Friday, December 30, 2005

What happened to that "extra gift"?

We received an "extra gift" for Christmas thanks to Chad and Angie's contest. (and my good guessing :) Well this is what we received:

And what we did with it:

It was yummy! Thanks Chad and Angie!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas Pictures

The Kids in their Christmas Finery.

Anna in the car

Anna's Christmas Outfit

Thank you, Grammy, for such a cute little outfit. It's really soft, too!

Before Christmas

‘Twas two days before Christmas and in every room
William’s snot rags were dirty, the poor boy filled with gloom.

He’d come down with a cold only two days before
And I bet you can guess what I’ll ask Santa for:

For my son to get healthy, to sleep through the night,
For his cries, not for sadness, but filled with delight.

Every apple juice bottle was filled up with care
In hopes the mixed meds would bring relief there.

At last he is sleeping while the MoTab Choir sings
I’m enjoying the peace that his silent rest brings.

Little Anna is fussy for she too wants to sleep
So I guess I'll shop later for this year's Christmas Feast.

Monday, December 19, 2005

My Talented Wife

Kristin has been busy decorating our house with Christmas cheer. She even finished sewing her Christmas mantle cover. It was a complicated process and she is very proud of it. I tease her because it was a 2-year project, but it really did turn out nice. I had to show off her handywork on the blog. Here's the cover along with our olive wood nativity scene carved by none other than Omar!

On a completely different subject... Did you know they had man eating sharks in Bethlehem? I was in the process of setting up a shark-eating-baby scene when I dropped the shark and broke his tail :( I guess that's what you get for blaspheming.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Oscar the Pest

William is napping. This is not an everyday thing anymore and rarely goes off without a long, drawn-out struggle when it does happen, so I am really enjoying this moment of peace. Anna started grumbling at 11:30, so, when feeding her left her still grumbly, I stuck her in her play pen wrapped in warm blankets and she’s been sleeping off and on ever since. William and I ate lunch together and played. We built his Wee Waffle Village set that I got at Goodwill. He brought the box to me and told me he NEEDED it. I decided it looked like fun and for $4.99 it didn’t even matter if some of the pieces were missing from the taped-up original box. Most of them were in there (all but some of the people and farm animals and the tractor) and we’ve had a ton of fun playing with it.
After playing with it for a bit, we went to William’s bed to read the latest library books. He dragged the library book bag to his room – it was too heavy for him to lift with six hard-cover kid’s books inside. We read three of them and then he let me cover him up. He has been whining for me and banging his stuffed animals on the wall so that their hard eyes make clicking noises, but he isn’t very loud yet, so I’ll give him a chance to fall asleep.

Oscar has gone through some sort of metamorphosis. After nearly 5 years with me, his personality has completely changed. Up until our trip to Utah for Thanksgiving, he was a solitary thing, rarely out of his cage and hardly interested in anything aside from his own reflection. Suddenly, he’s become…well, like all the other birds we’ve had growing up. I thought at first that perhaps he was starving to death. Usually, hunger drives him out of his cage to do desperate fly-by’s at our heads until we refill his feed dish. When his frequent sorties continued after I had refilled the food, I thought maybe there was something wrong with the latest bag of seed. I bought some new, more expensive seed, but his friendliness only increases every day. We’ve actually had to resort to closing his cage door to get him to leave us alone. William sought me out the other day when I had left him watching a video and eating a baggie of snacks on the sofa. Oscar wouldn’t leave him alone. Oscar had never willingly gone near William before! Oscar landed on Kip’s shoulder and returned several times after Kip waved him off. He sits frequently on my shoulder now and spent the last 30 minutes climbing all over this computer table to see what everything was. He is suddenly curious about everything and has no fear. Yesterday, he even jumped on a baking tray I had just pulled out of the oven and must have burned his little birdie feet. I don’t know what caused the change, but we’re enjoying it. William, who can’t say the letter ‘s’ yet, frequently asks to see O-car and enjoys having the bird stand on his hand. Or he yells at O-car to get off the kitchen table, the main place where he’s not allowed to be but frequently ends up. It’s a dramatic change, but it’s fun to show Kip what birds can be like and why I thought it would be fun to have one.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Word Confusiation

Ever since we "moved it, moved it" at Grandma's house, William has been singing that song. Or a slight variation on the song... "I like to move it, Mommy!"

When he gets talking too fast he calls me Moddy and he calls Kristin Dammy!

Tonight he was carrying a bunch of books and asked me if could "lay down". I laid down and he slammed them all down on my back. I laughed hysterically while he repeated, "Are you OK Daddy?" Kristin tells me he asked if I could "hold these".

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The After-Thanksgiving Blues

William is on an "I NEED this" kick. Today he told me that he NEEDS to get on a plane and fly to Utah to see his grandma and her cat. Wish we could do it again!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

William and Anna as Pumpkins

This is a comparison shot of William on the left and Anna on the right. William was 5 months old for his first Halloween. Anna was 3 months. The outfit fit Anna a little better than William. You can tell they're related, huh!?

Monday, October 31, 2005

Farmer Killpacks

We had a pumpkin and a heifer for Halloween. Kristin and I went as farmers. The heifer had a blast! He got hopped up on candy and didn't stop running around for a good hour or so. The pumpkin slept in the trunk and we won the "most beautiful trunk" award at the trunk-or-treat.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Camping with William

I took William on our first Fathers and Sons outing this weekend. We had a blast! I miss camping with my Scouts. But camping with a son is even cooler! We started out at 6pm and stopped at "Amy's Burger Shack" for dinner. Leaving there William was cranky, so I popped in 'Toy Story' and he was happy as a clam for the 1.5 hour drive to Camp Clark (11 miles south of Tillamook on the coast). I love that van! Kristin said I could take it as long as I didn't get it dirty... I complied, sort of. I don't think she's looked too closely at the van since I brought it back.

We made it in time for the campfire (aka fireside with actual fire), where the Bishop said to check out the stars from the beach. Upon which William repeated over and over, "Want to go to the beach". Those who have a 2 year old know that resistance is futile. The stars were beautiful on the beach, and I managed to keep William out of the water... that night.

The next day we ate breakfast and headed to the beach. At first we played in the sand and kept dry, but it wasn't too long before we were walking out when the waves went out and then running from the waves as they rolled back in. This beach had a shallow incline, so the waves rolled a LOOOONNNNG way and I got a major workout hauling William up and down the beach. But we soon got caught by a few waves and then all restraints were lost. We got soaked jumping in the waves to smash the foamy bubbles that rolled in. One boy got in the water with us... until his dad saw him and chewed him out... oops. I suppose I should have been a more responsible parent, but I had as much fun as William did playing in the water.

William and I loved our trip! I am looking forward to many more Fathers and Sons outings to come. I love that boy!

We missed Kristin and Anna. I heard some stories about mothers crying when their boys left. Kristin was dancing round shouting, "Party! Party!" She even thanked me the day before... "Thanks for taking William camping tomorrow." Glad I could make her so happy.

Leaving Camp Clark

Leaving Camp Clark

Taken from inside the minivan (did I mention it has a sunroof?)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Pumpkin Patch

Our Realtor threw another of her annual parties last Saturday. She got us all free admission to the Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island (the best around) and gave everyone $10 in tokens to spend on whatever they wanted. We used $4 to ride the super-bumpy "cow train." Then, we used the rest to eat and buy produce. Kip bought all the ingredients for homemade salsa. He didn't think mine was very spicey, so he bought several peppers. His turned out to have quite a kick.

William enjoyed the day until he melted down, around 4:00. He fell asleep in the car on the way home.

The new car

We've had the car a week now. I've decided I love it. We drove it out to the Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island (an island in the middle of the Willamette River, just outside of Portland) on the 15th. It was a fun trip and the car was wonderful. It's great to have so much room! Kip will be driving William out to the coast tomorrow for the Fathers and Sons campout and plans to give the DVD player its first use.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Feeling Sick

I have officially fallen to William’s cold. He’s been sick for what seems like forever. He started having problems sleeping last Monday. By Friday he had a runny nose. Sunday he was absolutely miserable. I wasn’t feeling too great that day either, but I was hoping that I wouldn’t suffer anything more than a runny nose and stuffy head. As it was, the official anniversary of my birth (October 9th – Sunday) was not the best day. William was grumpy and in pain. We loaded him up with all the medicines that are legal, but it seemed to bring little relief. All he did was cry and whine and beg to watch movies. I was exhausted but William refused to nap and, if he wasn’t napping, he had to have my full attention. Kip went to church since he had to teach that day, but he came home early to give me a break. I got a decent nap and enjoyed watching Kip suffer with William the rest of the day. It turned out to be an OK birthday. And it helped that we had gone out to eat the night before (got a babysitter and everything!) and had celebrated at Game Night on Friday.

So, Monday night I started feeling even worse. By Tuesday morning, I had decided that William was justified in his constant whining and difficulty sleeping if he felt as bad as I did. Of course, I still think he should have taken naps. During the day Tuesday I lost my voice. This made it difficult when I watched my friend’s 18-month-old (Isaac) for 2 ½ hours that afternoon. But we managed. During the night, I woke with an extremely soar throat. While still trying to find relief from that and get back to sleep, William woke up. He asked for juice and before I went to get it I tried to cover him up. Sometimes, this allows him to go back to sleep before I get the bottle to him. Last night, this caused him to explode into screams of rage that lasted for 5 solid minutes. I tried to say comforting things to him, but he couldn’t hear my whispers over his cries, so there was nothing I could do. I sat in the rocking chair in his room with a bottle until he calmed down enough to take it from me and drink it. Then, he went back to sleep without another complaint. Of course, his screaming woke Anna in the other room, so I got to stay up another 15 minutes feeding her and getting her back to bed. It was just enough time for me to finish the throat lozenge I was sucking on. Today, we’re wasting more time in front of the TV, but I just don’t have the energy to get William to do anything else. I keep wishing he would fall asleep and I could take a nap, too. Meanwhile, Anna is cooing and smiling in her bouncy seat or napping on the floor and seems to be doing well. I’m hoping she inherited her dad’s healthiness and won’t get sick at all.

Penny on the driveway in the rain Posted by Picasa

Tight fit Posted by Picasa

Cars Cars Cars

Our car problems have been solved! On Friday (October 7) Kip got a call from our broker saying the Honda Odyssey we had ordered was in Portland. He would be able to get it to us the next week. Later, we both got calls saying that Penny was done and could be picked up any time.

The mechanic who fixed Penny gave us a great explanation of how he fixed her these two times she’s broken down. He says this is a problem with Nissans from time to time. Apparently, there’s a part that basically gets “gummed up” with oil and guck and eventually sticks, causing the car to be unable to start. It’s a $500 part, so before tearing the engine apart and replacing it and costing us a ton of money on a car that’s not worth a whole lot, he tries to release it from the outside. He described how this is done. He works at his shop with his son as assistant. So, the two of them take a hammer to the car. One of them turns the key over and over and the other bangs the hammer on the engine above the particular part. The mental image is priceless: some grease-covered mechanic fixing my car by pounding on it with a hammer until it is beaten into submission and starts working. Only a true, down-to-earth, grease-under-the-nails mechanic would have the dedication to do that. I think we’ve found our repair shop for life!

Inspired by this tale, Kip took a hammer to Penny on Saturday. Why pay someone to repair the dent from rear-ending that Jeep the day before Anna was born? He popped the hood and pounded on it until he’d gotten a lot of the dent out and fixed it so it is no longer bowed. I don’t know that there’s much we can do with the perfect black circle carved into our white bumper by the Jeep’s exhaust pipe, but Penny definitely looks better.

So we got the Odyssey yesterday. It’s super-nice and really big. I feel a little out of place in it. I spent hours yesterday just reviewing the “quick-start guide.” I don’t know exactly when I’ll have time to get to the owner’s manual. We all went out to lunch after getting it, then I drove it home and tried to fit it in the garage. There wasn’t room. The strollers and baby toys we store at the back of the garage made it so that the thing didn’t fit. I ended up parking diagonally after moving a bunch of stuff to the side. We’ll have to work on that later…

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Car Trouble

Time is still passing and we're all doing well. Anna is smiling and making cute baby girl noises now. She's sleeping better, too. She goes down for the night around 10pm and stays down until 2 or 3am and then gets up once more at 6 or 7am and goes down again for a few more hours. William is doing well, also, although he seems to have a cold right now and has had a hard time sleeping for a few nights in a row.

Meanwhile, we're still waiting on our Honda minivan. We decided soon after Anna came along that it would be super nice to have something other than a Nissan Sentra to put our two car seats into. We decided to take the plunge and go for a brand new Honda Odyssey. We chose Honda for the resale value and reliability and decided to go with new because of the warranty options. We even decided to get the leather interior and entertainment system because they'll just be nice to have, and if we're going for broke, we might as well go all the way. At first we requested a 2005. Our broker suggested waiting three weeks and getting an '06 because the warranty would be better and the price not much higher. I didn't mind waiting. But it didn't come three weeks later. The broker gave us a new date - Monday October 3rd (2 more weeks away). In honor of that date's arrival, my car broke down. I loaded William and Anna into Penny Monday morning prepared to spend the day playing at Rachel's and lunching with old coworkers and Penny wouldn't start. We've been forced to share Kip's car since then and it's been a challenge for me. For some reason, the car seats fit slightly better in the back seat of my '95 Sentra than in Kip's '94 Sentra, so driving Kip's with the kids in it is uncomfortable for me and miserable for Kip. Maybe this is just the universe's way of making us REALLY appreciate the minivan when we finally get it. Meanwhile, I've been having to get up and get everyone out the door to drive Kip to work if I want to do anything during the day, which I generally do (primary presidency meetings, dentist appointments, Anna's 2 month checkup). We haven't been very good about it and Kip's been getting to work a little on the late side. Tomorrow I'm letting him drive himself and we'll just be homebodies for a day. At least we can walk to Heidi's house if we need a break.

Kip had his coworker Chirayu help him tow Penny to the repair guy that fixed her last time. I feel sorry for the poor guy (Chirayu). Towing a Nissan Sentra with another Nissan Sentra down 5 miles of dark small-town streets is a little unnerving. This time at least Kip remembered to take along the walkie-talkies. Chirayu was able to tell him to keep it slow, but that did mean that the journey was a long one. I'm hoping to hear from the repair shop tomorrow that it's the same thing that happened before and that it can be fixed easily.

Here's the story of what happened before. A month before William was born I climbed into my car to head to work. Penny started and immediately died. She refused to start again. We had her towed to a nearby repair shop. They told us that her engine was shot and would have to be replaced for thousands of dollars (slightly more than she was worth even at that time) or that they would buy her off us for slightly less than that. We thought they sounded fishy, so we decided to get a second opinion. They charged us $100 for the towing and diagnostic and released her back to us.

I don't know how Kip chose this other repair place. It certainly wasn't by location. But the guy there suspected right away that what had happened was a rare, Sentra-only, oil-related problem. He gave me an oil change and did something I recall as soaking some parts of the engine in fresh oil and the car started just fine a day later. He counseled us to change the oil every 2 months instead of 3-whenever we got around to it. I was good about it for a year or so.

So, I'm hoping this is the same problem as before and that our little Penny can be revived and back on the road before the end of the week. Or, we could actually get the minivan we've been waiting for. But I think Penny getting repaired is more likely to happen first.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Anna in her gown Posted by Picasa

Anna's Blessing - Sunday

On Sunday we all got dressed up and headed to church. With 8 adults and 3 children in our little three-bedroom house, you can bet it was a little crazy. Luckily, church starts at 1:00, so we had time to get everything done…well, mostly. We made it to church early enough to get soft seats, but we didn’t manage to get a photo of the whole family together with Anna in her blessing dress.

The blessing went well. Kip is still getting teased about how much height Anna got from Kip bouncing her while saying the blessing. The Bishop says the distance traveled by the bouncing baby is proportional to the length of the father’s arms from elbow to wrists. Kip’s got a lot of length there. His brothers said they could hardly keep their hands on her she went up so high on the upswing. In any case, the blessing was perfect. Anna was promised all the right things from health and testimony to being a good mother herself one day. A nice sister in the ward even wrote out a lot of what was said so I could keep it in her file.

Everyone left us on Monday. It was sad to see them go and I missed them a lot. Our house was suddenly a lot quieter and poor William was suddenly a lot lonelier.

Mom and Anna - Oceanside, OR Posted by Picasa

Playing in the sand - Kip, Grandma and William Posted by Picasa

Tillamook Cheese Factory Posted by Picasa

Anna's Blessing - Saturday

On Friday night Grandma, Aunt Tasha, and Uncle Cory arrived. So, on Saturday we took everyone to breakfast at Tom’s Pancake House (the best breakfast in Beaverton) and then headed out to Tillamook. We toured the cheese factory and then played at the beach in Oceanside. It was a nice day on the beach. It was cool – in the 60s – and the water was cold, but we enjoyed it. William ran out into the waves and nearly got bowled over. For some reason this didn’t make him happy this time. I’m guessing it’s because the water was too cold. After that first mishap, he refused to go near the water at all for a while, which is very uncharacteristic of him. Then, he would only go with someone who could guarantee that he wouldn’t get wet. But he enjoyed himself dumping buckets of water Daddy brought him into the sand. Anna did fine sitting in Cory and Ang’s stroller for a while, then we resorted to the rented minivan to feed her and let her relax out of the cold.

William got a little tired. Uncle Chad is carrying him. Posted by Picasa

Kip, Aunt Angie and William on the trail. William got a deal being carried through the hike! Posted by Picasa

A view of Eagle Creek Posted by Picasa

Anna's Blessing - Friday

On Thursday night, September 22nd, the first visitors for Anna’s blessing arrived. They were Ang and Jovin, Chad and Angie. They got in at 11pm and after catching up on the latest news and setting up beds, we all bedded down about midnight. We had a lazy morning Friday and at 10:30 Kip, William, Chad and Angie headed off to the Gorge to do some hiking. They hiked Eagle Creek to the first set of falls, which are popular swimming holes in the heat of summer. William had a lot of fun, but got pretty tired.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

William holding his sister Posted by Picasa

Anna on her blanket Posted by Picasa


Anna and William are both making a lot of progress lately. I thought I’d write some of the latest things they’ve learned.

Anna has learned how to smile! When I go to get her out of her crib after a nap (as long as I don’t wait until she’s screaming at my neglect) she’ll smile at me with a big open mouth and coo and gurgle until I pick her up. Of course, if I spend too much time enjoying the smile and pleasant noises, they turn to cries of anger and frustration, but sometimes it’s worth it just to get as much out of the smiley girl as I can. She is also starting to try to suck on her hands. She hasn’t figured out yet how to separate the thumb, but she sometimes calms herself by sucking her hand for a little while when I can’t get to her and she wants to eat. Unfortunately, it never lasts very long.

William is making more and more progress on his speech. One of his latest favorite things is to talk about something being “too hard.” He’ll say “it’s too hard to” do this or that, whatever it is that he’s doing. But then he goes ahead and does it anyway. “It’s too hard to climb up,” he says as I take him up the hill at the park. But he doesn’t stop walking. “It’s too hard to eat this apple.” But he still eats it – core and all. (I gave him an apple yesterday morning. I offered to cut it for him, but he decided to just bite into it. When he realized that that was an effective way to eat it, he refused to give it back. I left him eating it while I made waffles and didn’t think anything of it. Later, he came to me with a face covered with apple juice and apple bits and asked to be wiped off. I asked him where he left the rest of the apple and went looking in the family room expecting to find the core sitting abandoned somewhere. Silly me. How would a 2 year-old know not to eat the core of his very first whole apple? There was no sign of the apple. William had eaten it, stem and all.)

William’s also learning the names of more and more animals. He loves to watch the Baby Einstein videos, especially all the animal ones, and I think that’s where he learned the majority of their names. And he’s getting better and better at making sentences. He was playing with his Sesame Street shape sorter the other day and pointed to one of the pictures on it and told me “Cookie Monster’s holding a pig.” I was impressed. I can’t wait for Anna to start being able to interact with him instead of just opening her eyes wide in terror when she hears his cry of “Baby ANNA!” that usually precedes him slapping at her face or stomach.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Anna on a campout Posted by Picasa

Blackberries!!! Posted by Picasa

Our Yurt and William - Champoeg State Park Posted by Picasa