8.31.2009

100% Effective

Why waste a perfectly good co-pay to let your doctor abuse your nether parts when you can just pay a short and free visit to my blog and get yourself some excellent birth control? I guarantee it's 100% effective. You only have to take it once, too. Enjoy!

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Just before this, Lexi did an incredible Linda Blair impersonation in which her head spun around in a full circle, she spewed forth split pea soup and literally screamed, "I DON'T WANT TO GO POTTY!"

Just in case that initial dose wasn't quite effective, treat yourself to a complimentary sample of the same medicine.

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And you are welcome.

8.26.2009

You Asked...

The watermelon is awesome! It's really sweet and sugary and just about perfect. Kind of funny since it just happened to be growing wild in the front yard and Allen decided to transplant it in the garden just for giggles. Well, Lexi totally jerked on it and it was withered up and pretty much dead so we didn't think it would live, let alone produce anything even close to edible. But, Lexi gave it a little blessing right after we put it in the ground by telling it, "Now grow." And, it did. There are 3 others on it growing as we speak. So yay for us!

Big Melons

22 lbs.

And we grew it all. by. our. selves.

8.25.2009

Gotta Love Independence

Me: {reminding Lexi in high-pitched-everything-is-great voice} Remember, if you choose to go on the potty without Mommy having to tell you, you get a candy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lexi: ummmmm.....no.

8.23.2009

Addie took her first step today. All by her little self. No hands, no furniture, no walking toy. The girl's got mad skillz.

8.22.2009

A Dying Breed

I have a confession: I get genuinely excited for my annual (no, not that one, gosh) eye exam. Not because I get to amaze the staff with my ability to stay perfectly still while they torture me with medieval tools like pupil dilation and that little puff that you wait for and wait for and then, no wait, PUFF! So unnatural. Anyhow, I love that exam because I get to choose new glasses.

So, I got up early, triumphed over a late babysitter and a cranky baby who insisted upon being held while I applied my makeup and made it, albeit 5 minutes late, to my early morning appointment. I even did my hair so it would frame my face so I could choose the hippest and hottest, most trendy glasses out there.

I had said babysitter for 3 whole hours (but with the lateness and Addie's situation, I only had about 2.5 hours). I did not want to choose my new accessories under duress and who can't get in and out in about 2 hours? So, I roll in at 9:05 for a 9 a.m. appointment. My paperwork had been filled out ahead of time, I donned my insurance card like a pro and sat down with a magazine. Soon, it was 9:20. Then, 9:30. Then 9:45. The heat began to rise in my face as I thought about how freakin' rude it is to make a patient wait for 40 minutes without so much as a "We're sorry we're insanely slow, but we hope to see you in 10 minutes." Nothing. Finally, at 9:55 I approached the front desk: "Excuse me, I'm wondering if you can tell me when I might see the doctor?" "You'll have to ask the tech when she comes to get you." Thanks. Why do you even work here you worthless, texting, facebooking slob? So, I took my seat again. This time, I was arming myself with hostile words for this so-called tech who was supposedly coming to get me.

Now, it's after 10 o'clock. She comes out and calls my name. I look at her with full on disdain, but say nothing. "How are you?" Stone cold silence. She has me sit in the chair and begins her schpeel.

"Before you start..." I say.

"Well, if we're going to dilate..." (my eyes, people, eyes)

"No, really. Before you start. I need to see the doctor and be on my way home by 11:00. I have a sitter at home with my kids. I can't be late and my 8 month old also needs to eat around that time. So, if I won't be done with the doctor and have time to choose my glasses within the next hour (HOUR, I can't believe I even had to have this conversation), there's no point in starting the exam."

Nurse : {looking down her nose at me} "Your baby is that high maintenance?"

Me: {looking up with steel in my eyes} "No, she's that sick. She has some health problems and I'm the only one around right now who can feed her."

{faking concern} "I'm sorry."

"So, will I see the doctor or not."

"Probably not." {leading me out of exam room} "Let's get you in for the first appointment of the morning. We won't be running behind then. That's the best time if you have a tight schedule."

"Well, I have a 3 hour window to get anything done."

"Oh! That should be plenty of time!"

"Yeah. That's what I thought, too, but clearly it is not. You know, my appointment was at 9."

"It was?!?"

At this point, I made a choice to ignore anything else this woman said. As we were standing at the front desk, she kept talking (she was clearly uncomfortable with me as I refused to smile, or offer her that "it's ok" that everyone wants to hear when they've screwed someone else over, but I wasn't going to give her that. No, I wanted her to know that the customer service sucked and I was pissed.) and muttering about time management and other nonsense. She finally gave up and let the front desk handle the "irate customer".

Turns out, the next appointment available for high maintenance people like me isn't until October. Turns out, they lost my business. What the heck has happened to good, old-fashioned customer service? How hard is it to communicate with the people held captive in the office? You know, most of the time, people just want to know what's going on. Even if it's not ideal, if you keep them informed, they'll generally go with the flow. It's when you try to cover up the obvious that mutiny ensues. And what about an apology for screwing up my whole morning? Nothing. No regard for my time, my effort, my life. And, what about the comment about my "high maintenance baby"? I just about came up out of that chair and throttled her. What a bi...oh, this is a family show. Ok, so she was incredibly rude. I wanted to punch her in the throat and kick her in the shins.

So, for my babysitting fee, I got to sit in a waiting room for an hour. But don't you worry about little ol' me. I'll get mine. Yeah, I'm going to complain to the eyeglass Gods about their crappy excuse for an office here in my town. I'm going to specifically mention the tech who let her mouth run without thinking and totally insulted me. And, I'm going to talk crap about them to every single person who will listen so their reputation is tarnished. Yeah, I'm not taking the high road on this one. I don't feel bad about it one bit. And I still have to try and get my glasses because mine are, like, so last year's.

8.14.2009

Father Time

Or you can call him Tweet. Or Robert. Or Grandpa. He'll answer to any of these names. I'm talking about my grandpa, Robert E. Vincent. This year, he celebrates is 95th birthday. I guess you can understand why he's earned the nickname "Father Time". The man's forgotten more than I'll ever learn.

I have so many wonderful memories of my time spent with Grandpa. I never knew him as a working man; he's been retired as long as I can remember. This made him totally and completely available to my every whim when I was young. We would work in the yard. Or fiddle around in the shop. Or make a special trip to Pixie Village and I never realized the reason why I had the park practically all to myself was because we were there in the middle of the week - not fighting the crowds on the weekends with the regular, working folks.

One of my favorite memories of Grandpa was watching Jeopardy! with him on a nightly basis. He always knew all of the answers. He never got one wrong. It didn't surprise me in the least either. I idolized the man; it only made sense he was an intellectual genius, too. It wasn't until years later, my dad laughed as he said, "Yeah. You remember their satellite? He used to watch the east coast airing and then the west coast broadcast a few hours later." Of course he knew every answer!!! Knowing that didn't change my mind about Grandpa, though. He was still the most incredible guy I knew.

As with any young mind, I wouldn't realize and know who this man truly was until I became an adult myself. As I've grown up and better understood life, I've come to respect and love my Grandpa even more. He has always been a hard worker. He made his wage and supported his family as a Rigger at oil refineries. Not any easy job. In addition to his day job, he has always been entrenched in volunteer work. From sitting on the boards at the credit unions, to the Red Men, and Boy Scout leader, he has always taken action to improve his community rather than just idly stand by and hope for the best.

Grandpa has always been a very social person, making friends with just about anyone. Once his friend, he'd give you the shirt off his back at a moment's notice, too. Grandpa was never selfish with his means. He extended his generosity to a multitude of animals, too. They seemed drawn to him and he would feed any stray who would stick around long enough to wait for the can to be opened.

For as long as I could remember, Grandpa smoked long, brown cigarettes. I always chewed my nails. When I was about 12 (he was in his 80's here people), we came to an agreement. He would stop smoking if I would stop biting my nails. To me, that seemed fair. Now that I look back, I can't believe he agreed to the plan. And you know what, he quit. I don't know how long he had been a smoker, but he was a man of his word. And, he's here to prove it.

When I was in high school, he had an extended stay in the Walnut Creek Kaiser hospital. I would visit him when I could. He wasn't in very good shape for a while there and it was a little intimidating for a kid like me to try and figure out what the heck to say and do for him. He was ornery as ever and thank goodness because it probably saved his life.

I'm most proud of my Grandpa for the way he treated my Grandma during her last few months of life. Grandpa grew up hard. The entire generation had suffered the effects of a depression. It's the "if someone ain't yellin' at ya, keep doing what you're doin'" but you'll never hear a "good job" or get a pat on the back. He was the proverbial man's man. But, when my Grandma started to slow down, age and cancer taking away her ability to do for herself (let alone do for him), a new man emerged. He served her day and night. Any history between them was being atoned for as he made sure she had all of her needs met. He became a tender man whose concern was only for her comfort. I watched him on his hands and knees cleaning floors, loading laundry, and cooking meals. I was amazed to see such a profound change in a man in his late 80's. Don't let anyone tell you an old dog can't learn new tricks. My Grandpa is proof of what lifelong love can do for a man.

So, Grandpa, here's to you! For all you've been to me and now are to my daughters. To being a Grandpa to Allen. To all you've done for the city of Concord. And to those you've helped when they had hard times. You're impact is undoubtedly more far reaching than you'll ever know. I'm so proud to be your granddaughter and to have you know my family. You are a blessing to us. We love you!
Grandma Eva and Grandpa with one of their many family dogs.

Grandma and Grandpa's wedding day picture.

Grandma, Grandpa and Bob.

Grandpa, Me and Kellie. 1979.

Me, newborn Marti and Grandpa at the hospital.

Grandpa holding Marti.

Grandpa and me. He'd do just about anything to make me happy. Remember, he's in his 70's in this picture.

Dad, Grandma, Allen, Me and Grandpa. 2001. Grandma passed away just 4 months later.

Grandpa with Lexi. 2006.

Grandpa "Tweet" and Grandpa "Bob" as Lexi calls them.

Grandpa Tweet and Lexi. January, 2009.

Grandpa Tweet and Addison. July 2009.


Happy Birthday Grandpa!!
Here's to many more!

8.13.2009

Welcome Home

The trip was fun. We're going to brave the wilds with the kids again. Blah, Blah, freakin' blah!

Let's start with the clean up:

And that's just the food.

Just the bedding from the trailer. Does not include clothing of any kind. I'm denying it's existence like a bad addict denies they have a problem.

Yeah, we dumped everything in the hallway. And left it there.

Oh, here they are. Just some of the clothes.

Did ya notice how all my pictures are dark? Yeah, that's because the camera broke too.

Wanna know what else we came home to?

-Monday, as we were sitting in a gas station parking lot just miles from home, after driving all night, Addie threw up in the Excursion. Double gross. She's continued to throw up at least once daily, refuse solids and is taking a meager 10 oz. a day.

- A family of mice took up residence in our house while we were gone. Our house sitter trapped and/or killed at least 4 (Bless you, Kaylie, for not only sticking around but actually doing something to improve the situation. I wouldn't have. I would have left and put a note on the door with the word CONDEMNED in big red letters warning all those who approached.) She'll probably never step foot in our house again. Helk, I don't even want to step foot in this house right now. (oh, yeah, we talked about it on FB while I was gone so now everyone knows just how gross and unsanitary we are and what a bad house keeper I am. Sweet.)

-The sprinkler system tripped the GFCI while we were gone so the house sitter was schlepping hoses around and borrowing fan sprinklers from the neighbors to prevent everything green from dying.

-My allergies flared up and I look like Mad Eye Moody.

-The check engine light came on during our trip. As we piled into the Saturn to ferry the Excursion to the car doctor, we realized the Saturn had a flat. So, out we all go to now take the dumb commuter car that we all hate to the tire shop to put four, count 'em, four new tires on.

-We did take the Excursion in. The report was this: "Well, the light was legitimate this time. It's a detrimental issue."


Craptastic.

The Big Long Trip: Wrap Up

We had an awesome time on our trip. The kids traveled well and were in mostly good spirits. When we got to Idaho, it was 102 degrees. It stayed that way through Wednesday. Then, for our last 3 days in Idaho, it poured and poured and poured. There was wind, hail, thunder and lightening. We went to the McDonald's play place (along with every other person in the Boise area) to get the wiggles out. We did lots of play dough and coloring, too, to try and pass the time while the weather raged around us.

Thursday was a great day to visit friends with the less than perfect weather. Lexi's former nanny, Shannon, lives close by with her twins. We got to see their new house and let the kids play for a few hours. I miss Shannon a lot and it was nice to see her. It's hard to be so far away from so many of our favorite people!

From there, we made a visit to see our buddy, Travis. He ended up in Tracy, CA (of all the places!) while we were there and we struck up a good friendship. When we met him, he was single, had just graduated and was working very hard. He is now a teacher, FFA leader and was one of the track coaches at the local high school. He also helps to run his family's farm. A few years ago, he got married and he and his wife are preparing to welcome a son in October. Even though he's only, like, 3 years younger than us, we kind of feel like proud parents. It's weird, I know, but he's a great guy and we're so happy to see him having fun in life.

My Uncle Kyle and Aunt Cheryl also live in Boise. They came over to Mom's on Saturday with their grandson, Isaac. The rain let up for a bit so the kids got to play outside a little. After being cooped up, that was really nice.

My Grandpa and Grandma George also live near my mom. They joined us at the ranch but also came over a few times to visit. This is my Grandma who has Alzheimer's. She loved seeing the kids and kept saying, "He's so cute!" about Addie. She did not know who I was. She has declined quite a bit. I'm sure it's heartbreaking for my Grandpa to see his wife in such shape. It's very hard to see someone trapped in their body that way, but I still enjoyed the chance to visit with her - whatever that may mean given where she is at a particular time.

Along the way, Addie started refusing her feeds. About Tuesday, she stopped wanting her solids. Then, she ate less and less for each bottle. Thursday, she power puked her breakfast and didn't want to eat her solids after. It didn't get much better as the trip progressed. She continued to barf at least once a day and eat less and less. Sunday, as were were loading up to go home, she barfed her dinner on the trailer's carpet. Gross.

Our drive home was uneventful (well, if you don't count Addie's barfing in the back of the car that morning). Awesome! We got home around 7:30 a.m. Of course, Allen and I felt like we'd had sand and glass rubbed in our eyes since we took turns driving thru the night. But, when the alternative is a 12 hour tantrum, we'll take the sand and glass torture.

Leaving is always bitter sweet. We were sad to say goodbye to Nanna and Grandpa Geoff. Lexi woke up this morning and said, "I'm kinda sad mom. I miss Nanna." I particularly love the Utah Valley with the mountains and beauty right out side your bedroom window, too, and always find myself wishing there were lots of places for Mechanical Engineers to work up there so we could entertain the idea of moving there.

On the bright side, the kids did so well overall that we're no longer scared out of our gourds to travel with them. We're actually looking forward to camping a bit more, traveling a little more when schedules allow and creating these all so important memories.

5th Stop - Aunt Mryna Lee's

After our day time attempt at driving, we decided to travel long distances only at night. Saturday night we head out from Boise and made it to Ogden. It was about 2 a.m. and we were all very tired. We pulled over and transferred the girls to the trailer where we all slept like logs until about 7 a.m. From there, we hustled to Allen's Aunt Myrna Lee and Uncle Dean's beautiful place in Mapleton. We were treated to a home made roast lunch.

They had church for a good chunk of the afternoon so we visited Allen's Grandpa and Grandma Riddle who live a few minutes away in Provo. We enjoyed Taco Salad and meandering through Grandpa's huge garden. Lexi grazed her whole way through and especially loved the berries.

From there, we went back to the Tew's to visit and meet up with some extended family. The weather was really nice and we were in the shadow of the mountains with a gorgeous view. Uncle Dean has a garden, too, and Lexi kept herself busy destroying, I mean playing quietly with their current crop, while we talked.


Aunt Myrna Lee and Uncle Dean


Lexi found the onions. She was a little overwhelmed by the strong smell. We told her she couldn't pick anything else from the garden or trees.

Hmmm. Wonder what she's doing here?

The apples were not ripe and we told Lexi that what she picked she had to eat. We figured having to down a bitter apple might help her learn not to pick unripe fruit (and listen to us!).

Yeah. She ate the whole thing without complaining. Figures.

Steven and his family came to catch up, too. They have wonderful kids who were very sweet with Lexi. We loaded up around 8:30 to make our way back to New Mexico.

8.12.2009

Gone Fishin'

While we were visiting Nanna's, Grandpa Geoff took Lexi fishing. This was her first time and she loved every part of it. The pond had been built for a friend's grand kids so it was small, shallow and perfect for Lexi. She could even see the fish swimming.

Lexi reeled in her first Blue Gill all by herself.

We kept telling Lexi to be very careful because of the sharp hook at the end of the line. Of course, she kept flinging it around and just like we all knew it would happen, it got in her hair. She wasn't actually hooked, but I think the worm freaked her out.

Going in for the big one. Grandpa Geoff is the fish whisperer. He would bait the hook, drop the line sort of close to the fish and within seconds, GULP!, a fish was on the end.

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Good job, Lexi!!

The Big Whopper!

Lexi even felt brave enough to poke her fish.

At home with her haul. Not bad for a first timer.

Idaho Guest Ranch Wrap Up

Our day at Idaho Guest Ranch was so much fun! With so much to do for all ages, lots of snacks, a cool place to hang out and good friends, how could it not be?

Lexi made a good friend while at the ranch. They happily played in the sand and stream for hours.

Uncle Brian took the girls on a walk and pushed them on the swings over and over and over.

Some of our friends trying out the very "broncy" teeter-totter.

Anthony and Emily. Their mom, Shannon, watched Lexi for me when I first started training here in New Mexico. They moved about a year and a half ago to the Boise area. We miss them so very much and loved catching up!

More Idaho Guest Ranch

One of the main attractions at the ranch was the zip line. Now, let me preface this by stating that we were at a guest ranch, not one of those fancy-come-with-your-yuppie-coworkers-zip-line-team working type deals. This was a zip line fashioned out of baling wire and hooks with a child's playground swing as your harness. I. am. not. joking.

Allen was the first soul to brave the zip line. I couldn't capture a picture of his descent because it went so fast I would have been pummeled. What is left out is that at the end, the rider must get a running start and propel themselves out of the swing and hit the ground running before the ground runs out giving one terrible road rash and at the same time avoid slamming into the railroad tie that serves as the anchor.

Mom quickly realized that "objects here are much higher than they appear". Did I mention mom has a very real fear of heights?

So brave.

They have it designed for kids. Meaning, it is at the perfect height on the far end to cause the swing to come to a nice, gradual stop: when you weigh about 35 lbs. But, put a full grown adult on there and you get this:

4th Stop - Idaho Guest Ranch

Mom reserved an entire guest ranch for our use on Wednesday. We packed up the trailer, mom packed and loaded her trailer and we blazed into the wilds of Sweet, Idaho. We had walkie-talkie radios and Mom narrated the spectacular scenery (read: a postage stamp sized post office and fire statio....ooops missed it!) on our drive. We serenaded them with "Are we there yet?" and then, as if by magic, we arrived!

The ranch is quite nice with lots of fun things for both adults and kiddos to enjoy. Mom brought the ATVs and motorcycles, too. We parked awning to awning and had shade to enjoy all day long. Mom invited our local friends and her local friends and by evening we had a good sized group of people. We all agreed this would be a great place for a family reunion and plan to have one pretty regularly.

The Lazy R Ranch

Grandpa Geoff and Lexi


My Grandma, Leona

Addie, enjoying a little stream action.

About Me

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What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.