Tuesday, February 26, 2008

This is the video-happy post. Here are some of our favorites.

Dave loves story time. J is beginning to love it, too!

Lathan was loving the ski adventure this time around.

Kaelan was so funny all day long. This is a precious apres-ski moment.

I don't know what drove Lathan to do this, but it was hilarious. I would like to say that he gets it from Dave?

On our way home from skiing, we all deserved a treat. I have never seen an Orange Julius place in the midwest until I visited the ski area here, so we took this opportunity to indulge. I thought I'd bring back a souvenir for Dave, too; here is Dave paying it forward to J. He LOVED it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

OK, OK. I seem to find myself way too tired to post these past few nights. In an effort to compromise, I'm going to post some of the photos sans captions. Dave did a great job with his explanation of our week, so I will leave it at that. Also, I tried to upload some of our awesome videos of the week, but Blogger was having issues. I'll try again tomorrow if time allows.

This is our babysitter, Melissa, and how we found her when we walked upstairs. She so kindly sat here for 20 min (until we got home) so that J would stay asleep. What a saint she is.

Dave's Take

Well, the quote of the week. Lathan was missing a sock. So, naturally being the kind and loving father that I am, I told him that I ate it and that it was lost forever. He stared at me in absolute disbelief. While I had him distracted I stole the other one right off of his foot. He looks at me and I quickly tell him that I am the sock monster, much like the cookie monster but instead of eating cookies I eat socks. He then starts to say, "well, then I am the cookie monster.....frrrrpppp ( that was Lathan foofering, a.k.a. farting)." I ask him," Did you just foofer?" To which he responds, "Yep, I am the foofer monster!" Gotta love him.

So, another fun filled week with Griselda's birthday to close the week out. Pretty solid.

I know that I say it every week but he keeps getting closer and closer to walking. Shuffles like a 90 year old with a walk late to a bingo gig. Loves to eat. Great at saying NO. Ok, he isn't really talking but he definitely shakes his head when he is not interested and grunts like a little pig when he is interested. He also has this clapping thing and hand shaking thing that he does when he really likes something. Still fat as ever.

Our little bruiser. Still takes all that Lathan can dish out and keeps going. Loved skiing again. Must have been quite a sight seeing Griselda running behind this blue jump suited kid trying to hold on to his ski learning leashes. Probably looks pretty similar to when she used to try to take Rio for a walk and he saw a squirel or something. Controlled caosis. Anyway, Griselda says that he is really getting good. Next year we are hoping to ditch the magic carpet and upgrade to the chairlifts. Fingers crossed.

Talk about a skier. He still has his tips tied but this kid can fly. He has that blond hair flying behind him as he sweeps down the slopes weaving in and out of people giving them the courtesy nod and wink if they happen to be ladies. A smooth operator. Definitely has the bug as he told Griselda that he wants to go skiing everyday. Sounds perfect as long as his lift ticket is free.....

Had a great 22nd birthweek. Kind of a bummer because our fast sunday fell on her birthday. No special breakfast in bed and all that. She did get released from her calling as young women's president which was probably the best present God could have given her at this time. She is in for a rough couple of months as I finish out my 4th year. Anyway, we closed out her birthday by eating chicken tacos on homemade tortillas, shirley temples, and soapapillas while listening to the Gypsy Kings. A solid ending indeed. She had a couple of girl night outs this last week and then had a saturday out with a friend, her children, Lathan, and Kaelan at a local ski hill. They had a blast. Has got Griselda looking into a pair of skis.

Same old same old. Lots of hours. Getting ready for a bad few months as I do 3 out of 4 months down in Detroit for Trauma, Hepatobiliary, and Burn. So, fun rotations at good spots with hours, unfortunately, that aren't very family friendly. Hopefully we can make it through all in one piece. Still shopping for jobs, looking up and down the west coast, but running into a lot of the "its a little early for you, talk to us in 6 months or so." Well, it was worth a shot. Anyway, doing well. Had to bike to work for a couple of days last week because the car was in the shop. It wasn't too bad on Thursday morning. The temperature is 10 degrees and there is ice on the road that you can see before you hit it, so I was able to avoid all ice patches. Friday morning I wasn't so lucky. I opened the garage door to find 2 inches of fresh snow and still 10 degrees. So, I have to ride in the snow, trying to avoid the ice which I can't see anymore because of the snow. To top it off I switched out my pedals to clip-in pedals 6 months ago which are near impossible to get out of while sliding on ice. That definitely had me on edge. Anyway, I survived. Made it to work ok. Prayed. By the time I got off work all the snow and ice had melted and it was now a comfortable 31 degrees. Gotta love the power of pray.

Hope you are all doing fine.

By the way, I also got released from my calling as 1st counsler in the EQ. We are a pretty responsibility free household right now. We will seen how long it stays that way....


I will leave the pics for Griselda.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Fabulous Birthday!

Well, we all joined in celebrating my birthday today by participating in such treats as taking a nap, and having a delicious dinner and special dessert. So much fun we had that we are all too tired to stay up and write our usual post. Check back tomorrow (night) for the update. Thanks to you all who sent your greetings my way! Love the love!

Until tomorrow...


Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Beginning of a Special Week

I thought I would mention one last thing. I thought it appropriate to explain the song choice currently playing on the blog (if you have sound, that is). This is officially my birthday week. I don't say this to toot my own horn, rather to show gratitude to the woman who I desire to become - my own mama. I love this song to "Mama." Although it doesn't completely apply to me or my mom, it still is a heartfelt tribute.

My mama made it all possible for me and went through motherhood with such grace. It all began this week thirty-something years ago (I am now at the age that I don't disclose). Be sure to listen to the song all the way through once before you judge! Enjoy!!!


Sunday Bonus!

So I thought I would be on top of things and begin my post yesterday in order to get it done before midnight tonight; but Blogger puts the time on the post from when you begin. Since Dave started his today, his is posted as more recent than mine. So be sure to look below his post to see all the cool photos and videos from the week.

I thought I would include a couple of videos that took place today, too! Just some stuff from home.

Dave's Take

So, church was canceled today. Evidently a bunch of Big Mormon Wagons traveling at high speeds because they are late on an inch and a half of ice over the road is a bad idea. So we are watching Mouth of Babes, the movie that I star in and am even on the menu screen, to pass the time and do something somewhat churchy. Anyway, to focus on the week.

Jeydan is getting really close to walking. I know that I sound like a broken record, but this time I mean it. The only problem is that he is a flopper. He leans the direction that he wants to go and if he knows that there is someone there to catch him, he flops. It is really funny to see. You just have to be really quick with your hands otherwise it is 25 + pounds of flopping baby hitting the deck face first. He is a lot more adept at couch to chair
to table transfers now but just not ready for the first step. Soon. J has his new favorite noise, we call it the "Hissing Cobra."

Kaelan, is our little dare devil skier. He went skiing again on Friday with Lathan and one of his friends. Griselda found a resort that was about 40 minutes away with a "magic carpet" and free to kids under five. He loves his little blue snow suit and tries to wear it whenever he has to go outside no matter what the occasion. He is also starting to get a little rebellious. Griselda handles it quite differently, and better I might add, then I do. So, needless to say, he can definitely push buttons when he wants to.

Lathan is right there with the rebellious attitude. He prefers the silent treatment with the pout as opposed to Kaelan's screaming. I will take the silent treatment any day of the week. He is still counting like crazy and amazes me with his dramatic responses to whatever situation we encounter. His friend Fisher had a birthday party yesterday at the local bowling alley. Imagine 12 kids ages 4-5 carrying a bunch of heavy round bowling balls, in slick shoes, on a slick floor. It made for a great party. Kids dropping, throwing, launching, rolling balls everywhere and occasionally they would go down the lane and take out a few pins. Lathan had to have a ball with finger holes and would only bowl with his fingers in the holes. As soon as he threw/rolled the ball he would run back to look at the score board. I couldn't figure out why until I started to watch
the score board. It turns out that after each roll a video would come on the score board showing someone mess up unless you got the strike. So Lathan loved the videos and couldn't stand the idea of missing any skateboarders falling, baseball players striking out, or actual cartoon bowling pins jumping out of the way of the ball. Quite entertaining.

Griselda, has now officially gone snow boarding 2 times in the last week. She loves getting back on the snow. Doesn't understand why things aren't the same but still goes for the 15 foot half pipe or larger kickers / gap jumps. She went yesterday and kept saying how sore her bottom and hip flexors were going to be. She loves it still. Is always playing around with the idea of a come back. I think she has the Michael Jordan complex and maybe will do a few contests in the future.

Me, I am just working. Sending out alot of CV's and talking w
ith a few recruiters. So far a lot of promising ads with CVs submitted but no official talks or anything yet. It is definitely exciting to be at this phase of my career. We are definitely looking to the west. (NOT Arizona though. I told Griselda that it would be a cold day in Arizona, I mean, Hell before we moved to Arizona to live. No offense to my Arizona friends) Hope that everyone had a great Valentine's Day. There is a candy maker in Clinton Township where we live that makes chocolate covered strawberries every year. They were great. Definitely better than flowers. Thanks Fernando and Lucy for the PF Chang's card. It was great.

Hope you all enjoy the pictures.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Another Fun Week in the Snow

We had another awesome week. We were able to crank out 33 valentines for Lathan's Valentine's Day celebration between our family night activity and the next night. We needed to get all of the cards delivered to the school by Wednesday so we were feeling the pressure. We actually made the deadline with a little help from a late night push. The boys had a good week. Besides munching on a bunch of sweets everyday, we were able to join Lathan in opening all of his Valentine cards. They really got a kick out of the cards with Batman or Spiderman. Dave and I had the opportunity to go out on Valentine's Day to celebrate the occassion. One of the young women didn't have school on Friday, either, so she watched the boys while we enjoyed a dinner at PF Chang's China Bistro. We REALLY enjoyed it because we had a gift certificate from my brother that covered the whole dinner and dessert. Thanks Dito!!! We had enough food leftover for the following night, too. Two for one!

On Thursday night, we found that the Jeep was not responding to any of our keys. It's not that the car doesn't start, but that the key won't engage enough in the keyhole enough to even turn on the battery. Strange. Once it does engage, it's fine. A weird quirk we need to take care of sooner than later. That put Daddy on the bike for work. It was cute to watch him go, but I'm sure he felt otherwise as he gingerly rode on the snow with clip-on pedals.

While Dave was busting his rear to get to and from work and we didn't have school to worry about, we took the opportunity to go skiing with Lathan's best bud, Steven. I was so good about bringing all the equipment and lunches, etc; but I was a fool and forgot to bring the baby backpack for JJ. So Sheila and I were juggling J between the both of us while the other took the boys up the "magic carpet" and then ran back down with them. Needless to say, with all the chaos of childcare, we did not last long. The boys took 3 runs, I think. They were hungry and tired after all of our shuffling. I really need to get a sled to get the boys to and from the ski run/magic carpet. They really do NOT enjoy walking in ski boots. I don't blame them. I'm sure we are quite the spectacle with all of the gear being carried along with the boys, or the boys trailing us with their relentless whining.

I didn't get any video or pics of the boys in the snow because of the crazy circumstances we faced. I did get some, though (in the lodge).

Saturday Dave was an angel again and let me go snowboarding with the youth from church and without the boys. We went to a place called Mt. Brighton. I wasn't as impressed with this resort. Alpine Valley is definitely my favorite local place so far. I hope to go there with the boys Saturday again (if the snow is decent). I took a different snowboard this time and found it was a little better for small mountain riding. They did have a "halfpipe" that had dirt scattered throughout the walls and had no vert left. They also had a terrain park with rail slides all the down (not really my thing) and then a BIG kicker (even by my standards) at the bottom adjacent to a really small one. The small one was sorta lame, so I went for the big one and found myself saying a couple of prayers before and after the jump. I survived and landed a bunch, but there were two times that I landed on my feet only to slide out and land on my rear end. I am a little achy throughout my entire rear section today. I'd like to say that most of it is from stomping my landings and using those quads that I've let go over the years; but I think we all know the bitter reality is that I'm getting old and can't take the hits on my backside that I used to.

Dave was able to have some fun with the boys bowling while I was out shredding. I had a blast, but it is never the same without the family. I really wanted to be together to share the experience.

Today we had another snow day for church, but this time it was the ice that kept us from attending. There was supposedly 1.5 inches of ICE on the ground after last nights freezing rain/sleet. I can't verify because I haven't ventured outside at all today (gladly, too). I can't imagine what the snow is like on the slopes now. That's why I only have tentative plans for Saturday.

We hope to hear from you! Thanks Heather, Judy, and Kierstin for all your comments. I love to hear from all of you!


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sick Michigan Pow!

At home eating a chocolate donut and loving it.

J fell asleep in the car after getting our ski equipment.

Dad and the boys reading scriptures (I promise, it's not a pose!).

OK, this one is a pose, but Dave isn't pretending.

Dave multitasking for once!

So we had a really fun weekend. Not much to speak of about the week leading up to it, but the weekend made up for it. I will get to that in a sec...

I truly don't intend on getting my boys on film when they decide they want to puke up a veggie; I still think it's funny though. Twisted, I know.

When the two younger boys and I went out of town a couple of weeks ago, Lathan stayed with his best buddy from school, Steven. It was the first time he was away from Mom! He did awesome, too. Sheila, Steven's mom, was really a trooper because she already has two little boys at home, so to bring home a third was quite brave. I'm sure she was being nice, but she said that Lathan was so good and kept Steven in line - that is until the last day. Apparently, Lathan found the last day a little trying because he was found crying at the end of school. He told the teacher that he missed his mom. He also went home with Sheila until I arrived at dinner time. In that short time he was in time out a couple of times because he was getting aggressive and pushing Steven. He has a tendency for passive aggressiveness when over-tired and frustrated. I'm guessing from the nights that I called from Utah to say hello that he was plenty entertained every night since he had little more to say to me than "I've gotta go, Mama, I want to go play." Sometimes I could hear Steven's dad say, "don't you want to say 'I love you' or 'I miss you' to your mom?" and then he would reluctantly come back to the phone for a second and then be gone. I was glad to know that he wasn't missing us much. Once we came back, I think he thought that I was going to give him away because he kept asking me if he was being good. When I said that I was so happy to finally be with him again and that I thought he was so good, he would respond with uncertainty and ask if he could stay at home with us. I thought it was so endearing, but sad. I think it took him a day or so to feel confident that he was staying put. The only other real details I got from that week are that he got a chance to go bowling with his buddies in addition to staying for lunch everyday at school. He said he had fun bowling, but didn't elaborate, even though it was a first for him. We are glad we all survived that week. Now for this past week...

Dave pretty much said it all with his work schedule (see below). Really nothing to tell except that I am holding onto my sanity with my twenty nails (as my dear mother used to say - so think of it said with a Spanish accent and it makes it so much more awesome). We canceled our YW's activity on Wednesday because of a snow storm that hit on top of the freezing rain/sleet that came the night before, so the roads were AWFUL. It took me over an hour to drive what normally takes me 10 minutes. Only about a 6 mile distance.

J got sick early Friday morning and I thought to myself that if I was truly a responsible and caring parent, I would forgo the ski trip planned and care for my baby; but seeing as I have had nothing but time in the house with children - sick or not - by myself for over a month, I thought that Mom NEEDS a vacation. Even if that meant the same old, same old in a new place. I REALLY wanted to see friends and get the chance to ride the sick Michigan pow. I sacrificed the greater good of keeping a sick baby home away from others and exposing him to serve my selfish desires. Something had to give, and my twenty nails were being maxed out. As our doctor colleague friend put it, the baby was most likely suffering from SSV, which was really my hunch all along. SSV? It's simply "some sorta virus." The usual.

As Dave already mentioned, I rode the "superpipe." I was really lucky because I spoke with a Michigander familiar with Boyne Mountain terrain and he said in the 3 years of going up there, he has never seen the pipe open. He said either there isn't enough snow, or they are fixing/grooming it. Then I found out there was a contest the very weekend of our visit. I was very excited to hear that, but bummed at the same time. Excited, not to compete (it wasn't even an option since it was a skier pipe contest), but because I knew they would have a nicely groomed pipe for the event. Bummed because normally for contests, the officials close the pipe for practice and competition. But as it turns out, the pipe was open for practice and the contest only took maybe an hour. So I was able to take a couple of runs once the boys were taken care of (thanks Judy!). I think I dropped in a total of 3 times. Not enough in my opinion, but I wasn't going to push it. It was getting cold and my baby needed to eat, plus I thought it only fair to give Dave an opportunity to ride as well.

Kaelan said he wanted to sit down after coming down the hill, but he realized he meant lay down.
The boys survived both the ride up and back with such grace - even with it being in such a short period of time. Lathan kept asking if we were going to Utah to ski (he was sad he missed out on Utah), but I told him if we were driving somewhere, it was because we were staying in Michigan. We only use planes when going out of state. He seemed to get that, but once we were in the car for multiple hours, he began wondering where we were headed again. He couldn't understand how we were still in Michigan after all that time in the car. Frankly, I couldn't either.

We had so much fun with our friends and can't thank them enough for including us. We hope to do this all the time! Thanks Ryan and Judy. And please forgive me for bringing a sick baby and cranky boys to beat up on your little angel. They love her, I promise!

I am so exhausted (and a little sore, too) so I'm headed off to bed now. There is so much more to tell, but hopefully the pictures will tell the story.

Love to you all!


Dave's Take

Well, the boys are watching TV, Griselda and Baby J are sleeping, So, I thought that this would be a great time to update the blog.

First off, happy belated birthday to everyone with a birthday in January and early February. And to be a little more organized, happy birthday to everyone with a birthday yet to come in February.

Great news!!! Griselda rode her first Super Pipe ever. We finally went skiing / snowboarding. We have some friends at another hospital here in Michigan that as a hospital go to Boyne Mountain Resort every winter and we were invited to join them this year. So we got Kaelan and Lathan some used skis off of eBay and at play it again sports. Then the boys got some lessons and now they are skiing pros. Lathan is REALLY good. He can snow plow like the best of them. He turns, goes straight, and isn't afraid to fall down because he has been told that the snow is soft. Kaelan just knows how to go straight. Straight he goes and he has no idea how to stop. He ends up either hold on to the instructor’s legs or flying into him at full speed and getting quasi tackled to slow him down. He can jump. He saw his instructor going backwards in order to control his speed and so he naturally wanted to learn how to ski backwards. Definitely a Griselda tendency. If you don't know what I am talking about, ask her about when her mom took her ice-skating for the first time and Griselda tried to be a figure skater. Anyway, Griselda took Lathan down a couple of intermediate runs in order to get back to the condo and he did great. Skiing and snow fun is definitely something that we want to do a lot more of. The only thing that really stunk about the whole thing is that it took five hours to get her and there is about 1000 feet of mountain. So it is definitely like the east coast ski resorts, ok snow with no elevation. Definitely going to be heading back west.....

So I have started to look for jobs. I feel like a prostitute looking for a good pimp. Recruiters are emailing, calling, doing whatever they can in order to get my business. We have seen some jobs in the Bay Area, Sacramento Area, northern California coast (I mean REALLY northern up near Oregon), and most recently a job in Watsonville. So Griselda and I are pretty excited.

Griselda finally went snowboarding after a five year hiatus. Disappointed with herself for speed checking in the half pipe. Still cruising on a snowboard though. A beautiful thing to watch because her movements are so fluid and in control even after all this time. I definitely think that with a little practice she could be a contender again if she wanted.

Lathan, learning a ton. Not just a great skier but a great mathematician and speller. He doesn't like to talk about it but at his teacher conference for preschool, I know, who has a teacher conference for preschool, I guess when you pay more for preschool than I did for college tuition you are entitled to a teacher conference, his teacher said that he is really progressing. He loves doing addition and spelling. He is even getting good at learning and sounding out his letters. Quite a modest stud. He also gets that from Griselda because I would be screaming out my progress from the rooftops.....

Kaelan, as you heard, skiing master with no idea how to stop. Shot Griselda in the eye with a nerf dart and quickly lost gun privileges. Also learning a ton. He is our neglected child; however, he is very observant and will pickup things that Lathan teaches him and occasionally surprise us. Like he can count to ten. We never taught him that. Pretty scary when we are trying to get Lathan to do it and Kaelan jumps in a finishes it before Lathan even gets a chance to start.

Jeydan, our little sick boy these last few days. He has had a fever, runny nose, and just been miserable. He is finally sleeping this morning so Griselda is "joining" him as a volunteer to make sure that he stays asleep. She is so willing to sacrifice her time with Lathan and Kaelan just to make sure that Jeydan stays asleep. Of course she is sleeping in too, so is it really a sacrifice?
Anyway, he is starting to do the furniture shuffle. Supposedly took his first step the other day but it was only witnessed by Griselda so I have yet to see it. Eating well. Only likes adult food and not a baby food fan anymore. They grow up so fast.

Me, working a ton. My buddy and me, as Lathan would say, each take a night working at a second job in order to make some extra money. Unfortunately he is on an out rotation right now that is very hour intensive and so I am having to cover some of his shifts. To give you an idea of what that means for me, and more importantly for Griselda and the boys, here is last weeks schedule. Monday 5:30am until 5pm Tuesday, Weds 5:30 am until 6pm Thursday. Dinner meeting Thursday from 6:30 until 9:30pm. Then we stayed up until 1:30 am packing and getting the house organize. Then back to work Friday at 5:30am. Luckily they let me off early so that we could drive up to go skiing or that would have been one LATE night drive. Needless to say, Griselda is a single mother trying to survive with a sleep deprived husband anxiously awaiting the day when this training portion of our life ends and the living portion of our life begins.