Monday, August 31, 2009

Ely Trip

We made a short trip to Ely, Nevada this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) to visit with Greg's dad Kelly. Here are a few facts about the getaway:
  • Palmer refused to take a single nap during the entire eight hours of driving.
  • We ate our weight in delicious food (gourmet lunch meat sandwiches for lunch, steak with baked potatoes and grilled zucchini for dinner, sausage gravy over biscuits with scrambled eggs for breakfast, and bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers and roasted chocolate marshmallows for snacking).
  • I learned how to play Texas Hold 'Em. I'm not very good at bluffing... no surprise there.
  • We took a scenic drive through the mountains and saw sheep, deer and cows.
  • We watched a Last Comic Standing marathon.
  • Palmer did his normal ransacking of every electronic and breakable object in their home.
  • I looked longingly at their hot tub and four wheelers. Greg was a good sport and did not get in the hot tub or go four wheeling since I, being so pregnant, was unable to do so myself. What a nice hubby.
  • Palmer had an on going battle between himself and the two dogs to see who was tougher. The dogs usually won.
  • We had a great time visiting with family!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Girly Get Togethers

There is some fun stuff for me going on this week. Thank goodness too, because I've been needing some fun and relaxation with the girls. Tuesday night I went to the 50th birthday party of a our good family friend, Susan. We had some yummy healthy snacks, played a couple games and exchanged favorite baskets (with a duplicate basket for the birthday girl, of course). I picked different items this time to represent some more of my favorite things.

  1. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. This is one of my favorite books. It a fun, easy read and yet it also has a lot of poignancy.

  2. Tide Pen. I love these! I try to always have one in my purse/diaper bag. I am quite the clumsy klutz, and this little miracle pen has saved numerous items of clothing.

  3. Sobe Lifewater. Greg has gotten me hooked on these. I have always been a water person, and don't even really like soda pop. But put one of these babies in front of me and I can chug it in seconds. I also enjoy Vitamin Waters and Gatorade Rains.

  4. Big necklace. I like jewelry that makes a statement, big and gaudy some might even say. What's the point of accessorizing if other's don't notice it right?

  5. Homemade cards. Everyone knows I love to scrapbook, and so handcrafted cards are right up my alley. I don't remember the last time I gave someone a store bought card.

  6. My favorite recipes. These were the only repeat from the last time I participated in a favorite things exchange. I would have included a sample of one of the desserts listed, but Susan is on a diet and I didn't want to tempt her too much.

I love these parties! I could seriously do one every month.

Today I am attending a paper crafting swap hosted by a good friend I met during my working days at Scrapbook Heaven. I made a card to exchange this particular month (the front and inside of that said card are pictured here). It's been a while since I made a shaker box; I had forgotten how cute they are. We will also be doing a make and take at the get together this afternoon. What exciting times for me!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hess Mobile

Due to the fact that my car has passed on, we are now the proud owners of a minivan. We got a pretty great deal on a 2000 Ford Windstar, and so far we are really loving it. It drives smoothly and the engine has quite a bit of punch to it. I even love the color. I really hope it'll be a good car for us. The previous owners seemed to take good care of it; the inside is very clean and the engine looks almost new. And with the new baby on the way, it will be perfect to have a nice, roomy, family vehicle.

I really hope we made a good choice in buying this. Our savings is completely wiped out now, which we were planning on using for doctors' bills. Unfortunately, scrimping by on one vehicle as a family wasn't even an option since Greg's Mustang doesn't fit the baby's carseat. It hardly fits his tall frame, Palmer's booster seat, and my pregnant belly (this past week has made for some very uncomfortable traveling). And walking to and from work this last week has given me serious contractions; I don't know how much longer I could have kept it up. So I am very thankful we were able to find something quickly. We truly tried our best to find a balance between the least money we had to spend in order to get a dependable ride. Here's hoping the Hess Mobile was a good investment.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Oquirrh Mountain Temple Dedication

Thanks to a babysitting exchange with a fellow ward member, we were able to attend the final session of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple Dedication this afternoon at our Stake Center. What a lovely experience it was! I was very touched by the talks and the music and the beauty of the temple building itself.

I am so thankful for temples, and especially for how near so many of them are to us, enabling us to attend often. I am thankful for the work we are able to do there, and for all the blessing we receive for temple service, most especially eternal families and for the peace and personal guidance the temple offers. The spirit was so very strong during the dedication today; how blessed I feel to know of the gospel and receive the blessings of attending the temple.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fifteen Month Old Puts Truckers to Shame

On to sweeter subjects in regards to our blog posts. Well, perhaps not so much sweeter, but funnier for sure. Our innocent little boy has turned into a potty mouth. For quite sometime now, Palmer's favorite saying has been, "What's that?" And after about the fifth or six time of replying, "It's a light... It's a light... It's a light," we've opted to reply with the question, "What is it?" This requisition has been made many a times in attempts to help Palmer learn to respond with a new word and drop the relentless interrogation. Unfortunately, instead of Palmer learning to respond with the answer to "What is it?" he has begun to simply repeat the saying. This wouldn't be so bad, only his diction is that of a young child being constricted and garbled, leaving us with a very certain, confidently pronounced, "S***!" Sometimes for added emphasis he even lets out a big "Oh..." before the not so nice word, which I'm sure leads everyone to believe he is simply repeating a saying he hears often from his own parents. Imagine our humiliation when he proclaimed his new saying in the middle of the sacrament at church a couple Sundays ago!

I can not help but wonder what he will come up with when he enters the "Why?" stage.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It Comes in Threes Times 1.5

Yup, diagnosis is a dead car. Guess Lera is gonna have to get used to walking to the store everyday! We are gonna have to scrimp for a minivan. Might as well since the new kid is on his way.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It Comes in Threes

Everyone says that bad stuff comes in threes. Well, today we were struck with our third financial crisis (number one being Greg getting laid off, number two being having to unexpectedly pay for our own insurance for the upcoming baby delivery); my car died. It's been a good car, stuck with me since college and currently has 165,000 miles on it, so I knew it could go any day... but the timing is absolutely awful. Man oh man, it's hard to not feel like we are being buried at the moment.

It started acting up last night, making funny noises and stalling a couple times at lights. This afternoon it drove fine as I dropped off Palmer at my sister's so I could go to my OB appointment, but just before arriving at the office, it died in mid-drive. I coasted into the parking lot and to avoid hitting a car had to come to a stop right at the entrance. No matter what I tried the car would not start up again. Everyone was honking at me and getting very annoyed and I couldn't do anything about it. It's not likely that I could move a car on my own, but being eight months pregnant, there was no possible way. I called Greg in a panic and he said he would leave work and come to help. I put on my hazards and went to my appointment, letting the front desk know (on the verge of tears) that my husband was coming to move the car and to please not have it towed. Needless to say, at my visit my blood pressure was a little high. Greg arrived after a half hour, and was able to move the car into a parking spot. We went to the store to buy a towing rope and he towed me and the car to a nearby autoshop.

So I'm trying to be positive here. At least I made it into the parking lot and wasn't stuck on the street. Thankfully, Greg's work is unbelieveable slow with the department being laid off and he was able to help. My sister saved the day by watching Palmer for a couple additional unexpected hours as we towed the car. We have a small emergency fund we had planned on using on medical bills and to help with both of us losing our income (I will not be able to work for six weeks with the c-section recovery), but at least we have something to pull from and hopefully have enough to fix the car.

If anyone wants to send some happy, uplifting thoughts my way, please feel free to do so. I have faith that everything will work out, I really do. But it is hard not to get down when you are in the brunt of your trials.

Catch Up

Due to the fact that I've been picking up more shifts at work (since we soon will not only be missing Greg's income, but mine as well with a newborn and a c-section) and the fact that I am super pregnant, and therefore very lazy, I'm a little behind on blogging. It's time to play catch up.

The Proposal. Two weekends ago Greg and I hired a babysitter for the third time since Palmer was born and went out to a movie. We saw The Proposal, and I'm not sure if it was because we really needed a night out together, we were kid free, and watching an adult movie, but we both thought the film was phenomenal, absolutely hilarious! It was a very fun night that was over far too quickly. As a bonus, the young women in our ward are amazing babysitters! I came home to a very happy baby who our sitter was on the floor playing with and a sink clean kitchen sink since she had even washed the dishes they had used for dinner. Wow, what service!

The Yard. Our backyard is still a jungle, but not from lack of effort. We have been making slow progress on it but progress nonetheless. Greg is working four ten hour shifts at work until the layoff, and has had Monday free to work on the yard. We borrowed a neighbor's trailer and have just about piled it full of dead trees, overgrown bushes and human sized weeds. This entire load only constitutes a teeny tiny corner we have reclaimed, about 1/15 of the area we need to tackle.

Palmer is on the move at church. Not that he is per say bad at church, but he is definitely a handful! He is wild child and runs and climbs all over the place. He is loud and very distracting from the talks and lessons. Of course through all this he is also very charming, silly, and funny, so we can't even get completely annoyed about it. I just hope our ward doesn't ban us from coming until he gets into nursery. The new baby will be coming a month before Palmer is in nursery, and I'm thinking we might just wait to come back after that. Two babes not in nursery seems a little too much to handle right now.

FHE with Grandma Nancy. Greg's mom's birthday is today, so last night we brought her a present and took her to Cabela's with us for family home evening. I've taken Palmer there once before, but he much more enjoyed the sights (and Grandma) this time. We looked through the aquarium, at all the animals, took in a few games at the shooting range, feed the fish, and of course took home some very yummy gourmet fudge. It was almost like a free trip to the zoo, or more acurately, a zoo with very still, calm animals.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Recipe - Fruit Pizza

We had our Relief Society Picnic last night. I supplied the dessert, fruit pizza for fifty. It pretty much took my whole day, more specifically four hours, but it turned out yummy, so that's all that matters right? When making it in a regular quantity (for this occasion I had to 4 1/2 times the recipe... the math hurt my brain at times) it really doesn't take too long. The recipe was my mother's. It is very light and refreshing, my favorite version of fruit pizza that I have tried yet.

Fruit Pizza

3/4 c. sugar
1 T. milk
1/3 c. shortening
2 t. almond extract
1/3 c. oil
1 egg

Cream above ingredients until light and fluffy.

1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt

Sift the three ingredients listed above. Gradually blend into wet mixture on low speed. Spread crust onto ungreased 12” pizza pan. Bake at 350 degrees, 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Cool.

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/3 c. sugar
½ t. vanilla.

Blend above ingredients. Spread over crust. Cover with a variety of fruit. To fill a rectangular cookie sheet make 1 1/2 of recipe.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

We're In for It

Palmer has learned the following in the last month:
  • How to open a door
  • How to climb on the kitchen table, as well as the tables at work
  • How to turn off the computer and feed paper through the printer
  • How to pick his nose
  • How to take off his shoes
  • How to resist walking in the direction we are leading him (i.e. lay down in the middle of the parking lot)
  • How to open the top drawers in our kitchen, which include medicine, spices and silverware
  • How to reach through his crib slats to get to toys and blankets so that he can play instead of sleep during nap time
  • How to shut a door in your face

Regardless of the mess, craziness and running around these new behaviors create, we've really been enjoying this age. Fifteen months is a fun time stock full of a lot of learning, a lot of personality and a lot of silly quirks. He currently has a shoe fetish. I think he loves his shoes so much because he associates them with going "bye-bye." He dances by waving the palm of his hand face down in the air over and over; he portrays his west-side roots with pride! He also begs like a puppy to let us know when he is hungry and wants food (I will surely be getting this on video soon, because it is hilarious). And today at lunch, he discovered that an olives fits perfectly on the tip of his finger. As you can see the discovery just made his day!

Recipe - Oven Omelet

We had breakfast for dinner last night: muffins, hashbrowns and oven omelet. Greg loves omelets, and this one is my personal favorite because I can just throw it in the oven and forget about it. Plus, it tastes delicious; enjoy!

Oven Omelet

1/2-3/4 cup diced precooked bacon
1/2-3/4 cup diced precooked sausage
2 chopped Roma tomatoes
2 cups shredded Monterrey and Colby cheese blend
6 eggs
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Butter a 9 x 13 inch casserole pan. Spread meat, tomatoes, and cheese along the bottom of the pan. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs well. Add sour cream and salt and pepper and beat well. Pour egg mixture over meat, tomatoes and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until set in the center. To check for doneness, insert knife in center. If it comes out clean, it's ready.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Laid Off

We received some bad news yesterday. Greg is being laid off a month from now, a month before the baby is due. His company is losing the account he currently contracts for. The news just makes me sick. We thought something was off a month or two ago and were praying about what we should do, i.e. look for a new job or stick things out and I felt that all would work out and that we just needed to have faith. I assumed that answer to our prayers meant he would keep his job, but that turned out not to be the case. I know that I received that answer of comfort before and that I need to have faith and remember all will work out for the best. The Lord has always watched out for us and has our best interest in heart.

I am mostly worried about how this will affect our insurance, and the delivery, whether I will be able to stay with my current OB. Greg has lost his job once before, but now with a child, a pregnancy and a mortgage, being unemployed is a much more terrifying prospect. I know many of our friends are going through this as well and can understand how I am feeling right now and I appreciate that. I think now that we are going through it ourselves we have gained better insight into others' trials.

Monday, August 3, 2009

My House has Thrown Up

We had a busy weekend: huge yard sale, several trips to the D.I., lots of people over, errands, a ward activity, some church calling responsibilities to catch up on, etc. As a result of such business, today I am met with a house that looks like a tornado ran through it. This morning as Greg was leaving for work he asked me to grab his lanyard. After I asked him where to find it, he replied, "In the pile of crumbs." That's right, we have a location in our home right now that can be defined as a pile of crumbs (a.k.a. the bag of Cheese-Its that Palmer dumped out as we were leaving to get lunch after the yard sale). Today my plan is to clean, clean, clean. I can't remember the last time our house was in such disarray, and the messy state is giving me some serious anxiety with my pregnancy nesting compulsion as well as a fifteen month old who follows behind me undoing anything I just straightened up.

The yard sale was a great success. It was a lot of work and a long day out in the sun, but we saved ourselves more than half the loads we would have taken to the D.I. (plus borrowing a friend's truck), made some extra money off of items we no longer wanted and best of all, dejunked our house to make room for the new baby. Thanks to all those who dropped by and supported us!