Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Life With Landon

Today, within the space of an hour Landon injured his eyes. Twice. The first was with some hairspray (not horrible). The second was with some cayenne pepper (horrible).

You may be asking yourself, "Is this kid for real?"

Yes. Yes he is. 

And he has two very proactive, involved, dedicated parents who are trying their darndest to keep on top of his antics. If you measure their success in doing so by him staying out of trouble, then his parents are failing miserably. If you measure their success by the fact that he's still alive and relatively uninjured, then they're doing a superb job!

In closing, I'll leave you a picture of this little independent, spirited, strong-willed child, who is wearing an outfit that he proudly picked out and put on all by himself....

 (i can't help but think of  jim carrey in a tutu in ace ventura!)

..... any and all prayers on his and our behalf are appreciated!

Why kids aren't good for my ego

After getting two text messages in a row from my sister this morning:
Emma: mom, why do you keep getting so many text messages?
Me: because I'm so popular.
Emma: (laughing) noooo mom. you're not popular! just because you get lots of text messages doesn't mean you're popular! no. you're not popular.

While sitting on the couch snuggling with me:
Grady: mom, move your hands to the side. LOOK! it looks like you're going to have another baby! 
Me: Landon, I looooove you. Do you love me?
Landon: NO!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Great Gonsalves Family Yosemite (mis)Adventure

Pre me, the Gonsalves family used to go camping a lot. I try not to take it personally that they don't anymore. Well, Dylan's sister thought it was high time to indoctrinate me into the Gonsalves family ways (or, maybe she just wanted to go on a camping trip and found available campsites during her daughter's spring break), and planned a trip to beautiful Yosemite. Because of work and school schedules and weather forecasts, not everyone in the family was able to make it. But those of us who were nuts enough to attempt camping with a forecast of cold, colder, freezing, rain, and snow had an awesome time..... until it started raining. and snowing. It turns out that we can all handle being a little cold. Damp and chilled through with no break from rain/snow in the forecast is a different story.

Our first misadventure was trying to pack our van. In the past we've been able to take Dylan's truck and load up the bed of it with all of our junk, but there are only 5 seatbelts in it so we had to take the van. How do you load 6 people, 4 bikes, a bike trailer, a tent, sleeping bags, winter clothes, food, and camp gear into a minivan? Well, it looks kinda like this:
(all piled up and strapped on well. and yes, we did bottom out every time we went over a bump)
On our way to Yosemite, we had to stop at the fish hatchery because Dylan's "dad always stopped at the fish hatchery on the way to Yosemite and I'm going to, too." While I may or may not have been rolling my eyes at this decision, when I was talking with the kids about how fortunate we are to be able to be in one of the most beautiful places in the whole world [Yosemite, not the fish hatchery], Grady said "and we're lucky because we got to go to see the fish hatchery." It was seriously a highlight for him. (I may or may not have also rolled my eyes at this). In case you were wondering what the heck a fish hatchery looks like....
(not sure how this can possibly hold a candle to the grandeur of the Yosemite valley, but to each his own!)

 In preparation for our trip, I checked out bunches of books about Yosemite from the library and we spent a few afternoons looking at the pictures and learning about Half Dome, El Capitan, John Muir, Indians, glaciers, waterfalls and animals that we might see. When the kids saw their first glimpses of El Capitan, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls they were SO excited because they recognized them from the books. Grady was pretty disappointed that we didn't see any bears or mountain lions, but he always had a stick or rock in hand just in case he needed to protect us.

One of the best parts of camping in Yosemite is how easy it is for people to enjoy the beauty and awesomeness of God's creation while still being relatively lazy. I mean, sure there are some crazy gnarly hikes that you can do (like hiking up half dome in cross trainers during the heat of summer with a group of super in shape people and nothing but luke warm gatorade and some salame and cheese to sustain you), but if you want, you can just walk to a close-by shuttle bus stop, hop on, and let it take you wherever you want to go. Landon LOVED riding the bus and has since been pointing them out wherever we go.
(here are some of us walking to our bus stop)

For the first two days we were blessed by perfect weather and were able to see some sites and do some exploring...

....and then it started raining. And it didn't stop. And then Emma threw up in her sleeping bag in the middle of the night. And then the rain turned into snow-rain. And then we tried to explore the non-outdoor parts of Yosemite via shuttle but we caught the tail end of the shuttle schedule so we were stuck waiting outside in the snow-rain for 20 minutes. While we were freezing to death at the shuttle stop Emma kept complaining about how much her stomach hurt and Landon cried because his "finnies" (fingers) hurt and Grady kept yelling "I HATE camping. I never want to camp again." Good times.

So we quit. Grady, Landon and Stella hung out in the van with the heater on, listening to Adventures in Odyssey while Emma laid down on a heap of semi-clean bedding in the middle of our tent and the rest of us broke camp . Remember how most of our stuff was packed on top of the van on our way in? Well, in an effort to not soak everything we own, we had to stuff everything into plastic garbage bags and then into the duffel bags. And then everything had to be strapped back onto the roof of the car. Needless to say, our packing job was much less efficient than it was when we started out on our camping trip. Thankfully, Dylan's parents had extra room in their van and we were able to send some stuff with them.

By the time we pulled out of our campsite, the kids were thoroughly miserable. Here they are all bundled up in the back seat crying...

That night, as we were tucked snugly into our warm beds while our house was literally being rocked by the craziest thunderstorm we'd ever heard, we realized that even though a lot of the effort that went into planning and preparing for the trip was wasted because we left 3 days early, quitting camping was one of the best ideas ever :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Our Little Chunk

They say your baby is ready to start eating solids when they start being interested when you're eating, watching your bites, grabbing for your fork. Well, Stella has been like this for a month or so with the addition of growling, squealing, and lunging off my lap toward the food on my plate. And she went from being a 12 hour per night sleeper to a wake up every 4 hours screaming her head off sleeper. Not fun at all. 
 (check out those chunky knees and wrist rolls!)
So today, on her 5.5 month birthday, (during naptime so Landon wouldn't see what was going on and think that it was something he should try doing), we busted out the rice cereal and man, oh man, did Stella eat! Seriously, we couldn't spoon it up fast enough. She kept smiling up at us like she knew that she was finally being treated like a big kid!

 (blowing some cereal bubbles)

Our fingers are crossed that the cereal will be what her fat little tummy needed and that she'll sleep super well tonight. Otherwise, we may be recruiting one of the grandmas to move in and stay up all night rocking her!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mr. Independent

We have a two-year-old who is very independent (among other things). When he sees someone doing something, he wants to do it too. And if he wants something taken care of, he'll gladly figure out a way to take care of it by himself.

Most of the time, his independence isn't too big of an issue. Actually, when he potty trained himself last week, we thought his independence was quite wonderful. And it's great when he helps put away laundry and cleans up his own spills.

However, sometimes when we find him perched on the very edge of the kitchen counter reaching for some snacks that were hidden in the top cupboard, we realize that his independence can be a bit of a problem. Or when we find that he climbed over the back fence into the neighbor's yard to feed their chickens. Or when he climbs onto his sister's bunk bed and reaches out over the edge to pull the switch to turn on the ceiling fan. Or when he runs out the front door with only a shirt on to greet the mail man. Or when, tonight, he climbed into our van, put the keys in the ignition and turned it on.Yikes. Thankfully, Dylan was outside working in the garden and heard it happening or else who knows what he would've done!

He's only two. And how we pray that it is only a phase and not his lifelong personality. Or at the very least that he'll learn some discretion!
At least he's cute :)