This kid turned 12 yesterday, and it was great.

Didn't get this done before his birthday, but I still wanted to share it. BF turned 12 on Saturday. It's been 12 wonderful years with him in our family, and I don't know what I'd do without him. He's a wonderful son, brother and friend, and I hope the next 12 years are as wonderful (although most of them will be teenage years, so I'm not holding my breath (but if anyone could be a wonderful teenager, it would be him)).
Love you tons, sweetie.


The Bean got her back pricked yesterday and she didn't even flinch.

Who: The Bean. Me (there solely in a supervisory position). Doctor. Nurse.
What: Six month allergist follow-up/food allergy retesting (The Bean only gets 11 pricks, her reactions last time looked like the top left one in the second column)
When: Yesterday. Called back half an hour late after arriving 10 minutes early.
Why: Six months ago, Bean received test of 10 major food allergens. Four spots reacted strongly, peanut, milk, egg yolk and egg white, with big welts surrounded by a big ring of red skin. She's been on an elimination diet since then. Time to retest.
Where: In the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups room (all the rooms are themed after Hershey's candy after the doc's alma mater), which seemed rude, since Reese's peanut butter cups are especially off limits! But she's never had them, so she doesn't know what she's missing.
How: The Bean happily sat while the nurse pricked her back with the 10 test serums and then the control histamine. Waited 15 minutes while her allergies, um, developed? Presented themselves? Made themselves known? Sprang forth in hives upon her delicate back? Last time it only took 5 minutes for the test spots to go crazy. This time, we played with Kleenex and talked about the cars and people we saw out the window. Don't worry, we said nice things.
Results: Just by looking at it, I could tell two of the test spots were reacting a lot less than the last time (1 and 4), while the other two looked about the same, maybe slightly smaller (2 and 3). Number 4 was about half the size of 2 and 3. Number 1 was barely visible, with just a little welt and a pinkish ring around it. I figured 1 and 4 were probably milk and one of the egg ones (they test for both egg white and yolk). However ... #1 was the peanut!
Conclusion: It appears Bean is outgrowing her peanut allergy! The doctor said it looks really promising. We're still avoiding peanuts, but she'll be tested again in six months. She can start having baked goods with milk and eggs in them. My friend said we should recelebrate her birthday with a real cake. She still can't have milk and eggs plain, or things with too much eggs or dairy in them, but it's progress! Doc said having the small amounts of milk and eggs in baked goods should help her body get over the allergies even more.
So, there you have it. A nice, long, boring post about things you don't really care about! With no pictures! But I appreciate the chance to go on and on about this (what is the positive version of venting?)! With any luck, she'll get over all her allergies!


Sometimes it's good to let the babies roam free. A photo essay.

Make babies jump to get rid of excess energy.
Go ahead, let them climb on roofs. Barefoot, even!
And slide down dangerous slides ...
The birthday girl braves the heights.
Confession time: This is the roof of a root cellar.
Not high at all. Shh, these girls are still the bravest
of the brave!
Handsome cousin enjoys a roll in honor of the birthday girl.
The moment when the Bean thought we gave her
cousin her beloved Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
book. Wish I'd caught her face just a second later ...
No, dearie. Your copy is at home.
The glasses brigade! My sister and I, with the reason we both need glasses.
This boy melts my heart.
You wish for these kinds of photos,
with his big brown eyes melting your cold, cold heart ...
But this is usually the type of photo you get.
Babies + balloons = screechy giggles and AWESOME hair.
Wrap babies in balloons for even more fun. They were just a blur.
We partied into the early evening, when the light started to fade and it got chilly.
Happy birthday, sweetheart.
Thanks for letting us come play!


We visited the witches one day.

Sometimes you need to be up for an adventure, right? Don't tell their school, but I checked the boys out early last Thursday so we could visit with out-of-town family. I'm sure they didn't miss much the last hour and a half of class.

My sister-in-law M and my two nephews were visiting from Nevada so we met them and my dad, granddad and another nephew at Gardner Village. We had quite the caravan going, with three strollers, a wheelchair, two 'big boys,' two moms (one with baby in wrap) and my dad. Little B and Little J (think they'll be called BF and JK from here on out ...) each took turns pushing various strollers and chasing around toddlers. JK was a ton of help and got a kick out of pushing his cousin, Davey. BF is old hat at this helping with younger kids thing, so he was less amused. But he obviously had a good time anyway, showing off his muscles.

Most of the gang.
The Bean and her grandpa.
 Thanks for all the fun, guys! We'll caravan strollers with you anytime!


One time the Bean showed us what fierce means.

With every click of the camera, she changes poses.
Work it, Beaner.
In other news, here's a caterpillar we saw while camping. Even the bugs are decorating for Halloween already.


We did a fly-by this morning.

The Bean wanted to go for a walk this morning. And she insisted on wearing this:
We walked, excuse me, "flew" around the block. I'm sorry if you didn't see us. You would have smiled.

Other things have happened since school started, some involving bugs.

Firstly, we have the start of Soccer Saturdays.
Some of us are excited.

Some of us are not.

Don't worry kid, there's only 6 more games!
The other day, the Bean opened the front door and sat on the stoop. When I asked her what she was doing, she said, "I'm waiting for Daddy!"

Luckily, he'd already pulled into the driveway. She's not the most patient creature.
It's always good to cool off after all our waiting by running through the neighbor's sprinklers.
Another day, a katydid visited our front steps. Bean called it a monster and did her scared face, complete with jaw shaking.
"A mon-ser! I skeered!"
Then she realized the camera was on her.

After we've been scared by mon-sers, there's always time for loves from Daddy:

B did not run over this frog with the lawn mower, you'll be happy to know.
He did, however, bring it in the house, where it almost got stepped on. But no worries, it's back outside.

And there was some of this over the weekend:
Yay, curlers!
It just made her look like Gene Simmons, with that weird kind of fake volume his hair has. Sorry, no pictures of that.

And then school started.

Did you know if you do something the two school years prior, it is now a tradition and it is required that you do it again?
That is how we found ourselves at Cracker Barrel on the morning of August 22. Previous years were spent at McDonald's but this year I just. Could. Not.
Playing the peg game. I did it with only one left. I rule!

Happy with her orange juice, unaware of the impending doom and loneliness ...
Then it was off to school, where I took the obligatory boys-with-their-backpacks-on school shot (forgot to do one on the front steps! Motherhood fail!) with bonus sun-in-their-eyes squint.
Ooo, squinty on the red carpet!

And then the Bean realized the boys were leaving her and we had this:

One time we went on a staycation.

This summer just wasn't one for real leave-the-state vacations, so I took matters into my own hands and planned us a staycation in August before school started. Thank heavens for credits on hotels.com! We were able to get a room at the Park City Peaks Hotel, which fulfilled two of our requirements:
  1. Had to be far enough away that the boys would ask, "How long until we get there?" at least once during the drive.
  2. Has to have a pool that looks fun and has a hot tub nearby.
I think the boys may have asked TWICE how much longer the drive was! Sweet.
I took the kids shopping until B got off work. We went to dinner at Cafe Rio and went swimming that night with our friends and their kids. The Bean is usually pretty leery of the water, but there was a rectangular not-hot hot tub (a not tub?) that had a bench all the way around it that she stood on. She paddled her arms and yelled, "I swimming!" at every poor soul who tried to join us. The boys, of course, did their best impressions of fish.
The Bean and her friend, The Skier.
The next day we hit up Burger King for breakfast (one of the worst decisions we've ever made in our lives) and went to Main Street and looked at overpriced photography and museums, without purchasing either. Because seriously, I don't have $2,000 to spend on an 8x10.

After that adventure we headed up to the Olympic Park, where everything was too expensive. But you can pose with a torch for free!
Yes, that is the "look what my parents make me do" look. Preteens are fun!
And Bean tried her hand at the skeleton!
Yes, I really think she's got an Olympic future. Did you see that form?
We were going to do the slide, but it was a LONG wait, and Bean wouldn't be able to go. 
We then got smart and headed to the Alpine Slide at Park City Mountain Resort, where we found out we could go on a ski lift AND do the slide for less than the slide at Olympic Park. Score.
The ski lift was a little hairy - Bean decided she wanted to try walking back and forth on the seat while we were 30 feet up and I didn't let her and THAT WAS NOT FAIR!
The Bean enjoying the death grip Mom has her in.
You'll be happy to know she survived.
At the bottom, no other pictures of us on the slide ... argh!
She rode on the slide with me and it became her favorite thing ever and when we were done she wanted to go AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN! And then I ruined her life again by not letting her go again, THE END!*

*Really, it was. We went home right after.