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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cousins, Hospitals, and Timp

This week started off with a bit of a bang.  Allison woke up Monday morning saying her stomach hurt and with a low fever.  Then she started throwing up all morning long.  By the afternoon she had finally stopped throwing up so much but her fever kept climbing and she would just lay on the couch sobbing and holding her stomach on the right side.  She was having trouble walking and would crawl to the bathroom, didn't want to eat and drink and was just miserable.  So that night we took her to the after hours clinic who said appendicitis was a real possibility.  So it was off to the ER where a huge amount of painkillers and a bunch of negative tests  let us know that she just had a virus that had caused her stomach to get really swollen and tender on that one side.  So no appendicitis, just an expensive stomach flu.

By the next night Allison felt just fine.  In time to meet up with Jason's family at the Owlz baseball game to cheer on our team and watch fireworks at the end.  I don't think the kids really watched the game at all but they had a great time and cousins came home with us afterwards for cousin week.

Cousins got to stay and play with us till Saturday morning.  We went to library classes, the candy store, watched movies, girls set up a sleeping suite downstairs in the basement for all the girls, played games and ran around.  Thursday with Taylor in school for one last day we went to 7 peaks to play for the day on the slides and stop at the BYU creamery on the way home.  Kids were happy and tired out by the end of the week.
On Saturday thanks to my ambitious friend Monica and a supportive Jeremy I spent the day hiking Mount Timpanogous.  It took us 11 hours to do the 14 1/2 miles with 5000 feet change in elevation to reach the peak of 11749 feet.  It was gorgeous with wildflowers so thick at times you felt like you needed a machete.  We hiked next to mountain goats and lakes, crossed over and under waterfalls, across a mountain of snow (that was super hard) and scrambled over fields of rocks.  Trail is a very loose term as it is not a nice little dirt path the whole way.  2 hours and 2 miles from the top I got hit by altitude sickness.  At first I was worried that Allison had shared her bug with me.  Throwing up a bunch did not make the hike easier but we persevered and my friend Monica kept cheering me on.  Came home super sore and wiped out and despite drinking 90 oz during the day, I had lost 4 pounds.  But 12 hours of sleep and a bunch of ibuprofen and life is much better.  It was quite the adventure and definitely one to cross off of my bucket list.
This is the meadow, the flattest, easiest part of the trail
See that ribbon of rock, that is the trail!
At the very top.  There is a metal shack up there to prove that you made it to the top.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Shakespeare and the dentist

Taylor got his glasses this week.  I think he is sitting up more and looking around at things.  But I can't tell if that is true or just my wishful thinking.  It doesn't seem to bother him though.

Monday after getting all our yard jobs done we headed off to the pool with the girls each bringing a friend.  We were only able to swim for half an hour before lightening struck and they closed the pool down.  So after waiting for awhile to see if the storm would clear we went to get snow cones.  Then with girls begging we called to find out the pool had re-opened despite the drizzle.  So we headed back and the girls had the pool to themselves for an hour and a half.  Taylor and I huddled under an umbrella and thought they were a bit nuts.  But they thought it was the coolest thing to have the whole place including the slides to themselves - they could care less about the rain.

While Taylor was at summer school this week the three kids and I hiked up to Timpanogous Caves.  It is a steep trek up there but the kids' whining has definitely improved.  Allison was pointing out that its far from perfect but it is much better.  And the caves are awesome as well as being 40 degrees which after hiking up a mountain in 90 degrees feels wonderful.  Robyn learned that hiking 1 1/2 miles straight downhill in sandals is not the best idea.  Sometimes I wonder if letting natural consequences take affect when kids ignore my advice makes me a good mom or a lazy one.

My mouth has still been achy from my root canal last week.  Then it started hurting more every time I ate or drank anything.  So it was off to the dentist again for a SECOND root canal in the tooth next to the first one.  They might as well measure me for my dentures now.  This time the root canal was much more painful and I am still on ibuprofen.  Jeremy took all the kids out for ice cream and let me just cuddle up with my pain pills, hot chocolate and the latest episode of The Closer.  I am looking forward to a few months of no more dentist appointments.  It was only 4 weeks ago that I had to get a new crown made when my old crown broke in CA.  Did I mention that we have maxed out our medical spending plan?

Friday we dropped the kids off with Jason & Kelly's family and Jeremy and I took off for the weekend.  We went down to Cedar City for the Shakespeare festival.  It is on the SUU campus down there and they have 2 indoor theaters, an outdoor re-creation of the Globe theater and a theater on the green.  We watched Les Miserables, The Merry Wives of Windser and Mary Stuart.  We went to the play orientations, the free greenshow every night and explored the nearby sandwich shops and bookstore.  The plays were amazingly well done.  It was definitely a "heather" weekend but I think Jeremy enjoyed the experience of it all.  Plus he got to drive us down and back and along the canyon roads in his new car.  Then we spent Sunday driving through the red rock country next door and hiking around on a few trails.  Then we came home to happy, tired kids who enjoyed their cousin weekend.  Two nights of making up sleep and then the cousins come here.  Its nice to have some family close by.
 One of the rest stops had a petting zoo.  We are definitely going back there when traveling with kids!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

7-11 and summer

On 7-11 Day our kids were promised slurpees in then evening if everyone was still alive and happy when Jeremy and I came back from the temple.  The result being an evening spent on the lawn with happy sugared up kids laying on the grass and Jeremy breaking out the camera.  So although I didn't take a single picture this week of our summer activities we have these gorgeous summer photos instead that remind me that truly I love my kids - even when the temperatures hit 102 degrees for most of the week and I get to have a root canal - even then.

We had a heat wave the first part of this week which made the weekend rain storms feel so wonderful.  There is something about being able to sleep with a breeze blowing in through the windows that just puts a smile on my face.  Girls had their last week of swimming lessons.  Allison has been in a diving class this time around and has been enjoying learning flips and pikes and not enjoying all the belly flops that are part of the learning process.  Spencer continues with tennis lessons.  We had to go buy him shoes again this week.  Size 14.  Do you have any idea how big that is?  The nice part is that there are only a few size 14s in stores so it shortens the search quite a bit.  Shoes are one of his breaking points so it will be good for him to be forced to just get used to how a shoe feels instead of trying to find the perfect shoe every time.

I had the pleasure of going to the dentist this week for another root canal.  And truly I was really really happy to go.  I am happy to have a few days of aching versus the sharp pain of a tooth that needs to be fixed.

We met with Spencer's psyciatrist this week.  Spencer has been really sleepy lately.  And despite my sometimes appreciating it, we really don't want him to be sedated.  So the doctor explained that as your metabolism changes from a child to an adult around ages 12 or 13 that medications get almost halved.  So Spencer's medications are currently halved.  We will see how it goes as it works through his system.  Spencer not sedated means talking a mile a minute with every random thought, so we are working on that.  But he has been much more cheerful these last few days.

Partly that could be because it was a father/son campout this weekend.  Food, camping, guy time - Jeremy and Spencer had a blast.  Add in some rain storms to bring the temperature down as well.  With Taylor being an honory guest this Friday, the girls and I had our girls night out.  They picked out shrimp from Costco as the ultimate girl meal, we went to Color Me Mine to paint some knick-knacks and then out for ice cream.  I had two very happy girls that night as they had a girl sleepover in Allison's bed.  The next morning I found them asleep hugging each other.  The sisterly bickering sometimes makes me forget how much they love each other.

The summer heat was a good incentive this week to cut my hair off.  Its been 6 months so it had gotten pretty long and I had finally figured out a french braid.  But now its to just below my shoulders and I feel like the world is ten degrees cooler.
Jeremy sold his early-mid life crisis this week - the motorcycle and bought his real mid-life crisis - a convertible.  He has been saving and looking for several years now and had a hard time reconciling his budget with his likes.  But he found a reclaimed BMW down in Las Vegas that fit the bill.  The kids cleaned the office yesterday with ingratiating smiles on their faces as they tried to be good enough to ride home with Jeremy in his car.  The car has some things that need to be fixed and tweaked but Jeremy is hoping to get it looked at this week and see how bad the damage is.
Allison has been getting up three mornings a week to run 2 1/2 miles with her friend.  She is definitely the slow but steady runner as her goal is simply to run without walking.  She has her $50 for 50 miles in her sights and is working toward it.  Spencer continues to ride laps on his bike.  He has to ride 3 miles to equal 1 mile running but he is getting motivated as Chaz's cricket supply is eating into his wallet.

Robyn has become a CD addict.  She comes home from the library laden with books on CDs and then holes up in her room for hours listening to them.  She is becoming quite the little hermit at times.

Taylor's glasses arrive this week.  Last week we took him into an opthamologist so they coudl sign a form for the school that Taylor was still blind so he could receive services.  I thought it was a little ridiculous.  BUT they found out that Taylor eyes were a -11.  So even if his brain was trying to react to anything he saw, it would be able to.  So he has these black plastic head band style glasses being made for him.  I am curious to see if it will make a difference to him at all or not.

Yesterday I went with two friends to drive through the tri route and to swim the swim portion of the race.  Swimming in a lake is very different than swimming in a pool.  You can't see, waves slap you in the face etc.  I was glad to get my panic over with before the race started.  I feel much better about it now and know that although I won't be fast, I can do it.

Kids had planned another night up in the canyon with sandwiches and a bumpy truck ride but storm clouds are gathering so we will see.  The storms are such a nice change that I can't complain about a change of plans.

love, Heather

Sunday, July 8, 2012

4th of July

This week fire and fireworks filled the air.  We had out traditional neighborhood of fire where whichever families are able come over to BBQ, have a water balloon fight and show of their pyromania.  We all had a great time visiting and shooting off fireworks.
Notice the wooden frame structure on the other side of the street.  Our neighbors constructed this wooden platform to hold a series of fireworks that were strung together with fuses.  It was an awesome sight as it went off for several minutes.  And while fireworks were being shot off, this is what our sky looked like as the mountain next to Alpine burned. It was called the Quail Fire and Jeremy ran over and took some photos on the first day it started.
But Wednesday came along with cooler temperatures and rain. It only lasted for a day but put out the fires, everyone chilled for a day and we could open our windows for a little bit.  God's way of answering prayers with the fires and giving everyone a day to slow down a little.
Other exciting news this week is that we went to the dentist.  This is our after picture of us getting snow cones.  Can you tell that Robyn was the only one who didn't have any work done?
Allison had two teeth pulled and a retainer put in.  She has been busy all week trying out her new "voice".  It is pretty funny to listen to although she is getting better at enunciating.  Spencer had a tooth pulled, a cavity filled and a new retainer as well.  I always thought teeth just fell out!  Instead with our kids their adult teeth come in sideways or up by their gums as their baby teeth refuse to come out.  Jeremy kids that we are just paying for our dentist's new boat.

Friday night Jeremy and I had a date to go see Spiderman and then good guy that he is, he drove me up to SLC at 11 pm just to get a piece of cheesecake.  Sitting outside on a bench in the middle of the night snuggling and eating cheesecake made me realize how lucky I am.  It also enabled me to go home and figuratively take up the job of raising kids again.  I love my kids and I love summer but it is seriously a job and a half with few breaks thrown in.

Saturday night the kids and I along with Allison's friend Evelyn hiked up to the Y.  Allison and Evelyn were like mountain goats leaping and running ahead of us, Robyn is a cheerful plodder by my side while Spencer was gasping that he was having serious leg complications.  But he did make it to the top red faced, sweat dripping off his nose and gasping.  I mentally apologized to him that he inherited my tendency to sweat like a pig and to be nonathletic.  But he ran the trail all the way back to the car when he was motivated about getting to the creamery for ice cream.  So his leg injury must not have been too severe.
Spencer started tennis lessons this week and is really enjoying it so far.  Allison and Robyn started up another swimming session.  Robyn freaked out the first day when she realized her teacher expected her to swim across the pool (25m) by herself.  So with lots of tears she moved back down a level to get a little stronger.

Today after church and meetings were done we threw everyone into the truck and headed up the canyon.  Jeremy did some serious four-wheeling to get us up this dirt road where we just hung out and ate our sandwiches.  Our kids are already asking if we are going again next week.  Cooler temperatures, a river, no cell phone service and cookies for dessert.  What else could a kid want?
Taylor had a bad day today.  A few grand-mal seizures tend to do that.
Robyn found an old fishing line and a hook in the rocks.  Allison tied it to a stick for her and Robyn was in heaven as she "fished".

I taught my first sharing time today and remembered how much I like Primary.  I also remembered how much kids like to talk to each other given the slightest opportunity!  It was fun though and definitely is never boring.  I heard somewhere that kids need to be bored so they can then use their imagination to think of something to do.  It has made me feel a lot better about my kids coming up to me to say that they are bored and what should they do.  My stock answer is to clean some toilets.

Robyn has been making us laugh lately.  My two favorites are first when she was complaining that she didn't have many miles done on her mileage chart to earn money.  Allison told her that she could run with her at 7:30 before family prayer.  Robyn replied sobbing in utter heartbreak "but I like sleeping in so much!".  Then the other night she said she didn't know what she could do.  I told her she could come tell me what an awesome mom I was.  She replied, "I could...or I could go to the bathroom".  So she went to the bathroom.  Lets me know where I stand in the scheme of things.  Kids, laugh or cry there is always something.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Smokey & Hot

This week was full of camps, high temperatures and a sky full of smoke from all the nearby fires.

 Monday we spent the day at our waterpark again, 7 peaks with several neighbors.  Kids ran rampant and had a good time, or at least all but Robyn did.  I had brought Robyn's friend Luke and the two little kids plus Taylor and I were going to hang out in the little kid section.  I was not going to attempt the wave pool with the three of them.  Robyn was furious with outrage.  She had her neon pink goggles on, arms folded and was standing by the kiddie pool off to the side ranting to the world about the unfairness of it all for 30!! solid minutes.  Then she came to sit next to me to rant some more.  There was a lady sitting next to us on the side of the pool who started to talk to her.  "How old are you?"  Robyn in a tight little snotty voice, "6...and I am not a baby".  The lady kept asking her about why she wasn't happy and then she asked if she and her big kids could take Robyn to the wave pool for a few minutes for me.  So they did.  Robyn walked off looking back at me with a nose up in the air, arms folded look of disdain and came back ten minutes later happy and full of sunshine for the rest of the day.  I thought that lady was amazing.  If I had been her I would have either laughed or thought to myself what a brat.  I hope I react as well to the kids around me.

This week I had the changeover to my new calling where I tried to figure out what the heck I do with all this scouting stuff and realize what a messy secretary I was as I turn over everything to the new secretary.  Change is good.  Relief Society to Primary is a whole different world.  I have been biking occasionally with the Primary president so it has been good to get to know her better.  She patiently waits for me to catch up...often.

Spencer set off for deacons scout camp Wednesday.  They went down to Escalante and had a few days of hiking and playing in the dessert.  He left home like this:

And he came home tannish red (his sunblock had not been opened once) with red sand clinging to everything.  He had a great time.  Here are some photos from his leader:
With Spencer gone and Taylor having a few days of summer school the girls and I had some girl time.  They had swimming lessons all week and we would stay at the pool to play afterwards.  We picked a bunch of raspberries and made raspberry jam.  We went to Trafalga to play miniature golf with Jeremy one night and just had a fun girl time.
Friday, Allison got to go to the cub scout camp with her Activity Days.  She spent the day shooting BB guns, canoeing, archery, crafts and came home dirty, tired and happy.  I am so glad they do this camp with the little girls as they eat it up.
This is Allison after camp. Notice the "white" shorts and shoes!
Robyn and Allison came down one morning to this:
I was told thanks mom they look great, but we aren't going to eat them.  They have blueberries inside.  This is what they wanted instead:
And this is what they looked like until I said it was OK:
Spoiled little girls I tell you.
We have a bird feeder on out back porch that is a great source of entertainment.  A deck railing covered in bird poop is a small price to pay.
The yard is slowly growing beyond my ability to keep up with.  At least the wasp nests are staying under control:
Life is full of summer, late nights, hot days, pools and friends so it is good.

Love, Heather

P.S. Jeremy did some catch up photos:
Brynn not happy that I made green beans for dinner