Archive for May, 2008

Date Night!

May 31, 2008

Last night we decided to take a little break and have a date night.  We don’t seem to find time for that kind of stuff very often anymore, so it was a nice treat.  We started off with a stop at the mall, where Ryan Shupe & The Rubberband were doing a little cameo to promote their new CD. We were surprised to see only the Rubberband, with customers doing karaoke to the music. Unfortunately, Ryan Shupe’s appendix burst early that morning, so he was recovering from surgery. They had him on speaker phone at the end, letting him know that they no longer needed him, as the fans knew the words to the songs better than any of the band members did. We were able to pick up a signed CD to enjoy on our ride to dinner. Even though we missed the Shupester this time, we’re lucky enough to get to see him at Joseph’s company party in December for a private concert. We’ll definately be taking along our PeeWee Pickers record to be signed at that one!

We had a coupon for one of my favorite restaurants, Ye Lion’s Den, and we enjoyed a very yummy meal there. If you’re ever in the Ogden area with a bit of time and money to kill, you HAVE to go to Ye Lion’s Den. They are a little pricey, but their meals are all inclusive, so you get the appetizer, drinks, entree, and dessert….not to mention the BEST scones and raspberry honey butter you’ll ever taste! Definately worth the splurge every now and then!

We also did a little shopping. I cleaned out my closet this week and have a huge bag to take to D.I. I tend to hold on to things, thinking that even though I haven’t worn it in forever, I’m sure I’ll find a reason to later on. This week, I purged. And my closet looks pretty sad now. I mostly needed shirts, and I found some great deals on a few…nothing fancy, but enough to make me feel a little less dated than what had previously been in my wardrobe. Now if we could just get this house done so that I can set aside the painting clothes and actually wear some of my new stuff….

We came home to find the babies snug in their cribs and Ryan all ready for bed. He had a great time with Sister Lemon and Zach, and he showed his appreciation by picking his nose and giving Zach the booger. What a way to end the night 🙄 We’ve recently been finding little surprises like this around the house, and we’ve been working on learning the importance of a tissue, but apparently it hasn’t sunk in yet. Thankfully Zach is a good sport….we’re thinking this rivals the time that Ryan spit a chewed up peanut into the hand of his new friend at church. Boys are always an adventure!

After we got Ryan to bed, we snuggled in to watch a movie. I was kind enough to accompany Joseph to Indiana Jones last weekend, so this time I got to choose. I’ve heard many good reviews of 27 Dresses from friends lately, so that was my pick. I was disappointed. It just didn’t catch my attention, and I found the language used by the friend to be rather distracting. I didn’t hate it, but it was just so-so for me. I was exhausted and nearly fell asleep at the end, which wouldn’t have really mattered because you know which guy she ends up within the first 5 minutes of the movie anyway.

Having a date night is always a great way to feel refreshed and ready to tackle another day. I’m ready to pick up my paint brush and go to work again today. Thanks Joseph for the fun night!


15 month stats

May 30, 2008

Today Owen & Emmy saw their pediatrician for their 15 month checkup. We have such a wonderful doctor–we’ve had some concerns recently about Owen’s development and weight gain, and she spent quite a while talking to us about each of the things we’re worried about…you never feel rushed in her office and you feel like she’s genuinely listening and taking into account your concerns as a parent.

Emmy is doing great…her weight gain is steady and strong (believe me, we’ve got great arm muscles to show for it!) and she’s hitting her developmental milestones just as she should. While she’s not necessarily “caught up” in terms of her age, her progress is steady, which is just what we want to see. Her stats today were:

Weight: 22 lbs. 13.5 oz. (46th %tile)
Height: 30 inches (28th %tile)
Head: 47 cm (78th %tile)

Owen is slowing down, and even regressing in some areas. There’s not a lot going on with his language development, some of his motor skills are quite slow in emerging, and he cries incessently. Having a content, smiling Owen is a big treat around here. He’s still struggling with constipation and eczema, which could both be contributors to his mood. We got a prescription for a stronger steroid for his skin, so hopefully that will help us stay on top of that issue. We’ve also been concerned about his weight gain, and for good reason. In the three months since he last saw the doc, he’s lost 8 oz. As time went by, we started noticing a big difference in the two babies’ weights….after holding Emmy, Owen felt like a skinny little shrimp. The loss of weight was a big concern for the doctor, and she speculated that some of his delays (particluarly motor delays) could be due to his lack of weight gain. What is causing the weight loss isn’t known yet, but our first course of action is to attempt to fatten this boy up! She gave us a list of ways to increase calories and fat in his diet (Daniele, what worked well with Logan?), and we’ll go back in a month for a weight check. If we aren’t seeing progress, she’ll refer us to a nutritionist or to the nutrition clinic at Primary’s. She also sent in a referral to early intervention for an evaluation of his other skills. Whether or not there is a significant enough delay to require any services remains yet to be seen, but a least we’re on the path to figuring out why he’s not progressing as well as he should be. His stats today were:

Weight: 20 lbs. 3.5 oz. (3rd %tile)
Height: 31 inches (44th %tile)
Head: 46.5 cm (27th %tile)

They also got one shot today, which they both tolerated well. Overall, it was a good appointment….not so much in terms of walking out feeling great about how they both are doing, but being heard by the doctor and having her offer up as much help as she can is reassuring.

Working on that green thumb

May 29, 2008

When we came home from Wyoming earlier this week, we were surprised to see that much of our yard had bloomed (aside from the grass….that’s not looking so hot).  When I opened the blinds and looked into the backyard this morning, I saw some flowers that I don’t remember seeing last year, which led me to the deck, which left me in awe at what I saw. 

In spite of the weeds that are claiming their place in the landscape, the little corner of our backyard were the pergola stands really looks nice right now!  And I didn’t have to do a single thing to make it look that way!  The site left me with the urge to do something that I haven’t done for a couple of years–fill my planters with flowers.  Last year I was too busy with two newborns to worry about it, and the year before we were busy moving….but this year, I have no excuses! 

After lunch, I loaded the kids up and headed to the nursery (which Ryan informed me he was too old to attend….wrong nursery, kid 😉 ). Ryan LOVED it! They have a pond with some huge goldfish that he watched for a while, and he wanted to stop at every pond they had after that. When we got to the greenhouses, he thought we needed at least one of every plant that we passed. I let him do most of the choosing, and I think he did a pretty good job! I wish we’d been able to stay longer, but every plant we bought would have lost it’s petals thanks to my two littlest helpers, so we had to get out of there fast!

We put the babies down for naps when we got home and Ryan and I started the task of planting. My planters haven’t moved since we got here, and they were being called home to a host of worms and centipedes, which Ryan enjoyed seeing scatter each time I moved one of the planters to the deck. He later when down to check on them and feed them some “delicious leaves”. He has the same attention span his dad does, so I did most of the planting, but he had fun while he was interested. Hopefully everything grows and I feel a little bit better about my lack of skills in the gardening department….the rest of the yard is going to have to wait until the inside of the house is done, and I’m happy to say that we are on the home stretch with that!



Cute Cards!

May 28, 2008

My friend Tammy recently blogged about these cards and I thought they were SO cute! I had some good laughs looking through the selection….I love that Mormons can make fun of some of the quirks of our culture 😆 Wouldn’t you just love to get one of these in the mail?

A few more pictures from the trip

May 27, 2008

We are home from our trip and in spite of the fact that there is NOTHING to do in Rawlins, we had a good time.  I guess it helps that our kids are used to playing in so very little space–I don’t think our hotel room had much more space than our torn up house does right now!  Joseph had the brilliant idea to bring along Ryan’s little tent and sleeping bag for him to sleep in.  It made getting him to bed a much easier task! 

Here is Joseph, all geared up for his day in the refinery.  He was so hot wearing the overalls over his clothes.  We tried to buy some fire retardent pants and shirt, but the only store they were available at didn’t have the right sizes….luckily, a storm came in the last half of the week and made things a little less miserable with lower temperatures.

One of the restaurants we ate at a couple of times had hats for the kids.  Ryan was lukewarm about wearing his, but the babies both got the biggest grins when we put their hats on.  Emmy was particularly fond of them!

 Emmy was initially enjoying her ride on the luggage trolley, but as soon as the camera came out, she decided it wasn’t so great afterall.

We left around noon on Friday and started the long, 6 hour journey to grandma’s house.  We always spend Memorial Day weekend there, decorating graves.  It was always really important to my grandma to get to all of the cemetaries, and we’ve continued that tradition for her over the years.  We had planned to stay until Sunday evening, but neither Owen or I were feeling well Sunday morning, so we just got up and headed home.  We left our flowers for Zoey for my mom and sister to take to the cemetary, which I felt terrible about because we didn’t make it to the cemetary for her birthday this year either.  Thanks mom and Em for taking care of this for us!

 This has been the mood in our home since leaving Wyoming.  Apparently, there’s something there that makes being home a pretty terrible thing (maybe the nightly swimming?).  Both babies have been really cranky…I think they each have a tooth coming in.  Hopefully, because at least if that’s the case there is an end in sight! 

Book Review: Uglies

May 25, 2008

By Scott Westerfeld
425 Pages
Finished 5/25/08


Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license–for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world–and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

Uglies is another book that was recommended to me and put on my “to read” list. I had no idea what it was about until I checked it out from the library and read the summary on the back cover. It’s not a book that I think I would have picked up on my own–it has a bit of a sci-fi undertone to it, which isn’t my favored genre at all–but I actually liked this one quite a bit. It was slightly reminiscent of The Giver for me, with the whole engineered society thing going on. I must say that reading all of this young adult fiction leaves me thirsting for a book that isn’t going to frustrate the heck out of me with teenagers and their immature thought processes…more than once I wanted to shout at Tally and tell her to stop being such an idiot (Bella, are you taking notes?).

Overall, I enjyed the story, and as soon as I’m done writing this I’m going to hop on over to the library website and put the next book in the trilogy on hold. But, I’ll definately be reading something a little more grown up in between!

2008 Page Count: 4352

Middle-of-Nowhere, WY

May 21, 2008

Joseph has made several trips to Wyoming for work in the last few months, and now that Ryan is done with school we were able to pack up and go with him this time.  The drive was better than I anticipated (other than Emmy throwing  up about 45 minutes in)….thank goodness for DVD players in cars!  The final destination was Rawlins, WY (aka desolation).  The odds of having someone you know live in such a secluded place are slim, but we just happen to have beat those odds.  Joseph’s sister and her family have been here for a couple of years, and we were lucky enough to be in town to see them during their last week here, as they are moving this weekend.  Ryan has had a great time playing with cousins that he doesn’t get to see very often, and hopefully our stay has given Cynthia and the kids a couple of much needed breaks from the packing rather than irritating interruptions.  We went to the park yesterday, where Owen had a great time playing in the sand and pine needles, and Jonathan and Ryan found a couple of bottle lids that made for perfect pirate eye patches (at least in the imagination of two little boys).

Ryan has enjoyed being able to go swimming each night, and it’s been a good bribe to get him to obey while we’re out.  He really struggles by late afternoon when he doesn’t get a nap, and napping with three kids in a hotel room isn’t very easy.  Emmy has enjoyed her naps while we’re out driving, and Owen…..well, Owen loves to sleep, so naps haven’t been a problem for him.  Swimming time has been fun for all of us, though Emmy isn’t nearly as enthusiastic as the other two.   Ryan loves to put on all of his “gear” so that he can doggy paddle around the pool without anybody holding on to him.  We’re sure he was a fish in another life…he just loves the water!

Miss me?

May 20, 2008

Life has been extra busy lately, and when life gets busy, the blog is the first thing to suffer.  I’m sure it will only get worse as we move into summer, so don’t expect great things from me for a while!  We’re in Wyoming all week while Joseph is on business, so hopefully I’ll have some extra time to catch up!  Here’s a recap of the latest events in our lives:

~Emmy is officially a walker now!  She took those first few steps last month and then didn’t show much more interest, but last week she took off!  Walking still isn’t her primary mode of transportation, but she can successfully wobble across a room now.  Ryan loves to help her and she always looks so proud of herself!

~Owen took his first steps on May 18th!  I was sure that he wasn’t even close yet, but he surprised me.  We were with friends, so he had quite the audience to cheer him on and I think that made him really excited.  He’s been a tough kid lately–crying ALL, DAY LONG some days–so it was fun to see him so happy over his big accomplishment!  I imagine it will still be a while before he’s stable enough to really be an official walker.

~Ryan finished his first year of preschool last week.  They made memory books that they added pictures and things to all year, and I’ll admit that I cried while I looked through it.  He’s growing up too fast!  I’m not sure what his fate for next year will be.  We signed him up with a different school back in March, only to get a call last week from the teacher saying she’s no longer going to teach next year.  So, I’ve been scrambling to find a new placement for him–NOT an easy task this late in the year.  I fear that we’re going to just have to be on a waiting list and cross our fingers that he gets in somewhere.  I had been so happy to have things arranged for next year with a school and teacher that I felt comfortable with, so I’m bummed to be back at square one again.  Not fun.

~The house is coming along nicely!  The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brigher.  I started painting last week and that’s been quite the chore.  After painting the kitchen and one wall in the living room, I decided I didn’t like the color, so I had to prime over it and start over.  I like the new color much better and I’m excited to see how things are going to come together.  Hopefully just a few more weeks!

My camera is full and I need to sort through pictures, but here are a few of Emmy walking, and the paint in the kitchen!

Book Review: The True Darcy Spirit

May 20, 2008

The True Darcy Spirit
By Elizabeth Aston
353 Pages
Finished 5/11/08


Following on the heels of Mr. Darcy’s Daughters and The Exploits & Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy, Elizabeth Aston delivers an irresistible new novel set in the world of Jane Austen.After being disowned by her family, Cassandra Darcy — the artistic eldest daughter of Anne de Bourgh (and granddaughter of the infamous Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Mr. Darcy’s cousin in Pride and Prejudice) — strives to make a living by painting. But struggling to succeed in bohemian London turns out to be the least of her worries! To begin with, there are the unwelcome advances of a certain Lord Usborne, and then there are the letters bequeathed to her by a friend — highly compromising letters written by Princess Caroline that her husband, the Prince Regent, would very much like to possess. In league with Lord Usborne, the prince enlists the services of Cassandra’s cousin, Horatio Darcy, who is a lawyer, to track down the missives. When Horatio’s investigation leads him straight to Cassandra, he initially disapproves of her lifestyle until he finds himself utterly charmed by it — and particularly by her. Romance may prove elusive, however, as social obstacles and the efforts of a vengeful Lord Usborne conspire to divide the two would-be lovers.Another delightful chapter in the adventures of Aston’s spirited Darcy daughters, The True Darcy Spirit is a treat for Jane Austen fans everywhere.

My sister-in-law introduced me to this series a couple of years ago and I really liked the first two books, Mr. Darcy’s Daughters and The Exploits & Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy.  It always takes me a few chapters to get into the story because I’m having to focus on making the switch to reading that old-fashioned language!  I actually liked the majority of this one as well, but I have to say that I wasn’t very happy with the ending–not so much how the stories ended so much as that it seemed the author wrapped things up a little too quickly and a little too neatly for my taste.  There was just too much that happened right at the end to have any sort of realism to it.  Other than that, it was a fun book.

2008 Page Count: 3927

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 11, 2008

Just less than two hours left of the day, and I’m finally blogging for the first time in a week to wish everyone a happy Mother’s Day!  I must admit that I was a bit disappointed at church today.  We had stake conference last week (remember…we skipped it and paid dearly), so this week was fast Sunday.  I had so been looking forward to seeing Ryan get up with the primary children for the first time to sing a medley of songs to the mothers, and due to testimony meeting, it didn’t happen.  Bummer. 

After church, we headed straight up to the Z’s to spend the afternoon and anticipate Steph’s call from Australia.  In true farm fashion, several cows escaped in the middle of the phone call 😆 Thankfully, David–in all his might and power–simply pointed and told the cows which way to go off of the road, and they obeyed. Unfortunately, Dad Z. was not able to command them as well, and they trampled all through the garden. I’ve been witness to worse cow escapes on the farm, so even though it kept the kids entertained for a few minutes, it didn’t take away too much from the phone call…though I’m sure it made Steph a little more homesick.

After the phone call, we ate one of the BEST dinners I’ve had in a long time (enhanced even more by the fact that it had been fast Sunday for us). Thanks Mom Z. for all the good grub! I went back for thirds, and even had double dessert afterward. Several hours later, I’m still full! The best part of the meal was watching Ryan put salt and pepper on his cake and ice cream….and the look on his face when he took the fateful bite 😆 Needless to say, he didn’t finish the rest of his plate, because all of a sudden the cake and ice cream that he had eaten his yucky vegetables to get was no longer appealing.

I wish we lived closer to both of our families so that we didn’t have to split all of our holidays. I was able to talk to my mom on the drive up, and even though I didn’t get your card in the mail, I hope you had a wonderful day mom! We’ll see you in a couple of weeks!