on. I can't just sit here and entertain all day. I've got important things to do like mail a few more wedding thank-yous. Let's wrap this up.

My mood: ecstatic! Also, I can't believe any of you would read this far!!
Wyatt's mood: kind of understanding what's going on but not really!
Cara's mood: Sleeping okay these days!!
Listening to: The Shins.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Auntie Ashley Got Married, so Wy Got Dressed Up!!

I don't know if you've heard the biggest news in Eugene, but Wyatt's auntie Ashley got married!! What a perfect opportunity to dress up all adorbs!! Hope you can handle this (but you probably can't).

Just after getting dressed at home and seeing how stinkin' cute today was going to be. Don't worry, the room is very clean in the background, no need to check.

Well, this is pretty fun.

The groom and groomsmen in the background. Kirk, Wyatt's new uncle (pronounced "Kowik") gave all his groomsmen and none of his brothers-in-laws sweet longboards as presents.

Strolling to a his business-school presentation in a half an hour.

He actually found this photo-shoot setting on his own...

... and promptly struck some model poses

Holy crap this kid is cute.

No big deal, just cruisin'.

Wy on a longboard while the wedding party preens for the camera. If only we had some video of his first time trying to longboard!

Here's some video of Wyatt's first time trying to longboard:


Look out, Tony Hawk!! It's crazy that I have to mention you because no one know any other skateboarders except for maybe Kirk he might know a couple.

My mood: proud of my genes!
Wyatt's mood: working on that balance.
Listening to: Neil Diamond