Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Exceeded Expectations

We're having a great time visiting family up in Seattle. Jared and Annabelle are enjoying the massive amounts of extra attention and I'm already dreading when they'll have just me again.

I had been dreading traveling along with the kids for a while. A couple weeks leading up to the trip, I constantly asked all my mom friends their best travel tips (sorry ladies, but thank you). Eight hours, one layover, and three total flights would have any Mom worried. So, I came to the dreaded T-Day (Travel Day) with a plan---- but all carefully laid plans are meant to go awry--- especially when toddlers and babies are involved.

Since I had a plan, I spent the night before our trip packing almost everything and then leaving just enough time in the morning to finish the job and get the kids ready for the journey. Our flight out left at 630 am, so our goal was to be at the airport and through security by 6. With the chaos of two checked bags, a pack-n-play, carseat, two carry-ons, and our limo stroller, we arrived at the baggage counter at 6. By this point I was freaking out because I didn't want either us or the bags miss the plane. Now, I didn't have to worry about the bags, but we still had to make it through security in 20 minutes or less.

Unfortunately, security was crazy busy----fortunately, we cut over to the family line and Gweg was able to get special permission to go through security to help us all the way to the gate. I don't know what I would have done without him through security---- yet another reason to love Gweg and his awesomeness. We got lucky again, as we arrived at the gate just in time for family boarding. I couldn't believe we caught it soooo close; I said my first gratitude prayer of the day then. Jared didn't so much like saying bye to Daddy, but we were getting on a plane so he overcame his sadness shorter than he probably should. :)

Jared and Belle were better than I expected on the all of the legs. As soon as we got on the plane, I corralled him into window seat and Jared spent the whole time saying 'momma on airpain' or some variation. He loved watching the trucks on the runways and became mezmorized when we finally got in the sky. The airplane got even cooler when I pulled out my secret weapon: A portable DVD player.
Bless the inventor of that contraption. Jared spent the majority of all three flights watching Cars and Mickey Mouse. He got so excited when he realized he could watch movies on the plane. He sat so still and even liked having earbug headphones in his ears later. I think some of it had to do with the fact that he was so tired from waking up early; he just sat and sat---until we landed in Seattle, but I'm not at that part of the story yet. :)

Belle was also better than expected on all the flights. One part of me thought she would be like she normally is, a great baby and another part of me thought she'd show her true baby colors on the plane and become 'that baby' that people want to avoid. Like always with her, I had nothing to worry about. During the first flight, she fell asleep on my lap and stayed there for half of the flight.We made our connection just fine and spent the layover climbing and feeding Belle her solid foods. I wanted to feed it to her then, so we wouldn't make more of a mess on the plane (keep that in mind for later). A hard part of my day came here, when I tried to take down the stroller by myself just before boarding. Traveling alone with Two kids is like having a sign on you saying "I'm crazy/daring/mad/desperate please help me or I might break down." So, as I was struggling with keeping Jared off the plane and Belle from army crawling away, the mom behind me volunteer her services. Another gratitude prayer---this time for kind strangers.

The second leg was the only full plane on our journey. Jared got the window seat again and as soon as we could, he finished his movie. Belle took another nap on me while we watched a movie. Another uneventful flight. At this point, I really thought I had hit the traveling kids jackpot and I already started to imagine my victory lap through SEATAC. "Yes, my kids were angels. Neither had issues with the planes and no meltdowns occured. I can't believe it either, I must be lucky." Little did I know, I jinxed myself.

At the beginning of the third flight it was lunch time for Jared and I. So, I got out his food and he sat quitely (and as patient as he could be) eating. We were snacking on our favorite Costco freeze-dried fruit and I thought 'let's see how Belle does with this---I bet she'll be great.' The smart Mama in me should have immediately thought 'wait, she's never had pieces before I better not or she might gag.' So, I foolishly gave her an apple piece and what did she do... she gagged... and then threw up most of her bananas from a few hours previous. I sat there, dumbfounded for a few seconds, not knowing what to do because, at this point, we're about to take off. Fortunately, I snap back to reality hit the call button and get some extra napkins right before it's our turn on the runway. I strip Annabelle down and put on her extra outfit (yay for packing one in the carry on) and continue on as if it was all planned that way.

The rest of the flight is fine; Jared's suffiently distracted by Mickey until the moment we have to put it away for the decent (he actually had a harder time with this on the second flight---he held the off DVD player until we moved up the plane). It's at this moment that I notice his diaper. Over the morning it has become a diaper from legends because of it's monumental growth. It growed so much because I had Jared permanently keep his cup with him to combat potential air pressure problems.

So, we land in Seattle and I know his diaper needs to be changed as soon as we get to the gate. The problem came when we landed early and didn't have a gate to go to, so we waited on the tarmac for 20 more minutes. During that wait, I completely forgot about the diaper because I was trying to appease a toddler who was done with planes for the day. We finally got off the plane, met Jiji, got the bags, and remembered the diaper.

By this point, it started to leak and leak so bad I had to fish out pants from the suitcase. Jiji was nice enough to change him because Belle had finally reached her limit and did not want anyone but Mama. It was a long day and I didn't blame her. Besides the two-leaky incidents, the day was definitely better than I expected.

I just hope I get the same luck coming home...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Daddy's Girl

As this post appears, the kids and I will be mid-air on our way to Seattle to say 'farewell' to my almost-missionary brother--- think good thoughts for us.

It should be lots of fun, and hopefully, I'll be able to post-date a couple more things before we go. If I don't, well, at least I got the family pictures and this...

However, before we left, Belle needed to make sure everything in the house was in working order...
even Jared's car.... (FYI: Jared just started getting in the car when he saw the camera come out, Belle crawled herself under the car and we wanted a picture).

I guess she really is Greg's daughter. :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Time Again

for... Family Pictures!

One of our friends was SOOOOO kind to take pictures of us now that Jared's 2 and Annabelle is a different baby. She's honing her photography skills and, with the evidence below, I would witness that she's REALLY good! Check her out {HERE}

One early Saturday morning, we spent some time roaming around in a field, playing in sand, and touching rusty trucks. Jared had a great time; except the little turkey wouldn't smile when we asked him too. Figures, right? Luckily, since he's already so cute, he doesn't have to smile to make the picture.

We did as many as we could, with the time restraints of a two-year-old/7-month-old attention span, so here's the results.... hopefully, I'll be able to change the blog heading before they're outdated. :) FYI: The slide show is responsible for the grainy quality.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Family Temple Date

We decided while running some errands today that one of them would be taking the kids to the temple to walk around. We really want them to see just how important the temple is and how the promises we made there makes us a family forever. Plus, we wanted him to be able to make the connection between this temple and the Seattle one we'll be at next weekend.

We had a great time. Jared really loved the fountain there and kept telling us 'play water okay.' He even made a break for the front door.... that would have been interesting.

Daddy and Jared walking around..
and then posing
Celestial Baby :)
Mama and the Kids
Daddy told Jared about Angel Moroni and then Jared pointed at him.We sure love to see the temple. :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Video: Feeding Annabelle

Happy Birthday, Granni! Happy Anniversary, Granni & Grandad! And Happy Wedding Day, Cami and Anders! We wish we could be there!

A couple weeks ago, Jared was really interested in feeding Annabelle. He walked up to my feet and said, 'help ah-ba ea peas' translation--- help Annabelle eat please--- well, who can resist words like that? I definitely couldn't and he sat patiently on my lap through a couple spoonfuls and even took the spoon and did it himself.

A few days later, he did it again when Greg was in charge of feeding, so what did I do--- I ran for the camera and here's the result. What a good big brother!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Army Crawl Belle & teeth

Now the camera base is fixed, we were able to get video of Annabelle army-crawling across the living room last night. Thanks, Seattle crew for the motivation you gave! Also, excuse the mess--- we do have two kids two and under...

Here's a picture of her today, I finally got those cute little teeth(that top she's wearing is a size 12 months!) She's growing like a weed:
And who could forget this handsome fella...
Coming soon: NEW fantastically beautiful family pictures, our real backyard garden and TWO videos of Jared being so AWESOME!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Little Taste of Job

Sorry about the lack of video on Friday, the base for our camera gave out, so since the battery is too low to take pictures it's also too low to take video. So, we must wait just a few more days for mobile Annabelle video.

These past couple weeks have been dooseys. I've had a few health problems which all collided this week making it Job-worthy (at least to me). So here's the back story:

Problem 1---My knees.. and NECK? Go figure. I've always had bad knees; chalk it up to the genes (my mom and aunt both had knee surgery growing up). It really hasn't been a big deal; I get an occasional ache here or there and then it passes. Well, back in March my left knee started clicking when I went upstairs. I didn't think it was a big deal, until it started hurting. So, I scheduled an appointment with a Chiropractor. While I was there I mentioned a constant neck pain that I have; again I didn't think anything of it. They took x-rays of my knees and neck and found bone spurs in my knees and severe whiplash in my neck (FYI: never go on the Boomerang ride at Seven Peaks in Provo, UT---that's when I got my whiplash). WHAT? So much for being minor things; my chiropractor was more worried about my neck, so I currently go to the chiropractor once every two weeks because, frankly, that's all we can afford.

Since she didn't really do anything about my knees, I took that problem to our family practice doctor. I ended up getting MRIs around both knees. It showed no bone spurs (whew) but some kind of problem with both my meniscus and one ACL and it also showed the beginning stages of arthritis----great.... So he referred me to Physical Therapy. I've actually enjoyed it a lot; I've learned exercises to do at home and I'm in my last couple of weeks (good thing because we're going to Seattle next week...wow...next week...). The clicking is now occasional and I hope it goes bye-bye soon.

Problem 2----umm...well... I won't go into great detail with this one but I've had more issues with Annabelle, feeding her and clogging. For a couple of months I got into the pattern of getting a clot or two a week, thinking about calling my OBGYN and then the next day it'd go away. Finally, a couple weeks ago, I gave in and called her office. They wanted to see me IMMEDIATELY--- so after begging my amazing neighbor/friend to watch Jared for a couple more hours (thanks again) Belle and I were off to see the doctor. She took one look at me and said, yeah, you have an infection, but they took a sample just to be safe. A week later, just after finishing my first round of medications, her office calls and says the culture came back resistant to the medication I just finished so they are prescribing me a stronger one... great.... unfortunately... that leads to problem three... we think...

Problem 3----REALLY? In the middle of problem two, I get a weird leg rash. So I go to my dermatologist and he gives me more medications---- Yikes! That goes away after applying my meds for a day, so I stop, which is what he told me to do. This past Saturday, after romping around in a grass field for family pictures (stay tuned for those) I noticed at home, that I had a small allergic reaction around my armpits, so I take a benadryl and think nothing of it--- until it wakes me up in the middle of the night because I'm itching subconsciously. Sunday morning, it was bad, luckily I was able to cover it up for church and hope it didn't get worse. Greg and a friend gave me a blessing and it was the first thing that really helped all day. I felt like it would get better, and it did, before it got worse. By night fall, I had it on my legs too....and by the next morning it got larger on my arms and on my torso.

Nothing really helped the burning itching pain and it never went away. So, yesterday, I went back to the dermatologist. He determined that I'm having a reaction to my stronger antibiotic that I stared taking a couple days before the rash appeared. So, he gives me something to stop the reaction and tells me to stop taking the medicine. I call my OBGYN to get the okay to take my new medication while feeding Belle, and she gives me a new one for my infection---one that I'm not allergic to *crosses fingers*.

Mostly I'm typing this up because I want to document what I've been going through the past couple of months. I'm not doing it to complain (okay, maybe a little). I've had a hard time trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be learning from all of this, because I found myself thinking 'one of these things I can handle, but all of this, come ON!' I started to understand, even in the smallest form what Job had to have been feeling when trial after trial came his way. After starting to throw a pity party, I always found myself coming back to the Savior; it didn't help at all that our lesson was all about the Atonement.

Yeah, I've had worse pain. Ovarian cyst---worse. Labor--- WAY worse. But, in that moment I felt helpless because nothing was helping. Until I remembered the One person who's felt it all. Not only does he know exactly what physical pain I've been through, but also the emotional trials along with it. He can take it away. Yesterday, when I was having issues with all of this, I got I church gem in my inbox titled: "severe trials, supreme blessings" My first thought was, what? really? It was from President Uchtdorf's talk from last priesthood session. He was talking about the Kirtland era of Church History and how it was a time of great trial but also great blessings, he then said: " 'Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me' (D&C 88:63). As the Saints of Kirtland drew near unto the Lord, He truly did draw near unto them, pouring out the blessings of heaven upon the heads of the faithful."

Of course, the emotional basket case that I am, I cried as soon as I read that and said, 'message received.' I'll do my best, even though it may seem small, because I know I can get through what this life brings with my family, my faith, and the Lord by my side.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Video: Play Time Talk

Every day during play time Belle is pretty vocal. She discovered when she makes a noise, we react. Jared's response is to tell me, 'Ah-belle sad,' even if she's not---which is what every good big brother should do right? Anyway, I got her to talk to me the other day when playing. The Jared stuff is just an added bonus.



She's doing her favorite things: chewing, sitting up, and bouncing. The chewing was a pre-cursor to what happened today, last night (a long night for she and I) and today....Can you see? If you can't: her bottom front teeth broke through!

She's talking, sitting, bouncing, and now SHE HAS TEETH! Where has the last seven months gone? Our baby keeps right on growing---and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Neighborhood FHE

We had a little neighbor/almost neighbor FHE last night. After a brief lesson (the toddlers even showed their enthusiasm by bolting for the toy room) we took a quick walk over to the pool.

Since it's summer in South Texas, we get patterns of pop-up rainstorms. We went to the pool crossing our fingers that it wouldn't rain/thunder on our 'party.' For the little while we were there, it was great. The clouds looked very ominious around us, and we even spotted this:

A rainbow when it hadn't even rained! Since I was already out of the pool, I took a picture of the group:Notice there are 2 toddlers and 3 babies throughout enjoying the pool; we all thought this was amazing. {Editor's note: check out the faces on my guys--- what goofs--- but I sure love them}. Our luck didn't last when it got closer to bed/leaving/storm time. :) Alas, at least we had fun. We love having friends in the neighborhood!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Double Trouble: Birthday Style

Jared friend, Caleb, turned two yesterday and we went over to his house to celebrate. And, boy did we celebrate. The whole day I worked with Jared to say 'Happy Birthday Caleb' and as soon as we walked in the door, he said it! BWAH, a plan that actually came to fruition without getting sideswiped by a toddler! Woo Hoo!

Kim decorated the downstairs and made a fantastic dinner (all while being newly pregnant, I might add) which we all enjoyed, even if Caleb and Jared took the 'eat while playing' approach because they were SO excited! Kim got a great video showing just how excited the boys were {HERE}. They really are THAT much fun.

The excitement level increased when we went out to play in the backyard... what was waiting in the backyard, you ask... an alligator pool!
They took turns sliding, splashing, and playing with a balloon Josh filled with water. Both boys had toddler deathgrips on some cars Caleb got as gifts.
They had so much fun and probably would have stayed in there until turning into human popsicles; this is why the parents make the decisions. At least, we know they'll enjoy it next time.
In honor of Caleb's birthday, here's the Friday video of the boys playing in the pool:


After the pool, we stripped the boys and had a laugh at how much the look a-like with just their diapers on.

Then, it was cake time. Jared has this new thing with being sticky. He'll yell to me that he's sticky and ask for a 'nahkin.' It's really cute and funny that he doesn't want to get too messy. What was funny about this time around was that he'd get frosting on his finger, try to get it off and in the process get more on his hand. He wasn't too freaked by it yet so, like the good mommy that I am, I took a picture.

Thanks Hedges for letting us celebrate with you!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

MeMa & DeDa Leftovers

Here are some more highlights from MeMa and DeDa's visit.

One thing to mention is the cute little book they wrote for Jared's birthday. Each page has something Jared does now that he's two and they rhyme. Jared loves it and it's such a fun book; except for trying to convert him to be a Dodger fan too---that page is read a little differently. :0

We also took them to the pool a couple times; now that the water is warmer he seems to like the pool more. He also may have liked it more because his DeDa and Daddy had fun throwing him around. He had so much fun that I think it rivals the zoo, and park with being his favorite places. He asks daily if we can go...

Yes, son, it's only the beginning of June in South Texas.... I think we'll go back.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Back to Normal?

We said good-bye to these two this morning:


The adults--- not the kids. :) MeMa & DeDa came to visit for the long weekend. We had a lot of fun going to dinner, reading books, {going to the zoo}, swimming, and exploring Fredricksburg. I'm working on the highlights so check back for links to those. :)

We all had so much fun and, for the second week in a row, I have to tell Jared his visitors went home. :( At least he enjoys having visitors...

We're sorry to see them go, but it's nice to have our house again (since we had Aunt Meggie here just before them).... maybe we'll have a bit of normalcy again...

... or maybe not.

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