22 December 2014

Oh Christmas Tree

We found a gorgeous tree for our living room this holiday season, but it spent much of its life propped up on the back of our couch, because of some tree stand drama.

There were no live tree stands in town. The hardware store said to wait a few days and they would have something. They didn't.

We don't live close enough to anywhere to just pop into another store and check for one.

I ordered one from Amazon. They canceled my order because they had miscounted their stock. They were out.

We finally made a trip to Salt Lake where we were able to buy one from Lowes.

Our home is now officially festive.

11 December 2014

Tree Hunting

Mike and Jacque took us on our first Christmas Tree hunting adventure. It was a glorious day and we came home victorious. Our first real Christmas tree is lovely! 

07 October 2014

9 Months:Pigtails

On the 4th, I celebrated the fact that Alice has been in our lives for 9 long months. This means that she has officially been "out" for as long as she was "in," and that's a big deal in my book.

This past month, I've been amazed at how old my sweet baby is getting. She crawls. She can feed herself. She'll even wave to you if she's in the mood. It should also be noted that Oliver almost obsessed with giving her walking lessons. 

Also, now that she's been around for nine months, her already unruly hair (aka: Alice's Baby Mullet) has reached a level of ridiculous that is no longer endearing. Pigtails are definitely in our future. 

30 September 2014

Alice: Months 7 and 8

In true, second child fashion, I have provided no official monthly update for Alice for the past couple of months. I also haven't taken many pictures of her. I'm feeling sort of sick about those two facts.

Just know that she and her continually crazy hair were simply adorable.

She started to roll. That made things interesting.

She learned to sit. It took her some time (as in, well meaning people were constantly asking me how old she was, and then why she wasn't sitting yet, and then telling me how petite she was, asking me if she was meeting her milestones, telling me stories about how their friend's cousin's brother's baby was diagnosed as failure to thrive but they turned out ok, and generally freaking me out), but she learned and all is well.

We started to feed her real food. She loves it so much that she yells at us when we don't shovel it into her pretty little mouth fast enough. We also started feeding her bottles full of thick, nutritious formula, because I was tired of having hourly anxiety about whether she was actually growing or not. She grew.

She grew two teeth, and was very amicable about the whole thing.

She has continued to enjoy daily mauling by her brother. Every day I watch them interact and think "surely, today is the day she will be squished or broken," so I pester Oliver to be gentle and then negates everything I say by laughing... She loves it. 

She started scooting, and pulling herself up onto the furniture, and climbing over barricades, and constantly reinforcing the importance of baby proofing our home, which we still have yet to really do. She can crawl, but she chooses not to. She is still happy and easy going. There are members of our family that insist that they have never heard her cry, and while we know better, we have to admit that it could be much, much worse.


27 September 2014

Apple Picking

Somewhere just outside Blanding, there is a family owned Apple Orchard that Jacque told us about. So, one sunny Saturday in September, we went adventuring.

14 September 2014

Our Blanding House

"Blanding House." Illustrations by Oliver J.

This is the way that the house looked when our landlords sent pictures over the summer. Oliver added pictures of our family living there and taking care of it. One day, when we finally have some furniture and decorate the place, we'll post some real pictures. For now, it looks pretty similar to this.

That is Jesse working on the roof, and either me or Oliver is talking to him while he works.

This is Oliver sleeping in his new bed. Jesse and I actually took the room with the green grass carpet when we moved in, but Oliver didn't mind when he saw that the kids' room had hot lava carpet.

This is Jesse in the kitchen.

This is me in the kitchen mopping the floor.

This is Oliver outside playing with the hose.

It is an old house and has a few quirks, but it is a palace compared to the other places we have lived. We are very fortunate to have found such a great rental in Blanding. We anticipate that this will be our home for the foreseeable future.

27 August 2014

Maryland Has Been So Good To Me

So... we're moving. 

Jesse was offered a job in Montezuma Creek, Utah. While South East Utah wasn't even on our radar, a PA recruiter called and the deal was just too sweet to pass up. We'll be living in Blanding, which is where Jesse grew up. It's a long ways away from anywhere, but we'll have family in town, so hopefully we won't ever feel too lonely. Also, now visiting my family won't require a trip through airport security and five hours in an airborne tube.

I have sold almost all of our furniture. Thank you Craigslist. I dejunked and donated crap that has taken up space in our home like my life depended on it (that was so exhilarating!). Thank you Purple Heart. We are loading everything up into a small pod and shipping it to Salt Lake City. Thank you ABF. 

Though there is still so much that I wanted to see and do, I have done my best to fit in a couple of last minute adventures with friends. I saw Mt. Vernon with Kimber and the Stams. It was breathtaking. And there was this video at the end of the museum...it was supposed to be serious, but I couldn't keep it together. It was so cheesy! And there was a children's choir, and, oh man! I took a kayaking historical tour of Annapolis with Kelli. DO IT! I went to the Naval Academy with Kimber. Jesse and I went to fancy lunch at Fogo de Chao and my taste buds will never, ever be the same. 

This evening, the Stams, Hewitts, and Wrights fed us dinner. The young women came over and helped me clean our entire apartment (many hands make extremely light work, thank you ladies!) and a couple of friends stopped by with treats and "It was so nice to know you" gifts. I know it is cliche to say this, but I cried an awful lot. 

I have to admit that I am a little bit heartbroken over this. I know it is a wonderful opportunity for Jesse and our family. I am confident that we are making the right choice. However, I LOVE Maryland.

 I love that I can go to sightseeing at the drop of a hat. I love the history and culture here. I love the convenience of living in such a large city. I love the trees. I love my ward. I love, Love, LOVE my friends. 

I felt so extraordinarily loved in this place. 

21 August 2014

The Story of Jesse's Life: PA {almost} C, MMS

A few weeks ago, Jesse was getting ready for PA school graduation and showing Oliver his fancy new lab coat, with his name embroidered above the breast pocket.

"Jesse Moses PA-C, MMS"

(that means : Physician Assistant - Certified, Master of Medical Sciences)

"But I'm not a PA-C yet." Jesse explained, "Not until I pass my boards."

Then Oliver, who was clearly listening attentively, chimed in saying, 

"That's right! And you are not BAF or a MMG"

Jesse took the Physician Assistant Certifying Exam (PANCE pronounced "Pants") today. This test has given the boy nightmares for the past few months, and we are all so grateful it is over. We should know the results within the next two weeks.

20 August 2014

Kinder Farm

When a trip to the Arboretum with the Kelley's fell through because of weird business hours and calendar confusion, we took a trip to the Kinder Farm. Also, there was Taco Bell. I LOVE Chalupas.

16 August 2014

One Last Trip to Alex's Beach

Jesse's friend Alex (and his wonderful family) have access to a community beach and pool in Annapolis that they have been kind enough to invite us to. We have loved going. Gail invited us to go again one last time before the end of the summer. We had a ball.

Oliver loved the beach, but hated the water. And it took THREE WHOLE HOURS to get him into the swimming pool. Alice hated the beach but loved the pool.

It was a fantastic day with Gail! And she sent us home with cookies and home grown vegetables at the end of it. She spoils us.  

06 August 2014

Heather Came To MD and We Took a Million Pictures - Monuments at Night

Heather came for a short visit, and we made the most of her time here...or tried to anyway. We took scooters to the National Mall and saw the monuments at night. They were breathtaking. And slightly blurry...

Just so you know, almost all of the pavement on the National Mall is textured...which is an observation that never even crossed my mind until I was scootering. It was a rather jarring... Still, it was exceptionally faster than walking, and therefore, excellent!

04 August 2014

Gettysburg! A Culinary Experience

My awesome friend Sarah invited me to go to Gettysburg with her and her husband. He has all the Gettysburg smarts. He was going to take us on a tour and tell us all the best stories. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it that day, so we rescheduled for another day. Because Tom couldn't go, it turned into a walk through historic Gettysburg and an amazing culinary experience. Because I love food, I'm going to tell you where and what we ate. It was fantastic.

We started with lunch at Hunt's Battle Fries and Cafe where I ate a most delicious cheesesteak sandwich, french fries. orangeade, and lemonade. Yes. I had to try them both. If you go to Gettysburg, you NEED to eat here.

We went to a fudge shop to see fudge being made and sampled a taste.

We had Rita's, because if there is a Rita's, then I need a Cherry Gelati,

For dinner I had Baked King's Onion Soup and warm Colonial Gingerbread IN A TAVERN! It was legit. And delicious.

And now, if you go to Gettysburg and find that you are hungry, you know where to eat! You're welcome. Enjoy!

03 August 2014

The Long Blink and Other Oliverisms

The other day Oliver and I were sitting on the couch watching tv together when I realized that he had fallen asleep. I picked him up so that I could take him upstairs to lay him down. On our way up the stairs he woke up just enough to say in a tired, breathy voice, "Mom, don't worry. I'm not sleeping. I'm just having a long, long, long blink."

One morning I heard Oliver wake up, come out of his room, and start talking to Jesse. "Dad, I was just thinking I could start a collection."

Jesse asked him what sort of things he would like to collect. He didn't know, but he's made it a point to try a few things out. So far, we have a collection of rocks, and another of seashells.

Oliver was talking to me about how much fun it would be to have a boat. When I told him that we didn't have a boat he said, "That's ok. We can just ask Nephi to build one for us."

Oliver is a major fan of a game called Rayman. One day, we were at his friend's house for a play date, and I heard him in the other room saying "let's play Rayman!" At first, I imagined him running and jumping around pretending to play through the levels. When I went in to check on him, I found that when he had said he wanted to pretend to play Rayman, he literally meant that he wanted to pretend to play Rayman. He was sitting on the couch, holding an xbox controller, and staring at a blank tv screen. Since that day, he has been limited to 30 minutes of screen time each day.

His Rayman obsession has also supplied him with a new group of imaginary friends... We now take his "Rayman Friends" with us wherever we go. It is so silly to listen to him talk to them. This morning I heard him say, "Barbara! Are you a bubble again???"

Speaking of Rayman Friends, we had to have a conversation one day that went a little like this:

Me:  "Oliver, if the Rayman Friends make it too hard for you to play with your real friends, then you will have to send them out to wait in the car."

Oliver:  "They don't fit in the CAR!"

Me: "Then how did they get here"

Oliver: "They drove their own car!"