Friday, June 30, 2006

Reunion Time

What a busy week! It's kickin' my tail! Monday, Rich's brother Mark arrived with his family from New Jersey for a 2-week visit (staying at the in-laws' house). Wednesday the whole family drove to Billings and met up with Rich's other brother, Jess, and his family from Minot, ND (Jess & Mark are both Air Force pilots). We went to Zoo Montana in the heat of a scorching hot day, then had a family dinner buffet at Golden Corral (Grandpa's treat), then swam for hour and hours at our hotel pool, which had a 90ft. waterslide. Believe it or not, my two girls rode the slide about a million times, some of those times ALL BY THEMSELVES! They are fearless little fishies and I was so proud of their gusto!

Sadly, the fun ended there for me, as Heidi was up sick most of the night with a croupy cough and vomiting. Rich got up at 6:30am and went to the temple with his siblings to do family baptisms, and we sisters-in-law were to follow at 9am to do an endowment session with our husbands. By that time, Heidi was feeling better, but I was throwing up, so we skipped that session. We did take our kids up to the temple to touch it an see the pretty fountains and flowers, then had lunch with all their cousins and grandparents at Wendy's (oh, and grandma bought them all toys at Walmart). We drove the two hours back to Livingston in an exhausted stupor. The kids were well and played hard with their cousins, and Rich and I struggled to keep our eyes open til bedtime (actually, Rich went to the rifle range with his brothers from 7-9pm, and I think his eyes were plenty open cuz he scored 16/25).

This morning I had an ultrasound to measure baby's growth. Everything looks good and baby is about a week ahead of dates, but legs were crossed and we couldn't identify the gender AGAIN! This tech said she would expect to see a bulge if it were a boy, even with legs crossed, but she also didn't see the "lines" that indicate a girl. So the mystery continues, although we are hoping our first glimpse of boy parts was for real! I am relieved that baby looks blood pressures have been much lower this week, too, so thank heaven for that.

Today and tomorrow are sort of hang out days; my sister Jill and her kids will arrive late tonight to spend the weekend with us. Saturday is a Scout Pancake breakfast and we plan to swim with the kids, swap clothes, and CHILL! Sunday is church, of course, and the enormous Livingston Roundup Kick off Parade, followed by family dinner and lots of fireworks. Sounds fun to me!

We got some great pictures this week--when I get them downloaded, I will post them. Meanwhile--enjoy your weekend and leave a comment!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Check on my latest post (actual writing, not pictures) at Framanisco.

And let's hear a little HALLELUJAH for my Auntie M, who is home from the hospital recuperating and rehabilitating in the comfort of her own place. We pray the healing goes smoothly and she can be AUNT PARTY again soon (althoughI hear there are some pretty fierce dominoes tourneys goin' on over there)!!!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

RETRO: More Fun 06.07-06.08

Nana's Pool!
At the butterfly house, the butterflies thought Addie's bow was a flower!
This cute grandpa taught us about butterflies--Heidi was enthralled!
Addie, Heidi, Aunt Abby, & Uncle Marshall at the Butterfly House
Nana & the kids: Tyler, Marshall, Heidi, Addie, Abby, & Cody
In the Botanical Gardens: Me, Heidi, Addie, Ty, Marshall, Cody, & Abby
(We were watching dragonflies)
Too Much FUN! Heidi crashed in her high chair at dinner time

RETRO: Building a Bathroom & Swings 06.14

My stepdad Mark framing
My cute mom swinging Heidi
Rich framing
Nana giving Addie an underdog

RETRO: Swimming Last Wednesday 06.14

Rich throwing Addie
Daddy & Goggled Addie (Heidi in the background)
Abby & Marshall (my youngest siblings)
Heidi & Daddy

RETRO: Evening Swim 06.15

Heidi gives Papa Mark a kiss
Heidi very serious about swimmin' (Uncle Marshall in the background)
Mom & Addie swim (Tyler in the background)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

It's My Favorite and My Best

Between my early pregnancy sickness and my current prescription for "rest," I have watched lots of kids' TV. And the shows are pretty good, actually. Thankfully, we can tivo all the episodes of the ones we love and not watch the really annoying ones.

Of course the kids have their favorites. Heidi loves Little Einsteins, which can be annoying, but it teaches her so many cool things. My favorite episodes are "Farmer Annie" (because the pigs are so dang cute) and "Whale Tale" (because the music is beautiful). All the art and music are classics--it's like a pre-school humanities class--and I have even learned some stuff I had forgotten from college!

Addie has recently gotten into The Fairly Odd Parents which is a plain ol' silly old school cartoon, as is SpongeBob Squarepants (so, so annoying). But I can still get her to watch good shows she used to LOVE like Stanley (animals) & Charlie & Lola and the very best ever, Sesame Street.

My personal favorite is Charlie & Lola. It just cracks me up, and it's only 15 minutes long. Last summer we tivoed the C&L marathon and had like 15 episodes! I just found out that my favorite episode is a book! I'd love to read it to the girls in my best fake Brit accent (the same accent I use when I read Beatrix Potter and old Winnie the Pooh).

Even if you are not sentenced to 2-3 hours of children's TV each day, I highly recommend watching Charlie & Lola. You can even see some clips on the link above.

PS: Read here about one of the genuises of Kid TV, Josh Selig.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

RETRO: Grant's Farm in St. Louis

Last Friday, Mom & Mark took us to see Grant's Farm--80 acres settled by Ulysses S. Grant later purchased and fancied up by the Busch/ Anheyser-Busch family. The Budweiser Clydesdales are raised and trained there, and there are wild animals and farm animals there, too. Me, Mom, Heidi, Abby, & Addie at the entrance to the Clydesdale area.
Addie pet the big horse...
the big horse had a little baby sleeping next to her in the dirt.
Heidi riding the tram with Daddy as we toured the wild animal park...she had more fun making faces at Nana & Papa.
The goats at Grant's Farm are a little aggressive--Daddy led Addie into the yard to feed them.
Heidi stayed outside the fence to feed her baby goat.
Addie fed her baby goat in the yard.
Heidi & Addie in the double stroller...such cuties!
Watching the elephant show...Heidi on Nana's shoulders, Addie on Daddy's. The cute African elephant danced, flapped its ears, showed us its teeth, picked up a dime with its trunk, and blew up a balloon with its trunk!
Me & Addie watching the animal show at Grant's Farm
The gang in front of the pretty Bavarian Beer Garten at Grant's Farm
The beautiful bald eagle in the animal show


My Great-Grandma Marie was born on June 21, 1912. She passed away in 1996, but would have been 94 yesterday. I always think of her on the longest, sunniest day of the year.

Four Generations: Grandma Lyn, Gramarie, Me, & Mom

Visiting Gramarie in Pasadena- she and Grandpa always put up this swing for us.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Baby Update

I had my almost-28-week check up yesterday and I got busted! My first BP reading when I arrived was 162/90 (!!), then 142/85. I also lost 3 pounds since my May 30th visit, which added up to some concern. I guess gestational hypertension can slow down baby's growth rate if it's not monitored and treated, so now I am being monitored and treated, just in case (even though I am measuring fine & baby seems to be very active). The first step is an ultrasound next Friday (6/30) to check for growth and general organ health. The next step is monitoring the blood pressure EVERY week now and having about 4 more ultrasounds to monitor growth, too. Actually, the VERY first step is me resting for 2-3 hours a day, about half of that on my left side. As you can imagine, that's not going over well with the girls! Although yesterday I had a good hour nap when Heidi was napping and Addie watched "A Bug's Life." My iron went down this month, too--I was so proud of my "39" hematacrit count--a record high for me--but it's down to 32 now, so I'm back on daily iron--YUMMY!

All of that aside, I feel better than I ever have before in a pregnancy, so even though we're in a potentially dangerous situation, at least have have a little bit of energy to deal with it! And I am not too sick to take my vitamins. Click here to read about baby (I tried to post the imge and text, but blogger images is not cooperating).

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Road Home, part 1: Kansas

The most exciting part of our trip home from Missouri was our first stop in Lindsborg "Little Sweden", Kansas for Midsummer's Fest! After checking in to our hotel--The Swedish Country Inn--at 4:00pm, we caught the tail end of the fair at Swensson Park and walked down Main Street to see all the shops. Our first stop was the world-famous Hemslojd shop, where our girls rode this Dala Horse, and we bought a welcome plaque and some dala Christmas ornaments. Giddyup! Addie & Heidi ride one of Lindsborg's Wild Dalas
Another Dala horse down Main Street.
Two Swedish Dolls! Heidi with a doll at the entrance of the Swedish Country Inn
Addie & the Wild Dala outside our Inn
Dinner at the cookery around the corner from the Inn. The girls had a burger and fries; Rich had Swedish pnacakes with Lingon berries; I had the Swedish sampler with meatballs, dill red potatoes, green beans, rye bread, and a dessert called ostakaka. There was a bakery area full of fantastic-looking pastries, but we got full on our dinner and headed out to raise the maypole!
After dinner, we attended the evening portion of Midsummer's Fest--the raising of the maypole, the sounding of the birch horn, and lots and lots of crazy dancing!
Here you can see Rich & Addie (Heidi is Rich's right) dancing in the inner circle around the maypole.
More dancing (the red arrow points to Rich).
These are the folk dancers visiting from Sweden (Mora Folkdanslag).
After lots of dancing, we took the girls to the adjoining playground and let them run off their last bit of energy before we headed home to the Inn to shower and sleep. What a day! Happy Birthday eve to Daddy Rich, our favorite Swede!
Addie on her bed at the Inn
Heidi showing off the cute TV cabinet in our room at the Inn
Our breakfast table at the Inn
Look at my bedhead! Here we are enjoying our Swedish Breakfast just before heading out to Nebraska on Sunday morning--Happy Birthday AND Father's Day to Rich!!!

The Road Home, part 2: Poor Nebraska

While the state is lovely enough, the drive through Nebraska on Sunday was torture. They should make a killing in speeding tickets--people probably drive 90 miles per hour just to escape the boredom. It was just as bad as East Colorado/West Kansas--ugh!!

Judging from the roadside attractions, there is A LOT of junk in Nebraska.

miles and miles of farm junk

Carhenge, just north of Alliance, Nebraska--dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of "CAR ART."


Dear Loved Ones,                      This week has been a lot of work. Kids have been home sick with colds, Heidi was home on grievi...