Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Princesses

Lillian got some princess dress-ups for her birthday. And, what's fun about having a little sister if you can't torture her?

And, what's fun about having long hair if you can't sneak off and cut it yourself? I usually let Lillian cut up my magazines when I'm done with them. Mom says that it helps build the muscles in their little arms that they need for writing. She was happily cutting away on the living room floor when I got busy doing whatever and I hear her perky little voice calling from the other room, "Mom! Mom! Mom! Come see!" From how excited she was, I gather she didn't know how naughty it was.

I don't know if you've ever met a 3-year old, but holding still is not a top priority. So, Lillian's hair is a little bit rock star.

Lillian, close your mouth.

And, just to make things even, here's an update on Nora's chunkiness.

This one is for Anne and everyone else who's jealous of my baby's eyelashes.

To get an idea of how large this child is, this is the same shirt Lillian wore in our family pictures when she was 18 months old. Nora is 7 months.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday Reminiscences: In which I channel my forebears

I was at The Wal-Mart today, in the sewing section (I wanted to buy bias tape to make Lillian an apron out of a dishcloth, which I'll have to post pictures of sometime, because it's really cute. I didn't want to go to The Wal-Mart to get it, because it's a little far away and I'm into helping my local economy, and I saw that there's a quilting store not that far from my house. In the car, I told Lillian we were going to the store. We pulled up, and it was a trailer in a shady looking dirt lot. Lillian, always quick, said, "Mom, that's not a store, it's a trailer and there's monsters in there." I thought she was probably right, so we drove down to The Wal-Mart), and I saw that they have patterns for Halloween costumes out already. As I looked over them, I thought to myself that no way, no how could I top last year.

And, I realized I never posted pictures of Lillian in her full outfit, complete with umbrella.

I think our regular camera was broken, or lost, or both, so I took these with the camera function on our video camera... so they're not that nice. I think that's why I didn't post them before; they were not up to my exacting standards.

But, the cuteness is too much to keep underwraps any longer. Any ideas for this year? I'd like to do something even more disgustingly cute, that involves the whole family with some sort of theme... like... make Lillian can be a Wii, Nora can be a Wiimote, and Tyler can be the TV. Something like that, except not lame like that idea.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Get off my lawn

My husband's an engineer, right? As such, he makes a killer cardboard box house. This one has a door, window, secret trap door under the roof, and a chimney. Also, they cut up one of an issue of Real Simple and so the now, the house comes with a fridge, washer/dryer, bar-b-que, juice, and various other necessities.

On this particular day, all of my spare energy was used up, and this was all I could manage.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Happy Birthday

Lillian turned 3 last Thursday. She had been asking and asking about her party. At first she really wanted a princess party and a princess cake.

This is not a princess cake. See, we decided to invite a boy and I didn't want to subject him to all that pink, so we had an Einstein's party. This is our first foray into serious cake decorating. I made fondant and Tyler free handed Rocket out of the same.

I'm really pleased with how the whole party turned out. I didn't ask any of the kid's parent's permission to put their pictures up here, so I can't show off the fun freeze dance game we played. We also made white mud which was a huge huge hit.

Lillian loved the whole day. She loved being the center of attention and us doing everything she wanted to do and blowing out the candles and singing Happy Birthday and wearing a birthday hat all day long.

Happy Birthday kid, you were worth the 30 some-odd hours of labor it took to bring you into this world.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday Reminiscences: In which I almost kill my first patient

As the likelihood of me ever finding a 40-hour-per-week job is dwindling into nothingness, I was thinking about how I procured the ever-so-promising degree that is now proving to be not very useful.

When you start nursing school, they put you in Long-Term Care, which is a euphemism for Old Folks' Home. You have clients assigned to you, but they mostly take care of themselves, and they don't let you anywhere near medications, so, you mostly just give baths and take blood pressures. After a few weeks of this, you get moved into Acute Care, i.e. a hospital.

In order to let you get near real patients, they make you come to the hospital the day before and write down everything there ever was to know about your patient. Then you go home, and look up everything you wrote down and make sure you know it cold: lab values, diagnostic tests, diagnoses, comorbidities, medications, possible side effects of treatment, and the like. If the instructor catches you in the hallway, they will quiz you and if you don't know the answer to their question, they will incinerate you with their laser beam eyes and then graffiti your grave with big red 'F's. Or so they made it seem.

I was ready. I had done my research. I had reams of paper and cheat sheets hidden in my clipboard. I hadn't slept the night before for looking things up in my Taber's Medical Encyclopedic Dictionary.

My patient was a somewhat elderly woman, I don't quite remember what her diagnosis was. Anyway, I showed up with her breakfast tray and started to introduce myself. Uncovering her tray, I saw that breakfast that morning was pancakes. She asked if I could cut them up for her. Sure, piece of cake. That done, I moved to wheel in the blood pressure machine. As soon as my back was turned, she started coughing. Then coughed more. I sat her straight up in her bed. Then she started gasping and wheezing. I patted her back. Then she turned bright red. I thought about doing the Heimlich Maneuver, but she was so old and frail and the thought flitted across my mind that you weren't supposed to do the Heimlich unless they aren't breathing, or coughing at all. This lady was doing both, so I wasn't sure what the heck to do. I stuck my head out of the room as the floor supervisor happened to be walking passed. I very calmly (actually probably the opposite) asked her to duck in for a moment.

By that time, the old lady had coughed up her little piece of pancake and was laying back down, exhausted. After that big scare, the rest of the day was actually kind of cool, because I got to go with her to have a swallow evaluation, in which she swallowed barium while being x-rayed, so you could watch it go down into her stomach, or lungs... which is what it was actually doing.

To this day, I'm very glad she didn't die, as that would have sort of tainted the rest of my (non-existant) nursing career.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Moon and Idaho

I hope no officials from the Craters of the Moon National Monument are reading this, but... we took home a rock. Sorry.

Tyler went to Craters when he was young. He's not sure how old he was, but he was young enough to believe that you could drive to the moon from your Grandma's house in Twin Falls.

Lillian had lots of fun climbing on the 'bolcanoes.' You guys probably don't remember, but Tyler took a geology class a few years back. So he knows all about volcanoes and how the volcano that makes up Yellowstone used to be in Idaho, and tectonic plates, or something.

There are much cooler things to see at the Craters of the Moon National Monument, but they wanted to charge us some exorbitant amount, like $15, to go see them, so we said no thank you and sufficed ourselves with this little area by the visitors' center.

On the drive home, we visited Cove Fort, where no less than 526 senior missionaries wanted to give us a tour.

Once we got into Arizona, we were reminded that it is, in fact, hot here.

We stopped briefly at the Vermilion Cliffs where we took some pictures and Lillian begged for a pink cowboy hat, which we got for her. (I know you shouldn't give in to begging, but doesn't every little girl need a pink cowboy hat?)

The end.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Middle Idaho Days + Tuesday Reminescences

Ok, this Tuesday, we're going to talk about me versus the yellow jacket. While in Idaho, Brian's (visible below, just to my left) mom let us stay in her 5th wheel out back. This arrangement worked out perfectly and we are very thankful for her hospitality. However, we weren't the only ones who liked the 5th wheel. While in and around the thing, we were almost constantly under attack by yellow jackets. I did not encounter these guys anywhere else during my time in Idaho, whatever that means.

After breakfast on the 4th, I went back out to the trailer to brush my teeth and finish primping. As I walked in, a wasp followed me, so I left the door open hoping that it would just fly back out. It did not fly back out, it flew right into my hair.

Those of you who know me in real life can probably guess that I did not react calmly to the situation. And, in the course of carrying out my not-calm reaction, in which there was much jumping, screaming, and flailing, I injured myself. The end.

Here we are awaiting the start of the parade. Oddly, this is the only picture I have of Allison or Brian.

Lillian took her job of gathering up the salt water taffy very seriously. We were the sole candy gatherers for the family because the boys were in the parade.

If we had only remembered to bring our goat, we could have been in the parade, too.

Here are 'them boys on their motorbikes.' I uploaded the small version of the picture, sorry, so you can't click on it to make it bigger, but they're all there.

After the parade, and the BBQ at Aunt Rosie's house, the boys took another few laps around the dirt bike track that runs around the house. On the right there is the trailer we stayed in.

Here is Nora and Baby Hudson. Living in Arizona, where the low in the dead of night is somewhere around 80˚, it did not occur to me that my children would do anything that would require them to wear pants. Thus, when we went to the fireworks, Nora had to wear these leopard jammie pants and endure much redicule. And, that's a pretty standard face for Hudson. He's the crankiest baby I've ever seen.

The fireworks display was put on by the local fire department. I can totally see the logic in this. They would set off a few, and then stop because the hill was on fire, walk down, put out the fire, and repeat the process. I learned a lot at that fireworks display, for example, in Idaho Philadelphia Freedom by Elton John counts as a patriotic song and although it's spelled Pocatello, it's pronounced Pocatell-a or Pokey, for short.

Still to come: The moon, in Idaho.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The First Days of Idaho

These flowers were by a gas station outside of Blackfoot. They're a little crazy looking, I think.

And, these two flowers were on the same plant. What kind of plant has two different kind of (crazy) flowers?

Then, these giant dandelions were growing nearby. Wacky place that is.

The drive up to Challis from SLC is supposed to take 5 hours. Things were going well and we were humming right along when we hit this 5 mile stretch of gravel (which is a part how they pave roads up there) and had to slow down to 10 mph. I don't know if you guys can do the math on that, but let's just say that it took a little longer than 5 hours.

Yeah, there's nothing out here.

This is the number mountain in Arco, the first nuclear powered town in the US. Perhaps this explains the freak flowers.

Lillian exploring mining techniques at the museum at the junction.

Lillian didn't dig anything up, but she found this baby.

After Tyler took this bike out for a spin (without Lillian, she just hopped on for the picture), he began to casually pepper me with questions like, "so, how much do you think dirt bikes cost?" "if we saved up, could we buy a dirt bike?" "can I get a dirt bike, I'll take good care of it and take it on rides, and read to it every night?" Well, maybe I'm exaggerating, but I could tell he REALLY wanted one.

We can buy a dirt bike, but I want a piano first, and I'm not budging.

Not pictured: Tyler outshooting all of the Idaho boys with his secret shotgun skills.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Zion's and a day in SLC

To get to the 15 from the freeway that comes through Flagstaff, you have to go west a little. There are many little freeways that will take you over, one of which runs through Zion National Park.

At first, we were going to just drive through and ogle the pretty views from the car. We decided to stop when we saw that the Weeping Rock hike was only .5 miles and labeled 'Easy.' This was just our speed as our stroller was in the garage, waiting patiently to be packed.

Lillian loved this little stream best of all. We spent at least 10 minutes looking at it, but not touching it; there was a big sign that said the stream contained giardia and that we'd die if we drank out of it.

This is the Weeping Rock. What happens is that water seeps down into the spongy rock until it reaches a non-porous layer, at which point it travels more or less horizontally, until it comes out of the rock face. Where we were standing, it was like a light drizzle, and Lillian hated it.

Here's the pretty rocks.

We tried to get a picture of us and the pretty rocks behind, but the camera wouldn't flash. I'm not that savvy with the photography, or the editing, so this is what we got.

Update: Tyler took this as a challenge and produced the following:

Up the 15 to Tracy and Tricia's house. Tyler doesn't think he and his brother look anything alike.

Tracy and Tricia have two dogs. This one is Sugar. Lillian had a love/hate relationship with Sugar. On the one hand, she is big enough that Lillian can ride her... like a horse. On the other hand, Sugar is just a puppy and doesn't know that she is horse sized, and knocked Lillian down on a number of occasions while bestowing massive amounts of sloppy kisses, which might have been interpreted by Lillian as Sugar trying to eat her face off. However, Lillian tried to call Sugar on her bean bag yesterday, so I think all is forgiven.

Tracy and Tricia also have MacGyver, or MacGeyser as Lillian calls him. MacGyver is older and more seasoned and more willing to just sit still. Much more Lillian's speed.

I wish we lived closer to these guys. Still to come: IDAHO.
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