Monday, September 29, 2008

Our busy weekend and Odyssey owners beware!

Okay before I forget again I have *another* word of warning for Honda Odyssey owners--they are pretty popular here, so that might be a few of you. This is the second warning, the first being that there is not a sensor on the back of the sliding door like there is on the front so little fingers can get smashed, poor Carter has survived just fine and still has full use of all his fingers. My next warning is if you have a door open, like when you are buckling one child in after gym time and the other child is trying to get the candy in the front and let's say that child locks the door so you can't get him, if you reach around through the open door and unlock the passenger door to retrieve said child and then buckle him and close the open door, when you reach the driver's side it will be locked (as you only unlocked the passenger side) and when you try to open it, not realizing it is locked, it will magically lock the remaining unlocked door, probably when your keys are inside with your children if you are as lucky as I am. It sounds like a fluke, but I tested it at home and it does this on purpose, to protect you from thieves I am assuming. It is unlikely you will run into this as a car owner, but as one who now has had her children locked in the car 3 times, I thought I would pass it along. And for those wondering, I wised up after the last 2 times and finally got a spare key, so this time did not require Uncle Mike or a lock smith, but did require mommy trying to shade poor Davis and making faces for 30 minutes while Lowell came from work to break us in. It was 84 degrees and got pretty hot in the car without windows open, but the kids are again, no worse for wear. Maybe Davis has learned a lesson about locking mommy out of the car, and maybe he has not.

On to funner things! What a fun weekend we have had! Saturday I went to abuse my coupon to Liberty Land and did so quite well. To Jess, another super mom of triplets, yes we had fun and there was a lot for 2 year olds to do. But go while they are still 2 and get a coupon from me! We managed a whole day for the fam for $17. We went in the morning, went home and napped and then finished up in the evening. They really do let the munchkins ride on most everything, partially because we rode with them and partially because the have laxed safety standards and did not measure them to find they are not 36 inches but rather 34--I didn't know until after myself. But they did airplanes, a pirate ship, go-karts, squirting bumper boats (this way their favorite, we let them run the squirt button and we were all drenched most of the day, I can still here Carter little voice, 'Daddy, I'm gonna get you!'), mini-golf, the train, and rocket sort of thing. The big roller coaster was broken while we were there which was a bummer but we did have a lot of fun on the other stuff so it worked out. (Intermission there when my darling sister Cyndel ran my errands and brought me Chili's. Hooray! I am so full I am sick, all for the kids! How you ask, 100% of the profits at Chili's today goes to St. Jude's Children's Hospital. And I promised myself I would at least do that to help all my cancer kids but I forgot as I was worried about my feverish Carter and getting my visiting teaching done and the birthday invites out. But Cyndel saved the day and we had a lovely second dinner and dessert.) Anyway Liberty Land was very fun if your kids get in for free (2 and under). Here's some shots: Our family on the rocket type ride. Davis was no nervous (or cold, he was wet) but it wasn't scary, we all had fun.
Davis the fighter pilot
Carter, aka "red baron"
Carter (and Davey's feet) on the pirate boat ride
Me at the wheel of the go-kart. Watch out, Carter and I spun out and crashed into the wall!
Carter and Lowell laughing at they hose Davis and I--while I had the camera! It survived, I am not sure Lowell will . . .
My cuties dripping wet, but still 'best friends'
All of us dripping wet, and Grandma who jumped in the shot. She and Aunt Melinda were in town so they came and watched us on the rides. So fun!
The boys and I on the train.

See, good times. I swear I am getting to the point that I take pics just to put on the blog, pretty pathetic huh? Good for journaling for the munchkins. I am trying to find a good way to print it all with the photos, any ideas out there? So anyway, late night Saturday and then Sunday we went up the canyon to enjoy the fall colors and take some photos. Got some good ones, but I am saving them for the next post :p. We did church with the boys again and they did a bit better than last time, so baby steps. On to today when Carter woke up with a fever and threw up just once, but I hate when they are sicky. He was SO tired at lunch time and then woke up shaking and scared from fever nightmares. I hate it! Lowell said he did better after nap though, so here's hoping for a good day tomorrow. We will be baking cakes for the birthday (it's my day off so we are getting a head start) and bringing some stuff up to my dad in the half way house. Anywho . . .be back later!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Enjoying the Harvest Take 2

Another Friday night at the lab filled with pizza and blogging! Yep, my job is that tough. Actually I just finished a work up on a newborn with severe jaundice and 2 cardiac patients in the ER. Contrary to what my mom will tell you, I do work at work, it just so happens that I can do other things while the tests are running and I do often have quite a bit of down time. Anywho--so we are enjoying the peach harvest at our house this week. We have 2 trees that were planted by the folks before us (Thank you! almost makes up for the basement flooding issue they didn't mention . . .) and this is the first year we have had a real harvest. Last year we had a handful from one tree and the other I thought was an apricot because they were so small. This year I have been jamming away and have 15 cup portions and 18 1/2 cup portions of freezer jam. If you are local and want some, let me know! The different sizes are because they sold out of jars at WalMart so I got some cheapie tupperware containers so I could give them away and not worry about getting them back. Always more fun to share. I am also freezing peach slices, making a peach tart this weekend, and of course eating as many of the juicy, sweet fruits as I can before they all go bad. We are still getting a couple of zucchinis and yellow squashes but not like in the heat of the summer. The butternut are still finishing up and I am still hoping for a few of the cantaloupes to ripen. Who knows on the tomatoes, they have been disappointing all year, but there are some on the plants waiting to ripen as well, we'll see. So . . .here's some shots I missed the other day, the boys trying pop rocks for the first time :).
Carter, he wasn't so sure, but of course loved it in the end.
Davis dove right in and then tried to trade with Carter, his empty pack for his full one. Carter is no dummy, no trade!
So the other new thing this week is that my boys all of a sudden can play on their own. It's like they just don't need me any more. We have our breakfast snuggle time, I have them use the potty and then they just take off on their own adventures. Once in a while they want me to join but for the most part (this week anyway) they are doing their own things and mommy is just in the way. I think pretending together is really taking off and that is part of it. They have pretended for a long time, but not in active play together. This week was all about being babies, dogs, and sleeping--on the floor of Davey's room (nakey of course, we potty train nakey).

They set the beds up like this and then pretty well told me to go away. The best part is that they are laughing the whole time. They like to make each other laugh all of a sudden. Last week they couldn't go more than 15 minutes without fighting, this week playing and laughing--who knows? Lowell says they have been doing this with him for a while, but it's new to me. Some of their little jokes make me laugh, but not like they laugh, just because I am so out of the loop. They definitely have their inside jokes that make no sense to me. Just like they have their own language. Maybe having twins is starting to pay off? At first I felt a little left out, you know Mommy is supposed to be the coolest friend ever (Carter says no, Dadis is my best friend--how freaking cute is that!) but they still accept snuggles from me and are always generous in doling out the loves to everyone, the girls at the gym just love that. The first day I just sat back and watched waiting to be invited in, the next day I cleaned the fridge and have since moved onto the peaches. Whole new horizons of cleaning are opening to me . . .well, we'll see.

Then today I was so proud of them because they were good friends at the park. Lately they have been possessive and pretty mean to other kids so when we got to the park and 2 little girls were already playing I sat down and talked to them about being nice and being a friend. Davis walked right over to one of the cutie girls and said, Hi Friend! and took her hand. What a flirt! They played nicely with both girls and even took turns. They got them into their boo at the bottom of the slide game and everyone was having a good time. I am just so proud of the little monkeys, maybe 3 is going to be good. I rewarded them by taking them out to lunch (okay maybe I rewarded myself as I didn't feel like cooking, though it was quite late to get started as well).

So that's the good news at my house. I am also enjoying the music player I stole from some of your sites. I used to open up Scott or Jillian's blog and just play the music the whole day while I worked, but now I graduated to my own music. It is fun as my taste in music is so eclectic and I have thrown in some of the kids' favorite stuff as well. Simon and Garfunkel are making me smile right now as I write this. Music has such a positive effect on the soul. So plans for this weekend include: haircuts for the bubs, a day at Liberty Land whilst they are still free, a drive up the canyon with *hopefully* some good pics in the fall foliage, and trying church again on Sunday. My dad will be out for church so we may find a way to go say hi to him too, we'll have to see. He was out briefly today as well to meet with his boss but time was too short for us to join him. I was actually pretty blue about that for a while, but there are many more opportunities on the horizon. This half-way house thing has been frustrating but it is slowly getting better as he gets more privileges. Thanks for all the well-wishes to my dad, I have passed them along.

Well, pizza and another ER patient awaits, loves to all!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Daddy's home!

So the long awaited day has come and gone, my Dad is back in Utah where he belongs! I have to say a day later that it is kind of a let down because we got him for one great night and then had to take him to the half-way house this morning. We knew that was how it would be and even last night my Dad kept reminding us he was still "incarcerated" but it is hard to think of that when you are so happy to have him back in Utah. I visited him several times in California, the boys went 3 of those times so it is not like he hasn't seen them. But he hasn't gotten to play with them like a grandpa should. It's not like he could be free to play as he would like in a little room with guards all around. I also haven't seen him in jeans since before he left and he is even littler in them than the prison pants. He lost like 60 lbs and looks like a shell of my old Dad. That isn't because they starved him, though the food wasn't exactly exceptional, it's because he took up running to pass the time. I'll have to get the exact amounts for you all, but he ran enough miles to have run home 10 times while he was there. He almost ran a marathon one day. He just ran and his waist line certainly shows it. Anyway, here's some photos of my skinny Dad. My dad with the boys overlooking the gardens at Thanksgiving Point. We went there for dinner after picking him up at the airport (the flight was 15 minutes early and I missed his grand entrance, hrmph! But it was still nice and several family members were there. We had a nice visit.
My new favorite picture, it just screams for me to blow more money at artscow! This was still at dinner, Hillary works at the gardens and she pulled her strings so we could eat out on the balcony of the Terrace Cafe all by ourselves. It was chilly but nice. Not to exclude her, Cyndel is the head in the background.
Hillary pulled even more strings and we got to tear around the gardens in the golf carts. Wow, she rocks! The boys have wanted to do this all summer but I didn't want to shell out the $25. Uncle Robbie took the boys for a quick drive and they are still talking about it and then we piled in 3 carts and really went cruising. Lowell was driving so fast and cutting corners I was sure we would tip. I am a woos, I'll admit that. Hillary was with me though, she was freaking out that she'd get fired for all the corners Robbie and Lowell were cutting. It was fun though, and Lowell and the boys L O V E D it. Thanks Hill, I hope we didn't get you in too much trouble.
Sorry, forgot to flip this one. So after the gardens we came to my house for cake and for my dad to see my house for the first time. He also got to rough-house with his grandsons who just loved it. They were laughing so hard (and were heart-broken when we left to see the other houses--they stayed as it was bed time). Right after this Carter jumped on the floor, pulled up his shirt, and said, 'grampa, pllbbtt' which meant he wanted more raspberries on his tummy. My Dad also got his first try at Wii golf--I think he is alread better than me.
Yummy, Costco cake, it read Welcome home Dad, we love you! The boys thought the big cake was way better than their individial slices sitting right in front of them. So after my house we went to Robbie's new house and then BJ and Angela's apartment. We laughed a lot and joked in the car. We snagged chili cheese dogs with onions from Wienerschnitzel in there and also Slurpees for my dad's cravings. He also got fresh green beans and a peach from my garden (side note, our peaches this year are SO good. There's nothing like a ripe, juicy peach right off the tree. Tomorrow's mission: jam).

So it is nice to have him back but I do wish we could have him all the way already. A little at a time I guess. It was like he was never gone though, which is so odd since so much has changed in 32 months. So he technically has 3.5 months of half-way house time followed by home confinement but it is likely that the half-way house time with be significantly less. He will also be able to work and we can meet him for lunch and we are hoping he'll have some weekend time out as well, my kids' birthday party being a priority for me, but we'll see. Anyway, smiles from the Dodenbier clan tonight!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I was tagged by my awesome sister-in-law Becky, I always thought in-laws were supposed to be a dreaded thing, but in all honesty, I like my in-laws as much if not more than my own family at times! I always wanted an older sister, and now I have 2! They even tormented my husband as a child, which only endears them to me more! Seriously though, Lowell is the great husband and father that he is today in part due to older sisters, you guys rock. Anyway . . .here are 6 random things about me:
1. I like nectarines much better than peaches. I know they seem a lot alike, but nectarines are certainly far superior. It may have something to do with the fond memories of my childhood nectarine tree.
2. I am completely OCD about every little thing at work, but my organization skills at my house are definitely lacking. Just ask Lowell.
3. I check a dozen or so childhood cancer fighters blogs each time I work. I only know one of these kids in real life. I just was linked to one special little boy's (Julian who was on Stand up 2 cancer) page and his mom linked me to others and so on. It's really hard to quit on these kids, they are so amazing how they fight and what they go through. All I can offer is my prayers and support to their moms and that is all they ask for. Several of these little ones have passed on as I have read and it is heartbreaking. It is a reminder to me to be thankful for every moment with my kiddos.
4. I can never commit to a favorite food because I just like too many things too much.
5. I hate speed and drops. I am no fun at an amusement park. I think it is a loss of control that bothers me and that sinking feeling in your stomach.
6. I always go to the bathroom first thing in the morning before I go get my kids even if they are crying. You just never know with my kids when you are going to get another chance.

So there is more than you ever wanted to know about me! So I am supposed to tag 6 other people, let's see if I know 6 people: Cyndel, Kris, Lyndsie, Jillian (I think you may have already done this), and that's enough! Here's the rules:
Here are the rules:1. Link the person who tagged you.2. Post the rules on your blog.3. Write six random things about yourself.4. Tag six people at the end of your post.5. Let the tagged person know their life is ruined by posting on their blog.6. Confirm to the tagger (me) that you've posted.
One last thing, Becky yes I do want to know what your mental image for me is!
Since I am already here, I will share some shots from BJ's (my kid bro) wedding in May--he is a little delayed in getting them out. Here is my lovely family (minus one very important member, my Dad will be home in 2 days!!!) Back row, Lowell, Davis, my mom Wendy, BJ, Angela, Robbie, and Cyndel. Front row, Me, Carter, and Hillary.
My little family, doesn't Lowell look good in this photo? My cousins were jumping around being super silly trying to get the boys to smile, and Lowell and I were busting up.

So I had 3 days off from work and that just rocked. Wednesday I donated blood for the first time. I am such a baby, I hate needles and my veins aren't superb but a plea from Peyton's mom (another of my cancer kids, Peyton is 4 and has leukemia and in his part of the country the blood supply is so low that these cancer kids cannot get the blood they need) put me in action. My blood won't help those kids (the blood only stays local) but it was still a good thing to do and I am the one who hands those units out at the hospital, I have seen lives saved first hand, I could at least do this once. The poke wasn't near as bad as I thought, especially considering it was a 16 gauge needle! Yikes! The smaller the number the bigger the bore on the needle and the biggest we use is a 21, so 16 was a yikes for me. I filled up the bag in under 5 minutes thanks to that huge needle. And I wasn't dizzy like I thought I'd be after, I grabbed my juice and drove right home so Lowell could go. I was surprised at how tired I was the next 2 days though. Lowell and I have just been dragging, we even left the dishes over night, we never do that! Lots of water, a couple of good nights sleep, and a couple of naps (plus a thank you that I didn't have to work) later I am feeling pretty up to snuff. I did work out in the middle there because I never pass on an hour where someone else plays with my kids and I was surprised how easy it was to get my heart rate up.
I digress, so Thursday the boys and I drove grandma to the airport to go bring my Dad home. It brings me to tears every time just thinking about it and it will come to pass in 2 short days. Lowell will have to man the camera as I will be bawling. The boys loved seeing where the airplanes live and sleep and now every time they see one they ask if grandma is coming home.
Last night I decided we really needed to do something fun and different so we tried out Liberty Land, a new little park by our house. I had heard it was over-priced and it was, $6 for my kids to ride one ride which wasn't long or spectacular. But they told us to keep our tickets from that ride so we ended up playing mini-golf, riding the train, the planes, and a little rocket for $12.50. Not the best, but not awful either and the boys had fun. They liked to swing the club but didn't really grasp the idea of getting it in the hole. Not Tiger Woods yet, but it was family time and that makes me happy. I have a buy one get one free for a day pass and with it 2 years and under are free, so we'll do that next time before the bubs turn 3.
That's all for now, I work the next couple of days and then we all now what Monday will bring. I'll be here with pics and a smile on Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Look, I'm crafty!

I am so excited that I have figured out how to change the blog. Hooray! I really have no talent whatsoever in this category, but with a lot of help from the cutest blog on the block, my cousin Kassie's blog, and scrapblog, ta da! something other than the standard settings. Don't expect me to change it again though, ever! Ha! I love one of my flairs on facebook, it reads, I'm so crafty, I make people! It's true, I helped make my little boys, but other than that, there's not much I can do. Anyway, I already rambled enough yesterday, I just wanted to rejoice in my new design :o). This may be a clear sign that I need a life . . .

Monday, September 15, 2008

A short one

Carter looking ever-so pretty. I know people think they look just the same, but to me Carter is the "prettier" one. They are both handsome and cute, but sometimes Carter is pretty. He also likes princesses though he is definitely a boy, or if you ask him, a twin. This is the tie back from his curtain which he asked me to tie onto his head.
Here is Davey's attempt at dressing himself. He had the jammies on and put on the shorts himself (they are backwards but nice try) and he insisted I help him with the shirt. He wasn't very happy when I chose a different outfit to wear to the gym, but in my defense it was a little warm that day for footed PJs.

So my goal is for this to be a short one, but who knows. I think I like to hear myself type. So this weekend we celebrated the complete destruction of UCLA by BYU (59-0). This solidifies the cougs as a contending team this year, way to go cougars! I also enjoyed dinner with Lowell's fam and an abundance of bread, I just like bread at Chuck-A-Rama. We then picked up the new Nursery Manual which I would recommend to anyone with small kids. The new manual is called "Behold your little ones" and has similar lessons to the old manual (which I have taught from for 3+ of my 6 married years now) but I like the new one better. The pictures are right in the lesson and an "official" coloring page. They have done away with some of the "I am thankful for fish" type lessons and added "I can share" lessons. The reason I encourage everyone to get one and not just nursery teachers like me is because it is great for Family Home Evenings with little guys. We have been reading the Doctrine and Covenants reader for this year's lessons and though they do seem to get something from this, I think this will be better. Why I didn't think to use my old manual, I don't know! If I remember right it is $5.50 and if you don't have a distribution center by you, you can order it on the website and last I checked they even ship for free. There's my commercial for the day!

So I almost got to use my manual for the first time yesterday and even on my own kids. Gasp am I saying my "inactive" 2 year olds went to church for the first time in 9 months. Yep!
[A break taken here while my darling boys (all 3 of them) stopped off to bring me pie from grandpa Chad's birthday. Aren't I lucky? I love getting a little boy fix in the middle of a shift. Carter told me all about his "pumpkin teeth" (candy corn) and Davis was telling me about blowing out the candles on ba-pa's pie. I guess they just kept relighting the candles and letting them blow them out over and over. Such great grandparents to take the time to let 2 years be themselves. Mmmmm . . .pie . . .]
So they haven't been all year because of the time slot we are in. 1-4 is naptime and church. So my sister has been watching them while Lowell and I have enjoyed church. Anyway, the last 2 times the boys did not nap at all while we were gone but did once we impressed the idea upon them when we got home. So I figured they might as well go to church and get some exposure to it before they become sunbeams in January (yes, my tiny boys I can't believe it). They did okay, not great the first hour and less well the second. Davis was beside himself by the time Lowell took him to the car though Carter was hanging in there. After a one hour nap though he was a bear. He couldn't stand himself, throwing a fit at everything and just sobbing. Sigh! I'm ready to say that was a nice try let's try again next year, but Lowell thinks we need to keep trying. So next time we will try just one hour and then Lowell will take them home. It's too bad lesson and singing is in the second hour, because Carter kept talking about the lesson. They learned about Lazurus and he kept saying, 'Jesus say Wake up!'. It was cute to me that he got something out of it, it gives me hope that the rest of the kids are getting something out of my lessons.

Today grandma (my mom) wanted a "sick of work" day off so we went to the zoo. The munchkins were actually really good which is pretty hit or miss at the zoo. For those in the SLC area, the white alligator is leaving at the end of the month, so if you want to see him one last time, head on over. He is one of like 8 in the world, so worth saying you have seen him, even if in the dozen times I have seen him the most I have ever seen him do is blink. We didn't do the whole upper half of the zoo as the boys doubled back after the penguins, but that's okay I wanted them to have fun and today that meant more time at the park. I was oddly excited about the new Happy Meal toy on the way home, it was Batman lego toys. I have a bad habit of taking the boys out to lunch when I don't feel like cooking. I cook dinner at home most every night and am pretty consistent with that and serving healthy balanced meals. We eat breakfast at home too. But lately like twice a week I have taken the boys out to lunch. Just being lazy, I am going to work on it. So it's sad to admit how much I know about the toys in kid's meals right now (Burger King: Neopets plastic figure, pretty lame, Carl's Jr: Space Chimps, most toys look okay but we got the coloring book, McDonald's was lame Star Wars toys but now Batman (or Wizard of Oz girl toy), Sonic: no toy at all, the kids were not happy, we won't be back, Wendy's: Hasbro games, some okay but Battleship was a flop for 2 year olds, Arctic Circle and KFC: just a treat, no toy). And it is sad to admit that every time we pull up to a restaurant the boys say, chicken nuggets, drink, and toy please. They could pretty much order on their own.

Well, I knew I cursed myself by saying this would be a short one. Nothing to say but I still can ramble :). It comes from working alone, it really does. After my phlebotomist Ev leaves at 6, I have almost 12 hours in this little room all by myself. Blogging just seems more sane than talking to myself and better for journaling for the boys. Thanks for bearing with me! :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thankful Thursday (a day late!)

So, I was reading my friend Jillian blog today and she recommended doing a Thankful Thursday post and I thought I'd try it even though it is now Friday.
1. I am thankful it is Friday and this weekend I am off! We will be going to dinner for Lowell's dad's birthday and playing as a family.
2. I am thankful for all the amazing babysitting helpers we have. My darling sis Cyndel will be tending the boys so we can go to dinner. We are eating at Chuck-A-Rama (why do so many buffets have the word "chuck" in them???) and it is such a bummer to go to a buffet and have to leave after one plate. Lowell's mom and sis, his bro and his wife, my 2 sisters--they all do so much to help with the munchkins and always do it for free. I am so spoiled! My kids too, they are very lucky to be so close to so many good people who care about them, I'd have to add my bro Robbie to the above list on that one, he doesn't care to babysit them but he does come over almost every week just to visit with them.
3. I am thankful for good food even if my figure is not. It has been a never ending battle since I finished breastfeeding the boys, but honestly considering how I eat sometimes I am grateful I have kept a steady weight for so long. I wish it would go the other way, but at least it isn't going up.
4. I am grateful for MOM (moms of multiples)'s night outs. Wednesday I got to go out with the girls and play wii until the wee hours of the morning (well, past midnight but that is quite late for this little mama). It was fun to get out, visit, eat, goof off on rock band, and gave me the peace of mind the next day to not beat my children after they picked all my tomatoes off the plants--they were of course green still and the only ones I have gotten to grow all year :(.
5. I think Thankful Thursday is supposed to be 4 things, but I cannot list #4 without being thankful for Lowell. He is such a sweetie to let me go to mom's nights out. He rarely gets to go out but always even encourages me to go. He puts the boys down on his own almost every night (since I am usually at work), cleans the whole house--it is always so clean when I get home, and gets up with the kids when they fuss in the night. There are many more reasons I am grateful for Lowell, but for today I am thankful he lets me go to mom's night out.

Thanks Jillian, that was fun to do. So here's my new favorite shots of the kiddos, I actually put these in place of the other 2 side shots on their birthday invite (ordered today, woohoo! I still love Artscow, I got 50 4X6s, 50 5x7s, 3 8X10s, 2 photo dog tags, and a hard cover 20 page photo book for under $30). This was taken after shopping last week, I let the boys choose a donut if they were good (they unloaded the whole cart for me, so they got their treat). Carter chose chocolate of course and Davis actually chose something else, but Carter's (and my) donut leaked onto his.

This is what I found when I went to unload the groceries. I had a rotisserie chicken in the trunk and Oscar and Maddy were sniffing it out. I just thought they were too cute!

Let's see, congrats to my cousin Chelsea and her fiance today on their wedding reception. I am here so I can't go but I am excited for them nonetheless. They are actually getting married next week, but had a reception today. Good luck to the Cougar football team tomorrow! We went to Farm Country on Wednesday night and it was so nice. The weather has been perfect and we were the only ones there. I love the feed the little goats, and Lowell loves the ducks. The boys like everything, but especially like the chickens and rabbits (there were 6 little white baby rabbits, so cute!). Today I wanted to go to a different park than usual so we took a blast to the past and went to the park I always took them to as little guys. We have now lived in our new house for almost a year and a half, so they were 18 months when we moved. I am surprised how often we still went to the park considering their age, but we did go quite often and were lucky in our old neighborhood to have so many options for parks. Our new neighborhood actually has just as many, we are still lucky! It made me reflect on our time there and how much I miss my old neighbors, they were just the best. The boys took off running on me, one of my biggest pet peeves, but it turned out to be a nice walk. The weather again was so delightful and I love to watch those silly boys run. Just looking at their backs as they ran off made me smile today, I am so grateful for their health and strength and their friendship with each other and with me. Everyone who knows them comments on how loving and cuddly they are. That is just how it is in our house, lots of hugs and kisses. It was a good moment, almost made up for Carter getting up and wanting to stay up at 6:30 this morning (less than an hour after I got home from work).

T-10 days until Ba-pa returns. I have been showing the boys pics of him to remind them and today Davis gave the picture a big hug and talked about how he wants to play with grandpa. It makes me want to cry and be bitter about those who have deprived my kids of 32 months of their grandpa, but I will try to instead be so happy that he is coming home and will have many more months ahead with them and other grandkids that come into our family (meaning to my siblings, we'll see about us). I am just so excited! I think I'll get to some work I ought to do (or check up on some blogs :p ). Happy weekend to you all, I hope the weather is as lovely for you as it is here (and blessings to those in Ike's path).

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Are my "siamese twins" growing or what?

I have decided that I only blog when I have good pictures to share and my kids will only smile for the camera like once a month. So I am going to get my fill while they are smiling and blog away, hence the numerous entries so far this month compared to last. I may have to try saving some of the good shots just to keep me writing and the journal going. Hmmm . . .there's a teaser for you, more cute pics to come! Okay so you may not be near as obsessed with their cute pics as me, life will go on. So yesterday I got to talk to my dad on the phone, such an exciting thing for me, he only gets to call me like 3 times a year so I was thrilled. He actually has extra minutes to burn as they will shut off his phone privileges just before he comes home and he is so close now. I can hardly believe it, I am just so excited. Two weeks and one day to go, it is so unreal. Today I will write my last letter to him. I write every other Sunday when I work and the next time I would will be the day before he is home. Anyway, whilst I was talking to him the bubs were trashing their closet and I didn't care because I was talking and they were being quiet (and safe). In picking it back up I found the darling Chinese outfits my SIL Melinda brought back for the boys from her work trip to China. Here is them wearing it for Halloween when they were 12 months old. So I was looking at the outfits and thought, let me throw these on just to see if they fit and yep, no problem. The legs are a little short, but seriously it has been 2 years and they still fit! It really makes me wonder if my children are growing at all. They still wear 12 month onesies, they stretch but they wear them all the time. They can fit into 18 month pants and their 3T stuff is huge! Deep breath, they have always been small and Lowell and I are not big people, I have said since they were newborns they will be gymnasts not basketball players (I hope to start gymnastics this fall, watch for them in the 2028 olympics! :o)) and they have climbed from not even on the age-adjusted (preemie) charts to 15th percentile on the normal child chart. I don't know why I worry, it is actually nice pulling out clothes from the year before and still having them fit, it just makes me wonder. We have their 3 year appointment soon and then I'll feel better. I'd like to see if they are staying on the chart and if their BMI is still good, it was 50% last time, so perfectly distributed from height to weight. Anyway, ignore my silly preemie mom wonderings, here's the cute shots of my "siamese twins".

Carter took this shot, Davis is already done smiling for the month, but he'll cheese it for his bro.

Carter, my smiling star!

Daddy helped with this one, hooray! Isn't it crazy how well they fit though?
So the cold rages on, but there is an end in sight. I just continue to pray that the munchkins don't get it. This has been the worst sinus infection I can remember having just as the last cold was the worst sore throat. I am ready to be well already! I had a lovely outing yesterday with my mom though and that helped, even though I skipped napping which is probably what I should have been doing. I went to use up my OshKosh coupons on sturdy winter coats for the boys. I spent more than I would have liked to, but I did get them half off and they are nice warm coats. My hope is they'll be warm enough to keep us playing outside longer and away from the every single day inside. We also had lunch at Sweet Tomatoes which was so delicious and peacefully restful. We enjoyed the BYU game on the radio, go cougs! what an exciting ending. Then we hit Michael's craft and I spent too much again and fun things to keep the boys entertained during aforementioned cold days. We have loads of foam activities, ornaments, gift tags, superhero masks, halloween finger puppets, a couple of big Christmas ones for gifting, plus a few wood activity kits for daddy to do with them, some plaster pieces to paint, and a stamp activity kit.
Anywho, shopping aside we have just been playing and wrestling the boys. They have been having some real defiant moments lately, but have had cute moments too of course. My favorite is every morning I get them some breakfast and we all plop on the couch for morning cartoons. They sit one on each side of me and snuggle in and we have morning loves time. It warms this mommy heart right up and I hope it helps them feel secure even when I have to be scolding them so often throughout the day. I have to remind myself that it is developmentally and age appropriate to hit, bite, fight, etc. but it is still not acceptable behavior so I have to teach them what they can and can't do and help them control their urges. Yesterday at the store was the first time I can think of a privilege was really taken away. We went into the grocery and we explained to them that if they could be nice, no hitting, no yelling, no crying, then they could ride the helicopter outside the store when we were done. Lowell ended up removing them both before I could finish my list and they were downright shocked when they did not get their ride. They screamed like banshees and I was proud to actually be sticking to my guns for once. Who knows if it will make a difference the next time we are at the store but it was a good reminder from Lowell to me to follow through with my consequences and not fold. Okay enough rambling for one Sunday, more pics to post, so I'll be back!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Long overdue Yellowstone video

So here is the Yellowstone video I mentioned a month ago and never made. I was waiting on some music to arrive, anyway, I hope you enjoy!

P.S. I wanted to mention that tomorrow night on the 3 big networks they will be playing a show called Stand up 2 cancer. I encourage everyone to watch or record it. There is supposed to be a reading and a picture of a little boy (Julian) whose story I followed and who broke my heart when he passed away. So if you get a chance, watch it and keep all the little ones fighting the dreaded disease of childhood cancer in your prayers. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Birthday card take 1

Carter, I didn't realize how dirty his face was on the LCD of the camera, oh well, it looks like Carter
Davis, humoring me. Smart boy has learned to just smile and get it over with.
Holy double cuteness Batman
Birthday card, take 1

So, I am sick, again! Ugh! Seriously I am never sick, this has been no fun. I am not patient with it either, I am such a baby. So today in my sickened state I decided to do some fun stuff with the kids to keep me going and they rewarded me with some cute pics. That is the best gift they could give me, it makes me so happy. I feel like my head is going to explode, but man I have cute kids! We made cookies today, I bought a big tub of cookie cutters and thought that would be a fun project, like play doh but edible. I'll post those pics another time, but it was fun if messy. They really got a kick out of it and certainly enjoyed the eating part. We made one with a D, A, and D cookie shapes and decorated it and Lowell thought that was fun. The cutters I got include all the letters and numbers, so we may have more time with those for learning time. They also did pretty good with potty training today. I am finding that as long as they are bare bottomed they will hold it or go on the potty, they don't want to just pee on the floor (thank you). But if they have anything on their bottoms they have accidents. So we have spent a lot of time with bare bums at my house! But they went all morning with just one accident from Davey when he had some shorts on (I figured that would be appropriate for playing outside, bare bums and slides don't mesh well). The pics are from the outside visit today when I was laying dying under the big tree (aren't I dramatic?) and the monkeys came to cheer me up, so I was tickling them and had the camera in my pocket. I liked them so much I made a mock up of their birthday invite, what do you all think? It is off center intentionally, when you print it as a 5x7 it cuts off the edge. It is only a month away, so much to do still! I bought the cake pans today, we are having a caterpillar cake which I believe takes 8 full cake mixes. It is not a small cake! Cake is cheap, it makes a good photo--that's priceless to me! I am very much deliberating between doing Thanksgiving Point's garden party or having fun there and then going back to my house. I thought it would be so much cheaper going to my house after but after adding up all the treats, plates, etc I am reconsidering. I am also working on Lowell's big 30 birthday party which is just one week after the boys'. I hate to skimp on his party just because I am busy planning the boys', so I just start sooner. I would add more details, but he reads this and I have some fun plans that will be a surprise. It is not a surprise party, but the theme will be. Being me I am also in full Christmas planning mode. So much fun things to research online, so little time to actually work (bummer :p). Actually today has been quiet at work thankfully, I think I will go pass out for a while.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day!

For this labor day, I thought I would share the story of my labor, especially since I don't think I have it written down anywhere. It all started the evening after this belly shot was taken, such a fluke, I had thought to put the hospital bag in the car on my way to work that day and had Lowell take a tummy picture since I didn't really have any. Good timing on both accounts. I was 34 weeks 1 day here and obviously had no clue I had less than one more day of pregnancy left. I didn't measure big until this very week, which was odd for twins though they always measured on time or ahead. I just carried them all on the inside I guess, we were all pretty squished. Carter was sitting with his bum in my right hip and his head nestled in my right rib cage, I was always trying to push that little head down. Davis had his head on the left of my pelvis, mostly resting on my bladder and his body stretched diagonally across Carter with his feet where his head was. No wonder Carter appreciates his own space now. Anyway, so I went to work that day and I think I was nesting, I was reather busy getting reports done and things tucked away in case I went into labor. Since Carter was breach it was always planned that I would have a C-section, so labor is a bit of a misnomer for me, as I did not have to labor (or even ever be checked, seriously!). After work I went to sleep on my in-laws couch because I was on-call and the chair at work was not working for my big pregnant body to sleep in. I woke up around 3:30 am probably to a contraction but I don't really know what woke me up, just that I was all wet. I wondered in my hazy state where all the fluid was coming from and of course remembered my prenatal class where they told me very few people have their water break, it won't happen to you. So I assumed somehow I had lost bladder control but was surprised as I waddled across my in-law's living room that fluid was just pouring out of me, much more than my bladder had held in months. I reached the toilet and it was not stopping. I managed to get out to my car and thankfully had my hospital bag so was able to change into dry pants, underwear, and put a pad on to collect the still gushing fluid. It still makes me laugh to say at that point I really went to lay back down. Disaster averted, okay back to bed. Laying there I finally woke up enough to think, maybe I should at least go and see if my water is broken. I left all the mess for my mother-in-law (who got up later and was mopping the floor singing about how the babies were coming) and called Lowell from the car to tell him I was going to the hospital, my water may have broken, but don't come yet, I was going to go find out. Blessed be my darling husband, he jumped right in the car that moment and hardly would have made the birth if he didn't. I guess he was at hime awake and wired (wish I had more intuition like him!). He had even taken some pills to help him sleep and he couldn't get there, he was just excited and didn't know why. After I called, he knew and just came. At the hospital I waddled down the hall while the nurse and security guard teased me about my PJ pants, they assumed I had just been called in, that was a common occurence. I told the nurse (Marta) that I think my water may have broken and everything went quickly from there. The nurses are so skilled at what they do and every step was already planned. Marta went to check me but I was just gushing fluid that the strip confirmed was amniotic fluid so that's why I was never checked further, who knows if I was dilated or not. They checked with my doctor (Baxter) who was still there from an earlier delivery and he said let's do it so they immediately prepped me for my C-section. I called my mom and Lowell called his, they got my IV in and me in a gown and waddled across the hall to the C-section table. It took three tries to get my spinal in (ouch) but really it didn't bug me that bad. I was just shaking from the adrenaline, I couldn't stop. They said it was labor doing it, but I think I was just nervous, scared, excited, etc. I had one contraction (yep, that's right one contraction total that hurt, I had lots and lots of others, but none that really hurt) and was glad after that one that I wouldn't have to have any more, yep I'm a woos. Once the spinal kicked in I stopped shaking and just felt warm and then panicked because I couldn't move. I felt claustraphobic in my own body, it was weird and I don't know why I was flipping out so bad, but I was. Finally Lowell was at my side, my mom was looking on and I tried to breathe through the anxiety. Then I could hear a cry, a little squeaky cry that was my little Davis. I don't remember seeing him at that point, and Lowell was fascinated by my insides, but I assume he saw him. Then it took some time (really only 1 minute) to try to turn Carter around (my mom said it was cool to see him still inside the sac before the ruptured it and the doctor talked about how he could see a little boy frog bum because of the way he was sitting) and they ended up just pulling him out backwards. I thought he was crying because I could hear Davis but Lowell said he was just purple and lots of people just flew into action. The nurses later told me they should have said it was going to be fine, but they were just doing what they knew well, resuscitating my little man. The respiratory therapist said he had to force some fluid into his lungs in the process of getting him to breathe which later became more of a problem. SO after what seemed like forever to Lowell and my mom (but what I was thankfully oblivious to) Carter started crying too. Davey's apgar was 7,8 or 8,9 I think and Carter 2,8 if that gives you an idea of his beginning. They took them both off to the NICU and Lowell followed leaving me there. So I just listened as Dr. Young talked about the house he was building (I later saw it, it is a very cool house) while they were sewing me up. Finally that was done and by the time they were wheeling me out I could move my toes again and could finally relax a little. By now the morphine had me shaking though and itching my nose incessantly. They parked me in front of the window to the nursery and let me watch as they worked on IVs and such on the boys. Lowell took these early pics.
William Davis Penrod, 4 lbs 15 oz. 17 inches long, born at 5:11
Here's Davis again about a week old with his eyes open and on oxygen and still in the darn NICU, as much as I loved the nurses there.
Carter Lowell Penrod, 4 lbs 14 oz, 17 inches long born at 5:12.
You can see in that first picture how much Carter's chest is retracting trying to breathe. A combination of prematurity (34 week boy at a high altitude) and the fluid forced into his lungs caused him to struggle. It was determined that he would need surfactant to help his lungs open and to do this a ventilator must be inserted. If on a vent, the baby must be transported from my hospital to a larger one 5 miles away. So here is Carter on the portable vent before they took him away by ambulance. I was aware of all of this happening but not totally. The morphine had me pretty whacked out. I have seen the pic of my saying goodbye to him in his little transport bassinet but I don't really recall that happening. I do remember dreaming about peaches and Robbie and Lowell teasing me and throwing up. Funny how memories work.
So here's Carter in the NICU at UVRMC about a week old as well. To me he looks rather pale and sickly. The nurses kept telling me he was sick but I kept thinking no, he is just early and needs to learn to breathe and eat. He had no illness therefore wasn't "sick". I had seen his labs after all, really lab people are a pain in the butt to discuss things like this with, we are very technical. So, anyway Carter was shipped off and I did not see him except by videos Lowell would take for almost 5 days. I stayed at OCH and worked on feeding Davis and resting and really enjoying being taken care of so well by my friends. It came time to go and it was a hard realization that Davis would not be coming home with me. I was anxious to go and see Carter but it was really tough to leave Davis behind. This wasn't a good time for the hormonal weepies to hit me because I just bawled holding him in my hospital bed. It still makes me sad even though everything has turned out so well, in my emotionally peak there it was very hard to leave without my little boy. I was not attached at this point to Carter. That sounds really harsh but I had barely seen him and was wrapped up with the baby I had snuggled and nursed and loved on. Logically I knew I had another one, but emotionally I was not attached yet. I could be a strange case study for that. Well, once I went and held and tried to nurse Carter that problem was gone, I had to have both of my boys. That really made things more difficult as I could not have them at the same place. So I became a bit of a crazy woman and drove between the hospitals all day to make every other feeding for each boy. I would start at the 5 am feeding and end at the 11 pm feeding to run home and sleep a little (waking up to pump of course) before coming back. I hardly ate or drank as I was always on the run. It really was ridiculous and everyone tried to get me to take just one shift off and rest or eat but I wouldn't. I couldn't stand to not be with both boys so I went non-stop. Lowell went back to work to save his hours for when they came home, so while he worked I didn't even take my pain pills, no percocet and driving and I had to be driving. I know I was blessed those days to be up to that, 5 days after major abdominal surgery and no pain meds. I was dreadfully dehydrated as well as I was pumping milk by the gallon and getting all kinds of blocked ducts by little ones who just could not suck well enough or consistently enough to keep me empty. Ugh, that was a pain. But very little by little they got it down and finally Davis ate enough and gained enough weight that they let us take him home after 10 days in the NICU (this is no time at all for most babies but considering my crazed state it seemed like a lot). Then I had the challenge of finding sitters for Davis as he was not allowed in the UVRMC NICU with Carter. Finally Carter reached the point where we could sleep over with him to learn about his oxygen and have the final test for him eating and gaining enough. We had to get special permission but they let Davis stay in the room with us and finally finally I had my two babies together, 2 weeks after they were born.
This will always be one of my favorite pictures, it was such a big deal to me. Davis is on the left and Carter on the right. His color improved immediately upon being reunited with his brother and they both ate great from then on. The oxygen stuck around for 8 weeks and was certainly the bane of my existence but we were so happy the day after this pic when we got to take them both home. The challenges haven't stopped since but I am forever grateful that the boys are so healthy, robust, intelligent, and just normal. They are my sweeties and I love them so much.

So if you made it to the end of that story, yea for you! I am glad I have it written down though and it is fun to think back on. This week has been a lot of the same for us, running around, playing, potty training, the usual. The weather changed much cooler today even with snow on thw mountains. Cooler weather is coming so we are trying to make the most of the time we have. I am loving dressing the boys in new stuff even if it is too big, I need a 2.5 T size. I hope fall is good and long here, I just love it as a season. The trees changing, football, the crisp in the air, halloween, what a fun time of year. Happy fall blessings on you and yours!