Monday, May 25, 2009

Plastic Thunder '09

Today Jon participated in an annual Memorial Day event called "Plastic Thunder" in which adult men ride plastic-wheeled toys (mostly Big Wheels) down a huge winding hill. Everyone modifies their vehicles so they can hopefully bear the weight of a grown man. Jon brought home a bunch of tools from work and spent the weekend modifying his ride with steel axles, ball bearings, an extended seat made from a garbage-picked car seat base, and an extended steering wheel made from PVC pipe.

Here's Jon's ride pre-race. He put a straight axle through the front wheel so he could put his feet on it without the pedals going up and down.

Here's Jon comfortably seated on his toy. We didn't manage to get any pictures of the actual race, but someone did get video footage that we'll be able to link to later. Jon had the most spectacular crash in the event's history, so we're told. Without that borrowed motorcycle helmet he may have suffered some brain damage!
He started out the with the pack of guys and they got going pretty fast. A truck drove in front of the racers with the video camera and they clocked the race at 35 mph. As they came close to the major turn in the course Jon's wheel shifted on the axle and when he tried to correct it he spun backward. The road was slick with rain and he kept rotating. There was really no chance he could navigate the 90 degree turn and he ended up cartwheeling off the road down into a drainage ditch filled with soccer-ball-sized rocks. I really can't believe he came away from it with only a few scratches on his arm. The video shows him clearing the first 10 feet of rocks and then landing on his head.
In hind sight, he said he would have put his feet down at some point, rather than cruising ahead to try to take the lead without any sort of thought for his own safety. Really, it's the type of thing you would never just go out and do by yourself - because it's totally crazy! But in going along with a whole pack of other guys, it doesn't seem so dangerous.
Other than plastic wheels, the only other requirement for the race is that the racers wear a helmet and dress in some sort of silly costume. We decided to create family t-shirts modeled after the classic Big Wheel logo using a Photoshopped picture of Jon's actual ride. We were pretty proud of our shirts, but it turned out that several families showed up with special t-shirts for the event.
Here we are post-race in our shirts back at home.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Last night we had a good time comparing last year's Mother's Day picture with this year's. Last year showed a very skinny me and very fat Jonah. This year shows a much larger me and a bigger, but more stretched out version of Jonah.

My attempts to get a nice Mother's Day picture outside failed miserably. The wind was blowing my hair in my face, Jonah was squirmy in general and had a cracker that he was quite reluctant to relinquish, my heels were sinking into the ground, etc.

Wind blowing and cracker eating...

Checking out Mommy's necklace...

This one seemed to be the best, but Jonah has a confused, "Why can't I just eat my cracker?" look on his face.

So we settled for the inside picture later in the afternoon. We had a very nice Mother's Day. We thought about going out to lunch after church, but Jon wisely suggested that we just go home and do a quick lunch and put Jonah down for his nap as usual and go out to dinner instead. It worked out much better that way. After naps we flew a kite in our backyard and walked to the park to play for a while. It was a gorgeous day. Then we had a nice dinner at Outback, killed a little extra time looking at animals in the pet store, and went home to put Jonah to bed.

Here's a video of Jonah bringing me my Mother's Day card. It said, "Hey Mom, words can't always express how a son feels about his mom... That's what burps are for!" It was perfect! He even "signed" it in crayon for me. As for a gift, I wanted new sheets for our bed so I got them myself last week. Maybe not that exciting, but we really needed them and I was excited to have them.

In the past I've always thought of Mother's Day as a day for Moms to be pampered and appreciated. While I did feel appreciated this year, more than anything I just felt so thankful to be a mom to my precious son. He delights me every day and I am so thrilled to be blessed with another son in just a few months from now. Of course I wonder at how this new little boy could ever possibly be as wonderful as Jonah, but you always hear parents say that they have just as much love for each child. Mother's Day is also another one of those times when I especially miss my mom. I want to thank her for being such a good example of what a mother should be. I want to see her interact with Jonah and spoil him like I know she would. I want her to know what a great little boy he is and to see how much he is loved. I guess I just wish I could share these greatest moments in my life with her.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I couldn't resist

Ever since I knew we were having another boy I've been excited about getting matching brother outfits, so here they are.  Don't worry, I'm not going to be one of those moms who gives all her kids "J" names and dresses them in matching clothes wherever they go (no offense, Duggars).  We don't have a name for this baby yet, but I can tell you it won't start with J.  I promissed Jon I'd stop at these two outfits.  There's an old picture of Jon and his brothers in matching lederhosen, so maybe he doesn't want our boys to have an embarassing picture to look back on when they grow up.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Okay, so he's not exactly singing, but this is a start. Jonah loves to sing and I'm glad I know a lot of children's songs so I'm not just singing the same ones over and over. He makes song requests, especially in the car. He often asks to sing something that isn't really a song, in which case I know he wants to sing that word to the tune of "Jingle Bells" like they do on Elmo's World. That gets old after a while. "How 'bout... sing shoes and socks?" "How 'bout... sing juice. Sing milk. Sing applesauce."

Jonah is very into sports right now. (Well, I suppose this could very well be a lifelong interest and not just a passing phase.) He spends much of his play time each day swinging his baseball bat or swinging anything else and calling it a bat. A golf club, a little hammer, a fly swatter, an air pump and even a spoon all qualify as bats. Thankfully he seems to realize that bats are for hitting balls and we haven't had many incidents of inappropriate hitting. He has also learned that baseball players and motorcycle riders wear helmets so he goes around the house most of the time wearing his bike helmet or some other hat and calling it a helmet.

One thing Jonah has not really learned is the idea of a baby in Mommy's tummy. We have a little book called "I'm a Big Brother Now" which he really likes, but he doesn't seem to connect at all that he will be a big brother. Whenever I talk about the baby in Mommy's tummy he just gives me a completely blank look. So I just try to point out babies when we see them. He does seem to really notice when babies or other kids are crying, though. He'll often notice the sound of a baby crying in a store before I do. He'll say, "Baby cryin'. Wah. Shh, shh, shh." (He learned this from "The Wheels on the Bus" when the parents on the bus say "Shh, shh, shh.")

But speaking of the baby in Mommy's tummy... I am almost 29 weeks along and feeling very good other than feeling big and fat. I gained 37 pounds total with Jonah and I've already gained 40 pounds this pregnancy. But, I started this pregnancy 15 pounds less than last time, so I keep telling myself that the 40 lbs. is actually just 25 from my starting weight with Jonah. I've been having some crazy mood swings that I don't remember having last time, but I guess you never know what those pregnancy hormones will do to you. I would take mood swings over the poison ivy-like rash I had with Jonah any day - they attributed that to hormones, too. I had my regular check-up today and my blood test showed good glucose and iron levels. Yay! No gestational diabetes or iron deficiency. Either of those would have been a bummer.

We also found out today that Jon will be gone for four weeks in June on a trip to Greenland. No, I'm not planning to go along this time! But this will be by far our longest time apart. I'll probably plan some road trips to visit family for part of that time if I'm still feeling up to the driving. I probably won't fly anywhere, though. I have to sit Jonah sideways on my lap to put on his socks and shoes and I can't read books with him on my lap at all. I can't imagine trying to have him on my lap on a plane at this point, much less in a month from now! So, aside from road trips I won't be going anywhere, but I would welcome any houseguests!

Seriously Country

You may have heard me say (or read about) how we live in a country town. But now you will see that we seriously live in the country. We have cows in our backyard. Literally. We hear them mooing outside when our windows are open and we get to watch the baby cows shock their noses on the electric fence. Jonah loves it. I think it will be a rude awakening for him when we leave Virginia and we don't see cows and tractors every time we drive anywhere.