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Sunday, June 28, 2009

1 more trip

Dear Friends and Family,

Allison has been busy discovering my old craft supplies. A bag of scraps from her quilt and my box of old cross stitch floss has kept her very busy and happy. She was quite proud of the doll she made from her own imagination. Despite her not having them on in this picture she has been wearing her glasses most days now. I think she has decided that it is nice to see and that its just a life time of bad eyes from now on. (I feel badly that some of my genetic flaws have gotten passed on!)

We went camping this weekend with another family, the Blacks and their 2 kids. We went on the other side of Utah lake on B.L.M. land in the middle of no where. It was hot and dry but we had a great time. There are tons of quad trails everywhere and kids had a great time racing around with Jeremy and me. I drove a quad for the first time with first Robyn in back screaming "wee, go faster" and then for the second time with Spencer muttering "mom, I just don't trust you, you should let me drive, you just won't be able to handle this". Had a great time driving around at my slow, compared to Jeremy's speed. Rocky showed us his not so gentle side when he had the Black's beagle by the neck when their dog was eating Rocky's dinner. It ended with
their beagle having a bloody toothmark on his ear, Jeremy with a sore hand from sticking it in the middle of the vent and us apologizing profusely. Rocky spent the rest of the weekend sulking under our trailer. Had a huge fire Friday night fueled by a dead tree that the men with the girls cheering used their winches and their quads to pull out of the ground and felt very manly.

As we drove out to the campsite Jeremy and I realized everything we had forgotten. It seems that we aren't as on top of our lives as much as usual lately. Most of the stuff we could live without, even the lunch I forgot to pack for. Kids thought it was great to have a lunch of chips and wheat thins! Trying to do better about just doing what we can do and letting the rest go. That is the reason we drove back yesterday afternoon, cleaned out the trailer for a little bit and then locked the door and left everything else till Monday. After everyone was cleaned up the kids went with Meredith a wedding reception while we went to the temple and ALL of us crashed early, happy and sunburnt.

This week was the last week of swimming lessons for my kids. Allison was very sad that she didn't pass her class because she couldn't do breast stroke or maintain her crawl long enough. I am not sure if it was the not passing that made her so sad or the fact that when you pass you get a banana split from Mom and Dad - and Spencer did pass. A few years ago our kids were really goofing off for swimming lessons so we had to put an incentive in place. Allison's consolation prize of a single scoop was not enough in her opinion. Robyn passed her class (able to blow bubbles and not scream when they play with you in the water) and her teacher's comments on her card cracked me up. "Robyn is a very happy, energetic girl who never hesitates to speak her mind! We loved having her." I can only imagine what Robyn was like in that class.

This week was spent with me playing catch up on things. I literally filled the truck with lawn clippings and weeds to take to the dump. Our bathrooms no longer look like toxic waste sites - although our kids one probably does again as it has been a few days. I went to the running store to get new shoes. I am up to 7 miles this last Friday. Doesn't feel like I am about to die anymore but still doesn't feel great. Figure I will just keep working through it and stretching and icing whenever I can.

Spencer had 2 more appointments this week with the drug study. One was because they called to say they had forgotten to label his labs from the previous week so he had to come back up and do it all over again. It is at least a 3 hour time investment, so I wasn't too thrilled about it but Spencer was excited to earn more money for his DS. Then Friday we went up again to start him on Lamictal. I keep reminding myself that if this helps Spencer it will be a good thing but the time commitment is already bothering me. For a while he has to go up weekly. Lamictal is supposed to help with the depression/down side of things. We will see how it goes. Spencer often gets mad when he is depressed as its easier to act angry than sad so it would be nice to get that more under control.

Spencer is becoming a little book worm lately. He is into 3 really good books - fablehaven, book 2, the last book in the dark is rising series and Harry Potter 6. Don't know why but he likes reading more than one book at a time. He got his hair cut short this week and has a thin white line around his hair line that looks really cute. It was a traumatic event after the fact because it didn't look exactly like how he pictured it. But he came around to the idea that he is a guy and he should just tussle it with some gel and be happy with it. This camping trip was right next to a big rocky hill that Spencer and kids could climb up. Spencer loved trying out his rock climbing skills. Allison made the mistake of standing on a hill of red ants on the top and has the bites to prove it.

Robyn the whole time Spencer was getting his hair cut was screaming that she wanted a hair cut as well. So nice! I kept reminding her that there was no more hair left to cut! She is really liking story time at the library each week and fills a bag full of picture books to read during her no sleeping happy nappy times. Right now she is reading Fancy Nancy and can totally relate to the book. I think she has it memorized. She keeps chasing Macho around and despite his unusual patience with her holding and dragging him everywhere Robyn is sporting some great claw marks on her arms and cheeks. Hasn't slowed her down yet though!

Jeremy is bucking for husband of the year. After a horrible night of Robyn sleeping he got up early while camping to take Allison and Spencer and later Taylor out to hike and play so we could sleep. Then took down camp by himself, drove back, ran to the church to check on a funeral clean up, showered and tried not to fall asleep at the temple. This week he got for me (I say me with a smile as really we know who wants to play with it) a new phone. I think he got tired of me getting his phone calls/texts a few hours AFTER he did them.

I am looking forward to some calmer times this week. Taylor is out of school so everyone will be home more. Love to you all, Heather

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Making up for lost time

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow, it seems like forever since I posted. All these weekend trips have been fun but nothing else is getting done. Today I finished up the two day process of mowing our lawn so our "jungle" is gone. 2 weeks of lots of rain and no mowing will do that especially since I put fertilizer on right before the rain started! But with the first day of summer on Sunday the weather finally decided to start cooperating and its sunny and hot once again. And of course today our water was turned off. So I am currently very stinky but figure I have a great excuse to let the dishes wait for water to wash them with and catch up blogging instead. Lately I have been letting my list of "should-dos" feel more like "have to do right now". It feels good to sit down and remember as long as everyone is happy and healthy, dirty toilets and unfolded laundry can wait.

Went to Detroit for a Thursday thru Sunday. Jason and Kelly stayed with our kids for 2 days and then Meredith stayed 2 days. All survived and the cousins still like each other and are asking for the next sleepover. It was a little surreal to see David and Griselda's house in person after only seeing pictures for so many years. It was a lot of fun to visit and just hang out and play with our nephews. We were lazy pigs who stayed up late, slept in and ate a bunch. Got calzones, went to a Mongolian BBQ, had a BBQ at Griselda's friend's house and went to David's 7 course formal dinner. Griselda and I were able to do some retail therapy (they have H & M there, one of my favorite stores!) and got mani/pedis. We were there for Haefan's blessing which was really neat. Dad, you would have been tearing up with pride at David's graduation dinner. They talked about how he was a soft spoken, not much to say guy with an extremely compassionate heart and a lot of intergrity. Many people complimented him on how much they would miss him and what a good doctor he had become. We were really impressed with all they have accomplished in their lives - not just David's medical training (although that is pretty awesome) but the family they have created together. Came home re-inspired to have quieter, more well behaved, less snacky and dessert eating kids!

Arrived home and jumped into swimming lessons for our kids as well as Taylor's summer school in the afternoons. Kids really like swimming lessons but Robyn LOVES swimming lessons. Spencer and Allison keep telling her how lucky she is to be in the play class because they have to work and swim tons of laps. They come home clean, cool and happy every day. Taylor is liking his summer school of three hours each afternoon. I am hoping it will re-energize him to walk more as lately it is like caring for a wet noodle with steel toed boots (daffos) that like to kick at random and usually hurtful times.

Spencer started the process for his drug trial of Lamictal to see if it helps with his bi-polar. A 2!! hour appointment up in SLC with interviews, blood draws, urine tests, ECGs resulted in him being accepted. And then they lost the blood samples so we had to go up again today. For a while he has to go up every week. The U of U hospital is under construction so it is a lot of walking through half put together hallways and feels like quite the excursion. I am hoping it helps him do better. He is still cruising through Harry Potter 6 as he can't see the movie until he finishes the book.

It was our city's Strawberry Days last week so we celebrated by going to the city concert and eating strawberries and cream (cups of fresh strawberries with ice cream mix poured over it - so good!). And then on Thursday night we went to the rodeo. We left Taylor with Meredith but did take Robyn this year. Everyone loved it, especially the jumping motorcycle riders in the intermission. Robyn lost it the last hour and finally crashed after much screaming and kicking. You are packed into these tight bleachers so there is no room for temper tantrums. It was a long night as we left at 6 and got back a little after 11 but a lot of fun.

Friday we drove up to Idaho for Lauri's funeral on Saturday. A lot of last minute odds and ends went into that event. Realized halfway there that I had forgotten my church dress to wear to the funeral. So Friday night while kids and Dad along with Jason and kids played in the pool Kelly and I went shopping. It was a sad but fun weekend. Jeremy's sister Jonna and her boyfriend came down from Washington. And Jeremy's cousins, grandma, uncles and aunts were all there along with some older friends of Lauri's. It was neat to hear about everyone's memories of Lauri from when she was younger. I have only known her since her husband died and her health had started a slow and then fast decline. We had the funeral in stormy weather but the rain held off till everyone was getting in their cars. We had a brunch and then later they had a family get together at one of the uncles. (Kelly and I did kid duty at the hotel with pool, pizza and a movie). We came back Sunday after going to church there, walking around the falls and then having another family luncheon. It was a really nice weekend but emotionally tiring. And it reinforced my belief that our kids DO NOT sleep well in the same room. Despite Melatonin girls were up with nightmares both nights and then Taylor did his 5 am wake-up call. So Saturday morning Taylor and I snuck out to the work out room to watch CNN and for Taylor to chirp and clap to his hearts content. I had tried pushing his chair into the bathroom but it didn't fit:) Saturday night I was so tired I just kept my hand over his mouth and kept falling back asleep.

Last night to make-up for a not very relaxing Father's day, we packed a picnic of steak, baked potatoes, watermelon, chocolate/peanut butter cake and ice cream and went to SCERA park. That is my all time favorite park in the summer mostly because of all the big shade trees. Jeremy ate, visited and oohed and awed at his new golf shirts and then went to the park's ampitheater to take pictures of a Jim Brickman concert. Kids played on the swings and couldn't understand why their stomach hurt after eating so much cake :) Yeah my no dessert goal seems to need some work.

So lots of fun and busy times lately. We are all doing good. Allison biked a couple of blocks away today to buy cherries fresh from a tree that we are all munching on. I saw a guy today at the hospital wearing an old fashioned tie it yourself bow tie like my grandpa used to wear. Robyn isn't ALWAYS talking full volume now. Lots of reasons to smile. Plus someone dropped off a plate of brownies for me today - can't get better than that.

Love to you all, Heather

PS Mimi, I begged my mom for YEARS to have a girl. Claire will love having a sister.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Visiting David & Griselda Family

We had a great weekend visiting the East-soon-to-be-back-West Skeehan clan. Heather and I truly enjoyed the visit and had a great time seeing the nephews. As you all can imagine, Heather especially enjoyed holding the baby as often as she coul.

I'll let Heather give the full version of the events as she does so well, but rather than share a select few of the many photos I took, I posted a full gallery of mid-sized photos for those interested. Lynda, I heard the call loud and clear and kept the camera at the ready throughout the weekend. Hopefully I captured a few you all will enjoy :)

Full Gallery on SmugMug

Dear Friends and Family,

Life with summer and kids has been busy this last week so I missed my Sunday post. Thought I better do a quick summary before taking off to Detroit! (my bags are packed and I am EXCITED!!).

Last week:
Had a family viewing of Lauri's body before it was cremated. Kids were very cute, even Robyn talking among themselves of how Lauri was in heaven and felt better now. Thought it might be a semi-creepy experience instead it was really neat and touching and a great thing for our kids. Lauri looked the most relaxed I had ever seen her and just very peaceful.

I LOVE scouts. Spencer spent Wednesday afternoon hiking Timp caves and came home tired and dirty and with a big smile. Went to scout camp all day Saturday and again came home tired and dirty and with an even bigger smile.

A week full of rain so instead of swimming we went to do our BYU tour. Went through the art museum first. Spencer was pulling an attitude until he started paying attention and realized there was an mp3 tour available. Then we had to literally drag him away. They had an exhibit by the guy who does the I spy books. Really interesting and kids were enthralled. Then we saw the modern art wing. An entire wall covered with packets of duck sauce. Didn't get it but kids thought it was so cool that this artist used only garbage in his works. Hit the creamery for ice cream and then the Bean museum for our fill of stuffed animals. Spencer was so mad at not seeing the rest of the art exhibits he stayed outside finishing up Harry Potter 5 and a little reading time and shade and he was his lovable self again.

Went to a wedding reception in gusty weather. Kids are wedding pros now and rush to get their duds on and get in the car so they can see the receving line quickly and head off for the treats. Meredith has taken them to many receptions now, brave woman so they are experts in comparing who has the best chocolate fountain and Robyn loves seeing the princess dresses.

Spent literally hours on the phone with Lauri's stuff. Who knew how many odds and ends there would be. Had a breakfast meeting with Jason and Kelly to divvy up the workload. Spent this last Monday cleaning out her condo. A little overwhelming but I keep reminding myself that it will eventually get done.

Laughed at our grocery shopping excursion - our weekly Friday event. Balloon lady was walking around which added to the festivities. Allison in front (with balloon) and her own grocery cart and list. Then Spencer with his balloon and cart and list. Then Robyn in one of those gigantic car carts with her balloon and various contraband that was not on the list but found their way into her cart. Then me and then Taylor in his wheelchair. I am not sure if people were shaking their heads at my foolishness or braveness. Kids have a great time. Spencer first off approaches the service desk to have them write exactly which aisle everything on his list could be found. Allison prefers the wonder aimlessly approach checking for any free samples as she goes. Allison congratulated me on our new record - only an hour and a half in the store! Figure they are working on their shopping skills and its air conditioned and counts as our fun activity for the day.

Had Jason's family over for dinner Sunday and did a wienie roast. Then we had cousins come over Tuesday night while Kelly and Jason went out for Jason's birthday. Kelly brought over lemon frosted cupcakes and they just tickled Taylor's funny bone. See the video below.

Saturday night Jeremy and I got my fill of cheesecake at the cheesecake factory and shopped for a new dress. David's shindig gave me a great excuse. Probably shouldn't be eating cheesecake as after running 5 miles Friday and then once cooled down being unable to walk I decided to give my plantar fasciitis a break. It hurts!!! So I am taping it, stretching it, icing it and wearing this ridiculous splint at night that by midnight I kick off in exasperation. I am hoping my foot just heals up and I can get back to normal living again. Plus I really miss my early morning rendezvous with my friend and the endorphin rush.

So live is good, busy and mostly happy. Lots of kids running around, or grumping around saying they are bored. Popsicle wrappers left dripping onto counters. Beds having accidents and needing to be washed (Robyn!). Hamster's ridiculously long nails having to be cut. Mulch spread through the rest of the backyard. Potatoes sprouting in the garden. Roses blooming everywhere and girls furiously hacking away at said roses for their own bouquets. Spencer doing the core workouts in the morning. New job charts that everyone loved for the first 10 minutes and then hated and now tolerate. Getting bed springs for Taylor so he has a normal size bed. It looks huge and he is quite confused about the new size. So normal, crazy sometimes life.

love to you all, Heather

I LOVE Taylor's laugh. Wish I heard it more often.

Spencer is trying to get abs and guns (his words). So core workouts every morning. Really funny to watch.

Robyn's idea of dressed for the day. She is starting to get the idea of "matching" things.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Beauty and the Beast

Allison continues to excel in her piano abilities. She let me take this video of her to share with family, and even agreed to sing along because I caught her singing the other day while she played. I'm so impressed at how far long she has quickly come.