Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Sue!

Some of our very best friends from Reno moved to Vegas last month - YEAAAAAAAAH! And it gets better - Dan invited us to come down and stay with them for Sue's birthday (it was a surprise for her - well, he might have told her the day before, but still a surprise then). This was our first "vacation" since the twins were born and the boys have been looking forward to it all summer. We had such a great time - another one of my best friends had flown down from Reno and it was so nice to visit and spend time with them both! I have the most incredible friends in the whole world - I can't even believe myself how lucky I am. I can't count all the ways I am indebted to them, but do want to share some of the things they have done for me. Sue drove us to Utah when we moved back - she knows how hard it is for me to stay awake while I am driving and knew (better than I did, I might add) how hard emotionally as well as physically the trip was going to be. Sue left 5 kids of her own to help me and Apryl helped take care of them while Sue was gone. Both Sue and Apryl talked me through all the crazy emotions I was dealing with in the early stages of the divorce (and being pregnant), they both came and helped me pack and clean many times, and they also both helped me financially as well. I know have tears streaming down my face so I am going to change the tone here and go back to the HAPPY trip. I didn't get a picture with Apryl (I guess we will have to do it again next year to get pictures - oh and Christelle, if you are checking this blog, you need to come too) but here is one of my troup and the Lee clan (except Dan - who took increadible pictures with my broken camera).
Thank you Lee family - we all had a "radical" time (Miles wrote in his journal all about the trip and he used the word "radical" about 10 times describing all the fun stuff the kids did together). Oh, and one more thing - it wasn't enough that they fed us the whole trip, but Sue took me to "Trader Joe's" - my absolute favorite place to shop, (which they do not have in Utah) and wouldn't let me buy my own groceries - so they are still feeding us (that pasta was sooooo yummy!!!).
My family was down in Vegas at the same time for a tournament that Courtnie's club basketball team was playing in. They stayed at a nice resort and invited us over one day to play in their pool. Here are some pictures from Tahiti Village. They had a beach entrance to their pool - the sand was incredible!!!

They even had a lazy river - most of us loved it, however, the twins liked the swimming pool better. We didn't even make it very far on the tube, and then my mom took them back to their room for a nap so I could play with the older kids - THANK YOU MOM!

Brittnie and her girls came down as well and we went to "M&M World" with them on the way back to Cedar. Most of the kids had a great time! Here is a picture when we first walked in - all the kids are happy...

Here is a picture as we were leaving - guess which kid had an absolute meltdown (he couldn't even be talked into getting in the picture). His "mean mom" wouldn't buy him a $30 M&M dispenser.
Abby and Katie had a great time!
The green M&M was Abby's favorite because she was wearing high heels.
This is what Paige and Piper did at M&M world and my dad even volunteered to stay in the hall and watch them so I didn't have to maneuver the stroller.
Thanks everyone for making our short vacation so fun - and underwhelming to me.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Swimming lessons

I enrolled a child in swimming lessons this summer for the very first time. When the boys were little, we had a pool at our apartment and so I could just teach them. I tried to teach Abby this summer as well - we had a free family pass to the pool for one month, so I would time it so we went during naptime and the twins would sleep in their stroller in the shade while I got in with Abby. It never worked though - either one twin wouldn't go to sleep, or they would both sleep, but just for 10 minutes, or the water was too cold so Abby wouldn't stay in the water for more than 5 minutes. So I spent the $25 and registered her for swimming lessons. It was worth every dollar - she loved it. I didn't get great pictures (the swimming pool is the hardest place to watch the twins so I usually had my arms full) - but I will share what I have.
Abby did great and they moved her on to Level 2 - here she proudly holding her certificate (and otter pop).
She loves to go under water and can hold her breath for quite a while. This video is of her very favorite game, she calls it "can't go over".

This next video is a game called "chop, chop, timber". The kids tell the teacher what kind of tree they are and then the teacher will say "chop, chop, timber" and the kids jump in the water. This time Abby was a "strawberry tree", I really wish I had my camera on the day before when she was an "applesauce tree".

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Successful Surgery!

So, runners are not usually known for having nice feet and I am no exception. I lost another toenail last weekend running the half-marathon. It is funny how a little thing like a toe can cause so much pain, but it did. I was limping so bad that my hip started to hurt so I thought it might be time to take care of it. Last time this happened was after the Portland marathon and since we didn't have insurance I made Frank drill through my toenail with a small drill bit. Now, we have insurance, but since our deductable is so high, I still didn't want to go to the doctor. So, (after asking advice from my nurse friend - thanks Kelli) I took a paper clip and heated it until it was red hot and then burned through my toenail - I AM SO BRAVE!!!!! It was instantly better - next time it won't take me 3 days to work up the courage to do. Since I am so proud of myself for my surgeon skills - I am even including a visual to go with the story. Here is the infamous toe!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Guess who's 1!

The twins had a birthday last weekend and we had a little party for them on Sunday. We had dinner at my mom and dad's (we were also celebrating my mom's birthday) and then started the party with the presents. Here they are with their presents -
Piper and her favorite present - the picture isn't great, but the story behind the picture is funny so I included the picture anyway. As soon as Piper opened the marshmellows, she grabbed them and ran (thinking someone was going to take them away). Well, she headed straight for the sprinklers, so Greg went after her to stop her from getting wet and she thought he was chasing her and ran faster. Anyway, she ended up wet, but still in possesion of the marshmellows.
Paige and her favorite present. She was a bit sober this day, not sure why, but I never did get a picture of her smiling.

My favorite present that they got were darling hair bows that Brittnie and her family gave them. They match the beautiful dresses (thanks again Grandma Gilmore) that they are going to wear for their birthday pictures - so you should see them here soon. After the presents, we went on to the cake - you can't really tell from the pictures, but the cupcakes were multi-colored. They were very bright and I thought would make a big mess, but neither of the girls got as messy as I hoped they would (the one time a year that I wouldn't mind them being messy:) I thought this picture was classic - as you can see, both girls have the same giant cupcake in front of them, but for some reason, Piper always goes for Paige's food.

We did manage to veer her back towards her own cupcake though and then she took her first bite of birthday candle wax.

Piper hardly got a crumb on her - really, I should have left her in her dress.

Paige started out a bit timid, but ended up messier than her sister. I could not however, coax a smile out of her - so her she is watching me with her big serious eyes.

This was quite funny, instead of eating either of the cupcake pieces she was holding in her hands, she decided to go for the cupcake left on the plate, and since her hands were both full - she decided no hands were necessary.

I can't believe they are 1 - I sometimes get sad they are growing up so quick. Many people have told me that if I could make it past the first year, it would get easier - I am not so sure they know what they are talking about however. They do sleep better - I will give them that, but chasing two toddlers is a lot harder than chasing one and holding two squirming toddlers is next to impossible. So wish me luck this coming year - all of my other kids have been better babies than toddlers (they are not "bad" toddlers, just mischievious, independent and stubborn) and I have a feeling that these two are not going to be too different.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

2 hours, 3 minutes, 54 seconds

I have the greatest family in the whole world. Today I ran the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon - and I could never have done it without my whole family. Caleb and I signed up for it months ago, and I really tried to train for it on my own, but running on a treadmill is torture for me, so I wasn't very consistent with it. I called Caleb about 3 weeks ago and told him that I was going to wait for another year and that I was going to sell my bib number. Well that night he was down at my house to run with me. My dad came with him and did yardwork (the kids were asleep, but he would check on them as well). This has been happening almost every night for the last three weeks (my mom has also come down a few time - and that SUPER nice, because she folds laundry while I run) (oh, and Courtnie has even come to sit with the kids as well). I knew that I wasn't in real great shape, but at this time in my life, that is how it is, so I decided to run anyway. Here is a picture with Caleb before the race.
It felt so good to run this morning, that is until about mile 10 when my legs decided that they didn't want to run anymore. I am embarrassed to say that I did walk on and off for the last three miles, but I finished the race. Caleb stayed with me the whole time - I tried to make him leave me so he could make his goal time, but he was a HUGE help that last couple miles. Here we are with our "finisher" medals.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FAMILY!!! Oh, I forgot to mention a few other ways the family helped me - we slept at my parents house last night so they could watch the kids this morning, and Paige and Piper both decided to get up at 4:00 a.m. - so my amazing parents tended my kids on very little sleep (did I mention my mom drove down from girl's camp this morning at 1:15 a.m. to help me and that my dad got up with us at 3:00 a.m. to get us off on the road). And then Brittnie surprised me this cute running shirt after I mentioned that I hated all my old high school t-shirts that I have been running in. It felt so good to run again (it has been 5 years since I last raced), thank you family for understanding how important it was for me. My goal was to run under 2 hours, so you can see that I didn't quite make that - so I guess that means that I need to keep running and find another half to run :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Skateboarder

Miles's passion this month is skateboarding - he has been outside practicing tricks every time I turn around. In fact, he has gotten so good that he now thinks he is good enough to put on a "skatecamp". He has posted flyers like this around the neighborhood.

He wanted to charge $5 a kid for the camp, but I talked him into doing a test run to see how it goes and let the kids come for free. I just wanted to add a brief history of Miles and skateboards - Miles got his first skateboard when he was 19 months old. My brother had come up to help me when Ethan was born and brought Miles a present (did I mention that we had hardwood floors at the time). Michael watched Miles for us while we were in the hospital with Ethan - and I was so nervous about the trouble those two could get into that I only stayed in the hospital overnight even though our insurance covered two nights. Here is the "famous" skateboard - Miles is a little older than 19 months though.

This morning, Miles didn't have swim team and I had promised that if he got all of his stuff done yesterday without whining, I would take him to the skate park. So here are a few pictures of me following through with that promise.

This is what the rest of us were doing while Miles skated - yep, we splurged and went out for doughnuts!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hurricane Meet

We ran down to Hurricane this morning for a swim meet. I turned my camera on for a quick picture before the meet and almost cried. My viewing screen had a HUGE white box right in the middle of where the picture should be - after 30 minutes of trying everything I could think of to fix it, I realized that I could still see the outline of some other pictures that were still on my camera. So I took pictures and video's anyway and sure enough - they look great on my computer (well as great as this camera ever looked). So if the pictures are lobsided, I now have an excuse - I couldn't see the picture I was taking. Here are the boys at some point in the meet.
It was Ethan's first meet (Miles swam in the Summer Games last year) and he was super nervous, but he did SO good. Since I am now using my blog as a journal/scrapbook (I just got my blog books from the past 2 years and they look great), I am going to record the kids times. Ethan swam 2 relays and the 25 free (33.33) and the 25 back (31.85). I am so excited about those times - his backstroke is faster than his freestyle (I was like that as a kid too!) Miles strongly dislikes backstroke - he hates that the water comes up his nose (I have tried to teach him how to swallow water that comes up his nose and he looks at me like I am crazy:) - so it is fun to have a kid who likes (and is good at) the funnest race there is. Here is a picture of Ethan showing off his event numbers that the coaches wrote on his arm.

And here is a clip of his backstroke race - he was the only 7-8 year old boy so they made him swim with the girls and he still did great! He is in the last lane - also if you look closely, you can see him put on his goggles near the start of the race - yep, he forgot to put them on before the race started.

Miles ended up swimming 3 individual events and 2 relays - he swam the 50 free (59.49), 50 back (1:10.27) and the 50 breast (1:25.18). I had signed him up to swim the 100 I.M. instead of the breaststroke, but there was a mix up - so he swam the breaststroke. Last summer, Miles was disqualified in every breaststroke race so I was quite nervous, but he is a great little breaststroker now.
I wish I had got a video of the breaststroke, but since I didn't think he was swimming it I didn't have my camera with me (he barely made the race as it was). Here is Miles 50 free race.

It was hot today so the girls and I tried to stay in the shade - here are some cute shots of the girls. It seems like every time I take a picture of Piper, she has something in her mouth. This time it was a water bottle lid (she also enjoyed the landscape rocks that were right next to us).
Paige has a huge smile - sorry about the cut-off head. It is harder than it looks to take a picture without being able to see the screen.

Abby was soaked by the end of the meet - she snuck into the wading pool and "ran" laps. I was as sad as she was when they made her get out - I need to suggest they get a park next to the pool for the little kids.

It was a fun meet - just hard with the girls. I do appreciate my own parents more though - thanks for all the meets/games you came to Mom and Dad - they always had little kids (even for college track meets, Courtnie was only 2-6 years old). Maybe next summer it will be a little easier - maybe???

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fun-Filled 4th (or 5th)

The 4th of July was celebrated on the 5th this year in Cedar (since the 4th was Sunday). The boys thought it was hilarious how they kept announcing in church that the 4th of July breakfast was on July 5th. Well, our day started at 6 a.m. when the canons went off REALLY loud! We made it too the church by 7ish for the breakfast (yes, we were late and did miss the flag ceremony). We then proceded on to the parade - lucky for me, my cousin Derek lives on Main Street and saves us a spot so we don't have to get to the parade an hour early to get a place. The kids had a great time with their cousins catching candy.
You can't see it, but Abby really did have a few pieces of candy in her purse. I really mean few though, because she would get a piece of candy, take it back to her bag and then go back for another one, but by that time the candy would be gone. She had a great time though.
Here are a few pictures of Abby and her cousin Katie - they are "bestest" friends. It is so fun for us to be so close to family!

This is a slide at the bounce houses at the park.

Later on at Grandma's and Grandpa's I caught them both in the pea patch - I promise I didn't stage this picture, but they really are "two pea's in a pod".

After the parade, we put some babies down for a nap at Grandma's and Grandpa's and then took the rest of the kids to the park where they have a fun carnival type thing every year. The first place the boys wanted to go was to the dunking booth - they both took a turn at throwing, here is a great shot of Ethan.

Then Miles decided he wanted to get in line to sit on the dunking chair (that line, by the way, was 10 x's longer than the line to throw. But here he is ready to be dunked.

Guess who was the one who dunked Miles - yep, his brother got him and I even got it on video:)

He was pretty wet - but not for long with how hot it was that day.

We also found a man walking around with a snake wrapped around his neck and of course the kids had to visit him. I thought Abby would be a bit more scared than she was - but she was pretty enthralled by the snake.

My camara died when Miles was on the rock wall - this is the only shot I have of it - I wish I hadn't zoomed in so close - he was really high up there, but you can't tell from this shot.

We then all went home for naps (and a piano practice for Ethan who had a piano lesson to get ready for) before a barbeque and fireworks at my parents house. I forgot to tell about the outfits - we all had on our red, white and blue. I had outfits for all the kids, and I was planning on just wearing clothes that I had, BUT, one day while at Walmart, I saw a cute shirt and tried it on (just over my other clothes, because you can't fit five kids in a dressing room and still have room to dress). Miles - bless his heart - told me that I looked fantastic and I should get that shirt- that compliment from my 9 year old boy made my day (maybe week or month even). So, needless to say, I made the purchase. I rarely like to have pictures taken of myself - but I did have a few taken in my "fantastic" looking top. Here I am with the twins - this is what I look like most days with a twin in each arm.

Here is the whole family in their red, white and blue. It is really difficult to get everyone holding still, not to mention smiling in the same direction. I put in two pictues becasue I couldn't decide which was better.

We started the fireworks off with sparklers - Abby wouldn't even go near them, but the boys had a great time.
Greg let Miles help him light the fireworks - it made Miles's whole day, he really felt grown-up.
Even with naps, it was still a pretty late night - Abby sure liked her glow stick bracelets though, she even made a necklace out of them as well.
We ended the day out at the hill above the soccer fields at Canyon View High watching the "big" fireworks. It was one of those "perfect" days where kids had fun all day (probably because there were no chores to complain about). I love the 4th of July!!!