We had our 8th Annual Taylor BBQ last week. The weather and people couldn’t have been more perfect. We always enjoy our annual gathering creating summer memories with friends old and new. We never know how many or who will show up each year, and it really doesn’t matter. We have some amazing friends and that is why our BBQ is always so enjoyable. One of the best parts is having kids of all ages running around the yard, getting dirtier with each time they come around. You usually know what food or drink they had because it is either still dripping off their chin, or is evidenced on their shirt in a soon-to-be stain. We have an incredible friend and photographer who comes each year and takes the most amazing photos of the kids and adults throughout the day. The photos are adorable because not one little face is clean. The environment is one that resembles a large daycare where all the adults help each other out with whosever kid is nearest them. Most of the time we don’t know where our own children are, but we know they are somewhere in the yard near another adult doing just fine.
We’ve had a bout with the flu in the family over the past several weeks. Having four kids it seems to slowly work its way into the house and slowly work its way back out. Lukey had it the longest with three different occasions of throwing up. Twice while Mommy and Daddy were in Vegas (first trip in 8 years away without the kids). Apparently this did not go over well with Lukey. He was very upset with the entire concept of throwing up. Grandma “Iowa” (as my kids call her), tried to explain to him that he was sick and he threw up his last meal. Lukey was very concerned that he saw food in the contents that just came up and Grandma told him he threw up his last meal, in an attempt to explain in simple terms the concept of throwing up. About a month has gone by since then and Lukey still brings up the events of him throwing up several times a week. Luke is very analytical and needs to talk through things so that he can understand and process them. A couple of days ago he brought it up again and relayed to me that he doesn’t like” last meals” because they make him sick and he throws them up. At this moment I realized for a good month now Luke has been completely confused as to what happened and what throwing up was about. After another couple of hours of explaining to Luke that the only reason he threw up his “last meal” was because he was sick. I think now he gets it, but he still needs to talk it through occasionally.
Last weekend Keith and I ran the Warrior Dash with some friends. This run involved 3.55 miles of mud, unstable terrain, and 11 obstacles. We were very excited about this run, knowing we would get completely muddy and that it wasn’t one of our typical runs that were competitive and more serious. It was basically thousands of people wearing ridiculous costumes and gear ready to get down and dirty. The obstacles were not very challenging and progressively got dirtier the closer we got to the finish. The last obstacle involved several fire pits you had to jump over and then finished with a massive mud pit, which in parts were a couple feet deep. The best part of this run was everyone came with a positive attitude and ready to face whatever obstacle came their way. It was therapeutic in the sense that you didn’t know what you were going to face with each obstacle, but you just faced it anyway to get through it. Plus, we ran with our friends and all faced the obstacles together. On so many levels it was a feeling of accomplishment.
I feel like I must report on potty-training developments. This has been a common theme in our home over the last 15 years, hopefully coming to a quick end. Layton is the last of our boys to go through the process. Anyone who knows us, knows we are not the best potty trainers out there. I feel we have many strengths as parents, unfortunately, potty training is not one of them. So tonight, like many nights, I decided to leave Layton with no pull-ups on to force him to pee in the potty. Many times he’ll just wait until we put clothes on him or his pull-up, or on some occasions, he’ll pee or poop on the floor – clearly an attempt to show us we don’t know what we’re doing. However, tonight for some reason he didn’t want to poop on the floor. He was complaining of a stomach ache and I knew he had to go. I kept telling him to go on the potty. Finally he decided he had no choice and he yelled that he had to go poop. So we rushed into the bathroom and he sat down and he instantly pooped (I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been there). So while he’s pooping on the potty, Levi decided to make him an award. Levi enjoys drawing and making awards and signs. Levi’s award said: “Good job you win an award.” At the bottom of this award he drew Layton on the toilet with about ten pieces of poops in the toilet. I don’t find many moments where my boys show affection toward each other, but this is one of those moments. I’m laminating the award to preserve this rare occasion (both pooping on the potty and Levi’s affection).