Thursday, April 29, 2010

cruise control

looks who's cruising:

in other afton news, her fourth tooth is coming through, she's slept 10-11 hours straight *two* nights in a row, her favorite food is orange rolls (our little lady can knock back one and a half of those suckers in one sitting), and her latest nickname is "mickey," with secondary and tertiary variations "mickey tone" and "mickey toot." let's hope that last one wears off before middle school.

ps - everyone at the wheeler house is feeling much better. many thanks to all our well wishers.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

another one bites the dust

i think last night makes the top ten for worst nights of bryan's life.
cross your fingers that afton and i make it through the crossfire unscathed.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

first tummy ache

ah, that landmark parenting experience. it'll happen to us all. likely more than once.

sunday, early morning, 3 a.m. summer knocks quietly on her door. i open it, and without turning on the lights, i know. she informs me that she has made a mess.

indeed. the sheets need to be washed, the comforter, the mattress pad, the carpets, summer, her pajamas, and a few of her toys. all a mess.

bryan and i get to work showering and laundering, only to discover this was not an isolated incident.

so i spend the rest of the night lying on the bathroom floor next to summer, holding the bucket for her little head every half hour.

(summer HATES "the bucket." she falsely accuses it of making her vomit).

the silver lining is that seeing my baby sick invokes the mommy super powers: messes don't bother me, and the need for sleep vanishes. it'll catch up with me by tonight, i'm sure, but right now, my heart breaks when i hear summer retching and crying, "i don't like it!"

no, dear summer, no one does. :(

Thursday, April 22, 2010

happy earth day!

to celebrate a more responsible life here on planet earth,
i invested in some reusable snack bags from green street bags.

Snack Sack- Butterfly Garden

"do unto those downstream
as you would have those upstream do unto you."

day four: the bon voyage

*sigh* it's finally time for the wheelers to make their way back home. unfortunately, i've been having technical difficulties with our video cam (pesky dead batteries), but i'll try to post some home movies from our adventures soon.

what will summer and afton miss most about their trip to san fran?
probably sleeping in the "girls' bed" with mom.

before leaving the republic of california,
the wheelers brunched in washington square with lisa
(a GSB student at stanford and emily's good friend from high school).
see her visit from our last "annual" trip to CA here.

happy birthday, bryan!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

day three: the bay

and what's a visit to the bay area without exploring the bay? day three found the wheeler family fully immersed in the area's aquatics: visiting the aquarium, pier 39, and catamaran-ing out on the water.

summer longs to stroke the ginormous jellyfish.
nature is tricky like that.

in the water tunnel (notice the school of fish swimming above).
whatever summer's examining does not seem to please her.

here's a good view of that pesky sunburn (and a cutie pie baby afton).
note to self: worst place to get a sunburn = hands.

summer refuses to make contact with the rays.
instead, she watches them skeptically from the sidelines.
(and yes, i screamed a bit when i touched one -- they're ALIVE!)

our little toddler tourist.

the famous sea lion blob at pier 39.

one happy baby.

out on the catamaran.
summer's favorite thing EVER.


three babes on a boat.

whew! bryan's birthday extravaganza is almost over. coming up in our final installment: a video and a special guest star.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

day two: the bridge

the wheelers rised and shined friday morning to a day full of possibilities. emily sent bryan out to get some groceries for breakfast, and on his walk back to the hotel, he stopped by one of the many “bike the bridge” companies situtated on the wharf. he asked if they had a double child carrier. they did. they also carried extra-large helmets. he was sold.

only one problem remained.

emily had not mounted a bicycle in nearly six years. and while riding a bike is truly one of those things you never forget how to do, it is definitely something you can forget how to do well. especially if you were never very good at it to begin with.

but after she proved she could still ride (one handed, even!), the wheelers strapped in, suited up, and were on their merry way through san francisco and over the golden gate bridge to sausalito. (though throughout the journey, emily did manage to irritate many a tourist with her sudden braking and wobbly steering. “hey! i’m walkin here!” whatev.)

gearing up.

are we having fun yet?

summer only had two major meltdowns along the way (a record!),
one we were able to subdue with a brief walk in the park (pictured above),
and the other with the promise of chocolate in sausalito.

a stop at the beach before crossing the bridge.

summer is still not a big fan of the waves.
here, she is telling us that they are "this high!"

the golden gate.

afton loves the beach just about as much as she does the snow.
it is neither here nor there and overall, causes her grave concern.

the city by the bay.

crossing the bridge with our brood.
notice bryan's poor noggin. guess those extra-large
helmets weren't extra-large enough.

make sure to tune in tomorrow for our third installment, the bay, and watch for photos of emily's mega sunburn, a result of biking for six hours on a sunny california day without wearing any sunscreen.

sorry, dad.

Monday, April 19, 2010

day one: the birthday

so i wanted bryan's thirty to come and go with a bang. i spent a few months orchestrating and covering up my tracks for a surprise trip to san francisco. when the big day arrived, i packed the girls and the suitcases in the car and headed to bryan's office to pick him up for an undisclosed birthday celebration. here's how it went down.

first, i made lemon cupcakes for the office. a decent recipe (found here), but i'll probably keep looking for the perfect one. suggestions welcome.

then, i bought enormous balloons (3-0). it's really not a birthday unless there are enormous embarrassing balloons (fun wheeler family factoid: bryan and emily first hooked up over some birthday balloons).

after parading around the office for a bit, we left for the traditional birthday lunch. we tried red mill burgers in seattle. superb.

*finally* the moment had arrived. without knowing where we were going (potential guesses included the aquarium and a puppet show), bryan drove us to the airport. now, bryan does not get surprised in the "typical" sense of the word, and when we pulled into the airport parking lot, his initial reaction was a mixture of concern and confusion. but after i assured him i had packed his phone charger, excitement set in and we were off.

and a short plane ride later, we arrived in the bay area.

first stop? the beautiful oakland temple.

during our four day tour of san fran, the weather was grand, the girls were (all things considered) fairly well behaved, and the scenery was gorgeous.

stay tuned for scenes from our next episode, day two: the bridge.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

the brink of thirty

bryan turns thirty tomorrow.
i asked him for some reflection on this momentous occasion.

he had no profound observations.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

joanie loves chachi

don't all couples ask their babysitters to "capture
that moment" at the end of their dates?

maybe they should.

six years soundtrack

six years ago today found bryan and emily at their wedding, where bryan tossed emily’s garter into the crowd of single men as dave matthews (via CD) serenaded the couple with the less conventional choice, “crash into me.”

and during the ensuing six years of marital bliss, bryan and i have collected a number of non-traditional love songs (i.e., celine and olivia will likely never appear on our top 100) as representative of what it means to be “bryan and emily in love.”

here’s a sampling of six such ditties, along with their classically wheeler lyrics:

1. up all night by counting crows
[i’ve edited this one because bryan is under the impression that we have quite a few blog followers under the age of, like, ten; so to our more mature readers, listen to the song and infer for yourselves what our favorite line might be.]

2. as lovers go by dashboard confessional
being with you here makes me sane, i fear i’ll go crazy if you leave my side, you’ve got wit, you’ve got looks, you’ve got passion, but are you brave enough to leave with me tonight?

3. the way i am by ingrid michaelson
i love the way you call me baby, and you take me the way i am.

4. yellow by coldplay
your skin and bones turn in to something beautiful, you know for you i’d bleed myself dry.

5. crash into me by dave matthews band (gots to include our wedding song)
you’ve got your ball, you’ve got your chain, tied to me tight, tie me up again.

it was very difficult to pick this last track, r. kelly, goo goo dolls, alanis, and train were all vying for inclusion. however, in the end, i had to go with weezer. the first line of their song “photograph” is so very *bryan and emily* that it would be negligent for me not to include it.

6. photograph by weezer
if you want it, you can have it, but you’ve got to learn to reach out there and grab it.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


alone again

we miss mere mere
(who, for the first time in a long time, actually
came just to play with the girls and not to do chores):

and holly (from college), who stayed with us
while collecting data for her doctorate (smarty pants):

but we were lucky to have a full house with whom to enjoy our Easter dinner:

this year's menu featured chicken cordon bleu (at bryan's suggestion),
parmesan roasted broccoli, buttered rosemary rolls, smashed new potatoes,
and orange ricotta poundcake with strawberry sauce for dessert.
remarkably, we accomplished all this with just one oven rack.

also of note, the wheelers enjoyed participating in the general conference of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Easter weekend.
favorite talks included (but are not limited to):
Elder Bednar's, Elder Oaks', Elder Andersen's and President Monson's.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

a crawling fool

it's been four weeks in the making:

afton is officially mobile.

Saturday, April 03, 2010


that's right. watch the video and be totally bummed that you were not at last night's muse concert in seattle (unless you were, then of course, relive the uprising!):

as a side note, let's remember our concert t-shirt etiquette, people. don't wear the t-shirt of the band you're going to see. don't be that guy. (or foxy lady, as the case may be).

instead, proper form is purchasing the shirt at the concert
and prancing around in it all night after the show.

super cool.

basket bounty

hooray for magical, mythical bunnies who bring
good little girls new toys and chocolate for breakfast!

good morning sunshine

now here's a tradition i can get behind:

bryan makes delicious orange julius' for his girls on easter bunny morning.

(the easter bunny drops by the wheeler homestead on saturday).

ken buds, this pose is for you.

Friday, April 02, 2010

for the record

around these parts, i'm sort of known as the grinch who pooh-poohs holiday traditions. yes, i even tried to kill santa for christmas '09, but bryan stepped in at the last minute and saved the old man's life. now, there are those family traditions that i hold strong and fast to, but there are a few perfunctory social customs that i could definitely do without.

and dying eggs is headed straight for my killer kibosh.

i hate eating hard-boiled eggs. i hate decorating them. i hate hiding them. and i even hate looking for them. let's just add, for kicks and giggles, that i also hate smelling them. i know this is supposed to be about the "children," but believe me when i say, if i hate something, the wee ones don't end up having too much fun with it either.

so i'm thinking next year, the wheelers are going to go easter rogue and eliminate all things hard-boiled.

what will we have in store instead?

i guess you'll just have to wait and see.

eating eggs


let's try decorating a few instead: