Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween 2008

Happy Halloween Everyone!! We are heading out for Fin’s 10mo well baby check. Then off to visiting Bob/Bonnie and Poppi/Grandma. Then home for the “real” trick-or-treating. Will update everyone on the loot tomorrow…

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Photography is defined as; “the process or art of producing images of objects on sensitized surfaces by the chemical action of light or of other forms of radiant energy, as x-rays, gamma rays, or cosmic rays.”. That’s too dang scientific for me. To me, it’s simply the process of capturing memories for all to see, whether it’s family, or trees, or sky scenes, or even pictures of landscape. For most of us, we can look at a picture and remember the smell, the sound, the situation of a picture whether we were “in” the picture or the one behind the camera. Captivity draws us into the memory behind the picture and for a moment, right back to the time the photo was taken. It really is a magical thing.

This weekend was a very productive weekend. Jenn came up and we did our annual photoshoot with her. This time I joined in and got some great shots of the boys and Nate & the boys. I don’t know how many people have told us that we need to get a photography business together. I was even tempted in putting some of my photography in contests. We both love photography and I would rather have Jenn shoot my pictures than spend one dime on professional photography.

Not only because I think she’s better than any photographer that I’ve ever seen (including professional ones we did of Mase when he was a baby), but because the passion she has. Someday maybe Jenn and I will get to pursue that. The thought of being able to take shots of a family and their new baby … knowing that I captured this memory for them that will last a lifetime – for that mother to look back, and remember how that baby felt at 4 days old (who is now 30) is something I would be honored to be a part of. It’s just so …. Awesome.

I hate to say it, but I just gotta … no photo stealing, please….
On another note: Tonight we had our first almost-trip-to-the-ER. It was 8:30 and Maysen was getting out of the shower and heading to bed. I heard him fall (which seems normal these days) but then the cry was different (you moms out there know what I mean). He comes running out, chin split wide open about 1.5" with the blood coming. It wasn't the most horrible thing to view, but I knew it would need some sort of intervention ... whether it was stitches the "sticky" glue, or steri-strips. I opted to drive to work and "borrow" some steri-strips at 9:00pm in hopes of avoiding a midnight ordeal to the ER. I got home and Nate had followed orders of "keep it moist, get the swelling down". I was able to get the edges together real good and steri-strip it well. I think that will work to minimize scaring. I picked up a few extra packs for these future trips ... I'm gonna need it with 2 rowdy boys!!

It's been a long night so away I'll go. Until next time ...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Blogger Problem: When downloading pictures to your post, the usual Blogger resizing-to-fit program is not working and therefore pictures get loaded onto page HUGE (despite what size you chose). Waiting for blogger to fix this problem .... does anyone else wish that Blogger had a way of contacting THEM? Frustrating ...

Jenn was here this weekend. She and I got our Nikons out and did some photos. They turned out great! You can check my Flickr account to see -- so much better than any professional ones I've seen. Otherwise, when Blogger fixes this error I'll post some up here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Next Tuesday my dad will be turning the big 6.0. It's so different when you're grown up what the numerical value sixty holds. When I was young, sixty was "SOOOOOO" old. Now that I am older myself, the age of 60 feels more like just someone to hold in high regard. I think age is what you make it, and that goes for both old and young. My dad still acts like such a kid at heart, likes to have fun, will try anything once, down-to-earth with many things including just plain common sense, and a sense of humor to die for. He's truly an amazing person that I know many people look up to and respect even minutes just after meeting him.

Jenn and I rallied together and wanted to give him a 60th birthday to remember. What we came up with I think is just what he needs. As a kid living in Kansas the winters weren't real pretty most of the time, so dad and mom would surprise us with an overnight stay in a nearby city at "The Hilton Inn". It was a getaway out of the snow where we could just veg, hang out, and swim in the indoor pool/spa. So what we came up with for his birthday was this: we got him a night at the Hyatt Regency in Newport Beach, CA. With the help of "Chip" behind the counter, we got his room upgraded to an executive suite. They'll spend the night and hopefully enjoy the pool, spa, and restaurant. The next morning they awake to a full breakfast before heading off on their ferry to Newport Peninsula where they'll be going on a Sports fishing/Deep Sea fishing trip for half the day. My dad loves fishing and deep sea fishing off Newport Beach is just that much cooler! Although Jenn and I can't be there to experience this with him, Jo will be there and that will make him just as happy to spend that time with her.

Happy Birthday, hove, and I want to hear all about it when you get back next week. We love you!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Roloff Farm

On Friday we were lucky enough to visit the Roloff Farm. Again, the Roloff’s are the the family from TLC’s Little People, Big World. It was an absolute BLAST! Jenn took the afternoon off and we met up with her at 1:00pm. I was nervous at how busy the farm would be, because on previous seasons of Little People, there were thousands of people visiting. I was hoping that since it was a Friday (weekday) in the middle of the day, it wouldn’t be too bad. I was right! We got there and people were there but it wasn’t crazy at all. To my surprise the parking lot was by the house.

It was surreal pulling up and seeing the farm, house, cars, barns, people that we had seen on a TV! At the end of last season they were just getting into the meat of the renovations on the house. It was cool pulling up and seeing the house all done. Amy’s van was even right out front in the driveway, along with Jeremy’s truck right outside. I felt like I’d stepped onto Hollywood Blvd!

We later took a tractor ride/tour around the farm and it took us right in front of the house. If you notice on the episodes that there is what looks like tinting on the inside windows. As we drove by we could see the tint, and they told us it was so the camera crew captures the natural light inside on their cameras.

When we parked, we made our way to the main part of the farm and to our surprise …. there was AMY! I have mentioned before what an admiration she is to moms. She has overcome so many obstacles on a personal level that to rise above all of those and be such a supportive and awesome mom, well it was inspiring. And to have her standing there was unreal. We chatted with her a bit and I gave her my corny schpeel about what an inspiration she was to me, even getting choked up! She was great, taking my hand and telling me her philosophy was just “what makes sense”. Then she wanted to meet Maysen and we got a group picture. I’ll remember that for a long long time.

Then it was pumpkin picking time!! This was a no-nonsense ordeal as Nate and Mase knew which ones they wanted and went for it! Shortest pumpkin pick I’d been on!

Show off ...
We couldn't have picked a better day! The sun was out, the sky was blue, and the temperature was about 70F! It was a beautiful day ..

While waiting in line to buy pumpkins and tour tickets they have a few pieces from their old seasons and past days. This couch is featured in many of their very first episodes and they finally retired it on their last renovation.

Matt had a lot of complications as a child with his dwarfism. He spent a lot of time in hospitals imagining fun things to have in his backyard. One of these things was an old Western Town, which he was able to provide his children. What a good dad! Along with this western town there is a pirate ship, a castle for his daughter, an old Mill, Swiss Family tree house, a old mine shaft, and much more. The picture above is the Old Western Town, which was the stop on the tour we were able to get off and explore.

Matt's parents, Ron and Peggy, often "Sheriff" the Western Town. They've been featured on many LP, BW episodes as well.

On our way home we realized that gas had dropped under $3.00/gallon. We couldn't believe it! That's one good thing about our horrible economic disaster.
We had a memorable time at the Roloff Farm, and it will definitely mean more when we watch Little People, Big World on TLC on Monday nights. Such family fun ...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

First Skate, First Three...

This afternoon was Destin’s 8th birthday party. She had a skating party, which was a blast, especially watching a 3yr old who’s never skated PLUS a 31yr old man who hadn’t skated in 15 years! Maysen had a hard time grasping the concepts to not pick your feet up like walking, but more to slide them. It was like watching a cow on ice – both feet went in opposite directions multiple times. Luckily no bones were broken in the process. We did have an additional 2-3 bruises to add to our vast collection of Maysen bruises, but he was proud of them! Nate only bit the dust once, I was proud.

And Jenn, it was *JUST LIKE* Skate Plaza in Garden. The round table/benches to plop on. Same music types. Same games. Blast from the past!

After about 20 minutes of skating and not getting anywhere, Maysen decided the arcade games were the place to be. And no, we don’t promote violence … why is it that boys are automatically drawn to games with guns? Here he looks like he’s “hunting for that Wascally Wabbit”.

Destin had a sea of friends around her as she wore her special mommy-made crown for the day. It’s a neat tradition Danielle does with all the kids on their birthdays – she makes them their own custom crown. Skating, cupcake eatin’, and present opening and the fun was over. It was a great time and the kids had a lot of fun.

Tonight Griffin was eating some of my cheese potatoes and he was standing at the end of the foot rest when all of a sudden he did it …. He actually walked!!! Well, he’s not cruising around, but those were his first consecutive 3 steps! His little hands were out to the side and he let go of the foot rest and BAM … BAM…. BAM here he was at the chair all on his own never once touching the foot rest or chair for balance. I don’t even think he realized what he had done, but by golly … he did it! This was the very same time Maysen started walking … 9.5 months old. We’ll see how much more Griffin picks up on it.

I am excited to tell you all about our upcoming adventure on Friday. We are going to the Roloff Farm. The Roloff’s are the family that have members that are "Little People" and they're on TLC’s Little People, Big World. Their farm is up in Hillsboro, OR which is just a few hours from here, so we’ll be going to tour the farm and get pumpkins Friday. I’m hoping that it won’t be “too” busy since it’ll be mid-day on a weekday, but we’ll see. Jenn is taking the PM off at work and going with us. I hope I get to meet Amy. She truly is an admiration to moms out there. To go through what she has in life and still raise her kids to be strong, independent, and out spoken – I just have a lot of respect for her. So, we’ll see! I’m just looking forward to seeing the farm everyone sees on TV and enjoy the beauty out there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

frustrated karate-mom rant...

Some hunches I have formed about my son's instincts, thoughts, and motives have been validated over the last week. The first couple of weeks Maysen was in karate, he was doing great! He listened, was intent on learning, and was excelling. However, the last week or so has proven frustrating. All along, Maysen has seemed to instinctually pick out who seems to be a bit soft-spoken/weak as far as assistant instructors. When he is assigned to them, he literally will take them for a ride. Why? Because he seems to know who he can get away with things with. And he does! They do not discipline him, set him out, or even use a firm voice with him. Last Thursday he had the assistant instructor running circles around him: "Now Maysen, pleas- you've got to st-, Ok, sit down please, Mays--". Then at one point he ran and opened the fire escape door which houses a very questionable 100yr old fire escape on the other side. Nathan and I were floored and Nathan stood up to remove him from class, and the instructor R told him to stay behind the line.

When the main instructor, K, has Maysen on Tuesday nights, Maysen has never started acting up with him until tonight. I had gone early tonight to discuss discipline with K, because when M is at home and pushing my envelope he has to be "reminded" of listening, paying attention, minding, and respect. K's philosophy is that children at the age of 3 don't need or shouldn't be "that structured". He said he would never use "You need to ..." with a 3yr old. I had told him when Maysen would act up during swimming lesson's, A would pull him out of the water and make him sit out. K cringed. Then class started and K got a first-hand look at what I was talking about. Maysen was opening containers, climbing stairs, laying on the ground, not listening. K at one point was like "oh my goodness!". He actually said "I think he's done" about 10min before class ended. Luckily Mase got back on track and did some boxing. After class, K admitted that perhaps Maysen needs a bit more strict approaches, and K did start being more firm with him during class.

Right now our idea is to keep Maysen out of classes on Thursday since it's the end of a 3-day stretch of school and then karate is at 6:00pm. He's likely just fried on these Thursdays. Our other idea is that only one of us will go (minus Griffin) to the class. Right now we all go and I'm not sure how much of it is show for us, but the instructor feels at least one parent is there for support. I also plan to try and give Maysen a nap on Tuesdays (this will likely end in blood shed because he hasn't taken naps since he was 18mo old), but perhaps if he's rested, he will perform better.

It's just embarrassing. Here he goes to school 3 days a week and no problems (of course we're not there). He listens, he minds, he is respectful. Then he goes to karate for 30min and can't follow directions, running around like a loose chicken, falling down on purpose, out of control! So, maybe he doesn't like karate? I asked him and he *loves* it. I just think he acts that way because he's ran his intellectual-Maysen-tests and has figured out how far he can go without getting into trouble there and with whom. Maysen watched when Nate was told to stay behind the line and things got worse, surely because he's thinking, "Haha, not even dad can stop me" And. He's. 3. Scary! It's embarrassing because although he's an "energetic" child, I have control of him at home and I about go nuts watching him act this way at karate.

If I could, I'd be saying something along the lines of, "MAYSEN! Get up off the floor *right now* and by the count of 3 I want you on those steps watching the rest of the kids until you decide you want to do karate." And there would be NO "I think he's done" with 10min left of class. He'd sit on the bench until class was over ... bored. Not this free pass to go home because he is not listening. He would totally respond to that and know "Oh crap, this lady means business". K (who also has his degree in Early Childhood Development) did say, "I gotta tell you, you have one smart and bright little boy there. I learn from him just about every week." Most kids aren't concocting plans like he is ... But we'll do it their way and hope that Mase just starts to respond, otherwise I'm going to pull him out of karate for a year or so. It's disrespectful to them and distracting to the others. Not to mention a waste of my money for him to run a muck. There's my ranting escapade regarding karate.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Boo Boo

Today was Griffin's first significant Boo-Boo. In honesty it wasn't that big of a deal. He went after Maysen's Leapster and was flinging it around chewing on the corner. He laid back and it fell on his face, cutting his left eyelid. We hear shrieking, and I see blood, so I guess it was his first significant one, with blood anyway. Maysen was about the same age when he had his first very similar Oopsie with the lamp. Must be the age.

I'll leave on a Happy note ... hehe. This is the life at my house these days. I can't remember what he did for this Time Out. I think it was either the 3rd or 4th time he knocked his brother over on purpose. I'm starting to re-think this 'having kids 3yrs apart' thing. 3 years old isn't a very fun phase/age for little babies to contend with. Ahhh, the joys! (I showed his how ridiculous he looked in Time Out and he laughed and said, "I'm a Silly Willy!")
Today was Griffin's first significant Boo-Boo. In honesty it wasn't that big of a deal. He went after Maysen's Leapster and was flinging it around chewing on the corner. He laid back and it fell on his face, cutting his left eyelid.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

To our Dog.

Dear Bay,
It all started with one walk into the pet shop. You were the last girl with 3 colors and you had the HUGEST paws ever seen. Your head was all black and you used to sleep with your legs straight back. When you were really young you had major separation anxiety which translated to you tearing up/eating anything and everything in sight when we would leave. This included shoes, glasses, remote controls, cell phones, toilet paper, trash, Nursing School text books, and much much more. It was very frustrating.

We finally got you over this by moving your sleeping basket, or comfort zone, into the living room while we were gone, and eventually you were comfortable while we were gone. This took years of managing, though.

When Daddy went to Iraq you would come with me on walks along the river. As I walked further, you would boycott my "no stopping" mind set and head down to the river for drinks. You'd come flopping around the corner, usually soaking wet like 'Here I am mom!". The first time you did this, I had my music up too loud and didn't notice you weren't following anymore. I was terrified that I had lost you. You were my best friend and keeper while daddy was gone. You went everywhere with us, including visiting Hombre and Grandma/Grandpa in their 5th wheel where, if you thought grandparents spoil grandchildren, it's true for granddogchildren, too. My dad spoils this dog crazy.

Maysen was born and you took that in stride. You became very protective and would merely lay in front of his crib while he slept. As he grew older and used you as a ladder or various other objects to crawl on/around, you continued to be very patient, still, and strong. And now with Griffin crawling, pulling, and throwing things at you, you still remain still and patient. I'm not sure if that's your laziness of your breed or you know these are your babies and you care for them. I like to think the latter.

When you became sick with Addisons 3 years ago, it was very expensive to get you better. It still remains expensive with all the medications you have to be on to keep you well. And although we now have 2 "real" babies in our family, you will forever be our first little baby basset. You are part of our family and always will be.

You are now Maysen's best friend and confidant. He loves walking you, feeding you, and getting into trouble with you. You are just another child I have and when you and Maysen get yourselves in a pickle I get the same "uh oh" look from both you and Maysen. Two peas in a pod! You are very much a part of our family ... and always will be. Happy 7th Birthday!! We love you, you stinky doggie!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


I am working on a scientific study as to the phenomena known as "Mom-nesia" because I swear it exists. For those who haven't experienced such a phenomena it is when a mother has lost her mind, forgetting just about everything upon the arrival of 1 (one) or more children. We hope this is temporary, although to those who are affected it seems like forever.

Twice this week I have done my shower routine (pretty self explanatory, I'm not thinking you need the details of this routine). I get out, dry off, and proceed with the hair dryer/make-up routine. It's just about the time I get my curling iron out that I think "Hmm.. my hair just isn't feeling right" and I realize that I've totally missed a step in my in-shower routine: hair washing. So, I have to repeat steps 2-3 of the post shower routine (dry hair/makeup). Some other examples of my Mom-nesia are:

  1. Forgetting how many scoops of formula I've put in the bottle while, yes, still scooping

  2. I've put scoops in the bottle - but no liner in the bottle (MESS!)

  3. No bottles/diapers in diaper bag; no wallet when I get to the grocery store with a cart-full of groceries

  4. On a few days I work - I have forgotten what number I dialed so I wait to hear the voice and then ask "I'm sorry I have to ask this, but who did I call?"

  5. Made Hamburger-Helper ... but forgot the hamburger part of Hamburger Helper

  6. Doing laundry - Did I already put in the laundry soap?

  7. On many occasions have no clue what day it is .. I'm scared for Daylight Savings time because then I'll have no clue if it's early morning or night ...

  8. Am I coming from or going to bed?

  9. Don't even let me make a recipe! I'll forget if I've put half the ingredients in! (flat cookies - no baking soda!)

  10. .... and the list could (and does!) go on and on.

Don't they have a pill for this? They could call it "It'll-get-better-when-they-go-to-college". And in my case .... this came on suddenly once Baby 2 came along. I can't even imagine if there were a baby 3. I'd need an assistant just to keep track of things!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I started getting addicted to this show last year when there was nothing to watch during my bedrest/pregnancy. I immediately became fascinated with this family; one with many challenges, frustrations, unconditional love, a sense of "who cares", and freedom. When I realized this family lived only miles from me, I was that much more intrigued.

As I watched, I looked passed the fact that half of the family are dwarfs and the other half were "normal". What's amazing is that there is one set of twins in this family. Zack and Jeremy are twins, one is little and other is normal. Matt, the father, is raising his family on their huge farm in Oregon where they are raising a variety of things including pumpkins for pumkin season. Matt had a hard childhood consisiting of multiple hospitalizations and surgeries which left him time to dream up "cool" things for his later years filled with his own children. Currently on their farm, they have a pirate ship, a cowboy town, Swamp Fort, Castle, Mill, and probably more things in the mix that I don't know about since the show is not running a current season. Matt is a huge advocater for dwarfism and has since developed his own specific dwarf-friendly packages that posess all the things needed to make a LP's (Little Person) stay more comfortable in many hotel chains. It is growing more and more successful each day.

As I learned more about this family, the level of admiration welled inside me for Amy, the mom. To be met head on with challenges Day 1 of life and still come through as such a successful person with her head held high leaves much to be admired. Not only did she defy people's doubts of being successful, she graduated from a university, got married, and had 4 children - 2 of which were via C-Section and TWINS. Now, I have 2 boys and can't imagine carrying twins, can you imagine being 4'8"?

I think we all walk around here with our own insecurities about things. Hair, weight, height, mole, etc. To some people these insecurities are numbing and debilitating. If anyone has a "right" to be insecure and closed off, it would be (among many) LPs. However I have seen Amy (along with many others) live life probably more full than I have. Not only have they lived life, but they have done it with smiles on their faces. They have gained more respect from people than some blue collar men, and they have such strength carrying their heads held high. Amy's children know she is their advocate. They know she will be there in all times. Yet, she has a firm enough hand to let them know not to mess with her! To me, Amy has defied all odds in life and still smiles as if to say "bring it on". She is someone I look up to alot and she makes me want to be a better mom.