Bear Lake report

Last week GH and I headed north and spent a few days in Bear Lake, UT with his family. His three sisters and their husbands were all there too, along with the 3.5 grandchildren. (Note: Not that it's a competition or anything, but my kid was the quietest.)

Here are a few trip highlights:

When I was told that we would be "staying in a friend's cabin," I was mentally prepared for, you know, a cabin. The kind with log walls, dead flies in the windowsills, much plaid and other homey furnishings, and perhaps some end tables made from stumps carved in the shape of bears. This thing turned out to be a McMansion up in the hills overlooking the lake. The only nod to "cabin" was the part where the wood paneling around the doorways (like, for instance, the one leading into the master bathroom with its sunken jetted tub) looked slightly rustic. This place was plush, I tell you, with loads of room for everybody.

All the power went out in the valley around 11pm our first night there. By the light of cell phones and iPods we managed to locate the candles and flashlights, which, thank the merciful heavens above, actually existed. Also I turned on the gas fireplace, which worked, and which made me look like a blackout genius. Made me realize that I need to get on the ball with regards to my own apartment's candles/flashlights/matches stash or we could have some unpleasant times ahead.

Sister-in-law K & husband J were visiting from Pittsburgh with their 3-month-old baby. He weighs about 87 pounds and is all cheeks and dimples and baby chuckles. Adorable. I'm pretty sure that baby sweater I knitted for him back on the Hawaii plane could have only fit while he was still in utero. (Note to self: Take possibility of super-advanced Hulk babies into consideration when planning knitted gifts.)

We had access to the swimming pools down near the lake, which was a good thing because the water in Bear Lake was cold enough to make your toes retract into your body and it possibly had ice chunks floating on the surface. Not that I found this out for myself, I just observed other people hobbling rapidly back up from the water's edge, all blue and toe-less. Here's hoping it will warm up a bit in the next month before my side of the family makes the trek up there for our own get-together.

Almost had heart failure at the pool watching a fearless kamikaze red-headed toddler launching himself into the water regardless of whether someone was actually there to catch him. I'm thinking his parents may want to look into a flotation device. I saved his life at one point, and credit such catlike reflexes to my Library Job Which Shouldn't Perhaps Be All About Saving Toddlers From Certain Death and Yet Which Still Very Much Is.

Didn't get sunburned at all! Yay for repeatedly slathering self with SPF Eleventy-Thousand until resembling a flaky ghost! Sure I got some weird "Are they remaking Powder?" looks, but who's laughing now!!!! Also? I love you, Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock. And I love Costco (shocker) for selling you in twin packs for cheap.

There was much good food, including Garden City's famed raspberry milkshakes from LaBeau's. Each couple was responsible for a meal and people brought their A-games with things like homemade Cafe Rio salads, Swedish pancakes, and grilled steaks and such. Unfortunately they also invited some white trash relations who showed up with Stoffer's lasagna, frozen garlic bread, and bagged salad. (Me, me, me . . . )

During the course of a "how well do you know your spouse" board game, GH let it slip that I was not necessarily favor of circumcision if our child should be a male child. I think he did this on purpose to drum up support for his own side of the argument, which his b-in-laws were, of course, happy to provide. Lucky for us all, GH's mom shut the friendly discussion down before it could get out of hand. And now the guys can feel free to give GH pitying glances and headshakes like, "Hey dude. You married her."

Aw yeah he did.


Cooldad said... [reply]

As I have in all previous cases to the big "C" question for newly born males. IT'S THE FREAKING FATHER'S DECISOIN! MOTHERS NEED TO COMMENT.

Cooldad said... [reply]

Correction...Mother need NOT comment.

MJ said... [reply]

Yeah, whatEVER, Cooldad.

My husband and I happened to be in total agreement on said "C"ing of our boys--DON'T, and my husband is fine if his boys look "different" from him.

My biggest fear--what if they screw up--and that is a REAL possibility. Why do something to your child that doesn't NEED to be done, and risk having to raise him as a girl???? WHY?

Brinestone said... [reply]

I did a LOT of research on the pros and cons of circumcising and not circumcising, and we ended up not doing it, which is what Jon Boy wanted in the first place. When the doctor came in to check on Duplo (our second), he asked if we wanted to have it done, and I said no. He then praised me up and down for about five minutes for our decision. Which is neither here nor there, but I thought it was kinda funny.

Cooldad said... [reply]

Well there you go..."that is what the father wanted in the first place."

Nemesis said... [reply]

Dad, it was the father's decision in YOUR family. So you already had your say, Bub.

And yeah, our basic discussion comes down to me prefering to just leave things alone, and GH worrying that looking different in a predominately "C'd" community will cause teasing. I'm not for teasing (heaven knows we shouldn't make middle school any MORE hellish than it will already be) but I wonder how big of an issue that would actually be for our hypothetical boy in his hypothetical school which would hypothetically be in this area of the country 10+ years from now. Anybody had any experience with this?

Jonathon said... [reply]

In my junior high and high school gym classes, we never showered, so teasing was never an issue there. I can't remember ever hearing of someone being teased because he wasn't circumcised.

Jenny said... [reply]

Yeah I'm pretty sure now if someone teased someone else about circumcision you could sue the school and the kid's parents all over the place.

Mrs. Clark said... [reply]

We chose C for our son, but our doctor, in Provo, who was intact, recommended against it, saying he'd never been teased, etc. I also had an older woman friend who complained because her husband was not. (Yes, eeuuuw.)

I knew of one guy in my HS who was not, because my boyfriend and other guys talked about it behind his back. "Yeah, so-and-so? He's not c'd," was the way they identified him.

Still, totally the parents' choice. Remember, though, that they rarely mess it up. And there are awesome plastic surgery techniques that would not require you to raise your boy as a girl, especially after you sued the heck out of the doctor.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

Bear lake is code for wetsuits.

We circumcised. I read a lot on the issue. I think it is more hygienic. I'm sure there are those here who will argue. Go for it. It is me that has to wipe up their little peni, not you.

No comments on Plantboy's parts.

As for the making fun bit, it is getting more and more common all the time to leave nature alone. Your middle school boy will probably see about half and half. YUCK.

Oh, and YOU ARE HAVING A BOY???? You will be blessed above all measure.

Missy W. said... [reply]

I found out we are practically related. J is my husband's little brother. At the risk of sounding like a freak I just want to say that I love your blog and knowing that you are not even 6 degrees of separation away from me just made my day. Thanks!

Lindsey said... [reply]

Yeah, um, we went with the "C" with both our boys. As was mentioned above, I feel like it's more hygienic. I've heard the arguments against that claim, but little boys are not exactly too worried about cleanliness in the first place and I'm so not a "clean things up with a q-tip" kind of mom. Yuck, big yuck.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Woops! Sorry STM, that was not an announcement! We don't find out the sex for a couple weeks more. I just have a charming habit of wanting to hash out decisions that may or may not ever need to be made. GH loves this very much about me (as his eyes roll clear back into his head)

And Missy, that's great news! So we share the same brother-in-law, right? That pretty much makes us semi-sisters, I think.

The Atomic Mom said... [reply]

On circumsicion, there are many benifits, that a qualified doctor will explain to you before such surgery is done --- and any doctor that is worth his salt should not even mention his own opinion on the matter. I went in and watched my son's circumsicion. The urologist at the hospital did the surgery -- he was very good at what he did, and honestly mistakes don't happen in real life. It was harmless, took about 5 mins. And the screaming, we found out later was because Son had a broken collar bone from the delivery and didn't like being touched on the arm, not his baby manhood.

AmyJane said... [reply]

Oh my. Circumcision. Good luck with all that. My thoughts, which you already know: dad pretty much gets the swing vote on this issue, it did seem a little easier to clean/deal with having done it, and the screw it up rate is almost nil with the newer methods (i.e. Plastibell). However, I agree that it will most likely be about 50/50 by the time our kids hit any locker room situations. Poor boys. I think the real question here is why we're still setting them up by insisting on public nudity in locker rooms anyhow.

Also, Bear Lake. Jealous. I want to go home! Just for a visit, mind you, but I miss that place.

liesel said... [reply]

I left it up to my husband, he has experience, I have no idea (other than impersonal research). Normally I'm more of the leave nature well enough alone sort of person, but the whole cleanliness issue... yeah that IS a lot more appealing. I'm glad we did the "C" with my son. But you do whatever you're comfortable with. Maybe you'll have a girl and won't have to deal with it at all!

Bean said... [reply]

Oh how I adore LaBeau's!!

Lady Susan said... [reply]

I wrote a post on my blog about our circumcision decision (which wasn't an easy one) and all the trolls came out to play. There are non-circumcision activists out there who search blogs posts so that they can state their view. Hopefully, this one flies under their radar.

The hardest part (besides making the decision) was seeing the little guy's red, swollen pee pee every time I changed his diaper until it healed. I felt a bit guilty. (And no, it did not seem to bother him.)

I have to agree with everyone else that it isn't going to matter in 10 years as there are a lot of people choosing not to do it. (as seen by the comments)

emandtrev said... [reply]

I love Bear Lake. It's one of those places I've been going since, oh, birth, so I am in love with the place. Yay you for no sunburn! For some reason this point stuck out to me. It's like people who are unfamiliar with the area are like, "Oh I won't get burned. It's not even that hot." Oh yes you will, my friend...

Good call on the raspberry shakes too.

Desmama said... [reply]

Janene Woolsey Baadsgaard tells the story of hearing the nurse come down the hall after the birth of one of her children. The nurse was asking everyone if they had decided to circumcise, and Janene frantically turned to her husband and said, "We haven't even talked about it!"

He smiled and gently reminded her that they had just had a girl. :)

Th. said... [reply]


Hey, Nem. You're right re:circumcision. And I don't feel the need to be civil in saying so.

1. Doing it because Dad had it done is a stupid reason.

2. Doing it to match other boys is a stupid reason.

3. Cleanliness is a stupid reason (do some research for heaven's sake).

The only reason that makes sense is the AIDS one, but unless you're planning on training him to engage in all sorts of risky activity or consider yourself unable to instruct him away from risky activity then, yes, that's a stupid reason too. And if he goes sexing it up at age 21, you can suggest he get The Procedure done then.

Seriously. I thought Paul worked this out 2000 years ago.

Th. said... [reply]



Lady Steed says it sounds like I'm lecturing you. I don't mean to. I'm lecturing people who disagree with you.

Incidentally, I don't understand all the fathers who claim to have "experience" with this. I'm guessing they all had their penises cut up while they were only a few days old so it's hard to believe they actually have anything to compare against.

But if anyone cares what I think, they can follow the link in my last comment. I don't want to be a source of contention.

Well, I kinda do, but I don't want you to have to suffer the fallout.

I guess I'm just frustrated (and irritated) that ANYONE can reasonably see circumcision as a good idea. It's mystifying. Why would you mutilate your son just because someone did it to you?

It's very strange.

Anyway, folks, don't blame Nem for my lack of political skill.

jeri said... [reply]

I have an un-C'd boy (wow, spellcheck did NOT like that word) and my thought is - now that we've advanced as a civilization to the point of daily showers/baths, the cleanliness argument is really a lame one. Teaching him good hygiene habits seems a small price to pay for not cutting up his little baby parts.

amba said... [reply]

Hey! We're going there for a family reunion at the end of July. We might run into each other. Gotta love those raspberry shakes.

Th. said... [reply]


This makes me wonder if things are getting worse rather than better, even if circumcision itself is going out of style.

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