Monday, April 28, 2008

From the Deck

Thanks for the phone call mom. It was a really unique sunset.  Enjoy everyone.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Really Special Day

As many of you may know, Kate turned eight on March 30 this year, and that made her eligible to be baptized  into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.   Two weeks ago yesterday, she decided that was what she wanted to do, and was kind enough to ask me to perform the baptism.  Her best friend BriAnne also wanted to get baptized, and so they did it on the same day. 
In the months before she was baptized she studied and read the Book of Mormon, the Bible and other scriptures, both children's and adult versions. She understood that she was promising to be like Jesus,  and with her tender spirit really felt the gravity of this decision.  Even though she was somewhat daunted by and apprehensive of that commitment, she felt in her heart that it was the right thing to do, and courageously followed her heart.  

I was absolutely surprised at the depth of my emotion over this ordinance. When Kate was born in 2000, it was the most profound experience of my life. Never before had I been so instantly overwhelmed with that odd combination of absolute joy and complete submission to whatever this little person needed.  Her baptism made me feel like that all over again. How special she is. What a privilege it is to be her father, and to enjoy that sweet association of family with this amazing young lady.  I am so proud of her.  

Here is a picture of our family after the event.   

We were lucky enough to have grandparents and a large contingent of the Moon cousins and family in attendance.

The entire Bailey family also came, but true to form, fled before they could be photographed, with the exception of Uncle Ryan and Aunt Hannie, who were too slow to escape. (Actually, Hannie has been a great influence on Ryan, and he will now almost willingly sit for photos. Miracles never cease.)

After the baptism, Kate and I went to the temple, where she got her very own "quad" (set of scriptures) and we talked about the next set of promises she would make and where she would make them.  

We then finished it off with a trip to Neilsen's for a Chocolate Oreo Concrete.  What a great, great day. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Scene Which Will Live In Infamy

Oh I know. It looks perfectly bucolic with those warm evening rays lighting it up. But I'll never look at my backyard shed in quite the same way after the events of a week and a half ago. There I was, happily home from work, helping get dinner ready, when I saw it.

There, sitting on the roof, was my daughter with the two neighbor boys -- AND THEY BOTH HAD THEIR ARMS AROUND HER, making eight-year old moon-faces and chatting away. Don't get me wrong. They are perfectly nice boys (one would even call our own Eric Blair uncle), but this is Kate!

Was there a calm, cool thought of getting the camera to record the moment? Oh No. Dishes Fell. Water Spilled. Windows flew open and the air filled with a most authoritative "KATE! TIME FOR DINNER!"

Over the meal, with some trepidation and fabricated casualness, I asked "So what is the deal with those two boys, Kate?"

"Oh, they have a crush on me, Dad."

"How do you know that?"

"Because they told me down by the shed, silly."

Head semi-spinning, throat gulping, I queried, "Well, what are you going to do about that?"

. . . . . .

"Oh, probably just pretend it never happened and keep being their friend."

Suddenly, I realized I did not need to worry just yet. She has that secret girl-thing hard wired -- you know, the one that lets teenage girls manage teenage boys like cats playing with mice.

Calm returned. An uneasy peace settled over the land. But I will never look at my shed the same way again.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Nominations Please

Faithful readers will know that when Keegan was born, he was given a nickname by his sister: Dream Baby. Between those eyes and his happy demeanor, it seemed appropriate at the time.

Well, that nickname will no longer do. Don't let those eyes fool you. Shocking though it may seem, our 16+ month toddler is getting closer to the terrible twos on a daily basis, and in any event he no longer qualifies as a baby. And so, we offer some potential alternative nicknames for your consideration, with brief explanations for each.

The Two Foot Tornado

Okay. So he is a little taller than two feet. But he is all tornado. Cupboards seem to suck open as he walks by, and before you can blink there is broken glass on the floor. Drawers get pulled off their rollers, contents strewn about the room helter skelter. No basket of things is too large to be overturned. In fact, the bigger the better, makes for a nice challenge and some good grunting, y'know. Finished with food? Why of course you dump it on the floor. What else are you going to do with it?

He really loves dropping everything and anything--silverware, drink cups, plates full of food, mountains of peas, small domesticated animals--off of his high chair tray. That is nothing new, but now he looks you right in the eye just before he does it with that "I know this is wrong but what exactly are you going to do about it" look, and does it any way. Really would tick me off if he didn't grin like the
cheshire cat right afterwards. It takes two of us, running behind him at full speed, just to keep up with the mess.

Captain Train Wreck

See explanation above. This also seems fitting because any semi-astute observer will note that he lives to compete with his brother over who will drive the Bailey train (or whatever is left of that rambling wreck) on this day. Worse yet, he wins more than any 16-month old has a right to (at least according to his three year old brother).

The Hair Collector

Keegan has discovered just how effective hair pulling can be. When your brother screams "No! That's mine!" you simply grab a couple of fistfuls and pull for your life. Sure enough, toy drops to floor as brother runs crying to mom, and it is all yours. Tired of your sister kissing your face off and carrying you around like a rag doll? No problem. Lure her in with a promise of a return kiss and wrap your vice-like deditos around those long strawberry locks. In no time at all she hands you off to mom and there is no kissing involved whatsoever.

(Sorry, no picture here. It seems too cruel to stop and take one in the middle of a torture session--I'm just not a Dick Cheney kinda guy.)

The Soccer Hooligan

Keegan is nothing if not versatile, and readily takes his talent for dropping things outside. What harm can that cause, you ask? He might respond in this way:

"Who wants to just play soccer with dad? It is much more fun to kick or even throw the ball down off the hill, and see how far it will roll. (That would be very, very far.) Then dad will pick me up and carry me all the way down to the neighbor's back yard, and I really like their (guard) dog. Plus I get the added bonus of Alden crying because his ball is lost. Win-Win there."

The Wrestler

Put him on the diaper table, and he becomes the Michael Jordan of the wrestling world. I had no idea a little body could generate so much torque. Rulon Gardner has nothing but a few pounds on this one. He is impossible to pin, even with two hands. Try that and wiping his butt at the same time, and you are a gonner. You'll forgive me, I'm sure, for the lack of photographs of this fine talent.

Agent Provocateur

Whatever Alden has, Keegan wants, and takes. If it can't be done by brute strength, there are tricks. See Hair Collector, supra. (Sorry, bad legal habits are hard to break.)

The Third Leg

You mothers know what I am talking about. 'Nuff said.

Now, not all nominations have to do with disaster. Occasionally we find moments of amusement amongst the detritus. Here are a couple of more benign possibilities.

Linus Bailey

Keegan just loves this blue blanket, and carries it around whenever he is given the chance. He won't sleep without it, and when you hand it to him in his car seat or his crib, he first does the happy kicks, then pulls it to his cheek for a soft caress. Next it is over his head to hide from the daylight, and finally, bunched up in his little, sleeping fist, as if he never wants to let it go. Next thing you know he'll be hanging out in a pumpkin patch all night.

The Dancing Machine

Keegan simply cannot resist music, and he has to dance. In his high chair eating when a snappy Backyardigans tune comes on? Don't even think about keeping those straps on. He will throw anything within reach on the floor, one at a time, while looking at you with a "are you not getting the message here" look, until you take him out and let him dance. For him, that means spinning in circles and jigging. We're amazed that he doesn't fall over, but it seems that he can do this forever, or at least as long as the music lasts. It is much more fun on a stage, of course, which for us, means a couch thoroughly stripped of all its cushions so you can really get your freak on without loosing your balance.

So there you have it. Not an exhaustive list, but it was enough to exhaust me just writing about it. Votes anyone?

P.S. Sam Javadi, the gauntlet has been thrown.

Who Is That Masked Man?

Yes, we have been away for a while.  We were sick for an inordinate amount of time, but that does not explain the entire absence.  We are having adventures in potty training. 

Considering that this is how it all began, you may surmise that it has taken a little more time than we anticipated. Who can blog when they are busy: (a) following a little person around, asking if they have to go potty every five minutes; and (b) scraping poop out of underwear exactly three minutes after the last "do you have to go potty?" 

Fortunately, the light eventually came on, and Alden has been very good this last week, even doing the deed on strange toilets. That has freed us to travel as a family again. Hooray!

So there you have the straight poop, so to speak. Sorry for the long space between posts, dear readers (if there are any of you still out there . . .). But we are in a better place now. Barring a relapse, we will be more faithful bloggers in the future. Last check we had promised another post on Keegan.  It will follow shortly.