September 30, 2008
September 29, 2008
And then I saw something that I never thought I would see in this lifetime! A Petersen who actually burnt a marshmallow! This has been one of my deep-seated fears joining the Petersen family. The expectation of marshmallow roasting perfection is just assumed and there is substantial, albeit unspoken, peer pressure to roast a perfect marshmallow that is golden brown and melted through the middle. But right there, in front of my own eyes, was a marshmallow flame! It only takes a second, a lapse in concentration, and the perfect marshmallow is no more!
Mommy had to step in with a little coaching.
September 28, 2008
Saturday morning I went to the BYU "Lost and Found" sale to find some little treasure and maybe score a sweet deal on someone lost treasure. While I was scouting for a find Michelle called me up. I didn't mind the call but trying to hear what she had to say over the boom of the auctioneer was somewhat of a challenge. Michelle suggested that I leave the room while we talked...but with an arm full of unpaid merchandise I couldn't go very far...so I did the best I could. Through all the noise I managed to hear that she wanted to go to women's conference in the conference center. Well how often do you get such a wonderful opportunity. Not only that but she could go with some friends! That sounded like a pretty awesome deal and she has definitely earned some time off (from the boys) for good behavior so I was excited for her to go to the meeting. I didn't think it was that big of a deal but apparently it was. I did something good...and didn't even know it!
Michelle headed off to her meeting and I had all the boys. We had a blast playing the WII, eating tomato soup for dinner, playing in the park, taking bathes and (for me) putting the boys to bed. While bathing the boys I turned on the radio for some background (soothing) noise and managed to hear President Uchtdorf talking (I was hoping that I was listening to the end of women's conference...which it was). So instead of music I turned up the volume and (tried to) listened to the talk while bathing the boys. From what I did hear it was pretty powerful and guessing it was the end of the conference I sent a text message to Michelle. She was so excited to get the message (and her friend's husbands hadn't texted them) so once again I scored some brownie points. I did something good...and didn't even know it!
This morning I got up and discovered that 3 of my boys were already awake, playing quietly downstairs. I thought it best to let well enough alone. So I tried to read the lessons for church during this moment of peace and quiet. Well the boys got hungry before I was done reading and they came searching me out. They were so polite and asked me to get them breakfast as soon as I had finished reading the section I was on. Well you just can't say 'NO' to that so I finished the section and got breakfast going (cold cereal). The boys were just about finished with breakfast when mommy woke up and came out of the bedroom. She was so excited to be able to sleep in...but not just sleep in, the boys were being taken care of so she didn't wake up to a jungle. I did something good...and didn't even know it!
I'm very excited to know that these little things have meant a lot to Michelle. I didn't do them trying to impress her, they just seemed like the right thing to do at the time. I realize that there are some husbands out there who are much more sophisticated than I and would have done these thing intentionally and known they were doing something good. My greatest concern is that I miss the next opportunity, the one that really is important, because I didn't know to look for it. I feel like this happens a lot already (and I don't think I'm alone...there are probably a lot of other guys in the same boat)! On the other hand, maybe I'm starting to figure out a few of these subtle secrets to successful living. In any case, I'm excited that I got a few things right and Michelle was able to have a wonderful experience attending women's conference.
We're sooo excited that Aleky is starting to crawl. With 3 older brothers to help, Aleky hasn't really felt the need to move around on his own. If he wants a toy his brothers will get it for him (sometimes it will be that toy and 12 others so that he is inundated with toys but at least he got what he wanted). If he wants to get out of his crib he calls for David (somehow, we're not sure how). Anything he needs, someone else can get it.
All 3 of his brothers were crawling much sooner in the development process than Aleky. However, we've enjoyed the fact that he doesn't move very far...that way we can find him much easier, knowing where we left him. But those days of simplicity are now over. Aleky has discovered that he can get his own toy (or in this case, my cd's) if he'll crawl to it. A new day of freedom and opportunity!
So he's not flying around the house yet, just small simple crawling "steps" forward but it is enough to make my heart burst with joy!
September 27, 2008
So what do I do with 4 boys from 3:30 - 8:00 (bedtime)? First we had to get in a game on the WII. We did teams: David and the Computer vs. Khayyam and Donovan (Aleky isn't quite up to gaming yet and Michael was still sleeping for his nap). We played a quick game of Mario Party 8. David's team was winning until the last 5 rounds (when you get "Chump Charity" - an extra boost to the looser!). Then everything changed and Donovan was able to pull out a spectacular victory! David was not pleased but then he never is when he isn't completely dominating the game.
After the game the boys went out to play, Michael having awakened by this time, went too. While they were playing I had the chance to prepare dinner. While I may not be a culinary genius I think I make a pretty mean weed rat stew (actually I just open a couple cans of tomato soup, made some tang for the drink, and we're good to go). Aleky got left-over rice cereal from breakfast (yesterday). The boys downed their dinner!
Since we were done eating we cleaned up the dishes and decided to go play at the park. I figured it would be fun and the boys could burn off some of the extra energy before bedtime. So Aleky got loaded into the stroller and each boy took his scooter and we were off. David has decided that unlocking the doors and locks is his official duty (and in some cases I think he is faster than either Michelle or myself).
Granted, all the boys took off on their scooter but Michael is just getting started and isn't quite as fast as the other boys. While he was almost painfully slow he was also exceptionally cute as he mosied along.
Aleky started off seemingly content to sit in the stroller. But that effect was short lived. Just because he's been content for a full year of his life doesn't mean that things are going to stay that way. He wanted the change to move around (and eat grass, twigs, leaves and anything else he could find nearby).Naturally David has outgrown the simple uses of playground equipment. The only thrill left is the daring and exciting! So head first down the slide adds just a twinge of excitement.
Don't think for a moment that Donovan is going to be left behind! In fact, scaling the outside of anything is his new joy (it may the rock-climber coming out in him). He scales the playhouse in the backyard, the jungle gym at the playground, climbs into the swing on his own power, and the window ledges around the house.
As a result of the daring of his brothers, Michael is left to himself (mostly). So he is able to enjoy the simple pleasures in life...like swing in a swing or sliding down a slide.
I began to realize that it was time to go when the playground equipment was no longer entertaining any of the boys. When I found them in the trees I new it was time to go home and begin the bedtime preparations.
We came home, cleaned up the backyard, put the toys away and came in for baths. Since I'm on my own tonight we bathed in shifts. I turned on Winnie the Pooh as a distraction. As each boy finished bathing they get their pj's on and go watch the movie. That allows me just enough time to take care of the others without fearing for the welfare of the house. With a quick rotation through brushing teeth and prayers everyone is ready for bed and we can put everyone down at the same time! So even though it was almost 8:30 all the boys were down, the house was quiet and I felt like I had done a good job watching over the clan.
Michelle (and the girls) returned home safely and thoroughly enjoyed the outing. The were uplifted by the conference and energized by the association with each other. After all, that's what friends are for. However, I've gathered that there is an undercurrent of plotting and planning for additional outings and associations so I'll need to stay on guard! You never know when they'll let me have another daddy-n-sons opportunity where we can play like boys!!!!
September 26, 2008
The boys were excited to see a movie at the theater. It isn't a regular occurrence at our house. Mostly we just don't keep up with all the cool new movies that are coming out so we find out about them when they get to the discount theater in town. But that's just fine with me.
The theater was far from being a packed house. The other dozen people in the audience had plenty of chairs to choose from . We were excited about that because all of our boys could sit in their own seat and still be able to see the screen. Aleky isn't a movie-goer yet; he slept through the entire movie, waking just in time for the credits!
The movie was "Kung Fu Panda" and the boys were excited to see some great karate (even if the panda had to grow into his own)!
September 24, 2008
Now he just need to get his hands on the "fire gun" and his plan for starting a fire would be able to unfold. But where could it be? It was truly a mystery...however we did finally discover the whereabouts of the missing fire gun. Instead of being in the BBQ box it had fallen on the ground behind some other things.
With the flammable weekly ads crumpled beneath the log cabin it only took 3 tries to get the fire going!
His brothers watch anxiously to be able to rejoice in David's success...but the fire seemed a bit elusive. Undaunted, he tried...and tried...and tried until he was successful. After dinner the boys were able to roast their own marshmallows. Michael would have nothing to do with dinner and had to forego the marshmallow dessert. So he decided to play with the fire instead.
Aleky joined the party and enjoyed a nice, calm evening by the crackling fire. David and Donovan enjoyed at least 5 marshmallows each. Michael discovered that the fire is HOT!
September 22, 2008
We were very impressed with all the people who showed up to have a s'more. We had friends, friends of friends, neighbors, and more stop by our gate. It was just a blast having people show up and make us feel neighborly.