Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Little daredevil...

When I was pregnant with Hunter, everyone told me how different my little boy and girl would be. Sure they would be different. Different personalities, different sense of humor, different interests; but they're still both little kids. They cry, they make messes, they learn to walk...right? No! Boys and girls are so different, at least my two little ones are.

Although we had a rough start when Hallie was born, she was a relatively easy toddler. She didn't get into cabinets. She didn't climb out of her crib. She didn't color on the wall. She got into the plant dirt one time and after the time-out, she never touched it again!

Hunter, however, is another story. First and foremost, the kid likes to climb. He has been sitting on the bar stool at the bar since before he could walk. He would just climb up there whenever he pleased. He likes to stack large cars on books on stools and then stand on top of all of it.

He jumps. He jumps off stairs. Jumps into pillows. Jumps off couches. He's an animal. So it should come as no surprise; he gets hurt all the time. We've already taken him to the emergency for a large gash from his teeth. His nose bleeds, his mouth bleeds, he scrapes his head, he cuts his leg. The list could go on and on. At this point I'm seriously considering a helmet. Really. I talked to the pediatrician about it and the only down side is they're very expensive and they have to be replaced regularly as his head grows. (we've tried the bicycle helmet and we just can't get it tight enough!) So since our preventative measures are difficult, we are really left with damage control.

One Sunday morning, I was on the phone with a friend when I hear a large thud and screaming. I rush to the kitchen to find this...
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He had been sitting/climbing on the stool when he fell off and hit his nose. There was a lot of blood and I couldn't get it to stop. Of course Steve was at meetings (he never seems to be there when the action starts) and Hallie was freaking out over the amount of blood rushing from his nose.
"Mom, it's still coming out."
"I know."
"He got some on the floor"
"I know"
"Oh Hunter (in her best little mommy voice) you got blood all over your shirt, you shouldn't do that."

She's right. He shouldn't do that. People keep telling me eventually he'll learn. Eventually? After how many broken body parts?  I can't take the sight of rushing blood many more times, and he's only one. And sadly, I don't think we've seen the worst of it...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chicago...

While Brimley was visiting, we managed to walk away from the flooded basement on Saturday and enjoy some time in Chicago. We did the usual tourist attractions and enjoyed a little shopping.
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We also came across a block that had been shut down for the filming of Transformers 3. The first time we walked by the block we only saw a set; burned cars and broken down buildings. However, when we were walking back from our little shopping excursion, we noticed that there was a film crew out. Sure enough they were filming. We were just feet away. Brimley noticed the actor looked familiar; Patrick Dempsey. But we were both a little confused with him being in this movie. But we looked it up on my phone and he is definitely in the third installment.
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Chicago never disappoints!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Special Day...

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Dearest Hallie-
Today was a special day! You had your first day of real school and you were over the moon. I picked out two outfits for you last night and let you choose which one you wanted to wear for your first day. It was a hard decision for you. You kept saying how much you liked both outfits, pointing out the benefits of each one. But ultimately you chose the black dress because you liked the shoes better!

You've been talking about going to school for weeks now. You started the countdown 7 days ago. And each morning you woke up you would tell me how many days you had left. Just the other morning you were telling dad at breakfast how big you're getting; you're going to school soon, you're growing out of all your clothes, your bed is getting smaller and you're almost a mommy!  You're definitely growing up!

Your school starts pretty early so we had to wake you up this morning. Dad made your favorite breakfast...mickey mouse pancakes. You had already packed your school supplies so we were ready to go. We drove up to the school and I turn to look at you in the backseat and you were sobbing. "This is not the right school, we're not in the right place. My school is by Ruby Jane's house. I go to Pius!" We tried reasoning with you but you were not having any of it. We tried to calm you down but you were so concerned we were in the wrong place. Daddy turned the car around and drove over to Ruby Jane's house. Once we were in the driveway we had you turn around and see the school. We then drove there with you watching the school the whole time. The second time we pulled into the parking lot it was a lot better!
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We (daddy, mommy and Hunter) all walked you to your classroom. We met your teacher and immediately you ran to the toys with two other girls. Hunter was close behind. We watched you play for just a short while and then we left you in the care of your teacher. We had to pry Hunter away from you. He cried the whole way home.  He missed you so much. You two are the best of friends and he doesn't know what to do when you're not around. You've should've seen his eyes light up when I told him it was time to pick you up.
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I'm still a little shocked your old enough to be in school! You're growing up so quickly.  You're much more perceptive these days. You notice things, you ask questions, you come to your own conclusions. You're bright and always learning more. School will be really good for you. I'm excited for you. The only bad thing is now you're going to be in school for an awfully long time!
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I left you today remembering back to my early school days. I loved school. I was excited about it just as much as you were. I wanted to learn more, I loved my teachers and classes. And I'm sure you'll be no different! I just hope you that you'll remember everything we've taught you. I'm not there to look after you and stick up for you and help you solve your problems, but you're a big girl now. You can do it.

You walked out of that school beaming today. It was a good day. You told me about your class. Your "friends". You told me you're excited about the "projects" you'll get to do in school. And gym class, you're pretty excited about that. I can't forget to send you with tennis shoes those days, you were really concerned I might forget! I loved that you wanted to tell me about your day. I hope you always will.
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Your sweet friend Ruby even dropped by some balloons for you on your first day and you got to tell your story all over again.

So tomorrow you'll do it again. And I'm sure it will only get better and better. We love you sweet girl!
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Domestic day...

Today I spent all day in the kitchen. I had 14 lbs of ripe tomatoes and 7 large zucchini on my counter that just needed a little attention.

I started the day with canning. 10 pints of diced tomatoes. Check.

Next, a fresh batch of salsa. Tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, lime, cilantro, garlic, cumin. Check.

Then off to grating zucchini. A double batch of zucchini bread. Check.

To top it off, we were feeding the missionaries tonight.

So mesquite chicken in the crockpot. Check.

I had two little helping hands that just loved the idea of being in the kitchen with mom. So they pulsed the tomatoes in the processor. They taste tested the salsa multiple times. And Hunter managed to man handle a whole loaf of bread on his own. Most of it was on the floor. Quite a bit in his belly. And a tiny smidgen left on the counter.

All in all a productive day. Very fruitful!

However, with that many kitchen projects I spent a lot of time cleaning. I washed a lot of pans and dishes. Tomato off of flours. Bread smashed to the chairs. I definitely have dishwater hand this evening.

I'm tired. Really.
It's almost midnight and I just walked upstairs to get something and noticed that all the dishes from dinner are still on the counter. The most devastating sight. I just can't do it tonight. It'll just have to wait until morning.

Special Visitor...

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Two days after the Man-cation we had a special visitor...Miss Brimley, our neice came for a little visit. She is a senior in high school and had never been to Milwaukee. So, we welcomed her with open arms!

We went to the beach one evening and brought along the BBQ. There is something very relaxing about sitting on the beach as the sun goes down with a tasty dog in one hand and juicy watermelon in the other.
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We've only made it to the beach a couple times this year, which is a huge disappointment. And now it's closed. For the season. Boo.

We had big plans for Brimley. We were going to do this...and that...see this...eat that. But unfortunately plans don't always go as planned.

Thursday evening we started experiencing severe storms and heavy rains. It rained and rained. We were upstairs getting ready for dinner and Brimley commented on how flooded our lawn was already. It kept getting closer and closer to our home. Brimley ran downstairs to get something and she yells up the stairs, "Guys there's water down here."

There was water. A lot of it. We've never experienced anything like this so we weren't really sure what we should do first. We started pushing the water towards the drain but it wasn't going down, it was coming up through the drain. We realized we needed to get everything out of the basement. I stood there for a second looking at our basement that was only two years old full of water and a tear rolled down my cheek. Steve, who was more than a little stressed out at the moment noticed my single tear and quickly snapped, "Crying is not going to help the situation Kara." He was right. I had my 4 second cry and that was it!

We have a lot of stuff in the basement. Furniture, rugs, toys, electronics, food storage...and the list could go on and on.

Unfortunately, the whole area was hit so bad, that there weren't a whole lot of people we knew to come help us that didn't experience flooding themselves. Luckily, we had two friends that were able to help us out: Kasmers and Taintors. They logged a lot of hours and we appreciated all the help they offered.

We got the majority of all our stuff out and we did everything we could to save the carpet. This is what we did all night long.
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After exhaustion set in at 1 am, we went to bed. At 2 am we got up and vacuumed more water that came off the carpet. At 4 am, we vacuumed some more. Again at 7 am. It was a long night. Our backs were sore and tired.

After meeting with our agent in the morning, we realized we were covered through a flood policy we added just a year ago. We were unable to get the carpet even somewhat dry so we had to get rid of it. We spent the next day cleaning, throwing out a lot of stuff and moving stuff to an off-site storage unit. Amidst all the chaos, we still had our special visitor Brimley. We felt so bad. This was not anyone's idea of a good time. So we worked really hard all day Friday so we could take a break that night and enjoy some dinner downtown. It felt good to be showered and out of a house that smelled so bad!!
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mancation 2010...

Sadly I was not in attendance at Man-cation 2010, so there are no pictures to tell this story. A little imagination could go a long way...here we go.

The idea was formulated months ago when Steve suggested that two of his brothers fly out to Milwaukee for a cubs game while their families were visiting other family members. Two brothers turned into three brothers, two brother-in-laws and his dad. And so Man-cation 2010 was born, this I'm sure was the first of many to come.

They all flew in for a long weekend and all stayed at Bob's house. They went down to Chicago and enjoyed a Cubs game, downtown Chicago, deep dish pizza and a movie.

The next day they woke up early and enjoyed 18 holes of golf, a Pothier style BBQ, a few naps in the afternoon only to be topped off that evening with a trip to the lake for boarding/skiing and lessons in "surfing".  Of course, following many trips to the lake, a stop at 5 Guys for some fatty burgers and fries from Idaho.

After two days of fun, day three was just recovery. Bodies were aching and tired. I'm sure it took most their strength and energy to board the plane going home. Steve came home and crashed. He slept and slept. Clearly - too many late nights and pillow talks with brothers.

But none the less a great time. Good conversation, tasty food, fond memories.

It kills me that not one of them had a camera.

Really.

It's a good thing they're all married to wonderful women who document their lives!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Just another day in paradise...

For Steve, there is nothing better than the sound of a text message from his friend Jared letting him know it's a lake night after work. Steve excitedly calls me, asks cautiously what are plans are for the night, and when the coast is clear he drops the bomb...Jared says it's a lake night, can you have the kids ready to walk out the door in 10 minutes?

First of all, I can't get myself to the bathroom and grab a drink in 10 minutes, let alone locate two swimsuits and towels, not to mention bags full of goodies to entertain the kids. But because I love it just as much as Steve does, we go. We go every time. And as much as I think I have going on and I just can't spare this night, it's never let me down. This night was no different.

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Summer is ending.

And I'm not happy about it at all.

I'm realizing for some bizarre reason we didn't catch one photo of Hallie. I swear she was there. She was with her friends in the front of the boat. She doesn't like to bothered at the front of the boat!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Salsa day...

I remember when I was younger living at home. I'd wake up during the summer and the house would be quiet. I'd look around for a minute and notice my mom not around. I'd look out the back window and see her in the garden picking beans. I remember not wanting to bother her with any questions at this time because I'd be roped into picking beans as well. But never failing, when those buckets of beans entered the house, my mom rounded all the kids to start snapping. It didn't matter if you wanted to sleep in, watch TV or go hang out with friends. It didn't matter what you thought you had planned. The beans were ready to be picked. So...you snapped beans first and played later. This happened a couple times each summer.

Then of course there was salsa day. I liked salsa day a lot more than I liked bean days. There wasn't a whole we could do to help with the salsa without just getting in the way, so it was usually a free day. My mom would labor over a hot stove, blanching tomatoes, cooking salsa, prepping and sealing the jars. The kitchen was hot while the onions and jalapenos lingered in the air much longer, burning your eyes as you entered the room. There was an open bag of chips sitting by the stove that my mom would occasionally grab a chip and take a dip, just for a little taste test. I knew this process. I knew it well.
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So in my married and domestic days I find myself following my mother's footsteps. We have a great garden, and have ever since we've moved here. We've tried growing a number of things as well as our staple items (i.e. tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers) but they never produce like we'd like them to. So this year I stuck to the basics: 8 tomato, 3 zucchini, 6 cucumber.

You can imagine my disappointment when our yard/basement (more on that later) flooded. Water stayed in the garden for several days and when it finally dispersed, my poor plants were devastated. I was devastated. My dreams of salsa and zucchini bread quickly faded.

My friend informed me that there was a coop where she was going to be buying a 20lb box of tomatoes, which is the exact amount you need for a batch of salsa. My mom always says making the salsa isn't really worth it when you have to buy your tomatoes, but I was desperate. Our salsa supply was dwindling quickly and wouldn't last until next year. So I bought a box.

When I got the box of tomatoes I realized just how ripe they were, with some already spoiling. So Monday was our salsa day. It didn't matter that I had grand plans of home organization and cleaning. The tomatoes just don't wait. So I put everything on hold, just like my mom always did, and I canned salsa.Photobucket

My kitchen was a disaster, with traces of tomato splatters everywhere.
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I learned a lesson from before and wore a red shirt as to camouflage my messiness!

And I invited the neighborhood kids over to jump on the trampoline so I could watch my kids out the window without them walking through my messy kitchen.
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It took me a good portion of my day and by the end I was tired and felt sick to my stomach. I consumed nearly a pint of salsa in frequent taste testing!!

Steve got home from work last night and kept complaining that his eyes were burning. I smiled. I must have done something right because that's how I remember feeling when I was younger!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Oxnam Reunion...

Right after our 4th of July festivities, all of my immediate family came into Rexburg. Although we have a fairly small family it seems rather difficult to get us all together. It had been years since we were all able to hang out. So, we gathered in Rexburg, (while Kaytlin still attended classes in the morning) for a grand time. We stayed in Steve's parents house (his parents weren't there!) and it was great for us to all stay under the same roof.

Being an active family, we planned for a lot of athletic/sport type activities. We played tennis, wiffle ball, dodge ball twice, some basketball, volleyball and shooting. After the first day we were all pretty sore. Arms were stiff, thighs were sore. We were exhausted, but we pushed through the pain! We watched a couple world cup soccer games, made multiple happy hour Sonic runs, had fireworks a couple times, played games at night, went to the lake, saw campus and visited the splash park and carousel.

I think my favorite activity was the dodge ball which sadly we have no pictures of. We brought all of our yellow foam discs from Wisconsin and introduced my family to "dodge disc". We played in a gym church and boy was it fun, and yet utterly exhausting. My younger brother could chuck that disc so hard, I was always fearful of getting hit by his. We played so many different variations and in the end settled on classic jail dodge ball. It was fun. But our arms were mush by the end. I so badly wanted to play 5 more rounds of tennis, but nobody had it in them. But for the record, as it currently stands, Steve and I are the champions. All siblings will probably dispute this. But in the one day we played, Steve and I came out on top. It's a good thing we were all too tired to play another day, the rankings might have drastically changed!!

We had a great time. Its nice to see your siblings as grown ups and not as the little kid that used to push your buttons. Of course there is still some button pushing, but all in good fun!
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Of course with the carousel, there has to be more cotton candy. Hunter finally started to get the hang of it by the third day of eating it, and Hallie just expected more and more cotton candy. It might as well have it's own food group with her!
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We also took the opportunity to take some family photos. We had it done the last time we were all together almost 5 years ago when Hallie was blessed! We were definitely in need of an update!
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Hallie and Hunter were once again in heaven with all their cousins. Oh, how we hope one day we'll live closer and have all those little girls running around being the best of friends!
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Hunter is going to start thinking every night before he goes to bed he needs to hold sparklers in his hands!
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