Wednesday, October 31, 2007

our kid is cuter than yours...

If you don't believe me, just look at these pictures. I mean, the proof is in the pudding folks!

It's never too early to lock your kid outside for some temporary peace and quiet while you try to mop the floor, right? Besides, he loves it out there (even though it doesn't appear that way)! Oh, and the scabs on his nose are from face planting into the patio the night before. I promise...we ARE good parents.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Get some CONF...

This is an expression we used to use in high school. Mainly in situations where CONFIDENCE did not come easy. Like when you wanted to awkwardly approach that cute boy from your geometry class, but deep down you knew there wasn't a prayer with him because you were a foot taller and let's be honest...pretty homely.

Well, last night I needed someone to tell me to "get some CONF"! Most of you know I LOVE taking pictures, but only some of you know that I get REALLY, REALLY nervous.

Last night, Troy and I drove out to Newport Beach to take some pictures of our friends. For some reason, I was VERY nervous. I think it is because I always want to do a good job, but I freak out. Also, I am TERRIBLE at taking charge and directing people to do things.

At any rate, I froze up with anxiety and did not feel like I did my best work. For my own benefit, here are some things I learned and some things I liked.

Things I Learned:

* Daylight is valuable. It ran out too soon.
* When you are at the beach with a family dressed in beach colors, it would be nice to get the water in the shot.
* Take more close-ups of the smiling baby.
* Don't be afraid to try new poses.
* Get more "candid" shots of family interactions.
* Try not to cut off feet.

Things I Liked:

* How attractive my "models" were.
* Seeing the sunset
* Being with friends
* The shot of Baby Will's feet with mom and dad in the background.

Comments or constructive criticism is welcome over HERE!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Oops! My bad... a 2,000 dollar mistake...

Conversation with doctor:

Doc - Today you will be getting some lab work done. Would you also like to do your AFP test?

Me - Um, sure. (anything for my baby, right?)

Doc - Ok. Just sign this paperwork and I'll send you down to the lab.

So...I signed it, went on my merry way, had two shots, and was outta there in less than 15.

FAST-FORWARD 1 month...

Today I opened a bill for 1,985 buckeroos! Come to find out, my insurance does NOT cover genetic testing (which is, apparently, what AFP stood for). I talked with my doctor who, of course, could give a rat's fat one that I have to come up with 2 grand.
Spoke with the insurance company to file an appeal which will probably amount to a minimal 50 dollar discount.

So, I am left wondering...what does "insurance" mean, anyway? Every time I go to the doctor I feel like I am at a restaurant with no prices on the menu, then I get a 2,000 dollar bill for my burger and fries!

I think I will just hide out at home and deliver the baby myself. Seriously...experiencing the miracle of life should not be this expensive!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

not exactly what I had in mind...

I had grandiose visions of this year's trip to the pumpkin patch. I had been looking forward to it for at least three weeks! With several recommendations of a cute place to go, we took off on Saturday and headed for the Bates Nut Farm nestled in the hills of Escondido.

The anticipation built as we got closer and closer. Finally we approached the pumpkin patch. Almost in an instant, my dreams of family fall festivities had been crushed when I saw a sea of at least 600 cars in a dirt parking lot. Did we get the wrong place? Because it looked like we were at the county fair, or a Disneyland attraction. Masses of people were swarming the place. Food vendors, hired petting zoos, climbing walls, and jump houses dotted the vast grounds.

Many of you are probably reading this and what? Well, you must not understand the picture of a pumpkin patch I had painted in my head.

As Troy was trying to understand my disappointment, he asked...."What exactly did you have pictured? You, me and Jack sitting atop hay bails on a vintage tractor sipping hot cider on a brisk fall day as we look over rolling hills of pumpkins still attached to the vine?"

"Well, yes!" I replied. "That...AND caramel apples, an authentic barnyard of animals, fall trees, scarves and jackets, and CUTE pictures!" (Please refer to the Cannon's blog for my vision in pictures)

So, here is our day at the pumpkin patch. Not what I had envisioned, but still a fun day as a family!

Jack trying to get a taste of the pumpkin.

Jack thought the pumpkins made a fun climbing obstacle course. In, out, up and over, but never looking at the camera!

I guess we'll have to come back next year to put baby girl in that last spot.

This little man LOVED the animals. His version of petting the animals was a few swift swats to the head.

His mouth was wide open with wonderment 90% of the time. He also thought the alfalfa pellets were for him...he snuck a few in.

I love his sheepish expression in this photo. It's almost as if he just introduced himself to the goat, then got nervous and embarrassed.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Sabbath Day

I LOVE Sundays...such a time for spiritual rejuvenation!

Here is how ours usually goes.

1:10 - Rip Jack abruptly out of bed (even though he finally just fell asleep) Quickly change a diaper, throw some clothes on him, and shove him in the car with a sandwich on the go.

1:15 - While Jack is screaming in the car, Troy and I scurry around gathering Sunday
lesson materials, diapers, sippy cups, entertainment for Jack (which we know will only occupy 2.5 minutes of his attention), and a check book for tithing. Now where the heck is that darned check book?

1:25 - Arrive at church faced with the decision between soft seats or overflow hard
seats. What is the debate, you ask? Well, on the one hand we can trap Jack in the soft seats, but when he decides to let out a shrill yell followed by slapping us in the face (usually during the sacrament prayer) it can be kind of embarrassing. The hard seats pose little threat of embarrassment, but Jack seems to think he has free rein of the entire cultural hall.

1:30 - Church begins. We take a risk on the soft seats.

1:35 - Jack is already pulling the "back arch" maneuver because we are trying to hold
him securely and peacefully in our lap. Crap. Where's the binky? Oh man, we left it in the car. Troy goes out to get it.

1:45 - By this time, we have used up all our resources. Now we have stood him up in
the pew to bother the family behind us. That usually buys us 5-10 more minutes of entertainment.

2:00 - By this time he has tried to escape 3 times, but run into a leg blockade which
has infuriated him! So...this is when we resort to the hallway for the remaining 1/2 hour of sacrament meeting.

Luckily, there are some other moms of pre-nursery kids who have banded together and decided to start a "pre-nursery class". Meaning, we trap the babies in a room and let them run wild for the 2nd hour of church. This is my saving grace, let me tell you! However, this Sunday Jack decided to have a blowout of MAJOR proportions! It was a 3-person job getting him stripped and changed, not to mention the rank smell trapped in that 7 by 7 room.

3:30 - Jack is now naked besides his diaper. Troy comes for the hand-off so that I
can go teach the Young Women. What goes on that hour...who knows? I just know by the look on Troy's face that it is JUST as taxing as the other two hours!

4:30 - Phew...we made it! Our cups spilling over the brim with spiritual enlightenment and a baby who NEEDS A NAP!


One happy, church-going family. Jack is dressed, fed, seemingly calm and happy. We are ready!


Parents are run RAGGED. Son looks rather proud of his accomplishments from the last 3 hours. Please clothes. (This picture is NOT staged)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

UPDATED...I came prepared this time

Photo shoots sure go better when you bring along a charged battery. Here is PART II of the Red Radio Flyer. I know you are all waiting with baited breath! (ha)

Nothing to blog about

I have nothing to blog about so here are some pics walking home from the park. Besides, Troy said I should start blogging more about my kids "like other people do". I am assuming that means instead of my meaningless ramblings about hair barrettes.

Mmmm...Getting in his daily serving of grains.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Worthless Cause?

Finding out that we are having a girl has brought out some hidden crafty bug that has been dormant inside me for some time now.

I have been looking at all the cute crafts on and trying to find something easy enough for my abilities (that means REALLY easy). I found these cute hair barrettes (do people still call them barrettes?) and decided that my sorry butt craft skills could maybe achieve the assembly of a simple barrette.

Then the thought occurred to me:

"Hey self, Jack is 14 months old and still has only a light dusting of peach fuzz for hair."

So I tested one of the barrettes in his hair to see if it could grasp on to 4 strands and stay longer than a minute. Denied. It slipped right out.

THEN, I found this old picture of me. I must be at least 3, maybe 4. My mom promises that she only trimmed up side straglers of hair and did not give me this butch haircut. Really folks, that is all the hair I had.

(DISCLAIMER: Please don't call CPS. We lived on a farm, 20 miles from the nearest town, and appearances clearly weren't a priority. We really were cared for. Oh, and my brother doesn't really have a googly/lazy eye. Must have had a run-in with the chickens)

Then I cried. Because, am I going to have to resort to one of those ghastly headbands as pictured previously on this blog?

So, this is where you all come in. I know they sell headbands that are cute. Perhaps some of you "crafties" have even made your own. Could you give me some advice because clearly, the cute barrettes I have made by hand are not going to work!

In the meantime, I will continue making barrettes with the hope of a hairy child.

Also on my crafty list:

1. This blanket that I started before we knew Jack was a boy. I concocted this ruffle design and don't know how to get the last part done.

2. A carseat cover, with help from my friend Abi.

3. Possibly some girly bedding. I am sure after several failed attempts, I will have to resort to something from Pottery Barn.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Did I hear a baby was born?

It's pretty sad that I have to beg my friends to come over for my pretend "photo shoots". Luckily, we had a taker!

Shannon brought over baby Eden today. What a little peanut compared to her last 10+ pounder! She was a doll. To see this little bundle, click HERE.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Monday Memories

These two kids could have used some help back in the day.

Troy is sporting a fancy turtleneck accented by the black and white cardigan. Looks as though he worked hard for that fine mullet. I like how it fluffs up in the back. Nice feathered bangs, too. Looks like he was able to achieve a similar look as my picture without a curling iron.

Now...I wonder how long it too me to create those gorgeous wavy locks in my hair? I love the bangs and still remember the technique quite under curl, one flipped up curl, then rat them together to blend. Followed by tons of hairspray. Oh and the red hair...curses. Thank goodness for highlights (discovered 10 years too late)!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Too much whiskey in the bottle...

This is really intended for my brother in Chicago, or other family members who have not seen Jack taking his first steps.

He was a little grumpy in this video, so don't expect too many grins.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

It's Settled...

When we strike it rich, we are moving to Santa Barbara!

Last weekend, Troy surprised me for my b-day with a weekend get-away to Santa Barbara. I had no idea how much I would fall in love with this quaint, little city. I thought I loved Laguna Beach, Corona Del Mar, San Diego, etc....BUT, I think Santa Barbara takes the cake for me!

Troy kept this a secret from me until we were driving up there. He made lodging arrangements at the most darling craftsman bungalow just a walk away from the State Street shops. He also had prepared stacks of information about possible activities we could do while there. I was impressed with all the thought he had put into this

On Friday evening, we strolled down to the Santa Barbara Courthouse (only two blocks from our bungalow). The architecture of this city is stunning! Everywhere you turn, there is something spectacular to look at. We spent some time on the courthouse grounds, and then climbed up the clock tower for some breathtaking views.

We also walked down State Street perusing the variety of shops. We both agreed we could have spent two days on this street. We ate dinner at a Mexican Restaurant tucked away on a side street. Delicioso!

These next few pictures are out of order, BUT...

On Saturday, we woke up early and went for a hike in the mountains above the Mission.
Jack doesn't like being contained in backpacks, strollers, carseats, etc. these days, so our 5-mile hike got cut to about 3 miles. It was still fun to be surrounded by nature. Jack liked it when leaves brushed by his face. Hopefully, it wasn't poisen oak!

We (or I) enjoyed taking some pictures by this old stone bridge at the trailhead. It finally felt like fall to me with the crisp weather and the leaves blowing by. Jack was dressed like he could be a model for Cabelas or some Bass Pro Shop. ha.

After our hike, we went back to the house to relax and nap. We got a call from my parents who happened to be passing through S.B. on their way to Orange County. We decided to meet them for lunch down by the pier. After a walk down the pier, and dreaming of eating fresh crab (which was WAY out of our budget), we decided to eat at a pizza joint. Good times, good company.

After sending my parents on their way, we walked down to the shore to hang out and relax. Jack loved eating the sand, as usual, and the feeling of it sifting through his fingers.

After lunch, we went up to the Santa Barbara Mission and walked around the grounds. The tour cost 10 bucks, so we opted out. Cheapskates, I guess?! I felt we got our money's worth (free) when the modern day monk walked by in his robes.

Here are the afore mentioned pictures from our hike - two separate days. I forgot to mention that Jack loves to pull Troy's hair while he's in the backpack. That could be good for me in the future, seeing how Troy LOVES to have his hair pulled. Now all we need is for Jack to learn how to give me a good back massage and Troy and I would be off the hook completely.

WOWSERS! This is my longest post EVER. Hang in there!

On Sunday we cruised up to Solvang. It is a little Dutch town tucked away in the middle of nowhere. The streets are adorned with colorful, Danish architecture, cute shops, bakeries for your every desire, and windmills. We got there around 9am, so some of the shops were still closed, but let me tell you...the bakeries were hoppin'! We basically made our trip to Solvang a little taste of Denmark. We hopped from bakery to bakery satisfying our tastebuds with buttery pastries. We tried some abelskeivers, which are these little cakey balls topped with raspberry syrup and powdered sugar. Mmmmm!

Our Little Viking!

From Solvang, we drove through miles of majestic countryside. I felt like Thelma and Louise with the wind blowing through my scarf. Miles upon miles of beauty. Oak trees standing alone along dry, golden hills. Crops of every kind...tomatillos, peppers, tomatoes, grapes, fruit orchards. I really loved all the windmills. After every 10 miles, a new winery would pop up. Even Andrew Firestone's (we think, from The Bachelor). It was a wonderful Sunday drive.

We had such a great time in 2 short days! Thanks to my awesome hubby, who planned such a great vacation for our family! Memories like this are the BEST gift!

Believe it or not, I have more of my favorite pictures posted here! There are LOTS, so scroll down. When you take over 300, it is hard to decide which ones to share.