Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of School

Everyone in the Meek household has been anxiously awaiting this day for the last few weeks. The excitement started mounting as we bought our crayons, glue and other supplies at the end of July. Then we started shopping for pants, long sleeve shirts and new shoes and the excitement built. A week and a half ago we found out who their teachers would be and they literally jumped up and down for joy as they got the teacher they wanted. We packed our bags last Wednesday and on Thursday went to Back to School Night. Abi and Tal met their teachers and found their desks. Last night they picked out their new outfits to wear and laid them out. This morning they bounded out of bed at their alarms and were dressed before I could ask. ( I hope this lasts, but I'm pretty sure by the end of the week I'll be dragging them out of bed again.) I was even up on time and made a breakfast of pancakes to start them off. Then while Tal was brushing his teeth, he came to me and said, "Mom, I'm going to miss you."

Oh, I'm going to miss you too, Abi and Tal. As much as I said I was excited for school to start so I could shop with only 1 kid, or finally really clean my house, or not be feeding someone and cleaning up all day - I'm going to miss you. I'm going to miss lazy mornings, picnics, hearing you laugh and play with your friends outside, having you raid the raspberries, peas and strawberries, and just having you around. After Kris took Abi and Tal to school this morning, and Leah was still sleeping ( after another rough night), I had that moment where you think, "What am I going to do with myself?" And then I remembered the piles and piles of things I've been putting off until the start of school and yet I put them off for a few more minutes to record this moment.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Utah Vacation - Day 1

After months of planning and anticipation we took off on our long awaited Utah vacation. Wahoo!!! We left bright and early the morning of Monday August 10th. OK so it was 8:00, but we have 3 kids to get up and ready. Our first stop was Smith and Edwards "The Country Boy Store." This has got to be Kris's favorite store. It is packed with all sorts of crazy gear as well as Army Surplus. The kids each got a pair of "cheap sunglasses" as Kris kept singing and we found a lid lifter for our dutch oven. Then we loaded back into our van for a short drive to our first real attraction - Hill Air Force Base Museum.We enjoyed wandering around the museum and looking at the planes. This is a bomber that flew missions from England to Germany. Tal was fascinated by all of the machine guns and of course the bombs.

The coolest part of the museum is the Aviation Center for Education - ACE. Here Abi and Tal tried on flight suits and got to sit in real cockpits. There were also displays that helped you understand how airplanes work and flight simulators.

Tal flies a fighter jet. He has always been fascinated by airplanes. I wouldn't be surprised to see him in a real cockpit someday.

Abi flew a little puddle jumper. Here she gets a little help landing it at SeaTac airport. Only 3 bounces, good job.

Our second stop was the Ogden Eccles Dinosaur Park and it was awesome. Inside the museum many real fossils were displayed in cases but the coolest part were the replicas of real dinosaur skeletons. Several of them had interactive kiosks that helped us learn the differences between the types and the periods in which they lived. This one is a cousin of T-Rex, Ankylosaurus, I believe.

This woolly rhino was fun to touch. Leah liked petting his thick fur, ( and playing with the rocks.)

Aaaaagh!!!!! This T-Rex is going to eat us.

Upstairs there was a robotic display of a T-Rex taking on a mama Triceratops who was defending her babies. The babies kind of purred and Leah loved them. Don't worry, the fence is turned off. :)

Outside we wandered around the park looking at the replicas of many other dinosaurs. We are dwarfed by this Brachiosaurus. I'm sure the ground shook when he walked. The kids also got to dig for fossils in a sand pit and play on a little dino playground.

For dinner we visited a "Diner's, Drive-In's and Dives" recommendation - The Blue Plate Diner - in Sugar House. We were all in the mood for omelets and they were scrumptious. After dinner we checked in to our motel, the Crystal Inn Downtown. Kris took Tal and Abi for a dip in the pool while I put Leah to bed. And then we all zonked out after a day of fun so we would be ready for more tomorrow.

Not Sleeping

Notice the time - 3:15 or maybe a little later by the time I'm done. I wish I was sleeping, but my little babe has other ideas. She's been up since 1:00. You would think she'd be tired by now. I fed her. I snuggled her. I lay in my bed for over an hour while I listened to her cry. I brought her to bed and tried to get her to sleep. I nursed her again. She wants to play. Little Leah, you are toooo spoiled. She's back in her own bed, screaming now. I gave Kris a pair of earplugs. I hope that he sleeps. And here I am out at my computer because I can't bear to lie there and listen to her cry. I vacillate between wondering what could be wrong with her, feeling bad that I am letting her cry, and getting mad that I am not getting any sleep. I clench my jaw and grind my teeth, not because I want to, but because the sound of your own baby screaming is the worst sound in the world. And so, I blog. I love you Leah.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Roaring Youth Jam 2009

Once again I am marathon blogging. So scroll way down to catch up with the fun things we've been doing this summer.

Thursday morning my sister and I took our kids to the "Roaring Youth Jam" along the greenbelt. It is always a fun paint, glitter and glue filled experience.

Abi and Tal try their hand at sand art.
Of course we had to stop and visit the face painting.
Leah rips it up with her spoon at the "Junk Jam."

Abi and Tal loved tagging the graffiti wall.

My children get thier hula hooping skills from their dad. He is amazingly talented, he even wins contests. I, however, am quite pathetic. Wahooo, little Meeks.

Painting the xylophone is always a crazy experience. I tried to think ahead this year and my kids wore their grubbies. We had a roaring good time.

Hayes Reunion in Tendoy

Last weekend was our annual Hayes reunion in Tendoy, Idaho. ( Tendoy is a tiny town about 20 miles south of Salmon in the Lemhi valley.) Kris's great-grandpa had a little piece of property that over the years has been developed into a cabin, a few outbuildings and camping spots. Now when I say cabin, I mean cabin, not the second homes you see in Island Park. But it has everything we need and is soooooooo much fun. Our kids look forward to it every year. Their favorite activity is riding the 4 wheeler all around the trails and county roads. Leah only got to ride around the camp site but she was hooked, she hollered and cried when she had to get off. Our first ride is always up to Chief Tendoy's grave site.
Abi, Tal and Walker cooled off on a warm afternoon by floating boats and rafts down a little irrigation ditch while mom watches close by and reads her book. ( A rare treat.)
Abi and Walker liked to send their boats under the bridge.

Another favorite activity is visiting the hot pools at Sharkey Warm Springs. Back in the day I guess they were rather primitive but now they are concrete pools where you can relax and play.

Most of the crew in front of the cabin, all dirty and stinky right before we went home.
Paul, Jeremy, Lisa, Kevin, Reagan, Leah, Donalee, Kris and Eric
Walker, Talmage, Abi
Phil - who always thinks he is the center of attention.
Nathan and Sarah left right before I remembered to take a picture. Wynn and Nancy and GG Hayes also came up on Saturday and spent the day with us. We had a wonderful time riding, playing, resting, playing bean bags, roasting marshmallows and hanging out by the fire.
See you again next year.

Guess Who's Walking Now!

Leah finally took off walking on her own and she hasn't stoppped since. Since about the middle of June she has taken a few steps in between people but was too chicken to just take off. She preferred to scoot around. But then about July 20th and 21st, she just started walking. She was a little hesitant at first with her arms out for balance but every time she fell down she would get back up and keep going. Soon she was practically running everywhere. Now all she wants to do is walk. Shopping has turned into a really exciting experience as she doesn't want to sit in the cart, she wants to be "Down" and exploring everything on the shelves.
These are Leah's 1 year photos. Where is my baby going, she is turning into such a little girl. It's too bad that the photos don't show it but she has the prettiest blue eyes - cornflower blue. Leah's vocabulary is expanding also. She now knows "down" and "up", thank you, I love you, eyes, doggie, ball, milk, and my favorite "Hi." Nearly every morning she greets me with a cheerful "Hi" when I go into her room. Thankfully she is also sleeping through the night again. We made it through another round of teeth, the eye teeth this time, and now she has 16. She goes to bed about 8:30, will sometimes rustle at 11:30 and then wakes to nurse at 6:30. I put her back to bed and she sleeps until 7:30 or 8:00. I can't even explain how fantastic a full night of sleep feels. Leah has a great sense of humor and is quite the ham. She loves to play peek-a-boo, patty cake and to beep your nose. She squeals with delight on the slides at the park or on falling back onto my bed.