Monday, May 31, 2010

Oregon, Part 2

Today has been a fabulously relaxing day. It was our "down day," during which we never left my mom's house/property. With visiting family and so much going on, my kids get very worn out, so it's essential to have at least one day like this in each trip to Oregon. In fact, Friday will be another day like this for the kids because my mom will be watching them while I get my hair cut and go out to lunch with my eldest brother (thanks, Mom!). Today has been spent playing out in the sunshine, doing chores with Grandma (ie. feeding the many farm animals she has), blowing bubbles, coloring pictures, etc. Some of the cousins came over to play for a while, which of course made Ellie and Parker very happy! Now the kids are in bed and I'm off to watch some tv with the family...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oregon, Part 1

Today is day #4 in Oregon. It's been a great trip so far. Friday we mostly just hung out at my mom's house, and lots of family came to visit. We were able to see my new grand-nephew, Connor. He is such a cutie, and so sweet and calm! It was very fun spending time with family that I haven't seen in quite a while. And we had mom's tacos and burritos for lunch, which is one of my favorite meals!
Yesterday was my niece Sara's wedding reception. My mom has always been the cake decorator of the family. Last August I helped her with my niece Emily's wedding cake and yesterday I helped with Sara's. It was a lot of fun, although there are parts of cake decorating that I am definitely not great at yet (ie. smoothing the frosting around the cake before decorating it). It was a 3-tiered, square cake with daisies on it. It ended up turning out really nice (I'll add pics later). The reception was fun and I am so thankful that Ellie and Parker have older cousins who love to play with them and give me a little break!
Today I went to church with my daddy. It was a great service, and I enjoyed spending the time with Dad. The kids took a great nap this afternoon (which was very much needed), and then we headed over to my brother and sister-in-law's beautiful new house (right next to my mom's house) for dinner. We had one of my brother's famous dishes - beef stroganoff. It was delicious! My brother is a man who can cook:) Then Ellie and Parker took a bubble bath in their huge jacuzzi tub. Parker wasn't too fond of it, but Ellie LOVED it! She could have stayed in there for hours, I think. What a fun night!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Busy life

Well, by now you are probably thinking that I've given up on blogging. I promise I haven't; I'm sorry it's taken me so long to post anything new. We have been out of town more days than not this past week and a half, and our few days home were filled with getting ready to leave again. But here I am, writing from Oregon. Lets go back a little farther, though, and I'll try to fill you in on the past couple weeks. I will add pictures once I'm back home, in about a week and a half.

Last Thursday our family packed up our car and travelled over the pass to Woodinville, where we stayed the night with some good friends of ours. Jared and I were able to go on a double date while we were there, with our friends Sean and Cathy. We went out for very yummy Thai food! The next day our friend Phyllis, with whom we were staying, took the kids and I around Woodinville. We did a little shopping and then went for lunch at a super fun place called The Tot Spot. It was a restaurant with a huge play area in the middle for kids! Ellie and Parker loved it! Ellie found the dress-up clothes right away, and Parker quickly found all the riding toys. Later that day Phyllis took me with her to the YMCA, where she has a membership, and we worked out together. It was so much fun! If it weren't such a long drive for me, I would definitely join a gym! Friday afternoon we left Woodinville and drove to a camp a little north of there, where our friends Sean and Cathy work. The staff from our camp was having a retreat there for the weekend. I really didn't do much with our camp staff, besides eating meals. I spent most of the weekend with Cathy. We went to the outlet mall Saturday morning (without kids!), and had so much fun. We spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning at the camp, playing outside, on the playground, and in the gym. It's a beautiful camp and we all had a wonderful weekend (although it was nice to get home and get a little better sleep again)!

Monday and Tuesday were spent recovering from our trip, cleaning, doing lots of loads of laundry, and preparing for our last MOPS of the year on Wednesday (the past three years I have been coordinator of our MOPS group). Wednesday was Ellie's last day of preschool for the year and my last day of MOPS for the year. It ended up being an emotional day for me (sometimes I wish I wasn't such a crier). We packed up the car, washed the car, cleaned house, and got ready to leave for Oregon early the next morning.

Thursday morning I got up at 5:00 (planned on 4:00, but was too tired to get up and drive), and we left the house at 5:30. The kids and I headed down to Oregon, while Jared stayed home to work. It was a long, mostly fun day of driving. Unfortunately I got a speeding ticket on my way. You know, in my younger years I sped intentionally, and of course I felt I deserved the two tickets that I got in my first couple years of driving. However, yesterday's speeding was completely unintentional. I thought I was in a 70mph area, and hadn't seen the sign marking that it was now a 60mph construction zone. So I was pretty sad about getting the ticket. Oh well, I guess I need to pay better attention to signs!

So now we're here in Oregon, enjoying a week and a half with family. There's a wedding reception on Saturday and a graduation the Saturday after, and I'm sure we'll be busily getting ready for both of those. But I'm hoping for some great relaxation, too, and just enjoying spending time with family. So for now, that's what's going on with us. I will hopefully continue to post updates daily, and will post pictures as soon as we get back home. God's blessings on you today, and I am off to visit.....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wow! A great night's sleep!

With a few upcoming trips right around the corner, I thought that it might be a good idea to try having Ellie and Parker sleep in the same bed, in case that's the arrangement on any of our trips. So last night we gave it a try. They went to bed at their normal time, 7:30pm, both in Parker's bottom bunk. By 9:00, after several disciplinary actions and Parker pushing Ellie out of bed, I was convinced that I had made a terrible mistake. Jared and I decided just to see it through, though. By 9:30 they were both asleep (common for Ellie to be awake in bed that late, NOT common for Parker). And guess what? They didn't wake up ONCE last night! Parker rarely goes through a night without waking up (often just for a diaper change or two, and then he goes back to sleep). Parker has also been waking really early lately, but this morning he actually slept in. Ellie woke up at 7:30am (normal time), and came out and went potty BY HERSELF (with being on the top bunk she usually calls me if she needs to go potty, and I come and get her down).

It was so nice to sleep 8 hours straight, without any interuptions. I was amazed and quite pleased this morning when I woke up. So now I am not nearly so fearful of the sleeping portions of our trips. I think it will work out just fine. And who knows, maybe after a little practice they will be able to fall asleep quicker and with not quite so much correction!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A boy of many words!

Toward the end of last year we found out that Parker would need tubes in his ears. He had constant ear infections, and when his hearing was tested his level of hearing was very low. He was about 14 months old when we found this out, and he had only said about three words (Daddy, Momma, and bye-bye). Ellie had practically been born talking, and by 14 months was saying a lot, but we had heard that boys usually talk later than girls, so we didn't think much of it. However, once his hearing was tested and we found out that he wasn't hearing much, we were excited and hopeful that with tubes his speech would improve quickly.

Parker's surgery was at the end of December, and within a couple weeks he was saying several new words. At his six-week post-surgery appointment his hearing was checked again, and he was hearing at a normal level. Since then he has picked up probably ten words a month, and now has a pretty large vocabulary. He still usually only says one word at a time (no sentences yet), but his speech has improved so much! Two of Parker's favorite words are "tractor" and "Brody" (Brody is our dog, and Parker calls all dogs Brody). Just this past week he began saying "rock," "walk," "bike," and "nose." He also loves "reading" books, and while he looks at each page he chatters up a storm (and I'm sure he knows what he's saying)!

We are so proud of Parker, and so thankful that his ear problems were detected and treated. We enjoy each new word that he says, and we love to hear him talking!

Parker and Daddy before the surgery (Parker was very upset!).

Parker and Momma after the surgery (he was still pretty out of it).

Parker's first bath after the surgery. He now has to wear ear plugs whenever he takes a bath or goes swimming.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fire Station Field Trip

A couple weeks ago I had the priviledge of chaperoning Ellie's preschool field trip to the local Fire Station. Parker came along, too. It was a super fun day, although Ellie was a little nervous for most of it. Her favorite part was eating snack at the end of the field trip!
Ellie's preschool in front of the fire truck.
Ellie in the fire truck.
Ellie riding in the fire truck.

Ellie, Parker, and I sat together on the bus on the way to the fire station.

Beginning to blog

Hi, this is my first time blogging, so you'll have to bear with me as I learn. I have been reading the blog of an old friend of mine, and it inspired me to give blogging a shot. As I sit here typing, my two children are in bed for their "rest time" (my daughter no longer falls asleep most of the time, but thankfully still sits quietly for the entire two hours looking at books or coloring on her Doodlepro). I do not have any fascinating or insightful thoughts to start out this blog, but hopefully some will come to me with time. For now, I will attempt to at least make the page look pretty:)