Sunday, August 19, 2012

The end of babyhood? Eva at 14 months

My little Eva is growing up.  No amount of wishing, crying or trying can stop it.  She just turned 14 months old an is an absolute doll.  She loves to give sweet open mouthed kisses and little cuddly hugs.  "Mommy" is her favorite word.  Mommy means not only Mom but accompanied with a point or grasping hand signifies " I want that."   Eva gets just about anything she wants, including to be picked up, kissed and hugged, and carried about by mom.  At night when she wakes she still comes to bed for snuggles and nursing with Mommy.  She loves to be outside riding in the stroller, scooting in the grass or bouncing lightly on the trampoline.  Eva is fascinated by animals and quick to point out the birds, cats and "Doggy"s that inhabit our neighborhood. 
Eva is a timid little walker.  She has been standing well for almost 2 months now but she still will only venture out 3-4 steps before sitting down and scooting to her destination.  This day at the Spray Park she was fascinated by the fountain and toddled closer for a better look.  She loves to push her toy ride on car around like a walker.  "Crash!" we exclaim as she bumps into furniture and wall.  This provokes a string of lovely little giggles from Eva.  "Ccccc" she says as she points to her car.  Eva is using a spoon pretty well by herself now.  She feeds herself cereal, noodles, rice and more.  I thought that she might be a lefty at first but is now showing definite preference for her right hand.  Her favorite foods remains fruits and berries.  I know that she ate the lion's share of our raspberry crop this year because she would go out to pick with me in the mornings and rarely would a raspberry make it back into the house.  ( In her defense we had a horribly small crop this year.)

This past week as Eva started out really walking on her own the realization began washing over me that my baby, most likely my last is growing up.  This thought initiated a torrent of tears for several days of course.  Oh how I have loved and cherished the baby years, especially of Leah and Eva my last two.  I continue to nurse Eva about 4 times a day, morning, nap and bedtime, as well as middle of night, because I love that time to snuggle and sing to her.  While I continue to be excited as each new step and phase of my children's lives, the tears spring quickly to my eyes as I feel this era of my life drawing to a close.  It is almost like grieving a love that has changed and passed on.  While I think I could never miss the overpowering nausea and sickness of my early pregnancy, I will miss the flutterings of life growing inside me.  My arms will yearn for the weight of a sleeping baby.  I will cherish the scent of  baby hair just shampooed only to be kissed with one million mommy kisses whenever I pick them up.  I will remember the sweet smiles and kisses, hugs and snuggles, soft skin and bright eyes of my growing baby.  And I will hold in my heart the hope and desire that this role, new motherhood, will be mine yet again in the eternities. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Out of the mouths of babes.

So we were driving to the library last night.  Leah was telling us all about something when Kris said,
"Oh, how do you know that?" 
Leah - "I looked it up on the Internet." 
Did I mention that she just turned four?

Fife Family Reunion 2012

In mid August our Fife Family ( Fifes, Meeks and Howells) gathers together for a weekend of food and fun.  This year our reunion was at a rented cabin in Island Park, though I almost hesitate to use the word cabin.  Our cabin was tongue and groove pine throughout, 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom, top of the line appliances, 4 flat screen TV's, game room, hot tub and more.  It was luxury far beyond our usual home.  But that is not to say that we didn't enjoy it :)
On Friday we ventured into Harriman State Park to enjoy a little hiking.  We looped along the Henry's Fork and Silver Lake then up through the old Railroad Ranch.  Along the way we enjoyed the views, wildflowers, and a little wildlife not scared off by our noisy troop of kids plus adults.  We found two of these fuzzy caterpillars which enchanted everyone including Eva.
Later that afternoon hunted for Geocaches.  We all love the hunt but the kids especially love swapping little prizes hidden inside.
Friday night we enjoyed our second season of Minute to Win It - Fife Clan.  With a little coaxing everyone got in on the different games.  Face the Cookie was a hit with everyone because no matter if you were successful or not, you got to eat your prize.
Jared was the only one successful at Don't Blow The Joker.  I tried a couple of different times but almost passed out.  Other favorites were Bucket Head, Balloon Vs Cups, and Shake What Your Mama Gave You.  The kids of course were the superior shakers. 
I think the kids spent more time in the hot tub than out of it.  With all of the splashing and diving, I'm surprised that we didn't have to refill it.  Little Bella was probably the most insistent, " Bella Swimsuit, Hot Tub" she would beg several times a day.  Kris and I got our hot tubbing in after the children went to bed.  On Saturday night we even caught about 10 shooting stars from the Perseid Meteor Shower at we soaked. 
On Saturday we drove up to Quake Lake.  Unfortunately the Visitor's Center and Lookout Trail were being remodeled so we just kind of looked around.  Quake Lake was formed back in 1959 when an earthquake caused a huge chunk of the mountain to slide down into the valley damming up the river.  A score of people died in the landslide and a lake subsequently formed behind the dam.  Since then an outlet has been cut out for the river to reflow but the lake still remains. 
Saturday afternoon the more adventurous took a float down the river.  The too little and less adventurous stayed back at the cabin.  Really I do love to float, but someone had to stay with Eva. 
Saturday evening we celebrated my upcoming birthday with my favorite, raspberry cheesecake.  My mom has made it for me every year since I was probably 8 or 9 years old.  I could have eaten the whole pan, but settled for just seconds.   Yummy!!!  We also enjoyed watching the Olympics on that nice flat screen in the main room. 
Sunday morning we washed off the dirt and headed for church in Island Park.  The kids enjoyed the experience of sitting on the lawn for sacrament meeting though I'm not certain if they were easier or more difficult to manage outside.
On the way home we stopped to dip our toes in the cool water of Big Springs.  The fish weren't biting at the bread or fish food other visitors were throwing but we did spy four monstrous trout languidly swimming in the shade of the bridge.  Thanks for a great weekend family, we are looking forward to next year. 

Tendoy Reunion 2012

Each summer we eagerly anticipate the end of July and our annual Hayes' reunion in Tendoy.  This year was the first year Eva attended as well as the first year that the whole Meek clan spent in a tent.  Too bad I missed a picture of our tent.  Remarkably after the first night of adjustment we all slept really well.   The Tendoy cabin is a little hunting cabin on a 2-3 acre wooded lot nestled against the Lemhi river.  We have some luxuries like a fridge, flushing toilet in the outhouse, shower in the bully barn ( where the lawnmower is stored) but still enjoy the camping experience of sleeping in a tent, cooking over a fire, playing hard and getting dirty.
Our favorite activity up at Tendoy is riding the trails and roads that abound in the area.  The kids all clamor for four wheeler rides.  This year Kris bought a dirt bike from his cousin Sam so that he can now ride with the Big Boys on the single track trails.  After a Superman style dismount from his bike he was a little bruised and beat up, but jumped back on the bike the next day for another ride.  Even little Eva would squeal with delight to ride, very slowly, around camp and down the road.  Some of our favorite trails are up to Chief Tendoy's gravesite, Copper Queen, and the Lewis and Clark Adventure Byway.  

After a day of riding the kids and adults loved to soak in Sharkey Hot Springs.  Abi, Talmage and cousin Walker would splash, dive around in the water and play like crazy.    
 Over in the other pool, the adults could soak and relax.  Eva enjoyed floating back and forth from mom to dad in her little baby boat.  Wearing her life jacket, Leah also was a little fish.
While the Big Boys did their trail ride on Saturday the rest of us took a jaunt up to Copper Queen.  The kids all love collecting the green tinged rocks and bits of quartz.  We also discovered wild raspberries to pick, eat and enjoy.
We repeated the Sailboat Regatta this year.  Our creations this year were made from Styrofoam bowls, sticks and paper sails.  They floated really well, as did one of Abi's flip-flops which escaped down the ditch.  We were so excited to be joined by a larger group of our family this year.  Our kids especially loved playing with their Monk, Funk, Meek and Hayes cousins.  And then every evening we would pull our chairs together around the campfire to share dessert and conversation.  Campfire Eclairs were a big hit this year.  Thanks to all of our family who shared this fun time with us and we look forward to seeing you up in Tendoy again next year.