Sunday, October 28, 2012

Summer 2012...late posting

I've been meaning to do this for quite some time, but have just not had the chance to get to it. I am finally doing it! In August my work sponsored a group of 12 runners to participate in a race called the Spokane to Sandpoint relay. The relay starts at the top of Mount Spokane and goes to a town called Sandpoint 185 miles away. The 12 runners are divided into 2 vehicles and each runner runs 3 legs. The race takes about 28 hours to complete. It was a very hot day that day so some of our runners really struggled. Luckily I was the first runner and started around 9am and my other two legs were either in the evening or early morning. I really enjoyed the race and was glad I finished!
Back in early September was our annual ABH (All Brother Hike). This is our 12th year in a row doing it! Unfortunately only 4 of the 7 brothers could go on it (Birch, Me, Logan and Kelly). This year was we decided to to a 3 day bike trip instead of hiking. We spent the summer preparing for what would be about a 220 bike trip. Before this trip, I'd mostly been a casual rider, so to get ready I had to invest in a few things. First I had to get a decent bike. I purchased a Schwinn bike online after doing a lot of research. It is a good bike and served me well. Nothing too fancy. I also had to invest in clipless pedals. I'd never worn them before, I'd always used toe clips in the past, but I found that I really liked riding with the clipless pedals. I especially liked that I didn't lose the circulation to my feet like when I used toe clips.
We decided to do our trip in Banff national park area (Canada). We rode a loop called the golden triangle. We drove up to Canada on a Wednesday evening and had started our trek Thursday morning. Our first day of riding was definitely our hardest. We went about 78 miles and ascended over 4,250 feet in elevation! That was a ruff first day. The next two days were about 77 and 68 miles. I was very pleased to say that I felt really good on the trip. I did not get too sore and had plenty of energy (thanks Cytomax). At the end of our trip we went to the Radium Hot Springs pool and soaked. It was a great trip.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Welcome to the world Dallin!

Dallin Curtis Ditto joined us on August 2nd and 6:30 on the dot. He weighed in at 7lbs 14 oz and was 19 1/2" long. (The rest of this is mostly for my "journal." So I can remember details later. Feel free to tune out and just look at the cute pics. :)

This pregnancy was a pretty easy one. I craved fresh pineapple and anything tomato/basil/mozzarella. I did a lot of walking up until the last month. I did have some lower back pain halfway through that was pretty painful. I started seeing a chiropractor and the pain was gone after about a month and never came back. (Thanks Dr.Ficklin!) The only other problem was my blood pressure. With all of my pregnancies my blood pressure became an issue in the last month. It was up and down at the end of this pregnancy. I had one really high reading (right around the time we found out our renters skipped town) and the dr went into full on "caution" mode. The last month was full of weekly ultrasounds and non-stress tests. I personally thought they were being a little over cautious, but I just went along with is all. At my 38 week appt, my blood pressure was actually fine, but somehow I managed to talk the doctor into inducing me early, by reminding him of my blood pressure. :) He called the hospital and got me in that very evening.

Brent had a softball game that night, and since I knew nothing would be happening anytime soon, I volunteered to go to the hospital solo and he would come after his game. Let me tell you, that felt weird. I had never even been inside the hospital so I was walking around with my duffel bag, my huge body pillow and my huge tummy, trying to figure out where I was going. I was quick to tell the nurses that yes my husband would be joining me soon. Around 8pm the nurse gave me a drug that would start softening my cervix. I was nowhere close to being ready for this baby when I went in...I was dilated to MAYBE a 2. The drug started some mild contractions, but nothing to painful. I was able to get an epidural at 2am...before any real pain hit. It was bliss. After the epidural I slept, and slept. They gave me pitossin to start labor at 4 in the morning. The doctor came in and broke my water at 5:30 am, I was only dilated to a 4 at this point. From 5:30 until 6:30 am I went from a 4 to a 10 and was ready to deliver. two good pushes and Dallin joined us. He has been a DREAM baby.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cousins Campout- July 2012

If you read my last post, you would understand that it's been a pretty lame summer for my kids.  Besides Sunriver, they have spent the past few weekends being farmed out to relatives so we could work on our house in Oregon (not that our relatives are lame!) On top of that my blood pressure has been high (hmmm, wonder why?) and i've been told to rest, rest, rest.  Which is hard to do with 4 kids that want to go out and do stuff everyday.  This first picture I just had to include...i'm not sure what they were doing, I just love how imaginative kids are.
So Friday night we invited all of the cousins over for a campout/sleepover.  We started the night with squirt gun fights and sprinklers under the trampoline.  Followed by a dinner or hot dogs, watermelon and chips.  Brent got out the go-kart and the kids took turns riding around the block.  He set up a projector at our campsite and the kids stayed up way too late roasting s'mores and watching The Incredibles. Half of them slept in the tent and half of them came inside to sleep.  The kids had a great time and i think we started a new tradition!

Our rental Nightmare...July 2012

When we moved two years ago we signed a lease to own agreement with a family.  They put down some money, with the intention to buy in two years.  Their were a few red flags that came up, but we were desperate and we justified those red flags.  They raved about how clean they were, how they regularly shampooed the carpets and cleaned.  They moved in and were on time every month with there payments.  So I stopped worrying.  The renter would occasionally post pics on facebook so I felt okay about the house, I didn't see any obvious damage or have any major concerns.  We did "drive-by's" every time we were in Oregon, but never did a walk-through.  Until the weekend before Sunriver.  Our renters were separating and it was looking like they were not going to buy or even continue to rent, so we decided to stop by and see what would need to be fixed up before we rented or put the house up for sale.  Now...have you ever seen one of those episodes of Hoarders, where you shudder and how dirty and cluttered a house can be and you think, who lives like this?  I felt like we had walked into an episode of that show.  My heart literally dropped as I walked around.  And when I walked outside..I thought maybe I would just throw up right then and there. The yard was a disaster.  Boards rotting out on the deck, garbage everywhere, no upkeep of the yard, screen doors and windows ripped by the dog, carpet torn and stained, extensive water damage on floor in kitchen, water damage behind backsplash, dog had chewed banister on stairs, smelled like dog pee, horrible paint job was overwhelming.
We wrote up a list of what they needed to fix and headed to Sunriver.  When we got home from Sunriver I got a text from a neighbor asking if our renters had moved out.  There had been a moving van in the driveway all weekend.  "not that I know of" I said.  She texted me back three days later to say she had done some investigating and found out that the renters had packed up and left, they left the keys with a neighbor and told them that we were aware of the situation and would be in contact with them.  (we were not aware and we had no contact information for this neighbor and they had no contact information for us)  Thank goodness for our neighbor who let us know.  We packed up our stuff and headed to Oregon that weekend.  We worked our tails off and planned to come back the following weekend.  During the week my mom and Dad came up to help out around the house.  Honestly, we could not have finished without the help of my family. I don't even know how I did what I did at 36/37 weeks pregnant.  We worked 13-14 hour days with no breaks.  I came back with a case of carpal tunnel (i'm sure from gripping a paint brush for so long) and a case of tendonitis in my foot that seems to have flared up pretty badly.  We worked SO hard and managed to get 99% of the house finished.  I am posting some before and after pics.  The before pics don't even begin to show the reality of how bad it was. 1st.  The backyard/deck before and after.  We pressure washed, sanded and repainted the deck, replaced rotting boards, cut down dying curly willow in back, weeded, trimmed and laid barkdust...

After: good as we could get it in two weekends.

The stove top before.  I assumed that we would have to purchase a whole new stovetop.  Seriously people, it's called a brillo pad...use it!

after, between my mom, my sister and myself we probably spent 2-3 hours just scrubbing this.  I am still on a search for new knobs...
The living room carpet before.  This picture doesn't really do it justice...the nastiness of it all

After, new carpet throughout house (except master)
Carpet up stairs was stained and had large burn mark, supposedly from a curling iron.  I know that I often curl my hair while standing on the stairs.

Before picture of the back yard.  They had all sorts of contraptions put up, I guess to keep the dog in the yard (although it's fully fenced)  ugh...our poor neighbors

Another before picture of the yard.  SOOOOOO sad

 after, we did the best we could, and it's Oregon so the grass should be easy to replant.  I guess they had put a swimming pool in the middle of the yard and left it there all winter.  Not the best idea....
An after picture of the kitchen.  Blinds were all closed, so it's dark, but it's clean. We learned some very important lessons about being landlords.  DO WALK-THROUGHS regularly!!  On a postive note, we have some friends in our Keizer ward who are planning on renting for a month or two and then purchasing the home.  They are moving in the end of August.  They are replacing the master bdrm carpet, and doing the yard work for us this month.  It's all a long story, but we feel like this is such an amazing blessing, how it all came about and how it's all working out.  So now we are back home, i'm trying to rest and recover from the craziest month of July EVER!   

Claire learns to ride a bike

Sunriver 2012

Another great year at Sunriver, what can I say? Yes it would have been more fun if I hadn't been hugely pregnant. But we still managed to have a good time. This first picture was taken at Great grandpa's house before we drove to Sunriver. We spent half a day helping him around his house and yard. The kids were having fun playing in the small pond by his house. When we were done and had climbed in the car to head to Sunriver, we drove past the pond and noticed that several of the boys had spent there afternoon throwing plastic cups in the pond. So Brent got out and helped Kaysha and Dustin try to fish them out. They couldn't reach the middle of the pond so there was some very clever techniques used...involving large logs...
Swimming at the new aquatic center in Sunriver
Bumper cars
Claire loved going to the toy store in the sunriver village. During one trip her cousin Braden spent his own money to buy her a stuffed dog that she named "slushy." She was in love with that dog and it was her constant companion the whole trip. So sweet of Braden!
Some of the family got up early to run a 5 mile 4th of July fun run. They went into it thinking it was a 5k, so were a little surprised when they had to run longer than they had planned.
Kaysha brought a pinata, which was a highlight for the kids. Who doesn't love candy falling from the sky...
Dawn and Jon planned a "crazy" dinner. There were three courses and what you got depended on how you numbered your menu. I ended up with the main course and no silverware. The kids loved it!
We had a fun talent show that Malia organized. After a lot of complaining that "we have no talents...blah, blah..." It turned out to be really fun and I think will become a new tradition
Kids playing in the sand at the pool
What I did most of the time. Sat...I did attempt to ride a bike a few times, yeah...not so comfy.


Brent was able to go to Paris for work a few months ago. I will let him get on here and write about the trip...for now some pictures. :) And yes I was a little jealous.

Cole turns 8

Cole turned the great age of 8 on June 25th. The weeks before his birthday, we kept asking him what he wanted and what he wanted to DO for his birthday. His plan changed daily, as well as what he wanted. So our last minute birthday plans involved picking up his two cousins George and Addison and heading to the pool. It was only about 68 degrees outside, but that didn't stop the kids from wanting to swim. After swimming we went to chuck-e-cheese, where a kid can be a kid, for some games and pizza. We then headed to his cousins house for cake, ice cream and opening presents. Cole was in heaven, he received legos, a pogo stick, a bubble blower, and other fun stuff. He is looking forward to his baptism, which will happen in September due to vacations and babies being born. We love this kid! I would describe Cole as quiet and mischeivous. Most of the time I am not sure what he is thinking. For example, a few months ago I caught him taking a chisel to the driveway. He was looking for diamonds in the rock. We now have lots of divets in our driveway as a reminder of his curious mind. He is such a loving boy and is our only child who will not go to bed without a hug and a kiss from both Brent and I. We love him!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

One more week of school and I am so excited and dreading it at the same time. I'm looking forward to lazy mornings, lounging with a book by a pool (or river), doing whatever we want to do, whenever we want to do it. I'm NOT looking forward to being hugely pregnant on hot days, and trying to keep my house clean with 4 kids running around. I definitely think the good outweighs the bad. 5 more days!
Here's a peak at what's been keeping us busy: it's completely random, (most of my posts seem that way)

Malia played volleyball for the first time. She isn't much for trying new things, but she turned out to be really good. She had great coaches and She improved a ton. She loves to volley (pepper) in the front yard with the family.
Jacob played little league baseball with Brent as an assistant coach.  Let me tell you, Jacob must have a combination of his dad, and his Grandpa Dean in him, because this kid is going to be good.  He is SO competitive and just loves the game.  He started pitching this  year and is a great pitcher. He is sad he's not playing this summer (Cole's turn)


                                     Just a random shot on our drive home....

Malia has been taking piano lessons and is really enjoying it.  It's strange for me to not have to ask her to practice.  She just does it.  This picture is from her last piano recital (not the greatest pic, sorry)
I've been busy with a vinyl project I did for a friend.  I did some rooms in her husbands pediatric dentist office.  I think they turned out really cute.

Jacob and Brent went on a cool field trip last week to the Wallace Mines.  They mine silver and are still mining today.  I thought this picture was very indiana jones (ish)
We took the kids to the Shriners Circus and the elephants were a big hit.

My pregnancy is going well. I am starting to feel big and slow. (10 more weeks!)  I'm still managing to walk my 4 mile loop a few times a week and still trying to show my face at the gym a few days a week.  But i'm definitely slowing down.  This little guy is SO active.  We can't wait until he's here!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Is it almost spring?

*Warning* long post ahead.

I have a gazillion things I should be doing right now, but I realize I haven't posted for months and it's been nagging me. I have to admit that this January/february/March was kind of hard for me. It may have had something to do with being in the first trimester of a pregnancy (if you didn't know...surprise!) But I was tired, unmotivated, it was cold, gray and it was all just kind of depressing. No motivation, no blog posts. Luckily, the second trimester has hit, (i'm 22 weeks and it's a boy!) and I feel normal again. I have energy and I keep hoping that spring is around the corner, although it's taking it's sweet time. Did you know that we had the most rain in HISTORY during the month of march? I thought I moved away from that:) And as I look out the window right now, there is snow on the ground...(sigh).
So during those three blah months, we did manage to stay really busy. Both Malia and Jacob were playing basketball. Let me tell you, that Jacob is just like his Daddy and is so competitive. I can't believe how much he improved over the season. Brent helped coach his team which was great because I only had to show up for games. It was Malia's first time playing. I don't recommend waiting until 5th grade to start basketball, she spent the first half of the season learning the game and hated/fought going to practices and games. But by the end of the season she was starting to enjoy herself. She just needed a little confidence. She was on a very supportive team and had a great coach. She has a great shot too.

And in random order: We lit Chinese lanterns to celebrate Papa Ken's birthday. The kids were all scared that we were going to start a fire and stayed far away. But they thought it was cool to watch them float away. My sister in law Sara organized the lantern light, and sent lanterns to many different families in different states so that they could all be set off on the same night. Pretty cool!

For the first half of spring break the kids and I headed down to Oregon, so I could soak in some green-ness and visit family and friends. It was a short trip but we were blessed with a few beautiful days. While we were there I was able to go out to dinner with some good friends and do some shopping solo. The kids and I were able to go bowling, go to a bounce house, visit the old Alma Mater..go OSU, go out for frozen yogurt, go the the park, have an Easter egg hunt, play tons on Wii, go to our old ward and celebrate Claire's 5th birthday. I can't tell you how much I love this girl. She makes me laugh every single day. She is all girl and loves barbies, my little pony and pink. At the same time she'll throw on her rubber boots and head outside to catch frogs with the boys. The funniest things come out of her mouth. (For example, today she was doing a pilates video with me. I told her some of the moves were hard for me with my belly getting so big. She pointed to the instructor and said, "it's not hard for her, she's super bendy.") She rarely throws tantrums and is so positive. She loves to sing, watch pink panther and color. LOVE this girl!
Her little pet polar bear that Cole picked out for her birthday.
and for Claire the best part of her birthday was getting a new kitten which the kids quickly named Pearl. (going along with the gem theme, our last cat was named Ruby) Let me backpedal a little. We recently found a new home for our dog skipper. Skipper was great with the kids BUT, we got him thinking he would be an outdoor dog. He had other ideas. He wanted to be a mainly indoor dog. An indoor dog that shed like crazy. We also don't have a fenced yard and skipper would often run after bikers, runners and the horses that come down our road. When we would call him, he would look at us and the run the other way. He needed a home where he could be inside and have a fenced yard. We found the perfect home for him! But our track record is not so great. Our first cat was only with us a few months, we had gotten her off of craigslist and she wasn't super friendly with the kids, skipper lasted about 9 months. But I assured the kids that we will not be getting rid of Pearl. She is a sweet cat and has been amazing with the kids. She is a keeper...for reals this time!
The rest of the months have been filled with the usual little things. We have been very blessed lately. This has probably been the easiest pregnancy for me so far and I am thankful for that. Hopefully now that I have more energy I will be able to keep up with the blog better!