Saturday, August 30, 2014


My goal is to blog AT LEAST once a week. Saturday may be the last day of the week, but it keeps my goal. Phew. 

It has been pretty crazy up in here as of late. Not a lot of spare time and a lot of this:

This poor boy has been teething for what feels like years but in reality has been a week, maybe two. We can usually tell when he's teething because he starts waking up at 5:30 a.m., then comes the drool and the not wanting to eat. We knew he was teething but then things got serious last weekend (and a day or two before the weekend). He came down with a really bad fever and was so cranky, like the crankiest I think I've ever seen him. We had about three nights where none of us got much sleep. It was pretty awful. I felt so bad for him. He just seemed so miserable and nothing seemed to give him the relief he needed. The teething rings seemed to help a bit...

And sleeping in our bed, or in our arms on the couch or bed or rocking chair or wherever we could get him to fall back asleep and stop crying. 

By Sunday he seemed to be a little bit better so we went ahead and brought him to church, which means leaving at 6 a.m. so that Darin can get to his morning meetings. We knew he was sleep deprived so we brought the pack n' play just in case. Good thing we did because by 9:30 a.m. (half-way in to Sacrament Meeting) he was dying. Darin found a room that no one uses, set up the pack n' play and he was OUT. Darin sat outside the room and listened to the meeting from the foyer microphone. I took over guard duty during Sunday School. We had planned to wake him up at 11 a.m. if he wasn't up yet since we were both teaching lessons in YW's and EQ's, but I really wanted him to sleep as long as he could so I put this little sign on the door and taught YW's in the room right next to him so that I could hear him if he woke up.

The end of church came and he was STILL asleep.  We just let him keep going while Darin took care of tithing and other things. At 12:45 p.m. when Darin was done we went in and woke him up. He slept for over three hours! Poor boy, he was SO tired. I'm so glad that Darin thought to bring the pack n' play because there is no way he would have slept like that in one of our arms.

Of course the downside to Shae sleeping all morning was that he wasn't going to sleep in the afternoon. Darin and I were dying for sleep as well after the terrible nights sleep and waking up at 5:15 a.m. to get ready for church. Thankfully, Shae was still out of it enough to just lay on me and watch Phantom of the Opera while I snoozed. Needless to say, we put Shae to bed at 6:30 p.m. that evening and Darin and I were out on the couch by 7 p.m. We moved up to the bed around 9 p.m. We haven't felt that exhausted in a long time.

On top of the fever/crying/teething...what made all of this really hard was work. Both Darin and I have been insanely busy with work over the past week and a half, which made the lack of sleep that much harder to handle. 

Darin's big survey goes out next week. Last week he averaged about 12 hour days in the office and then came home and kept working till about 12 a.m./1 a.m. while trying to help calm Shae as much as possible. The end of the month always gets busy with my editing so I had more work last week and this week than I have the rest of the month. On top of that, the Spanish country partner that Darin works with told them last week that she wouldn't be able to do their translation of the survey. They asked me to do it which was really awesome and I was super excited about it...and then the fever came. It's a really long survey (108 questions with multiple responses for each question) so I've been staying up late working on that in between cuddling with my baby.

Bottom line, it's been bizzz-eeee. We left on Tuesday of this week to drop Darin off in D.C. for a conference where he has been busy doing conference stuff PLUS survey stuff.  Shae and I came up to PA where I've been able to get quite a bit more accomplished with others to entertain Shae (who is feeling SO much better and now has four pointy little canines to call his own). 

Darin is now with us and we're hoping we can put the work aside for a few hours to enjoy Labor Day weekend before going home on Monday and finishing off this survey for good (thank goodness!). 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Birthday Weekend

Is it just me or does 27 sound SO much older than 26?

My birthday weekend started out a little differently than I would have thought.  Saturday morning looked a little something like this:

I think we are not meant to have a car this summer.  Maybe we should look into some good bikes...

The story is pretty simple. I was going to pick up a friend who was selling her car and needed a ride home. Yellow light. I slow down. I stop. I get hit. The end. Needless to say, I did not give my friend a ride home. The car was towed away where it waited to be inspected by an adjuster from the other dude's insurance.  

My actual birthday on Monday was spent talking to the adjuster, the body shop about estimates and a rental car company. We were told that it will take about 3 weeks to get it back, so we are now driving a newer, nicer Camry that is going to make going back to our Camry a bit hard.  But can I just say how smoothly this entire process has gone. I was pretty nervous that I was gonna have to fight with people to make sure that we didn't pay a dime (I've never had this happen before so I really didn't know the procedure). We have been taken care of SO well thus far. The other insurance company has been great. So far I've had to pay $1 to the rental car company because they needed a card on file just in case I run away with the car or something like that. If all I have to pay in the end is $1 I will be very happy. I considered all of this to be a pretty awesome birthday gift (besides the initial accident of course, but how smoothly everything has gone since).

My apologies to anyone driving down Jefferson Ave. Saturday morning...

We didn't let the car situation ruin our evening plans. Luckily, we had planned our birthday date as a double so our friends were kind enough to drive. We first went to Tucanos and used our buy one get one free birthday certificate (!! Who would have thought that out of the 10 Tucanos in the nation that there would be one half an hour away from us! We were so surprised when we found out). Then we went southwest just a little ways further where we watched the Norfolk Tides (Orioles AAA minor league team) take on the Gwinnett Braves (Braves AAA minor league team). It was fun watching this game because we'd seen a handful of the players play in the majors and were slightly familiar with them, unlike other minor league games we've been to. The stadium was really big. It was so beautiful with the water in the background and Navy ships all around the area.

Monday was pretty chill. I spent the day with my teething toddler. Darin got me the second season of Dr. Quinn Medicine Women and I made Shae watch an episode with me. As I squealed through the sappy Sully/Dr. Mike moments he would look up at me in utter confusion.  

That evening we had some friends over to eat cheesecake and play games.  

Great action shot right there, with Ezra helping me the whole way. Sarah made me a divine Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecake.  It was the perfect way to finish off the birthday celebration. I am one lucky lady. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

18 Months

This is what a sister missionary finishing her mission looks like.  

Eighteen months. Done. Boom. Bam. Sha-wham.

This kid.  We're your typical parents--we just can't get enough.  He's so happy and fun (minus the couple days recently that he was teething and a total crank...).  His little brain seems to have exploded over the past few weeks as he is clearly understanding more and his vocabulary, well, exists.

It consists of: Oh no! Ca (Car...which basically means anything with wheels). Knog knog (knock knock). Bah (bye) Hi. Niy niy (Night night). Gooo (pronounced like go, not goo, but you hold the "o" you see). Chugachugachuga (although recently this has turned into "Ca!" whenever he sees a train).  Fla-la (his buddies name, Flavia). Occasional mommy or daddy or mama or dada or something of that nature. Roar. Moo.  No (Nose). Dank oo (Thank you).  Gookie (Cookie, but easily refers to bread and crackers as well). Wow wow wow. Geek-ie (Blankie). Ba (Ball). Keys. One, two, one, two, one, two.  Ah gun (All gone).

He's also excelling at the alphabet if I do say so myself, it goes something like this: A-O-A-O-A-O-A-O.

These pictures were taken by the wonderful Sarah Luke, and are more of 15 month pics than 18 month pics (the hair still thrives) but I realized I never posted them...and I don't really have any good recent pics for this post...
Currently we are loving how Shae...

...folds his little arms before we pray.

...wants to do everything we do (sweep the floor, cook, drink out of big cups, etc.)

...sleeps a solid two hours in the middle of the day (sometimes more if he feels like treating me), and 12 hours at night (most nights).

...reads his books. Once he starts, he just can't stop. As soon as the book is over he jumps up, goes straight to the bookshelf, grabs another one and plops right back down into our lap.

...puts his head on our shoulder when it is night time and pats us as we pat him and sing him a song.

...has figured out how to play more independently (for longer than like, 20 seconds that is).  Sometimes it lasts for a whole 15 minutes!

...has picked up on some animal noises.  He roars every time we go to Food Lion or turn on a Lion King sing-a-long. 

...knows some body parts.  At church on Sunday he was showing off his belly button and then went right up to one of the YW and started pulling up her skirt to find hers...oops.

...immediately says "Hi!" when we open the door to get him in the morning. Then puts his blanket on the back of the crib and drops his pacifier on the dresser. He knows the drill. stranger danger AT all (yet). Total flirt and attention seeker. He loves people. he runs with his arms straight out and his hips twisting back and forth.  Big bottom. Short legs. Makes running difficult, trust me, I know.

Currently we are not loving how Shae...

...immediately picks out anything green from his food and puts it to the side (thank you tomato and carrot for not being green).

...throws tantrums.  They aren't too bad yet, so I really don't have much to complain about, but he has his moments.  He's starting to learn what he wants, when he wants it and is not too happy when he doesn't get it.

...fusses because he thinks he can't do something.  He stands at the couch or the top of the stairs and just fusses.  He wants us to carry him down, or lift him onto the couch or take him off the bed, when we know he can do it by himself. 

...poops an average of four times a day. Seriously kid!? Can we just take care of this all at once?!

Overall, there's not much to dislike about this boy. 

Happy sister missionary landmark son.

We're happy so we clap our hands. A lot.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Auntie AA Comes to Town

We had a nice visit from Darin's sister Amelia last weekend.  She was in D.C. for a conference and was able to get a couple extra days off of work to swing down and hang out with us.  She got here Friday evening and left Tuesday evening.  We made sure to pack in as much as we could during those quick four days.

We started out in Colonial Williamsburg on Saturday morning where we got to participate in our first protest.  We "stormed" the Governor's Palace with some colonial men leading us on.

There were colonial people spread throughout the crowd.  This lady cracked me up, she was softly speaking against the protest as she walked around us.  It was pretty entertaining.

Here they are being rebels after the big protest.

That rainy afternoon we made our way down to Yorktown (where the last battle of the Revolutionary War took place).  We walked around their recreation of an army encampment, farm and museum.  Not as spacious as Jamestown, but still very interesting and informative.

While on the farm, Shae found this bucket loaded with dirty water...toddler paradise. He could have played right there for days.


We didn't let the rain stop us from stopping by the Yorktown beach right down the street.  We had a nice overcast picnic on the sand while Shae ran straight for the water and I had the thrilling job of keeping him away from the hundreds of jellyfish surrounding the shore. Remind me to never go to that beach again. 

Monday we walked around campus/the Wren building in the morning, took Amelia to our favorite Indian lunch buffet, then went to Jamestown in the afternoon.  I clearly wasn't in the mood to take pictures since all I have from those outings are these pics that Amelia sent me.

Tuesday we started the day with Duck Donut's (trying to convince Amelia that these are really the best donuts and not her Toronto donuts).  We then dropped Darin at work and went up to a farm to pick up our friend's vegetable basket (that they let us take for the week since they were out of town).  Shae and I were almost eaten by the head honcho chicken. That made for an exciting visit.

The most sugar you are ever getting for breakfast kid...enjoy it.

We spent the rest of the morning at Busch Gardens where Shae ran around the Splash Pad and hopped on a few rides. I love how serious he is on this ride, but he wouldn't stop pointing and running towards it, so I assumed he wanted to go on it again.

He got this ride all to himself, which he was clearly thrilled about.

Shae loved having a friend around to play with him all day.  The day after she left he woke up and went straight to the room where she was staying and knocked on the door.  He looked really confused when I opened the door and no one was inside. He sure does love having family visit, as do we! 

Don't let his face in this next picture fool you, he really did like having Amelia visit...and he really does love the adorable outfit she brought him (as do I). 

 They're quite the pair.

Friday, August 1, 2014

RIP Escort

I bought the Escort my senior year of high school.  I saved up all my $2,500 worth of pennies from work over the years and I did it, I bought my very own car. I couldn't even test drive her because she was a stick shift and I didn't drive stick at that time. My mom drove her and said she felt good and I trusted her. She didn't really feel good to me until a few months later when I finally stopped stalling at every single red light and stop sign. We had a bumpy start to our relationship but once we figured each other out, we were inseparable. 

It's strange how we personify things like our cars. But seriously, is it just me or is your car like family?  The Escort has always felt like a member of my family...sometimes even a bff, if you will. On my mission I missed the Escort just about as much as I missed my bff, no joke. I would ask how she was doing every couple of months and I imagined our reunion (I really really missed driving for a year and a half if you couldn't tell).  Same with my freshman year of college. I didn't have her with me and it KILLED me. I was SO excited when I finally got to drive her out to Utah my sophomore year.

I remember college days, living in tiny apartments with six's hard to have any privacy and sometimes, you just need a little privacy. The Escort was my get away, my safe place (I clearly didn't have a boyfriend). I remember driving up Provo Canyon at times just to think, to cry, to relax...just to drive.

The Escort took Darin and I through the first three years of marriage, bringing our baby home from the hospital, four cross country road trips, many road trips to Idaho and so much more! Now our sweet Escort has past to the other side. It was unexpected, sudden and scary, but thankfully it happened quickly and she didn't have to suffer long. She was such an amazingly reliable car and I can only hope that our future cars will be as reliable. 

Luckily Shae was able to take her out for some spins before she passed.

His hair!

Welcome to the family Camry, you have big shoes to fill.