Saturday, May 31, 2008

Gettin' the Heck Outta Dodge

Yep, J did the title! But, I agree. We just had to get away, so we broke in the van and went to the cabin. I mean, wouldn't you get out of town if you had a beautiful place like this to just take a quick drive to?!

The girls made some new discoveries at the cabin this time. One of the favorites was definitely ringing the dinner bell. My Grandpa was definitely there in spirit as the girls rang the bell that always hung in their great-grandparents home. I certainly remember ringing this bell as a little girl.

Sara discovered the joy of throwing rocks. Unfortunately, with the raging river, she did not discover it there. She threw them at me while I took pictures. She definitely seemed to enjoy it!

Laura discovered that working at the cabin just doesn't seem to feel like work. She cleaned a large collection of rocks. Of course that was not enough, so she had to clean the Jeep again too. We all got the tour of the clean Jeep when she was done.

Sara discovered suckers. There is no better place to make a sticky mess of yourself with a sucker than at the cabin.

Jason made some great progress on the swing installation. He got all four holes dug - no easy task in the cemented rocks that is the cabin dirt - and the swing in them. The girls can't wait to discover the joy of swinging at the cabin!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Establish a House of Order

Other than buying a van this weekend, we spent our time getting some things in the house organized. We organized and rearranged the garage by putting up some shelves and using our space there more effectively. We also got the closet organizers built and set up for the girls toys. They seem to love them!
I rearranged the food by reducing inventory in our pantry and reorganizing to the cold storage in the basement. Jason built shelves and organized all the baby, holiday and miscellaneous tubs in our storage rooms. Then we got all our paper products and cleaning supplies organized on another set of shelves in the same room.
Finally, I organized all the crafting supplies into a desk in the basement. Laura loves having everything in one place and a dedicated spot where she can go and create. I felt we could do this because we got our couches in and set up, so everything can have a real home in the basement.
It feels great to have our house in order. I can see why the Lord commands us to do so. I am much more comfortable and settled now that it is done. Hopefully, we can keep it this way.

The Perfect Storm

Okay, I'm usually not one to complain too much, but this is getting ridiculous. My pain has been so severe over the last two weeks that I have been fainting, throwing up, and not sleeping at all.

After quite a few tests, I finally know what is going on with me. My IC is in a serious flare due to major histamine reactions to seasonal allergies and my new home. Yes, my bladder is bleeding, twitching and swollen. Unfortunately, I'm getting serious side effects from the Allegra that usually keeps my IC in check, so I'm experimenting currently with less effective drugs and have put myself on a pretty strict anti-allergy and anti-acidic diet. I've got a big kidney stone in a "painful location" according to my doctor that is making my kidney swell. On top of all of this, I have an "enormous" blood filled cyst on my ovary that is swelling and bumping into both my bladder and kidney. And, all of these are swelling and shaking right near my stomach. Honestly, could any more go wrong in that area of my body?

I am talking to both my urologist and my OB/GYN about what can be done for me and hopefully I'll find something soon. At least I know I'm not crazy for being in pain for so long these last weeks. I was starting to wonder if I'd just lost it and the pain was all in my head. Nope, haven't lost it, just experiencing the perfect storm of issues all in just the right places. Lucky me.

Thank heavens I have the most wonderful husband in the entire world. I don't think I'd be functional without him. He makes sure I am sleeping, and will pat my head and do anything he can to help me relax through the pain. Yes, he's been up at three in the morning multiple times just hugging me, getting me water and pills, and holding me as I hurl or catching me when I faint. He and my mom have both been to the hospital with me for scans. Jason has taken the girls to let me nap and has taken several days off work to help me recover. He makes sure I eat and fixes me good food, he won't let me push myself too hard, and tells me that I'm not going crazy. Yep, this boy is perfect and I love him more than anything! Thank you, Jason!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Getting "Into" It

My girls seem to be getting into a lot of things lately. I regularly find them getting into the barstools.
They both have loved getting into and playing outside in the grass. We're not sure if Sara really likes grass (she tends to make a beeline for the concrete every time I put her on grass), but they both definitely like the time in the outdoors. (Sara's darling outfit in these pics is from my sis-in-law, Mel who has great taste! Thanks, Mel!)
Laura has been getting into her new big bed. She also has been making her bed lately. Look how proud she is!
Laura also had the most grand time getting into the sand that my parents were using to lay the pavers on their patio. She made a guy, covered her feet and served us all sand cakes. She really got into this experience and naturally, the sand got all over her.
Sara also gets really into playing with her toys. We organized all the toys into tubs and here she is in one of her tubs.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It's Official

We are old. We are parents. We are practical. Therefore, we own a minivan.
What began as simply research, and frustration on my part with carpooling and two ridiculously large baby seats, resulted in us purchasing a minivan over the holiday. We selected a Chrysler Town and Country because of price and stow and go seating of both back rows. The tow package and the low miles were a bonus. We weren't planning on buying so soon, but we found a deal we just couldn't pass up. Alas, we have now joined the throngs of practical families who drive minivans. And, yes, we like it!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Girls and Guys Nights

Jason and I have split ways a bit lately to do some things with our guy and girl friends. Naturally, I took pictures of my events, and despite my pushing of the camera onto him, Jason did not. So, I'll chat about mine first :)

Thanks to my sweet mom who watches my girls for me, I have been able to go to my Bunco group for the past two months. It is a great time! This month's was at Andrea's house and Heather won the big prize. I get to host in July. Any dinner menu suggestions?
I also went out with my Mom-in-law to my sis-in-law's birthday lunch this past Friday. We had a fun time with all the girls, and I think we have a tradition that we all now go out to Sweet Tomatoes for birthday lunches. We spent forever chatting, laughing and eating there. Happy Birthday, Keri!

Finally, I went to go get pedicures this past Saturday with the triathletes. It was wonderfully relaxing to get pampered while chatting with good friends, and it feels great to have cute toes all ready for sandal season. Now I just have to paint Laura's to match...she's been asking multiple times a day!
Jason had some really fun times with some of the guys in his life. The first was that he got to go to the Jazz's final playoff game against the Lakers with his brother, Todd. And despite his heckling of the refs and trying to get them to call the game evenly, the Jazz were still eliminated.

Also, this past Friday, he went with his buddy Ryan to The Cure concert. I got a bonus and got to hang out with his wife and little girl because we went out as families for a burger before the concert. He said it was a great time with a super long set (3 hours and 3 encores) and a good friend.

Friday, May 23, 2008


We've been swapping around our daily routine a bit lately. Sara loves to be outdoors and I am ridiculously out of shape, so we've added an early afternoon walk to our days. Twice around the big hill that is our neighborhood has gotten me back into my skinny jeans, but the smiles on the girls' faces and the fact that Sara sleeps like a log after we are outside are the true benefits. Check out Sara's enormous laugh in the stroller and the fact that my yard is finally growing some grass!
I've also added in some special Laura things now that she is getting older and Sara is requiring more attention. I try to make sure that Laura has some kind of art project to do each day. Today I got to have Andrea's kids Ashton and Emma over to play and we had a great time with today's project: Paper Bag Puppets. I printed out the patterns from this site and the kids had a great time making them and then putting on many puppet shows for Sara's and my enjoyment!
I think Laura's favorite addition to the day is all the reading I've added in. Now that she is so proficient, Laura reads a book to me each day during Sara's morning nap. I tried to stump her with a new book "Great Day for Up" just the other day, but she plowed through like a champ. I'm really proud of her progress. But I think the biggest favorite for both she and I, is that we are reading a chapter each night of a "big person book." We are reading "Little House in the Big Woods" because the main character is Laura. My little girl is thoroughly enjoying the story and I am loving the special time and snuggles that I get with my La.
Laura has also gotten into another daily, but this one comes from Jason. She has a nightly bowl of ice cream before bed. Her favorite is homemade vanilla with chocolate sauce. Look how much she enjoys this treat!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cabin Summer

We went with my parents last Saturday to open the cabin for the season. Sara says she would like to move there. I can't believe how much she loved the experience. Though we all had a lot of fun.
My darling Mom decided to put on a little hunt for the girls (mainly Laura). They had the most grand time hunting around the cabin and finding little tootsie rolls and smarties that she had hidden for them. Laura had to hunt 3 times. And even Sara got into the act.

Sara's favorite part was exploring the deck. She loved crawling around and scaring us all half to death as she crawled near the edge. Fearless girl!
Both girls also enjoyed one of my favorite things to do at the cabin when I was their age. They loved pounding nails into the front porch despite my terror as they cruised around out there. (Okay, I'm a little paranoid of my girls on heights.)
They also enjoyed getting messy. Sara loved chocolate milk and crawling around in the dirt. Laura decided to drench herself while "cleaning" my parents Jeep. Good thing I remembered to bring extra clothes for each of them. I just wish I had brought baby soap and could've dunked them in the tub. Well, a note for next time.
I think any time you get to be outside, eat treats, get thoroughly messy and hang out with family has to be one of the best times of all. I believe we'll be spending a lot of time at the cabin this year.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tri Tri Tri

Karyn and I woke up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to go cheer on Andrea in her first triathlon! We were also lucky that two of our other girlfriends Melanie and Christy were participating as well. Check out Mel and Christy in line and Karyn's and my sleepy faces!
We had a grand time watching the swimming portion of the triathlon. It was hard to keep track of all of them, but we spied each one and cheered them on. We probably cheered in vain with their heads in the water, but we cheered loudly nonetheless. Here's a picture of Andrea in the water.
I was amazed at the tenacity of my friends. I can't even imagine participating in something like this and they didn't just participate, but they did WELL! (Thanks Karyn for dropping off the congrats gift from us while I was at the cabin.) Look at all these women who trained for the triathlon. Andrea, Christy and Mel, YOU RULE!!!