Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas with 4 blonde Bobs and a Bald Baby.

During the Holiday season, we get together with my family and have a nice dinner, followed by an "Airing of Grievances," in which each person tells everyone else all the ways they have disappointed him or her over the past year, we reenact the nativity while someone reads from the Bible, exchange gifts, the "Feats of Strength" are performed, involving wrestling the head of the household to the floor, with the holiday ending only if the head of the household is actually pinned and we also play "the envelope game".
My dad fills as many envelopes as there are people with different amounts of money and everybody starts with an envelope. My mother reads "Twas the night before Christmas" and every time she reads the word "ALL" we pass the envelope to the person on our right. Every time she reads the word "THE" we pass the envelope left. When the story is done, we open our envelope and get between $5 and $100. #3 was the big winner this year. That will buy a lot of HELLO KITTY lip gloss.
Christmas morning, the girls didn't wake up until 7:45. We made them take a bath and then they went down stairs one at a time to see if Santa brought them any presents.
Then we went to the in-laws and opened more presents.


It was the best Christmas ever.

Monday, December 22, 2008

{SPOILER} Party with Santa {SPOILER}

Parents may or may not want to filter this post from theirs kids.(Ashley)
The Doctor finally, finally finished his degree in storytelling.
With that, he and my dad went back to his commencement and got stuck in weather and airports and did not make it back, so we had Nanny over for Sunday brunch.
That evening we went and had a family party with Nanny's side and we were visited by a bearded man in a red suit.

Uncle Luke: "Hey Bunny, did you bring a present for Santa to give to Clare?"
My 6 year old #2 standing nearby and overhearing everything: "Oh, so that's how it works"

Thanks Luke!

After the party, we had to pull #1 and #2 aside and inform them that the real Santa was very busy this time of year trying to make it to lots of parties and finishing up with toys and things and could not make it to our party, so a neighbor dressed up and came to the party for us. We assured them that the real Santa would make it to our house on Christmas Eve.

#2 told me she could tell it wasn't the real Santa because he had to pull his beard up a couple times.

I guess we deserve this since we have been busy and up late the last couple nights and the tooth fairy has bypassed our house for 2 nights in a row.

Still, I can't wait to tell Lukes daughter how babies are made.

#2, #3 and cousin Nitnee observing the chaos


I did it. I whole post without mention of a bike.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Piano Recital


We finally got some good cyclocross weather, and instead of racing in the snow, we spent our saturday morning at #1 and #2's first piano recital. They both did a great job and i was very proud. It drives #1 crazy when #2 starts playing her songs....by ear. They have both picked it up quickly and are doing great.
It is a unique experience to have daughters that fight about who's turn it is to practice the piano.
they love to play and at times i wish there was a volume control on the piano.
When i was young, one of my sibling carved "I HATE PIANO" into the piano. I love to play now but as a 10 year old, it was almost as bad as weeding the garden.

It has been a week now since i have ridden a bike and i might be going through withdrawals. I find myself a bit more on edge and yelling at the kids more. And not the good kind of yelling, like; "GOOD JOB! KICK THE BALL HARDER! FOCUS! C'MON, GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME! LET'S GO TEAM!"
It has been more along the lines of, "IF I HEAR YOU SING RUDOLPH ONE MORE TIME I WILL GIVE YOU A RED NOSE! THE ELVES ARE WATCHING YOU RIGHT NOW AND THEY CAN SEE THAT YOU ARE BUGGING ME SO KNOCK IT OFF!"
The whole elves watching you all the time trick backfired on us a few years ago when we first tried it on #1. She became afraid of bathing or going to the bathroom because she thought the elves were going to see her naked. We had to explain that they were not Peeping Tom, pedophile, midgets and that they were Santa's helpers and didn't look into bathrooms.
Since i have not been riding my bike, i have been making up for all of the extra time i have had by eating homemade cookies. It is a lot easier than racing a bike and almost as rewarding.
With bike racing, i have to push my body to new limits and even though my legs and lungs and heart are all screaming at me to stop, there is some small part in the back of my brain that is over-riding every other impulse and has me pushing myself to go a little harder, and dig a little deeper to try and catch that guy in front of me and pass him.
With eating homemade cookies, it is very similar. A big part of it is mental, but the physical comes into play a lot as well. I look at a plate of cookies and i think "i couldn't possibly eat that whole plate of cookies by myself". But then i get going, and i think to myself "damn these are good" and i keep eating. My stomach is full and i don't need the nourishment, but there is some small part in the back of my brain that is over-riding every other impulse to stop eating and has me pushing myself to go a little harder, and dig a little deeper to try to finish the whole plate. And then i do, and i am sick for hours afterwards, but i have a sense of accomplishment. That was not something that everyone could do, or should do, but i did it, and i feel a sense of pride and naseau.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CX season comes to a close

Another biking season is in the books, which means we are in the middle of the holiday celebrations.
I was hoping my mustache would intimidate the other racers but it didn't. It is hard to pull off this kind of mustache while wearing spandex.
#1 decided that she would rather go to my family christmas party Saturday morning than come and race in 30 degree temps. My throat is still sore 4 days later. I think she made the right choice.
I knew i wouldn't be riding my bike for a few weeks and when i did get back on a bike, it would be real easy miles for a few months. With this in mind, i raced my regular race then raced again an hour later in the Pro class, just so i wouldn't be mad that the season was over. It worked, i am ready to be off for a bit. I had 2 goals with the Pro race. The first was not to get lapped by the winner and my second goal was to not take last place. I didn't take last place.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

The weekend was nice and we spent lots of time with family and friends being grateful for what life has given us.
I drilled a hole in the middle of the Tofurky and filled it with stuffing. Incidentally, it is difficult to make a good, thick gravy from Tofurky stock.
#4 learned to sit up and roll over this weekend. All of those core strengthening excercizes are really paying off. I have heard of some babies not sitting up until they are over 6 months old and i just think that is sad. I know the pediatricians and baby books say that sort of thing doesn't really matter, but they are lying. It is a direct reflection of the parents.

#1 won another CX race and there is a movie of her riding below. She dresses herself. I have nothing to do with that outfit. She also picked the song that i put with the video. I tried to get her to wear long sleeves but she wouldn't. Maybe they would have messed up her outfit.

video

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

#1 TURNS 9 and an Anniversay Movie

#1 turned 9 last weekend. She got what every 9 year old wants. A rock polisher. When we quickly read through the instructions, we read that it takes 2-4 days. That seems about right for a rock and a kids attentions span. When we pulled it out of the box and started the directions, the first stage was 2-4 days, the second stage is 7-14 days and then another 8 days for stage 3. That is 26 days of the rock polisher constantly rotating in the garage. 26 days so she can have a few shiny rocks. You know, the kind of shiny rocks that you can buy in the little leather bag in Yellowstone for $1.29. Maybe this will teach her a valuable lesson about patience.Here is a picture of #1 soon after birth. Everyone talks about how beautiful babies are. They are not all beautiful. When they get suctioned out and get stuck in the birth canal, leaving them with a cone head and a broken nose, they are not cute. When their eyes are looking in different directions, much like a chameleon, she looked more alien than human. But after a few days, she got cute and we have loved her very much for all of her life, even when she looked like an alien.

This last week we also celebrated our wedding anniversary. We went out to a nice dinner and then went to see "Twilight". I wanted to go and see something with more explosions and full frontal nudity but i was outvoted. I never read the book so i had no preconceived ideas coming into the movie. We didn't go on opening night but we did buy our tickets before dinner in case it sold out. We hurried through dinner so we could go and get a good seat but by the time we got to the theatre, there was already a line formed outside the theatre.
After waiting for 45 minutes, the showing before us finally got out, but then they had to go in and clean the theatre before they would let us in. We got in, but since we were towards the back of the line, we could not find 2 seats together. We walked around for a while but there wasn't anything. What's with saving seats at a movie anyway? Either they oversold the movie or people snuck in. We finally decided that since we don't talk during the movie anyway, it would be ok for us to sit on different rows with her in the seat directly in front of me. I realized before the movie started that i was one of only 3 guys in there. Apparently, 2 other guys were outvoted as well. The rest of the theatre was full of groups of 4-6 women, each giggling about Edward and about leaving their kids with their husbands and about scrapbooking. I am not kidding when i tell you that i heard the girl in front of us in line talking about how she was going to save her movie ticket and make a "Twilight" page in her scrapbook. As the previews started to roll, megan decided that she wanted a Fresca since her stomach was a little uneasy, presumably from eating dinner so fast. She left her money in the car and all i had was a debit card. I gave her my whole wallet since i couldn't see to pull out the right debit card in the dark theatre, and she went to get a drink. She came back and sat down just before the movie started.
I got about 15-20 minutes into the movie before i decided it wasn't for me.
That is the beauty of being married for 11 years, we realize that there are things that she likes and there are things that i like and they don't always coincide. I told her i was going to find a different movie and i would call her when it was done.
I left the theatre and walked around until i found Quantum of Solace, a movie that Megan wouldn't want to watch and i could handle more than the vampire movie. I walked past the ticket taker and flashed my torn ticket and pretended like i just went out to use the bathroom. I walked in and looked around for a seat in a already darkened theatre. As i stood there, someone walked in behind me and touch me on the shoulder. As i turned around, they turned on a tiny flashlight and asked to see my ticket.
A lot of things were running through my head at this point. Almost all of them led to a lie or deciept of some sort.

"I lost my ticket"
"i wanted to see this movie but the automatic ticket printer printed the wrong ticket"
"My name is Bryce Johnson, and i am really sorry."
"I think my wife is cheating on me and i followed her to this theatre so i could catch her in the act"

When i pulled out my ticket and it was clearly for the 7:10 showing of Twilight, he asked me to come with him.
I left the theatre and could now see him in the light. He was maybe 22 years old and wearing a suit that was 2 sizes to big, even though he was not a skinny man. His name tag read Jeremy and he had a small diamond stud earing. When we got into the lobby, he turned to me and started a lecture about how what i did was stealing. Every ticket is accounted for and if i go and see one movie after paying for a different movie, then i was stealing from one company and giving it to another,... Blah BLah Blah. After listening to him ramble on for 2 minutes, i told him to save his breath, i would just pay for the other movie and be on my way. He said it wasn't that easy,... blah blah blah, I probably also pirate movies from the internet, Blah blah, blah.
I reached for my wallet and realized that Megan never gave it back after buying her drink. Here i was, standing in the movie theatre lobby on my anniversary getting yelled at by someone who couldn't get a job anywhere but at a movie theatre, and now he was weilding his assistant managerial power and authority like his tiny little MagLight. I had no wallet or ID, but at least i had the car keys. I could just take off running and call Megan and tell her to find her own way home. I was pretty sure i could out run him. But then it occurred to me that they might use surveillance cameras and my face could end up on the news and on the wall in the post office. "

"Hey Megan, i know we agreed to not get anything for each other for our anniversary, but i decided to get you this glamour shot i had taken.....in an orange jumpsuit.....holding a black sign that has a case number on it.....in front of a bunch of marks showing how tall i am. Oh and here is another picture of that identifying birthmark on my rear end. I hope you like it. I will see about getting you a wallet size, if you want"

Jeremy finally agreed that if i paid for the second movie, he would not call the cops. I didn't want to call megan out of her blood-sucking fantasyland so instead Jeremy let me go and sit in the managers office until the movie was done when i could get my wallet and pay for the other movie. I walked down some back hall and into a small office that was over crowded with movie displays and vaccuums. Jeremy explained what was going on to his boss and his boss apologized to me, but offered me a seat in the corner. I felt like i was a little kid that had just been put in timeout.
I sent a text to Megan telling her to call me when she was done. I spent the next hour watching people walk in and out of the managers office asking stupid questions or asking for time off so they could go to their nephews birthday party. I even got to hear Jeremy's boss call and fire a girl over the phone for missing her 3rd shift in 2 weeks. Megan finally called me and i told her where to meet me. She came to where Jeremy and i were waiting, I got my wallet and went to the window and paid for a movie ticket for a movie that i didn't see. Megan had a puzzled look on her face but didn't say anything. As i was leaving i made a snide comment about how i paid for 2 movies and didn't see either, and He made some comment back to me about stealing. We walked out to the car and i explained to Megan what happened.
I hope you liked your movie.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Weekend without Megan

Megan got to spend some time back down in St George this last weekend with some of my extended family.
She had a great time doing whatever it is that girls do. I think there was some shopping, some crafting, a pillow fight in their underwear, some gossip and some boy talk.

The rest of us spent the weekend up at my parents helping with my mom since my dad was out of town. Saturday morning we made it to wheeler farm for a bike race. We took some bread and the girls fed the ducks and geese while i was riding. While i was doing a warm up lap, i rode by and saw #3 crying. I stopped and asked what was wrong. She was positive that the overly aggressive geese that were bigger than her, were going to eat her. I told them to go and look at the pigs because they were in a cage and couldn't eat anybody.
Between my 2 races, #1 did the junior race and killed it getting 1st in her category. Her margin of victory would have been much larger except it took her a good 60 seconds to get her bike over this barrier.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Heavy metal Christmas







What better way to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior than with heavy metal screaming guitars lots of hair products and pirotechnics.
It has become a christmas tradition in megans family to go and see T S O (that is what us real fans call them) every year when they come to town on their Christmas tour .
Megan went out of town so I got to take #1 with me.
I don't think she will ever be the same
She told me she wants to put these songs on her iPod when she gets one.





-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Snow Canyon 1/2 Marathon

We went to St George with some friends (this term is used loosely) and spent some time hanging out before Megan, Lil' Joe and Big Dan ran the Snow Canyon Half Marathon on Saturday. It was nice enough weather that the kids swam for a while and we went and played on some rocks. I got in a couple bike rides in shorts and short sleeves and it was great to come home and see snow on the ground in our yard.
#4 discovered her hands and stayed entertained for hoursLil' Joe doing his best reenactment of his voyage through the birth canalHere are the feet Megan used to do the RunningMegan had a goal to do it in under 2 hours since this was her first half marathon since giving birth 4 months ago. She missed her goal by 11 seconds but was happy with her performance considering it was a hard course and HOT! Lil' Joe was very proud of the shirt he made for this event. In case you can't read it it says "Do Not Resuscitate" His wife wanted him to put in small letters under it just big enough for the EMT's to read, "Just kidding, I have a wife and 3 children, Please Resuscitate"

Sunday, November 2, 2008

#1's Saturday Bike Race

After Megan got back from her morning run, we packed up the car and headed out for a cx race at Rocky Mountain Raceway. After the circumstances not being good for the last few weeks, #1 was ready to make her debut this year.  A friend named Taylor (you can see Taylor's knees from after her race here) won a pair of biking shorts that didn't fit, so she gave them to #1 and she was very excited to look like a real biker, but wanted to know when she was going to get the pedals that her shoes hook on to. 
It was a challenging course with lots of miserable gravel that #1 tried to ride, but ended up walking most of it. She loved the bumps and jumps on the motocross track section, which makes me think that maybe she should try BMX.  She finished 3rd in her category, which was good for her first CX race this year. I will not tell how many girls were in her category. When the race started, a lot of the kids raced away and as i rode beside #1, she said she wanted to save some of her energy for the 2nd lap.After starting near the back of the pack of around 45 riders and moving my way up to a mediocre finish in the "B" race i pulled out the single speed bike and raced again. i was glad that before the race this week i was able to find a 17 tooth rear cog. After looking around on the friday before the race last week for a different gear and not being able to find one and riding last weeks SS race with a 22 t and having my cadence around 140 on the long flat sections, the 17 t was suited much better for the course. I didn't finish last in either race so i guess i got that going for me.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

HALLOWEEN

A Skunk without shoes, Minnie Mouse with ridiculous shoes, A waitress with sensible shoes, and a robber that was stealing candy. Actually, Megan was the only one that was caught stealing candy. She admitted to taking Orange Nerds from #2's candy stash that was spread out on the Family Room floor and categorized by type and quantity of candy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

#4 has a party

#4 didn't help vaccuum or do dishes but it was fun to have family over and have an excuse to eat soup.
After dinner we had some staring contests and #4 easily defeated everybody that was there.

Next week are going to go to the zoo and see if we can find her some real competition so she can continue to hone her staring skills.