Friday, October 26, 2007

Flagrant Licking and Take Outs Anonymous


Carter and Beckham attended their first Halloween party together at my parent’s ward. (Where they have no primary children, so they have to borrow other people’s.) Beckham was a little metrosexual cowboy (leopard print chaps and a gold belt buckle) and Carter was his favorite cartoon character, Scooby Doo. Just to reinforce the fact that Scooby Doo is a dog, Carter went around licking everyone, and barking. So we added a new mantra to the Stranger Danger curriculum. “Try not to lick people you don’t know. Only lick friends and family members.”

The night was going pretty well, with Carter doing a hilarious turn at Monster Twister, but then the cookie decorating started. You may know that our kids are slightly OCD when it comes to sticky things on their fingers. They both tried to participate, and then promptly began screaming; Beckham unintelligibly, and Carter “GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF!” Fittingly, it was just like a scene out of the exorcist, thus kicking off the Halloween season.


Lately we haven’t had a kitchen, due to our nasty remodel. The good news is I finally have an excuse for not cooking. (I never cooked before, but now I have an excuse). So I’ve been treating myself to takeout from Citrus Grill. The Southwest Chicken Wrap with soup. Every day.

It’s now gotten to the point that the person on the other end of the phone asks my name first, and when I say, “Ashton”, he replies, “Oh yeah. Southwest wrap, right? Do you just want me to make you a daily standing order?”

No! You never know, I may want to change my order. I may not order at all!

To which he replies: “Okay, we’ll just talk about it tomorrow. Same time.”

“Talk to you then," I say.

I think I need to start coming up with fake names. And yet my humiliation doesn’t deter me from calling every day. I still show up, every night. I give my name “Ashton” like it’s an alcoholics anonymous meeting. Chicken wraps are yummy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Those of you who know our family won’t be surprised to hear that our kids are not very cuddly. If you would like the experience of hugging our children, here’s what you do. Find a two by four, just lying around. Pick it up. (At this point, imagine that the two by four starts writhing around in your arms. Like a possessed snake). Now, hug the two by four. And then take it and punch yourself in the stomach with it, and then fling it across the room. Congratulations, you have just hugged a Johnson.

But with Beckham, I have found a very useful trick. Beckham has a blanket that he loves more than life itself. He has named this blanket “Bootie” and the two of them have a very special relationship. If I spread the blanket out on the floor, he gets very excited and throws himself on top of it, burying his face in it and screaming with joy. At this point, I’ll sneak my legs under the blanket. Presto, magico, my kid is cuddling with me. Or at least with my legs. Of course, once he realizes he has been duped, he gives me a look like, “How dare you cuddle with Sir Bootie,” and he gathers up Bootie and stomps off in a huff. So on those rare moments when he feels like cuddling (when he’s not feeling well or when he doesn’t realize what he’s doing) we have to snap a picture. I’m like, “Honey- grab the camera quick! Beckham’s sitting on my lap, and he’s not struggling!”

With Carter it’s getting a little easier because he understands the power of a bribe. And a threat. “Carter, if you give me hugs, I’ll take you to the “Magic Kingdom” (McDonald’s).” Or: “Carter, give me hugs or Harry Potter will have to go to time out.” This one doesn’t really make sense, but Carter has no way of knowing that I don’t have the power to put a fictional boy in time out. As far as he’s concerned, Mommy is all powerful.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Flashback Sunday: on Monday

Sam usually does the blog- but yesterday he was so busy putting down the wood floor in our kitchen that he didn't get a chance. So I'm trying out this newfandangled technology.

First I would just like to say (and all you parents of toddlers should be able to empathize) that Yo Gabba Gabba is the scariest show on television. It's on Nickelodeon each morning at 9:30, and if there's ever been a show that evidences someone's brain on drugs, this is it. I'll be cleaning the house (yeah, right) and the tv is on in the background, and suddenly I get this strange feeling- like I've just entered the twilight zone or I've been teleported to a really bad episode of Star Trek. My first thought is always that aliens have invaded. The eeriness of the show catches me off guard- every day! Beckham (our 20-month old) by this time is usually standing an inch from the television screen, with swirling spirals in his eyes (think hypnotized WB cartoon character). If I catch it in time, I run to tackle him, shielding his eyes as we topple to the floor and yank the plug out of the wall. But once in a while, I'm too late. And before I know it, we are both sitting within an inch of the screen, and a couple of days have gone by. And we haven't eaten.

Good idea for a date night: Tivo the opening of Yo Gabba Gabba and watch it over and over. To be used only under adult supervision!

Secondly: meet Dave, our contractor extraordinaire. When I was uploading our latest batch of family pictures, I came across this gem. Apparently when I'm not home, he takes pictures of himself with our camera. So I told him he was going to be banished to our blog for the infraction.

Dave is the best craftsman around. But I'm afraid he gives me too much credit as to my handiness. He comes to me each time he encounters a problem. He hasn't noticed, but I've been recycling the same three questions each time we talk. They are: 1) What's a -------? 2) Is that bad? 3) Can we do anything about it?

Dave: We have a problem. The cabinets have a toe-kick.
Brodi: What's a toe-kick? (At this point I zone out because I know the answer will sound very foreign)
Dave: It's a blah blah blah. And it means we won't have a vent.
Brodi: Is that bad?
Dave: Well, vents provide heat and air conditioning.
Brodi: So that's bad?
Dave: If you want heat, yeah.
Brodi: Is there anything we can do about it?
Dave: Well I guess we could blah blah blah blah blah.
Brodi: Great. Let's do it. Glad I could help.

Although lately I think my stupidity is beginning to sink in. He asked me for some duct tape, and when I paused to think about where it would be, he told me it's like masking tape, only it's silver and wider. Kay, Dave, I know what duct tape is! But I can see how he would assume.

Carter cute comment: We have half our wood floor in, and this morning we awoke to find Carter, sitting serenely in the middle of the floor, just staring. We don't know how long he had been there. When he saw us, he said, "Dad, this is so cool."

And as for a flashback:
On our family vacation to Jackson Hole this summer, Beckham was a little out of sorts. He would wake up at all hours of the night, and scream to be let out of his crib. Early one morning, we gave in and took him out of bed. Sam went to make him a bottle, and when he came back, he found Beckham flat on his tummy, face down, his Bootie (read blanket) wrapped around his head, completely asleep. Sure, give him a comfy crib with, heaven forbid, a mattress, and he cries abuse. A hard dirty floor, however? He's gone.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Trouble, but Cute Trouble

Don't let these cute faces deceive you. These two boys are trouble. Lots of trouble. They know how push their mommy's buttons. They know how to push their daddy's buttons. They know how to push each others' buttons.

But seriously, how cute are these two boys? Even as they push you to the brink of going to BonkersVille, you just can't help laugh with them and think they are adorable. For all of the good that comes out of these two, we can handle their mischievousness.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Two very entertaining shows

We have been very entertained over the past couple of weeks by a television show and a movie. Though there are other tv shows that have gotten the hype over the past year (the Office, Lost, 24, etc.), I have to say, '30 Rock' may just be the best of the bunch. It is very quick and very funny and at times, quite a bit offbeat. Though I don't know if I will ever find a show to replace 'Arrested Development' or 'Buffy', '30 Rock' is a must watch show.

The Alec Baldwin character is terrific...Tina Fey has a way of getting the best out of the other characters and Tracy Jordan is a scream. Anyway, if you haven't had a chance to watch it, check it out on Thursday nights.

Now that is not all. This past weekend, Brodi and I headed down to the Broadway theaters and watched King of Kong: A fistful of Quarters. It is a documentary about the Donkey Kong arcade game and the guy (Billy Mitchell, a mullet haired guy that is considered by many to be the best arcade game player ever) that has been the world record holder for 25 years and a guy (Steve Wiebe, a nice 30 year old guy with a wife and kids that teaches in high school) that is challenging his records. Seriously, it is more intense and funnier than most of what you are seeing in the movies today. By the end of the movie, Brodi and I were both yelling at the movie, cheering and cursing at the movie. It is a great time.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Flashback Sunday: Halloween 2006

Since we are getting close to Halloween, I thought that this Sunday would be a good flashback to last year's Halloween. Carter was Winnie the Pooh and Beckham was Tigger. Carter's outfit was the best because he had the big belly pouch which made him look about 30 pounds heavier than he really was.

Carter was a big boy for his first real 'I know what I am doing' Halloween. He wanted to go to the houses alone and do the whole Trick or Treat introduction. He came home with quite a stash. Beckham was not as adept at it all siimply because he could not walk, but he did enjoy the dress up part of it all.

The other fun part of it was we had a little kitty cat come to our house and sleep on our front porch. We gave her milk and took care of her that night. Shockingly enough, she did not go anywhere. Carter became so attached that he grabbed his blanket one night, brought it outside and tried to sleep next to him on our front porch. I doubt that my neighbors would have been too impressed if they saw Carter sleep outside our porch in 30 degree weather, so I finally convinced Carter to leave kitty outside and come sleep on his bed.

So, Brodi hit the streets with flyers all around the neighborhoods trying to find the owner. She made phone calls to half of the city as well...but nobody would claim her. She even took out ads on the internet trying to find her owner. No, 2 weeks later (all spent living on our doorstep and inside our house at times), Brodi found her a great home with one of her best friends. The cat was saved and is still very happy. All in all it was a good Halloween season.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Computer genius

A few months ago, we showed Carter a game on the computer. He sat down and started playing and playing and playing. The kid is a freakin' genius on the computer. He can play all the games and he is good at it. He asks me to come over and play with him and I start to do it and I screw it up, he then gently pushes me aside and takes over and does things that I never would have thought of in the game. He plays Spongebob, Dora, Harry Potter and Scooby Doo.

He is light years ahead of where I was, even when I was in college. Crazy. It still makes me laugh every time I hear him barking the commands at me 'Click it right now daddy' or 'Hit the spacebar daddy.' I obediently follow his directions.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sunday Flashback: Summer '07 trip to Jackson and Yellowstone (puking story included)

Every other year, our family, the Gublers (Brodi's sister and her family) and Brodi's parents head on up to Jackson Hole. Brodi's parents have time shares that they reserve up there and we are able to go up and have a week long trip. Jackson and Yellowstone are beautiful this time of year.

So, we are excited for a good trip. Brodi was closing on a couple of deals so we didn't get to leave till around 8pm. As you probably know, Jackson is a 4.5-5 hour drive. As we made our way thru Davis County, I turned around and noticed Beckham not looking real well. All of a sudden, he turned his head a little bit and started puking everywhere. We are driving on the freeway, no exits in site and road construction going on all around us. There is no 'shoulder' of the road. Beckham stopped puking for about a minute and then puked again...and again...and again. He actually did not look to be in much pain, but his belly was getting pretty close to being empty. Carter would look over and start pointing at Beckham, 'Mommy, Daddy, Beckham's throwing up...pull over.' Yeah Carter, we heard the news. We finally got to an exit and drove into a Flying J. We drove over to the Diesel Truck area where they have a huge hose. We took Beckham out and his car seat and basically hosed him down. After about 3 minutes, we hear over the loudspeakers 'The hose is not for use for our patrons.' I gave the finger and felt that he deserved it. We finally got on our way. We ended up getting to Jackson around 2am. Great start.

That was just the start of it. Lets just say that few, if any, of all of the families escaped the sickness. We all seemed to be knocked down for at least a day. Nothing better than being close to a bunch of sick people for a week long vacation.

I did find possibly the best hamburger that I have ever tasted. I got it from the Cadillac Grill. This place is great...they have a nice restaurant on one side and on the other side is more of a diner type environment. They had a 25 year old chef that was just tossing buns, hamburgers around like he ruled the world. It was very entertaining. You sat on bar stools basically in a half square while he cooked in front of you. I felt bad for his 'apprentice' that just kept a broom out and was continually sweeping the floor of all the fries, meat, pickles, etc. that were being thrown about by this kid. So--I didn't know what to expect. I got a fabulous hamburger. It was one of the best hamburgers that I had ever had. I ended up going back to this little place 3 more times during our stay in Jackson.

In Jackson, we also did quite a bit of bike riding on the outskirts of the town. Carter had his own seat and it was attached to my bike. He loved acting like he was the one pushing us along. Beckham sat on a basket seat on the back of Brodi's bike.

There were a couple of fun things that we did in both Jackson and Yellowstone. We did the Firehole where it is basically a river of warm water and we could swim in it. Carter loved it as did Beckham and I was able to have them hold on to me as we went thru the water. We also did a little hiking including an area to see the big waterfalls which was fun. A long walk down, but it was fun and the kids enjoyed it.

We did make it home with no more puking...though on the trip back from Yellowstone back down to Jackson, Beckham let a little more out. it was nowhere near as much though as he did on the way up to Jackson. We made it thru the trip and had a good time even though we spent a lot of money on wipes and napkins to clean up lots of stuff from Beckahm.

The kitchen remodel keeps moving along

You can see the beam up there.....................................................up in the ceiling with no way down.

Let me tell you...when you decide you want to knock down 5 walls, you need to have a plan. Now, why on earth would you need a plan? If you knock down a few load bearing walls and you haven't thought it through, well, you got yourself some problems. Like the entire house falling down. But, WE HAD A PLAN and the roof did not fall down. Thats good news. The bad news was getting two 20-foot beams into our ceiling. We cut a hole in our garage and we started putting it thru the hall. Now, we do not have a high sloped roof, so while our do-it-all man Dave pushed the beam up thru the wall, I was inside the ceiling grabbing the beam and trying to help him pull it through. He ended up having to cut out some of the rafters to get it to fit (and yes, he did repair it all), we finally got it in. Both of them. From the pictures, this is Dave giving me some of the 1954 Jim Beam alcohol that I found in the ceiling to compensate me for the 2 hours that I sweated and cried and moaned in the roof.

I have also decided that insulation was a truly terrible invention. Yes it helps keep the cold out and yes, it helps cut down utility costs...but entire you have rolled around in it on your belly trying to get around--then you have no idea how bad that stuff is. I still itch. At least I didn't find any body parts or dead animals up there. Unfortunately I did not find any treasures either (unless you count old alcohol bottles treasures...which I think some of you do). Remodel is entering its third week on Monday. 4 weeks to go. And yes, we are all sick of it.

Park City fun

We spent a day up at Park City doing all of the rides they have up there. The Alpine Slide and the Glider. Don't get me wrong, the Alpine Slide is nice. Its the old standby. But they have taken some of the fun out of it. Years and years ago, you feared for your life as you flew down the slide. You wondered what was going to happen when you lost control of your little machine and flew out of the slide. Gone are the days when you would come off of that slide with slide burns and bruises. I don't feel that I have got my money's worth without pain and tears.

The Alpine Glide is new and fabulous. It is a great ride. You are flying down the suspended slides...yes, you have no fear of falling off, but it is still a rush to do it. Carter loves it and would just say 'wweeeeeee' the entire way down.

Beckham kept himself entertained with the little kids rides all afternoon. It took him a second to get the courage to get in the flying airplane all by himself, but he was fine after a few minutes and he kept wanting to go back. The problem that I have with those rides is that almost all kid rides just go in circles. If our kid ever needs to have a parent join him, it has to be Brodi because I will be stifling puking the minute we start to go in a circle. I am very good at watching them going in circles, but I am no good at being the one that goes in the circles. They are getting close to closing for the summer, but if you have a chance to go and do these rides, it is worth the $20 or so to go and do it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The perfect gift

So, Brodi got a great gift from my sister Eden...the PBS version of Jane Eyre. Let me just say, that is the gift that keeps on giving. If Brodi is watching television, it is a pretty easy bet to say that she is watching Jane Eyre. If we are watching television and I get up to grab a Diet Coke, even though it will take me 45 seconds to get it, she will switch it over to that dvd to watch those precious few seconds of Jane Eyre. So guys, if you want to make your wife happy since you ditched her to watch 'Dumb and Dumber' or because you went to play hoops one night or simply because you have been bad, this is the movie to get her.

Now, if you want the old standby, well, you get her 'Pride and Prejudice.' You cannot go wrong with this one. I refuse to turn in my man card on this one, but I have watched it all the way through. But note, I have watched it only once. Brodi, on the other hand, is somewhere in the teens on the number of times she has watched it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Thats just crazy talk

Carter jumped out of bed last night and came into our bedroom mumbling. We asked him what was wrong and he loudly complained: "My hair is making me sooooooooooo crazy!" We talked about it for a bit and he decided he did not need a haircut right now. This picture is a few months old, but why would anyone think his hair is driving him crazy.

He also bumped his finger yesterday and he informed us: 'My finger is very, very, very, very, very, very owwyy.' Kids have a great way of explaining themselves.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Buddies forever

They can fight like there is no tomorrow. They can argue, and by argue I mean, Carter talking to Beckham and Beckham yelling unintelligible (though I am sure it makes sense to him) words back at him. But, they do love each other. Carter's first words after he wakes up each morning are almost always 'Where's Beckham?' Beckham will seek out Carter and try to play with and yes, sometimes he will just try to annoy his older brother. But they want to be together. They want to be around each other constantly. I hope that continues.