Am I the only one who thought that it was "Patty cake"? "Pat a cake" does make more sense. Well Hyrum is finally doing "pat a cake" by himself. I know that most kids are doing it much earlier and he'd clap our hands together or clap his hands together but he'd never do all of the motions. Well apparently it has clicked. A couple of days ago he was feeling particularly cooperative and did it for the camera so now you get to see his fun new accomplishment. :)

He has always loved playing "Ring around the Rosie" too and began to play it by himself shortly thereafter. He'd turn in circles while his one arm was up in the air. I don't know why the one arm was important but it was for awhile. Now he'll even do the "we all fall down" part. This video was taken on the same cooperative morning.

You'll have to excuse my tired voice it was first thing in the morning and I wasn't quite awake.

My boss was out here from Florida this week visiting and taking care of some things at headquarters. He's also a big baseball fan (he goes to a lot of Marlin's baseball games) and decided to treat us all to a baseball game at Franklin Covey Field to see the local minor league team, the Salt Lake City Bees play. Sunny had Young Women's so it was just Hyrum and I who go to enjoy the game.

We got up there right after the first pitch and I was surprised how good Hyrum was. He'd have his moments of wiggiliness, but for the most part he was really well-behaved. Luckily there were a few other people who had brought their kids, and so they were able to entertain one another. Hyrum was so fascinated with one little boys baseball mitt.

We endured a swarm of gnats and a little sprinkle of rain, but otherwise couldn't have asked for a better night for a baseball game. Unfortunately, the Bees fell to their Oklahoma opponents 7-4. Toward the end of the night, Hyrum just sat contently in my lap watching the game. We had a good time and look forward to many more baseball games in the future.

I've been going on and on about my garden lately failing to mention word one about my second garden. We started this garden about a month or more after my first garden. I guess the reason why I fail to mention this garden at all is because it's very low maintenance. Our generous hosts and partner in produce tilled compost into the land ran a soaker hose around in the furrow and then placed black plastic over the entire garden. We came a day or so later and cut holes in the plastic where we planted our plants and haven't done much since. Our lovely host waters it by turning on the soaker hose every day, fertilizes it once a week and weeds where there is a hole in the plastic. Besides the unfortunate weeding by her son where he meticulously plucked every last broccoli plant but one and started down the row of carrots before we caught him and the mysterious garden egging all it has done is grown and flourished with little or no need for care. Our first tomatoes will come out of that garden and it was our first hope of zucchini and summer squash. We have neglected and scorned this poor garden ( Derek's only been there twice while he goes to the other one twice a week) and I decided it needed a little love and praise. So to you my beautiful "step" garden, this post is for you!

I'd heard stories when I was pregnant about the plants in a new mom's home suffering long slow deaths as a result of the neglect given them because of the very demanding new resident. I thought that would never happen to my plants....I was mistaken.
This was taken when I was 5 months along. Look at us both! So big and full. ( ok so I'm a bit bigger and fuller than the plant) But we were both so healthy and happy.
This is the plant today. We've put it at Derek's work in the hopes that it might be revived. I'm not holding my breath.

We've had some interesting firsts in our marriage and this was on par for the course. There was the "3 bedroom apartment" that was our first apartment showing with the oven that looked like it was going to explode and the third bedroom that was literally smaller than most walk in closets. Then there was our first test drive...with the nude pictures in the cup holder from ( and perhaps of ) the previous owner.

We got to the house (6 miles from Derek's work) and had only taken 15 minutes to get there even taking back roads. This would be nice. Then while we waited for the realtor to get there Derek walked around and discovered that the cracks we had seen at the base of the house was only the cement facade chipping off the foundation and not the foundation itself. We were further encouraged. Then when the realtor got there she'd forgotten or misplaced the lock box and we had to break in...we should have known then. We let our realtor in and immediately she noticed a large crack in the wall that went the length of the wall and even around the corner into the kitchen where the floor was bowed so much that you felt like you were walking in a bowl almost.I had my camera with me I should have taken pictures. The bedrooms bring the word "closet" to mind again. But as you can see that was the least of this houses problems.

So that one is crossed off the list...and so far that was the list. This is the best that northern Utah county has to offer for a 3 plus bedroom freestanding house at 180K? We are no longer encouraged.

There was just too much going on that week to get to the July 4th review on time. So I hope you will indulge a late post.

Here's a few pictures of the day...
I'd forgotten his blue boonie hat at home so we had to get him another one. I think it's cute and it was only $2! We put him in his Texas Ranger onsie that our friends got us when they were back home in Texas for Derek's dad's benefit.( He was a policeman) You can't really read it but it says "Texas Ranger" around the star and "I'm the law around here" underneath. :)
We took Hyrum on a walk during the day to tire him out. We were hoping that he'd take two naps ( yes sadly he's long since done away with the afternoon nap ) that day so he'd be able to stay awake for the fireworks. It worked and he did.

As long as I've known Derek he's told me how amazing the fireworks are in Idaho Falls. I would smile and say "Oh" all the while thinking..."Man I don't think he gets out much" because I had been to a firework display in Montana that seemed like they were running to the store to buy another firework in between each one. Every year he'd say "We should go up to Idaho for the fourth" and every time there would be a reason not to go and I wasn't too heartbroken about it. But this year we finally went. Derek was looking online to make sure that they were still being done at the same place and time that they had the last time he'd seen them and came across a website listing their top 10 4th of July firework shows and listed IDAHO FALLS as the number two display in the nation!! I have to say I was beginning to be intrigued.
Another walk before the was just to long to sit still.
Spotting the playground. Yes he's getting his run down. And he LOVES playgrounds ( what kid doesn't )

The fireworks didn't disappoint. They were perfectly choreographed to music and there were a lot of them!! I don't think Hyrum blinked much. He loved them and clapped or signed "more" during it and at the end. I counted 4 very brief times in the 33 minute display when there wasn't a spark in the sky. Here's a small clip of them and no this is not the finale.

There are two blog post I planned to do but we're skipping them, because I feel like we just got on a roller coaster. Not any old ordinary roller coaster that creeps up the biggest hill before it sends you on a ride so you are eased into it. No this one has shot us right out of the gate. I called a real estate agent yesterday. We're seeing a mortgage broker tomorrow and I have no doubt that she'd have us in a house by Friday if we will decide quick enough. She's really aggressive efficient and professional. The friend that recommended her to us warned me that if I called her I should be ready to move. It took them 6 weeks from first call to close. And they were selling a house too. I'm actually really hoping it doesn't go that fast. I hope she doesn't get irritated with our slow methodical approach to house hunting. We've just been saving for so long. We want to make sure we get the best house for the money. Plus we are in no big hurry. But all of a sudden this is real. Of course it's entirely possible that they will soon tell us that there are no houses in existence that have our lofty criteria for the pittance we want to pay for a mortgage. (You'll have to excuse me as we've been reading the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin)

** Update** We've been preapproved for a loan in the amount we want to pay. They are approaching preapprovals in a different way in light of the mortgage crisis and they are now only asking what price house you are looking for and then preapprove you for that after telling you how much your payments will be. It was right around what we knew it would be, no big revelations. We gave the specifications we would like in a house to the real estate agent and she said that only 2 houses came up. She changed one specification and 20 came up. But upon review of them most of them are townhomes. Again this was no real big revelation. We've just been in an apartment long enough that we don't even want to consider that. So I guess we look, wait and pray that interest rates don't skyrocket. It looks like we've been shot up the first hill and come to almost a complete stop.

Just to show you that Hyrum isn't bald and is still quite cute. :) Or at least we think so...

Hyrum's hair was just getting too long...

I tried to tell myself that it looked like a sumo wrestlers ponytail but it just wasn't cutting it... it had to go... so after one more days of curls...

We took him to the salon where one of my former young women is training to be a stylist.

We were completely prepared for an all out brawl with him straining away from the clippers but at the end of the day he did beautifully

And now he looks so grown up with his first big boy hair do
It's over exposed because I was using my video camera to take pictures when I maxed my digital camera memory card filming the haircut. Don't worry I'm going to spare you the jerky and all together too long video clip.

We think he still looks adorable albeit too old to be our baby and the curls I feared were gone forever are already starting to come back. :)

It was around seven years ago that my roommate threw a party for a friend of ours. He said he wanted to feel like a kid again so we played games like pin the tail on the donkey and got him foam airplanes from the dollar store as a gift for him. He was surprised and touched by how much work went into his party and gave me a hug as thank you. I felt weird about it because he'd never hugged me before and I'd not done anything in preparation for this party. After the party we ended up talking while throwing the foam air planes at each other. We ended up talking about everything and anything until very late at night. By the end of the night we were finishing each others sentences and saying words like "poignant" at the same time. My head had already been turning despite myself although I'd swear up and down that we were just friends. And a little more than a year later we were married in the Nauvoo, Illinois temple. My life has never been the same since.

So today on his 31st birthday I will list the top ( certainly not a comprehensive list ) 31 reasons my husband Derek Tangren is WONDERFUL.

1. After 6 years of marriage he still does things like this:
It was a hot day so he filled up the water pitcher and left an ice cold glass of water with this note.

2 He always thanks me for doing the dishes ( and laundry and cooking dinner, cleaning up, making the bed, etc ) even when I haven't finished them and have the ones I do have clean on a towel drying instead of drying them and putting them away.

3. He stays with Hyrum every Tuesday while I go to Young Womens and usually has all the dishes done, the house cleaned up and Hyrum in bed when I get home. He says he does it because I'm busy with Hyrum all day. Isn' t Hyrum with him all night too?

4. He's the most diligent and dependable person I know. Anyone who has ever worked with him in any capacity knows it too.

5. He loves MY family. He likes to spend time with them when they are here. And he likes to visit them there. He would do just about anything for them and I'm pretty sure they like him too. ( He's even been known to send flowers and such things when he's nervous that he hasn't made a good impression)
After this photo was taken and we came down off the mountain we realized that my mom left her water bottle near the top on a hot Aug day so Derek RAN up to get it and back down again.

6. He helps countless people with their computers for hours on end and never gives up trying to fix it. I've NEVER heard him complain about it either. EVER!

7. He works so hard so that I can stay home with Hyrum.

8. The boy's got hops!
That's Derek "jumping the stream" at Hyrum's party. That blanket is easily longer than 7 feet! And he cleared it!!!

9. He shows interest in what I'm interested in. He knows what an Echinacea purpurea and Rudbeckia hirta is. (it's the purple cone flower and the black eyed susan )

10. He's a good loser. Better said he's a gracious loser. He never gets upset or pouty when he loses. He just pounds the floor with a smile on his face.

11. He's a good sport
11. Even though he says he's not a dancer, he dances with me in the kitchen.

12. He has tons of pictures of Hyrum and I all over his office at work

13. He loves to play with his nieces and nephews

( I apologize that I don't have pictures with all of our nieces and nephews, Hyrum is not cooperating and letting me take the time I'd like to on this)

14. He has become as crazy about money as I am...well maybe not AS crazy but he doesn't call me a tight wad anyway. And he at least understands me when I would rather throw on an extra sweater than turn up the heat to 60 degrees in the dead of winter.

15. He can talk to and is friends with everybody from tiny kids to the older people in our neighborhood.

16. You can always count on Derek to help, and he will always offer as well. It doesn't matter if it's helping someone move, teaching a lesson, fixing a computer, you name it he is always there.

17. He is very well read and has renewed my passion for reading.

18. He never makes fun of me for being a year and three months older than him. Not even on birthdays

19. He doesn't make fun of me for coming up with my own words like "smallerize" and someone who likes to read is a "booky"

20. He puts up so well with my moodiness. Poor chap!

21. He can cheer me up faster than anyone I know... if I let him.

22. He is hilarious! He makes me laugh all the time

23. He loves to play with Hyrum

24. He is so busy at work but ALWAYS takes time to talk to me on instant message even about silly things when I'm bored and never says "I'm too busy for this" when I'm sure most of the time he is.

25. He always wants to keep learning, in fact he keeps threatening to go back to graduate school.

26. He reminds me of my dad ( that's a good thing )

27. He uses big words.

28. He will always see me like this...

29. He gets excited about things with me. Even if they are not terribly exciting to him.

30 He's friends with the same guys he was friends with in high school and they still get together. He also keeps in close contact with all of his second families.

31. He is my perfect match in every way. I don't know what I would do without him. He is the most incredible dad to my son and I want Hyrum to grow up to be just like him.

Wait! Wait! I have more! I guess it'll have to save some for next time.

I love you so much! Happy Birthday!