Monday, May 27, 2013


Last year for Memorial Day, we took a road trip to the Black Hills to use some Best Western promotional free nights.  Apparently this is becoming a tradition.  Moab was actually on our short list of destinations for last year's trip, but it was rejected for lack of proximity to a full-service hospital, as I was 36 weeks pregnant.  (I may not birth in hospitals, but that doesn't mean I don't want one nearby!!)

So this year's holiday weekend found us road-tripping to Utah.  The 5.5 hour drive (Google time) took us 8 hours with the two wee ones.  It was a really nice drive through Colorado, but it was hot once we got down into the desert.  When we got to Moab, we had some shave ice and got in some pool time.  The pool was way overheated, but the kids didn't seem to mind.  Andrew started jumping in with his floaty without waiting for an adult - he's going to be swimming soon!

The next day after pancake breakfast at the Pancake Haus ("Andrew, would you like to go to the Pancake Haus for breakfast?" "No.  Cereal Haus."), we headed out for Arches National Park with intent to hike.  We drove all the way back to the Devils Garden area, hoping to beat some of the crowds and find a kid friendly hike to see some arches.  Well, our big mistake was bringing hiking poles, which Andrew had never seen before.  He just wanted to play with the poles.  He was quite cranky about the suggestion that he should walk and also about riding on mama's back.  So we sang a lot of songs to keep the tantruming at bay.  Also we looked for lizards - and there were quite a few.

After we got back to the Jeep and had some snacks, we headed over to Sand Dune Arch, which was indicated on the map as "family friendly."  Andrew did walk a little bit there, and soon wanted to stop to play in the fine, sticky sand.  We retrieved Loader Truck from the car, and the kids played in the sand for a long time while we had lunch. It was really nice!

 After sand and sun, the kids were pooped and so we returned to the hotel for naptime.  After nap we walked around Moab, had some pool time, and got some take-out burgers for dinner.

The next morning we packed up and went over to Canyonlands National Park, since the Island in the Sky entrance is "on the way" home.

We headed immediately for the Grand View Point Overlook, with views of the White Rim Trail below.  Having learned some lessons from the previous day, we embarked on a short hike on the canyon rim (maybe 1.5-2 miles RT?) with happy kids the whole way!  Andrew was again entertained by the hunt for lizards, and this trail (mostly over slickrock slabs) was marked with cairns, which he learned to identify and point out for us.  Later, he was trying to build his own cairns.  He also seemed more interested in looking at the scenery.  Clara was a happy camper in her Deuter backpack behind daddy.


Building his own cairn

He said he could see the mountain bikes below.  Power of suggestion?

We stopped for a picnic lunch near the Gooseberry Trailhead, which gave the kids the chance to explore without the danger of running off the rim of the canyon.  Loader truck got some more exercise, and Andrew learned how to pee on ants - so exciting!

The shadows are my bad - had the camera bayonet on crooked!

"Why yes, I would like to eat this granola bar.  Got a problem with that?"
 Our last stop was at the stunning Green River Overlook for some more lizard hunting and leg stretching before hitting the road home.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

...and One More

When I got home from work today, Andrew was pulling the large wheeled cooler around the living room.

Mama: What do you have there, Andrew?
Andrew: Picnic suitcase.  [Pronounced "Nic-nic suitcase."]

Totally deadpan.  Cooler = picnic suitcase.  Well, of course.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Conversations with Andrew

Mama (to Maggie): I'll have to talk to Travis about it.
Andrew: Travis come back home?
Mama: Do you know who Travis is?  What is Travis's other name?
Andrew: Daddy!
Mama: That's right!  What's my name?
Andrew: Mama.
Mama: Very good.  What's my other name?
Andrew: Mommy.


Andrew (happening across my Juno coffee mug on the table): Oh, Juno!
Daddy: What's Juno, Andrew?
Andrew: Spacecraft!
Daddy: That's right!  Where is Juno going?
Andrew: The airport.


Mama: What have you got there, Andrew?
Andrew: Key.  Magic key.
Mama: What does it do?
Andrew (closes his fist and inserts key into it.  turns key. opens fist): Open! (closes fist) Closed!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Eleven months

As we did with Andrew, we did a little bit of a "set-up" photo shoot as Clara turns eleven months in preparation for her first birthday... so exciting!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I have been given the status of MMI - Maximum Medical Improvement by my worker's comp doctor.  So the ankle saga is officially over, a little more than 5 months after it began. 

Of course, it will never *really* be over.  I continue to stretch it and strengthen it so that I can gain back not just basic functionality, but some athleticism.  I'm starting some hiking training.  Mt. Elbert, I'm looking at you!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sleep, part II

"Andrew, did you want to read a story or do you want to go straight to bed?"

"Ummm... bed.  Bed, okay."

Hahahaha.  This is a boy who spent the entire day in the sunshine running up and down the driveway and refused to take a nap.

Happy Mother's Day

As my Mother's Day gift, Clara slept from 8:30pm to 4:30am last night with nary a peep.  This is 2 hours longer than the longest block she has ever slept in her life, ever (and she's only done 6 hours at once maybe three times before).  After a quick nurse, she went back to sleep and needed to be awakened at 8:45am.  Then she napped from 1:15p-4:45p.

Can't ask for much better than that.

Friday, May 10, 2013


Yesterday, we had an appointment for the kids with the Genetics department at the Children's Hospital to discuss the kids' puffy foot condition and the possibility that they have Congenital Primary Lymphedema, aka Milroy's Disease.

It takes 4-6 months to get an appointment with Genetics, and I've had to delay ours twice due to (a) broken ankle and (b) work commitments.  But we finally made it.  We ended up showing up apparently an hour late, even though I had confirmed the appointment time twice with them...

The appointment was two parts.  We first spoke to a genetic counselor and a graduate student who took a detailed family history.  I had typed up a document with all the stories relayed to my by my father-in-law of family members who had had some kind of puffy lower extremity and even drawn my own family tree, but it turned out they wanted to draw their own.  The also wanted to take family history from my side of the family, to get a "complete genetic picture," in case there are related conditions that could come into play.  They told us a lot of things we already knew - dominant trait, 50% chance of each child having it, etc. etc.

Then in the second part, the geneticist (an MD) came in and did a physical exam on both of the kids, but mostly Andrew, because he could do more gross motor stuff like chase a bouncy ball around the room.  She was great!  The exam felt to him just like playtime!  After she did a total body examination, she made some notes, then looked me straight in the eye and said, "I think you are right.  I think it's Milroy's."  Validation!

They know which chromosome that the Milroy's mutation resides on 70% of the time (30% of the time it's somewhere else).  So the doc is recommending a blood test to isolate that section of DNA.  Because the mutation can live somewhere else, there's a 30% chance of getting a false negative.  But if we got a negative result, we might take a look at some other conditions it might be.

We aren't entirely sure that we'll do the test yet, as we're not sure what the cost will be.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Two Years Old

Since Andrew's actual birthday occurred while we were in Norway, we packed a couple small toys for him and had a small celebration there, but we saved the big event for the weekend after.  Grandma and Grandpa were in town, so they got to visit.  Grandma's birthday is in a couple of weeks so we made it a joint celebration.

We decided to spread the present out over the course of the day, to give him time to play with and enjoy them before the next onslaught came.  Since his bout of stomach flu, he's been really into Cars the movie, particularly Tow Mater, the hillbilly tow truck.  As much as I'd like to stay away from kid's marketing and branding, I have to say that it's addictive when I know that he likes the character, to walk through the store and just load up on something I know he'll love.

Shopping for kids is altogether too much fun.

All of the presents and cards
Round 1:  From Nana and Papa - a small, easy-open, handmade backpack, and the "Inside Freight Train" book.   Also, a Mickey Mouse puzzle exactly like one that Mama had when she was a kid.  (Thank you, rummage sale.)

Andrew took a break to go to story time at the library with Grandma and Grandpa.  He received new birthday sunglasses for the occasion.  (The balloon was supposed to be for Grandma, but who can resist the request of "Balloon - Andrew hold it!"?)

We served cake and ice cream after lunch so that, if anything, the sugar rush would disturb nap time and not night sleep.

Round 2: Cars bedsheets and a large stuffed Tow Mater truck.  Also Cars underpants.  I am a total sucker.  But also - the lure of the bedsheets got him to take a nap that day, and he finally transitioned to wearing underpants (instead of going commando).  So whatever works.  Also, some books and a fun card from Uncle Devin and Aunt Kathleen.

Round 3: Some cute Alaska socks from Grandma and Grandpa.  More puzzles, books, and underwear.  And a sturdy backpack from Mom and Dad to take on plane trips.

It was a really fun day.  It's fun to see him so into opening gifts and enjoying the stuff so much.  I'm so proud of the little boy he is becoming - so sweet and funny and a good problem solver and very creative.  I can't believe how far we've come.  It feels like he's been in my life forever, but it also seems like no time at all.

Happy Birthday, Andrew.