Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We Can Be Impulsive Too!

It started Saturday night as we were checking our facebook before heading to our church Christmas party. My sister's statuses all changed to "Going to Disneyland tomorrow. I love my impulsive mother!" Tyler said, "What?! They can't just go to Disneyland!... We could go too, ya know...We could be impulsive too..." During the next 30 minutes, we tried to call each other's bluffs with things like, "Well, if we're going to Disneyland, we better get packing, shouldn't we..." "What snacks should we pack, since we're going to Disneyland tonight and all..." We packed, went to the Christmas party, came back, gave Calvin a bath, and tucked him into the car. Within a couple hours of deciding to go, we were actually in the car, on our way to the Happiest Place on Earth. We drove through the night, arrived a couple hours after my mom, took a nap in the early morning, woke up, and went to the park.

I don't think we could have done this if Calvin wasn't such an easy-going, adaptable child. He did well in the car even though he didn't get as much sleep as he would have in his bed. And at Disneyland, he remained his happy, cheerful, excited self all day long. He was so cute riding on the rides and watching the parades. He could tell what a special day we were all having.

The Finding Nemo Submarines was one of his favorite rides. He spent the whole time shouting, "Bubbles! Bubbles! Nemo! Fishies!! Bubbles!! Whoa!" It was very funny.

He loved watching the Christmas Parade, too. Kelsea watched most of it with him, while we went to buy his Mickey Ears. You could tell how amazing he thought it was when Buzz and Woody actually passed by, waving at him. He shouted and shouted at them. When Mickey and Minnie went by, he shouted and waved.

Then came It's a Small World. By the end, we was standing up in the boat, stamping his feet and singing at the top of his lungs, "Fa La La La La!!" (It was the Small World Holiday ride.) My favorite is when he would wave at the dolls, saying "HI!!" and "BYE!!!" So cute... He even did this on Pirates of the Caribbean. Each skeleton would be greeted and farewelled by lil Cal. The whole time, I was just wondering what he must be thinking about all these rides.

Our group. I love my mom and sisters (otherwise known as the Aunt Farm). They know how to feel the magic of Disneyland. We laughed and cried and almost passed out from exhaustion. So so so fun.

Then came the most magical moment of all- Calvin meeting Mickey. He loves Mickey since he has this Mickey doll that his cousins gave him. he has been taking this Mickey doll everywhere with him lately. We knew that he just had to meet the real Mickey and really wondered how he'd react. It ended up working out perfectly because it started raining in the evening and we figured we might as well go wait in line to meet Mickey since the line would at least be indoors. We headed over to Mickey's House in Toontown, and it was deserted. There was no one on line at all to see Mickey. We even thought it was closed, and walked through the house anyway. Lo and behold, Mickey was there at the end to meet and talk to Calvin.

When Calvin saw him, it was just like the commercials you see. He stood, starstruck, looking right at Mickey. Then he said, "MiMi!," pointing at his nose. Mickey gave him a big hug and a kiss, and Calvin did the same. It was so cute. When we got left, Calvin said, "Again!" We thought, why not? It's still raining. We went back around 3 times and got a different Mickey each time! It was awesome. By the last time we went around to talk to Mickey, Calvin was a pro. He'd hug him and kiss him, shouting "MiMi! MiMi!," and point out his eyes, nose, and mouth. He was always hesitant to leave, but would finally shout "Bye, MiMi!!" and head for the door. You could tell that his dreams really had come true.

" We're all mad here."

It was raining on and off for most of the evening, but then it started raining a bit harder and the stroller got soaked. We tried to keep Calvin warm and dry as best we could, but eventually we had to call it a night. In this picture, Calvin has to be cold, wet, and completely exhausted. He just kept smiling and smiling. He knows he had such a magical day. I just hope he is able to remember any of it. I know I won't forget it.
The drive back was a little harder, trying to work through a Disneyland hangover, but we made it home safely yesterday. I can't wait to go back when he is a little older. I really want to keep Disneyland as a tradition in my family. My family, Tyler, and I have always loved Disneyland, even as adults, but having kids now opens it up again to the kind of magic that only children can feel. Wow. So fun.
I feel like I can do anything now. Hooray for spontaneity!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

To England and Back Again

November was a bit of a crazy month since I spent most of it away from Tyler and Calvin in southern England. I had been doing some script work and paperwork on a film project, and they asked me to come along to work on location for their shoot in the UK. It was pretty hard leaving Calvin and Tyler for more than 2 weeks, but I had such an great time and met so many amazing people who I consider my new friends. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work on such a neat project.

The documentary is about the King James Bible and in 2011 will commemorate the 400th anniversary of its publishing. It is being created for broadcasting and should air sometime next year. It tells the stories of Martin Luther, William Tyndale, Thomas More, King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Frith, Bilney, and other players that led to the scriptures being accessible to the common man. Learning about the sacrifices of all of these people (most of them sacrificing even their lives) for their commitment to God and truth has made me so much more grateful for the scriptures that we have in our homes. I have made a more concerted effort to not take the scriptures for granted and to study them more diligently. It has definitely been a faith-building experience.

Location 1- Great Chalfield Manor, near Chippenham
(The Other Boleyn Girl was filmed in part here.)

Location 2- Lacock Abbey, in Lacock Village
(Many scenes from the first two Harry Potters were filmed here.)
Location 3- Berkeley Castle, near Berkeley
(The Berkeleys have owned this castle for 900 years!)

Location 4- Ightham Mote, near Sevenoaks

(This house is 700 years old...it's crazy how much history is in each of these locations.)

I got to wear many hats on set (quite literally, actually) as I worked as a production assistant and 2nd AD, and also stepped in on screen as a pageboy, nanny, Anne Boleyn's friend, anonymous coronation attendee, and a leper. Yes, I am that versatile. When extras didn't show or did not have the proper measurements, I would step into wardrobe and we'd figure out a different way to disguise my face so as not to be recognized from a previous scenes. It was very fun work. My role count was only rivaled by another PA that ended up being 3 different roles. I think we got each crew member a cameo except 2. We'll have to wait until the next shoot to fit them in.

In the halls of Hogwarts.

Ready for action on set as a leper.

Eating fish and chips at lunch with Adam (sound) onset at Berkeley Castle.

The grounds at Berkeley Castle. So beautiful.

Our work didn't leave much time for sightseeing, but we did have a little time on Sundays to look around. The first Sunday, we went to church in Bath and then visited downtown. I had already toured the Roman Baths there before, so while everyone did the tour, I ate some yummy yummy pasties and watched a Remembrance Day ceremony at Bath Abbey.

I feel so lucky that I was able to be in England in the beginning of November and be a part of their Remembrance Day activities. November 11th is indeed Veteran's Day in the US, but we do not honor this day in the way that the UK does. For at least a week, nearly every citizen wears a red poppy pin, showing their support for the Poppy Appeal, which gives funds to veterans and families affected by war. On actual Remembrance Day, the entire nation takes a 2-minute moment of silence to remember those lost to war. On the Sunday following the 11th, Remembrance Sunday, many ceremonies are held in parks and in churches throughout the country to reflect again on the sacrifices made of those fighting to defend freedom.

At church on Remembrance Sunday, there were many veterans in attendance wearing their uniforms. All of the talks focused on sacrifice and reverence for the fallen. It struck me that many US citizens, including myself, do not really know the toll that war can take on a country. Besides terrorist attacks and Pearl Harbor, we do not really know what it is like to really have our country at war. We have never experienced regular bombing raids. Many of the individuals I was sitting near in church have. To most Americans who do not have a personal tie to the armed forces, I think war is distant. We have not experienced it in the way that Europe has. The sincere reverance and respect that each person seemed to display was very touching. I felt ignorant.

On the 2nd Sunday I was there, we traveled into London after church had a walk around Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and other famous London locales. The poppies were still present.

Remembrance poppies at Westminster Abbey separated by regiment.

Poppies for unknown lost soldiers.

It being that time of year that one reflects on one's blessings, I had a long think about those people who have given their lives to protect their beliefs, their families, and their livelihood. I do not even know what life would be like without the sacrifice of those millions lost to war. I know it sounds trite to say that I am grateful, but how can I not say it? I am grateful for the safety I feel and the freedoms that I am able to exercise daily and I understand that there are many people who have sacrificed over thousands of years to allow me to live the comfortable life that I live today. I hope I do not forget that.

I also want to say that I am so grateful to be back home now. I had missed Calvin SO much. I woke him up in the middle of the night when I got home and squeezed him so hard. He didn't know what was going on, but in the morning said "mommy" basically nonstop. I know he missed me too.

I did also get a chance to head to King's Cross station to hop aboard the Hogwarts Express.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


For Halloween this year, Calvin was Russell and Tyler was Carl Fredricksen from "Up." I was so excited about making this costume.

****For previous Halloween Posts, see:
Halloween 2009: Where the Wild Things Are
Halloween 2011: Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood
Halloween 2012: A World of Pure Imagination
Halloween 2013: I've Got No Strings
Halloween 2015: The Force Awoke

Russell's outfit had so many little things to put together. I loved figuring out ways to scale everything down to Calvin size. It was a lot of fun, and I was so happy with how it turned out.

I worked a lot with PhotoFabric, a colorfast fabric that has a paper backing to allow you to put it directly into your inkjet printer. I was able to then print images of merit badges and the Wilderness explorer logo for his sash, hat, and little flag. At first I had some problems because the thick fabric paper would jam every time I would try to print on it. I was ready to give up, but decided to just pull the fabric away from the paper backing and just stick the fabric into the printer. I had to be careful to make sure the fabric wouldn't bunch as it was pulled through, but it printed out perfect the first time! It was amazing- I just printed these out!

Then they have you run it under water until it runs clear, and then you iron it.

Then, I just cut them out and sewed them on the little sash I made!
Russell's backpack was pretty easily made with a variety of things I found at the thrift store nearby. I was able to find the perfect little things to go on it. I got some various tiny pots and pans, and a little handbag with a long strap to become his backpack. I cut the straps off and made little backpack straps and straps for the bedroll with it. I got a little dog harness from the dollar store, and it became all the little brown straps that I hung little carabiners on to carry the pans, compass, rope, flashlight, bugle, etc. The rest of the outfit was just some Russell-ish articles of clothing that Calvin already had or that were easily found.
The BEST part about the costume was that Calvin LOVED it. Seriously, when he'd see his backpack around the house, he'd beg to put it on. He has been wearing the costume since Friday and has never once wanted to take the backpack or hat off. This costume was exactly his kind of thing!
On Friday, we went to our church Halloween party. Everyone loved his costume again this year as he won the costume contest again! Our chili also won the Chili Cookoff for the 2nd year running (I have to give all credit for this to Jennifer)! We had lots of fun! And between the clanging of his backpack and the balloons tied to him, we could hear and see Calvin no matter where he was at the party! A great unforeseen perk of this costume!

On Saturday, we went trick-or-treating at Macey's (the grocery store-- I'm not misspelling the name of the department store). Calvin didn't really get the idea of going around and holding out his bag for candy, and instead just wandered around the store, finding himself being tripped over by the other trick-or-treaters. He began causing quite a disturbance when people started getting out their phone and taking pictures of him. One woman took a picture, and then another man ran up saying, "You're doing pictures?!" and whipped out his iPhone to snap a quick shot too. I felt excited and flattered that they liked the costume so much, but then get a little scared as shoppers started to stare to see what the ruckus was. We left shortly afterward. Calvin loved the attention.

Sam and I went as Red and Mokey from Fraggle Rock. These were a little more whipped together and not quite as polished as Russell, but I was very happy with the product nonetheless. Let me tell you though, if you ever need colored tights, don't waste your time trying to find them anywhere. We went to about 15 different stores and finally found purple ones, but never found yellow. Save yourself some time and just buy white tights and dye them. The dying didn't take long and they ended up just the color we wanted. Also, I was happy with the wig I made for Mokey. Only took yarn, a hat, a glue gun, and an hour.
Phew! I am pretty burnt out from crafting costumes, but so glad that everything turned out well. I don't know how I can ever make a cooler costume for Calvin, though. I need to start planning now for next year.

Calvin trying on his not-quite-finished costume for the first time. 

*****For those interested in making this costume, I found the merit badges here. Just print them whatever size you need them, cut them out, and sew them on a sash!*****

Other Halloween Years:
Halloween 2009: Where the Wild Things Are
Halloween 2011: Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood
Halloween 2012: A World of Pure Imagination
Halloween 2013: I've Got No Strings

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall Day in the Park

So, some of my friends and I swap babysitting in order to allow us to go to work. Calvin gets to play with 3 different friends every week! And then we get to have his friends over almost every day as well. He loves it.

Today we had a little time to take a trip to the park with one of his friends. I don't own a double stroller, so I had to improvise:

It looks a little uncomfortable, but they thought it was hilarious. Every time we'd go over a bump, they'd yell "Bumpy!" and start giggling. I was a little afraid that Calvin would mess with her hair and pull it, but he was very nice. He would just pat it gently.

Here are some pictures from our outing:

I love these green overalls on him. I wore these when I was his age!

Walking back to the house. I couldn't get enough of these cuties in this stroller. I was cracking up.

I don't think I'll even need to buy a double stroller when we have another baby! This seems to work just fine! :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Quick Update

Well, the new semester started, and we are so busy.

Opera Rehearsal with an 18-month-old ASM
Monday as a Mom and Stage Manager:
8am- Calvin wakes up, get breakfast, get dressed, morning play
10am- Production Meeting at BYU, meet Tyler beforehand so he can watch Calvin during the meeting
11am- Meeting's over, get Calvin back from Tyler, Calvin and I run errands
12:15pm- Another meeting on campus, Tyler watches him again
1:00pm- Calvin and I run home, I plop him in bed and hope he falls asleep quickly since we have to leave in 90 minutes. During Calvin's nap is when I shower and actually get ready for the day.
2:30pm- Leave for rehearsal
3:00pm- Rehearsal begins
4:00pm- Tyler done with classes for the day, comes to get Calvin from rehearsal
6:00pm- Rehearsal ends, go home and get dinner together with Tyler
7:30pm- Calvin's bath and bedtime
8:15pm- Begin writing emails, rehearsal report, making lists/forms for the show, etc.
12:00am- Bedtime for me
Hiding under the piano at rehearsal
Phew! It is taking a bit getting used to. After our first full week, we are seeing how we can streamline this crazy schedule. It's been a while since I have worked on such a large and involved show. It is going to be pretty awesome, though. We have alot of neat technical effects planned and the singers sound amazing already. The Magic Flute performs at BYU in October, so buy tickets is you'd like to come!
Calvin before bed one night. He kept putting all these plastic balls in his shirt.
Calvin is doing so well amid all the back-to-school/work craziness. Most days, Calvin and I get to hang out all morning, and then he gets to play over at a with a friend in the afternoon. He is learning a new word every day! It's crazy how big he's getting!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Last Night in Washington

Well, our summer in Redmond has ended. Tyler is probably crossing in to Oregon right now, and Calvin and I will be flying back to Provo tomorrow. We have had so much fun, but we're ready to go back to our home in Provo. Rehearsals for The Magic Flute start on Monday, and so does school for Tyler. I have gotten to blog so much this summer because I had the free time. I am worried that I am going to get too busy to update as much. Also, I don't think we'll be doing as many cool things, so I don't know what to blog about. I'll still update with pictures though, as often as I can.

The above picture is from Redmond's last Arts in the Park this summer. One World Taiko came and played for us. We loved it! I have always wanted to be a taiko drummer. I just don't think anyone would want to see a white girl up there. I wouldn't blame them, either. Anyway, it was really great to watch!

My brother Nick came to visit before returning to the University of Portland. Here are the boys playing Wii Sports. All three seem to be pretty into it.

We went to the Pacific Science Center again, and Nick had a go on the high wire bicycle. He did very well and even went around twice!

Here is the Pacific Science Center with the Needle towering above.

We went on one of the Argosy harbor cruises. He we are getting ready to disembark.

Seattle Skyline

Ships on the dry docks. The one on the left is a Coast Guard ship. They are repainting it.

In this shed, they are building a new Washington Ferry.
Well, back to Provo. We're excited to see all our friends! I'll update again soon!