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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Diary of John and Molly's Visit -- "Who's Uncle Jake?"

Sadly, all good things come to an end. After our fun-filled week it was time for the boys and I to drop John, Molly, Sara and Emily off at the airport. During the drive there, we ended up having a little discussion with the kids about how John is my brother and I am John's sister. I explained to my boys that this meant John was their uncle, but that he is also Emily and Sara's daddy. Molly then explained the same thing to her girls, about how Uncle Jake was Joshua and Daniel's daddy. Joshua was listening and asked uneasily, "Who's Uncle Jake?" We again explained the concept and Joshua decided, "I don't want him to be Uncle Jake. I just want him to be daddy."

Diary of John and Molly's Visit -- Wild Animal Park

Molly had been really looking forward to vising the Wild Animal Park during their San Diego vacation. We went on Thursday and had a great time. It was quite hot, as expected, but not so bad. We survived.
We of course spent some time feeding the Lorikeets:

Joshua and Daniel actually both ended up getting bitten by the greedy birds, but they handled it so well with no crying. My brave boys!

And we got a great view of the giraffes on the tram ride:

For those who haven't been to the Wild Animal Park in a while, it has changed quite a bit. What used to be the train is now a tram. We didn't know this until we got there. Joshua wondered, "Why is the train driving on the road?" This was kind of a bummer as the train had been a highlight for the boys, but they made the best of it and got excited about the fact that we were being pulled by a diesel truck. Also, there are now several canopies for shade and fans blowing mist as you make your way to and from the tram ride, as it is a much further walk than it was before. And a water park for the kids about halfway between the tram ride and the rest of the park makes for a very welcome break as you're trekking back up the hill.

Diary of John and Molly's Visit -- Padres Game!

Greetings from Petco Park!

My brother John is the biggest baseball fan that I, personally, know. It meant a lot to me to get to attend a Padres game with him and his family while they were visiting us. It's just a whole different ballgame (pun intended) when you're there with a true fan.

His team is the Giants, and of course one of the first things we asked him was if he had been at the game the prior week where Barry Bonds broke the record and became the all-time highest home run hitter. John hadn't been at that game, but he had tickets for the next night, and Mr. Bonds hit another home run during that game. I thought that was a very decent thing to do for the fans.

The best part about Petco Park is, in my opinion, the bleacher section. It is the perfect set up for families with kids and we did in fact last all 9 innings! As you can see in the above pictures, it is all grass between the seats. We let the kids run around all they wanted without having to worry about them falling off and getting hurt, as they might on traditional bleachers. And it gets even better! There is a huge sand pit where the kids can dig and play and be happy while the parents get to watch the game. I thought we got a great view, too.

It ended up not being the Padres night, but let me mention one more time that we lasted all 9 innings!

Diary of John and Molly's Visit -- Perfect Day at the Beach

We of course headed for our favorite local beach with John, Molly and the kids. It really was the perfect day at the beach -- the fog disappeared just as we arrived and it was blue skies and sunshine just for us. The water temperature couldn't have been better which was great because we did a lot of swimming! The highlight was probably making sand castles with Uncle John. Well, it would probably be more accurate to say that the highlight was watching Uncle John make sand castles and then (the kids) destroying them.

Diary of John and Molly's Visit -- Late Night Ice Cream Party

My brother John, his wife Molly, and their two girls Sara and Emily came to visit us this past week. Joshua and Daniel were so excited to have cousins here to play with! To help celebrate John's recent birthday, we went with what seems to have become our birthday tradition of making homemade ice cream. We made a very yummy mint chocolate chip recipe and it turned out great!

It took longer than we thought it would to firm up though, so the kids ended up getting to eat it in their pajamas -- how novel!

Incidentally, mint chocolate chip is my sister Tracy's favorite flavor (or at least it was growing up), so although she was across the country at the time of our party, I know she was with us in spirit!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Exciting times for us Sorensens -- we've enrolled Joshua in a karate class! He is taking to karate quite well and I am not surprised. Joshua is a very focused, deliberate person and it seems to suit him nicely. It was so fun because he specifically invited me to come to his class today to watch him, whereas Jake has taken him previously. As I watched, I could see the wheels turning in his head as he practiced a sequence of moves. He always thought before he acted, and he always got the sequence right. I also got to see him practice the block he learned from last time, learn a punch and a kick, and just have a lot of fun in general. I was impressed throughout the class by the discipline and obedience being taught. The teacher really expects something of them, and the kids (4 and 5 year olds) are rising to the occasion.

I have to say that having Joshua in karate is a dream come true for me. One summer while I was home from BYU working various temp jobs, I worked with a lady who had her 6 year old son enrolled in a karate class. She told me all the things she loved about having him in karate, and my interest was piqued. At one point I kind of wondered aloud if her son ever used his karate moves on his older sister, but she said he would never do that because of the discipline that is so much a part of karate. His teacher had taught them never to fool around or hurt anyone deliberately using their karate, and she said that her son took it very seriously. I was very impressed and decided then and there that if I ever had any boys, I wanted them to be involved in karate. I just really liked the idea.

As things have turned out, I now have two terrific boys and I am so happy about this opportunity! I didn't think we would be able to get our kids into karate until Jake was done with grad school, but my good friend Isa reminded me about UCSD's Recreation Center. They offer all kinds of classes at a discount for students and their families. Joshua took a great gymnastics class through the Rec Center a couple years ago, but then I had Daniel a few weeks after the class ended, and we temporarily relocated for the first time shortly thereafter, so I'd just kind of forgotten about it.

Daniel really wants to start taking karate too. I so wish he could because I know he'll be great at it, but typically the requirement is 4 years of age. My friend Lisa from back home has a little boy who really wants to take karate, and she says that some places will go as young as 3 years old, but she hasn't seen any younger. Hang in there, Daniel -- your time will come!

Just to close, Joshua's teacher has them practice a "mean karate face" and he does a really good one that I thought you all might like to see. It is so fun to see him learning something new, and to see his energy and enthusiasm for it. He does a great job and we're so proud of him!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


It is now 2:05am. Funny thing is, I went to bed at 10:30pm on the dot. I was rather proud of myself for getting to bed at (what I consider) a very reasonable, responsible hour. But by 12:30am I was still wide awake as ever, so I threw in the towel and decided to pass the time by catching up on friend's blogs. Everyone has blogs these days, and it has been great to find out what people are up to, especially the ones I haven't seen in a while (thanks to the links that many friends have to each others blogs).

Anyway, suffice it to say that the extra time gained due to insomnia is never productive or welcome. If I were one of those people who genuinely only needed 2 or 3 hours of sleep per night, then it would be great to have the extra time to "get ahead." But no, I need the standard 7 or 8 hours that most of the population needs, and when I am up like this, I really am pretty tired, I just can't sleep (the irony kills me). Plus, I don't want to do anything too stimulating and prevent myself from getting drowsy.

A quick history: my insomnia started toward the tail end of grad school. I was just months away from my masters and the pressure was intense. It subsided after graduation, but then reared its head again during my pregnancy with Daniel, even worse than before. Once I had Daniel, the lack of sleep I experienced due to having a newborn seemed to force the insomnia to mostly correct itself. I think my body realized it had better get whatever sleep it could and be grateful! But then it gradually started to come back, and I now have sleepless episodes on a fairly regular basis (although not too frequently -- thank goodness). I would guess it happens maybe a few times a month -- there seems to be a cyclical pattern. The worst episode was once last fall when I couldn't sleep for three nights in a row. Yikes!

Anyway, the boys will be up in just a few hours. Somehow we'll make it through tomorrow. I'm never sure exactly how, but we'll do it -- I have such great boys and they always seem to roll with it! And thankfully (knock on wood)there hasn't typically been too much for them to have to roll with. Sure, I'm really tired the next day and maybe even more so the day after, but I think having children forces one to function beyond that which they are capable anyway.

I hope this post is even coherent -- it seems like it is, but I don't really trust myself at 2am. I wish that I were posting fun pictures of a vacation we just took, like the ones I have seen on the vast majority of the blogs I just checked out. Ah well, I guess this post is an accurate snapshot of what's going on in the Sorensen household right now. It ain't no vacation, but isn't this what blogs were originally for -- incoherent, middle-of-the-night ramblings?