Saturday, December 20, 2008


I've been working on the computer for like, 24 hours, trying to figure out how to do something that I know must be really simple, if only I knew what I was doing.

I've been thinking lots of swear words today.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Emmy strikes again!

Stay tuned for more adventures of Super Emmy, the panty runner.

Four months old!

Four months already? We can't believe it. Yet, we can't imagine life without her.
Here's the numbers:
14 lb. 14 oz.
24 1/2 inches long.
4 shots.
1 night of throwing up.
2 days of fever.
Gotta love well-checks!

Annual Christmas tree hunt

The day following Thanksgiving, we went to Idaho for our annual search for the perfect Christmas tree. This year, Grandma C & Bop came along for the hunt. Kate gave lessons in how it works:

"Everyone has to hike around to try to find the perfect tree. When someone finds it, the whole family has to surround the tree and everyone as to agree that it's the one."

After much, much hiking and searching, we finally happened upon the one. By this time, some of the members of our committee were a bit pooped. So, the available members of our family surrounded the tree and made a unanimous decision. (That would be Emmy and I). Joe, my Dad's mechanic was on hand to offer a few opinions and fire up the chainsaw.

We found a beauty.

Kate and her friend Alexis happily did all the work.

That evening, we convened for our annual sleepover around the tree.

It's official! The season has begun. . .

Sleepy heads

Thanksgiving, blessings, and a little ZZ Top

The girls anxiously awaited Thanksgiving this year. I must admit, it is one of my favorite holidays. Ryenne was a little alarmed at everyone's seeming rush for Christmas. She told me, "Mom, it's just like everyone is skipping right over Thanksgiving, and that's not good, because Thanksgiving is really important." I agree.

Like all good parents, we started off the morning with a little chat about our blessings and then spent some quality time having a wholesome family dance to the likes of Aerosmith and ZZ Top. Dad chose the music. Can you tell? (He was on the verge of breaking out his tape case from high school, but saved the girls from an early introduction to Metallica. Oh, the nineties.)

The dance would not be complete without lessons by Dad on our "rock-on face". I'm proud to say we all mastered our mosh pit skills with finesse.

As I'm sure you can imagine, we worked up quite an appetite. We filled our stomachs with our traditional Thanksgiving morning breakfast, Eggnog French Toast. Ymmmmm. It's true, nothing makes you count your blessings quite as much as a little Thanksgiving morning rockin'.

Sweet Baby Claire

Claire is growing too fast.
We all find great delight in each little milestone.
She's the sweetest little thing we've ever laid eyes on.

The smiles, the giggles, her cute little chubby legs.

We can't help but smile back.

It's impossible to listen to her little babbling sounds and not pick her up,

cuddle her close,

and hold her like we're never gonna let go.

She makes us all smile inside.
One thing's for sure.
Where Miss Claire's concerned,

It's true love.

Fun times with the B Family

My old (actually, she's not too old, maybe "former" is a better word!) roomate, Darcie invited the girls and I to spend the weekend at their house about a month ago.

My girls were so excited to finally meet Caroline and Madi in person, after looking at the cute girls on the blog for so long. On our drive to Salt Lake, Kate admitted she was a little nervous. In fact, when we arrived, none of the girls spoke for the first while.

Soon, though, it was all giggles.

The girls had a great time. The B girls treated us to pizza, waffles, and a morning at the Children's museum.

The Wood girls are already planning the next reunion!
You can never have too many girls!

Cookie Monsters

Each Wednesday, Emmy has music class with her good friend, Wyatt. These two smart kids quickly figured out that is very convenient for the Moms to arrange a playtime following music class. You see, Lori (Wyatt's mom) drives them home from music class, and I drive Ashley (Wyatt's big sister) and Kate home from music class in the afternoon. Anyhow, it works out perfectly for these two to play for a few hours until the afternoon class. Lori and I can pretty well count on a phone call every Wednesday morning from one or the other of them, planning out the day. They are pretty cute little friends. The best part is listening to their conversations. I wish I had a tape recorder to tape them! Hopefully, they'll stay good friends for a long, long time!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Heart Update

It's currently 5:35 am. Why do I sit here? That would be because I can't sleep. Actually, I haven't slept since 3:23 am. I've been googling. (Is that a word?)

Left ventricle. Heart dilation. Left ventricular dilation. What does this all mean anyway?

We've spent the past three weeks at doctor offices. It's a change of pace for Courtney to be the patient, and me the moral support.

Only I don't know that I like the role reversal.

You see, I worry.

And I don't know what the heck they're talking about.

I don't like being told by a cardiologist that the stress test results are definitely abnormal. That what he's seeing tells him that if my husband has a heart attack, he won't survive it. That he has no choice but to get an angiogram. That if he chooses not to get an angiogram, he should go home and lie down and take an aspirin a day until he decides to.

I don't like hearing all of this.

I don't like seeing my husband in a hospital gown. Not that he doesn't look cute and little boyish in it. I don't the nurse coming and asking me if I'd like to kiss him goodbye before they take him back. I don't like sitting in the chair next to the hospital bed which my husband is lying in. I'd rather be in it. I don't like worrying about him. I don't like that the same Dr. who scared me a mere six hours earlier has now told the nurse to tell me that in a few more hours we can go home. No more explanation. Don't worry.

Not that I'm not ecstatic that everything looks fine.

But you just said six hours ago that it was not fine! Not fine at all!
(I don't say that, because I never get the chance. Dr. has since disappeared into the hidden recesses of the office, and I have learned that there is no way to get past the nurse to ask the doctor a few questions. No way.)

So, here's the scoop.

There is none.

I have a husband who is having chest pain. He feels like someone is pushing on his chest. He wakes up at night with his heart racing. I've heard three doctors use big words to tell me that something is wrong, and then follow that up by telling me that everything looked fine. Nothing to worry about. I wish they'd make up their minds.

I don't understand them. I have no idea what they're even talking about. But my husband is still having chest pain.

Not to sound too dramatic, (which I know I always am). But I'm a little worried.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mom, What Do I Have Today?

Emmy has decided I am boring. It seems that almost anything and anyone is more exciting than spending an entire day with me while the girls are gone to school. Each morning, first thing, Emmy asks me, "Mom, what do I have today?", followed by "Mom, what do I have tomorrow?" Unfortunately for her, what she usually has is a day with me. I try to sound enthusiastic about all the fun things we get to do, but this does not seem to comfort her. She wants to be on the go! However, being the "industrious" gal that she is, she has found a few avenues to keep her busy.

Emmy's favorite thing to do as of late is to go to work with Bop. She doesn't seem to mind what he has on his to-do list, she wants to help him. Each morning at approximately 8:00, she calls Bop on his cell phone and proclaims, "What are you doing? I want to work with you today. Can you come and get me?" Some of her favorite days are spent alongside Bop, washing trailers, detailing cars, and delivering vehicles to various destinations. She knows everyone at his work, and pretty much has them all wrapped around her finger. She gets paid in treats. In fact, the other day she told me that Bop was going to hire her instead of Jill (who oversees the detailers), because she doesn't charge as much. Then she said, "but Jill and I will still be best buddies. She's not mad at me." She also likes working with Matt, a younger guy that also works in the shop. She calls him "Uncle Matt" (he's not).
Emmy gets pretty disappointed when Bop has to travel to California, which is quite often. This week, for instance, he left on Tuesday for California and doesn't return until Friday evening. She begged me to take her to the shop to work anyway. It went something like this, "Mom, pleeeeeeeeaaaase? I will listen to everyone reeeeeaaaaally good! Jill and Uncle Matt will watch out for me! Mom, I would REALLY enjoin (enjoy) it! I would REALLY enjoin it! Mom, I would REALLY enjoin it!" (Emmy believes everything is more effective if it's said an half million times.)
The other day when she found out Bop was leaving for the week, she said, "Oh! California? That's one of my favorite places!" I could just hear the wheels turning. When Bop is gone, she puts in offers to go with anyone who calls or visits our house. The other day, the girls' adopted grandma Tracy was at our house. Emmy asked her, "What are you doing when you leave here?" Tracy replied that she was going to clean her house, to which Emmy quickly responded, "Don't you think I should come with you?" Soon, she was out the door, holding Tracy's hand.

Other places that Emmy has traveled this week are: Monday, she hung out with Grandma C during the morning. On Tuesday she caught a ride to Salt Lake with Grandma C & Aunt Andrea to doctor appointments. Wednesday she spent the afternoon at Grandma Tam & Grandpa Lloyd's while I went to a doctor appointment. Thursday she happened to answer the phone when Aunt Andrea called, taking advantage of a chance to ask if she could come to her house for a "project". Friday morning, she called Grandma T, hoping for a chance to come play,which unfortunately she was unable to arrange. She's already got an evening hooked up with Grandpa J for tonight. She's hoping to pitch in for chores, watch a movie, and eat lots of OREOS. It doesn't get better.

I've been told that Emmy is taking after her Uncle Shawn. He was (and still is) always up for an exciting adventure! Lucky for Emmy. . . It seems she has the genes of two of the most fun people in our families. She looks a lot like her very fun and beautiful Aunt Haylee, and loves to be on the go like her Uncle Shawn, one of my favorite people.
I snapped these pictures the other day of Emmy while she was waiting for Bop to come and get her for a day at work. She was so excited about his arrival, jabbering a mile a minute about what the day held in store for her. I just watched her and listened and then had the strongest impression to grab my camera to catch that moment. I'm so grateful for that impression- for the gift I had that day of really being "present" with her at that moment, basking in her excitement for life. Looking at these pictures makes me realize that with this little one of mine, I need to really take hold of each of the little moments I get with her. They may not last long. With Emmy, I always feel like she's just beyond my grasp, alive with joy and excitement, off and running to tackle the next adventure life offers her. I've wondered many times about how I can tame her down a bit, to help her learn to be a bit more calm, to stretch her attention span a bit. I think I've been missing the boat. Instead, maybe I need to learn to pay attention when I have a moment with her, and really live in that moment. Because if I don't, she'll not wait around long enough for me to pay attention. She'll already be on to the next adventure.
I love that each of my kids teach me. Emmy is teaching me to live the moment. To love the moment. Hopefully I'm learning.
What a gal! I have a feeling it won't be long until I'm asking her, "Emmy, What do I have today? . . .What do I have tomorrow?" I can't wait to see what she has in store!

Where does she get that?

I came into the dining room the other day to find Emmy, bundled in her coat, eating sherbet out of the carton. Now, I ask you, where did she get that idea?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Moments To Remember

Moment #1:

The other day we were driving to Grandma & Grandpa J. Ryenne was annoying Emmy by laying her seat back as far as possible, thus seriously trespassing into Emmy's space.

"Ryenne, I am losing my temper!" (Each word gets gradually louder).

Ryenne giggles.

"Ryenne, I am losing my temper!" (louder still).

Ryenne giggles.

"Ryenne, I am LOSING MY TEMPER!"

Ryenne giggles. Dad suggests to Emmy that perhaps her temper is beyond the mere "losing" stage.


Ryenne giggles.

Moment #2:
Today Kate was helping Dad change Claire's diaper. As she (reluctantly) took the wet diaper to the garbage, she related a wise observation to me,

"That's the gross thing about having a baby."

Tis true.

Moment #3:
Today after church we all stood around the table eating ice cream out of the carton. Mud Pie. Ymmmm. Courtney and I mused whether this might be one of the "unrighteous traditions handed down by the fathers to their children" spoken of in the scriptures. Kate was enjoying herself along with the rest of us. Perhaps even more, as she ate ice cream out of the carton wearing only panties, knee-highs, and her Sunday shoes.

I promised I wouldn't post pictures. (Bummer for you.)

Moment #4:
Sacrament meeting today. I'm not sure who was most irreverent, Courtney & I or the girls. Ryenne laid across both of our laps. (This might not be so bad if she wasn't 8. I suppose we'll need to curb this before she's 16). Courtney & Ryenne spent the meeting trying to trick eachother with riddles, which brought on several giggles. Ryenne then took the flower off her headband and clipped it onto Dad's tie, hair, shirt pocket, etc. We all giggled like it was the funniest thing ever. Emmy and Kate sat on the neighbor man's lap and ruined any hopes he had of getting anything out of the meeting. At some point, Courtney looked at me in desperation and asked, "Doesn't it seem like this meeting has lasted FOREVER? I think it's gone way over." Not so. We have just developed a serious case of SMADD (Sacrament Meeting Attention Deficit Disorder). Kate and Emmy ask if they can go get a drink. Usually we say no. Today I say yes. They walk out (very reverently, mind you- arms folded and everything. They look like angels). However, they are side tracked in the lobby by admiring ladies. They are soon showing off their twirly dresses for everyone in the lobby. We sit by idly and watch, along with everyone else in the meeting. The topic is gratitude. The meeting finally comes to a close. The closing song is unfamiliar. (Our chorister is into those. Every single verse of those.) Courtney looks at me and says, "I guess it's 'Be Grateful for the WHOLE hymnbook day.' Again, we giggle. We're so funny.

At the close of the meeting, we conclude that if nothing else, we are performing a service for everyone else around us. In fact, they may clamor to sit around us. Then, they can spend the rest of the day patting themselves on their back regarding their own parenting skills.

Just trying to be of service.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

better together. . .

So, I should probably be cleaning my house. But here I sit.

I've been thinking.

Sunday evening I was laying in bed and laughing with my boyfriend, (aka husband) when he tells me something like this . . .

"I thought I better tell you something. I don't want you to be alarmed. There's been something that's going on for a little while, and I think you ought to know. I just don't want you to worry too much. . ."

How's that for a conversation starter?

Turns out he's been having a bit of chest pain. For about a month or more. He thought it would go away, but not so. Seems it's stickin' around. So, of course, what do I do? I get a little alarmed. Heart disease kinda runs in his family.

Monday morning, I call and get him an appointment. The doctor asks him lots of questions, which he answers as vaguely as possible. I try to clarify and fill in some of the gaps.

This morning, we go to the hospital for a scheduled stress test. Again, lots of questions by doctor #2. Again, very vague answers.

Example #1"

"Do you exercise? How fit are you?"

(Very cute little grin). "Well, that depends on what time of year."

(Confused look). "How about this time of year?"

"No. Not really."

He makes the impression that he walks around the block every few months when and if he's feeling ambitious. He does not mention the fact that his work alone makes him more fit than the average individual, or that he competes in triathlons. (He doesn't want to over exaggerate anything.)

Example #2

"Any heart disease in your family?"

"No, not really."

"Heart attacks? High cholesterol?"

"Well, both of my parents are on medicine for cholesterol. My grandpa and great- grandpa had heart attacks in their early sixties."

Now you see, this is one of the cutest things about this little boyfriend of mine. He downplays himself. A lot. He hates making a big deal of anything, most especially himself. Instead, he has this cutest little grin that his mom and I are pretty good at picking up on, which means, "There's a little more going on than I'm telling you."

Did I mention that this grin is very cute? However, sweet darling, we're talking about your heart here, not a hangnail. When I spoke to him about this later, his comment was, "You mean it's not something I can just wrap a papertowel and a little electrical tape around to fix it?" (Again, cute little grin.)

The doctor kept repeating, "I'm sure this is going to be normal, because you're only 32." . . ."You're so young, I'm sure we're not going to find anything."

Come to find out, the test showed some abnormal readings. We'll be going back on Monday for another test where they insert dye into him to see if there are any blockages in his arteries. He's frustrated at having to miss work again. After all, he's only 32. And heaven forbid, we don't want anyone to be "alarmed".

I'm trying not to be alarmed. (The truth is, he probably will be if he reads this.)

They told him to "take it easy" this weekend, and make sure to get into the hospital if anything gets worse.

He came home and went right to work.

I told Him this earlier, but I'm just making sure Heavenly Father knows this about me and my boyfriend. I need him. I do. We've done this together for a while now. And it's just that I've learned we do it pretty well together.

Hopefully, this will turn out to be a lot of worry about nothing. It better, because he'll be really, really mad if he has to miss more work.

And I'll be really, really alarmed if he leaves me.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Four Super Cute Sisters

Just got the girls pictures back. I thought they turned out great! Claire had been dragged around as usual that day and was tired and hungry, so we didn't get any of her usual smiles- she's normally always smiling! Bummer.

Nicole Nelson (Pixie Dust Photography) took the pictures and was so great with the girls.
Enjoy. . .