Sunday, September 14, 2008

Good Friends, Bad Drives and Airplanes -- The Weekend Update

Well, the weekend started out with a bang as we got to spend a little time with our friends Alok and Bhavna and their beautiful little girl. "Al" went to medical school with Dave and has been living for the last two years in Chicago doing an anesthesiology residency. During the last year of medical school and the first year of residency we became good, close friends; we related well with each other as they were "suffering" the same things we were at the time. Unfortunately, training took them off to the Windy City and we stayed put. However, they have seemed to realized the error of their ways and want to relocate back to the west once residency training is over with.

Unfortunately, this would be the most fun we had all weekend...

On Saturday morning we parted ways with our dear friends as they had other obligations and we readied the children for another marathon trip to Reno. We wondered if this was a big mistake as both children were up for most of the night before. (That's what I get for bragging that the kids are such good sleepers.) We quickly found that the trip was, indeed, a very, very bad idea. As we loaded up the car I noticed that DD was running a fever. On a whim I ran upstairs and grabbed a change of clothes for him...just in case. Both kids slept in the car the whole way (which was awfully nice of them considering we, the parents, also needed sleep but instead were driving.)

Our intentions on driving up were to meet with Bumpa to see the "Thunderbirds" at the National Championship Reno Air Races. (DD is quite the airplane lover.) After Dave dropped me off at my moms he headed off with his two brothers to find a position on the train tracks to watch the show. They hadn't even gotten close to the sight when DD started vomitting in the back seat. (Good thing mom thought to bring the change of clothes!)

Now, this is not the first time DD has thrown up in the car. In fact it may be the 4th or 5th time in his young life. He gets car sick and deals with it by puking. Which of course makes the rest of the trip completely miserable because we have to smell it. Needless to say he didn't care much for the airplane show and just kept wanting to, "Get in car and go home. "

And, to add insult to injury his sister is trying to cut at least 4, perhaps more, teeth. Two miserable fun for mommy.

Perhaps next week will be better...I don't think I want to know what worse looks like!

*picture from

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Today we are going to share the favorite DD'isms for the day...
--Mommy: "DD, will you share a french fry with me?"
DD: "Oh, mommy, yes! Of course!"
(It's these phrases that keep the little monkey alive.)
-- While getting ready to run errands today I look down and Mr. DD had emptied almost an entire box of band-aids. When I turned around and saw what had happened I used my best mom voice and said, "Absolutely not, we are NOT playing with the band-aids." The monkey just looked at me and said, "What [I] do?" as innocently as possible. (As if I didn't see the pile of band-aids on the floor.)
--While trying to get Mr. DD to sit in his car seat today I told him the police said he needed to sit in his car seat. He replied, "No car seat police come?"
"Yes." I responded.
"Take mommy away?" He asked.
"They might." I answered.
"Oh, yes!" He shot back. Shocked, I asked him who would make dinner if mommy were taken away by the police? He innocently looked at me and said, "Daddy."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lots o' Hot Air -- The Weekend Update

On the first full weekend of September the city of Reno wakes up at 4am and heads off to Rancho San Rafael Park to watch the Great Reno Balloon Race. As a child my dad would wake us up, load us in the car and we would perch ourselves at the top of a hill and watch as the "Dawn Patrol" would take off; followed by a hundred hot air balloons. It was something we looked forward to every year. (OK, maybe not so much during those teenage years when sleep was at the top of my priority list.) In fact, the year before DD joined our family I remember seeing the balloons flying on my way into work and thinking, "I can't wait to have kids to bring them to this."
Last year we went, with the Sophs being only 3 weeks old, and had a blast. DD was properly amazed and excited with each balloon he saw and expressed this adulation with waves, clapping and squealing. The Sophs, thank heavens, slept through the whole thing.
This year, on the other hand was quite different as we no longer live only a 10 minute drive from the park. So, planning ahead we overnighted at Grandmom and Bumpa's in preparation for dawn patrol. Dave had invited his parents who wouldn't give us a definate, then finally ended up calling us to let us know they were spending the night at the Nugget. (I couldn't help but be a little jealous that they got to stay in a nice hotel room without kids.) DD was eager to go to sleep in his special room upstairs and Bumpa did a great job of going through the bedtime routine. (Except I did get stuck singing I Love to See the Temple six-umpteen times.) And Dave and I were excited for the next day. After all, last year was so much fun!
Well, the Sophs was coming down with a cold and didn't sleep as well as we had hoped. She had us out of bed several times between midnight and 3:00. At 3:45 I realized Dave hadn't come back to bed from his last shift with the Sophs and I rolled out of bed to start getting ready. We dressed the Sophs who was still wide awake from her last bottle and I went upstairs to start getting DD dressed. I went into his room and to my surprise he was gone! Aparently someone got up in the middle of the night and somehow made his way into Grandmom and Bumpa's bed. I found him soundly snuggled between the two of them fast asleep. I plucked him from his new found arrangement and carried him downstairs to ready him for the adventure.
As soon as we hit the bottom stair he realized where he was not and started to cry. Not just any cry, but the cry of a crazy man. I started getting him dressed and he just got worse and worse. I finally wrestled him into some sweatpants and a t-shirt and decided it would just be faster to put him in the car and go. After all, we didn't want to miss the balloon action. No sooner do we get outside and DD launches into full blown tantrum. (You know, the kind where you wonder how soon you can reach a priest on the phone and how long it might take for him to come over and do the exorcism.) As I am wrestling him into his car seat and promising him that we are going to do something "really neat" he is screaming, "PUT DD IN BED! DD NEEDS SLEEP! NOW!" We finally get the seatbelt around his body and he is almost hoarse from the shrieking. "PUT DD IN BED! GO BACK TO GRANDMOM'S! DD NEEDS SLEEP!" We start to drive and he is screaming the whole way: "STOP THE CAR RIGHT NOW! GO BACK TO BED!"
By now Dave is starting to think this is NOT such a hot idea and is forbidding us to ever go to Dawn Patrol again. (OK, let's be honest he was thinking this as I was getting the kid dressed.) And I am moving into panic laughing mode, nervously chuckling and trying to figure out what to do with the tantrum kid while we are walking to the field. Can I pass him off as special needs? Will people believe me? Maybe I can hand him off to Dave's mom and walk 50 or so feet behind them and make comments about "that lady's child." Finally as we turn into the parking lot I make a promise to DD that after we see the balloons he can go back to bed. In a small whimper he says, "OK, mommy." (With just enough defeat in his voice to reassure me that I am a jerk parent.)
By the time we walk the 1/4 mile or so to get to the field Mr. DD has forgotten all about his warm spot between Grandmom and Bumpa and is now excited to be holding hands with Grandma J. and looking at the spectacular balloons filling on the field. And of course, the Sophs has been asleep the whole time.
Needless to say we had a blast! And DD's excitement and amazement sure did make up for the pre-festivities battle. It's such a magnificent event to watch these hundreds of hot-air balloons take off of the field rise into the morning sky. DD is still looking at the pictures in his program and saying, "3-2-1 Glow!" And pointing out which balloons he saw, "Go up in the sky! Fly away!"
Oh yeah, Sophs did wake up eventually and couldn't take her eyes off the colorful balloons either. Perhaps next year (ha, ha Dave!) she will be just as amazed as big brother.
So, obviously, that was all the action we needed for the rest of the weekend. Especially since Dave and I both came down with HORRIBLE colds. By the time Saturday night rolled around we were miserable and spent most of Sunday switching off taking naps/taking kids. Hopefully by this weekend we can make a full recovery. The Reno Air Races are in town and I know Dave will want to go and take DD. Also, our close friends from residency will be in town, staying with us, and we know that we won't get to bed until the wee hours of the morning.
Finally, by way of disclaimer...Keep in mind, the pictures in the slide show are of people who woke up extraordinarily early. Just be impressed that we made it out of bed to expose our kids to wonderful things!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Little Homeless Children

Well, after years of working with Washoe County's transient population I feel that I am somewhat of an expert on recognizing homeless children. Additionally, since I came into very close contact with a group of homeless children who mugged us while in Brazil, I dare say I could qualify as an expert in recognizing international homeless children...

So why is it that my sweet children so often look like they too may be living in some transient abode (such as a car, weekly motel, underpass, etc.)?

I do have my excuses. For starters, DD has crazy, thick, straight hair and a two-year-olds temperament for having his hair combed. It usually ends in tears and him trying to rub all of the gel, hairspray and other styling product I have attempted to tame his hair with. Also, this kid HATES to have his hair cut. He hates it getting in his face. (Really, what happened to the flo-bee?) Therefore, I don't cut it very often.

In addition to the hair issue, this little monkey is of the very strong opinion that he should do EVERYTHING by himself. This includes serving himself any and all food, pouring all beverages and attempting to clean up after himself. Unfortunately, the cleaning leaves a little to be desired. Thus, most of his activities end up on his shirt and pants (if he happens to be wearing them at the time; because I won the wrestling match.) Oh, and did I mention that if DD's hands are dirty or sticky instead of wiping them on a napkin or an article of clothing, he just wipes them through his hair!

And don't even get me started on the Sophs. She has weird clumps of semi curly hair which just gets frizzy. (Mine is the epitome of straight, I have no idea what to do with even semi-curly hair!) She is also at the stage in her life where nothing will stay in her hair; because she rips it out 2 minutes after getting into the car.

So, what leads me to this lament...
Well, after my harrowing experience with getting stitches yesterday the kids and I decided to hit our favorite store, Costco, for some necessities such as milk and tomatoes and fruit smoothies. Given the crisis that preceded our trip I didn't give much of a rip DD's hair was a mess. They both had on clean clothes and Sophs hair was at least done. Needless to say, Soph's hair was ripped out before we even made it to the highway. And by the time we left Costco with our Berry Smoothies she looked something like this...

Why is it that I try? So if you see some small child randomly wandering around it's probably mine...look close, I'm probably not far behind them.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Path Toward Self Destruction

While trying to ready my house for the Relief Society Presidency to come over for an "official" visit I was trying to quickly unload my dishwasher. I placed the basket full of utensils on the kitchen counter. For some reason, who knows why, I became very annoyed with the peach pit that had been left on the same counter. I reached over the basket, picked up the peach pit and brought my arm down on one of the extraordinarily sharp steak knives, sitting in the basket, point end up. Arrgghh! I pulled my arm off the knife, and looked down to find a gaping hole!

Now, for those of you that know me well, you will be surprised to hear that I was amazingly calm. I calmly walked to my bathroom, assessed the wound, decided that a 3cm wide by 2cm long by 3 cm deep cut was not going to close on it's own, decided the white gooey stuff at the bottom of the cut was not a great thing to see (I later learned this was the fat layer which I had cut through) and thought..."hmm, I am going to need some stitches." I then called my sister-in-law, quickly explained the situation and asked her to come and watch my children while I drove myself to Dave's office. I then hung up the phone, dressed my two children (who by some miracle didn't protest) and proceeded to curl my hair until my sister-in-law arrived.

Now many of you are thinking...this is NOT the Jenny I know. In fact, I called Dave's office to let him know that I would be coming in for stitches. When they related to him what had happened and that I would be arriving soon (keep in mind I still live a good 15 minutes from his office) he asked who was driving me knowing my to tendency to experience syncope when I see blood. (Poor guy has had to pick me off of many a floor during or shortly after blood draws.) But yes, my friends, I drove myself to the office alone. And, I must add I did a better job driving than the doofus who was in front of me with his big 1/2 ton pickup truck trying to text message on his blackberry while driving down the highway!

At this point, I am still relatively calm and remain so until my father-in-law, with whom Dave works, decided to give me something along the lines of 8 shots to numb the area. When he's finished, I look up and the nurse says, "maybe you should lay down. You're looking a little pasty." Yeah, good idea as the room starts getting black and turning in a weird way. However, being a good trooper, I remained conscious for the two stitches I got! I know, I know, such a brave girl!

So basically I am thinking this is a workman's comp. case. I probably should be on light duty and not have to do dishes for at least 7-10 days until my stitches come out. In fact, I probably should go to my mom's to be waited on. Oh, wait, she wouldn't do that. I probably should find some place else to go to be waited on. At least I should get out of cooking dinner, right?

P.S. I would have added pictures, but that would just be gross. Nobody needs to see that!

P.P.S Congrats to Joanna and Nathan on their new baby boy born last night. Obviously a much more trying and courageous ordeal than my silly two stitches!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Tuesday night I noticed that the Sophs had wandered off somewhere in the house. Her usual MO is go upstairs and play with the toys in the loft. I went to locate little miss AWOL, rounded the corner, turned on the light and what did I find: A little miss walking across the living room floor! Apparently someone has been practicing her walking and didn't want to let mom and dad in on the secret (or else they would expect it all the time!)

So now I am officially the mother of two bi-peds. I am so glad since I HATE the crawling stage and we've been doing that darn near six months. No more dirty knees and dirty hands from crawling around on the floor (I do try to keep it clean.) Hooray!

My favorite part now, is everytime the Sophs stands and starts to walk we let out a huge cheer. In response, DD stands up , wobbles around a bit and starts to walk himself. Obviously not one to let his sister get an attention. We then have to clap and cheer for DD too.

I'm so lucky to have two talented children. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bad News Bear -- The Weekend Update

Well, the weekend got off to a great start Saturday morning. We were being our slothful selves when Dave decided to call his dad to borrow the truck. (We had the intentions of making a dump-run with all of our empty, post-moving boxes.) Next thing I know, Dave is jumping off the couch and running around trying to get the kids dressed because we needed to go to Grandma and Grandpa J's RIGHT NOW!

As many of you know, we live in a rural area. And what, you might ask, does this mean? It means wildlife. Now I'm not just talking about the bats that used to live in the eaves across from the front door of our apartment in Provo; I'm talking big game. In the evenings you can hear the Coyotes from our back porch in the greenbelt by our house and we can't leave Sampson the super dog outside unatteneded. (Coyotes and Hawks might mistake his 4 lbs. for a semi-large rodent.) We frequently see deer and I am a bit ashamed to admit I have run over my share of rabbits and skunks out here. Even a rattlesnake once!

Now, we don't have it as bad as my in-laws who live literally at the base of Sierras (across the valley from us). The last few months they have been experiencing bear problems. Bears getting into their garage and dumping their garbage. Well about 10 days ago my FIL heard a noise coming from thier kitchen downstairs. Thinking it was his wife, he was concerned as there was a lot of banging around going on downstairs and thought he would check on her. Down the stairs he comes, flips on the lights and sees, in his kitchen A BEAR! Needless to say, he ran back upstairs and called the sheriff's dept. and the bear made hasty get-away with a tub of sour cream and a stick of butter in each paw. Later that day the good guys at the Dept. of Wildlife showed up with a bear trap.

So daily, we've been waiting to hear the report of the trap to see if a bear had appeared in it. And every day we had been bitterly disappointed...until Satuday morning! Of course, like the sane, good parents we are, we gather up our children and run out of the house to go see the bear at Grandma and Grandpa's!

Obviously, we are somewhat astute and kept our kids from sticking their fingers and toes inside the trap. DD decided he didn't think the bear was all that great and spent most of the time either inside the house or riding on the tricycle. The Sophster, on the other hand, enjoyed smiling and waving at the bear who clearly wasn't having as great of a time.

We stayed on with Stanley (DD decided he needed a name so he and Dad determined that was a fitting name, coincidentally also the name on the padlock keeping the trap shut) until the DOW guy arrived. We watched him give Stanley a bath with the hose and we all said goodbye as Stanley was carted off to an unknown fate.

Sunday was greeted with it's own excitment as DD figured out how to put on his own sandels "by self". After of course the kicking screaming fit about having to wear clothes in the first place. I know someday I am going to be greeted with the argument that God created us naked and what kind of rebuttal will I have against that?

We also, in an attempt to get a little time away from "The Poppins" introduced DD to the movie "Meet the Robinsons." This has easily become one of my most favorite movies of all times. For those who don't know, it is the story of a little boy who is an orphan who desperately wants to meet his birth-mother. However, through a series of events meets his future family and realizes it is not about what happens in the past but what you make of your future that is important. Obviously a theme which resonates with us! It has also been a good way to introduce the topic of adoption with DD. I can't believe that at 2 years old we are starting to talk about this, but we have found with all of our friends who have adopted a child, or been adopted themselves that there is a much better outcome when the topic is familiar and a way of life rather then a big secret revealed when the child becomes "of age" whatever that age may be. Such a sensitive and hard topic to think about! We just want DD to know we love him more than anything and it has never mattered to us how he became a part of our family; just that he IS a part of our family!

Monday was Labor Day which meant another day off for Dad! (Now that dad isn't working 60-80 hours a week with several overnights at the hospital it seems like everyday is a day off for dad.) But we once again, lounged around the house, worked on cleaning out the garage from post-move chaos (we will get our cars in there!) and drove back up to Reno one last time for Ribs. Having eaten our fill we will look forward to next year. For those interested: This years winners are...Bone Daddy's Ribs (my favorite this year, Texas Outlaws came in 3rd) For the rest of the results click here.

By the way, the gross exploitation of our children in the previous post was the hysterical e-card we sent to Dave's sister for her birthday! As DD would say: "Happy Cake!"

So, now that it is done...Happy Labor back to laboring. (Have you seen my pile of laundry?!?)

Monday, September 1, 2008

DD and the Sophster Strutting their Stuff

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