Friday, June 29, 2012

The Waldo Canyon Fire

As Katie mentioned yesterday, when we first saw the Waldo Canyon fire we had no idea what its effect would be. The fire grew larger Sunday and Monday; and on Tuesday afternoon, 100 degree temperatures and 65mph gusts of wind carried it over the firefighters lines, over the mountain ridge and racing down into Colorado Springs. I'm sure you've heard about it on the news by now, but over 350 houses were completely burned to the ground, the entire NW corner of the city was evacuated, and many of my friends and their families have lost their homes.

My family currently lives in Monument, but I grew up in NW Colorado Springs in the Mountain Shadows area. Several families in our old ward and friends from school lost their homes this week because of the fires. Our old subdivision was spared because the quarry on the mountain shielded it from the rapid descent of the flames. The fire burned right up to my old church building and elementary school but left them standing. Many others were not so fortunate. Please keep in your prayers those who have been forced from their homes and those who are still fighting the fires here and throughout the west.

My family is currently safe. The past two days have seen cooler temperatures, some very light rain, and little growth of the fire. The west half of Monument ward is on pre-evacuation notice while the fire still burns on the other side of the mountain, and we have lots of hope the improved weather is allowing the firefighters to contain the blaze. So far there has been no loss of life, and those we know who have lost their homes have been very optimistic about their outlook. It has been amazing to see the outpouring of love and service from all over in the city, and it has reaffirmed my faith in the kindness of others.

Tuesday afternoon we drove south to the Air Force Academy to get a better idea of what was happening:
You can see how the canyon fire billowed smoke out into the sky.

A good 2/3 of our view was filled with eerie orange smoke.

Even the kids were captivated.

The fire consumed all our thoughts that day.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Colorado Visit

We're in Colorado! It's quite an understatement to say that the boys are enjoying the extra attention.

And I'm enjoying the extra help in giving attention.

Last Saturday, we went to a nearby park and enjoyed the fresh (and thin) Colorado air.

And we enjoyed the lovely Colorado views.

A view that included the start of a wildfire close by. I didn't think much of it but I had no idea what it would become (more on this tomorrow)...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


One of my favorite parts of bathtime is when we tell the boys we're going to rinse out their shampoo. They close their eyes tight and tilt their heads back, ready for the onslaught of water.

They're just the most helpful boys I ever did see. Oh how I love them.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Facial Hair

Having Sean home during the week is such a treat and we're so happy for his two week summer vacation! We took advantage of his presence and paid a visit to the Children's Museum. All around favorite activity? The face painting station.
Daddy gave his boys some sweet 'staches.

But the boys wanted to add their own flair.

They must have learned a thing or two watching Mama put on her makeup.

"What do you think? Beautiful, no?"

Don't worry about me, Liam made sure I got to participate, too.

And Dash took care of Daddy.

They wore their paints all around the museum. I kind of forgot it was there. I wonder what people thought.

They also loved the new little outdoor riding area, full of cars and trikes to drive.

Even when it rained, they just kept on playing while the rest ran for cover. Atta boys.

Monday, June 25, 2012

What's His Bucket

I am my mother's daughter in many ways. The most recent development is that I cannot keep my kids' names straight. Likewise, I usually answered to Je-Katie and my sister to Ka-Jenny. So, without further ado, let me reintroduce my kids.
Meet "Li-Dash"
aka "LiamIMeanDash"
aka "... Dash"

Meet "Da-Liam"
aka "DashIMeanLiam"
aka "... Liam"

oh well.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Waterin' Hole

"La ti da, time to fill up the pool."

"I'm thirsty, better go inside for our cups... wait a second, we have water right here!"

"Water has never tasted so good!"

"I'll never go back the the cup again!"

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Faucet Masters

We were playing outside the other day and Dash and Liam came upon the sprinkler. That was it- they had to play in the sprinkler. So we stripped them down and Sean ran inside for their bathing suits ("behbee," as they now call it- I wonder if they get that confused with the baby?)
Meanwhile, the boys got right to playing.

They had lots of fun teasing themselves with the sprinkler. Until they realized they can control the water flow. They became the Faucet Masters. One would control, while the other would play in the water.

Sprinkler Surprise
Dash sneaks up on a take little sprinkle until, wham, out come the big guns and Dash flees to safety.

And waits until it seems safe to approach again. And again and again.

And then they switch!

Water is a boy-on-a-hot-day's best friend.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I had the pleasure of having my glucose test on Monday. Really, I didn't mind the test much, just the fact that I had to have my blood drawn thrice. And I had to fast for forever to take it. Every drinking fountain was such a temptation! They even had a plate of cookies out on the front desk- come on, are you kidding me?!

But hurray, no diabetes for me! Plus, no anemia! I think I have the Father's Day steak I consumed the night before to thank for that result. Sean started his summer break that day (YAAAAAAAY!) and stayed home with the boys so they didn't have to hang out at the doctor's office for 2.5 hours. So I got to read in between blood draws and I preregistered at the hospital. Then went to the store afterwards and got a maternity bathing suit. What an unusual morning for me!


Speaking of unusual, a lot of funny stuff happens when pregnant. Here's a few oddities:

1) It wasn't this way with Liam and Dash but this go around, I've been getting so light-headed. Absolutely anytime I bend so that my head's about level with my heart, I'm sure to have a dizzy spell when I right myself.  I'm learning to do funny squats and things to prevent the situation.

Now, let's bring in my vaso-vagal syncope. At my first OB appointment with this babe, they had to draw so much blood. Now, I usually get a bit woozy with a blood draw. But this time, oh man, I was this close to passing out. I could feel my consciousness fading, I vision went blank. The tech yelled for Sean, which freaked him out while he was out in the waiting room with the boys. The three boys hurried over and the tech practically dragged me over to a bed.

I could tell that my state was freaking the boys out. But something very weird happened. I knew I could do absolutely nothing to help them, that all I could do was to get myself right. And that was the only point during the boys lives in which I completely abandoned all thought of caring for the boys. I only focused on myself. I can't really convey was odd and surreal it felt. This only lasted for a minute or two but I can recall the sensation quite potently.

I've since been ordered to be lying down for all blood draws.

2) My house is so horribly cluttered. I've gotten to the point where thinking about bending over makes me tired. On top of that, my light-headedness (as discussed in numero uno) makes me even less excited to pick things up. Then there's my hip that makes me limp half the time. PLUS I twinged my back so doing any sort of extended cleaning is wicked painful. I'm pretty sure that instead of being pregnant, I'm becoming geriatric. So there's toys everywhere. Everywhere everywhere. I do the bare minimum. And it wrankles me so to have such a messy house. But my body won't let me fix it!

3) I don't know if it's my fair skin that's the cause, but I have several little spots of ... hmm... how to describe... shallow capillaries? dotting my epidermis (Sean says they're angiomas). Here's a sample from my wrist:
I used to have one right under my eye that used to bother me but it faded in college. It's been replaced, in recent years, by one on the side of my nose. Way annoying- even my dad, often when he sees me, makes fun of the zit on my nose. "Gah! It's not a zit!" I exclaim.

My PA told me that your blood volume doubles when you're pregnant. I don't know if that's true but those little spots have definitely gotten bolder. When I was pregnant with the twins, the nose spot became such a big bump, I thought it actually was a zit. So I tried to pop it.

I did pop it.
It was not a zit.
And the blood came out. No, it PULSED out.

Yes, I had popped an artery. And I do mean that it pulsed- it gushed harder with every beat of my heart. Oh, was there so much blood. I could not staunch it. I'd press against it for ten minutes and when I'd pull away, the blood flow didn't miss a beat. Literally. Sean had me put ice against it to try and constrict the vessel but the force and heat of the pulsing blood swiftly melted a nice tunnel through that cube. Sean was fascinated.

It finally stopped after probably an hour of pressure. But I had to treat it so gently for the next several weeks or else it'd open up and I'd have to fight it all over again. Drying my face was the worst. An absent-minded nose scratch? That became a very long trip to the bathroom at work. Embarrassing.

At least I know better for this time?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tie a Little Knot

Look at my tie!

Doesn't it make me look important?

Doesn't it make me look dashing? *wink*wink*

Can we wear them every day? Pleeease?

(I did not make these ties, my awesome friend made them for the boys' birthday. Both she and those ties rock)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Following Orders

They summon.

He comes.

We know who's boss.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Three Tidbits

1) Liam and Dash started saying "hi" to Pogo really sweetly and wanting to give her hugs and kisses. Here they are continuing their attempt despite the fact that she hid under the bed:

Better yet, they started doing that to each other and eventually Sean and I as well. They'll say their sweet "hi" and gently stroke our cheeks. It's a melt-your-heart moment.

2) It's so funny the things these boys retain. A couple weeks ago, we started hearing a bug buzzing outside each morning (you know the kind, where it buzzes like a distant leaf blower. It's a sound I associate with it being really hot). I told them that the sound was an insect and Dash started scratching his arms. I was trying to figure out why until I realized that one of their alphabet books features, at one point, an Itchy Insect. So this buzzing insect must be itchy too. Every time we hear the buzz, both boys start scratching.

Similarly, whenever they see a picture of a dragon, they'd tap their index fingers on the ground. It took me a couple examples of this before I remembered another book that had a picture of a dragon next to a picture of a drum. We'd always drum our fingers when we got to that page, so naturally they associate that with the dragon, too. I tell you, it's actually really fun to figure out these kids' trains of thought.

3) Potty Training Update! They're doing really quite well. They still have the issue of treating their undies like diapers, so I usually let them go bottomless (it's just easier!) until they really get the hang of things. I think there's merit to letting them go bottomless until they "anti-train" their brains from the idea of diapers. But don't worry, they're fully dressed when we leave the house. And there's only been one minor accident when we've been out- woot woot! They're actually champion public restroom users. They love 'em. The toilets usually flush extra fast and loud and they get a kick out of that. Plus they stand up to fourteen flushes in a row.

They're still doing a good job of running to the potty when they need to, not needing a prompting. We've even had lots of successful bowel movements! They get a kick out of our PooPoo song (really, they get a kick out of their dad singing it, they couldn't care less when I do it). So it seems to be progressing, although they've been having more accidents the last few days. Maybe they're just not thinking about it as much as the first week. Dash especially seems to have accidents in his high chair, even if we made sure to go right before they started eating. It's odd. I guess we just need more practice!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It Cometh Down

The rain! The rain! It cometh forth!

Let us strip down and frolic in merriment and nakedness.

We shall play as never before as the dews of heaven cleanse the earth and our playthings.

When the rain causeth us to slip, our rumps shall redden and display bits of earth. But we shall not care, for we are free!

But when we get cold, returneth we shall to mother who bestows upon us warm towels and puckered lips. Ah, sweet rain, how it sets our souls awing.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Facing Front

I suppose I should mention that, now that Dash and Liam are two years old, they are now in front-facing car seats with the American Academy of Pediatric's approval.
This was something I probably would have just delayed, were it up to only me. Rear-facing is safer, so what's the hurry? Sean was really excited to switch them around. Their feet are all scrunched up, he'd say. It's such a terrible view. It'd be so much easier to see them from the driver's seat!

So I relented. And I do think they like it better. They didn't have any huge reaction to say, this is incredible, life is so much better! But they're commenting on things so much more (probably because they can see so much more) and have lots of room to stretch their legs. And it's really nice to just glance in the rear-view mirror and see their faces (I didn't know they danced to the music so much). Best of all, it's suddenly super easy to check my passenger-side blind spot- no car seat in the way! Maybe this is the safer way after all...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Sean's started a two week stint at a very far away part of Houston but which is a straight shot down the toll way. So he got himself an Easy Pass. And to celebrate (that's something to celebrate? more like a convenient excuse), we used it to go the opposite way over to Katy, right over to Rita's Ice.

Do you know Rita's Ice? I think it's an east coast thing. At least, I'd only heard about it from people out east. They make these luscious combos of frozen custard and italian ice. I've consumed their product five times and each time has been indulgently perfect.  Let's see what the boys think.

What is that?

And then he digs right in.

Dash doesn't even wait for permission.

The little sample-size spoons are perfect for little toddler hands, who otherwise would scoop up giant globs of custard and try to fit it in their gaping mouths.

And when they hopped down from their chairs and ran around like the sugar-high kids that they were, I enjoyed my Gelati in peace. Well, really, I was enjoying the show- the boys were just laughing at everything and squealing like maniacs.

I usually get some sort of Mango concoction, because it's just to divine to describe.

Our visits have always ended in a smile. I'm ready to go back now.

Anyone else get the cravings for Rita's?