Monday, June 30, 2008

Water Baby!

After a relaxing morning of sleeping in, we started out our afternoon with some fun at the swimming pool! Andrew LOVED hanging out in the pool with Grandpa Kim and Grandma Julie. We only swam for 15 minutes or less, but it was fabulous!

Getting on his swim diaper

Standing in the shallow water with Grandpa

Swimming with Grandma and Grandpa in the deeper end

Can't take his eyes off the sparkly water

Sitting in the shallow end with Grandma Julie

Loving the water!

Cool kid on his ride back to the house

P.S.- Anyone know of a good place in Nor Cal or Utah to find plastic swim pants/diaper? (you know, the kind that you reuse and are more durable that disposable swim diapers... which won't really hold much in)


Andrew & I flew to Utah on Saturday afternoon. I had been having nightmares and bad daydreams for several weeks about flying alone with him. We fortunately got a Gate Pass from Jet Blue so that Kevin could go through security with us. Ironically, even with Kevin there, security was the biggest hassle of the entire trip. They kept getting our carseat and stroller stuck in the x-ray machines and then would have to make them go through again... just in case they missed any bombs that we might be trying to smuggle through. ;-) Meanwhile, Andrew was swaddled in my arms attempting to take a nap... so Kev got to deal with all the bags. When we got to the airplane, we said goodbye to Kevin and hopped on the plane. Andrew was a gem and slept for the first 45 minutes and then woke up and played with me for the rest of the flight. No major explosions this time (and Jet Blue actually has changing tables... so we wouldn't have needed to change him on the nasty toilet seat cover again anyway). I did have a minor breakdown at the Jet Blue counter when they were originally not going to let Kevin come through security with me. I would've been fine alone and could've put Andrew in the Baby Bjorn, but I hadn't mentally prepared for that... and am running on a little sleep, so the counter rep saw some tears and heard some minor threats about me planning to call Dave Neeleman (JetBlue's CEO and a friend of my dad's) to complain about their inconsistency in policies. Fortunately Kevin is more even tempered and mellow and helped me calm down pretty quickly. A different rep (the manager) helped us out when she realized the guy we were talking to didn't know what the correct policy was. Good thing! Andrew & I are definitely loving being in Utah, but we really miss Kevin!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to see him on Thursday when he joins us out here.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The results are in...

The little guy was a trooper this morning at his doctor's appointment. He was so happy and smiley as soon as our pediatrician came in (despite being overdue for his usual 8:30am nap). He stayed chipper for almost the entire visit and then began to start screaming hysterically because he was totally overtired... which of course continued and just got louder once he had to get his shots. Poor kid!

Andrew's newest stats are listed below. We were right, the kid has definitely grown a lot since his last visit!!

Height- 26 inches (last time he was 23 inches)- 85th percentile
Weight- 15 lbs 11ounces (last time he was 12 lbs 3 ounces)- 65th percentile

The other highlight of the day included an evening of more screaming.

Teething 4 month old + vaccines + tired at the end of the day = one loud little guy!!

Fortunately, somehow the SF Giants game on TV distracted him. I think we've got another baseball fan in the family :) Hopefully the teething boy pumped full of vaccines and infant Tylenol will decide to sleep a bit tonight... another night of him waking up every 30 minutes is going to drive me insane. Good thing he's so cute, it's hard to stay frustrated or tired for too long!

Cooking up a storm!

Our church has a Cooking group that I'm helping organize. This week I demonstrated two different salads... one totally tasted like the Cafe Rio salad that I love- it had a delicious lime-cilantro vinaigrette that was so fun to make! If you're looking for some good salad recipes... or other recipes, this website, LSW Cooking Group Recipes, will be updated every month depending on our theme. I'm really excited about the group of ladies that have been coming b/c they're teaching me a lot AND we get to experiment with new recipes... and you all know that I need to learn how to make "real" food :) since chocolate isn't really a basic food group. Kev loves it when we meet at our place b/c then he gets to eat all the leftovers. It's great!

If anyone has any favorite salads recipes or other good normal meal recipes that don't require too much prep, definitely pass them along.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happy 4 Months!

The little man is 4 months old today! Tomorrow we have our exciting doctor's appointment where he gets more vaccinations :( We're interested to find out how much he weighs though and how big his head is- it is definitely changing shape and getting larger. So crazy how much growth can happen in 2 months! My back is telling me that he's gained a good amount since our last visit. A frequent question from people lately is: "How old is your baby, 6 months?" (one person asked if he was a year old last week) He is definitely one solid large mass of a kid and we love every pound!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fun in Santa Cruz

This afternoon we decided to leave the miserable record breaking heat of the South Bay and head to Santa Cruz to find some cooler weather. We went to Natural Bridges State Park where the views of the ocean and rocks are spectacular. I can't wait to take Andrew back when he is older to play in the water more, explore the tidepools, and see the monarch butterflies that migrate there each year.

Andrew enjoyed his first trip to see the ocean and feel the FREEZING Pacific Ocean waves! The cold water felt incredible and Kevin and I loved watching Andrew's reaction to his first beach experience. He couldn't take his eyes off the water and thought the squishy wet sand was great! He's been so hot the last few days that he's been pretty grumpy... but once he arrived in Santa Cruz and visited the cool ocean he was such a happy kid! It was darling.

So much cooler! Ready to hit the beach!

Feeling the sand

First wave!

Loving that cool water!

Waiting for a wave with dad

So chilly!

Staring at the water

Such a fun beach trip!

After our beach trip we headed to Marianne's to get ice cream. Kev used to go there when he was younger. We don't think it has changed much since then. The ice cream is delicious and there is always a huge line!

Staring at the cars outside the window of Marianne's

EXHAUSTED!! What a great day!

Tagged: Running

Thanks to Elise, I've been tagged. Here are my responses:

1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?
10 years ago I was a sophomore in college living at Branbury Park apartments in Provo. Elise and I would run about 6 miles together each day and we would also do whatever we were told to do for BYU lacrosse training. I was in such awesome shape. Some days we would run 3 miles at lacrosse practice, run the RB stairs 6 or 7 times, and then go on our 6 mile evening run. I was on the BYU creamery ice cream diet at the time ;) so that much running was probably necessary. Most nights we wouldn't run until after 10pm and sometimes we'd even run at crazy early hours b/c we didn't want to sacrifice our socializing time. My favorite runs were at around 1 or 2am while it was snowing. It so beautiful up at the Provo Temple at that hour- so quiet with all the snow falling- every sound was muffled except for the crunch of the ice as we carefully jogged on the sidewalk. I think my running buddy needs to move back to the Bay area! I miss her!

2. What is your best and worst run/race experience?
The worst would be the St. George marathon and the Lake Tahoe half marathon... both of which ended with me fainting and getting nauseated. After the St. George marathon, I took my little tracker off my shoelaces, walked through the sprinkling shower and found Elise and my mom being interviewed by our friend Annie for BYU T.V. She'd also interviewed us at mile 7 when we were still happy and energetic. Once I found them, I said, "I don't feel so good," and then proceeded to slump down and faint on the ground. The trainer people put me on a stretcher and hooked me up to an IV for an hour in the first aid tent. I thought I was dying. When I woke up I felt even worse... my legs were completely cramped up since I hadn't had a chance to walk around much after the race. I proceeded to feel completely awful for the next several days and then I got Iliotibial Band Syndrome and could barely run for the subsequent 4-5 months without excruciating pain. Those were some dark days. At the Lake Tahoe half marathon I felt awesome afterwards and then all of a sudden the light got really bright and Kevin caught me as I started to fall and faint. Not fun! I'm looking forward to trying to do another half marathon soon and hopefully not faint! My best runs were when we went to London last Christmas. I was 7 months pregnant and my only goal for the vacation was to run with Elise & my mom each day. Despite all the walking we did every day, my body still cooperated with me and I was able to run each morning with them and explore London. It was the highlight of my vacation.

3. Why do you run?
To run off all the chocolate I eat during the day and for pure enjoyment. I also do my best thinking when I run and I get out any frustration from the day- the days that were really bad at work, when I used to get attacked by the little people, were always my best and fastest running days. If I don't get my run in, Kevin can attest, I'm usually an emotional wreck. I also run with my mom and sisters for social reasons- we have the best chats on our runs and keep each other motivated. Now that Jessie runs too, it is so fun to all go out together on a Saturday morning during vacation and explore new neighborhoods and look at beautiful houses.

4. What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?
I don't really listen to advice about running, I mostly just do my own thing. I guess the best piece of advice maybe was just to listen to my body. That worked especially well when I was pregnant and during post-pregnancy as I worked back up to my usual daily workout.

5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.
Can't really think of anything... although it would probably be surprising to most people that I actually eat as much chocolate during the day as I do :) although it might also be surprising to know that I don't really like chocolate during the summer (it's too melty)... instead I eat large amounts of ice cream.

Runners I'm tagging:

And anyone else who loves to run...

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Last week I was a bit of a slacker with running b/c I was doing work until midnight or 1:30am every night... and then this week it's been hot, so I've been less motivated to get out. I tried telling myself that I would go at 7am this morning, but let's be honest, I was never going to go... and then once Andrew woke up at 12:30am, 1:30am, 5:00am, and 6:00am, I had my excuse- validly TOO TIRED :) We tried again this evening and finally made it out with the jogger at about 8pm. This was Andrew's reaction to being in the stroller...

It was too funny. I had to take pictures of all of his funny faces while I was running- fortunately I had my cell phone with me (no- I am not camera happy enough to bring my digital camera on my jog). Andrew stared bug eyed at me for the first 25 minutes, acting like the whole experience was brand-new to him! He was amazed at all of the things he saw, especially the tree branches above him... then by the 50 min mark he'd found his fingers again and by the time we were done he was starting to get sleepy- perfect timing for going to bed!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Such a good sport!

I spent last Friday and Saturday working in my classroom to pack up materials, organize things, and CLEAN! When I arrived in Palo Alto six years ago, I brought a 14 ft truck full of stuff from Provo and most of it got dumped in my classroom- magazines, furniture, TONS OF BOOKS, toys, etc. The time to de-junk and sort through it all has finally come (at least Andrew will never lack for books- I think he's covered through 6th grade with the library I'll be bringing home next week!). Andrew has been such a good sport this week as I've been working to finish this project. We spent several hours today and yesterday packing up boxes, sorting through tons of files, and cleaning out drawers, closets and cupboards.

(my beautiful classroom closet... last week you couldn't even walk into it)

I brought Andrew's swing, rainforest gym, and books and he and I had a blast hanging out at Escondido. He even took all of his regular naps on schedule... although trying to fall asleep proved to be a little bit more difficult for him than usual at the beginning- there were too many cool posters on the wall to look at. Maybe he'll remember the skip counting songs I sang him when he gets in first grade? :)
(waking up from his comfy nap next to all the piled up desks)

Fortunately, Andrew's favorite toys are his fingers... so they kept him entertained over the past few days while I worked. He has enjoyed sucking on them for quite awhile but lately he prefers them to just about anything- he even tries to push his bottle away sometimes because he'd rather suck his fingers. His newest trick is sucking all of his fingers except the middle one, so he ends up looking like he is flipping people off. It is pretty funny.

(happy kid taking a break from playing to hang out with mom)

When he is not sucking his fingers, he is trying to work on grabbing things. He stares and stares at objects and then tries to make his hands cooperate and do what he wants. He is very persistent. I snuck up on him the other day and snapped a picture as he was trying to grab his rattle. He was so excited when he actually grabbed it!

(grabbing his rattle)

He also loves to grab his pacifier with both hands and pull it out of his mouth and then slowly put it back in his mouth and then pull it back out again and repeat the process. He gets it in the right way about 20% of the time... and the rest of the time he ends up sucking on the hard plastic part or the handle or squealing for someone to come and help him.

(pulling on his doggy mobile)

It is so fun to watch him develop these little skills. He is so excited when he does something new and finally achieves success and he gets so frustrated with himself when he can't do something. It is really cute and similar to how Kevin & I both react sometimes.

I feel grateful for such a patient, happy, and independent kid during crazy weeks like these!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Weekend Excitement!

The highlight of today was the announcement that my brother Scott is ENGAGED! He proposed to Cat this morning and we are so excited for them! They're going to get married in September in California (more details to come in a future post). Last weekend, Scott stealthfully slipped into the Bay area and drove up to Lafayette to ask for Cat's dad's permission to marry her. We were lucky and got to have him stay with us for the quick trip. Kevin, Andrew, and Scott had a lot of bonding time- a trip to In-N-Out, hanging out talking about the new iPhone and other geeky phone techy stuff ;), and playing Guitar Hero. CONGRATS CAT & SCOTT!!

(Scott heading off to visit Cat's family- holding his notes)

The other exciting thing that happened today was Andrew's first haircut! The baby comb-over was getting a little old, so we did a little trimming. Hopefully we didn't do too much damage- the kid would not sit still for long and did NOT like the vibrating trimmers! If we think it looks awful in the morning... oh well... hair grows back!



Andrew decided to show his dad how much he liked the haircut and traumatic trimming experience and proceeded to spit up all over Kevin after the trimming was done :)

We ended the day with a trip to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner to celebrate the end of Kevin's 2 week paternity leave vacation :( Andrew is going to miss having dad as a babysitter...although Kevin is definitely looking forward to heading back to Google and all the yummy food! It's been great having two weeks to spend as a family!

Saying Goodbye

One of the best things about technology these days is that you never really have to "say goodbye" to people. It is so much easier to stay connected and keep in touch. I love it! Despite that, sometimes the hardest things to "say goodbye" to are stages in life, special moments, or perfect situations. This week I said goodbye to my special little people and the extraordinary staff that I have worked with for the past six years. I have felt so blessed to learn from such incredible people who are true advocates for children with disabilities and who work hard every day so that they can become kinder, more patient, and more positive! I have felt so fortunate to have a job that I truly love and that I am passionate about. Not everyone gets that opportunity. Here are a few pictures from our final celebrations this week:

(with Yvette- she's been an aide in my classroom since my first day, 6 years ago)

2007-2008 Room 19 Staff
(Left to right: John B, Yvette, me, Simeon, Ashley)

Staff photo including my long-term sub, Tina

(with Naomi- our fabulous speech therapist)

(with Priya- she taught next door to me this year and I learned so many great things
from her and LOVED having a friend so close by to chat with! It made work so much fun!)

Helen Keller once said, "I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker." Although some of the successes over the years with my kids have been small and unnoticeable to others, every day that my staff showed up and gave each kid a "tiny push" towards learning something new, their contribution mattered. I have been honored to work with such humble and hard-working people!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I have gained a new appreciation for working moms this week... and I already recognized that their job was hard to begin with. I have gone back to work this week to complete some assessments of kids and try to wrap up some things as the school year ends. I also just started a new part-time job (more on that later), so it is only Tuesday and I am EXHAUSTED already!! I've been getting up around 5:30am and then working from about 7:30am-2:00pm at work and then doing about 3-4 more hours of work in the evenings during naptimes/bedtime and heading to bed around 11. I feel grateful I don't have to keep up this schedule for much longer!

I think the relaxing vacation we took last week has made it even harder to return to reality... and Andrew's adjustment back from "Grandma and Grandpa's magical house" where little babies sleep through the night, has also been tough. I always know the night is going to go drastically downhill when Andrew happily wakes up at 11pm after being put down to bed for the night at 8. Fortunately, Kevin's been home this week on paternity leave (the 6th week he's taken off so far- yay for Google!), so I got to take a great 2 hour nap last night from 7-9pm, which helped me survive the rest of the sleepless night.

Despite being tired, it has been an awesome week! I am loving assessing my little students and reading with them. I am also excited about my new part-time job. Our Special Ed director kind of created it and we're still working out the kinks, but I'll be a Curriculum Specialist working with a few teachers to help develop curriculum for some fully included students who need modified programs. I've been meeting with teachers this week and observing kids. I think the job is definitely going to be challenging, but also really interesting and I'll be able to do a lot of the curriculum development/consulting from home or via email.

The end of this week is going to be the crazy difficult part as school ends and I have to start packing up my classroom. It took a 14 ft truck to get all my stuff from Utah to Palo Alto, so consolidating it all is going to be quite a feat. Fortunately they're going to let me store most of my stuff in boxes at school- otherwise Kevin and I wouldn't have any space left in our tiny apartment for us! Wish me luck! :) Happy Summer vacation!

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Week in Pictures

Here are a few highlights from the past week. It flew by too fast! We already can't wait to go back to Utah for another week at the beginning of July.

BBQ at Uncle Karl's house- hanging out w/ Uncle Dan

Scott, Cat, and Elise

Falling asleep on Grandma Julie during girl talk

Super Uncle Scott!

Playing with Cat

Happy 50th Birthday! (we never got to the candle lighting part at the party...
so we got to celebrate mom's birthday again on Sunday)

Goofing around with Grandma Julie

Partying in the early morning hours with Grandpa Kim

Dead to the world after too much fun with Grandma & Grandpa

Kevin & the mini me stroller we had to buy for Andrew
(We forgot to bring his to the outlets!! So dumb!)

Explosion while outlet shopping!

Trip down memory lane- Visiting Helamen Halls @ BYU
and eating milkshakes at Cosmo's Connection

Trip to Grandpa's office @ the Tanner Building

Lunch in the BYU Cougareat

Spending time with The Guths- London had fun
holding Andrew... he's only half her size :)

Dinner with "Uncle" Craig and "Aunt" Melissa Sonksen

Reading books with dad on the airplane ride home

Little cutie in his Sunday clothes

Watching the NBA playoffs with dad

Tummy time with mom! Such a happy kid!