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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Yes, another tooth

Dear Friends and Family,

Took my poor mouth to the dentist this week. Had a 5 year old boy in the cubicle next to me who had to have 2 abscessed teeth pulled out after an accident who was non-stop screaming and panicked. In the cubicle on the other side side a woman whose emergency root canal had spread to her jawbone and was having bits of bone removed moaning softly. Made me very grateful to have headphones and a movie playing on the ceiling to watch for those 2 hours. Ended up getting my temporary crown put in after seeing that there was a huge cavity under the filling. Said it should be fine and not need a root canal. Last night I realized they had been wrong and so I holding out till tomorrow for a root canal. Never thought you could want a root canal but that makes 2 in one year. Maybe I need to switch my toothpaste!

Regular week of summer activities this week. Monday morning we spent the day exploring BYU - going to the Bean animal museum, seeing how Deseret towers and the old creamery had been torn down, having ice cream at the new creamery and walking around the art museum. With our kid's attention span they had a great time, and we were there for maybe 3 hours tops - we move fast. They loved the art museum which surprised me. We spent the afternoon hanging out in the waiting room at Lauri's dentist so it was good for everyone to be on an ice cream high.

Allison had her last week of reading camp this week. She learned about open and shut words - like she and shed where they are prounounced differently if there is a constanant shutting in the word. The way they teach is great but different than I learned - reminds me how Mom and Dad didn't understand snurks when I was a kid. Allison had her regular gym this week and than a 2 hour open gym to make-up a missed lesson. Thats where they just let a pack of kids loose on the equipment to do what they want with the coaches there for safety. She loved it. She had an ice cream party at school and a primary class ice cream party to say good-bye to her teacher - she was rubbing it in all week.

Robyn is constantly pulling out a dance skirt and asking for the chipmunk music soundtrack to be put on. She will dance for over an hour at a time - watching her reflection in the TV. Taylor was home this week hanging out. We all went swimming for the afternoon Thursday. Kids helped lather my back several times to make sure there was no repeat sun burns! Allison let Taylor have her big bed floaty and Taylor just laid on it with a smile on his face for hours. Allison is big enough to go on the slides by herself so she and Spencer enjoyed them. Even Robyn likes going on them as long as I keep her head above the water.

Jeremy seems to have more projects than time right now - when is that not the case though. Like a trooper he keeps working down his list. He installed outdoor shades to hang off the sides of our deck's partial arbor. Its really nice as you can sit outside without squinting at the sun now. Last night Jeremy and I went over to work on Lauri's place. She has a serious bug problem going on right now that is pretty gross. She had a fairly good attitude about us being there which made the evening much more pleasant. Jeremy man that he is took on the job of cleaning out the fridge. And we vowed to start checking it at least monthly instead of letting it pile up. Lauri sprained her ankle several weeks ago and is hard put to walk even a few feet right now. We made a big dent in the cleaning that is needed but there is a lot left to do. We just need to start planning to do it more often. We have to do it on a babysitter night as we're not able to watch kids safely and clean there at the same time.

Been trying to tackle weeds and stuff in the yard this week. Did some taping in the basement. I figure we work a little here and work a little there and eventually it will all get done. Its 95 degrees or hotter every day which makes weeding versus working in a cold basement and easy choice most days. Our neighbor a blocked away had their house burn down this week - quite sobering to watch their predicament and makes me very grateful for our family and things that aren't "things".

Love to you all, Heather

Robyn has gotten down the art of holding her blanket at bed time/nap time and saying "cuddle me, read me a book, more please" Hard to resist.

Allison didn't want me to take this picture. Spencer and Allison have been playing lots of monopoly this week. I and Meredith have been pitch hitters when needed although I draw the line at 30 min to an hour of playtime. They're learning all sorts of new words: mortgage, tax...

Allison and Spencer read our comic books hanging out in the living room all the time. They have been trying to act out some of Calvin's scenes - hence I have gotten shot by a water gun wielded by ski mask kids MANY times this week while gardening. Spencer found a site of pranks for even more ideas. They rubber banded the water sprayer on our sink to the open position so when I turned on the faucet the sprayer soaked my shirt. They thought it was hilarious - I didn't laugh till later.

Spencer filmed this. He and Allison have been making lots of movie lately and love to show them off.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Summer is here

Dear Friends and Family,

Another beautiful summer day. I am starting to get used to the high 90s and blue skies. Our kids are once again hiding out inside all afternoon and then wanting to stay up late running around outside. For some reason everyone is happy and pleasant in the evenings tempting us to let them keep playing way past their bedtimes. Maybe the kids get along at night on purpose just for that reason!

Jeremy is upstairs with a bad migraine. He just can’t seem to shake this one. He did get to go spend the evening taking pictures up at Saltair, that old resort built on the Great Salt Lake. He went this week to pick up an old nautilus machine from a friend who was getting a new one to put downstairs. We finished painting our exercise room this week so its all set up down there. Our kids keep wanting to go down and lift weights – a scary sight. See if we can get all buff now – theres no excuse anymore. Friday Jeremy took us all to lunch at his bank – they were having a BBQ for all their customers. Kids thought it was great – not a fruit or veggie in sight!

Basement is slowly going. This week they came and put in Jeremy’s desk/shelves in the office. And as I said we painted. Yesterday Jeremy and I went to see Indiana Jones (great, corny movie but can’t help suspect that I liked it simply because of all the good memories wrapped up with the old movies). And then we hit Home Depot to pick out our carpet and a countertop for the bathroom. Now, we just need to find the best price and someone to install it. We even got a bunch of door knobs. So a little bit gets done here and there as it fits around kids and summer. Painting and Robyn does not mix at all, so there is only naptime really.

This last week we went up to see Spencer’s psychiatrist and since he is next to the zoo we spent a couple of hours seeing the animals afterwards. They built a new carousel there that we tried out. They bent over backwards to make it easiest for Taylor, I was very impressed with their thoughtfulness. Spencer’s doctor pointed out that although Spencer has lost weight so now he has only gained 9 pounds since January, he has also grown an inch and a half. So its not as bad as I worried about. His HDL cholesterol level is getting high so we’re keeping an eye on that. He suggested we lower one of his meds to see if he could do without it. After 2 harder than normal days I raised it back up. Jeremy is trying to psyche me up that we need to give it a longer trial period before we say it won’t work. Maybe this week.

Spencer had cub scout camp this week. He had to be at the church at 6:45 to leave. At 3:45 he woke me up. As I groggily patted him and told him to go to bed I realized he truly was all ready, uniform on, tie all curled 9 times and put on, even shoes and socks and hair combed. He went back to his room and did exercises to keep himself awake so he wouldn’t miss the right time. Woke me up again at 5 and then at 6. (Did I mention this was one of the days we lowered his meds! Although I wonder if it was the meds or just all the excitement.) He had a great time and came home at 2 , very dirty and very tired.

We took Spencer and Allison to the Pleasant Grove rodeo this week. It is an awesome event and always packed with thousands of people. I am amazed at what people are willing to risk with their bodies and are able to do through sheer determination. Kid’s favorite part was the middle entertainment where 2 dirt bike riders did huge jumps/flips/superman’s off of a ramp. Lots of junk food, loud music, and cool events – what more could you ask for. Jeremy practiced his camera work until the sun went down and got some good shots.

I went to the dentist and learned I need yet another crown for the tooth that broke last week. So I go in Tuesday to officially have one side of my mouth become completely fake. I need to stop chewing on that side I guess.

Friday night we had cousin pizza night. Allison was Bryn’s babysitter and was full of self-importance as she carefully took care of her. By the end of the night Bryn would run to her with her arms up whenever she wanted something or was sad.

Rest of life was filled with Taylor and Allison going to summer school/reading camp, kid’s gym classes, going grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, going to the library etc keeps us busy. Still seems like we have lots of time to just hang out, the best part of summer, watching kids run around with popsicles.

Love to you all, Heather

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Dear Friends and Family,

Wishing everyone a Happy Father's day out there. Jeremy didn't have meetings till 8 this morning so we got to enjoy breakfast together making omelets and cinnamon rolls. Our kids all uniformly agreed that store bought, heat and serve cinnamon rolls are much better than mine - as Spencer says "they don't try to be healthy". Robyn is coming down off her sugar induced high and is screaming upstairs that she doesn't need to nap - in between yawns. Jeremy is reading the Host enjoying an afternoon of relaxation, something he doesn't get enough of. He says he understands why so many women like the book, its all about emotion instead of actual events, but says its an interesting read. Don't think he will be staying up till midnight to finish it bawling like I was.

Last Sunday we had Jeremy 's family over for our monthly dinner. We fired up the fire pit and were wary of kids waving long burning marshmallows on a stick around. We're enjoying eating outside whenever possible. We can't fit Taylor's eating chair or Lauri's wheelchair through our current door which is a bit of a pain. We're trying to see if switching to a french door would be too costly or too much of a pain to make it more accommodating. Lauri hurt her ankle this last week and can barely walk right now. She swears its not broken but its not getting any better.

On Monday we spent the day at the pool. We had lessons at 12 and then stayed to eat lunch and play in the water till 4:30. I sprayed the kids but besides my face and shoulders forgot to do myself. I didn't think it was that bad until I got home that night. My back wasn't red it was this purple color. So I have spent the week lying on my stomach, crying at the thought of putting on a bra, and spraying aloe vera on. Now I'm to the point of peeling and kids think it creepy in a cool way to peel off large strips. I can't remember burning like that for a long time. Its one of those things where you kick yourself because the pain was preventable. Kids had a great time swimming. Spencer convinced Robyn to ride on the slides with me and she loved it, just went "wee" all the way down.

Kids had swimming lessons all week again. Neither passed as both need to work on being able to swim the laps without stopping to tread water or float. But they are getting there and really enjoyed their lessons - the fact that our neighbors took it at the same time added to the enjoyment.

Spencer had piano camp this week. That is where he goes for an hour for 4 days in a row with a group of 4 other kids and they learn about composers, music theory, play music games etc. Then the teacher doesn't have any other lessons for the month unless you need make-up lessons. Spencer had one make-up lesson this week as well for when he will be in CA. He really enjoys piano and was excited to start learning all the scale warm-ups this week. He thinks he is so cool when he can listen to a classical song on the radio and name the composer. Don't be too impressed - there are 4 composers he recognizes who just happen to be on the air often.

Taylor started summer school this week where he went for 4 days for the morning to a local elementary school. He really enjoys it as his teacher from this past year is also his teacher for the summer. The best part is that they take him for walks which he really needs in the summer time. We went to a park this week and Meredith and he just walked laps around the shade trees until he laid down in the sun with a big smile on his face tired out.

Allison had another birthday party this week. We have a ton of girls on our block Allison's age so the parties seem to come frequently. She thinks its great! Allison had her big dance recital on Saturday so she had 2 rehersals during the week and was talking about it a lot. She went Saturday to the beauty college by us and they dolled her all up, curling her hair, doing make-up, painting her nails. (Spencer had a haircut at the same time. He went off by himself by his choice and when he came back I had to look closely to see if they cut any off! He wants to have long hair like Zach and Cody on a Disney show. But at least now it looks like he is doing it on purpose.) Anyway we picked up Lauri and all went to cheer on Allison. She looked very cute and did a great job. I will have Jeremy post his picts and videos. They did the dance version of the wizard of oz. It was a big production and really well done. Robyn was entranced with all the dancers.

Friday night Allison organized a girl party at our house. She invited the neighbors 3 girls and their chiwowa(?) over for pizza and a movie. All the girls had a great time and although they trashed the place they cleaned up when they were done. Jeremy and Spencer went out for hamburgers at 'their' place and to see Prince Caspian. Came home stuffed and happy.

I haven't made much progress on house stuff - forgot what summer is like. I did get the paint picked up yesterday with Robyn. She considers herself a big girl now and loves to help me shop. 'Help' is a debatable word but she is happy and proud of herself when she runs errands with me. She is talking much better all of a sudden and its strange to hear whole sentences coming out of this little mouth. This week our neighbors take off for 3 weeks and then they will be moving when they get back. Robyn loves their little girl Mia and Spencer considers their boy his best friend. Its going to be tough. For now Robyn runs over there whenever she can.

Not much other news. I keep plugging away at projects and eventually I am sure they will get done. I bit into a cookie this week and one of my back molars broke off. I go in on Wednesday to get it fixed. It was the tooth around an old filling. I am hoping that it doesn't end up being a crown. I swear I would have brushed more as a kid, if only I knew.

Wishing all the father's out there a Happy Father's Day. I know how grateful I am for my own father. Love, Heather

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Jeremy's Home!

Dear Friends and Family,

Best news first, is that Jeremy came home late Monday night. He was pretty tired and it took a couple of days for him to get used to the 7 hour time difference. Tuesday he went to work, came back at 6 and was asleep at 6:30. Poor guy, coming home is always a bit of a rude awakening of what life with kids is like, how loud and chaotic things can get, how many things have piled up for him to fix, going from a gourmet personal chef to being told we're having leftover spaghetti and help yourself. But good guy that he is he has been hard at work playing catch up at work and home and trying to keep his eyes open till his body makes the time change on its own.

This is the first official week with everyone out of school. We're definitely into the summer mode. Monday was a great day but since then until yesterday we had rain and storms and cold weather. Spencer and Allison had swimming lessons this week and got to enjoy swimming in a rain storm - they only close for severe rain or lightening and we've been digging into our stock of hot chocolate after lessons to warm up. Spencer had a panic attach the first day of swimming when he couldn't remember how to side breath. Once you know whats going on, it easier to handle because otherwise you wold just think he's being a stubborn little twit. But by evening he had calmed down about the subject and started to understand that he just needed to calm down. He asked if he could have some extra meds the next day and talked to his teacher on his own about how he couldn't remember how to breath and swim at the same time. So she worked with him and let him do backstroke and breast stroke more often and by Friday he was able to get back into crawl stroke again. Allison is a little fish and just cruises doing laps.

Spencer and Allison also started tumbling and gymnastics this week. Both love it and Allison decided to not sign up for dance for the fall but to pursue gymnastics for awhile. Spencer just loved learning how to do flips, and jumps and basically run around. He likes to watch street ninja videos so this is exactly what he wants to do.

Allison started her reading summer school this week as well. Twice a week for 2 hours she goes to her school to work on reading skills - sounding out words, games, comprehension, memorization of red words (words that just have to be memorizes). She is taking it along with 6 (!) of her friends so she loves it. She started reading to Robyn to put her to sleep and is so proud when Robyn drifts off during her stories. She can read most easy reader books now and seems to really enjoy them.

Allison is wrapping up her dance from this past year. She got her munchkin costume this week and had 2 rehearsals this week and than her recital on Sat. I'll take a picture when she is all dolled up.

Meredith is coming 2 afternoons this week to go with us swimming or on a field trip. Thursday we were supposed to swim in the afternoon but as kids got out in 60 degree weather with a strong wind from their swimming lesson we all decided to leave and go to the indoor pool. It was like a big sauna and Taylor just laid back with Meredith and smiled. Robyn just keeps jumping out of my hands and doesn't care if she sinks or not, she just wants to go no matter how deep the water is. At times in the past Jeremy has made fun of my "mommy" swim suits. But Thurs reminded me how much I am treated as a jungle gym and if there is any way for my suit to dragged up, down, or off our kids will find it.

Monday afternoon our friends had a welcome to summer party in their amazing backyard - its like a small beautiful park back there. Meredith took everyone but me and Robyn over and they had a great time, eating pizza, having a huge water gun fight, playing musical chairs, digging in a sandbox and just running around. Spencer and Taylor both got sunburned and everyone was hot, tired and happy by the end of the day.

Robyn was really sick Monday. She was up by 4:30 unable to stop coughing and just kept crying "owie". I took her to the doctor and he said besides an awful sore throat which was not strep she had a cold and he couldn't do anything. So she spent Monday crying and periodically she would lick a popsicle for a few minutes. She didn't sleep unless being held and then only for a few minutes. She spent most of Tuesday night being held and then gradually got better. By Wednesday she was back to eating and playing although even today she periodically will have this bad cough.

On Friday night Meredith stayed with Taylor and Robyn and the rest of us went to dinner and to see the King and I at an outdoor theater. Had a great time although we were VERY cold even with our jackets and blankets. I am not sure which our kids enjoy more, all the munchies they go through during the play or the play itself! Saturday night we all curled up on the couch and watched National Treasure 2 together while kids cheered that Dad was back as he broke out the nachos. So we've had some good family times this week.

I am starting to get back into the summer groove - where jobs get fit in whenever possible and kids stay up later and are always around wanting attention. If they decide by some stroke of luck to all be occupied at the same time you quickly seize the moment for a bit of "me" time. Jeremy brought back a bunch of swiss chocolate so I have been able to stay quite calm and happy this week on my chocolate high. Because of all that chocolate I tried out a spinning class on Saturday. My legs felt like spaghetti when I was done so I figure I should go back. The hour went by really fast and worked muscles that I don't usually think about!

Jeremy set up a table and chairs on our deck this week so we're going to try it out tonight with Jeremy's family. I sat out there reading yesterday afternoon and almost fell asleep. It feels so nice to feel the sun again and be outside. We mowed the lawn Friday and Saturday and filled up our garbage can and 5 big garbage sacks! So our yard is liking all the moisture and cooler weather.

Happy Birthday to Lathan and love to everyone else, Heather

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Last Sunday alone!

Dear Family,
Fast Sunday with no husband and a sick 2 year old, I was sort of dreading it but its going better than I thought! We didn't go to church till Sunday School and I had a friend hold Robyn while I taught and then we went home - Spencer and Allison walked home after Primary. Spencer and Allison and I have spent the last two hours playing k'nex. As Allison pointed out its really great that we are able to work on something together without fighting - sadly it is a small miracle.

Allison and I sorted out all the pieces while Spencer is busy building some big roller coaster.
Jeremy has one last concert tonight in London and then spends tomorrow flying back and will be here late tomorrow night. We will all be excited to see him. He is working really hard and isn't seeing the sights as much as he wants but seems to be having a great time and is enjoying the project.

Robyn never seemed to come all the way back from her ear infection. She started this cough that just keeps getting worse. She has a fever periodically. She has gone through the irritable/grumpy stage wrecking havoc (picture a box of styraphom peanuts and a little girl strewing them through the house and then jumping on them to make it snow) and is now in the pathetic hold me and let me sip juice and cuddle stage. Really sad and hope she feels better soon. She is even passing on food right now unless its a popsicle or candy (she isn't all the way gone yet).

This last week our downstairs was primed and the ceilings painted. I worked on painting the trim in the dining room. Our house smells very paint like. Planted a few more bushes in the backyard and did all the normal stuff of laundry, mowing the lawn, going to the grocery store, piano lessons, dance class etc. That really pretty much filled our week.

Spencer and Taylor finished up school and are now officially out. To celebrate on Saturday we went up to the aquarium along with one of Spencer's friend. The kids had a great time and Robyn even perked up to touch a hissing madagascar cockroach. Spencer has been a bit frustrated with finding a friend to play with as his best friend next door is branching out more and is pretty busy socially. So I was glad Spencer called up a friend from school who is really good with him. They had a good time playing for most of the day yesterday.

Allison had a birthday party Friday that has raised her expectations for her own birthday party through the roof. She came back with a huge shopping bag full of make-up, stickers, candy etc. They went to a store where they were made up, hair done, given handwarmers and fake mics and taught a routine to dance and sing in front of the store. Allison thought it was great. She came home to make-up Robyn in bright purple and blue shades. They thought they were beautiful.

I've read the Host twice now. That combined with having lots of leftover chocolate cake has not been good for my waistline! On Thursday Meredith came over and I got to hit the gym and the temple. It was wonderful - such a simple thing, but I looked forward to it all week. Did think how lucky I was that when I drove up and found our temple closed for repairs I could just drive down to Provo and go there. Brought back memories as I haven't been there since our first years of marriage.

Kids are excited for summer and I am trying to get into the summer mode of kids being home all the time. Love to you all, Heather