Wednesday, April 22, 2009

B-day Photos

Jason had quite the birthday "weekend". That's right folks, as it worked out, he played with friends, opened presents and celebrated the day of his arrival from Friday evening until Monday night. Actually, there are still left over balloons floating around the house so technically, he still things life is one big party. Coming down off the sugar high is going to be FANTASTIC!

This year Jason got to decorate his own cake :-)
Ryan enjoying the festivities
Jason & his "best fwend" Garrett

2 of the cutest girls we know-Scott limits my exposure because I always leave our friend's house googly eyed wanting a baby girl!

Jason riding his new scooter.

birthday ice cream sundae from IHOP. He wanted bacon, pancakes & eggs and wound up with this as a bonus.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A mood for memories...

It is late – too late and I find myself in the mood for remembering. It is timely and I’m able to focus my mind on a few memories in particular. Today was Jason’s birthday and the writer in me screams DOCUMENT IT! The mother wants to go to bed and clean up the large jar of spilled sprinkles, melted ice cream and chocolate frosting tomorrow. But tonight my mind wins and it is a good thing because I’ve never written down his entire story. I feel guilty.

It took a while to get pregnant with Jason. I think the Lord was helping me not take him for granted. I needed to struggle a little in order to appreciate what a blessing he would be. I was ravenously hungry all the time—as in, I gained 57lbs type of hungry! What a mental game that was for a girl with a great metabolism who wasn’t used to EVER eating breakfast. I didn’t experience much nausea and thought I was pretty lucky as pregnancies go. Until I hit month 6, had uncontrollable heart burn every night from 5pm on and pretty much puked my way through the last 4 months. Finally I woke up on April 19th around 2am with contractions and there was no apprehension at all. I couldn’t fall back asleep. I kept thinking of all the things I could do to get him here faster. I paced the halls, ran up and down the stairs, did jumping jacks and then tired out around 5am where Scott found me with a heating pad on my back, dozing in the rocker in Jason’s soon-to-be nursery. We headed to the hospital around noon where things were slow but at least we were there. 1am hit, I started pushing and then suddenly was being told to stop, hold still, lay back down, don’t even cough because the doctor was stuck in 2 emergency c-sections and I was going to have to wait. The only conversation I remember from the entire hospital experience occurred right at that moment. Scott: to the nurse “Are you kidding?” Natalie: totally glaring and ready to lose it “I just really need you to be positive right now. Be quiet.” And that was that. The lights went back off. He proceeded with his portable dvd of something manly which I don’t recall, and I sucked deep breathes through my oxygen mask and tried not to hyperventilate from claustrophobia (as it happens I don’t like things covering my face so the mask made for an interesting 10 hours). My epidural was wearing out but as luck would have it, the anesthesiologist was with the doctor so I was stuck.

Two and a half hours later the good doc rushes in, asks if we’re ready to have this baby (yes, I bit my tongue--after 26 hours of labor I was a little too tired to get feisty with the man who would be offering relief!) and about five minutes after that, there was Jason. I kept hollering for Scott to grab my glasses because I couldn’t see what he looked like. But everyone kept saying how “healthy” he was (8lbs 14oz, 21 1/2” long). And as the chaos of birth died down I was able to take a non-masked breath and be grateful that our lives had suddenly changed forever and I loved it. For a moment time stood still and everything was just a little clearer—at least for the three of us in that room at 4:19am.

Jason loves to laugh. I can never get enough of that sound. He is all boy, 100%, especially when it comes to sports. No one ever taught him about balls, cars, rocks or mud. He is ingrained with some male affinity for all things “manly” (except for his fear of instability i.e. swings, being swung, jumping on trampoline’s etc then he totally screams like a girl!) Jason loves to help me cook and I hope it is something I can pass on to him. Anytime he sees me getting out ingredients he scoots his chair up to the counter wanting to “mix with you”. The minute Ryan was born Jason became his father’s son. He and Scott were bonded for life. They go golfing together and one of his first full phrases was “dad, you’re my best friend,” enough to make any grown man melt into goo. Jason has piercing blue eyes. He is smart and intuitive beyond his age. Sometimes I wonder if he was placed here to help me grow up and teach me lessons. He wipes tears from my cheeks and says, “Mom, why are you sad? Don’t cry.” He is sassy, stubborn and knows his own mind (quite the combo for a three year old). He loves his brother and I find him telling Ryan how cute he is, good job, and clapping for him. And no matter how old he gets I think I’ll always be able to remember the feeling of the first outfit I dressed him in as we packed up to come home from the hospital. It had chunky baby blue stripes and was oh so soft—not like fleece but like shaggy, thick carpet that you squish your toes in. And I remember the way he smelled and how light he felt when I held him. I know someday he’ll be taller than me and smarter than me and all the things I never was. But hopefully, somewhere deep down he remembers what it was like to be wrapped in thick, squishy blue softness and be held oh so tight and know that everything is right in the world.

And now I know that no matter how much time goes by, I think I’ll always be in the mood for remembering if I have memories like these.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Alice in Wonderland...

I had been wondering for days where to start and Lewis Carroll said it much better than I could. "Start at the beginning...and go till you come to the end; then stop!" Sooo I'll start at the beginning and stop when I'm done--this could be a long one!
Riding in the airborn tram from one end of the zoo to the other--walking was no longer desired :)
my "monkey" Jason and his friend Isaac hanging out at the gorilla exhibit
This is as close as we got to this beautiful temple. We were told ever since prop 8 took place, the church has had to lock the gates after hours and on Sunday/Monday when no one is there--too much vandalism risk. So sad!
Seaport Village is a great little place downtown to grab food, shop, see the harbor, visit a fantastic fudge shop, let the kids play etc.
I love this photo. This is taken at Balboa Park--some amazing Spanish & Mexican architecture, beautiful gardens, museums, fountains. So much fun to get away from the masses and take in a little culture.

Just another example of the amazing buildings there. They were all completed around 1918. That sounds to recent to reflect the design--I kept expecting to hear 1600's based on how ornate they were but had to remember, we haven't been around that long!
Kate, Isaac & Jason "Everybody was KungFo Fighting..."

I can never get enought of the huge whales. I'm am always blown away at their size and then how close they let us get, especially the trainers during the shows.
Completely describes Ryan's experience last weekend--he got sick and spent the "fun" four days conked out in his stroller.

We've had a busy few weeks. Chocolate Apron Catering just finished our latest wedding reception in Las Vegas. It was fantastic--brown and ivory with pink flowers everywhere, my favorite were the dogwood and cherry blossoms! The bride chose a "vintage romance" type theme and everything was very antique french; mini cream puffs, tarts, chocolate dipped shortbread cookies, gourmet cheeses, grapes, crostini etc. We did a pretty great job if I do say so myself.

Next, the Jenkins family met us in Vegas and then drove with us too Kingman to stay for several days. They had quite the driving experience--drove from Idaho to Utah, went to the temple with Summer (Dave's fiance)on Friday, drove to Saint George to stay the night, found out it was spring break and everything was booked, ended up sleeping in the truck for about 5 restless, long hours and then drove on to Vegas. We couldn't figure out why they had arrived at 7 am until we heard the whole story. The boys had a blast playing with their Papa, getting spoiled by Grandma and teased and tickled by Aunt Mimi (Missy). We visited every touristy place Kingman had to offer and then hit up the boat rides in Bullhead and the Keepers of the Wild (a wild life refuge full of tigers, lions, wolves and much more). Jason had some great lines during their stay but my favorite was when I was changing Ryan's diaper so we could head to the store because there was only ONE diaper left--the one I was putting on him (the vicious diaper cycle)and Ryan chose that opportune moment to URINATE all over the family room floor. Mom and I froze, not wanting to waste the last diaper and in total shock we simply stared at the stream. Jason watched the liquid rainbow flow through the air and then ran to my dad yelling "Papa, Papa, Ryan peeped. He peeped on the carpet, look!" We officially have adopted the word peeped now for all things bathroom related!

They hit the road Thursday and on Friday we jetted off for a weekend in SAN DIEGO. We met up with some great Vegas friends and one of Scott's brothers and his family, went to the zoo and Sea World and loved every minute. The kids couldn't get enough of the animals, shows, rides and friends and I loved all the great park treats. In the words of one of my favorite romantic comedies, "I only come for the food." We had a nice sit down dinner with our friends one evening, right on the San Diego harbor, and stuffed ourselves on fresh Ahi, Halibut, Lobster and Crab. It couldn't get much better than that. Each night when we would crash, absolutely exhausted, we would marvel at how our parents had so much energy and how they hid it so well, always taking our families for fun outings, vacations, sporting events etc. Scott reminisced about riding in the back seat with his two brothers, who forced him to lay on the floor boards, putting their feet on him, while they sprawled out on the seat (you boys know who you are :) Our kids don't realize how lucky they are riding around in the Pilot with their dvd player and cushy car seats! We watched the California sunset as we drove home Monday night and felt very blessed to be able to afford such a nice memory. While unpacking the car at 10pm I just kept thinking I need a vacation from our vacation!

And now that all this is over and done with, we just have to get through Scott's parent's visit, Jason's birthday, my brother's wedding and anything else we might be crazy enough to attempt--did I mention it is strawberry season and I need to make jam and you can't have fresh jam without baking homemade bread right? I am nuts. What was I thinking, I AM NOT one of those crazy multi tasking super women that I see all the time (Tina Upson:). I think I'll just go eat the rest of my strawberry shortcake from last night and drink some hot chocolate and call it a day :)