Sunday, November 25, 2007

Quick Update

Two things.

First and foremost, Happy Birthday Peter! Hope that you are having fun and not feeling too old.

Second, we have had some difficulty uploading videos and so no new videos tonight. Expect Griselda's blog in the next few days. She just has too much going on.

Dave

Dave's Take

So, one more week gone by....just a year and 7.25 months to go until I am officially graduated and entering the work force. Not that I am counting or anything.

Anyway, this was a great week. Baby J now is getting two more of his top teeth in bringing the total to 6 (4 on top, 2 on bottom). He continues to grow like a normal baby does except that he is incredibly heavy. He is really starting to down his baby food and doesn't like to watch others eat unless he is eating also. Still no crawling. I think that we are destined to have no babies that crawl. Everyone just starts walking. Crazy if you ask me.

Kaelan still stutters when he gets really excited often causing me to do my rendition of a rain main impersonation. Griselda hates it and smacks me everytime. His vocabulary is growing every time he is out interacting with other people. So much so, that every once in a while he will say something that will stop you in your tracks and make you take a double take. Doing great with the whole potty training thing. He is still wearing pull ups at night but has managed to keep them dry for the whole week. Pretty exciting.

Lathan is Lathan. Growing up right in front of our eyes. Loves school. Helpful around the house. Unfortunately, not aware of how much bigger than Kaelan he is and occasionally Kaelan finds out the hard way.

Griselda is working out and getting back into shape. Currently she is at ward conference meetings and left me alone with the boys. Something that she still does with a little hesitation. Man does she love our kids; however, the two older boys were at each others throats all day yesterday, so she went out and took some time off last night. She was suprised that I even offered it to her. So she got to go out to dinner without a husband or children. She said that she didn't know what to do with herself. She could eat a lot or a little, fast or slow, all without any consequences of abandoning her children. She said that it was a little sliver of heaven and just what she needed.

I am doing great. Griselda let me go to the church activity....ie. watching the BYU Utah football game. What a boring game. It only got exciting in the last half of the 4th quarter. Utah goes up and then throws the game away on a HUGE coverage mistake, a couple of questionable calls, and a good BYU running game. Oh well. Every dog has its day. I was the only Utah fan there and got a lot of flack for my celebration of the Utah touchdown once BYU came back to win it. Anyway, I have to run. Look for Griselda's blog later on.

Dave

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Take

So, I was on call this weekend but got next weekend off. Had a couple of great cases go to the OR so I ended up winning for two reasons: thanksgiving off and good OR cases.

Nothing really new and exciting happening here in michigan. It finally decided to get cold. Still waiting for all the leaves to fall of the tree so that we can clean it all up. Jeydan is growing like a weed. Really taking to the baby food. He got his top teeth over this weekend. Lathan and Kaelan got to go to one of the inflatable fun parks and had a blast. Made for a really fun afternoon and a crabby night. I ended up falling asleep with the boys while watching ratatollule or however it is spelled. We are pretty excited for thanksgiving. The holidays are always alot of fun. Hopefully everyone has time to spend with family and friends this holiday season. Wish everyone could be here. Maybe we will have to move a little closer with our next move.

Dave

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Week of November 12th

This week was not too out of the ordinary. We went about our lives as usual with nothing that really sticks out. Monday was my teaching day. I was exhausted that day and took almost a 2 hour nap. The boys treated me that day, for sure.

Tuesday was a beautiful Fall day. A friend from Lathan's school mentioned that she would probably head to the park since it was so nice. So the boys and I went and ate lunch, then played at the park. It really was a beautiful day. So wonderful. It reminded me so much of CA. Once we arrived home, we all napped as it was a draining afternoon, playing so hard and all. Since it was Tuesday, it was swimming day and the boys were unwilling to give up the swimming since it was already planned. I already had my fill of recreation, but I thought since they were up for it, they would sleep really well that night and they could fine tune their swimming skills. It was a lot of fun. Lathan surprises me every time we go with how much more confident and skilled he is in the water. He actually swims now. I don't think he could really go for more than 10 yards, but he's doing awesome. This is the same boy who didn't want to put his face in hardly six months ago. At the end of our fun, it was a trying experience for me because the boys were miserably tired. They wouldn't cooperate since they wanted me to everything for them. Then Lathan was very contentious and wanted to pick a fight with everyone. He does that when he's tired (a lot like Abuelo, I think). So I told him I think I'm done with swimming for a little bit. The boys got to bed late and we forgot the fun we had with all the drama afterward, but I was glad to see the boys tired from having a full day of fun.

Wednesday was my night with the Young Women. We made a huge dish of green bean casserole for the missionaries (since they told us that was their favorite) to help them feel a little more at home for Thanksgiving. They still had some left when I asked them today. I'm telling you we made A LOT. That was interesting because once we made it, only then did it dawn on me that we still needed to get it to the missionaries; but how? Well, they met me at home. Thankfully I didn't have to do a wild goose chase to find their place - that was for the next night.

Thursday I had to visit two YW families with the Stake YW President to prepare for Ward Conference this coming week. We really had only one night we could both do it, so the families were nice enough to let us visit on such short notice. For the first house, the address we had in the directory was wrong. It was missing a crucial number. The house had 5 digits and my address had 4, so we knew we were on the right street, we just didn't know which house. After some frustrating cell phone issues, I was able to get Dave to help me from home in finding them. We visited, then were already 30 minutes late for the 2nd house. On top of that, I took some wrong turn and ended up VERY far from where I needed to be. We arrived there fine, but an hour late. I felt horrible. We couldn't stay long because I had to nurse Jay. I was beat after the stress of driving at night in a total unfamiliar place with really an almost stranger as a companion. She was nice and patient, but I felt like a doofus.

Friday we had a nice time with Dave's coworker's house celebrating Thanksgiving with the work posse. The food was delicious. We were smart this year and brought our own alcohol-free bubbly to join in the fun. I didn't cook anything, just bought rolls from the fancy grocery store and warmed them in the oven - perfect. We fed the boys before we left so we wouldn't have to force them to eat strange dishes (like green-bean casserole). We had a good time. The good thing about being there was another resident called the house saying he couldn't make it because his toddler was puking and he actually needed to trade weekends since he was on call the next day and was stuck since his wife was working (a dentist) and he couldn't drop a sick kid off at the babysitters. Dave turned to me and asked if he could switch and I immediately said no (I wasn't prepared to lose Dave for the weekend); but then I remembered he was working Thanksgiving weekend (Sat-Sun). So I said, oh yes, please, if he'll take that weekend, please switch. The man was desperate and switched. So Yay!!! Sad that I lost him this weekend, but happy to have a 4-day weekend next week. That is awesome. I really think that was divine intervention because later I thought how miserable it would have been to pull off Ward Conference weekend w/o David. I have to be there 1.75 hours early for the meeting before church and then present my part (with kids, no less) then survive church, and then stay 1 hour after church for the Stake YW leaders to have a meeting with me (with kids, also). I would have to make lunch AND dinner on that schedule. That would be a total of about 6 hours at church with no beds for nap, no food to really munch on and ALL my bags that I have to lug around to fulfill my duties. I think I would have to pre-pack and drop off the night before. Sadly, I am thankful for the sick toddler.
Saturday we went to a toys-for-tots party hosted by a family from Lathan's school. The boys had a great time. It was nice to get out and get our wiggles out. David met us there and we went to REI from there for fun to look at their sales.

Today was miserable with no David (and there were no meetings!) and all the kids. Thankfully, Jay is cute enough that when I need help, people are willing to hold him while we do a potty run. We made it home in one piece, but we were exhausted. So the boys all went down a little earlier than usual. This next week will be nice - only two days before the weekend for us!! Woo-hoo!! I didn't think I would like vacation this much once I started having school-age children. It's different when you have to do the driving, I guess.

We would love hear from you. I LOVE the comments (thanks Judy!), so comment away!

FYI: I tried uploading some funny videos of our week, but the blog was having issues. I'll save them for next time.

-griselda

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Week of November 5th


So these are my cutest boys on a typical Sunday morning. They couldn't resist their little bro and his adorable juiciness.



This is Kaelan sharing his "manta" with his little bro, who is also quite the fan of his own little "manta." Thanks Nana.

This is our clan messing around at home and the friend next to Lathan is Steven. Many of you may be familiar with Lathan's best bud from school, Steven. This is them together on the last day of school last year after their "Harlequin" musical performance - hence their effeminate garb.
ere we have Baby J eating one of his first vegetable meals about 2 weeks ago.
video videoThis is Kaelan dancing in the pool with Dad at the Hilton in Niagara Falls. videoLathan doing fun drills at soccer over the summer.
videoJJ getting lots of love this morning before church.

Ok, so now that you've seen the pictures, I'll give you my week rundown. Everything has settled tremendously since most of my duties for church are completed for the year, so my letters will be rather boring. A good thing in my opinion.

I still teach swimming on Mondays, so once that was out of the way (along with a decent workout, thankfully) I went about my day as usual. I knew that I was having a meeting w/ my church cohorts that next day, so I aimed to clean the downstairs fairly well. We stayed up WAY TOO LATE cleaning a stack of many papers. It was worth it, but very draining. I went to bed at 2:30 am. I knew I was going to have a madhouse the next day, so I wanted some order on my end.

This past Tuesday was election day, so all the schools were closed. That allowed me to host 6 additional kids (older and younger) that day. I lost my breath when I saw the basement. Toys were EVERYWHERE and some were even disassembled. It was worse than a tornado. I almost felt like crying because I didn't know where to start. We at least had a great meeting, but the cleanup was anything but. Lathan helped me after I picked him up from school and he kept asking me why the "babies" left such a mess. I said I didn't know why; but perhaps they were not taught to clean up after themselves. I told him he better clean up after himself when visiting friends. It was a good teaching moment because he did not like cleaning up a mess he didn't create. Because he was my helper, he earned $2. He has been asking to do chores around the house in addition to what is required because he wants to earn money. I thought this was a bit greedy at first; but then he mentioned that he wanted to give all his money to the Wells of Love at school. This is a project where the kids donate money to other kids in Africa who are in need of clean water. The money helps build suitable wells for them. How sweet, especially for a 4 year old. So he earned his money on the cleanup. I was having a fabric cutting "party" at my house the next day for a Super Saturday craft thing at the church and Lathan kindly reminded me to tell the babies to clean up when they finish playing. Noted.


Wednesday I cut fabric for a cute handbag I was going to finish at the Super Saturday (SS). Once I completed that I went about my day as usual, going to a YW mutual activity that night.

Thursdays I now teach in the evening at the gym. That was a difficult day because getting kids onto my teaching schedule for the evening after naps, but before dinner is never a pleasant task. They survived, but I found myself struggling with what felt like flu-like symptoms. I managed and even eked out a decent workout afterward.

Friday was awesome 'cause well, it was Friday. Saturday I accomplished many cute crafts and was able to have several hours of me time in the process. It was a welcome change and a nice break for me. Saturday night we went out to a friend's house for pizza and games. That was a lot of fun, too. We never go out it seems, and even more infrequent is socializing with friends on a weekend. We hit them both this time! What a great time for us.

Today was fun and funny. We had a ward council meeting that Dave and I had to attend, so the kids came with and it was a little overwhelming; so I said my piece, then took off to take care of kids. JJ exploded out of his diaper in all directions in his cute - coordinating no less - clothes. All I could salvage was the sweater vest; so he wore a sweat suit one piece and then I added the sweater vest to make it more church appropriate. It was quite the mismatch spectacle for me. We came home, had a good friend, whose husband is in China, for dinner. The kids had a very good time, but then kid-exhaustion set in from our long day today and we all said goodnight. Dave in the meantime left to help a fellow ward member clean out his basement. This man is 97 years old and lived in his basement with his dog and neither left to do their business (but at least the man had is own toilet). It was so bad they called on all priesthood holders to give a helping hand to finish the cleanup today. A funny story from tonight: as we were getting ready for bedtime, Lathan and Kaelan were commenting how long their hair was when Dad added that his hair was long too. The kids laughed and disagreed, so Dave said jokingly, "where did it go, then?" Lathan came back with his most honest response, "It all went to your chest, Daddy." We laughed for a while over that one.

We hope you had a fun week, too. We want to hear from you!
Love,
Griselda

Dave's Post



Ok, so vacations over and back to the grind it is.

Baby Jeydan is growing like a weed. He has started to really take to eating baby food and can down a jar in one sitting without blinking an eye. He is really starting to develop his own unique
personality and is quite a happy, smiling baby. He loves his jumper and spends at least an hour a day hopping around. He is getting quite stable sitting up and his even able to stand and hold on to the sofa if you don't distract him or try to get him to turn around.

Kaelan is also having a growth spurt. He is still our little midget and potentially has movie star opportunities in shows based soley on the fact that he is a midget; however, his vocabulary is skyrocketing. It is just one of those things where he will throw down a phrase our word that surprises you sooo much that you almost convince yourself that he didn't really say what he just said. Anyway, he is now fully potty trained except for the occasional accident at night time. He is beginning to refuse to sit down to use the toilet and that always opens up a can of worms with the boys and their ability to aim correctly while maintaining adequate concentration. So far, not to many misadventures but I am sure that there are many waiting around the corner.

Lathan is loving his school right now. He opted not to continue with soccer. He never liked the idea of everyone running towards him whenever he had the ball. He was much more content to follow the pack and watch butterflies and airplanes while people dribbled around him. Hard to watch as a parent but good training for the whole " I love you no matter what you can or can't do" mentality. He is really getting his creative side down, spelling, and numbers through his preschool. One of his favorite things is to draw his pictures on the kitchen floor while Griselda gets lunch or snack ready.

Griselda is also doing great. We finally have begun to organize the house in a manner that is agreeable with Griselda. It is amazing how much stress an organized house can cause that you really don't realize at the time. After pulling a late night cleaning monday, the house is really clean down stairs. Griselda has worked really hard everyday to keep it that way. She also gets the mom of the week award for actually making fancy dinners 4 out of the 7 nights this week. I am talking gourmet dinners that everyone wolfs down, even the vegetables.

I am the same old same old. Nothing really new. Griselda and I have talked over fellowships and unless something different really comes along I am probably going to start looking for a job in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, or Arizona around this time next year. I also was nominated and got elected to a national surgical board as a resident member. It is through the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons. It is a Doctor appointed position and lasts one year. It places me on the Resident Evaluation and Standards Committee of the ACOS. This appointment also places me on the resident council in ACOS. One of my trainers happened to be on the committee and got me nominated. So, the opportunity really fell into my lap. I am not quite sure what this whole thing entails other than two weekend trips during the next year and a few extra meetings at the ACOS Conference next year. I really am not one to be involved in the political side of things; however, this opportunity fell into my lap.

Anyway, we are all doing great. Hope to hear from you all soon.


Dave



Monday, November 5, 2007

More Fun Pics from our Vacation Week










Not much new info to add, just lots of fun pics/videos!
video video

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Vacation Week of October 28th

Well it was a very busy week again - but this time it was a good busy in a good way. Dave was on vacation and it was not long enough, of course. I thought I'd be extra nice and let Dave take the first three days of his week and let him sleep in as long as we needed. First, this is nice for me because I'm still getting up twice a night to feed Jay. I also was looking for the good karma to come around by the end of the week, giving me a good day to sleep in, too.

Dave started out by fixing toilets. He bought the super-duper stuff so that the toilets would stop running forever. It's funny because as soon as he fixes one, another goes on the fritz. He hit the two upstairs bathrooms at once. Too bad they are still not perfect. One of them stopped running, while the other is making what we like to call "Transformer" noises. It no longer runs (as the package he bought promised), but it makes a subtle jack-hammer-like noise most of the time. It's a little freaky late at night. I think I have little Bob-the-Builders in my guest room working all-nighters. I thought we would have a good chance to clean up the clutter thats been building up over the last month, but we found ourselves swamped with other chores outside the home. I had meetings to attend, Halloween celebrations to participate in and actual normal family time to have fun with. I at least pulled out and put away all the summer clothes for the winter clothes. Jay's clothes are not in his drawers yet, but they are no longer tucked away in the basement. It is astounding to see Jay in clothes Lathan wore that I thought were "toddler" clothes back then. He is growing up so fast. The good thing is that Jay follows the same season as Lathan did, so clothes are working great. I always have to fudge a little with Kaelan's clothes since he's our midget.
video
So Halloween was a hoot. Lathan performed in his International Festival at school in his Chilean getup. He did some fun crafts, then headed home with Dad. I got to watch and help for a little, but had to head home early to feed and take care of Jay. We had a good friend (our other grandma) watch the boys and she was able to hold down the fort quite well. Jay slept super and was eating vegetables when I walked in. Boy is she good!

The boys did great in their costumes again. Kaelan was so tired since he missed his nap that day. He made it to 3 houses, then hung out with Dad to pass out candy. He would give out a piece of candy, then take commission from each handout. He found this to be more lucrative with less work. Lathan made it through a few more houses, but then wanted to eat his candy, so we stopped after about twenty minutes. It was nice that it was light for most of our Halloween night.

We left on the Canadian Via Rail for Niagara Falls on Thursday after Lathan's school got out. The boys were loving the adventure, but after about 30 minutes they began to wonder when it would end. They were very well-behaved the entire time, though. The train can only hold so much excitement, especially after it gets dark. We arrived at the Hilton with little drama, thankfully. We were all starving, so we paid a hefty premium for room service and we all ate it in a matter of seconds. Our room rocked, too. We had a family suite (a nice premium, too) that allowed all the kids in one room, separate from ours. We had a large jacuzzi tub that had French doors opening up into our room with a view of the American Falls (we would have had to pay $60 more to see the more spectacular Canadian Falls). We were on the 31st floor of 33, too. The restaurant had a wonderful breakfast buffet included and a $75 voucher for dinner (which covered only half of the bill). Dave had some awesome lamb and I had some lovely halibut. Can't say I'm a fan of capers or olives, but they were easily removed. The boys had their requisite chicken and papas (french fries). We had a chocolate/raspberry gelato in a pastry cup for dessert, which was yummy and refreshing.

The next day we saw the falls by walking to it, then we took the "Journey to the Falls" down below and the boys were hilarious. The mist sprays with such force that no one could keep their eyes open and we were all miserably cold and wet. It was fun for a second, though! It was a beautiful day - not a cloud in the sky - but the mist sprays a good two blocks around it, so the air is full of cold mist. It's not bad until you get right there.We took a taxi back to the hotel after the sky-wheel ride and then went swimming.We hoofed it for quite a while to get to the bird aviary. Lathan was super tough and walked probably a good 2 km without a complaint. After swimming we all bathed in the big jacuzzi, then headed for dinner. Kaelan was not willing to wake up for dinner. We was seriously passed out from our day. Dave tried to wake him up and we was like a rag doll the whole time. We got some good laughs out of it at his expense.

The next day we went for a big breakfast again, then finished off our stay trip back was uneventful. Everyone was just a little bit more tired than when we left. We had a fabulous time! We cleaned up, headed out, then hit the casino across the street for a little souvenir shopping. The boys got little airplanes to come home with. Our boys crashed hard once we got home. Dave changed the sheets right before we left and I didn't want dirty boys in clean sheets just changed, but Dave brought up a good point that no one will be happy bathing at 9:45, so we compromised and put the boys in sleeping bags on their beds. They slept very well. Lathan got up at 11 this morning. Dave let me sleep until 10. Such a good guy, huh?

We are now unwilling, but unable to avoid facing the grind tomorrow. Dave is on the ugly team this month, so I will cherish the weekends a little more now. I look forward to Thanksgiving. Sorry Mimi and Dan that we couldn't make it to AZ. We wanted to and then we couldn't, but then we could, but then it was too late. That makes sense to me. I hope it works for you. Maybe next time.

Have a wonderful week! We miss you and would love to hear from you.
-griselda video video video