7 quick takes

well hi!  I’m back.  And linking up with Jen for 7 quick takes.  It’s been 16 whole days with nothing but the sound of crickets around this blog.  I’m kind of proud of myself actually, but please tell me you missed me terribly.  Anybody, anybody?

1.  I’m back from 10 days in the sunny land of southern California.  There was a wedding and beach days and pool days and Disneyland galore and it was over and gone in the blink of an eye.  Pictures are coming later but not right now because catch up writing is just not something I believe in.

2.  But I will right now tell you about the drive home because it was epically terrible and blog post worthy and it’s fresh on my mind since I just now got around to cleaning out our car and it was like a graveyard of bad memories from the worst road trip experience of my adult life.  About 2 (or 3?) hours after setting off from Anaheim, we hit traffic.  Traffic that quickly turned into complete standstill gridlock.  We didn’t know it until a little while later but we were less than a mile behind a huge accident.  A car had run off the freeway into oncoming traffic, hit a tour bus, and exploded into flames. (yikes!)  We were just shy of Baker, right near Zzyzx road, so. . . in the middle of the Mojave dessert, just south of Death Valley, and it was literally 110 degrees.  There we sat for 2 whole hours.  They were cleaning up/investigating and not letting any cars through.  Not to be dramatic or anything, but TWO WHOLE HOURS!  That’s a long time for 2 adults, but it’s an eternity for a toddler.  We had her out of her car seat, sitting up front with us, wetting her hair with water bottles to keep her cool.  We had to keep turning the car off and on–we needed the air conditioning, but we also didn’t want to overheat the engine.  I kept thinking, “if only we left the house even 10 minutes earlier, we’d be in front of the accident and on our way!”  but then I’d think that if we left a few minutes earlier, we might have been in the accident, so at least we were all safe and alive.   And since we were so close behind it, once they opened a lane again, we were out of there pretty quick, but the people miles and miles behind us? must have been there all day.  Some of my in-laws were a couple hours behind us (with a 3 year old and a 10 month old who hates the car!) waited for 3 hours and then couldn’t even get through after that because they closed I-15.  They had the turn around and spend the night and it was all sorts of awful.

So after that lovely delay we had a toddler who was done with the car and was, I assure you, a complete delight for the next 10 hours.   Some highlights from that stretch of the trip included a stop in 115 degree Mesquite (so hot!  I’ve never once in my life been somewhere that hot.  As Tanner put it: “Dana, I think we are literally in hell”)  and then an after-dark freak monsoon-like rainstorm from Beaver until home that had us driving 30 mph and cursing our headlights that work about as well as dollar store flashlights.

the end.

3.  More bad.  If you want happy blogging, skip #3 and proceed to take #4 (actually, #5) make that #6 .  Yesterday was the worst bike ride ever.  I’m barely recovered enough to type about it with few enough curse words to feel comfortable posting it but it oh. my. hell.  It was long.  And it was hot.  And every single 1/100th of the last 40 miles was miserable and loathsome in it’s own unique way.  The dialogue going on in my head wasn’t pretty and went something like this:  “this is stupid and pointless and I hate it and I don’t want to be doing this.  Why am I doing this?  This is stupid and pointless and I hate it.  Did I really pay money to do this?  Lots of money.  That should have gone to something involving comfort, luxury and gluttony. etc, etc.”  Hopefully that was rock bottom because any lower than that and I will not be participating in LoToJa, and also my bike will be at the bottom of a lake.  Or maybe it would be more satisfying to throw it off a cliff?  or into oncoming traffic?  That’s where I’m at people.  DONE with this whole thing.  Ambitions and goals are stupid and you’d better believe that after this nonsense I will have no more of those.

4.   Related to #3 but aren’t these supposed to be quick takes?  I got to see my friend and old roommate Lyndi while we were spending a day on Huntington Beach.  She recently quit a very good but very demanding, time consuming job so that she can have a life again (go lyndi!) and she was so happy about it while she was telling me.  She was like, “Quitting things is my new favorite thing!  It’s so awesome, you go home and you don’t have to do anything!  It feels so good.”  She went out for tacos and threw herself a party, and I’m so so happy for her and proud of her.  But oh man, her words were ringing in my head all the way from American Fork to Nephi and back yesterday and all I wanted in the whole world was to QUIT and go throw myself a party and meet her for tacos and talk about how fun it is to quit things.

5.   I’m cutting Camryn off the binky.  I HATE the binky.  I’ve always been terrible at losing those things, but now I swear she is hiding them or throwing them away. . . or swallowing them?  They are literally DISAPPEARING and she can’t live or sleep without them.  The last 2 nights in a row I’ve spent 30 minutes in the middle of the night holding up my phone light like a fool, looking in and all around her crib for the one she went to sleep with and they were nowhere.   Add the time afterwards that I spent seething with anger and not being able to go back to sleep and there go a couple hours of my life that I’ll never get back.  No more!  The binky is going.   And if you have a baby–google it–you’re supposed to get rid of it way before age 19 months, because the older they get, the stronger their emotional attachment gets and the harder it is to get them off it.  I missed that memo.  I snipped the tip off this morning and please pray that this goes well.  thanks.

6.   I friend of mine from high school just opened an awesome etsy shop and I just got a package in the mail yesterday with these earrings and this necklace and I love them!  You should go check out her stuff–there are about 30 more items I would order if I had the $!

7.   Tonight I enjoyed the most amazing thunderstorm.  I don’t think I’ve heard thunder like that since Guatemala (in Guatemala there was earth shattering thunder every single night and I was in heaven).  It’s my favorite sound in the whole entire world.  I went out on my front step with an ice cream cone and just watched the lighting and felt and heard the thunder and just breathed in deeply that amazing fresh rain smell.  And just like that, all is good and right in the world and I’m thinking about how awesome and happy every part of my life is.  There should be more thunderstorms.



We went camping twice in July and had all sorts of dirty, rocky, smoky, grilled fun.  Is there anything better than food cooked over a fire?  Corn on the cob, tin foil dinners, s’mores, SKEWERS.  I have a new love for skewers.  I think I go for the food.  But Camryn? She goes for the rocks.

This was here 3 seconds after we arrived at our site (American Fork canyon near Tibble Creek Reservoir)

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We stopped at Target on the way and invested in an air mattress (Tanner’s idea, for the record, tough women like me, we don’t mind the ground)IMG_0218 IMG_0223 also invested in this cuuuuute little chairIMG_0224 IMG_0227 IMG_0231 IMG_0238 IMG_0242 IMG_0243 IMG_0244 IMG_0246 IMG_0249 IMG_0250 IMG_0252

And then again with Tanner’s siblings up Big Cottonwood Canyon

IMG_4260 IMG_4264 IMG_4267 IMG_4268 and here’s the half-mile level 1 hike to Donut Falls that turned into a 5 mile, level 4 due to a missed left turn that was SO. NOT. MARKED.  IMG_4274 IMG_4281 IMG_4284 IMG_4290 this is where all the girls sat down and said they didn’t want to hike anymoreIMG_4291 IMG_4293 finally made it to the falls!  which were laughably close to the trailhead. . . 3 hours laterIMG_4294 IMG_4298 and then back to the campsite where camryn threw rocks in the stream for hours.    That’s our girl.IMG_4303 IMG_4308 IMG_4313 IMG_4317 IMG_4319 IMG_4323 IMG_4326 IMG_4327

That Girl puts Stuff in the Wrong Places

Alternate titles:  My Little Hoarder Baby,  Is This Normal?

Camryn has developed quite the. . . pastime.

She’ll choose a hoarding location in our apartment and walk around the whole place collecting anything and everything she can find, and gather it all in her “place”.  When she first started doing this, her location of choice was the garbage can, which was obviously problematic, and I have no idea how many items we threw away before I found my makeup bag and one of her sandals in there and realized it was time to move the garbage can out of her reach.

Sometimes it’s the middle of the bathroom floor, sometimes the gap behind the couch, once it was the tupperware cupboard (took me SO long to find my keys there)  the laundry basket (I couldn’t figure out where all the forks went).  Toys, books, socks, shoes, utensils, headphones, remote controls, keys, jewelry, clothes.  These piles can get pretty big depending on how messy our place is.  She works so purposefully, with a deep concentration, babbling to herself seriously as she goes like this is all very important business.

Last week I went to a bridal shower and was letting Camryn walk around the small apartment.  As we sat for presents, I noticed Camryn take a shoe from in front of the door and walk off with it.  I followed her and watched her open the cupboard under the kitchen sink, stash the shoe there, and close the cupboard.  So then I opened it back up and found the shoe’s match, another full pair, my necklace, my car keys, her sippy cup, the half peanut butter sandwich that I thought she’d eaten, and a Curious George book from out of the diaper bag.

The title of this post comes from the 5 year old neighbor boy who heard me telling his mom about this, and the next time he saw us he pointed to Camryn and yelled “Mom!  That girl puts stuff in the wrong places!”

Yes.  Yes, that girl does.

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Enter title here

Last night we were walking home from the babysitters house, a walk of about 1.2 blocks.  45 minutes later we were still only halfway home with no sign of progression.  Camyrn was still pulling tiny handfuls of grass/weeds/and more grass of the dead variety and handing them to me to store in the cup holder of the stroller for safekeeping before happily running back for a fresh handful.  And then she’d run back with this happy grin on her face and I just had one of those moments where I just can’t believe I made that gorgeous human being who is surely the most beautiful child who ever walked the earth.  And while we were taking this 1 hour/block walk I was reminded of last week when we walked 3 blocks from the laundromat to the park and when we needed to go back, I couldn’t for the life of me move the mountain that was my toddler who would not walk away from the park.  And then I had a stroke of genius to lure her with rocks because I had just been on a 2 camping trips with her where I learned how much she loves rocks, and what did I do?  I picked one up, tossed it down the sidewalk, and she chased it of course.  And then handed it back to me to toss again.   and again and again and again until 3 blocks later I tossed that rock right into the laundromat and shut the door behind her and felt smart smart smart.   Pat me on the back and give me a promotion.  I really hope some strangers were watching and getting a kick out of my parenting tactics.

I’ve been so busy that I almost forgot to be stoked out of my mind for the bookbinding workshops I’ll be attending all day Monday and all day Tuesday.  wwwwwwwooooohoo!!  party party on.  It’s a ten book workshop.  I’ve only learned 2  so far and look how much fun I’ve had with that.  10 more?  10 more!  Sounds better than Disneyland.  Which, by the way, I’ll also be hitting up next week.  Just, oh, THREE times.  3!  I love going on vacations that we don’t have to plan or pay for.