Saturday, November 29, 2008


It’s that time of year again. Anyone who knows me well enough knows that this is my absolute most favorite time of year. It always has been. Looking back to when we were small, I can remember dad getting out the old fashioned bulbs and lining our bushes. Dragging out the artificial tree (in Kansas, real trees were ridiculously expensive … maybe because there are no trees in Kansas … they’d have to import those suckers!) was always a family job and we hung so much tinsel from that tree that you could see it from Mars. We got to the point where Jenn and I would deck our room out with Christmas light and we'd fall asleep to the glow (starting that tradition early with Mase). As a past time after dinner we’d drive around and check out Christmas lights, complete with "O Holy Night" blaring from the speakers.

It’s just a magical time, a cozy time, an intimate time, such a time for traditions. I’m sure it rings true for many of you out there, but I look forward to this time for 11 months out of the year and it’s FINALLY HERE!

This year is special because it's Griffin's first Christmas. Of course he won't remember any of it, but it's special to me to spend this holiday season as a new family. Christmas won't ever be like the years past, because Griffin is now here. It's just special. (I'm starting to sound very sappy. Sorry.)

So, Thanskgiving was wonderful. Jenn arrived into town early enough for all of us to have a great visit together. We headed out around 2:00 for Nate's mom's house. We were anticipating having dinner with A & M, which are Nate's step-sisters. When we got there, we were informed that A & M's grandfather had fallen terribly ill and so they had gone to be with him and the rest of their family. It was too bad we couldn't spend time with them as we don't see them very much, but they needed to be with their grandfather.

That meant we just had dinner with Nate's parents and Jenn. It was a small get-together but it was perfect. We laughed, ate, drank, and just had a great time. I learned how to play "Hearts" and did pretty darn good. I came in 2nd, only missing 1st place by a few points. Poor Jenn ended with with Ms Queen of Spades most of the time ... Sucka!

Yesterday, the day after Thanksgiving, has always been our traditional "Day of Christmas Lights". Most people are getting up at 3:00am to compete during "Black Friday", but I'm not one of the brave souls. I did, however, brave the crowds around 9:00. Hey. These days 9:00 is early to me! The crowds weren't too bad and I had just set out for 3 things: New center piece for my table, lighted garland, and poinsettas. I did a few extra things that weren't on my list (isn't that normal?) and was home by noon. Earlier this year, we bought one of those gigs that will coordinate your Christmas lights to Christmas music. So, this was the year to test it. And man, is it cool!! After blood, sweat, a few choice words, and lots of non-patience, here's what we came up with (must have sound/volume up for full effect ... otherwise it just looks like chaos):

Today we got our tree and with the non-list new ornaments up and glistening, our Christmas 2008 set-up is now complete. Just saying that makes it sounds like it was a snap and the truth is, it's been a long 2 days. But it's complete and although it's a lot of work, in the end I love every minute of it. Maysen has said all night "I love this Christmas Day!" I love that he's getting and forming memories more and more every day....

Time to check out the Civil War UofO vs Oregon State game. I've heard it's a good one. Here's to everyone starting their Holiday Season ... Cheers!

Friday, November 28, 2008

He Remembers ...

Ok, I totally bawled like a baby during this video. Amazing ... there are so many people I wish I could get back in contact with. It's so true ... no matter how much time goes by, you never forget the ones that mattered ...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Home Sweet Home

We got home this afternoon from a long weekend at Baker City. It was great visiting with Nate’s dad and step-mom. When they come to the valley there are so many kids/family to visit that time is spread thin, so it was great to be able to relax and just visit.

On Wednesday, I picked up Nate from work and we left town, stopping and staying a hotel in Hood River, half-way to Baker. Maysen is just like his mommy – I *love* hotels. We got there and he explored every inch of the room. We were up early Thursday and made it to Baker around noon. To our surprise Nate’s dad had taken the rest of the day off, so we had a nice casual afternoon/evening. Maysen’s cough that had been lingering turned into a full-blown cold with fever by that night. He was having a rough night!

Friday was Girls Day Out. Sherrill and I went to the Glass Shop and made some glass, had lunch, shopped at the favorite local stores, and then Sherrill treated me to a hot stone massage. It was wonderful!!! That night, Griffin awoke with a very croupy cough and fever.

Saturday the “men” (including our little man) went to see Madagascar 2. It was pretty good, according to all parties. Maysen left saying “That was a cool movie!” and then began the march with the swagger. Sherrill is preparing for a marathon so she had to get her 6 mile stroll in for the day. I prepared some items for our Thanksgiving meal that night while Fin slept. That evening we sat down with Huckleberry wine (YUM), turkey, green bean casserole, honey rolls, and so much more to name. It was delicious and nice to sit down and have a nice meal together giving thanks! While Sherrill dug through the China, she ran across Nate’s Grandma Mae’s butter dish and said we could have it. Nate saw it and immediately remembered it from being a kid on grandma’s farm. It will be special to have in our home being used to serve our family.

We were up early this morning, thanks to Mr Fin and being up all night (questioning another ear infection?). We rolled out of Baker City at 8:15 and were home by 3:00. It was so nice to get home and get our bearings. We were stuck with one thing …. We had told Maysen after Thanksgiving we’d put up Christmas lights (we, of course, were meaning the “real” Thanksgiving this week). However, when we were hit with “But we had Fanksgiving with Papa and Grandma Sherrill”, what could we say? So, in an act to compromise we hung up lights in his room. He sure thinks that is pretty special …

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bowling Bash

Do you remember birthday parties when you were small? If so, how far can you go back? My earliest memory was of my SISTER’s birthday party, and I was about 4. My birthday is in July so my birthday memories included overnight slumber parties and going to the County Fair. I then wonder, will Maysen or Griffin remember these early birthday parties we throw for them? I sure hope so!

Sunday we had Maysen’s bowling party, complete with customized "Birthday Bash" t-shirts for the kids to sport. It was a lot of fun!! Jessica came over the day before while the boys (men, I should say) went to the UofO vs Arizona game. Yes; we wrangled all 4 kids all day while the boys were gone. That did include 3 soaked kids coming in from outside after turning on a “secret” faucet on the side of the house. Yes, in 45 degree weather – all 3 kids on antibiotics for some illness or another. Jessica and I made the cake/cupcakes for M’s party and it turned out pretty darn cute if I do say so myself!!

Jonas spent the night with us that night and man are those 2 boys like girls! Maysen and him stayed up talking until about 9:30pm until we finally had to separate the exhausted boys and both were out like lights. We had put Jonas in our room so when we went to bed, we put him back in Maysen’s room. At about 4:00am I got up to go to the bathroom and I see the lights on at the end of the hall. I thought “No way” … sure enough those boys were up … 4:00 am … playing with Transformers! So, to the couch Maysen went and they both slept in until 9:00am.

Jenn and Jessica showed up early to come help me set up at the bowling alley. It was great having their help. Everyone else showed up right on time at 2:00 and we had about 13 kids in total. It was right on the verge of just enough and too many. Only because 13 kids rolling around bowling, some older were having fun, and the younger ones were getting a tad restless Frame 6 of the game. It was a blast though. Even the adults got a lane and bowled … it was hilarious!

Cake, presents, and arcade games and the party was over. Maysen seemed to really understand and be excited this party so I am hoping this one sticks!

He got some great gifts from everyone - so thanks to everyone again for making this one memorable (and LOUD at our house)! I am, however, thinking about buying stock in Duracell - as I think we'll be part owners of the battery company within the next year. AA batteries, to be exact!

Yesterday turned out to be a crummy day as I’ve been fighting this sinus pressure/infection? for about 4 days. I let it go until yesterday when a raging headache made life unbearable. I woke up almost in tears with this headache and when Maysen came flinging his racecar up on the bed with lights/sirens blazing and me wanting to poke my eyes out with forks, I knew I wasn’t going to make it. I gave it about 3hrs on my own with Tylenol and Advil and everything else in me with no improvement. So, Nate came home and took me into Urgent Care. A sinus xray, IV prednisone, IV pain killers, and 3 hrs later and it was presumed that I had a viral sinus inflammatory process. Today has gone much better although the prednisone makes me want to climb the walls!

Tomorrow we are heading to Baker City to visit Nate’s dad and Mom Sher for an early Thanksgiving. We’ll be gone until Sunday, with neighbors house-sitting. Until then …

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday, Mase

Dear Mase,

I know that everyone says “Oh I can’t believe how fast it’s gone” but it’s so true. I don’t know where the last 4 years have gone with you, Bean. Just yesterday it was 9:34am and we were excited, scared, nervous, happy, and exhausted all at once. And then you were here! Peeing everywhere and ready to eat – you made your entrance loud and clear! Now here you sit, you've grown out of your cheeks, in preschool, beginning to learn how to write your name (although all you write is “M” and backwards, to boot!), you’re in karate and excelling in that, and you like your jobs around the house like feeding Bay. You are such a little man now it breaks my heart but I am so proud of who and what you are already becoming. You’re starting to be very considerate, too. Your thing right now is to thank me for cooking dinner every night. You sit in your chair and as soon as I hand you your plate you say, “Thanks for cooking supper, mom!” You also will ask dad how his day at work was. I know you don’t care, and maybe it’s because you hear me ask every night but still. To ask just melts our hearts.

This morning I woke you up singing “Happy Birthday”. Last night before you went to sleep, I had told you “when you wake up, you’ll be 4!”. When you opened your eyes, sat straight up, and said “I’m FOUR NOW!?” I made Mickey Mouse pancakes, bacon, and Apple Juice, per your request.

This afternoon you had your birthday party at school (no parents, no pictures). You took mini cupcakes and creatures (snakes, bugs, bats) for party favors. When you came home from school I had invited T over to play. He brought over a birthday gift as he won’t be able to come to your party Sunday. To your delight it was a TransFormer and a new shirt. You guys had that TransFormer out and played with it for 2 hrs! As you can see above, once the TransFormer was apart, it took a computer programmer to put it back together (including instructions!)

When T left, we went to town and met Daddy at Applebees for dinner. He had a table reserved for us with balloons tied to your chair. They don’t sing for your birthday anymore so I rallied the surrounding tables to sing to you …. Ok, I didn’t – but I wanted to! Daddy wouldn’t let me. When we got home we let you open up one present from us – a new pair of McQueen rain boots!!

We are celebrating your birthday on Sunday with family and friends, however today was your true birthday and in my heart I’ve already celebrated. I love you, my Bean.

(These are the T-Shirts I have made for the kids to wear at Maysen's Bowling Party on Sunday ... Maysen has his own "Birthday Boy" I made, but I think these turned out cute!)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Our Fin, walking!

Walking is such a basic concept for you and I, but the challenge it must be as a baby to learn it. I mean, you have the awkwardness of gravity pulling on you from all angles, but yet the instinct to persevere upward and forward. I have had early walkers to-date, which mean I miss the days they stayed in one spot!! Maysen took his first few steps at 9 months and was fluent in walking within a few weeks. Griffin took his first couple steps at 9mo 2wks and is taking his time at being fluent. Do you think it’s because there’s always a threat of a big brother bowling around the corner to knock him down?

Outcome of Day Out #2
Sickness prevailed against my day with Jessica for our massages. Her son, Jonas, turned out to have strep throat. Poor little guy! We all had decided to head to their house, so when we got the call that Jonas had strep throat we just had to turn around. This fall has certainly started out rough in regards to illness! Hope you feel better soon, J & M!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Long Time, No Post

Wow. What a week this has turned out to be. again, just another version of the rollercoaster that is my life :-)

Our house is officially OFF the market as of this week. We had signed a 4-month contract with our realtor and sadly, that has come to a close. The rain has set in on Oregon and the holidays are approaching. Therefore our hopes for a new and bigger house by the holiday season must come to a close. We are going to try again in the spring when things aren't so dead and we can hopefully raise the price again on the house. (Thanks Economy!) We're going to try and sell it on our own again, but if need be we'll "study" our realtors before listing with another deadbeat realtor ...

Last week Maysen came down with what was presumably pink eye. I had some tobramycin eye drops left over from a bout in June. Of course pink eye ran rampant in the house and this week, Maysen's eyes weren't looking better. Thinking he had a resistant form of pink eye, we went back to the doctor on Thurs. "Oh really? You don't say" was my reaction to the statement "He has a double ear infection AND sinus infection .. the pink eye is merely secondary". HM! Considering Griffin had similar "cold-like" symptoms all week she peeked in his ears. Yep! Double ear infection. So both lads are on the bubble-gum tasting (YEA RIGHT) antibiotics for 10 days.

Then last night I started a really nasty migraine. One of those "my body hurts and the lights hurt my eyes ... I'm getting nauseated" headaches. I even slept on the couch upright as to ward off the headaches. You see, today was the "DAY OUT" (see below) and I didn't want to be sick for this day. I was willing myself to be well. The big D (I think you get it) set in this morning and I was pouring in the Imodium in faster than it was coming out in hopes to plug the system. I started feeling better mid-day but as I write to you now, I'm back to feeling dumpy and gaining a bit of a fever (100.2).

Maysen is having a sleep over at Bob & Bonnie's tonight, which has been planned since last week. They invited him a while back while Bob was recovering from surgery, and when I really let them know he could have them whenever, this weekend was confirmed. With the help of Nate's mom who watched Griffin this afternoon (which his walking took off at Mom's house so it was nice they got to see him walk! He walked probably 4 feet without holding onto anything -- all after Poppi's mustache!), Nate and I got pretty much ALL (yes, I said A.L.L.) of our Christmas/birthday shopping done. In the month of November and December we have 6 birthdays and of course Christmas to shop for, so it gets crazy fast! Of course I wasn't feeling all that up to par, but since it was such a rare opportunity to get that done, I swallowed my pain to get the day done.

This weekend was to be Jessica and I's weekend getaway to the condo in Bend. Things didn't work out like we had hoped with childcare, so we had to cancel the condo, but instead reserved a couple of hours at the Day Spa where Jessica lives. I am seriously hopeful that my poopies don't interfere with this day tomorrow. However, I don't want to get any one else sick too...

And with that, I am heading to bed. I've taken some nice Advil in hopes my aches go away ...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We've made History.

President Obama is finally here. Amen!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tricks and Treats .. and Flu Shots!

Last night was Griffin’s first Halloween. Ahh, the thoughts that must be going through one’s head. First you drag them out and stuff them in this suit. This suit is not only bulky but it usually includes some sort of head-cover which is just plain annoying. Then add on the fact that it’s 184F degrees in this thing because Mom and Dad have not only stuffed you in this sleeping bag, but made you wear 38 layers of clothing underneath. (Notice Mr Incredible's muscles in the above picture sitting with Bob and Bonnie)

I could see this thought process many times throughout the afternoon/evening on Fin’s face. He had a long day which started at 2:00pm. Fin had his 9mo well-baby check. Everything is going great as expected. He is no longer eating babyfood – he eats whatever we eat, when we eat with the exception of a snack in the afternoon. I’m weaning him off formula and starting to introduce milk in a sippy cup. He still gets his snuggly bottle of formula at bedtime and naptime, which he’s only taking one nap a day – from 11:30 – 2:00.
His stats:

Weight: 20lb 2oz (25%)
Height: 29.5 inches (70%)

He got his flu shot which didn’t make him happy but the nurse was AWESOME! She was so fast that she had the needle on the table done before Griffin even knew he had gotten a shot and started to cry. It drives me NUTS when nurse’s give the shots slow, “ Heeeeere’s the alcohol. We’ll do the fiiiiiiiiirrrrssssttttt one.” Last time that happened I about grabbed the needles and did the shots myself! So, I was very happy with “Katie”. Then we had to do the finger poke anemia screen and no one was happy about that either. One other thing I noticed, we had him strapped to his stroller and he HATES elevators. It scared him soooo much. Never had that happen before.
We headed to Bob and Bonnie's to visit. They usually don't get many trick-or-treaters so Maysen usually has full-reign of the candy bowl.

Then it was on to Grandma and Poppi's. I love the black pant area of this costume. Instead of the Speedo effect that Mr Incredible is supposed to possess, we have the saggy-diaper look.

We left Grandma and Poppi's house and grabbed McD on the way home. M had 2 bites of his burger when he was out like a light. Maysen is NOT one who takes naps so this was surprising to us as it was 5:30pm. Against our better judgement we continued to let him sleep home. Nap + Halloween Candy = up until 10:30pm. Oh well, it was Halloween. I stayed home with Griffin while Nate took Maysen treating. Griffin was beat and he'd had enough. I gave him some Tylenol to ward off any ill flu-shot side effects and he slept like a baby all night!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween. Back to investigating Maysen's Halloween bag. A mother can never be too careful ya know ....