Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Knock Knock

Whose there?
Duane who?
Drain the tub I'm drowning.

I feel a little like that lately. Things have been so busy. I'm doing stuff with the kids almost daily...programs at the library, tennis, movies, piano lessons, the park with our friends, etc. We come home for Noah's nap and I get the dishwasher unloaded, pick up around the house, maybe scrub a toilet, do some work to help people save money. Then, it's time for dinner and we head to the pool every night. Put the kids to bed, watch a little TV, and repeat the next day.

Of course there are other things going on around here too.

Ben had another eye appointment in Phoenix. David has taken him to his other 3 appointments since February and I had never been, so I wanted to take him.

I rarely drive down to Phoenix anymore. If I go there, I'm with David and he always drives. I forgot what it was like to be driving 80 down a highway. Here if there are 5 cars on the road with you, it's rush hour. At first I felt nervous and was gripping the wheel at 10 and 2. But after 30 minutes on the highway and listening to Dave Matthews Band, I started to relax. Then we came upon an Army convoy driving in the slow lane. Did I say driving? They were barely moving, so when an old man in a Monte Carlo pulled in front of me and started going almost slower than the convoy, I slammed the steering wheel with my hand and yelled, "move it old man"! Ah...I was back. You can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl. At least not completely.

We met my best friend Pam down in Phoenix before the appointment for lunch. Ben got to play in the play area and we got to visit for a bit. And wouldn't you know it, our friend from high school was at the table behind us. It was like a little Moon Valley Rocket cheerleader reunion. I wanted to break out the fight song dance right there in the middle of Chick-Fil-A.

Ben's new thing to do for me is make a heart with his hands and then he throws it to me or puts it on my heart. He's so sweet.

After lunch, we had Ben try to take a picture of Pam and I. It didn't go so well.

But turned out alright in the end.

The final report from the doctor is that Ben is doing "fabulous". His vision in his bad eye has improved 4 times over what it was in March since we started patching. He was very, very pleased with this progress. He wants us to continue patching 5 hours a day especially since it's a little easier right now with school being out. We have another appointment in September.
The kids have been enjoying tennis. The parks and rec is doing another session in July, but I wasn't sure the kids would want to continue.
Here are some photos from today. Emily with some nice follow through.
Ben concentrating on balancing that one ball.
Noah watching the big kids.
Noah getting bored and playing with his sippy cup.
Emily thinks one ball is for sissy's and goes for 5!
Notice her tongue out. This is from her Dad's side of the family. They all do that when they are concentrating. Right, Gwynne?
Nice follow through for Ben. He's actually getting better and making contact more.

When I told the kids there last lesson was today, they both had a fit. They said they want to keep going with lessons. So, we will continue for the month of July and see how it goes.
I know I'm making it out like things are crazy busy for us. And they are. We leave for vacation in 2 days and I just got the suitcase down today. I need to wash the clothes before I pack them and charge about 10 devices before we can get on a plane. So much to do before then. But we do have plenty of time during the day where we relax. Here's proof.

Next post will probably be from Idaho!
In the meantime, just call me Duane.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Flashback Friday ~ Idaho

My new method for Flashback Friday (which I forgot last week) is to get the photo CD box and grab a CD at random. Whatever I click on when the disc loads is what I post.

We are leaving for Idaho in 8 days. I can hardly wait. How appropriate that today I grabbed a disc from 2006 and the first date I clicked on were photos from Idaho.

July, 2006 - Emily wasn't even 2 yet and Ben was 5 months. I remember our wild girl was up for anything. She wanted to ride the jet ski over and over. When she would get off, she tapped her fingertips together and said "more". Even though she could clearly say "more", she still did the sign language along with it. We taught all our kids a few signing words, but "more" was the only thing that caught on with all three of them.

Here's Emily and David on the pontoon boat, which has now been replaced with a bigger pontoon boat.

David and Ben after what was one of many rough nights. Ben had caught a cold or something and he slept every night in his car seat so that he was elevated. He was a cranky bugger on this trip.

Emily loved the trampoline. Ben couldn't even sit up yet.

It was so hot on this trip as evident by Emily not wearing a shirt in the first photo. My Dad and Suzy didn't have air conditioning in their cabin. We slept with the windows open and it was Fourth of July weekend. The neighbors were setting off fireworks until 3 in the morning. It was a long week with two little ones. I vowed I wouldn't go back during that paticular week, but times have changed. The cabin now has central air and the kids are older. They will think the fireworks are fun, not noisy and scary. At least that is my hope.

Here is our family in 2006.

A lot has changed since 2006, 2 kids out of diapers, a new home in a new town, another member of the family, but when we go back to Idaho it all feels the same. It feels like home.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Ben is officially a swimmer. He's no Michael Phelps, but he is doing so well. It seemed like it just clicked for him and he's not afraid of anything.

You may automatically watch Emily in this video, but play it a second time and watch Ben just fall to the side. I have no clue what he is doing.

His stroke is a mix of frog and doggie paddle, but I am just so proud of him that he is swimming before Kindergarten which is exactly when Emily started doing it also.

The floaties have been officially put away for Noah next summer.
You're awesome Ben!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

Our Father's Day was pretty low key which is exactly how David likes it.
There was lots of loving on Dad.

And cards and gifts in the morning.

We went to the pool which is exactly what we did last year on Father's Day.

We received a very nice compliment at the pool. Since it is at our clubhouse, we always run into all different types of people. There was a lady there who was complimenting Ben. He's 5 and he went without his floaties for the entire 2 hours that we were at the pool for the first time. She said how great he was swimming. I told her my husband teaches them.

Later, I ran home to put the lasagna in the oven and when I returned to the pool, I saw the same lady in the parking lot. She said what a joy it was to watch our family. That she rarely sees parents playing with their kids anymore. They sit in a chair and have their head down playing on their phone. Sadly, it's true. I see it all the time. At gymnastics last week, a little girl got to the top of the climbing rope and looked down at her Mom for approval and the Mom was next to me missing it all because she was on Facebook. Sad, sad, sad.

My point is that David is a wonderful Dad. He spends time with his kids and let's them know they are more important than anything else. The kids thanked him for being such a great Dad with a doggie pile.

We love you babe.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Emily is a special girl.

She is a perfect blend of sugar and spice. She likes a little bit of everything. But she recently told us that she no longer wants the Disney Princess decals up in her room. She's almost 7 and I guess she is getting too old for them. So, David asked what she wanted on her walls instead. He was hoping she wouldn't say Justin Beaver or Miley Cyrus and then she said, "Strawberry Shortcake". That's my girl!

But then she decided to draw hew own decals. And do you know what she scotch taped up to her headboard? The cast of Spiderman 1, 2 and 3.

She's awesome.
Just an FYI, Conea is Carnage and Yo-go is a make believe character.
She'll be opening up a store on Etsy in the fall.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Faces & Swimming

Noah loves to pose for the camera.

He's a total ham.

He has lots of different looks.

None of which are a smile, unfortunately.

Ben is doing such a great job swimming. He has a swim lesson with David whenever we go to the pool which is just about every night.

David pushes him down to the bottom and he pushes off and springs up. Ben loves this as he feels like Aqua Man. (Ignore the drowning kid in the background, he was weird and not drowning.)

His swimming is coming along nicely.

We'll be packing up the floaties in another few weeks.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Lordy, lordy, David's forty!

And I must say he still looks fine!

Emily serenaded her Dad first thing this morning.

Then, David made us breakfast. Yes, it's true. I should have done it, but he insisted as he does it every Sunday and I'd probably just mess up the pancakes. It was delicious as usual.

David tried to play tennis with the kids, but it was so windy, the ball was more like a boomerang. So, we went swimming instead.

We made David a cake.

We went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner.

Trying to get everyone to look and smile is impossible. I have about 20 pictures like this.

Emily put on her pretty dress and a squirt of Love's Baby Soft perfume. She wanted to look pretty for her Dad. She's sweet like that. So, I insisted on taking a few pictures of just her.

Then, Ben wanted one.

And then Noah walked over for his close up. He needs to learn to smile more. It's like a baby mugshot.

Emily and I wanted them to sing and make David sit on the saddle, but he refused. Our waitress brought us a dessert and Emily thought he wasn't going to share.

But he gave it to her, and she was happy.

Ben wanted my camera instead of ice cream, so he took a picture of David.

The kids insisted on making David a crown for his birthday. This is why you don't tell them to say pickles. All open mouths. And this was seconds before Noah's toe went into the cake.

Making a wish...

It was a rather relaxing day overall, and I hope David enjoyed his birthday. He truly is the most wonderful man. I made a little wish when he blew out the candles that we get to spend the next 40 plus birthdays together.

And I think he wished that the Canucks win the Stanley Cup tomorrow.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Flashback Friday

Ben was feeding our dog Rocko the other night. Noah immediately went to the bin and started eating dog food. David and I laughed that the kid won't eat a piece of corn, but he loves dog food. We told Ben that he used to do the same thing. We stopped him the first few times and then we just let it go. A few pieces of dog food never hurt anybody.

One of my biggest regrets is that I didn't start blogging until Ben was 2 and Emily was almost 4. I just looked up my first post. It was June 5, 2008. I just passed my 3 year anniversary. I didn't know what shape my blog would take or if anybody would read it besides my mother in law. 687 posts later, I think I found my groove. My blog took the shape of my family. I don't scrapbook and I stopped printing pictures for photo albums about 4 years ago. I blog. This is how I record all of our memories. This is my journal. My love letter to my children.

But my love letter starts 4 years into our love story. So, I decided on Friday's I will post a picture about something that happened before I began blogging. If I remember a story to go with it, I'll tell that too. As I get older, I'll forget things like Ben and Noah eating dog food. I let Emily pick out today's pictures and she wanted some Halloween ones.

Here's my girl with her Daddy. She was about 2 months old. I think she makes the cutest little pumpkin ever.

The next year, she was a duck. I think she makes the cutest little duck ever.

Oh wait, he's a pretty cute duck too. Ben wore her costume for his first Halloween in 2006.

And Emily went as a cheerleader. I think I may have had something to do with that.

We moved to Prescott Valley, so Halloween meant costumes needed to involve layers of clothing because it's a lot cooler here than Phoenix. We went to a party during the day and trick or treating at night.

Emily was a cheerleader again.

Ben was a football player, complete with maxi pads for shoulder pads.

That night, Emily was a kitty cat and Ben was a cow. I remember he could only say moo and boo, so it was a cow or a ghost. And look at that, Mommy was a before picture for Weight Watchers.

When I was going through those pictures I came across some of our back yard and stopped in shock.

October, 2007

June, 2011

October, 2007

June, 2011

The trees are bigger. The bushes are bushier. There is a soccer ball in the yard. And there is still dog poop in the grass. Some things never change.