Wednesday, July 28, 2010



We ran some errands today. Everywhere we went Tralee insisted on wearing her "princess shoes." Her princess shoes are those plastic dress-up shoes with a little heal, a little glitter, a little plastic gem glued to the top. You know what I'm talking about, right? So yeah, her princess shoes went along with us today. They really slowed us down, cause the girl prances in them. I just laughed. We didn't have any pressing engagements, so I figured she could prance behind me and slow us down a bit, cause, why not? I also knew exactly where Tralee was at every moment because her princess shoes are loud.

Click click. Click click. Click click.

That was our sound for the day. Sometimes it would be more like, Click click. Click click. . . Silence. So I'd turn around and see Tralee playing with something that caught her eye. I'd say, "Come on Sweetie. Follow Mommy." Sometimes she would listen, and sometimes she ignored me and kept playing with the item of interest. Eventually the Click click. Click click. Click click resumed.


Hunter's new thang is, he likes to lift both arms in the air and say, "Surprise!" Except it sounds like, "piiiiies!" That's not all though. He also likes to find toilet paper, rip it up into teeny tiny bits, and throw it in the air as he says "piiiies!" I wonder if he thinks it's confetti or something. Although, he's never seen confetti before, and we've never thrown anything in the air while saying surprise, so I think he came up with this all on his own. Sometimes I know he's been playing the surprise game when I see a trail of toilet paper going from a bathroom into another room. There's usually bits of toilet paper all over the floor, and a little man in the middle of the mess, raising his arms, and yelling, "PIIIIES!!" All I can say is, thank goodness for vacuum cleaners.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


We flew home from Cleveland on the eighth of July. On the ninth (less than 12 hours of being home) we decided to road trip it up to McCall to catch the last day and a half of a family reunion on Jim's side of the family. There was no time to unpack and repack. We just shuffled some items around in our suitcases, called it good, and took off for some family time.

Of course we had to stop on the way up to let Jim fish in some of his secret fishing spots.

Once in McCall we checked into our hotel room, stopped at a grocery store to get some snacks for said hotel room, then went and played at a little beach by Jim's Uncle's cabin. Jim dared me to jump into the water off the end of the dock without checking the water temperature first. This might not seem like much to some people, but I really had to think this one through. Jim always complains that I'm not adventurous enough. He's right, I'm very cautious and don't like doing things that might cause me pain. Hi, my name is Leslie and I'm a wuss. What up?

Jim's the opposite of me. He will try ANYTHING. Climb ANYTHING. Jump off of ANYTHING. Ride on ANYTHING. And he has the scars to prove it. I have a few scars, and the stories behind those scars are the reasons I don't like doing things that could potentially hurt me. Anyway, jumping off the dock into COLD water is easy for someone like my husband. Not so easy for someone like me. But guess what? I totally did it, and it didn't take me ten minutes of counting to three before I leaped. I think I jumped on my second time counting to three. The water was cold and it took my breath away. But, it was fun and I was proud of myself, and most importantly, so was Jim. HOORAY! Jim even took a picture of me jumping, but it was so mega-unflattering that I deleted off the camera right when I saw it. I think I have a few more months of p90x before I'll be ready to reveal my swimsuited self on my blog. . .even then it'll be a big fat (maybe fat isn't the word I should use here) maybe.

So where was I? Oh yeah, after jumping off the dock and playing in the sand with our little family, we headed back to our accommodations, got dressed, and met up with the Callister clan at a campground. We just missed the big lip sync show (bummer. . . I was totally ready to bust out my rendition of Baby-Got-Back (joking)), but we were able to visit with some family. Jim played volleyball. Tralee found some cousins to run around with. Hunter meandered as well, and I visited with some family too. It was fun to meet some cousins that I only knew through reading their blogs. It was kind of like seeing someone famous. I recognized them, nervously wondered if I should go say hello and introduce myself, then once I mustered up enough courage I made my way over. I know with some celebrities you like, you're not supposed to meet them because it could taint your opinion of them. Not true with the Callister cousins. Everyone was/is super fun and nice. Yay!

After volleyball and visiting, our little family went back to our hotel where we set up Jim's pop-up tent in our room for Tralee. We filled it with pillows and blankets from home, and told her she was camping. She loved it! I also loved having a bed to sleep on.

Saturday Jim woke up early to ride dirt bikes with a cousin, then made it back to help me get the babies ready for the day. We all got to ride on Jim's Uncle's boat, Tralee loved it. Jim also went wake boarding. We ate lunch with the Callister clan, then headed on our merry way.

Our trip ended the same way it began, with Jim stopping at his favorite fishing holes to catch a few more trout before driving home. On the drive our munchkins fell asleep. LOVE that! A few hours later we pulled into our drive way, carried the munchkins up to bed, and I totally ignored the mess that was our suitcases. Instead of unpacking, I headed up to my own bed where I crawled inside, flipped through a pile of magazines that had been waiting for me all month, while a recorded Deadliest Catch (poor poor captain Phil) played on the tv in the background. It felt/feels SO GOOD to be home.

P.S. Mom, I know you're probably wondering how long I let our suitcases sit there. It took a good three or four days before I unpacked. Somethings will never change, eh? I know YOU would have unpacked and put everything in its proper place the very moment you walked through the door. I guess the apple CAN fall far from the tree in some cases.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

English Major You Say?

One of my pet peeves about myself is when I re-read through my blog posts and find obvious spelling and grammatical errors. I am an English major after all, you would think I'd have the whole they're, there, their and our, are, or thing down pat by now. I get embarrassed when I read though previous ramblings and discover I wrote your instead of you're. I try not to let it happen, but it does. I guess proof reading is not my strong point. Spelling isn't really my strong point either. Now you know. . . Hi, I'm Leslie and I'm an English major with imperfect grammar and bad spelling skills. . . it's amazing I graduated!

In my defense, I majored in English literature, so that's my excuse. I spent my college years with my nose in books. My writing skills are decent, just riddled with grammatical errors. Don't judge me too harshly. All my past professors' corrections on my essays have done that enough.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Not to be a downer, but I feel like Crappy Craperson today (what an unfortunate name). I've finally lost the battle with this bug that the kid-os past on to me. I was hoping it would stay away, even when I woke up with a pounding head and scratchy throat yesterday (and the day before that) I was hoping to fight it off by consuming copious amounts of vitamin c and echinacea. Well. . . to be totally honest I never got around to the echinacea. We're out and I didn't feel like going out to buy some more. I just thought if I wrote that I HAD been popping echinacea pills down my gullet, followed by an OJ (not Simpson) chaser, and STILL this sickness invaded my body it would seem like I REALLY did put up a good fight. But I didn't. I just HOPED this cold would stay away, and hoped that drinking some OJ was enough. It wasn't.

Is this making sense to anyone?

My head is fuzzy. I think it's cause my head is full of gross things that belong outside my body instead of in. I won't go into more detail than that, because on top of my pounding head (and fever, did I mention I have a fever? Not a bad one, just bad enough that I thought I would write it down to get some sympathy points), I also feel queasy. And then there's my throat. I can hardly swallow, and it hurts when I do. So, eating is pretty much out of the question. All though I ate some toast and cherries and drank some OJ and water. It helped to have something in my tummy.

Do you want to know how awesome Jim is? He watched the kids for me this morning while I slept and slept and slept. I slept until 11:15 am. I don't think I've slept past 9 in a seriously long time, and although my head was pounding, it felt amazing to sleep in. The only downside is now it's already 1pm and most of the day is gone. Another downer? Jim finally had to get going. He left shortly after I made my debut from my chamber of sickies.

Now I'm all alone with the babies. In case you don't know, or have forgotten, a three-year-old and one-year-old are VERY demanding. About all I can do today is take care of them and rest in between feeding, changing, snuggling, reading, and helping them with whatever demands they have. Although, sometimes their pleadings go unanswered. Sometimes I just don't think Tralee needs ANOTHER drink after I just got up to get her one. Sometimes I tell her, "Be quiet and patient!" Sometimes she listens, and sometimes she begs and sometimes I feel like shutting myself in the closet and not playing the part of mommy. And sometimes I'm the one that needs to be patient, cause when I'm sick I'm not very patient and understanding. I'm kind of crabby, and needy, and not good for much. I let my kids watch too much TV when I'm sick, cause I don't want to do anything except close my eyes and wait for this bug to fly away and corrupt someone else's body. Perhaps Crappy Craperson's. With a name like that, I wouldn't feel bad getting him sick.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Carnival Day (among other wants)

Tralee changed a little bit in Cleveland. Before we left, she was still pretty timid about certain things. She did not like going on rides (unless they were the piggy-back variety), and she was nervous about other unfamiliar activities as well. I don't know what happened, if she just matured over night, or if she ate some magic beans or something, but Tralee has become quite the adventuresome little girl. Not only that, but she knows what she wants. Almost everyday we were in Cleveland, Tralee announced something else she wanted to do, see, or have.

"Mommy, I want to go camping."

"Mommy, I want to go to the beach."

"Mommy, I want to go on a balloon race." (Still not sure what this is.)

"Mommy, I want to go to the zoo."

"Mommy, I want to have a tea party."

"Mommy, I want a pillow pet. . . I want a ladybug pillow pet."

"Mommy, I want to go outside and catch fireflies."

"Mommy, I want to go swimming."

"Mommy, I want to go to the park."

"Mommy, I want to fly on an airplane."

"Mommy, I want to go to the carnival. I want to ride on the ferris wheel. I want to ride on the carousel on a purple horsey."

I want. I want. I want.

Sometimes her requests were simple and doable. Sometimes I told Tralee we would have to wait for Daddy to come back, so we could save some fun things to do with him. And sometimes I sang these lyrics to her,

"I want the works
I want the whole works
Presents and prizes and sweets and surprises
Of all shapes and sizes
And now!
Don't care how
I want it now.
Don't care how
I want it now!"

The last thing I wanted was a little Veruca Salt on my hands, and sometimes when Tralee's pleas for things border lined begging ("Please. Please. Please Mommy! I want a pillow pet so so so much."), I envisioned Oompa Loompas singing to me about my parenting skills (or lack thereof). At these times, a firm "no" was my response, followed by a glance to the imaginary Oompa Loompas as if to say, "See? I'm not one of THOSE parents." However, as far as the Pillow Pet goes, instead of "no," I think I said something along the lines of, "Maybe Santa will bring one for you at Christmas if you're a good girl."

Now, to look at it from my three-year-old's point of view, I thought most of her requests were fairly decent and doable. In fact, I already planned on a zoo trip. I KNEW Jim would want to visit the beach with the kids. We planned on camping when we returned to Idaho. Flying on an airplane would be accomplished when we flew home. We visited a park and chased fireflies on an almost daily basis. Tralee and I had a few little tea parties on our own. We swam. I got balloons for Jim when we welcomed him back. We let Tralee let go of them and told her it was a balloon race. The only thing left on her list of wants (besides a ladybug pillow pet, which Santa is now in charge of) was a trip to a carnival.

I told my Mom about Tralee's carnival request, and she informed me that there was a Kiddie Carnival in Cleveland. All the rides were for children 50-inches and under. I googled it, and discovered that it looked like a fun (and affordable) day for the kids. We told Tralee that on Friday we would be going to the carnival. All week she informed us, "I want to go to the carnival." We reminded her, "We're going to go on Friday." To which she would reply, "Oh. Ok. On Friday? I can't wait!" I liked her response, not very Varuca-ish (I want it now-ish) at all. I was pleased, and those darned Oompa Loompas stayed at bay. Well, except when Tralee asked for her fourth piece of chocolate out of the candy dish at my mom's work. I didn't want to deal with an Augustus Gloop ontop of a Varuca. . . but my child's love affair with chocolate is for a whole other blog post.

Friday came around and I was excited for Tralee. We told her it was the carnival day. As soon as we pulled up, and she saw the rides, we knew it was worth the twenty minute drive. Tralee's reaction was priceless. She gave real live "ooooos"and "ahhhhhs."

The first ride she wanted to go on was the Ferris Wheel.

She was also able to ride on a horsey (although it wasn't purple) on the carousal.

I believe Tralee rode every ride at the kiddie carnival. Hunter mostly watched, but he did ride a few as well. Not sure if he was all that impressed.

The highlight was when Tralee rode the little roller coaster. It was Tralee's first coaster, and she LOVED it!!! We got to ride with her, and I was laughing so hard at her reaction I cried. She screamed, giggled, and after riding it a few times, even lifted her arms in the air. I told Jim that watching Tralee on the roller coaster was like watching the definition of pure joy.

Check out the face in the picture above (hers, not mine. . . mine has a triple chin thing going on). Doesn't her face scream -- "I'm having the time of my life!!!!!"

We ended our carnival day with a family train ride around the park.
I'm so glad we were able to accomplish everything on Tralee's list of wants while on our little vacation in Cleveland (well. . . except for the pillow pet). Added bonus? We were able to cross everything off her list, and still keep her out of the Varuca zone. If Tralee keeps up the good behavior, I'm pretty sure Santa will be delivering that pillow pet in five short months.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lake Erie

One of my favorite days spent in Cleveland was our family's trip to Lake Erie. We planned on going for an hour or so, and ended up spending almost four hours soaking up the sun (well, the sun that could get past our spf 50 barrier), building sand castles and turtles, jumping over waves (it was a wavy day for a great lake -- my favorite), and enjoying each other's company.

I had to get a belly shot of Hunter. What's even better than that big fat belly? That big fat belly covered in sand.
Jim's masterpiece. I'm glad I got a photo of it when I did, because about 2.5 seconds after this was taken, Tralee jumped on the turtle's shell and we watched it crumble.

We went back to this beach a day later. The second time around there were no waves (funny how fickle great lakes are -- one day huge waves, the next day calm as can be), the beach was quite a bit more populated, and the sand was hot to bare feet. However, we still had fun. Tralee actually "swam" next to Jim. She held onto a swim noodle and kicked her legs. I think it might be time to seriously consider swim lessons.

Anywho. . . if you're ever in the Cleveland area, I would recommend a visit to the beach. We sure had fun.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cleveland Zoo

The day after Jim came to Cleveland, we headed for the Cleveland zoo. The weather was perfect (mid-70's), the kids were happy, and our family was together again after a month without our Daddy, so this was a great day.

This zoo was pretty large so we didn't make it to each exhibit. We also missed the rain forest (in indoor exhibit featuring plants and animals of the rain forest), which we heard, is one of the coolest things this zoo has to offer. Alas, the kids were both exhausted after running through the zoo for nearly four hours (they barely sat in the stroller we rented). Jim and I were also tired, so our plans to visit the rain forest on the way out fell through. Oh well. I'm sure there will be many more visits to the Cleveland zoo.

Enough about what we DIDN'T do. Here are a few pictures of what we DID do and see.

The next two pictures are of our adventurer Tralee. She climbed up the stairs, crossed the rope bridge, looked at an alligator below, then slid down the snake slide ALL BY HERSELF! Our daughter has turned into an adventure seeker. She wants to do EVERYTHING! All we hear lately is, "I want to do that" when she sees, reads, or hears about someone doing something that looks like fun.

See the tortoise below? He walked right in front of us.
I like Hunter's cute little profile watching the tortoise.
The next two photos are at the playground at the zoo. The kids played, then we all shared some popsicles.

The one animal Tralee talked about seeing the most is the monkey. We went to the building that was filled with almost every species of monkey. I think she got her fill.
And then of coarse Tralee rode a camel. That was the highlight of the zoo for all of us I think.

We had a great time.