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Vacation

This is something that we haven't done since May of 2003. 2 years and 1 month. Such a long time. We went to Santa Barbara CA to visit my brother then. So much fun.
We are going on vacation on Monday.
I can't believe it! We are going to Pinetop to the Roundhouse Resort from Monday till early morning on Friday. Michael has to be at work at 11am on Friday - so we'll have to be home by 10am to get him to work on time. We've never been to Pinetop, so this will be a new adventure. Pinetop is in the White Mountains of AZ. It will be much cooler up there which is soooo awesome! It is 10pm here and it's 97 degrees still outside. The humidity is at 7% today. Talk about dry! Of course with all the fires in AZ, hopefully it won't be too smoky up there. Hopefully it won't be so dry up there that they won't have any fireworks. That would be a bummer!
We want to try to take another mini-vaca to San Diego sometime before school starts too.
Michael and I are missing the ocean and the beach. All those cool breezes off the ocean. Hopefully sometime soon!

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This


is Carrot. How cute is he? We had to buy "carrots" for Carrot at Michael's yesterday. Very cute indeed!

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Just Add Water


Holly at DigiChick.com had a Treasure Hunt for a cool Splish Splash Kit. All the elements are from that kit, except tab is from her birthday freebie. The white paper is from DDE.
This was the day after the fire and Ryan's BF was over. I "just added water" and the 3 boys played outside for over an hour. They had a blast splashing water everywere. And of course I took photos!

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M and R


This was for Digi Chick's Tuesday and Color Challenge. I liked the colors and decided to combine both for one layout. All elements by Digi Chick.
The Tuesday challenge was to use my fav photo - which of course this is! I have already scrapped this and made jewelry from it - but wanted to use it again. I need to try to capture them like this again with the new camera (I took this with my point and shoot digi Nikon).

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Today's Update

Matthew slept very well last night... only 2 wake ups and they weren't even mommy-come-in-here wake ups! :) So I seriously thought of cancelling this mornings doc appointment. We decided better safe than sorry and I took him. Good thing too - double ear infection! No fever, no complaints today... just our happy sunshiny boy! So, good thing we went. He got a shot of antiboitics and we were home again. Gave Mom her perm, had pizza for lunch, haven't drank enough water (am drinking now). Ryan had a birthday party from 5-7 tonight. I didn't really know his parents and wasn't too sure about leaving him. Mom offered to watch Matthew, so I could go with Ryan. Everything seemed to go well in the beginning, but by 7 it was clear it wasn't ending anytime soon. So by 9:15pm we are finally home and scrambling to bed. They both dropped off like rocks at least! :) I off to create for a bit!!!

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What is it with my kids and Parental Holidays lately...

The Thursday before Father's Day, We could tell that Ryan was getting sick. He had a very raspy voice and was loungy. We couldn't tell if it was laryngitis or beacause of the bad ozone reports from outside. Then on Sat. evening by 5pm - we could tell Matthew was coming down with croup (the baby version of laryngitis). By 10pm it was apparent that we were going to have to take him to the ER. He has new insurance with the long term health care so we had to go somewhere we'd never been. They wisked Michael and him back within 5 minutes of us walking in the door and were giving him a breathing treatment when I got back there after filling out the paperwork. We were back home in 1 1/2 hours! Which is really good in ER time. But, of course, within a couple hours - he wasn't breathing well again. So Sunday afternoon, I got Ryan to my parents (Michael was at work) and took him back to the ER. We had to wait about 15 minutes to get a room this time - all their beds were full. They gave him another breathing treatment and a steroid shot this time. He also gave us a prescription for a liquid steroid. Now, Matthew doesn't do medicine at all. He knows at a sniff when medicine is in something. And if we do manage to get him to take it - it usually comes up quickly. Not even Tylenol works with him. So I decided to wait to fill it until we're seen the pediatrician at the follow up visit on Mon. At 3pm Mon. - we show at the office and hand them the new insurance card. Now mind you that when choosing one of the 3 plans they offered - I called the billing office to find out which they would take and chose that one. They call the billing office and then tell me that they don't take that insurance. So now I have my sick - still not breathing right - son and they are telling me they don't take his insurance. I walk out and immediately call the billing office only to have to leave a message because our representative is not at her desk. By the time I get home - I'm steamed!!! So I call back the billing office - get to a person and ask to speak to the manager. Who - of course is not in till morning. I end up talking to the person who told the office that they didn't take his insurance. After I explain more to her - we figure out that it's a misunderstanding (I'm sorry maam, but we only take that insurance for our disabled patients - he is disabled, lady - Oh!). Then I have to call back the next morning to make a new appointment. Of course, the office we normally go to has no openings by 7:50 in the morning and we have to go to a different office. But we get in! So this new doctor, that we haven't ever seen, says everything looks fine, but he still has some of the croupy breathing sound (which I know!) and that we should give him the liquid steroids. That night we try putting some in soda (his favorite drink) and he barely takes a sip. We trick him into a second sip and he proceeds to throw all of this right back up again. So much for the meds. He did manage to sleep well that night somehow. He only woke up a few times. The steroid shot messes with his sleep and he will wake up a lot and not take naps. So after calling the doc back on Wed. morning, we decide to wait it out and see if he will get better. Back to sleepless nights on Wed and Thurs with very little to no naps. Which brings us to today. Michael is back to work again today - so Ryan, Matthew and I head to WalMart to stock up. I can tell that Matthew is extremely tired. He falls asleep in the van on the way home. I have to stop for food (not on my digichick diet, LOL) because it's 1:15 and me mom is coming at 1:30 to have me help give her a perm. We have to wait at the drive thru and of course he wakes up. So we get home - mom is waiting for us - I have groceries to bring in - cold stuff to put away - lunch to eat and a very tired little boy to get back to sleep. Mom helps with the groceries and Ryan, I grab bites between everything and then try to get Matthew back down. 1 hour later - he is still awake and is literally not letting me put him down. Mom and I decide to try for tomorrow for the perm. The next 2 hours are spent trying, with little success, to comfort Matthew. I call at about 3 to try to get him in at the doc's, fearing an ear infection. No luck - have to try to call 1st thing in the morning. Sometime after that - he gives up and goes to sleep. Sleeps for awhile and wakes up unhappy again. Now this is a little guy that may get upset from time to time - but not like this! So I try the office that we saw the doc at on Tues. This time he's screaming very loudly and I can barely hear the lady - but she makes me an appointment for tomorrow morning! Yeah! I get him back to sleep for a little longer. This time when he wakes up - he's Matthew again. Cheerful and happy. I get dinner in both of them and get them in the bath. Both went to bed on time and all is well so far. Now I'm thinking he was just too exhausted and that the steroids are wearing off and fighting with his system. He seems to be breathing well while he sleeps. So now we'll have to decide whether to go ahead and take him in the morning, or if he's ok.
So that's my last week in a nut shell. Thankfully, Ryan has re-couped and is feeling better. Although he has decided that he needs a bunny for a pet. While shopping for Daddy's day at the mall last week, this all came to light again because of some cute little critters at the per store for $60. He has hounded us all week or the money to buy a bunny. 'Cause bunnies eat carrots just like him! Now this is all fine a dandy, but mommy is not ready for a bunny to be hopping around the house. We finally found a very cute stuffed bunny at the Big T (Toys-R-Us)on Thursday. His home is now with Ryan and has been named Carrots. Ryan got out his pretend food and found lettuce and tomatoes (alas-no carrots). We bought him a bed at WM today and a collar. I helped Ryan make a tag for the collar this afternoon. Carrots is very cute and doesn't poop! :) We'll see how long this fix works! We did tell him we would get some more fish for the tank next week, too.
Michael and I keep discussing a Playstation. We're thought about it for 2 years now. We'll see. Ryan hasn't been too set on one yet - but he is getting more and more interested in computer games and has been online to Nickelodeon and PBS Kids and Legos. We all know Michael wants one too - but we've been holding off.
Things are a little different now too - there's no best friend next door. No playing back and forth between the houses. It's hard on both of the boys. They have a rental house about 10 - 15 minutes away, but we haven't seen it yet. The contractors have taken everything out of the house and are trying to salvage what they can. They have a dumpster in the driveway and are beginning to tear out the garage and such. You can still smell the smoke at times when you step outside. Still very depressing. And then with all the wildfires going on in AZ right now - you can't watch the news w/o hearing about someone else having lost their home. I think that has become one of my biggest nightmare's right now - that a fire would take our home. But I know you can't dwell on it - it's not happened to us. But it brings it so much closer to home.
Hopefully will have new pics soon! Maybe of Carrot! :)

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Adopt a Mouse

So tonight I went to a very interesting conference sponsored by Adopt A Mouse foundation and brought here by the DS Network. It was a talk given by Dr. Mobley from Stanford University. He is working on gene reseach to increase the cognitive abilities in mice that have been created with Down Syndrome. It was very technical, but he made it somewhat understandable for us. They hope to break it all down and come up with a drug that would help the genes to function more properly which would increase the cognitive aspect. This would also relate to Alzheimer's Disease and how it affects their cognitive abilities. Very interesting. It really kind of cool that there may be something out there someday that would help Matthew's daily functioning. He's doing so well now, but will it last his whole life? His abilities will probally peak at some point. It's great to know that someone out there is trying to find a way to possibly help his future and definately help future generations.

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Stay with me...

Alot of pics posted for today! We had Ry's friend from next door with us on Friday (they are all ok - but the house is in really bad shape) to let his parents get some stuff situated. So the slippy slide and little pool came out and so did the camera (but of course!). We were out there for at least an hour and a half. They had a blast and it wore all three of them out (which was my goal!).

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A smile!

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Talkin' on the phone

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Those eyes!!!

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The big splash!

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Facinated with flips flops

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A little Nemo, Anyone?

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By the Light of Day...


The devastion is awful.

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But for the Grace of God...


this was not the scene in front of our house... it was beside it. Our next door neighbor's - our good friend's - Ryan's best friend's - home caught fire today. The firefighter's got here quickly, but the fire almost got the best of them. We were worried about our house. We pulled the van out of the garage. I stood in the middle of our home and wondered what to compile. Photos - YES! But I was just so overwhelmed with what was happening - it didn't seem that important at the time. I found the cat and threw him in a closet, so we would know where he was. Their family is displaced now. Their home is uninhabitable. Ryan's friend is spending the night and the rest of their family is staying with family. This could have been us.... this might have been us. It has really hit home hard with me. I will make a better plan. Everyone made it out safe and the fire was mainly in the garage and laundry room. But everything else is a big fat mess. Smoke damage... water damage... everything covered with tarps. It's awful... There were so many firetrucks in our street - I lost count. They called in the ladder truck. They had backup from the next town over ( which is within 2 miles). I don't know if I'll ever be able to watch someone else in that situation again. All the people that came to "watch" while their world was falling apart. Some wanting the help, but alot of lookers. And my good friend is not going to be next door for some time... it really sucks.

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I Scrapped Today!

I have been itching to scrap lately. It's been on my mind alot. But other stuff occurs! So today, I did it. I did it digital for the time constraints. I had this in my mind to capture the boys lovies. The day will come that they won't want them anymore and the day will come that they won't remember them and how they came to be. I'm pretty please with how it all turned out! Hopefully I'll get to do more this weekend. It's Michael's 4 day weekend and his late shift. I Will Create More!

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Journaling reads:
The boys each have their lovies.
Ryan adopted Snowbear (after Bear in the Big Blue House) from me. My dad had given it to me at Christmas in 1996. I had hi sitting out in various locations in our house. When Ryan was about 3, he started to play with it more & more. Soon, it was his and his nighttime companion. Snowbear has been to many different places (even to Kindergarten, although he stayed in the mommy van) and has been washed many times His eyes are showing definite signs of wear from the dryer. But he is still whom Ryan reaches for to snuggle up with at night or when he needs a quiet hug from an old friend.
Matthew has had burpies since he was born. At first, they were for mommy when it was time to burp. Then I started to wrap it under his chin, like a bib, when he was nursing and drinking from a bottle. When he started to hold the bottle on his own, he would wrap it himself under his chin. At some point - it started to go to bed with him. Now it is how he soothes himself to sleep - he chews on one of the corners of one and goes to sleep with it in his mouth. It is also what he wants for comfort when he is upset. We need to buy new ones now - the originals are in tatters.

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A Swim a Day...

makes for happy kids! We are in the pool at least once a day... but more like 2 to 3 times a day. I'm so glad that we decided to change the liner in it and keep it up this year. We would dearly love to put in an in-ground pool - but the cost is a little out of the budget. It's definitely worth the liner though - as much as we're using it right now. Stay cool!

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Splashin' in the pool!

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Ryan with the water gun.

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Daddy bounced them up and down in the water. Matthew looks like he's not quite sure if he's gonna like it or not!

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Boys and Beds


Matthew has had weird sleep happenings over the past 2 weeks. I'm hoping that it's not a signal of the end of nap time! He's had 3 nights since then that he hasn't gone to sleep until 11pm. I put him in there at 8:30 and he just doesn't go to sleep! He just keeps signing "all done" and points out the door. And then says "DaDa" like he wants to go play with daddy. Now today - he was in his crib for an hour at nap time - and no nap. I'm hoping that it's all due to different routines that are just all over the place right now. We'll see, I suppose. I'll be really sad to see that 2 hour time spot go. But it might be easier to schedule therapists, if he's not taking a nap.

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Ryan's bed was empty last night, too! He sleep over at his best friend's house and just got back at 3pm. He was just next door, but it can still seem so far away. Matthew checked Ry's bed several times to see if he was in it!

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My Parents 41st Anniversary

was really yesterday. My mom came and got Ryan for a special day with just the 2 of them. There's just some things they can't do with a baby brother tagging along! :) They had a great time and I got a little down time. We went swimming when Michael came home and Ryan mentioned that Grandma had said it was their anniversary. I had totally spaced it!!! I had flipped the calendar - but hadn't even looked at it. I know it's close after Dad's BD - but I just plain forgot. So today, the boys and I (Michael's at work) took them to lunch at Julio's Too Mexican Food and got them the Something's Gotta Give dvd as a present. They are such an inspiration to me - 41 years of marriage is not something to sneeze at in today's world! I love them both so very much!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY - MOM AND DAD!

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A Morning at the Park

We went for a walk and then played at the park on Tuesday morning (today too, for that matter!) The tempatures are staying mid 90's right now... which is SOOOOO much better that the 110's we had a week or so ago!!! Then we came home and got in the pool, because we were sticky (but not today - it's actually overcast today!),
It's so nice that:
a) It's still cool enough to take a walk and play in the park.
b) To actually take a walk. I had walked for about a month in Oct. and then life got in the way again and I didn't get back to it.
c) That there's no bickering from the boys to do the walk because they know they will get to play at the park.
Here's a few pics from Tuesday!

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Ryan building a sand castle.

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What a cutie!

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He actually didn't eat the sand!

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Ryan

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About This Blog

Kit used in header is
Digitally Smitten Kit Freebie
by Digital Design Essentials

Digital Photo Frames by
Nancy Comelab.

Photos in header by
Adrian Hindes of
Canyon Photography


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