Wednesday, January 30, 2008


No, not twins. Stop asking.

SO, it's a long story. Hang in there with me. My husband, Trent, is a physical therapist at the main hospital in town. I don't want to use the name to try to maintain some decorum and professionalism. :) He works primarily with kids, but also some adults in an out-patient setting. In the last couple of years, on top of doing his job, which he loves, he has volunteered and BEEN volunteered to do lots of extra-curricular things for his job, from serving on numerous committees to heading up the implementation of a huge new computer documentation system in his department.

Today, his BIG BOSS MAN (not supervisor, not manager, the one with the big office who reports to the VP) 's assistant called Trent and told him that one of Trent's midday appointments had been cancelled and that BBMAN would like to Trent to lunch off campus. Hmmm...very curious. BBMAN and his assistant picked Trent up outside and took him to a nice restaurant for lunch.

Trent, being Trent, when asked if he had any idea what the lunch was for, made the joke, "Well, I don't suppose you'd bring me all the way out here to fire me!" To which BBMAN replied, "Oh, no. Quite the oppossite." They proceeded to tell Trent that he is being awarded something similar to employee of the year. My dear husband still can't quite remember the exact title, but it is something like Service Excellence award. BBMAN tried to impart the hugeness of this award. "This is a BIG deal!" He kept saying.

There are over 3600 employees at the hospital, and only ONE gets this award each year! About 250 people are nominated by patients or colleagues, then a committee narrows the selection down to about 80, then weeds it down to about 10 finalists. From there the committee interviews and takes into consideration feedback from colleagues from his department and others, supervisors, patients, support staff, physicians, community members, etc, and choose ONE person in the WHOLE HOSPITAL to present this award. AND TRENT GOT IT!

OK, yes, I'm totally bragging on my hubby! He would never post this, even if he did have a blog, and I'm not even sure how many of his friends he would tell, so what is a big-mouthed wife to do? Also, there is an awards ceremony in about a month, and Trent is basically the guest of honor. People who have been working at the hospital for 5 years and 20 years get recognition, but his award is one of the main events. A LIMO will be picking Trent and me up to take us to the award dinner, where he will have his picture taken with the mayor and the CEO of the hospital to hang in the main hospital lobby with other winners from previous years. HELLO!?!

Anyway, I just wanted to share this proud moment. BBMAN said it was a pivotal point in his career, even better than a promotion. (That's nice, but doesn't a promotion come with more money?) Also, it's never been given to someone who has been at the hospital for such a short time (about 4 years). You would think that we would celebrate this momentous day with a nice dinner out, but alas, as previously mentioned, this prestigious honor comes with no monetary compensation, just pride. So, we went to Dairy Queen and split a blizzard. That's a little more in out budget. :)


We have entered a fun new phase in child-development, and that is the world of pretend. Carson is often pretending to be a dog, lion or truck, and he also has a pretend puppy that follows him around (no name announced yet). When he wanted to be superman, we showed him it's fun to add a cape, and then he really took off. (Ha ha.) For some reason, I am always obsessed by the clutter in the background of my pictures and vids, so I need to tell you that the fan and snowboots were out of the garage because we were rifling through the corner to get snow clothes out. In case you can't hear him, he's saying "Fly! Fly! Fly!"

Monday, January 28, 2008

Not just for the hearing impaired.

I found out yesterday just how addicted I am to closed captioning. Yes, I'm addicted to having the closed captioning at the bottom of the screen, especially during movies. It started right after Carson was born. When he was napping or nursing or something, we would want to watch a show or movie, but keep the volume reasonably low. It got ridiculous trying to wrestle with the volume control to keep the loud parts quiet and the quiet parts loud enough to hear and understand. So, we just started using closed captioning.
I've been trying to wean myself from it, but I usually end up turning it back on. I know most people can't stand it. I think it's that I'm now used to having a reference at the bottom of the screen to look at as soon as I don't understand one phrase someone has said. I'm very visual! If they mumble too much, I want to read below what it was they said. You'd be surprised how much easier it is to understand a complex plot, or one with lots of names and places (I mean, LOTR has taken on a whole new meaning for me) when you are able to read as you watch.
Yesterday in church, the worship leader was praying. I had my eyes closed, as we all know is one of the requirements for heaven. He said something in his prayer that I didn't quite catch, and I instinctively openened my eyes and looked up. In that spit second, I realized that I was looking up to catch the words on the closed captioning. Oops! Somebody needs an intervention.

Friday, January 25, 2008


We finally got our act together and forked over the $3.50 to get play sand for Carson's sand table (Christmas gift--if you remember.) As you can see, the sand has the ability to make any new toy look like it's been used for years. Carson took to it right away, even though we were quickly losing light.
He then learned a valuable lesson, that when you make a mini-mountain of sand and then BLOW on it, you will get sand in your eyes.
It was pretty cool: the next day, even though it was like 32 degrees outside, it was a beautiful, sunny day. We bundled up in sweaters, hats and coats and moved the table to the sunny side of the deck, where he played in sand and I read the mail. See, now, with this play-by-play, don't you just feel like you were there with us?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What stinks?

OK, this is a horribly out-of-focus pic of Baby Jack, but I think it is still pretty funny. This was taken in a room full of five un-potty-trained boys, so we're not sure who he was smelling.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Let's hit the slopes, man!

Trying out Daddy's snowboard boots and helmet.

Monday, January 21, 2008

16 weeks (aka: 4 months-ish)

I'm quite sure I've started feeling the baby move, which is always amazing. The first time was in church, during an especially long prayer. It's kind of like Phoebe/Phoebo is saying: "Hey...get ready! I'm really in here and I'm coming out eventually!"

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Perfect

Sometimes we snap at each other. Sometimes we nag each other. Sometimes we roll our eyes at each other. Sometimes the little one drives us so crazy we want to scream. Our family is not perfect. But something about this picture reminds me that in our imperfection, we find joy. Three flawed people, loving each other unconditionally, knowing how to laugh at each other and laugh at ourselves, reminding ourselves often of how much we have to be thankful for...this is my perfect. September 2007
I love how Carson's head got cut off in that last pic! Hee.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Just for fun.

"Oh, Daddy, you are so silly!"
" Is it just me, or do we kind of look alike?" Whachoo talkin' 'bout, Mommy? Or in Carson's actual dialect:
"No, it NOT bed time!"

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pregnant Musings Vol. 1

Sorry, no pictures yet. Partly because I do NOT feel like being the subject of a picture right now and partly because I just haven't remembered to ask someone to take one.

We are safely into the second trimester of the pregnancy of our second child. I'm about 15 weeks (for those of you who haven't been pregnant lately, or who don't think in weeks, that's about 3 1/2 months). I am happy to be done with most of the nausea and mind-numbing exhaustion, although I'm not quite in the "fun" part of being preggo--if there is such a thing! First, my complaints: I am not one of those women whose skin glows during pregnancy. My face turns into a proactiv-craving teenager. I like to call myself the Pregnant Pimple Princess. Also, I started out this pregnancy a good 10 (OK, it's 13, alright! I know exactly. I know that's weird) pounds heavier than when I got pregnant the first time. Ugh. These first few months are awkward anyway, because you kind of grow out side to side before you get that cute little baby bump, and I just seem to be feeling more like a tree-trunk than a lovely baby-growing home. (Please do not feel the need to console me and tell me I look fine. I know I'll survive and lose the weight someday. Just let me wallow in my self-pity for today.) Also, I'm still tired a lot and have to pee about every 20 minutes.

Now, the good things. It's going by faster this time! Although I'm not pouring over the pregnancy books day by day like last time, I do try to check and see what's going on in there. It's already only about 5 more weeks until we have the ultrasound to let us know if there's a brother or a sister in there. Phoebe or Phoebo. That's when it starts to get really REAL! But I think the best part about being pregnant the second time is that I KNOW, I mean I have experienced first-hand a child. I have discovered how this abstract love you have for your unborn becomes an amazing, previously unknown unconditional, surreal love for your newborn--though it is very intense and real, it morphs into a concrete, physical, actual-pain-in-your-gut-if-you-think-about-it-too-much kind of love for your child, an adoration for them as an individual and certain traits you can't get enough of as they grow and develop personality. I dread those first few weeks with a newborn. To be honest, I was really quite miserable. In my mind, I handled it worse than most women. (Have I mentioned I'm a sleeper?) But I think I'll have even more motivation to get through them, because I'm going on my own experience of how it gets better, not just others' encouraging words. I can't wait to add another little person to our family to make us laugh, drive us crazy, play with his/her brother and cousins, smile in the Christmas picture, laugh at Daddy, be loved on my our extended family....all these little moments in Carson's life have brought me indescribable joy, and I can only imagine my heart's going to grow even more (picture the Grinch's heart at the end of the movie) with love for this new little one. The future, in my mind, is full of hope and dreams for these kids...even the one(s?) I don't know yet.

So, can someone please read this to me next July when I am crying from sleep-exhaustion and ready to hand over the baby to the nearest orphanage?

Monday, January 07, 2008

For Trent and Howie

Here's a post for those of you, yes, my husband included, who skip to the next blog if there are no pictures. These are some misc shots from December.
It turns out there is a tradition in our new town that the fire department sends around fire trucks to the neighborhoods with Santa on the truck handing out candy canes. Well, at the first sound of a siren, the neighborhood kids were out and waiting, even in the freezing weather. Trent and Carson went outside and waited for almost an hour! Carson and I finally had to leave and run errands. Luckily, Santa and the firemen were on our street as we drove in! However, we ran to meet him and my camera was safe and sound back in the house. So these are just the "waiting" shots.

Oh, Nemo.
Catching snowflakes with Aunt Michelle.
Carson's aunties are teaching him to play Candy Land. I think he was feeling a little misled by the title.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

LOST in a Time Warp

Okay! I'm ready, everyone! I'm ready to discuss in detail the finale of LOST season three. You know, the one that aired over 7 months ago? SO. Who do you think was in the casket? How did Walt get there? Who is on the freighter boat and what do they want? Do Jack and Kate really get off the island and who did she mean when she said "he'll wonder where I am"? Where have Rose and Bernard been all season? Why didn't Charlie close the door from the other side? When did you realize it was a flash-forward and not a flash-back?

Let me explain. It's not an exciting story, but it's my blog, so I write and you decide whether to read or not. Trent and I have been hooked on the show LOST since it debuted in September of 2004. In fact, my "delivery room" gift when I was in labor with Carson (as recommended by our labor/delivery class teacher) was the first season of LOST on DVD. The much-anticipated second season premiere took place while I was having my epidural, but don't you worry! We watched a recorded copy IN THE HOSPITAL the day after Carson was born.

But last year, during Season Three, it moved to a 10pm timeslot, and we are boring and go to bed at 10. Also, we are not modern and don't have a DVR or Tivo, so it was up to old fashioned VCR work, and we kept forgetting to do that week after week. About a month or so into the season, we decided to give up. We hatched (ha-ha) a plan that after the season came out on DVD, we would buy it and get away for a day or two and have a Lost-athon, just in time for season 4 which starts this month.
And we did! We watched 17 of the 23 episodes while in Florence last weekend (it helped that we were sans toddler for about 30 hours). Then we watched the rest of the eps this week, finishing with the two-part finale during Carson's nap time today. I'm dying to talk about it and dish about conspiracy theories with other LOST fans, but you all are probably quite done with that. But I have been totally emmersed in this fantasy world for about a week, so you may see another blog post about it.

The Baffrobe

Even before Carson was born, Trent has called him Baby Boy. He often says to him "Are you my baby boy?!" Which, you know, is pretty much rhetorical, but recently Carson has been answering. He says (and I type phonetically): "No! I not a baby! I big boy!" This is probably due to our encouraging the big boy attitude regarding all things having to do with the new baby coming and also to promote better communicatin, practice on the potty, etc.
One of the gifts he got for Christmas was from my Aunt Roberta. It was a bathrobe, and we told him that big boys where them. He loves it! He wants it after his baths and a few times he has put it on in the morning. It's pretty cute. Thanks Roberta!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Christmas from 33 inches

That's how tall Carson is, so I guess the camera would be a few inches below that at his eyes. It was fun to watch him play with the new camera, and also we each took turns taking a shot or two.

This is right when he opened the camera and took his first picture. I was on the floor taking a picture of HIM.

Here's Carson's pictures of the family that day. Actually, these are the good ones. He's still getting used to AIMING the camera, and we had to delete several of our knees, crotches, stomachs, the floor, etc.

Mommy & Daddy Aunt Michelle
Aunt Jess Uncle Chad (leaning down to get his face in the frame.)
Riley (practically a cousin)Grandpa Aunt Tara
Also, the day after Christmas, we have a standing tradition to get together with some college friends who are usually in the area visiting family. It used to be just Tiffaney and JJ (both single) that met up with us, then Tiff got married and had a baby, so now Trevor and Keenan come. This year we were very excited to meet JJ's girlfriend, Rachel. She was awesome, and I told Carson to take her picture....

Isn't she pretty? Well, her left arm is adorable.

Actually, she is beautiful and here's the cute couple with a design choice made my Carson. (It comes with the new cam.)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


I did not plan ahead as well as Stephanie with my many posts, and thought I could arrange them chronologically. It appears not. You are obviously smart people if you are reading my blog, so start down below and work your way up through the mismatched sequence of events. It's kind of like choose your own adventure. These recent posts begin about four down.
Also, please check out Jim's blog for a perfectly delightful video of Carson and Henry sledding on New Year's Day.
These are some pics from later on the Eve, when we went up to Mike and Becky's house. They were such good sports! They had just been home from the hospital for about 3 hours when we came wanting to celebrate Christmas and get our Jack time in.

M & B also really had their act together with gifts this year. Knowing they would not be able to do much shopping in December, they had all their gifts purchased early, and totally spoiled C-dog with TONS of books.
I know this is a repeat, but I can't help it.

The seven of us now become the eight of us! (Until July...)

Most of Christmas Day we spent in Newberg with the Tompkins and later that day with the Smiths too. Carson and I both got an almost-two-hour nap, and if you know me well, you know that was like a gift in itself! We also had a (sort of) white Christmas! I'm trying to get a few more pics from my sis-in-law that capture the moment better.

The gift for that day was Carson's new digital camera from Mimi and Grandpa Phil. Oh yes, you read that correctly! He got an "unbreakable" digital camera, complete with a little screen that shows the pictures after you take them. It is a hoot. Someone asked how many megapixels it has, and I think it's like .3. There will soon be a post spotlighting the pictures from his camera (because it comes with a USB cable so you can upload the pics) and you'll see our aspiring photographer's work.
On Christmas morning we try to spend some time at our own house before heading out the door to extended family. Here's Carson with his stocking in front of the tree.Carson was on his best behavior for these two-days, which was a relief. He said thank-you after almost every gift (often prompted, but still!), and a couple times he just yelled "Tank you, everybody!"
He also got his first Bible!
There are no pictures of me because I would not allow it.