Friday, September 9, 2011

Don't be dickless...

Sometimes there are words that get mutilated beyond repair. Hayden's ability to say "ridiculous" is a prime example.

A few weeks ago we were having a little BBQ with Lindsay and Jason. Brad was being a goofball so I said to Hayden "Tell Daddy he's ridiculous!" She promptly turned around, walked over to Brad and stated "Daddy. You. Are. Dickless."

:::insert manic laughing from Lindsay and I for the next 20 minutes:::

It has yet to get better although there are times she will say "re-dickless". The phrases that have come out of her mouth are too much... "It's amaaaaaazing! You are so dickless!" "Dickless Lucy!" "I'm not're crazy." "You so dickless poopy head".

:::more laughing:::

This will be a word that I will never forget hearing her say. I'm waiting for her to tell a perfect (male) stranger that he's "dickless".

Backpack! Backpack! Backpack!

It's been a long time since we have taken a "backpacking" trip where we actually put what we needed on our backs and went somewhere overnight. Although I'm not sure you can qualify Hornet Lookout as a true "backpacking" adventure, it was the first one we have done as a family of four. It was a great way to spend a beautiful Labor Day Weekend.

Hornet Lookout is a fire lookout in the North Fork of Flathead National Forest. You can rent the cabin for $20 per night. There's a wood stove inside, propane lanterns, stoves, pots and pans, dishes, flatware, etc. You will find any number of other items depending on who was there before you. This last trip there was a Mike's Harder Cranberry Lemonade, condoms and tobacco and rolling papers for a smoke. Those Forest Service folks think of everything!

Anyway...we left Kalispell around 1pm and started our little hike about 3pm. Both girls started off walking on their own. Hayden even wore her own backpack and was carrying all of Lucy's diapers, her Pull-up for overnight and a bunch of snacks.

Trailhead Photo Op
Since the girls think the camera self-timer is one of the best toys ever, we used the opportunity to get a pre-hike photo with all of us at the trailhead. Notice Hayden in her sunglasses and backpack with my trekking poles. She put on her sunglasses and immediately told me "Momma. I'm soooo sexy." SEXY?! Where did she get that word from?!

We set off on our 1+ mile hike that had us climbing just under 1000 feet total. To the average person, this is not a bad little climb. You might get winded or a bit tired, but it is totally doable. To my little 'Nut and Goose who have short little legs, this is an epic challenge. Lucy managed to climb the first half of the trip all by herself. She held either Brad's hand or mine, but her little legs did all the work. Hayden was carrying mini Snickers bars so she had the occasional stop at switchbacks to chow one down. Is it wrong that I taught her "switchbacks are for pansies"? Yeah...I didn't think so either.

Check out my girls:

Climb on, my little hiker chick!

GO Lucy, GO!
 After the halfway point or so, we did put Lucy in the carrier and she rode most of the way up. Brad ran up ahead to unlock the lookout and drop his pack to come back and meet us. We weren't sure that Hayden would be able to walk the whole way so he wanted to be able to carry her if need be. Turns out, that wasn't necessary. We stopped just shy of the lookout and let Lucy out to walk. Hayden was getting tired but we promised her that the "house" we were going to was just ahead. I turned into a real parent on this trip because I repeatedly uttered "We're almost there" when we really weren't even close. Ha.

Hayden is a trooper. That girl climbed the mountain and kicked it's ass. She hoofed it right up to the Lookout, plopped her butt on the stairs and then raised her hands in the air and squealed! "I DID IT, MOMMA! DADDY, I DID IT!" I truly almost cried - I was so incredibly proud of her and could tell that she was so incredibly proud of herself.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Wet Crystal

We were running late this morning. I say "this" morning like running late is something out of the ordinary. It's not. But, I digress. Brad had taken a shower and I was in the process of getting Lucy dressed. Getting her dressed usually isn't a problem but lately, changing her diaper is a problem. She hates it. She screams, she twists, she screams, she flails and this morning, she kicked like a mule.

The mule reared back and kicked violently at whatever was within her range. Unfortunately, her soaking wet diaper from the night was in my hand and well within said range. What happened was something I've never seen before. Her tiny little foot connected with the diaper and the next thing I know, it's snowing.'s's...


Pee crystals!


Did you hear what I said? PEE. CRYSTALS. No, no, wait...wet. pee. crystals. It was a blizzard of wet pee crystals!

She stopped crying instantly. This might have something to do with the screech that I let out. I made the unfortunate mistake of yelling to Brad to "get a towel because Lucy just kicked her diaper and there is shit everywhere." In hindsight, "shit" was not the appropriate word to use because you know what Brad was expecting to find. But no, it's just an inch of pee crystals on me, the hardwood, the blanket, the towel, Lucy's hair, Lucy's face, Lucy's body, Lucy's clean clothes. Sigh.

I've seen these pee gemstones before of course. When the girls were little, I would sometimes see a crystal or two in their diaper at changing time. They are nothing to worry about (says the mom who was covered in them this morning).  The crystals are actually a product of the chemical that makes diapers “super-absorbent:”  sodium polyacrylate.  These polymer beads, which absorb 200-300 times their weight in water, leak out of the paper fluff when diapers are very full or if there is a little tear in the lining.

I'm not opposed to the bling in the diaper, but why didn't anyone ever tell me that a violent shake/kick would release the gems and send them flying all over the room? That information, my dear diaper companies, would have been uber-helpful.

This is a snow cone without a cone as seen through Toddler Vision (TV)

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Dance like nobody's watching..."

Have you ever heard that saying "Live like there's no tomorrow, love like you've never been hurt and dance like nobody's watching"? It's one that I think of often...for no reason than I do try to live like that. I was going through pictures from this summer and I realized that the one that I don't do often enough is to "dance like nobody's watching". I didn't realize it until I saw a photo of Lucy doing just that.

Case in point:

Go girl!

Look at the sheer joy on her face. While the two boys (sons of a high school friend of mine) were banging on the keyboard like madmen, my little Lucy just got down and dirty on the dance floor. She was shrieking with delight, arms flailing and legs stomping. She was jumping and laughing and twirling like nothing I've ever seen. I realized when looking at this picture, I don't remember the last time I danced that hard and lived so loud. She is happiness personified and I need to be like that more. While this picture isn't professional by any stretch of the imagination, I captured something. It's a beautiful portrait of youth and life and being so happy, you want everyone to witness it.

I need to do more of this.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Night-Night Nemo

We have had houseguests since last Sunday. A buddy of Brad's is in town with his two boys (6 and 3). Needless to say, our house has been a zoo this week with all these kids running around and my girls beating up on Kurt's boys. But I digress...

Last night Kurt & Brad took the older kids to the Splash Park (Hayden says "Splashcart"). I decided to stay home with Lucy since she isn't all that thrilled about water parks to begin with. I thought it would give her some quiet time too.

She had her tubby and then brought me the little portable DVD player and asked for Nemo. Why not? I put Nemo in the player and put Lucy in her room to watch. The quiet was soooo nice for both of us.

Pretty soon, I hear her:

"Momma! Momma! Whe'areyou? Whe'areyou?" 

"I'm right here"

"Nemo go night-night. Night-night, Nemo!" 

So I grabbed the player, turned it off and put it on her dresser. She smiled at me and I said "Night Nemo!" and she looked up and said...

"Night-night! Byeeeeeee!" while waving at me from her bed.

I took the hint and walked out to her "Byeeeeee! See soon!"

At the door I stopped and started to say "I love you" but all that I got out was "I...." and she yelled:


And then it was bed time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Times the are a changing...

It's been almost two months since I've posted. I've had plenty to say, do and talk about but we were traveling the month of July. In fact, July gave us 30 days, 18 states and 6792 miles on our new Toyota Tundra. Brad and I are still happily married and we did not leave either girl on the side of the road. In fact, Brad was ready to buy BOTH of them cars after a long 15 hour day from my mom's house in VT to Elkhart, IN.

Hayden has grown up so much in the last couple of months. Her ability to speak is getting better and better as she continues to add lots of words to her vocabulary, including "dumbshit", compliments of Meg after we almost got run over by an idiot in a truck - though we convinced Hayden she said "jump ship". Now Hayden will say "You jump ship!" Yeah...oops? She has also become relatively infatuated with all things princess. Cinderella is high on the list right now as THE movie to watch. The summer was great for her and she spent a lot of time running and playing with lots of family members. Going back to work was sad for me because there is nothing like watching your children all day and seeing them learn and grow.

Ben, topless Lucy, Hayden the Princess, Kaylee & Bradan.

Contemplating life over a bottle of water - State College, PA

Exercising her right to wear what she wants on her head - Maine.

She's growing and changing so fast. She was this adorable baby and has turned into a beautiful little girl who is happy, adventurous and very sensitive. ♥

Miss Lucy, of course, has changed that much more as well. Her vocabulary sky-rocketed over the summer after spending so much time around Hayden and the other kids. It's clear that she understands virtually everything we tell her but she doesn't always admit to it. She has more facial expressions than a mood chart and I swear that Brad and I missed her calling for her to be on the big screen.

Chillin' like a villain at Eastern Point Beach, CT


Hiking to Glacier Lake in the Beartooths, MT

Lucy is a character...she is active and fearless and as funny as they come.

The girls have become sisters in so many ways over the summer. The crying, screaming and fighting that turns into laughing and playing instantly. They kiss, scratch, hug and pull hair but there is no question about their love for each other. Hayden will wake up and say "I need my Lucy. Where's my sister?" Lucy will wake up first and within minutes will open her arms in a shrug and say "Where Hay-en?" They are sweet.

Examining flowers in State College, PA

Beach combers in CT

"MY BALL!" fight in Maine

Settling in to watch a movie together ♥

Fishing in Red Lodge, MT

This will be a fun year...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Words I ♥ to hear...


Flutterfly (butterfly)
Daddylions (dandelions)
Leggy-bugs (ladybugs)
Tracktice (her way of saying "track practice")


Cack-ah (cracker)
Mo' (more)
Ghoosh (juice)
He' go (here you go)
MaeMae (phone - when talking to my mother on the phone, I tell Lucy to say hi to Mae-Mae. She does. But now she seems to think that phones are called MaeMae's)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Haylu Shelter

Both Brad and I love hiking. Brad is Highpointer which means he is hoping to summit the highest point in all 50 states. An admirable feat! He's at 27, I think. My first love is long distance hiking, in particular on the Appalachian Trail, a 2169 mile footpath that runs from Springer Mountain, GA to Mount Katahdin, ME passing through 14 states.

I attempted a thru-hike in 2006 but was forced off the trail in Central Virginia due to a fire at home. I hiked the Long Trail as a consolation prize. Not a bad option.

At any rate, the A.T. is truly my "hiking home" and will always hold my heart. I'm surrounded by the glorious peaks of the Rocky Mountains but I very much miss the rolling green hills of the Appalachians. So, when faced with what to build for our active little daughters for a playhouse, there was really only one answer. We had to build an A.T. Shelter. This is where the "Haylu" name originated in the summer of 2010.

My poor husband never argued with me. Instead, he created a beautiful little Adirondack style shelter for our girls.

The base.


Framing from the front

Getting those walls up!

Hayden & Lucy checking Daddy's work

Lucy making sure he's doing it right.

Shelter done! Chairs for the girls & Momma!

Trailhead sign and Shelter sign

closer view

YEA! A whiteblaze!!!
 I love my husband for many, many reasons and this one is definitely on the list! I am probably 10 times more excited about this project than the girls are. I'm ready to have our first overnight and sleep in the shelter. I thought this is where it would end, but we had a few more additions that made this the BEST. PLAYHOUSE. EVER.

The rocks are a dry creekbed.

TA-DA! Bridge over the creek bed. :)

Test run.

My little climber chick.

The picnic table set away from the Shelter.

Haylu Shelter

Hayden signing the Shelter Register

Lucy signing the Shelter register.

We are going to have a lot of fun playing out here this year. The girls already love it, as do I. My husband is the front runner for Husband of the Year 2011! Ha!

Climb on, little ones, climb on...

I'm proud of my daughter's because they clearly possess the sense of adventure that both Brad and I have. Of course, sometimes I feel the need to duct tape them to a sturdy surface, but mostly my heart swells with pride when I watch them scale something they really shouldn't be anywhere near.

Climb on, Lucy! 

Go, Hayden, GO!

Both girls love walking to the local park and playing on the slides and swings. The climbing wall is now a favorite for them as well. I expect it won't be too long before we put a small climbing wall in our backyard. They are fearless little bundles of energy.

Monkey bars!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The many faces of Lucy Holloway...

Hey, Lucy!!!

Yes, Momma?

"Say 'cheese'"!

I don't wanna say 'cheese'" 

"Awww...c'mon! Say 'cheeeeeeeese'!!!"


Friday, May 20, 2011

Sisters playing

"Luuuuucy....come heeeeeere!"






*thunk thunk thunk*



Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pic-a-nic in the park...

Breaking up a sandwich to avoid my child from choking is something I have always done. Apparently that is why they refuse to eat the peanut butter & jelly I so lovingly put togeher. What could be better than holding your OWN sandwich and taking your OWN sized bites? Apparently....nothing.


Friday, May 6, 2011


My little Lucy is such a funny child. I am convinced that she will be a very successful comedienne or entertainer at some point in her life. She already IS from our perspective but the masses are waiting.

She has a bit of a shoe fetish right now and often times is seen wandering around the house with a pair. Not necessarily her own, of course. This morning I was 20 minutes late to work because I couldn't find the shoes that I wanted to wear. She had to take those?!? Eventually I found them in the most logical place - the clothes hamper. In hindsight, I should have looked there first. I have washed a variety of items because I fail to check the hamper before it goes into the washer: books, toys, shoes and sippy cups.

She is a bit of a screamer and most words are said with a hint of shriek to them. "CA-CKAH!" when she wants a cracker is probably the shriekiest of them all. This has been going on since she was a newborn and would squeak instead of making other noises. It was sweet then and is sweet now when my eardrums don't bleed.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I'm a little pee-pot...

Saturday I was home alone with the girls and feeling a bit under the weather. I was sitting on the couch and Lucy was watching Elmo. Or Dora. Or Tangled. Or Nemo. Or whatever I shoved in the TV to try and get myself a few quiet moments.

Suddenly it was *too quiet*. You moms know what I'm talking about. The *too quiet* that means something bad is happening and you are going to discover it 20 seconds too late.

I get up and go in to Hayden's room. There she is, pants and underwear down around her ankles, one hand on her dresser for support, squatting over her little pink musical teapot trying to go potty.

What the hell do you say to that? "Nice aim?!" While the mom in me was horrified, the backpacker girl that dwells within had a heart swelled with pride over her aim and squatting abilities. That's my girl :)

Fair warning...

Brad stopped at McDonald's yesterday morning to get an iced coffee before dropping the girls off at daycare. Hayden, from the backseat, says "I want french fries." Brad tells her no, she's not getting french fries. He pulls up and pays and gets his coffee to which the little voice in the back says "I want a sip". Brad tells her "No, you can't have a sip because it's coffee."

MY daughter says "Daddy. I need sip so I don't get cranky!"

*sniff* I'm so proud ♥

Monday, April 25, 2011


"Ring Around the Rosy" was one of the first songs that Hayden learned and it surprised me because she would spin in circles and sing "Ashes...ashes..." I found it odd that "down" wasn't part of the singing.

We like to sing and we like to the other day I was in the living room with both girls and I started singing "Ring Around the Rosy" - Lucy got her sway on and rocked to the beat before squatting down quickly at the end.

When I didn't continue, Lucy began turning in circles in the living room and singing for herself:

"Ashes.....ashes.........DOWN! Ashes....ashes......DOWN!"

She cracks herself up. ♥

Totty Tots & coshclothes...

We grilled the other night because, well, that's what we do a couple of nights a week. I decided to do some oven-baked tator tots to go with the hot dogs and burgers. When we brought them in and put them down, Hayden says "Ooooh, I like totty tots, Momma!" Totty tots? I think that might be my new favorite food! Totty Tots for all! ♥

She has a thing for the washcloth as well. She loves to wash her hands, her face and everything else that she can find. This usually means tables, books, toys, walls and floors. I would not mind if she would use a different cloth for each task but there's likely a whole party of cross-contamination going on! She spies a washcloth and it's on "Momma. I need coshcloth." Coshcloth? 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Blue One...

On Monday night, April 4th, Brad & I were in the kitchen making dinner. All of a sudden there was a low whine and sniffling cry coming from the living room. There lay Hayden face down on the floor crying rather softly. She stood up and said "my arm owie". For the next 30 minutes we tried to determine what actually hurt and after realizing she would not use her right arm, off to Urgent Care she went with Brad.

And so I waited. Two hours later, I see a little blonde running across the backyard. I open the door to a happy "HI MOMMA!" from a little girl in the smallest sling I've ever seen but carrying a huge milkshake in her other arm. Her arm was "owie" but she had a milkshake for dinner! Best. Day. Ever.

Turns out they weren't sure of the injury so I took her Tuesday to Flathead Orthopedic Center to have more x-rays for a second opinion. Turns out, there appeared to be a fractured radius which meant a cast on my poor little sweet girl. The nurses tried desperately to talk Hayden into the pretty pink or purple but she was having none of it. "No. I want the blue one!" "But the pink is sooooo pretty..." "NO. BLUE ONE."

So, blue one it was.

We were told that she would need to wear it for two weeks at which point she'd return, have the cast removed and more x-rays done. If all was well, she'd be cast free. If there still seemed to be a fracture, she'd have the cast on for another 2 weeks.

The two weeks went by fast! The cast barely slowed Hayden down at all, other than needing some help here and there to get dressed, go potty, climb on things. Fortunately it wasn't until the last couple of days that she realized it made a good weapon and would use it to bonk Lucy on the head. There were the occasional hissy fits where she would slam her arm into the wall, the floor, the couch, or whoever happened to be within striking distance. Yay for the terrible two's! There were a few times that she settled and was sweet and happy...

She does love her little sister. :) 
So two weeks past and yesterday I brought her back into Flathead Ortho for a follow up. She sat like a champ while they cut it off her arm, mesmerized by the tool they used. The 1st x-ray was a bit of a fight because she remembered that last time, it hurt to move her arm for the picture. The 2nd one was a bit better and by the 3rd picture, she was holding her arm out and saying "CHEESE!" into the "camera". Then the tech gave her about 452 Barney stickers which she thought were pretty cool. 

While we waited for the doctor, she arranged the stickers on her arm and said "Look Momma, I have a new one cast!" The doctor came in and gave us the all clear. No more casts! There was much rejoicing and many M&M's! 

So Hayden has had what neither her father nor I have ever had. A cast. Here's hoping it's NOT the first of many. We did save "the blue one" to show Hayden when she is older.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Potty training...

Over the end of our Christmas break, we decided to potty train Hayden. Of course, we are not ones to go into things slowly (clearly) so naturally, we opted for Potty Training Boot Camp! Diapers to big girl underwear instantly. No weaning, no warning.

I had no idea a child could pee so much. Thank God for hardwood floors because we spent the better part of two days cleaning up Flathead Lake-sized puddles from the house. The challenge was intensified by the fact that Lucy wanted to play in the new puddles. Weeeeeee..... the race was on to clean it up before she got to it.

By the third day, she was doing very well at going pee on the potty and we would make a huge deal about it "Oh Hayden!! Good job!! We are SO proud of you!! You are SO smart!!" I have also discovered that I am not above bribing my children to do things I want them to do. "If you go on the potty, I will give you M&M's/stickers/chocolate milk/ice cream/a Porsche when you turn 16." *sigh* The problem with this was that as soon as the bribe du jour left my mouth she'd say "Momma, I done."

But was about two weeks total until she was going through every day without an accident at all. We really were VERY proud of her, though we still use a Pull-Up at night until she wakes up dry on a more consistent basis.

The praising did backfire a bit. She thought it was fun for both of us to go potty together. She'd use her little potty and I'd use the big one. She learned to praise me as well. Fine and dandy until we were in a public restroom and this little person is next to me in a loud and enthusiastic voice saying "Oh Momma! You go pee in the potty! GOOD JOB, Momma. You so smart...."

I tried to ignore the giggles.

Even more catching up to do: Lucy

This little girl has changed SO much in the last several months. She went from crawling to walking and now runs at warp-baby speed all over the place. She is talking and talking and talking and has quite the sense of humor.

Vocabulary to date:

Juice! ("ghoosh")
Cheese ("ghoosh")
Milk ("ghoosh" - but to be fair, I think all drinks are "ghoosh")
'tside  (outside)
Puppah (puppy...though everything with 4 legs is a puppah right now)
Jmp (jump)
'ssat? (what's that?)
Cack-AH (cracker)
Eh-mo (Elmo...and she almost sings it when she says it Ehhh-moo)
Shoes (which also sounds a bit like "ghoosh")

Lucy has a personality that shines like no other. She is happy and spirited and full of life, even at such a young age. She screams and screeches like a little banshee at all times when chasing or being chased by Hayden or anyone else. She stomps her little feet like mad when she is excited about something or someone. She does NOT like it when you remove a source of happiness from her - do not take her ice cream cup away or her toy.

She tries to put her shoes on and clips in her hair - she knows where they go but the motor skills aren't quite there yet. I think she's a brilliant child. There are so many differences between her & Hayden at the same ages - Lucy surprises me with how vocal she is because Hayden didn't want to say a word until she was about 18-19 months.

A little catching up to do: Hayden

She's truly a character. A quick run down of the latest and greatest since I have been incredibly TERRIBLE about keeping up on this blog and I know that I will kick myself sometime down the road:

"CHOOdooooIN'? " is Hayden-speak for "What are you doing?" and is said about 15 times a day. When I'm cooking, cleaning, on the computer, changing Lucy, or doing virtually anything, I can count on Miss Hayden to show up and ask me "CHOOdoooooIN'?"

She has become quite the fan of Dora the Explorer and has also become bilingual in the process. While attempting to move Olive (our friend's black lab) the other day, she exclaimed "Help me! AYUDAME!" Say whut? Go girl. Next stop...Miami!

ABC's are done quite well now and she knows most of her letters by sight. Counting is coming along although she seems to prefer odd numbers? 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, "leben", 12...

Favorite songs are: Elmo, Dora, Row Row, Spider (as in Itsy Bitsy), Sunshine (You Are My), "AB" (Alphabet Song), Twinkle, and of course, Jingle Bells?! We sing all of them every single night before bed. She must choose the order though because if you sing it wrong, she won't like it. 

Running through the house and in circles is a favorite past-time of this toddler. "MOMMA! Let's run! Come on!" Down the hall, through the bedrooms, around the kitchen, around the kitchen again, one more time for good measure, through the living room annnnddddd....repeat! It's a great workout. Lucy follows as fast as she can behind.

Hayden LOVES her little sister - they play and run and scream and hit. ♥ What more could I ask for? Hayden will give Lucy big sister hugs and say "I yuv you, Nu-nu". ♥
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