Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Last night the kids and I went jogging. Jess helped get them ready to go and wisely instructed Jayson to go to the bathroom before we left on the run. He promptly responded, "No thanks. I will just go outside".

Unintended consequence of the Fathers and Sons campout.
I guess I should have better explained that we save outside "relief" for "special occasions".
Like camping.
Or when you're out toiletpapering the neighborhood at 3 in the morning.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fathers and Sons

I went on a Fathers and Sons campout for the first time in probably 30 years. This time as a father. Jayson has been talking about going camping since I first proposed the idea two weeks ago. He was really looking forward to sleeping in a tent and cooking hotdogs and marshmallows on a fire. He has constantly been reminding me what the girls have taught him, "It's not 'fathers and daughters', it's 'fathers and sons'". I was excited for two weeks myself, but I must admit, driving home from work on Friday, I was a little apprehensive about taking a two year old on an overnight campout. As it turns out, once he mastered the art of going "number 1" in the woods, everthing turned out pretty slick....

This was the picture Jess took of us just before we headed out the door. We went with the Sunset Ward up to a property just past Henefer up Ogden Canyon. We pitched our tent right next to a tire swing that was attached to a large branch about 30 feet in the air. Jayson loved the swing (after the first freak out when he realized he was about 15 feet off the ground with the first push). We swang the first night and early the next morning. He was freezing cold in this picture and teeth chattering with shivers, but he insisted he wasn't cold so he could keep swinging.

This next picture was Jayson as we were on our hike with the group up to Witches Rocks. The whole time he just kept telling me, "This is soooo fun Daddy, this is sooo fun".
This is us just after the Bishop finished telling us a story. We were in a little clearing amidst the towering "Witches Rocks" all around us.
There wasn't really a place for us to ride the ATV and this was the part Jayson was looking forward to the most. He has been dying to ride the ATV "in the mountains" since we bought it this Winter. So after we cleaned up our campground, we drove to Centerville and rode the ATV in the mountains on the dirt roads where I grew up. Jayson squealed and laughed for over an hour before it was time to head home.
He is already talking about when we get to go camping again next year. Not sure I am ready to tell he that we can really go camping whenever we want, we don't actually have to wait for next years Fathers and Sons.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


We were sitting by the computer, chilling as a family.
Jess referred me to a picture she was looking at of our family vacation to Southern California a few years ago. She told me, "Sean, check out this picture and look at how far you've come".
I pulled up the picture.

I must admit, it was a little weird to look at. Kinda made me sick to my stomach.
It got a little more awkward when Rylee wandered over to the monitor.

Rylee (all matter-of-fact): "Oh my gosh you're fat!"

Thanks Rylee.

The only Rylee moment more precious than that was when we were sitting in the chapel right after sacrament meeting a few years back. Rylee's primary teacher was about 9 months pregnant and talking with Jessica. As she walked away, Jessica was telling Rylee that her teacher was about to have a baby, and that she had a baby in her tummy.

Rylee promptly turned to me, pointed to my stomach, and asked, "When are you going to have your baby?"

Once again, Thanks Rylee.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Karate Kid

One more brilliant move to bring me one step closer to earning the coveted "father of the year" award.

A few weeks ago we ran into the classic "Karate Kid" playing on cable. Brought back a lot of memories.
The classic family tale of Daniel Larusso forced by his mom to relocate across the country, moving into a neighborhood full of black belt bullies, mentored by Mr. Miyagi's unorthodox methods.
The kids started watching it with us near the end, right before Daniel's big tournament.
The anticipation of my favorite line, "Get him a body bag!!" kept me riveted on the show; and apparently clouded my judgement. Parental Guidance was suggested by the Motion Picture Association of America, so for some reason, I thought it was a good idea to allow the kids to watch the show with me.
After Johnny "swept the leg" it looked like all was lost. Three little faces in my living room were very concerned and very worried for Daniel. (I would have been to if I didn't know how it all ended.) Fortunately, though Japanese healing magic took care of the problem and Daniel Larusso returned to the mat to finish what he started. Honestly, who really saw that coming???
Fortunately for all of us, with the score tied 2-2, and only able to stand on one leg, Daniel-son used the move Mr. Miyagi taught him. The one where he stands on his one good leg, with arms extended outward, hands oddly pointed downward. Mr. Miyagi nods his approval. This was the move, Miyagi told him, if performed correctly, can't be defended against. Daniel-son capitalized on this opportunity. He rose up and kicked Johnny right in the face to win the match. Just like I remembered.

The girls were really impressed with that final move. They all wanted to try it. Tayler and Rylee turned it into more of a funky, semi-graceful dance move. Jayson tried it too.

It seemed like good quality family time--a great way to spend an evening as a family. We all basked in the joy of Daniel's victory over Johnny. We all practiced the final move. (Except Jess. Who seemed to think we were all idiots.)
Seemed like such a great idea at the time.

Until last night when I was sitting on the end of our sectional, minding my own business. Jayson came up and stood on the couch by me. Then he raised up and kicked me in the face. He was so excited. It was beautifully executed. Much better than when we practiced after the movie. He laughed and bragged, "Daddy, I kicked you in the face".

It was then that a strange thought crossed my mind. "Maybe the PG rating was there for a reason." Maybe smart parents don't let their two year old boys watch movies about karate, fighting, and violence. Hopefully Jayson will grow up to be more like Daniel-son instead of Johnny--in spite of his father's lack of judgement.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

When you gotta go...you gotta go.

Interesting little ending to my Saturday workout.

After my spin class, I drove over to the running/bike trail that runs parallel to the Legacy Highway. I parked in Farmington and ran two miles before turning back towards the car. Since it was still relatively early and cold, I only saw about ten other people along the trail. I was probably about 200 yards from my car when I noticed a couple running towards me about 100 yards away. She was wearing pink and black and he was wearing all blue. Often times I have a tendency to run looking down at the path, rather than straight ahead, so I wondered where the girl disappeared to as I passed her husband who was now running alone. Hopefully I wasn't going to be the last eye witness to a spouse or girlfriend disappearance.

Fortunately, about twenty seconds later, I saw her.

Unfortunately, though, I saw most of her.

She was squatting, underwear and running pants around her ankles, about 10 feet off the trail; relieving herself, completely shielded from the sight of unsuspecting joggers by the 12 inch high weeds that line the trail. Her head was down, no doubt providing the re-assurance that if she couldn't see people running along the trail, nobody could see her.

She looked up as I passed.

All I could do was shake my head and smile.

She must've really had to go bad. She couldn't possibly have waited 20 more seconds for me to run past???

On a less revealing note...
My kids have a real problem interrupting Jess and I while we are on the phone. Saturday afternoon, while on the phone with my sister, Rylee had something soooo important to tell me. She interrupted me once.
Then she interrupted me a second time (thirty seconds later).
Both times I asked her to wait until I got off the phone.

On the third interruption, I covered up the phone and asked Rylee why she was interrupting me again after I had asked her a million times not to interrupt me while I was on the phone.

She looked at me blankly.
With no facial expression she responded, "Two times. You asked me two times. Not a million."

She gets that from her mother.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Maverick Day Spa

Last night on the way to the airport, we stopped off at Maverick to drop off a DVD at Redbox.
Did a double take when I saw a lady coming out of Maverick wearing a white terrycloth robe and slippers.
A guy was waiting for her in a car parked by mine.
I had to look.
He too was wearing a white terrycloth robe.
A very short, white terrycloth robe.

At first it seemed wierd.
Then I just had a hankerin' for a 64 oz Coke.
And a facial and massage.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Two "Valentines"

Jess frequently hints at her dislike for some of my blog posts. I think it's because I don't chronicle the daily events in an online journal. So, with her out of town, I will provide a journal-type rundown of the weekend for her benefit.

Jess took Jackson and Rylee to her brother's house in Denver for their baby blessing. I settled in for a little Valentine's weekend fun with Tayler and Jayson.

Saturday we headed to Ogden to Fat Cats for pizza and bowling. This is our self-taken photo at the Pizza Factory.

This is Jayson at the bowling alley. He stood up with a foot on each of two swiveling bowling chairs, raised his hands, and yelled, "I a RockStar Dad!!!". Then he promptly fell off. The camera captured his descent.
Tayler patiently helped Jayson bowl every turn. Then they waited the 45 minutes for his ball to make it down the alley to the pins.
Tayler is pretty competitive. She didn't like that I was soundly beating her the entire game. The only fun part about Jess not being with us is that I got to win. My personal best. 151. Four strikes and two spares. (Three strikes in a row. TURKEY!!!)

Jayson cheered every single turn. Even his gutter balls.

Saturday we bought an ice cream maker and all the ingredients for homemade ice cream. Tayler wanted Strawberry--fittingly pink for valentines day.

Notice Jayson's little ice cream bowl, scooted a good two feet out into the middle of the island. Apparently, he's decided he doesn't like strawberry ice cream. Fortunately, I divided the ingredients so we can make a batch of something else that he might like better. Reeses Peanut butter cup. We'll see.

So far, so good Jess.
Translation: we are all still alive and well fed.
Coinciently, I have angled the camera so that we didn't capture much of the mess in the kitchen, dining room and living room. As usual, we are only cleaning up once this weekend (right before you get home). But don't stress, it will be clean (mostly) by the time we leave to get you at the airport tomorrow night. Well, let's be honest; the house will be "straightened up" before we come get you.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Code Pink

Hospital security is a good thing. I can't imagine anything worse than someone stealing a baby--or a hospital mix-up that sends the wrong baby home with the wrong parents. (With that said, an unfortunate mis-hap that might send Rylee home with another family, in exchange for a short brown-haired, brown eyed sweet, obedient little five-year-old girl, might actually be welcomed from time to time.) Fortunately, hospitals have implemented strict safety procedures which require matching of baby and parent id bracelets each time you want to "access" your newborn.

Thursday night I was able to have a romantic (when nurses weren't checking Jess' vitals) bedside dinner with Jessica, courtesy of Davis Hospital and our $700 per night rate (excluding insurance company liability). Over the course of our dinner, Jess decided she needed a bedside dinner with two men, so she asked me to go get Jackson (to be completely accurate though, at the time, he was still known as "the Baby").

I proceeded to the nursery, where I provided a blood and urine sample, a cheek swab, submitted to a retinal scan, and was then escorted through a series of security checkpoints, including an airport-like scanner, and a pat-down from a large male nursing assistant named Greg. Then they read the numbers on my bracelet, compared it with Jackson's, and then allowed me to take him to our room.

Somewhere on the way back to the room, I took a wrong turn. I think I went left, when I should've gone right. About thirty seconds later, I realized I had no idea where I was. Keep in mind, I wasn't in a ten-story trauma center, I was in a small community hospital in Layton, Utah. It shouldn't be that easy to get lost--especially when you start out about 200 feet from your deisred destination.

Somewhere, at this exact moment in Postpartum Room 210, Jessica received a phone call from the nursery. "Is your baby with you?"

Jess: "no. But my husband just went to go get him"
I think that explained it.

It was at the exact moment I realized I might be lost, that I also remembered something I was told in passing, the early that morning, following the baby's first bath at around 2 am. Something about an ankle bracelet that would set off alarms and lock down the elevators if you got too close to them. I think it was the "ding" of the elevator that reminded me of that little bit of info. Oops.

At that moment, Tricia RN, rounded the corner, at a full sprint, the serious look on her face relaxing in relief as she saw me sauntering towards her, pushing the plastic basinet-on-wheels, containing Baby-Boy-Dunroe.

Me: "Did I set off an alarm or something?"
Tricia RN: "You sure did"
Me: "Well, I work for a health insurance company you guys contract with and they sent me here to test out your newborn security procedures."
Tricia RN: Blank look. Not amused
Me: "You guys did OK, although I could've made it to the stairs if I wanted to"
Tricia RN: Still not amused "turn left at the end of the hall if you want to go back to your wife's room"

I thought it best if I kept this little misadventure to myself. I find it best to not load Jess' gun with ammo. It comes back to bite me at in-opportune times. I meandered into the room, like I hadn't just set off an alarm and locked down the elevators. I started off with some sort of small talk, but when I parted the fancy hospital curtain that provides the last line of patient privacy, I could tell by Jess' face that she had just been reassured that her husband was an idiot.

"So you set off those alarms huh?"

As I got home that night, I was remembering my little "code pink" (baby abduction for those of you who don't watch Greys Anatomy). I pulled into the garage. Walked into the kitchen. Put the Yukon keys on their special hook--just in case Jessica were to come home suddenly, unexpectedly from the hospital, I had to make sure everything was in it's assigned location. I sat down on the couch, flipped on the TV, happy for a few quiet moments of reflection. Quiet? Oops. I forgot to pick up the kids. Sorry Grace! Thanks for watching them while I just take a little time to myself.

Guess I was a little tired. I'm sure it's hard going through labor in the middle of the night. But it can also be hard to sit around uselessly all night long in multiple hospital rooms answering hospital staff's superficial questions and trying hard just to do what you're told.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Male Bonding

Well, he came.
Baby Boy Dunroe #2. At 11:40'something pm on January 20th. 6 pounds, 8 ounces. 19 1/2 inches long.
I tested Jess' name of choice. "Luke"...
In my Darth Vader voice. (Complete with "audible labored breathing through a black mask" sound effect.)
"Luke...I am your father."
The little guy scrunched up his face, and gave what appeared to be his best "severed hand, clinging to an overhanging railing, Mark Hamill" impression and yelled, "Nooooooooooooo!"
It was a little creepy.
You remember the scene in The Empire Strikes Back. When millions of women across the country simultaneously decided Mark Hamill was more bizarre than cute.
It was just like that.
So the name "Luke" may be out.
Sorry Jess.

At any rate, here are some pictures.

And now for the male bonding....

At first it seems like he was just tired....Or hungry.

Then it seemed like he was just confused.

Tunrs out, he was hungry.

And confused.

Hopefully, someday we will bond eating hot dogs at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
And not with him latched onto his dad's chest.

Luke, I am not your father.
Turns out I'm your mother.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Memorable Moments from the Weekend

At the drive thru window of Pace's:
Rylee: That girl (the one at the drive up window) is really pretty
Tayler: Not as pretty as mommy.
Me: Of course not Tay....Also, don't forget to tell your mommy I said that. If you forget, I'll have to post it on my blog.

Me: Jess, sorry the fog is so thick tonight. You won't be able to see our shirtless backyard neighbor wandering through his blind-less house with huge windows.
Jess: What? (feigning confusion and misunderstanding at what I had said). I've never even noticed!
Me: Right....too bad he's a pilot and not a fireman.
Jess: looks like a fireman to me.
(Disclaimer: the re-telling of this interactment might be slightly imbellished. Slightly.)

At Energy Solutions Arena:
Found out that my dear bride has a little thing for Kyle Korver.For her sake, I won't tell you what she said. (Hint: Think Masha Kirelinko's "pass").

Tayler (speaking to me):
"Mommy, do you think...I mean, Dad, do you think..."
Me: "Do you ever make that same mistake and call your mother, Dad?"
Tay: "No"

Came home from the Jazz game Saturday to a homemade "Service Box" Tayler had created, complete with little slips of paper.
Each one has an idea for a "random" act of service.
For example: Do someone else's "chores" (I think "Ma" taught little "Half-pint" what the word "chore" meant while "Pa" was "in town" picking up sugar, salt, and flour at the "Olson's General Store"--I often still reflect on life lessons learned from Ma, Pa, and Laura on Little House On the Prairie).
Give someone a hug
Make someone's bed
It's very refreshing to know that Tayler is thoughtful enough for the rest of us.

Boys Night at Dollar Cuts

So Chubbs (Jayson) and I headed to Dollar Cuts.
He was really excited to go, but got nervous as they put the protective cape (complete with multicolored fishies) around his neck.
They cut my hair simultaneously in the chair next to his.

Hairstylist One: "You look so cute Jayson, just like your daddy" (Seriously, I know you are just angling for a big tip. But no worries...you just earned it).
Jayson: "Yes, I cute" (he gets his confidence from his mother)
Hairstylist Two: "You are such a big boy Jayson"
Jayson: "Yes, I a big boy".

Unfortunately they finished my cut (since I have less hair) before Jaysons. When he saw that I was finished he declared the same for himself, "I done" and proceeded to start yanking off the protective cape.
Fortunately, Hairstylist One was able to coax Jayson to remain in the chair through the promise of using styling gel in his hair "just like your daddy has". It worked.
As we exited dollar cuts, the hairstylists all said goodbye to Jayson. He blew them all kisses (seems to be his thing, and it seems to work).
Then my little Momma's Boy prattled all the way home about how excited he was to show his "Mommy" and "Tay Tay" and "Ry Pie". When we got home, they weren't there, so we took pictures for them instead.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Circus Heads to the Quilted Bear

Tayler's Circus Drawing during church

Friday night my keen husband senses (the look on Jess' face) told me Jess needed a break from the Circus (the affectionate name we use to denote all of our kids collectively). So after Rylee's birthday party at Boondocks, we went shopping. Sort of.

Jayson and I arrived late. He promptly took off his shoes and invited himself to bowl with the actual party guests.

We went to Bed, Bath and Beyond to get Tayler a super, glitter, bouncy ball. She has wanted one for the past month. Jayson and Rylee decided, after five seconds, that they needed one.
So I had to buy three.
Then we went to the Quilted Bear to look for shelves for Jayson and the new baby's room. We are "nesting". Well, Jess is nesting.

Unlike a father Robin, I don't really nest. I just help out where I'm told.
I've been told that we need to decorate the boys' room. So I went looking for shelves.
With the circus.

I got distracted from shelf-shopping by some Willow Tree carvings. Mothers and fathers in various poses with each other and with their children. I asked the kids which ones reminded them most of their mother. Their choices were interesting. So I chose the one that most reminds me of Jess.

It's too difficult to adequately summarize the entire circus-Quilted Bear experience. So I've chosen my favorites.

Tayler: "I don't like that one (the first one Willow Tree carving I chose) because I have never seen mommy sitting on a rock."

Since many of the boutiques had pictures of LDS temples, Rylee sang a primary song. In traditional Rylee fashion.
At the top of her lungs.
Throughout the entire store. "I love to see the temple. I'm going there someday..."

Tayler: Dad, why don't you get this for Mom? It will make her cry. (Picture of Jesus with nail marks in his hands and wrists).

Rylee: "I have to go to the bathroom."

Me: "Has anyone seen Rylee? Rylee!"

Rylee: (Heard from three aisles away), "I'll prepare myself while I am young...This is my sacred duty." (Must've been interesting, particularly for the non-LDS shoppers).

Jayson:"Daddy, poopie" (Means either number one or two is on its way--you don't know which until you're at the point of delivery).

Me: "Don't touch that. Or that. Or that. Rylee, do you want to go sit in the car?"
"Jayson, please stop touching things or you'll go sit in the car, by yourself."
Tayler: "By himself? Yeah, right."
Me: "Tayler, please stop ruining my idle threats." Tayler: "What does 'idle' mean?"

My favorite part was standing in line waiting for our turn to checkout.Tayler saw a little bear holding a red heart that says "kiss me".

Tayler: "Daddy, why don't you get this for mommy?"

Rylee: "You could come home and say, I love you sweetheart!" (I felt like I was in high school being teased by my little sister).

Tayler: "Then you could kiss her on the lips, OOOHHH!

Rylee: "Whoo-hooohhh". At this point she moved close to Tayler and put her arms around her neck.

Thankfully, rather than kiss, they both leaned their heads back and laughed and giggled and laughed.
This made Jayson laugh hysterically from his perch in the shopping cart.
They repeated this same annoying enactment about four more times, each time having me say something else to Jess that resulted in her kissing me. Each time they roared with laughter.
So did everyone else standing in line.
As did the cashier.
I just couldn't wait to get the circus home and send them to their rooms.

Rylee drew this at church and gave it to Jess. Apparently it's a picture of Jess.

Pregnant Jess. I think it's pregnant, angry Jess (look at the size of those eyes) who just woke up and stumbled out of bed, apparently hungover (look at the bed-head and the crazy look on her face). Rylee is very proud of it. Jess isn't.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Rylee-Pot-Pie!!!

I can't believe it's been five years since I was heading back to the hospital with two-year-old Tayler who was anxiously proclaiming, "I'm coming Baby Rylee, I'm coming Baby Rylee". They've been best buds ever since.

She picked up Jayson from the nursery today after church. When I found the two of them holding hands in the foyer, I told her that it's probably better if she lets Jess or I pick him up. She responded, "Well, I'm five today Dad". Good point Ry.

She continues to add the spice to our lives. She knows exactly what buttons to push to get a rise out of any of us. She loves to cuddle and she loves to be a big sister. She seems anxious for another little brother to mother and bully. She's still determined to grow up and marry Jayson; because, as she tells us so often, "he's just so cute."

She keeps telling Jess each day that the baby in her belly looks bigger--a comment sure to make Jess' day.

One day a few weeks ago when I got home from work, she informed me that she saw Santa at the Chick-fil-a (Layton Hills Mall). She got a very serious look on her face and told me in her matter-of-fact tone, "There wasn't a princess dress in his sack." In her little mind, this meant she wasn't going to get her number one gift for Christmas. I wondered at the time how she got a peak into his sack, but then I'd probably rather not know.

Christmas morning as she watched Jayson play with his new train, she informed us that next year she wanted a pink train for Christmas. So we got her one for her birthday (white, orange and blue because we couldn't find a pink one). When she opened it, she turned to me and with a slight look of disappointment informed me, "but it's not a girl train dad". "That's cause most girls don't play with trains son."

The scariest thing about Rylee is she understands waaaay more than she ever lets on and she has a steel trap for a brain. She remembers the littlest details about everything! One things for sure, our lives have never been the same since she joined our family.

I love you my little (big) Rylee-Pot-Pie, Happy Birthday!