This past month or so has been a fun, albeit busy one. Do I even need to say that, though? Aren't all of our months busy? Anyway, we made a crazy dash down to St. George. It all began with a decision reached at about 6:30 p.m. to leave at 8:30 p.m. rather than the following 8 a.m. The theory was that all of the kids would of course sleep in the car the whole five hours and we would have the whole next day to explore and have fun. Well, Atticus cooperated beautifully, sleeping the entire way, allowing us to drive straight without any stops. Emerson and Stella, however, decided that sleeping in the car was only cool for about an hour and a half. While Emerson simply stared blankly into the darkness surrounding the car, Stella decided to lead a revolt from the back seat of the van. The steadily rising whine threatened to rouse Atticus, so I spent the last hour and a half of the drive literally in Stella's car seat with her on my lap, telling her stories.
But this did allow us a full day of fun the next day. We headed out on the paved trail next to the Virgin River and counted 27 lizards in just over an hour. We also discovered a wonderful free splash park in the middle of downtown St. George and proceeded to go there every day of our vacation. The kids could splash, cool off, and burn off energy while we sat in the shade watching all of the fun. We went for lots of walks, Tad did some good biking, I ran a little, and we caught up with some old friends, Dan and Angie and their adorable kids.
While we wished our stay in St. George could have been longer, it was fun to come home and check on our garden. We went a little crazy this year, relocating the garden to a sunnier spot and more than doubling its size. Tad built an awesome redwood barrier around it to keep Crosby out and we planted lots of seeds: cabbage, cauliflower, watermelon, cucumber, beans, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, pumpkins, zucchini, and tomatoes. So far everything has sprouted and we've even got little green tomatoes already! The kids love to check it every day, closely inspecting the plants and making sure the ladybugs we released are keeping the aphids off.
Emerson finished his first soccer season on a positive note. When he started soccer, he cared very little and didn't quite understand that the ball was his friend. When the coach spoke, Emerson generally ignored everything, and sitting on the side meant grass wars with his buddies. By the final game, however, Emerson was totally engaged -- kicking the ball several times, throwing it in bounds when asked, nearly scoring a goal, and cheering for his team even when he sat out. His team even finally won a game! But the true prize for Emerson was that he got a "real trophy," which he proudly displays on his shelf.
Stella has decided that singing in the car is her true passion. No matter what song we listen to, she can sing along (or in a call and response style at least) at the top of her lungs. Her personal favorites: Clash City Rockers (The Clash), These Days (Nico), and 1234 (Feist). Life is an endless series of questions for Stella. "Why did Maleficent make Aurora prick her finger?" "Did Jesus have long hair?" "Is that guy being stupid?" "Why are you wearing a ponytail?" When I take her and Atticus running in the stroller, it's question time for Stella because she knows she can talk to me then entire time and I must answer.
Atticus is the jolliest little guy! At three months he's smiling and laughing like crazy, grabbing toys and trying desperately to get them to his mouth, and nearly fitting his entire fist in his mouth. He already wants to see everything Emerson and Stella do and thrills them when he smiles at them. I've lost track of the number of rolls he's accumulated and he continues to adore nursing to the exclusion of bottles.
Tad was the recipient of one lucky birthday present this month. He's been riding an old road bike to work since last fall and as he was riding it one day, a defense attorney he knows pulled up next to him in his car with a super fancy road bike on the back. The next time Tad saw him, the defense attorney asked if Tad would like to buy his "old" road bike. Tad responded that $3,500 for the three-year-old bike was completely impossible for him and the defense attorney said he'd let Tad have it for under $1,000. So a few days later, Tad rode home on his new sweet ride at a final cost of only $750! This has completely changed his biking life and he's now obsessed with riding the canyons around our valley (he's already done two). Lucky guy!