Sunday, November 18, 2012


November 16, 2012 Clay officially took his first steps!  He is 10 1/2 months old.  He was standing next to a chair, and the look in his eyes said, "I want to get to that piano bench where my mom is sitting.  If I just let go and pick up my feet . . ."  So he took a couple steps and lunged toward me.  It was momentous.  I immediately called Alvin to report the news.

Clay gets a kick out of standing and balancing for a few seconds by himself.  His faces lights up with that open-mouthed grin.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our little guy

I’ve been thinking about Clay lately.  He is 10 months old.  That’s almost one year!  He doesn’t talk and say funny things for me to report (yet!), but he has his own personality, and I want to record some of the things that make Clay Clay.
Clay has always been a good laugher.  He started laughing early and heartily – maybe two months old.  He responds to tickling, pat-a-cake, kisses in the swing, funny noises, and “boo!”  He always has a big, open-mouthed smile.
Clay takes things in stride.   Miles likes to knock him over when he’s sitting or standing, or yank his pacifier out of his mouth (isn’t that what the little handle is for?), and Clay mostly doesn’t complain.
Anytime Clay and Miles are in the back yard together, I know the hose will get turned on (by Miles) and Clay will get sprayed (again, by Miles).  And Clay puts up with it!  I guess he thinks that’s just the way things are.  
Clay really likes Miles, and he watches him attentively.  He loves to wake up Miles from his nap by crawling on him and laying on his head, which usually produces a shove and a “Clay don’t!”
Clay hates getting his diaper changed and screams every time.  He will arch his back and roll over unless I lay him on the floor and pin him down with my leg.  He doesn’t like being buckled in his car seat, but he loves standing up to play in it.  He doesn’t much like shoes but has gotten used to some very soft leather slippers.
Clay will sit with his back at a wall or loosely-closed door and repeatedly bump his head against the wood.  He likes to put the knob on Miles’ tow truck in his mouth and crawl around with the rest of the toy hanging out his mouth from the tow cable.  He likes to dig in and eat the dirt from Alvin’s big coffee tree.  He puts his toy cell phone next to his ear, even though he seems too young to have figured that out.  He loves frozen peas and carrots, he prefers Kix over Cheerios, and he likes to pretend bananas are soap.  Today he shared his pacifier with me.  How sweet.
Here's to you, Clay!  Thanks for joining our family and bringing such contagious smiles.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Crazy dancing

We got to do some FaceTime with Alvin's mom and dad today.  What a great invention, FaceTime!  Miles informed me that while he was talking to Grandma and Grandpa (which he requests to do by himself), he showed them a crazy dance that was "really super fun."  I didn't see it, but I imagine it involved hopping on one foot while rolling his arms.  Miles said it was called, "We didn't start the air conditioner."  Remind you of anything?

P.S. I made this cake today, and it really is what it claims.  I actually ordered the cocoa powder from Amazon, and it's intense, rich flavor was definitely worth the weirdness of buying a grocery item online.

Friday, November 9, 2012

One step back . . .

One morning Miles was naughty and tormenting Clay.  Extremely vexed, I said, with great emotion, "Dang it, Miles!"

Now Miles sings, "And the dang-it, dang-it, daaang-it, went up the dangit again."

Growing up and growing out

Clay is now 10 months old and getting into things . . . literally.  He loves going higher: climbing the stairs, standing on Miles' tricycle, and climbing on the little kid picnic table.  If we didn't keep bathroom doors closed, he'd unroll our toilet paper and splash in the toilet bowl.  One day at the Science Museum, I propped him up at the water table and let him soak himself.  He loved it!

We had high hopes for Miles when we signed him up for 3-yr-old soccer.  A bunch of his friends from Nursery are on the same team, and one of the moms is the coach.  He loves to run around and kick the ball, but as soon as the whistle starts an actual game, he becomes immobile.  His friend, Adler, would also rather sit on the sidelines and play with a train than get in the middle of the soccer action.  Oh well.  It was a great learning experience for all of us.

Here's a picture of my growing-out hair.  Alvin, who gave me the blue shirt, was very nervous when I told him I was going to get it trimmed.  My hair, that is.  I reminded him that the overall length is increasing, and shorter layers make it manageable.

Two steps forward . . .

Family scripture study is a goal we are working on.  We rotate between illustrated Bible stories and repeating short verses in The Book of Mormon.  The hardest part is remembering to do it.  It seems like we're always dashing off to do something in the evening.  

The other hardest part is getting Miles to sit still.  He climbs all over the couch or races around the living room.  Anyone have a couch seat belt or a straight jacket?  

A while ago, Alvin tried to tell the story of Samson.  I thought Miles would be fascinated by the pictures of a lion and a burly man.  But neither the lion nor our cajoling could make our wiggle worm sit still.
Fast forward a week.  Clay was crawling down the hall away from Miles and me.  Miles said, "If Clay crawls away, I can go get him."  He does like to pick up Clay and tote him around.  I said, "Yes, because you are so strong.  Why are you so strong?"  Miles replied, "Because my hair is so long."

I was dumbfounded.  Then I laughed out loud for a complete minute.  The things your kids hear when you think they're not listening.

Here's another Miles story.  One morning he was being rather naughty.  I lost my temper.   After I  took a time out, I apologized to Miles for yelling at him when I was frustrated.  I said, imploringly, "Miles, sometimes I don't know what to do when you don't obey."

"Hey, Mom!" he answered.  "How about you ask Heavenly Father.  He will help you!"

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Enjoying some nice fall weather with my two monkies

We didn't start the fire

One of the benefits of marriage is an expanded music CD collection.  Alvin got classical piano, and I got Billy Joel and Simon and Garfunkel.  Have you ever heard We Didn't Start the Fire?  It has a snazzy beat, and Miles asks me to play it over and over whenever we're driving in the car.  I wonder if his fascination with the song has something to do with his Halloween costume . . .

Group Costumes

Are you a believer?  This year we are.
 Alvin carved the lovely pumpkin on our porch.  We left out a bowl of candy and all went trick-or-treating together.  It was fun, but Alvin had to cheer on Miles (and me) to go to more than a handful of houses to get more candy.  Here's a closer look at Clay, in case you didn't guess his costume.
If we had two more kids, they would be a dalmatian and a hose.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mountains Fix (Our Trip to Utah)

August 2, 2012

We just returned from a 12-day trip to Utah!  Our goals?  
1. Spend time with family
2. Reconnect with old friends
3. Hike in the mountains

We wore ourselves out, but Mission Accomplished!  Parts of the trip were very nice, and parts of it were about as miserable as I had feared (see below).  Miles and Clay were good sports for having their normal routine thrown to the wind.  They caught cat naps between activities in the rental car, and Miles loved sharing an air mattress with Alvin!  

Some things I enjoyed:
Hiking to Timpanogos caves.  Miles hiked 1 ½ miles up the steep trail all by himself!  He plead a few rides on Alvin’s shoulders on the way down.  I carried Clay in the mei tai, and boy, were my legs tired after that.  The same day we went to Seven Peaks water park, and it was hard to muster energy to climb the stairs to the water slides.

Cooler temperatures and no humidity.  I had forgotten how stifling humidity can be until I experienced its absence.  We spent several days at high elevation (at the cabin in Fairview and hikes in the Wasatch mountains), so we got to enjoy daytime temperatures in the 70s (opposed to 100s in Oklahoma).  Nighttime at the cabin even got to the 40s!  What a relief.  Although Clay wasn’t used to that.  We bundled him up at night, but I think feeling the cold air on his face woke him.  He screamed both nights we slept in the tent. L

Celebrating Pioneer Day on the 24th of July.  We spent the day in Fairview, which was a first for me.  It was lovely!  All the festivities, and none of the crowds or traffic.  They even threw candy and otter pops at their parade.  There was a really good feeling in the town, and they hosted free games with prizes for the kids.

Shopping at The Corner Station in Fairview.  My favorite toy store.  Miles loved it, too, because he got to play with the demo toys, and I bought him a firefighter costume.  I also bought birthday presents for my mom (a scarf and necklace), Amber (a word-building game), and Jeni (a tin top and toy zeppelin, to match her vintage theme), and a game for our family (Pass the Pigs).

Biking with my old actuary boss.  He’s a road biker, and he recently purchased a tandem bike.  So he took me for a ride near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon.  Two-horsepower is great for hills (we being the horses).

Some things I didn’t enjoy (are there things you hate about travelling?):
Extreme fatigue
No quiet, private, dark place for midday naps
Interrupted naps ("Mom, is it time to get up yet?")
Sleeping on inflatable mattresses
Clay screaming at night
Did I mention being tired?

Miles wore earplugs to the Demolition Derby.
Grandma and Grandpa hiking near the cabin, Fairview Canyon.
Anderson Family cabin, just in case you forgot what it looks like.
A visit to Kennecott Mines.  (I stayed home to catch up on sleep.)
Favorite past-time of the next generation.
Taking Birtchers' scooter for a spin.
Hiking to Cecret Lake at Alta.
Ahh, altitude.
More altitude!
Clay getting ready to crawl.  He officially started crawling at 7 months (two months behind Miles).  But he started cruising the furniture, too, so we'll see if he walks sooner.
Jen, Lucy, Clay, and Laura.  Lucy was born 2 weeks before Clay.

A mid-hike snack with Oma.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Oklahoma has . . .


Pops (my sister, her husband, and my mom came to visit)

Forests just beyond our yard

Mountains!  Near Lawton.  Who would have known?

Crop-damaging hail storms

Lots of parks and swings

Hiking!  But you have to drive a ways to noteworthy trails.

Funky lizards (we saw this guy on our hike)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Today. . .

I caught Clay on his hands and feet, almost ready to launch into a crawl.  He will be six months old in 4 days.  His favorite past-times are blowing slobbery raspberries and watching Miles' crazy antics.

I asked Miles, "Whose toothbrush are you using?"  (It looked too big to be his.)
He said, "I'm using dad's toothbrush because it has queakers.  I like the queakers."
I guess he likes the squeaking sound the rubber makes in his mouth.

Clay loves being one of the "big people" at mealtime.  He sits in his booster seat at the table and tries to maneuver peas or Cheerios or beans from his tray to his mouth.  I can tell he thoroughly enjoys it.  It's worth the extra mess.

Miles was extremely amiable when he woke up this morning because he knew he'd be going to Adler's house to play.  We are so lucky to have a fellow three-year-old train lover in the neighborhood.

And the adults around here. . .
Alvin got a raise and a bonus at work.  He sweetly said I could have half of the bonus, since I work so hard for our family, too.  He bought three pairs of dressy work shoes, which I thought were well-deserved, since he's been wearing some that are 5 years old (brown) and 12 years old (black).

I swam laps at Gold's, did laundry, stored a bunch of Miles toys in hopes of reducing the daily clutter, and dressed up Miles as a pirate while Alvin prepared an FHE lesson (entitled "I Will Obey").

Our air conditioner ran nonstop since 7 am, and it was still 81 degrees inside the house.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Let me tell you about my dad

Happy Father's Day!
Here he is: Steven Michael Cannon, with his first daughter, Laura.
            He was born in 1955, and he died in 2005 at age 50 from lymphoma.  If my dad were here today, he would have a sleek Apple computer, an iPad 4, and all of the family history apps.  He would work in the Family History Department at the Church, he would have read Thomas S. Monson’s biography and the latest David McCullough novel, and he may have finally convinced his own dad to take a sailing class with him at the Great Salt Lake.  He would be looking forward to a family reunion with his thirty-something nieces and nephews.  He would be glad to finally have three sons (even if they are only in-laws), and he would have visited me in Oklahoma and enjoyed a good root beer at Pops.

Today, thinking about my dad, it strikes me how similar we were.  My dad never pushed me to follow in his footsteps, but he was very pleased when I, of my own initiative, took up similar interests and experiences.  For example, my dad and I were both Sterling Scholars in mathematics.  I went to BYU (his alma mater) and majored in mathematics (his minor).  We’re tidy, more introspective than talkative, and we laugh heartily at a good joke.
            In 9th grade, I announced to my parents that I wanted to join the Cross Country team.  Apparently, my dad had run in high school, too.  To get me to and from the twice-a-day practices, my dad drove me and my bike to school every morning at 5:30.  I ran, went to classes, ran again, and rode my bike home.  (At least it was downhill!)  When I quit Cross Country in 12th grade, I kept up my morning runs . . . with my dad and our dog.

            Hungry for more outdoor adventures, I joined the Mountaineers Club.  My dad joined with me.  He came on our hike to Lake Blanche in the Wasatch, and we canoed down the Jordan River together.  While my friends planned graduation trips to Disneyland and Las Vegas, I planned a backpacking trip to Capitol Reef National Park.  We tackled Mt. Olympus and Mt. Timpanogos together, too.

Just before I turned 21, I announced that I wanted to go on a mission.  My dad, delighted, was certain my choice would bring blessings to me and my family.  I went to a Spanish-speaking mission in New Jersey.  Every week, I received a page-long typed letter from my dad with scriptures, encouragement, and . . . lessons from his own mission to Argentina.

 Our family went on lots of weekend road trips to Utah's national parks.  My dad liked to work in visits to the local cemeteries so he could mark the locations of ancestors' headstones on his GPS. You can see my sisters are not big fans of hiking.

Victim of a prank while napping!  My dad fell asleep  SO easily.  When we were younger, my sisters and I would fill his hair with plastic barrettes while he snoozed on the couch.

When we found out my dad had cancer, I took off a semester of college to help my mom take care of him. I was 24.  One of my sisters had just left on a mission, and the other was attending Southern Utah University.  It was hard to watch my dad get so sick.  He didn't complain much; he was just very meek.  
            I love reminiscing about my dad and smiling about the fun things we did together!  I miss him - I wish he could have come to my college graduation.  I wish he could have met Alvin and Miles and Clay.  But . . . I know he is aware of me and cares about me.  I imagine he is very busy and happy in heaven.  And I KNOW I will see him again!  He will always be my dad, and when we are reunited, our relationship will resume and grow stronger throughout eternity.

P.S. Now I have an amazing stepfather.  He just biked 300 miles from South Jordan to St. George, Utah.  I love him!  But that is a story for another post.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Spring in Edmond

Spring in Edmond, OK is good for . . .
...enjoying flowers.  Our neighbors brought them when they came to dinner.
...splashing in the mud.  That bare spot in the back yard is getting more use than the lawn!
 ...swinging with a friend.  Owen (left) is wearing Miles' red shirt because his own clothes were casualties of the garden hose.
 ...growing up!  And watching mom eat dinner outside.
...picking wild blackberries in the forest behind our house.  Watch out for ticks!
 ...eating blackberries.  And making jam with the rest.  Yum.
 ...hanging out with mom while she cooks.
 ...finding a clever (and free) way to display Miles' artwork.  This involved a trip to a bamboo patch and a thorough study of clove hitches and lashings in Essential Knot Tying for the Outdoors.
...camping with dad.  These two planned to attend the Fathers and Sons campout, but the location was 2 1/2 hours away.  Instead, Alvin and Miles drove 5 minutes to Arcadia Lake, set up the tent, built a fire, threw rocks in the lake, and gave me and Clay the night and morning off.