Sunday, September 26, 2010

Kids aren't Clutch

Every Sunday, I regale Sloan with my tales of the babies in nursery. For those of you who don't know what nursery is, it is a time when children aged 18 months to 3 years attempt to run and play while wearing Sunday clothes. It is also a time for being forcefully held in an uncomfortable chair while being shown pictures of Jesus. Other than the part about the Jesus pictures, it is two hours of high-octane energy.

When nursery is all over, at home with Sloan, I recount my day's experience with the babies; everything from new words to unusual bowel movements (theirs, not mine...I guess sometimes mine, too).

Typical Day at Nursery
Julia: Okay guys! We're going to sing "Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam!"
Baby #1: SUNBEAM!!
Baby #2: BEAM! BEAM! DA BEAM!!!!!
Baby #3: *runs in a circle* JESUS!
Baby #4: *climbs on table*
*piano music begins*
Julia: *pulls Baby #4 off table, straightens skirt* "Jesus wants me for a sunBEAM! To shine for him each day..."
Baby #1: *hopping* SUN! BEEEEEEEAM!!
Baby #2: BEAM! BEAM! *rolls on floor* BEAM!
Baby #3: *runs in a circle* JESUS! A SUNBEAM!
Baby #4: *standing on table* 
Julia: *pulls Baby #4 off table* " every way try to please HIM! At home, at school, at plaaaaaaay..."
Baby #2: *punches wall* JESUS BEAM!!!
Baby #3: YEEEEEEEEEEES! *head stand*
Baby #4: *on table, eating Play-Doh*
Julia: What the? Where'd you get that?

So this Sunday, when Sloan poked his head into the nursery room to tell me something, I emotionally-blackmailed him to stay with me and watch the kids.

Sloan: I don't really know what you're talking about. The kids seem pretty calm.
Julia: *scoffs* Just you wait. They're still waking up, but now it's singing time! They'll go bananas! Watch! *turns to kids* Okay guys! We're going to sing "Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam!"
Baby #1: *silence*
Baby #2: Beam...?
Baby #3: *sigh*
Baby #4: *closes eyes, nods* Amen.
*piano music begins*
Julia: *jumps up and down* "Jesus wants ME for a sunBEAM! To SHINE for HIM each day...!"
Baby #1: *whispers listlessly* Sunbeam...
Baby #2: *staring at feet*
Baby #3: *asleep*
Baby #4:*folds arms*
Julia: *looks nervously at Sloan* *clears throat* "...IN EVERY WAY TRY TO PLEASE HIM! AT HOME, AT SCHOOL, AT PLAAAAY..."
Baby #1: *lies down*
Baby #2: *takes off shoe* Beam, beam, beam.
Baby #3: *snoring*
Baby #4: *shakes head* Shhhhh!
*piano music dies down*
Sloan: Oh man, these kids are going cra--
Julia: DON'T talk to me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


My little man is a strategist. He has the patience, the stoicism, and the mental distortion to really drive an effective offensive. For example, he utilizes the strategy of picking out a word that drives me crazy, then (not) subtly uses that word in as many situations as he can until either a.) I get used to it and stop flipping out, or b.) he wakes up to my forcefully holding a pillow over his face.

What's been the word of the month? Gullet.

Phase I: Deployment
Sloan: Let's go to Costco.
Julia: No, let's go to a restaurant.
Sloan: *driving toward Costco*
Julia: Come ON, we just went to Costco! Your system can't handle their bratwursts back to back!
Julia: *stunned silence*

Phase II: Infiltration
Sloan: I got my fiber on.
Julia: You? What...?
Sloan: *slower, louder* I. Got. My. Fi-ber. On.
Julia: Whoa, Coolio, feeling pretty good about your dietary choices?
Sloan: *closes eyes* *to the tune of some medieval chant* I got my fiiber oooon. 
Julia: *ignores*
Sloan: It flowed down my gullet
Julia: *ignores*
Sloan: Into my stomach
Julia: Sloan, I swear--
Sloan: It was so goood to meeeee. *bows head* Aaaaaaamennnnn.
Julia: You are actually driving me in--
Sloan: Aaaaaaamennnnn.

Phase III: Victory
Julia: Did you like that lasagna?
Sloan: Yes, it felt so good to get that sweet ricotta down my gullet.
Julia: STOP IT.
Sloan: Stop what? Everyone dreams of ricotta flowing through their gullet!
Sloan: I'm not the one yelling for no reason! Why can't you just slow your roll and be happy for me?
Julia: Fine.
Sloan: ...and my gullet.
Julia: *leaves room*

Friday, September 17, 2010

Strenuous Activity

On Labor Day, Sloan and I went on a hike up to Battle Creeks falls in the foothills of Pleasant Grove.

The Scene: Our apartment. Sloan is watching tv while he waits for me.

Julia: *digging in the closet* ...and we need water and trail mix. Maybe a banana when things get tough.
Sloan: The hike should only take an hour, sweetie. It's not even really a hike.
Julia: ...the camera, sunscreen...
Sloan: It's more like a walk.
Julia:...first aid kit, emergency flare...
Sloan: I'm pretty sure it's paved the whole way.
Julia: ...ready! Let's go!
Sloan: *sigh* You're bringing a bed roll....And a mess kit.
Julia: Be prepared! You should know that. You're an eagle scout.
Sloan: This is being over-prepared.
Julia: WRONG. You can never be over-prepared. *shaking head* What would your scout master think?
Sloan: *dirty look* Let's go.

Later, during the hike.

Julia: *cough, wheeze* This is rougher than I thought it would be. *pulls out inhaler* How far have we gone?
Sloan: About fifty yards.
Julia:  *wipes hand across forehead* It's so hot out here. Hand me the water bottle.
*dumps water on head*
Sloan: Oh COME ON, that was our only water!
Julia:  Heat exhaustion is no joke, Sloan. We'll have to live off the river. *gestures toward the mountain stream*  Now, come on. We can do this.
Sloan: *follows behind Julia*

Julia: I *heavy breathing* can't make it up this steep of an incline. We'll have to rest when we get to the bridge.
Sloan: A family with six kids just passed us.
Julia: *plops down on bridge* WHEW! This has been exhilarating! 
Sloan: We're thirty minutes into a walk, Julia.
Julia: Here, take a picture of me! I'm making it through life's journeys! FEELIN ALIVE!

Sloan:...and there goes a seven year old. He's running.
Julia: *jumps up* Okay! Press forward!
Sloan: *walking, digging through the backpack* Where's all the trail mix?
Julia: I already ate it.
Sloan: All of it? That was like, two pounds of peanuts and m&m's.
Julia: Needed that energy boost! *gasp* THE WATERFALL! Go stand under it, I'll take a picture!
Sloan: *gets up to the waterfall, waves at the camera*shouting* DID YOU GET A GOOD ONE YET?
Sloan: *waving* DONE?
Sloan: *smiling, waving* TAKE THE DAMN PICTURE, JULIA.
Julia: I'M TRYING.
Sloan: *Drops hands and walks away*
Julia: *click*

Julia: *pulling out bed roll* How about a nap before we go back? *yawn*
Sloan: *takes bedroll out of Julia's hands* Nope. *continues walking*

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Sloan and I went to the Timponogas Storytelling Festival up in the canyon this weekend with our besties Lauren and Tom.

Now, before we go any further, you may be wondering who took these pictures. It was me, with my Canon PowerShot SD1100 (an innovative choice, no doubt). It may seem incredible that someone who has had no official photography training could capture scenes so captivating, let along with a camera that was purchased at Walgreens, but it would be wrong and selfish of me to think that I got here on my own. I'd like to thank my family and friends for their support and encouragement, and to the almighty for blessing me with such a powerful gift. I, like everyone else, hope that I can harness and refine my photographic talents to use them for the greater good.

ANYWAY, back to the storytelling festival! We went! They told a whole lot of scary stories, most of them taking place in the Mississippi backwoods, because swamps are just scary! Now, attending the festival was really a good thing and a bad thing. Good: It was fun, the stories were riveting, and we had an all-around good time. Bad: Sloan has taken up storytelling.

"Julia," you may be saying, "didn't you see this coming? Why did you take him with you? You know how impressionable Sloan is." The only answer I can give is patience--I'm a patient woman who is always hoping for the best when it comes to my husband's tendency to act out. *sigh* It's a weakness.

The Scene: In bed, Julia is lying on her side, and Sloan is lying beside her. He puts his arms around her, snuggles up close, and puts his mouth close to her ear. I recommend you read Sloan's parts out loud, since I painstakingly dictated this in the dialect he used.

Sloan: *raspy, cajun accent* Now, once dere wuz a farmuh. His name was Farmuh Dean.
Julia: No more stories.
Sloan: Farmuh Dean wuz a wealthy man. Dat man had looooots uh land. Shew wee! Lots! And he farmed cohn.
Julia: Stop talking. Wait,  he was farming "cone"?
Sloan: COHN.
Julia: Oh, corn. Got it. *sigh*
Sloan: *glare* Anyway, like I wuz sayin', Farmuh Dean wuz a rich ole man. And becuz a dat, he had da purtiest wife in town. And he sho did love dat woman. Her name wuz Angilette.
Julia: Angilette? Sounds kind of...slutty.
Sloan: Aaaaangilette. *nodding, eyes closed* It's french.
Julia: Are you...fantasizing about her?
Sloan: *opens eyes* summah evenin', some of dem boyz in town, dey thought it'd be funny to pull a prank on ole Farmuh Dean.
Julia: Oh, still goin, huh? *plugging ears, scoots away*
Sloan:*hugs Julia tightly from behind as she struggles* Dey dressed one a dem boyz up to look jusssssst like Ms. Angilette, so dey could fool ole Farmuh Dean. Dey got a big ole bucket a cohn syrup with red dye in it. And it look'd like bloooooood.
Julia: Wait, there's corn syrup in this story? Did they have that back then?
Sloan: I nevah did say dis wuz some ole time storay. Coulda happun'd yestaday.
Julia: *sigh*
Sloan: Welp, dey po'd dat cohn syrup allllll ovah dat boy dress'd up lak Angilette, to make it look lak she wuz dead. Den, dey ran out intuh Farmuh Dean's field and waited fo' him tuh show. And sho' nuf, dat farmuh came riiiight up on dat boy dressed up like Angilette, saw dat body in da moonlight cov'ed in blood, and ole Farmuh Dean's heart broke riiiight dere. And you know what he did?
Julia: *silence*
Sloan: *leans into Julia's ear, speaks louder and slower* DO YA KNOW WUT HE DIIIID?
Julia: What. WHAT. WHAT DID HE DO.
Sloan: He pull'd out a knife and stuck hisself right in da heart, yellin "ANGILETTE!"
Julia: *silence*
Sloan: *cups hands around mouth* "AAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNGIIIIIIIILEEEEEEEEEETE!" *melancholy sigh* Dose boyz wuz scared. Dey jump'd out dem cohn stalks and Farmuh Dean saw'm. His eyes got big as dinnah plates when he re-uh-lized what dey did. He held his bloody chest and said, "Boys, I'm gonna make sure you ain't nevah gonna fuh'get what ya did dis night. And my revenge is gonna be sweet...sweet as cohn syrup." *dramatic pause* And den ole Farmuh Dean died. *closes eyes, shakes head slowly* Dah end.
Julia: I can't believe--
Sloan: * puts his finger on Julia's lips* Shhhhh, Shh. Storytime is ovah. Go ta sleep. *rolls over, turns out light*