On Monday night we started on a little adventure up to Christmas Meadows in the Uintas for a fun camping trip with Papa and the cousins. We got up there late and it had just finished a substantial summer storm. Nothing like putting a tent up in the dark, especially when you are missing three of the tent poles...We were able to get set up well enough for Mom, Dad and Barrett to sleep in it, while Hawk became a man and slept in his own tent. Eden and Olivia did a fine job of keeping things safe in the back of the Expedition! We woke up to a picture perfect scene of a big bull moose eating in the meadow across the river. We fished, tubed the river, roasted marshmallows, ate a bunch of junk and had a blast!
We are ecstatic about summer. Eden had a tough last part of the school year, so she is really looking forward to a much deserved break from the rigors of the classroom. She read twenty-one novels in seven weeks; yes, it was an actual assignment. It required tremendous dedication, but in the end she learned that she can do really hard things. At first I thought this assignment was ludicrous, but I have seen improvement in her reading so I suppose I have become a supporter. I didn't realize the old saying "that which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger" applied to fifth grade reading assignments.
Here she is at "Hope of America" at BYU.
Swim team has begun. She's working out with the year round team this summer and will decide if she will commit to year round at the end of the summer. Wow, I don't know what to say. That's a huge commitment . . . 6:30 in the morning all winter. Sounds awful.
Hawk is living the dream. He fishes and goes on adventures with his friend Oliver most every day. They have a pretty long leash. A few weeks ago they casually reported that they had gone to the temple today. When I just looked at them they said, "It's OK, because we tucked in our shirts and said a prayer." We had a little talk.
Earlier in the year he read Tom Sawyer. I'm not sure Tom and Huck were a great choice for me to introduce him to. He's adventurous and mishchieveous enough on his own without outside influences. As I type, I'm listening to the torrential rain coming down . . . he's on a bike ride.
Hawk has also announced that he is not cutting his hair until August. It's starting to get cute in that rugged kind of way. Just don't mention anything about Justin or Beiber.
Miss Olivia seems to be having a great summer. We got the Pass of all Passes so we have spent our fair share of days at Seven Peaks. She is quite brave, but knows her limits. She has been working up to "Free Fall," which by the way is pretty painful so she's really not missing much.
We went to Lake Powell with the Hancocks and Livvy was a tubing stud. As soon as the boat would take off she had her thumb up signaling she wanted to go faster!!
And as you might guess, all of the kids are super helpers with Barrett. They adore him, and it is a blast watching them together.
What a fun day! We waited longer than most people to bless our little baby boy, postponing due to illness, Father's Day, dad being out of town, etc. In the end his blessing day was wonderful. We opted to have it at home so we could have Grandma and Grandpa Nielsen participate via Skype. It worked wonderfully. We were also able to have all the Utah family present, along with some wonderful friends. A great morning filled with the spirit and the love of family and friends.
Yes, that was three wonderfuls in one paragraph. Must have been a great day.
We can't get enough of this kid. At three and a half months now, if he wakes up in the middle of the night and I go in to check on him he delights me with HUGE smiles and full body wiggles to show me he is thrilled to see me. It's impossible to walk away from, and he usually gets a snack out of it. Somehow he is extremely persuasive without even crying. He still would prefer to spend every waking, non-eating, moment staring up in to somebody's eyes smiling. He loves it.
I forgot to mention his two month stats: at two weeks he weighed 8 lbs 4 oz. At two months he weighed 13 lbs 2 oz. That's just under a pound a week. He has earned the nickname "Budders". It's kind of play on buddy and butter. Both appropriate.
Things he's not a fan of: church, crowds, social gatherings, parties. We'll say he's more of a one on one kind of guy.
The pictures above are of Barrett 6 weeks and younger. The pouty face pic is about two and a half months.
So our poor little guy is working on his tan. That is, he's trying to get rid of it. Our blood types are incompatible, which makes him more suceptibile to complications with jaundice. Thankfully they have Bilirubin beds for at home use. I can't imagine how hard it would be to spend all that time at the hospital. He's been cleared now, but he spent a large portion of his first three weeks under the lights.
A moment on lack of sleep: the whole sleep depravation bit is tolerable only because I am so excited to see the little guy all the time. I suppose a long hiatus from a little baby in the house has enhanced my ability to rise out of a dead sleep to sit up in a chair for long periods of time in the middle of the night. But who cares about me and my sleep patterns. Let's talk about Barrett. He's fascinating ... a lot of sleeping, A LOT of eating. May sound a tad boring, but I'm eating up every second of it.