April 30, 2010

random pictures taken this month

In no particular order, these are the pictures from the camera that haven't made it onto the blog yet.
I think this was conference weekend, but I am not positive. They were having fun wrestling on our bed. Something I usually put an immediate stop to in order to prevent problems, but that day they were being pretty gentle and having fun.

Its a good thing he only has one tooth!
First time at our little zoo here in town. Feeding the ducks.

Its ten cents for a little handful of feed, so everyone got some and threw it over the fence bit by bit.
Gabe loves to sit on the bottom shelf in the bookcase.
Gabe's first time eating regular rice.
He really enjoyed it.
Zwieback toast. I love how messy kids get when they are really enjoying their food..... as long as it is at home and not at a restaurant.


More fun in the bed conference weekend.

They love each other so much.

first day of school, well... second

I forgot Monday was the first day of preschool this semester for the boys, so this picture is from his second morning. I don't know how I forgot since it is the first time Porter was old enough to join them and he has been talking about it since he turned three. When people would ask him how old he was, his reply was, "three go to school", or just "go to school". He knew he was finally old enough and was just waiting for it to start back up again.
The school my employer works for has child development classes for the kids each semester and for part of that, they help run a preschool. It lasts for a couple hours, 4 days a week, for about five weeks at a time. They read stories and make crafts and play with play dough, that kind of thing. Porter was so excited, he didn't even notice me leaving the room the first day and comes out with a huge grin every day, ready to tell me all about what they learned. The twins are a little more subdued (this is old hat to them), but Porter is still awed by it all. And I love to hear all the things he is learning from other people. He has been telling me this week about bats, spiders, caterpillars, and snakes. Every day has a theme and those were for this week. He is adorable just spouting information. I love how he takes it all in. And he is so happy to go every day. He just walks away with the teachers and doesn't even bother to say goodbye. I am so glad he loves it that much. It makes me want to consider a full time preschool when he's four. I just am not as good at teaching him at home and I think he really enjoys the time with someone other than just me.

Yum!

One of my favorite deserts growing up besides my mom's cinnamon rolls is her cherry cheese pie. Love it. It is a tradition for Thanksgiving that remains to this day. I have to have some every year. I even remember one time Mom made it for a church dinner when I was a kid and I was in tears when it was gone and I didn't get any.

A few weeks ago I was the host for one of the book clubs I belong too. I decided on cherry cheese pie. Easy to do and still homemade, and of course delicious. I wanted to do two small pies, so my husband suggested I use raspberry or boysenberry for the other one. I couldn't find either, but they did have apple. My brain started whizzing. I love having dutch apple bagels with cream cheese so how great would it be in a pie? Well, let me tell you it was fantastic! Adam made a great crumble to go on top and everybody loved it. That pie was gone in nothing flat. I will definitely be making it again.


Here is the recipe.

One carton of whipped cream cheese, one cup of confectioners sugar. Whip those two together until smooth. Add a regular carton of cool whip. Fold it in until it is well mixed. Put it in your pie crust ( I just use the store bought graham, although with the cherry I have started using the chocolate crust) Top it with pie filling of your choice. You know my favorites, but just about anything will work. If you aren't crazy about tart cherries, you can add a small amount of almond extract to your can of cherries. Works wonders. In the case of the apple Adam made a regular apple crumble topping. Whatever your favorite is will work. Refrigerate until serving. Double it if you want two pies. Enjoy!

Wild boys

Boys get so many scrapes and bumps and bruises. How does this happen? And it always seems to happen just before an event where pictures will be taken. We are going to SLC this weekend for a baby blessing in the family and both of our boys look like they were on the wrong end of a beating. Gabe started walking a couple weeks ago and toddles everywhere now. I went out the door to put the twins in their dad's car this week and Gabe decided to follow me out. I didn't think he would try to go past the little step there since he never has before. He always just sat right at the doorway and watched. Not that day. He walked right over the edge and face-planted on the cement.
Then yesterday Porter was playing in/on/around the twins' bunkbeds that have now been stacked. He was trying to climb into the hideout we had made with them through the end of the bed and fell and hit his nose on the footboard. It was a gusher and he screamed bloody murder even long after the bleeding stopped. (He doesn't do well with the sight of blood.) I didn't think it was too big a deal until I got him cleaned up and realized that it wasn't just a bloody nose, but scrapes as well. He has a big ol' scab right under his nose even today and it is still swollen.
Poor crazy boys. I try to keep them out of as many scrapes as possible, and yet they still find ways to get injured. I am someone who has always been pretty careful. I have never broken a bone and only ever had one serious sprain, so I don't really understand my daredevil boys. And I am afraid it is only going to get worse as they get older.....

Good things come to those who wait

So we have gone through such drama in this search for a home. We have offered on a couple different houses and nothing really came together. We finally were under contract for a house and then after inspection decided it wasn't for us. This last week was the last week before the tax credit expired, so we knew if it was going to happen, it needed to be this week. We had one whirlwind day in which we saw a dozen houses, half of which we had all the kids in tow, including the twins I watch (who were so well behaved, it was a breeze).

We narrowed our choices to two houses. One very new house that was pretty small, a twin house with three bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, and a small yard. The other house was a little older, but bigger, 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, and a fully fenced larger yard, (still small, but bigger than the twin house). We had offered on this house before; they hadn't been willing to budge on the price and got another offer that they were going to go with. The other buyers hadn't been able to get their financing and it fell through. It has now sat on the market long enough that they were more willing to consider us.

We went back and forth about which one we liked better. The newer one had great amenities; garage, newer appliances, walk in closet, etc. But the older one, which has had a lot of work done, had other pluses; more room, two full bathrooms, a deck outside great for entertaining, a new tankless water heater, swing set, sandbox, etc. They both had some downsides, the twin house is a twin house and may not have the best resale value, it had a smaller yard that needed the fence finished, and it was small enough that we would outgrow it within a couple years. The other house being older might not have great re-sale value either. It is a split level which isn't all that popular anymore. The kitchen is small and the bedrooms aren't large either, but the bedrooms weren't any bigger in the twin house. In the end, there wasn't any one thing that made one stand out over the other except time. We felt like we could be happy in either house, and either location. The question was, how long did we want to stay there? If we took the twin house, we would need to move in four-five years, but if we planned that anyway, we would be getting a house in better condition. If we wanted to stay long term, we needed to go with the bigger house.

We had made an offer on each house this week, trying to get either down to a price that would work for us. The twin house wasn't going to come down low enough for us to buy it and feel good about the value we were getting, and we made an offer on the other house. We felt like we would be getting more for our money on the larger house and in the end, we decided to go with the bigger house so that we have the option of staying if we want. There won't be a pressure to move because we get cramped after another child. We can move if we like, but we don't have to.

Last night, we heard back from them that they were going to counter our offer at just slightly higher. We felt good about it, prayed about it, and decided to sleep on it before making our final decision and calling our realtor. We both got a great night's sleep and both woke up feeling extremely peaceful and calm about the decision. I called our realtor this morning and left the message. He called me back and said that the owners of the twin house had slept on it and now were willing to come down to what we had asked. So I told him that although we were pretty sure we still wanted the other house, that we would think about it for an hour and get back with him.

While we were thinking about it and deciding that our decision was still the best decision and we still like the bigger house, our realtor called them to update them on the situation and told them that the other sellers had been willing to drop their price quite a bit and we were considering it, They decided that they would drop their price too. They agreed to our original offer. We would have gone with them anyway, but we are so grateful that they were willing to move a bit for us. So, today, on the last possible day to qualify for the tax credit, we are under contract for our house. Woohoo! And thank goodness we don't have to look at any more houses. It is exhausting!

Thanks to Cornerstone Realty. Our broker, Robert Brown, was amazing and stuck with us for months of looking and offering, and looking some more, and offering again, before we finally found that house that speaks to us. It fills all our needs and we are so happy to be getting a great home for our family.

Here are some pictures of the house.

The front yard isn't nearly that big. We were always irritated by people stretching pictures on their home ads to make rooms seem bigger. It was a constant frustration. It is not as great looking from the front as it is inside.

The front room at the top of the stairs. New carpet everywhere and we love the floor to ceiling window.

View from the other side and into the kitchen.


One view of the kitchen.

From the entrance. The sliding glass door leads out and either up to the deck or down to the back yard.

Eat in kitchen, no formal dining room, which we would never use anyway. Now I need a counter height square/rectangle table to go in there just like this one. The table we have won't really work there. Housewarming anyone? :)

Bedroom upstairs, just behind the kitchen.

This is what is being used as the current master bedroom upstairs. I think our bed wouldn't fit very well, so we have other plans. This will most likely be used as the guest room.
Upstairs bath. New vanity, sink, paint, and tile.

Downstairs bathroom. Can you tell they are big Nebraska fans? :)

One of the downstairs bedrooms. We are planning on making this our walk-in closet. I am picking up an awesome armoire off craigslist tonight that will fit just in between those shelves and be great for jeans and socks, etc.
The other downstairs bedroom/storage room/workout room. I am excited to get the treadmill out of the guestroom. Most of our current garage storage will probably go here.

The downstairs living room. We have no need of a second living room, but love the idea of making this the master.

This is the deck over the carport. Perfect for barbecuing.

View from the other side.

April 25, 2010

Night terrors

Every Sunday night, like clockwork, Porter is up several times with night terrors. It is extremely difficult to get him awake enough that we can put him back to bed without it starting all over again within a few minutes. Even if we do get him awake, it does start again within a couple hours.

All this every Sunday night because of our church schedule. We have 1 pm church now, so Porter doesn't get his nap. January rolled around and we have been dealing with this every week now for 4 months. I don't know what to do about it, and I am about ready to keep him home from church or at least go home early, just so he can get a nap and not keep everyone up at night with nightmares. I hate that there isn't anything we can do to comfort him; he just screams and screams. It is heartbreaking. And then we are all zombies the next day. If anyone has any tips or tricks, I would love to hear them. I don't know how many more Sunday evenings like this I can take. The only weeks we have had a break are the ones where he has stayed home with one of us because someone was ill. If someone is staying home, he automatically does, just so we can give him his nap. Gabe doesn't sleep during church, but he doesn't have a problem sleeping before or after and hasn't had any issues, but we haven't been able to get Porter to do that. We tried getting him to bed earlier or even later, but neither changed anything.

Sigh..... And now to go run the cleaner cycle on the washer one more time and see if I can't get the rest of the bits of pull up cleaned out of the pipes before the gel solidifies. It has been one of those days. This is the 3rd diaper Porter has snuck into the laundry without me noticing in less than a week. The first two happened at the same time a couple days ago. I was sure I had checked everything before running the load this time, but obviously I missed it. Ugh. At least he has been waking up dry for a few days, so it wasn't a full pull-up.

April 24, 2010

Hard to let go

We had to let go of our house today. We will sign the papers sometime this morning. Sigh...

I had already imagined where everything will go, how the finished bathroom would look, what we would do with the backyard. It was my home. But my brother, who I consider an expert in the subject, came and looked at the house and was concerned about a lot of things. They just kept adding up. Adding up to enough that we didn't feel we could take it on. So sad.

I am having a hard time with it today. I really feel like we made the right decision, but it is still really hard to let go of the dream I had started to create with that house. I was promised in a blessing that we would be provided with a house, and I am trying to hold on to my faith that the right house is out there. The one house I felt really really good about, one that I absolutely knew would be good for us, the owners decided not to sell and are taking it off the market. I just have to keep reminding myself that someone else is in charge and it is out there. So, we keep looking........

April 23, 2010

Walking

His first attempt.


video

video

A couple days later. He is letting go and walking more and more. Just took enough confidence to start and he is going like gangbusters now. And extremely excited about it, as you can see and hear in the video. :)

April 17, 2010

Under contract!!!!

We are finally under contract to buy a house! We are so excited! It is in Hyrum and we were not at first looking to move out of Logan, but we love the house, and we especially love the size of the yard for the kids. I think we had to look at just about everything in Logan before we would consider moving farther out, so perhaps the other houses fell through so we could get to this one.
It was doubly exciting since we had to race the clock to get it. When we called yesterday to let our broker know we wanted to make an offer, another offer had just come in and the seller had already sent a counter offer to the other buyer. Our broker had to get our papers ready late last night and send them to us. We printed them off, signed them, and had them to him early this morning so he could send them in before the other buyers had a chance to accept the counter offer. The seller withdrew their counter offer to them and accepted ours. We expected to be on pins and needles for another day or so, but I guess they liked our offer much better and snapped it right up.

It has two living rooms with a very open plan downstairs with a great kitchen. Three bedrooms upstairs, and you will have to see the master suite to appreciate it. The picture can't do it justice. It is huge - as big as our current living room huge. With a walk in closet and master bath. The bathroom isn't finished, but is on its way. Everything is new. The owners have redone everything top to bottom. The yard is .31 acres. So nice! Dog run already built, so Adam, better prepare yourself. :) My boss is saving a kitten out of their litter for me, so I think we will just have an outside cat for right now. He doesn't have to worry just yet. There are baby calves right now at the neighbors, so Porter was in love. I am giddy with the possibilities of that yard. Garden, flowers, play set, maybe a little pool for summer time. There is a perfect tree for climbing when Porter gets older. It already has rungs nailed in, although we may have to take them down, so he doesn't get ideas too soon. :)

Oh, I am just so happy! Now, we still have our fingers crossed because everything else has to go through; appraisal, inspection, etc, but we are definitely a little giddy.

Front room as you walk in the door, to the left.
Living room as you walk in to the right. The staircase to the second floor is all the is in between.

The kitchen is open to the living room. Love that open plan, but I will need to be better about keeping my dishes done. :)

Second shot of the the kitchen; pantry and door to the yard.

Downstairs bathroom. Its huge too. Bigger than it really needs to be, but its great. The bathroom upstairs isn't finished, so no pictures yet. Nephi, want to help us out with that? :)


The master. Just to give you an idea of the size, that bed is a king size bed. It is dwarfed by the room. Perfect little crafting area just a step down on the other side of the bed, and away from where kids can get to it downstairs.

Nursery. We'll probably keep it very similar to what it looks like right now.

April 11, 2010

Blah!!

Its been so long since I have had a Meniere's attack that I have forgotten how bad they can be. I have gotten used to avoiding things that make me sick or bring on an attack. I avoid stress (it can make them worse), and I don't do nausea causing activities likes rides anymore. I am usually pretty good about feeling one start and can take medicine and cut it off before it gets bad, but every now and then one catches me.

**For anyone who doesn't know, Meniere's is an inner ear disorder. The fluid in my ear canals doesn't always stay where it is supposed to and when it shifts, it severely incapacitates my balance, leading to a motion sickness type feeling, only worse and lasting much longer.

Friday we were set to go look at a few more houses (it seems never ending). I didn't realize how close to empty my car was and since we have had problems with the gas gauge, we didn't want to take the chance of running out somewhere, so we rode with our agent. In the back. Not a good thing for me. It was hot and we had to do u-turns a couple of times when we went down the wrong street. And two of the houses we went in smelled. One smelled horribly of smoke and cat urine combined. Not good their own, horrendous together and it wasn't a subtle scent) By the end, I was very sick. Extreme vertigo, nausea, hot flashes, headache. All around, not good.

It is now Sunday and I still haven't gotten past it. Once my balance is gone, it takes a really long time to get past it. Yesterday wasn't so bad while I was outside. It was just chilly enough to help the dizziness. But today, I am down for the count again.

If anyone ever wonders or thinks it is strange that I always drive when my husband is perfectly capable and willing, this is why. It is one of the easiest ways to bring on an attack that lasts for days. Since it had been so long since the last one, I wasn't thinking when I got in the back of our agent's car. It is a harsh reminder. Not happening again anytime soon.

April 09, 2010

Gabe 10 months

Time is just flying by. Pretty soon it will be the end of the school year and Gabe will be a year old. It doesn't seem like its been that long. He is such a joy and almost always happy. What a blessing he is for us. We love you Gabe!






April 08, 2010

Jackpot!!

You saw my previous post of all the stuff I was taking to donation, right? Well, today I added a whole bunch of other stuff and took it all to DI. I can't go to DI and not go in. It is a thing with me. I found something I have been looking for, for ages. The entertainment center we currently have is in bad shape. We got it when we moved to this house. It also came from DI. It didn't fit our tv since it has speakers down the sides, so we had to modify it to make it work. It has done pretty well, but the only support to the structure is provided by the tv itself, so I knew that the next time we moved it was going to fall apart. I have been keeping my eye out for a while for a good deal on something nice. I thought I had found one once before, but it also was too small.

Today, I walked in, and almost missed it. Beautiful black wood that has been aged and looks in remarkable condition. One or two scratches along the base where it isn't readily visible is all the wear it had. I had to call Adam right away and see if I could bring it home. He confirmed that it really would fit our tv and I ran to get it. Woohoo! I brought it home and in the house. Man that thing is heavy! But the tv is a perfect fit and it looks great. I had to take down the mirror from the wall, but I don't mind at all. I love it!

I should have taken a picture before I took everything out of the old one, but here it is after. As you can see it is pretty rickety.

And here is the new one. Don'tcha just love it? The cupboards on the bottom are great. One is a glass front and the other is faux drawers. I might have liked drawers better, but the cupboard works nicely too. Not that we will be putting anything in them until our kids are older anyway. :) I took this picture before I did it, but since it is black, I took a permanent marker and went over the little scratches and stained them black. Viola! No more scratches. You can't even tell any more. I am so happy I could do the happy dance. But I need Balky Bartokomus to do that.

April 07, 2010

Galbladder update

So I haven't had any pain for a couple days. I postponed the HIDA scan to late this week and this morning decided to cancel it altogether. I kind of tested it out yesterday and ate some really greasy food to see if that brought pain back and it didn't. Not real scientific, but there you have it. I haven't had any other issues and after giving it some serious thought, decided to forgo the test for now. The ultrasound didn't show any problems, so nothing is emergent currently. If I have another attack in the near future, I may regret it, but at the same time, maybe it wasn't my gallbladder to begin with. I will take it a day at a time for now.

Hoarders

As I start to pack some boxes in preparation to hopefully be moving if we ever find a house, I have been watching hoarders. Every time I watch an episode it energizes me to get rid of things that I don't need. I watch a show and then I go tackle another cupboard, closet, or room. This is the results so far. Everything there is just the to-be-donated items. There is just as much that I have thrown away. It is amazing how much stuff fits in a closet. And just how much of it will never get used. I am happy to donate the items for people that may actually put them to good use. Goodbye clutter! Well, some of it anyway.



April 06, 2010

Easter and birthdays

I don't have pictures of video downloaded so I will do that another time, but I wanted to write about the weekend while I have a minute.
We had a great Easter. We went up to Mom and Dad's in Grace and ate way too much yummy food, including my Mom's delicious, out of this world cinnamon rolls. No matter that I have the exact same recipe, mine never turn out quite as good as hers. Porter and his cousin had a blast running around the house playing three year old games and squealing in delight. It was really fun to watch them playing and having a good time. Porter got to find a few eggs here and then was very excited that the Easter bunny came again at Grandma and Grandpa's house. We spent the afternoon snacking and watching conference and catching up with everyone. Thanks Mom for hosting us. :)

Yesterday was my birthday and since it is Spring Break here, I have the week off. Adam got yesterday off as well, which worked out great since I spent the morning between the quick care the hospital. I have been having some stomach pain that has increased in the last couple of weeks. Sunday night it was particularly bad, so I called in but couldn't get an appt with my regular doctor. I went over to the quick care instead and they confirmed my thought that it might be gallbladder problems.

They sent me over to the hospital for an ultrasound of my gallbladder. They took pictures of just about every organ in my abdomen, which was kind of cool. He said he would call the doctor with the results and then the doctor would probably talk to me over the phone. He called and told the doctor that my gallbladder looked fine and sent him the scans. Instead of handing the phone to me, he finished the call and turned back to me. He said the doctor wanted me to go back over to the quick care and talk to him. That got me a little nervous. What did he have to say to me that he couldn't say over the phone, but needed to say in person? Was there something concerning in one of my other organs that wasn't 'fine'? I asked if I needed to go right away and he said, yes I could go over right now. More nerves. Something needed to be said right now and couldn't wait?

When I got back over to the quick care it was completely full, but they took me right back to see the doctor without waiting. The doctor came right in, sat down and looked at me and said, "I still think it is gallbladder disease." Nerves for nothing. He thinks we just caught it early enough that it isn't showing on the ultrasound, so I have to go in for another test tomorrow afternoon. A hitascan? I don't know how you spell it. Anyway, it will take a couple hours and it will show how my gallbladder is functioning, rather than just what it looks like (ultrasound). It will give more definitive answers. I am once again, really grateful for good health insurance.

I am also glad that I have the week off and don't have to take days off to do all this. I just need to find someone to watch my kids for a while. Any takers? Wednesday afternoon from about 1:30 until 4:30. They usually nap during that time, so it would be pretty easy to come over and watch tv or read a book. :)

Then in the afternoon, we had some friends come from out of town to spend the evening with us. We miss them all the time and it is great when we get to see them. For my birthday, Adam gave me some shopping money and sent us girls out on the town, while the men stayed home with the kids. We had lots of fun, just wandering the stores and chatting. Then we all went out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse. Porter absolutely loved getting on the saddle and really loved shouting Yeehaw! Biggest grin ever. We came home and had some delicious Lemon raspberry cake, which we will be sharing at playgroup today. (Deceptively small cake could actually feed an army) Our friends got to stay so they get to come to playgroup today too. It should be lots of fun.

I will do an update with pictures when I get around to it this week and I will give an update on my gallbladder when I have one. Until then, TTFN :)