Wednesday, December 12, 2007

O Christmas Tree

This weekend we had the annual tree-getting party hosted by our realtor, Vickie Brooks. We all met at a local tree farm, ate hot dogs, and wandered off in the mud to chop down our own, Oregon-grown Christmas Tree. We went with our friends, Butch and Jo and had a good time, except that Anna and I have a cough and cold that made us a little on the cranky side.

Anna and Jared avoiding eating their food.

Meeting with Santa. He kind of scared Anna.

The tree we chopped down (well, actually this one is Butch and Jo's).

Our tree here at home, expertly decorated by the kids with minimal help from Mom and Dad. You can see all the fragile ornaments up high where Kip put them so the kids couldn't break them.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Nature Walk

Today the sun was shining. In true Oregonian fashion, this meant we simply HAD to go outdoors. I suggested a nature walk and the kids loved the idea. We headed out to Powerlines Park and William demanded that I take the camera and take pictures of the nature things we found. Here are some of the results.

A powerline, lines of which give this park its name.

A Dandelion.

Red berries on a tree.

One of the ducks from the pond hoping for a handout but only getting his photo taken.

William in the sun by the duck pond.

Costume Party

Intel's Halloween party (aka: madhouse of parents with young children vying for cheap toys and free candy at carnival-style games) was last Thursday night. We headed to Butch and Jo's for dinner first and to meet Jo's new little Rachel baby. The baby is adorable and the dinner was good. Before heading to the party, we dressed the kids and lined them up for photos. So, here's a preview of what our kiddos will be for Halloween. William chose his outfit from Value Village and, although he's never heard of a Power Ranger before, he LOVES it. Anna's I found at Goodwill. She wants to wear it all the time and feels very princess-y in it. Butch made the robot costume for Spencer and was the envy of all the Intel parents.

Apple Farm Field Trip

William's preschool went to the apple farm for a field trip last Wednesday. It was a perfect day for farm touring. It hadn't rained in a few days, so it wasn't incredibly muddy. The sky was overcast, but the rain didn't start until afternoon. William loved the hay maze. They both loved the hay ride. We got on its first run and as soon as it ended it's 15 minute tractor-pulled tour of some of the apple orchards, Anna was crying to go again. I dragged the kids to the Jumpin' Apple (big air-filled apple for kids to bounce in) but William wouldn't get in without Anna and Anna wouldn't get in at all. The kids got apple-shaped cups of cider to take home. Anna loved hers. William didn't like his at all, so I drank it. Both kids also got to take home a pumpkin from the mini pumpkin collection. I forgot the camera at the farm (unlike every other mother there), so here are some pics of the fruits of our trip. I bought a bunch of apples to take home and they are DELICIOUS!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Yet another victim of the BK/Simpsons marketing ploy

There was no pregnant option, so here is the coming addition...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Halloween Craftiness

William is REALLY into painting lately. Every day he asks, begs, whines, and screams to do some painting (depending on my response to each level of demand). I bought him this pumpkin craft at the craft store a while ago. I was frustrated at first with his slowness in painting, but I was really pleased with the final product. My plain orange pumpkin doesn't seem nearly as creative/artistic. William says it's just "ordinary" while his is the work of an "artist."

Boot of Power

Anna really likes my boot of power. She tried to put it on the other day, but it's a little too tall. Here she is attempting it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Broken Foot

(Warning: this is a long entry. Read if you wish. There is little mention of the kids or Kip.)

Last Wednesday I broke my foot. I wasn't doing anything unusual. I was trying to put William in time-out. And it broke my foot. See if I try to discipline him again!

We had a good morning that day. We went to our singing group at 10am and sang songs about apples and squirrels and autumn. Then, we came home to make some lunch. The kids decided to watch 'the horsey show' while I put lunch together (Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron). I let them do it so I could have some peace and put together some really good bagel and veggie sandwiches for me and William and a hot dog for Anna. Then, William had a meltdown. He threw a little fit on the floor because he wanted the show off. There were just a few minutes left at that point and Anna wanted to watch it. Her hot dog wasn't done, so I wanted to let her. I got sick of hearing William slam his bus-shaped bin of Legos into the hearth and went over to stop him. I didn't feel up to carrying him all the way to the staircase to have his time-out, so I thought I would just swing him onto the recliner. I grabbed him under the arms and went to swing and something went wrong. My angle was totally off and he slammed into my left leg instead of the recliner. It twisted under me and something snapped. The pain was intense. I let him drop as I fell to the floor and tried to straighten my legs under me. As I lay there gasping and moaning in pain William crawled over to me and said urgently that we needed to go to the hospital. "What did I do to him?" I thought in terror. I didn't drop him that hard - I really thought he should be OK.

"Are you hurt?" I asked him.

"No, YOU are," he said.

Oh, what a sweet boy. He really cared. Of course, if he hadn't been acting like a ninny I wouldn't have been lying on the floor in agonizing pain in the first place.

I convinced him to sit at the table and eat his lunch after he turned off the movie. It had reached the credits while I writhed in agony below the TV. (I think Anna was still watching it.) I forced myself to hop to the stove and turn off the burner under Anna's hot dog which had miraculously turned itself and kept from burning all in one spot, although it was a little dark in a couple places. I then tried to sit at the table and eat the sandwich I had really been looking forward to just a few minutes before. Instead, I had to grab a nearby grocery sack and try not to puke in it. Eventually, I called Kip and begged him to come home from work to drive William to preschool and take me to the Urgent Care. He got to eat my sandwich.

I spent about 2 hours at the Urgent Care. When the doctor finally saw me he said he would send me off to x-ray. I informed him that I was 5 months pregnant and he said he would check. They decided not to x-ray. He suggested I go home and see if it got better and if it didn't they could x-ray me in a couple days.

I wasn't happy with that option.

I spent the next two days in a fair amount of pain. It really did get a lot better, but I couldn't moved all of my toes and I just wanted to know if it was broken or not and what to do to get it better. So, on Friday I called my OB and they said to go ahead with the x-ray. Back I went to the Urgent Care. (My PCP recently moved to another city and I haven't bothered getting a new one since I see my OB every month anyway, so the Urgent Care was the best option for getting a quick doctor's visit in, even though I'm not fond of the place in general.)

This time I was there three hours. I waited an hour to get in. Then, I waited an hour for the x-ray people to take me from the exam room. Finally, the technician rolled me down the hall in a wheel chair, stopped it next to a wall and walked a few more feet down the hall and around the corner. He then did some computer stuff asking me questions from around the corner from time to time in an Asian accent that was hard to understand without the challenge of not being able to see him. He eventually reappeared and pushed me into the x-ray room and took some pictures of my ankle. Then, back we went to the exam room.

A few minutes later, there he was again. The doctor had apparently asked him to x-ray my foot since that was where the pain was and there was nothing wrong with my ankle. Back we went to the x-ray room. He took foot pictures and then wheeled me into the hall facing the wall next to the corner around which sat his desk. He went to his desk and was there an annoyingly long time. I amused myself by examining the contents of my purse and creating a 'toss' pile of the junk I found. Finally, he came back into view and handed me a packet labeled "x-ray copies." I assumed that this meant my foot had been broken. I was right. The doctor told me to stay off the foot and to ice it frequently and gave me a phone number for the orthopedic specialists. After he left, the nurse came in to wrap my foot and give me a nearly knee-high boot to wear. It took her almost 10 minutes just to get the boot on me and my comfort level with her kept dropping as she grabbed long velcro straps and wondered aloud where they were supposed to attach and then swore to me she had done this before. In her defense, she was very pleasant and kind and the boot is annoying to put on. Eventually, she succeeded in applying it and I walked out to my car. She wanted to wheel me out, but I just wanted out of there, so I took off while she was out of the room and said goodbye to her as I passed her in the hallway.

On Monday I took my booted self to the Orthopedic specialists. They do a triage sort of deal in the afternoons and the office was crowded with moms accompanying their football-playing sons for examination of their sports injuries. I figured it would take another couple hours to get through, but they had my name called by the time I finished the paperwork and the doctor appeared as soon as I had the boot off. He opened my x-rays and looked at them in silence for a moment. Then, he turned to me and asked me where the break was. The Urgent Care doctor had tried to point it out to me, but where he pointed just looked like normal space between bones to me. Apparently, it looked normal to the specialist, too. After looking hard at all the x-rays for a few moments, he figured out what they were seeing. There was a small break on the end of one of the bones on the side of my foot. It was nothing to worry about, in his opinion. He suggested I wear the boot for a few weeks while it healed, mostly to prevent myself from damaging it more (since my children seem compelled to step on or bump my foot whenever it is unprotected). He said it would be fine to walk without the boot around the house as long as the pain level wasn't too bad.

Wahoo! This was exactly what I wanted to hear. No cast. No surgery. No crutches. Just try not to re-damage it and elevate and ice it when the pain gets too bad. The boot seems a little conspicuous, but I can live with that. Things are looking up. I may even attempt to hobble around a grocery store tomorrow so we can eat something other than canned and frozen foods. Some produce could be nice--and we're dangerously low on cheese (a staple in my pregnant state).

Monday, October 01, 2007

Yurt Camping with Intel-ites

Kip and his coworkers wanted to go camping all summer. They finally scheduled it for the weekend of September 15th. It was supposed to be cool and rainy, but luckily they got some yurts for us to stay in at Fort Stevens on the coast. We got there Friday night and built a fire and ate dinner together. The next morning we went on a walk and played in the lake, then went to the beach. Anna really liked the lake water, in spite of the chill. Neither of the kids liked the beach because the waves were too loud slamming right on the sand instead of breaking farther out and rolling slowly in like at the other beaches we usually go to.

Anna checks out the yurt.

Anna and William, Kip, Chandra and his daughter play bocci in the sand by the yurts.

Anna in the water at the lake.

Playing with kites on a sadly windless beach.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Starting Preschool

William started preschool this week. He's going to a school not too far from our house that was suggested by a friend in the ward. He goes on Mon/Wed/Fri afternoons from 12:30-3. His teachers are Jenny and Gloria, two super-energetic women who seem to have a lot of fun things for the kids to do. His first day was Monday. I walked him in with Anna. She let go of my hand as soon as we were in the door and headed to the water table and kitchen play areas without a second thought. William clung to my leg and looked a little shy. He started quietly trying to talk his teachers ears off after I introduced him, but his head was still bowed so I'm not sure how much they heard. They got him interested in the car play mat and he was fine with me leaving. Anna cried, though, when I grabbed her and dragged her back out to the car. Today when we went for round two William went in happily and Anna again cried. "I want to go to school!" is one of her favorite phrases. I'm glad not to have kids who cling and cry about being left behind. I really wasn't as emotional about all this as I thought I'd be once the time actually came to leave my little boy. He'll have fun. If only I can get Anna to start her nap a little earlier so I don't have to wake her up and make her cranky when it's time to pick him up.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

It's a .....

I had my big ultrasound today and found that we are indeed having a baby. Yup, a healthy-looking human baby. Oh, and it's a girl one. I've had several dreams involving babies lately (ah the dreams of a pregnant lady!), and they've all been ones with baby girls. There was one, after watching an episode of Doctor Who (the new ones) where a slimy, bulgy alien being was trying to take over the world. It would call people to it telepathically, getting into their heads and guiding. When they reached it, the thing would take control of them and use them to take over the world. Well, it 'called' my baby girl, but she let me know it was OK (telepathically too, I guess because she was pre-walking and pre-talking). She let me know that she knew what to do. I carried her to the alien confident that my baby would defeat the creature even as it thought it was controlling her. I can only assume that we succeeded because I woke up just as we approached the beastly thing. The feeling of the dream was very confident, so we must have won. My baby must have saved the world. The other dream I remember well involved William and Anna fighting at Grammy and Grandad's new home, a 4-story, pillared, white mansion in Chicago where, in my dream, Grammy had lived as a child. The new baby was a sweet, smiley toddler standing beside her sister and brother and taking advantage of their fight over dum-dums to eat all three while they squabbled. I took the suckers from her and gave them back to William and Anna and encouraged them stop fighting. The new little girl just smiled in a good-natured way and went back to eating her own sucker without complaint. So, in my dreams, this is a happy, sweet, kind little girl who can calmly save the world from invading alien evil. I guess we'll see later if she's really anything like that.

Portland Airshow

The airshow was the second weekend of August this year. We decided not to go since the kids' attention spans are a little on the small side. Instead we went to the Friday morning meet the pilots event. It's free. You just show up at the airport and walk around and see some of the planes close up and meet some of the pilots and the parachuters. William and Anna loved it. And there were free Krispy Kremes and water. The kids got posters and cards with pictures of planes on them.

Because we no longer live in the flight path, we didn't actually see much of the show. So, Saturday afternoon we took the kids to a park near the Hillsboro Airport where they could see a lot of the action. They were really more interested in the play structures than in the airplanes, so it was a good thing we didn't buy tickets. I was kind of sad, though, that we didn't last until the blue angels. But it was hot and nap time, so we went home instead.

This was William's favorite airplane.

Couldn't get William to pose with us...

Anna actually smiled after the picture was taken, but she wouldn't smile when the camera was up.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The New Bike

William got a bike at Goodwill a few weeks ago. He's been loving it. He rides it almost every day and calls it "training". My first thought as he sped down the sidewalk away from the house the first day we had it was, "I don't have enough bandaids for this." He's doing OK, but he tends to fall over a lot. One of the first days he had it, he fell onto a screw right on the handlebars and gashed his chin. It was pretty sad, but after getting a bandaid, he was right back on the bike.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ward Campout

July 27-28 was the ward Campout. We went to a little campground outside of Tillamook Oregon. It was almost a 2 hour drive, but the area was beautiful so that made up for it. The campground was bordered by a small river, the Kilchis, in which the kids all played and got wet Saturday morning. We arrived late Friday evening and quickly set up camp. The site next to us had the Bug Family, with two kids close to William's age with whom he quickly made friends. Anna was swooped off by one of her Young Women's friends, Sarah, for most of the trip. It was pretty nice. We had a good time talking with people in the ward and getting to know them better.

Here, Anna has tasted something she apparently doesn't like.

Thanks for the loan of the tent, Rach and Josh (as usual).

William and his friend Ashley in the sand.

William, Kip, and Anna on our little walk in the woods.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Washington County Fair

On the 26th of July, Rachel, Emma and Gabe joined us at the Washington County Fair. It was a perfect morning for fairgoing. The sky was overcast and it remained cool until after noon. We looked at the animals until William, who has developed a super-sensitive nose lately, decided it was too stinky in the animal sheds. Then, we ate some greasy fair food and headed to the rides. The kids loved riding the carousel and the boat ride. Anna had to be dragged out of the boat kicking and screaming, much to the amusement of the parents in line. But I'd bet half their kids did the same thing at the end of the ride. At the end of the day, William and Emma did their best not to pose for a picture together. They turned out looking pretty silly.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

4th of July, 2007

We went to the Hillsboro parade on the morning of the 4th. To make it even more fun, we road the Max there. The kids love riding the Max and it stops right by the parade route. Anna and William loved getting candy from the parade participants. William got especially excited about it when he realized he could take his parade candy to the party at Butch and Jo's that night to share with Spencer, Alyssa and Jared. I thought that was very sweet of him.

Utah Trip

We spent the 28th of June to the 3rd of July in Utah. The first few days were at the Killpack family house. It was a blast to be there with Chad, Angie and their new baby Abby, Cory, Ang, Jovin, and their new baby Mayer, as well as Mom and Tasha. It was definitely a party house. The kids loved seeing the little babies and William enjoyed playing with Jovin. But nothing was better than when Jenny and Tyler brought over their boys. William called them his "friends" and adored playing with Clayton, Orson and Preston. Anna also adored Preston, dragging him by the hand around the house to play with her. He seemed quite pleased with the attention. It was really cute. William loved the campout, but our camera battery died soon after we got there, so there aren't many pictures. And Kip managed to take off the tip of his thumb chopping wood. Luckily, it turned out to be a superficial wound, but it was scary for a while. He's been banned from the use of sharp objects for the time being.

After a few days in Sandy, we loaded the kids in the car and headed to Kaysville. William was very unhappy to leave his "friends" behind, but he did find some things in Kaysville that made it worth being there. Grammy and Grandad have a great toy collection saved from when we were kids and William always enjoys playing with them.

Here are some pictures from the trip.

Anna having fun at the Killpack House.

William and Daddy.

Everyone Adores Abby.

Camping Out

Fun toys at the Parker House.

Monday, June 25, 2007

San Diego Day 5

This was the day we chose to go to the famous San Diego Zoo. It's really a huge zoo ( and the map doesn't do justice to the hills. We did the bus tour first. Anna wasn't fond of it. She cried and tried to get off because it was too much like the airplane or maybe because she was simply tired. And it was an hour long ride with no chance to get off early. Luckily she settled down and things got better.

After the bus ride, we went to the children's section of the zoo. They have some cute things there that are smaller and closer together for the kids to see. Plus there was a petting zoo. William enjoyed touching the goats, but Anna wanted nothing to do with them.

After getting some lunch we decided to try the sky ride. It was included in our ticket, so I wanted to do it. Big mistake. Both kids were terrified and cried the whole time. It took us up to the far side of the park and dropped us without our strollers and with two kids who refused to get back on. I was not excited about dragging two tired kids up and down all the hills back to the entrance to get our stroller and go home. We looked at the exhibits around the sky-ride exit and then, in a moment of weakness, I stole a stroller. There were like 20 of them parked at the entrance to th sky ride. They were park strollers, rented for the day by people who didn't bring theirs. They were all completely empty, no jackets or snacks or diaper bags, so they seemed pretty abandoned. I was fairly certain that people rented them, used them to get to the top of the zoo and then balked at the thought of pushing them all the way back to the exit. Instead, they paid the $2 or so to ride the sky ride, leaving their rented stroller high and dry. That was my theory anyway. After pushing Anna around in one for a while, my conscience got to me and I tried to return it. Anna wasn't having any of that. She screamed and clung to the stroller for dear life. There was no way I would get her to walk the miles back to the exit. After seeing another family load into one of the unclaimed strollers, I asked the woman at the food booth beside them if I could take one too. She said sure and confirmed my theory of their being abandoned. I took a double one this time so that William could sit with Anna and started on the long journey back to the front of the zoo. Anna promptly fell asleep and I took the walk pretty slowly, being tired and hot myself. It took us about an hour to get back to the bottom of the sky ride where my little stroller sat patiently waiting. Anna again threw a fit when I tried to switch her over to our stroller. I guess she really liked the hard plastic of the zoo stroller better than our softly padded one. But I bribed her with ice cream and we made the switch. By the time we were done, I was ready to collapse. William wanted to ride the bus tour again, but Anna cried when we talked about it, so we headed to the car to go home instead.

On the way to the car we passed a little train ride that went through the park near the zoo. It looked like fun and Anna acted like she wanted to do it, so I bought us all tickets. As soon as we got on, Anna started to scream. She just wasn't in the mood for that kind of thing. Another failed attempt at amusing her, I guess. We made it through the trip with her crying and screaming and I headed to the car in defeat. It was not the best day of the trip, though it was slightly more fun than lying in bed with a migraine.

San Diego Day 4

Our 4th Day in San Diego was spent touring all the museums in Balboa Park. We started with the Model Railroad Museum. It was really neat with all the different sizes of model trains and some very creative track lay-outs. William had too much fun and mortified me by having an accident in the wooden train kids play area. We rushed out of there (after borrowing some paper towels from the front desk) and back to the hotel for a clean-up. Then, we hit the Aerospace Museum and the Natural History Museum. William wasn't as interested in them, but the Natural History Museum had a big-screen movie on oceans he enjoyed and it allowed Anna to get an hour's nap in the stroller in the dark theater. When the museums closed we spent some time playing by the fountain in the center of the pedestrian way and ate some snacks. Then, we went to the hotel for dinner. Daddy couldn't join us, so we ended up getting take-out from McDonalds and eating a picnic on the floor of our hotel room.