Thursday, July 31, 2008

thanks for the good times, Toledo!

We just passed up our year mark here in good old Toledo! I think I've loved almost every moment here (if you remove the humidity). I cannot believe that time has flown by so fast. It feels like just yesterday we were driving across the country with a six week old and my family. SO much has happened in the past twelve months.

Toledo is all the rugrat has ever known! He's gone from boring newbie to crazy one year old! from all liquids to pizza and hot dogs! from slothlike to running maniac! and from wrinkly to darn cute.

Kent is one year wiser and 1/4 M.D.! he has become an even better husband than ever. He's also become quite the air force Lieutenant (83 pushups in one minute and bench pressing 275!).

And, me- I've been busy. Busy doing whatever I could possibly find to do! I've looked back at our year in Toledo and realized that I have about the most charmed life one could imagine! Kent works his tail off at school and I get to have fun. I've gained great friends, read buckets of great books, tried to learn how to be a mom and better wife, run my guts out, and watched endless episodes of Project Runway :) What more could one ask for?!

I look forward to the next three years that this place has to offer! Let's hope it gets better and better.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

We've done a whole lot of swimming in the last few days! We even had two swimming parties today- one for playgroup and another for our YW/YM activity. I can't believe I've turned into as much a water person as I have this summer. The humidity does it to me.

Today at the Pickford Pool they gave away free lunches to the kids. Zeb devoured his sandwich bun. It was the first time Zeb has eaten that much bread EVER. I couldn't figure out why he enjoyed it so much until Kent pointed out that it was his first experience with white bread. Grandpa Howell would be so disappointed in him. The stuff has no nutritional value but he LOVED it!!! We're going to continue to work on wheat bread with him- he'll have to eat it eventually.

Zeb enjoyed dipping his feet in the pool and having Kent chase him around the perimeter. He did NOT love when Kent forced him (at my request) under the mushroom thingy. Enlarge the close-up image to get a good look at his pure anger and disgust. As of late he has not been a fan of getting entirely in the water- let's hope the phase passes soon.

NEW BOOK recommendation:

The Rules of Survival by Nancy Welin. I read this book in its entirety this afternoon. I'd read other books by Welin and was only semi-intrigued. This book was by far the best of her books. It is a quick read and kept my interest. It reminded me slightly of "A Child Called It"- only not nearly as depressing or graphic . Three out of four stars.

I am so glad to be home and back to my library! Nothing better than a good book and a napping baby.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

So, here's my next book recommendation. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Don't get your hopes up too much because it doesn't actually hit the shelves until October 1 of this year. My mom gets all the great books "pre-publishing date " at the book fairs she attends (we even got to read the first Harry Potter long ago before it was discovered!). I know it isn't out for awhile but I wanted to give everybody the heads up so that they could get their names on the hold lists at their libraries.

The book was GREAT. A definite four out of four stars. Unfortunately it is the first in a series of three and since I read it last month- I have FOREVER to wait for book two. If you want to catch a glimpse of the book you can read the first chapter here.

Here is a short description of the book I found online. It's futuristic and has a little bit of an odd story to it, but I loved everything about the book. Great characters and well written!

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.

Monday, July 28, 2008

One year check-up (at 14 months)

We were a little late with Z's well check this time. He didn't turn one until after Kent left for Officer training and I didn't want to deal with all the shots by myself. I'm a wimp, I know. Plus, last time we did immunizations just before traveling it was a nightmare.

He's all grown up- minus the almost two pounds he's lost in the past month or so. I think it's been a combination of being sick and running around like a banshee. Dr. Badik says he looks great and is "very advanced". I think that she was just impressed that he knows most of his body parts AND can flex his muscles on demand :) She also referred him to a pulmonologist. She just wants his lungs checked out since she didn't get to see the x-rays taken in Utah. It will be nice to see if we can come up with anything conclusive.

I got this great picture of him playing with some girls before his visit. He was quite happy and they made him giggle hysterically. I tried getting an "after" shot but the camera battery was dead. He was LIVID to say the least. He hates the otoscope and stethoscope as much as he hates the actual shots. Let's just say Kent will not be testing out ANY of his cool doctor toys on this kid in the future. He is a doctor's office weenie.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

our own little beach!

We had a ward party at the Maumee Bay State Park this weekend and it was GREAT. I could not have asked for better weather. It was partly cloudy, 85 degrees, and low humidity! Zeb loved the water and all of the big kids. Kent and I just waded and hung out on the beach. I love that we have this place! We need to go when everybody comes in August!There were A LOT of seagulls and quite a few seagull feathers everywhere that kinda grossed me out. Luckily Zeb was only eating chunks of sand- no feathers.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

So, I tried to get a bunch of his tricks on video. He thinks that rubbing any part of his body means "please", but at least he's using the sign regularly! He's so dang funny.

Friday, July 25, 2008

free stuff

Today we got free t-shirts at the mall! We were lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time. American Eagle was giving out free t-shirts to anybody that tried on jeans! they weren't too shabby either. I can always use another running or sleeping T!! I'm sure the deal is going on for a few days- I know that at least here in Toledo they had TONS of shirts left! Utah (as always for freebies) may be a different story. Now lets just hope Kent and I don't wear ours on the same day. It happened once when I went to pick him up from school. We were both wearing one of our race T-shirts. I was mortified.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

same old zeb stuff

Having Kent home has been SPLENDID- but for some reason when the day comes to an end I can't figure out what we did with it! Today was super normal and super wonderful. We worked out in the morning, came home and cleaned while zeb napped for THREE HOURS :), went swimming, fed the elders, and then watched some tv. Nothing exciting but all fabulous. I'm dreading when Kent leaves for Nicaragua! and even more so when school starts up.
Really, our lives are pretty calm and Zeb is the only erratic variable. He has changed SO much in the past month.
He is such a handful and terror, but so much fun. He's more and more like a puppy than ever. He does all sorts of great tricks for people and loves his toys. His current favorite activity is walking up to us- grabbing our hands- and then grunting until we follow him somewhere. It's really cute.
He's also turned into the runaway. If we let go of his hand in a public place or get him out of his stroller he's gone in a flash. He is NOT afraid of losing us.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

When we ask where his mouth is Zeb will click at us. This is what happened when we started clicking back. He was so excited about all the noise he immediately started bouncing to the rhythm! He's going to end up in Stomp some day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

the Lucas County Fair!

Today was free day at the Lucas County Fair and it's a darn good thing we didn't pay the six dollars to get in. We had a lot of fun looking at the animals and seeing "Buffo- The World's Strongest Clown" but there wasn't much more to do. No cool Indian feathers or fun booths like at the Eastern Idaho State Fair. We stayed for an hour or so and watched all of the crazy people waste money on the carnival rides. We did, of course, also quite enjoy watching all of the carnies. They really always are the highlight of every fair.

Zeb had a freak out in the animal barn. I rolled him up to one of the harmless sheep to get a good look when suddenly the sheep kinda wigged and started baaaing like crazy (very loudly too). Z's come apart was instantaneous. It took him quite some time to calm down and look at the rest of the animals. I think he liked the rooster and hens the best. Here are Zeb and Kent holding on to the giant cow's udder. They were both really thirsty due to the heat. No milk.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy 500!

Five Hundred posts! hip-hip-hooray. We are making peach cobbler this evening in celebration.
Today we also went to the zoo and zeb had fun playing with the goats. He wouldn't ever stop to look at me so I only got this shot.
The rugrat seems to be feeling somewhat better! The last time he needed a breathing treatment was last night and he isn't waking up in coughing fits at night anymore. He is still glued to his blanket though. It all started with his illness in Utah and now he's our little Linus. It's cute- but his blanket is really dirty. We are going to have to lay down some ground rules for "greenie".

He has also been obsessed with the present Grandma Pat gave him. He will go to our shelves and pull every thing off until he finds his book. He walks up and hands it to us while simultaneously sitting down in our lap. This kid loves music and rhythms and will dance to just about anything. He frequently bounces up and down to the rhythm of the train saying "I think I can, I think I can". Thanks for the present gma Pat - he loves it! I think we've read the book six times today.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Zeb is down and out. Maybe it's the airplanes, perhaps it's traveling, or probably just bad luck and weak lungs- but this kid has the hardest time breathing sometimes! We are on breathing treatments again but little Z is eating and drinking really well, so hopefully he pulls out of this one fast. Tonight kent and I took him to "Toys R Us" to play with the train sets and bouncy balls to get him to calm down. He had a blast and giggled the entire time we were there.

Then this evening we finally made Kent's Christmas present from this past year. I got him a kit to make homemade pretzels from "Auntie Anne's" and they were AMAZING. They may not look so scrumptious but they tasted just like the ones from the mall. We also got a FREE dvd from Redbox. Ohioans just don't get it yet so EVERY new release was available :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thanks for sending us our stuff mum!! I'm going to try and get the rest of our yellowstone trip all in this one post. It was such a wonderful vacation and we are VERY grateful to mum and pop Oswald for taking us all there! It was the perfect end to Kent's last summer vacation EVER :)

Pictured above is the Z man and his reaction to Old faithful. I think he mostly loved all of the people.

We went paddle boating on the river one evening and it about did us in. Warnings on the boats actually stated that using them in water with currents was a potentially dangerous idea. We weren't ever in any danger but we sure did work our tails off. For the majority of the time Kent pushed us upstream. While we were on the river we ran into a moose!! He crossed the river right in front of us!We also went on a great hike in yellowstone to "Fairy Falls". It's crazy to see how many dead burnt trees there still are everywhere. We all got a little sunburned on the hike- but Zeb was in heaven riding in his pack.On our second to last day we went and floated the river in St. Anthony. I don't have any of the pics on my camera for some reason but I did get some of our adventure afterwards. ALL week long I wanted to go to "Big Jud's" . The place specializes in homemade buns so big that they are baked in pie tins and one pound hamburgers to match the buns. We used to go all the time when I was at Ricks. The place was no disappoinment. Kent ate 3/4 of the burger and gave me a quarter pounder. He also finished off his waffle cone and a basket of fries. It was actually really delicious, but I hadn't eaten a burger and fries in literally YEARS and the place (or the toxin producing bacteria in their food) did not agree with me (or a few others for that matter) at all. Within a few hours Taylor, Daysa, and I were vomiting violently. I actually felt a little relieved to get the nasty food out of me, but I didn't enjoy having to experience it all for a second time. After the long vomitious night we decided to head home a little early! All in all, Yellowstone was WONDERFUL. We had frost a few nights, got to sleep in a tent, had lots of sun and hiking, saw tons of wildlife, and enjoyed buckets of great shopping and eating! What else could you ask for in a vacation?!? thanks mom and dad!!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hip hip hooray.

Yesterday when we dropped by the supermarket I saw a wondrous sight. Less than three miles from our house and right across the street from Kent's school they are putting in Redbox!!! Oh, we are so excited. All we want free new release rentals. I couldn't be happier. I've already made a list of the movies I want to checkout.

Oh, and have I mentioned how great it is to be home? Little Z slept in until NINE this morning! I got to go to walking group, we went swimming at our pool, and I spent the whole day with Kent. Plus, the fifth season of Project Runway started this week!!! Life is great.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Home at last!!!! with one minor issue that may gross you out.

It is so wonderful to be home. I didn't make it very long without complaining about the humidity- but I am very happy to be here nonetheless. Today on the news they made mention that the last day Toledo's weather was in the nineties was June 9 (I left to Utah June 10) and that today was the first day we'd be back into the nineties since then. There were five weeks of perfectly warm bearable days while we were gone and the humidity and heat showed up just as I did. Grrr. On a positive note- we did fill up today with gas that was less than four dollars a gallon. Plus, the weather is so worth my bed and normalcy for the rugrat. No more worrying about staircases and fingerprints on my mom's windows.

We managed to forget every possible cord we could have in Lehi, including my camera/computer cord- so the rest of the Yellowstone pics will have to wait until Friday (my mom sent everything in a package this morning). We do have a few blog worthy stories here in Toledo already though.

We had one minor/major problem when we got home this morning. I cleaned the house spic and span before we left so that we could come home to a pleasant sight. Unfortunately there was some flooding here while we were gone and it caused some problems. I stole these pics of our apartment complex from a friend here (thanks lindsay). Check out our pool!! Completely full of mud and dirt! I'm sad that I missed the adventure.
There's a little creek (Swan Creek) running right behind our complex and in some of the crazy storms in overran its banks. The water didn't reach our place or car- but it seemed to have caused some sort of water pressure/sewage issue. We came home to find our toilets (remember- I had cleaned them spotless before we left) full of brown nasty residue (poo and whatnot) and FLIES. There were at least twenty flies in our bathrooms- and MAGGOTS. I am NOT JOKING. I could not even think about taking a picture I was so disgusted. I pleaded with Kent to clean them out immediately so that I could go to the bathroom (remember- it is now 3:30 AM). Even after they were clean I dumped ajax all over in them again and could barely use them without freaking out. I felt like the were going to climb on me. I'm still creeped out and we are still eradicating the last few flies. I just have to remind myself that I lived amongst THOUSANDS of cockroaches and mice in Russia- oftentimes in my bed. A few baby flies (maggots) aren't going to hurt me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On day two of the vacation we actually did some hiking and sight seeing. We stayed in Island Park and decided to head to Mesa Falls (some really amazing falls not actually in Yellowstone) for one morning. It was well worth the excursion- minus the vicious attack of mosquitoes. We took a hike to the lower falls lookout and some of us were a little more susceptible than the rest. I think that Kent was bit at least ten times. Laney, Taylor, Metta, my dad, and Zeb were also attacked. My mom and I were left bite free. The upper right picture is of Metta and Kent doing the "mosquito dance" trying to avert the mosquito bites.

The falls were really amazing- and not very crowded at all. Zeb was so happy to be in the carrier with Kent.Kent's parent's arrived later in the day and we went to into the park to see Old Faithful and some of the Hot Paint Pots. Yellowstone really is an amazing place. We saw Old Faithful erupt twice- and we saw a ginormous Buffalo (American Bison) in the road. I wanted to get out and get a picture- but recently a young boy was gored by one and we were already three feet away IN the car. Being OUT of the car probably wasn't the best idea.

We also had bison meatloaf for dinner at the lodge cafeteria. I was not impressed.
the big day is TOMORROW!! we get to board our flight home for TOLEDO. Unfortunately we don't get home until early wednesday morning- but I am excited nonetheless. I miss Toledo so much it's ridiculous. Zeb has reached his limit and is way past the point of normalcy. We are going to have to do a complete reprogramming once we get home.
I'm even willing to deal with humidity for a day or two just to be home (but then I'll be back to moaning like usual).

I can't get any pics to post today so the yellowstone details will have to wait until tomorrow!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Island Park. day 1

Our much needed week long vacation to Island Park and Yellowstone was wonderful! We stayed at some place called "Grandma's Cabin". The beds were super comfy and they had BRAVO! I got my fam hooked on Project Runway reruns.

The weather was AMAZING! The highs were low 80s and upper 70s and at night we even had frost a few times! Kent and I slept out in the tent a few nights and LOVED every second of it. The air was insanely crisp and fresh.

We arrived Monday afternoon and right when we walked in there was a wild bat flying around. I immediately grabbed the camera and my mom crouched onto the floor screaming for kent to get it out. I put Zeb down and tried to get a good shot while Kent tried to chase it out with a towel. It was literally dive bombing at our heads! Zeb got a little nervous (mostly because he was neglected in the chaos) and started crying- but eventually Kent chased it out and I got a few good pictures. If you zoom in on this one you can see it's beedy little eyes. I'm sure it was rabid.

We ended up with a full cabin of people. All in all we had Laney, Taylor, Hank, Metta, Daysa, Mom, Dad, cousin Penny, our fam and even Kent's parents came up for a few nights! Zeb got to know his cousin Hank a lot better on the trip. He is kind of bored by him though as he doesn't do much yet.

The next few days were the ones full of real adventure. I'm pooped for now and they'll have to wait till tomo.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

We're back to Utah! and just a few short days from Toledo.

We are finally back- after a fabulous week of yellowstone, wild animals, river trips, hikes, and lots of vomiting. I'll have to blog all of the adventures once I get some sleep and my camera unpacked!
To grandma O and any other faithful blog readers- I am sorry for the prolonged absence. The upcoming posts will be well worth the wait.
For now I've included two pictures from our Fourth of July hike up Battle Creek Canyon. It was wonderful- but very steep. Zeb LOVED riding in the Kelty kids (thanks steve and hailey) on Kent's back and hummed along to the rhythmn of Kent's steps. He is such a musical rugrat. He dances to the dish washer and blender. He can find the beat in ANY sound.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

happy late fourth

Our fourth was a day of grand adventure. We (my parents, sisters, Kent, Zeb and I) started bright and early up Battle Creek Canyon for a morning hike. The weather was PERFECT. The trail followed the water all the way up past lots of waterfalls. It was a bit steep- but really pretty. I can't get anymore pictures to post- but I'll try later. We went to the "One Man Band" for breakfast. The place was such a dive but Kent loved it. He says he's been craving it ever since.
We spent the afternoon at a picnic with Kent's family (I forgot the camera) and had more fun. Zeb LOVED the slip and slide. I wish we would have gotten some pictures. Kent just kept chucking him down and he'd giggle.

We had a bbq for dinner and went with my fam to Thanksgiving Point for the fireworks. They were pretty decent (although nothing compared to Provo's) and we had fabulous seats. Zeb was literally shaking with fear at first- but warmed up to them pretty quickly. After about ten minutes he totally zonked - even through the grand finale. The biggest adventure involved the drive home. It was HELL. We had to restrain my mom from exhibiting severe road rage. She almost got out of the car to freak at some another driver. Metta just kept honking and my little sis Daysa was in the back saying "WWJD". I was laughing so hard I almost peed my pants. Kent was holding the sleeping rugrat or I think he would have gotten out of the car. I HATE TRAFFIC and can't wait to be back to no traffic land (toledo).

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Zeb is so happy to have Kent home. Here's Kent entertaining the little guy. This kid LOVES music- especially classical. We've really got to get a piano because he's obsessed!

that was a long blogging break (for me anyway)!

It's been a few days since I've been on. Kent and I took a much needed break from the rugrat to spend some time with just us! We went to dinner, mini golfing, the mall, stayed at a bed and breakfast and went hiking. Everything was GREAT.

It isn't he hardest of hikes, but I think that Stewart Falls is one of my favorite hikes in Utah. It was beautiful and perfect weather (we went at nine AM). I love that we can hike here! The mountains are so accessible. We want to hike to Timp caves and Rock Canyon before we leave too. I love the cool CRISP mountain air. I shouldn't ever complain about Utah heat again because at least it reprieves in the mornings and evenings.

We are headed to Yellowstone next week and I can't wait.