Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Our Thanksgiving trip Christmas card out-takes, why is it so hard to get a good photo of three of us?

So I'm torn, I would really like to order them now, but I don't really love any of these.  I'm trying to decide if I should wait until this weekend when we go cut down our Christmas tree and try to get a better one, or go with the slide photo and add an inset photo of just Austin, what do you think?  I think I need some of my photographer blog buddies to fly here ASAP!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


We are back safe and sound from our awesome, whirlwind trip.  It will take me a while to share memories and photos from the whole trip, but I wanted to check in and let you know that it is coming.  I wish that I would have had my computer with us so I could write everything as it was happening, but we weren't able to pick it up from Geek Squad until tonight.  For now I am off to bed as I am back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


So as you know I was gone all this week to Santa Fe for the conference.  Dustin is such a trooper, he had the week from hell while I was gone and managed to keep it all together.  He had a huge project going at work that had to be done this week.  They got a bunch of equipment to do a drill seeding project, that is where seeds are planted by drilling them into the ground instead of plowing it up first.  They were planting a variety of native seeds to help improve the area for wildlife and livestock grazing.

The first bad thing to happen was he was supposed to have a crew of four to assist him, but one of his assistants is 20 weeks pregnant, so limited on what she can do, another guy who he was counting on to be a big help, and a lady from the other agency sponsoring the work.  Early in the week the guy pulled a muscle in his back and is now out on sick leave, so that put more of the work back on Dustin's shoulders.  On Wednesday he went out by himself to try and complete the work.  One of the tasks also included throwing out by hand a certain type of seed that cannot be drill seeded.  He started throwing it out with his right hand, but eventually got tired so he switched to his left hand.  Part way in he thought about the fact that his wedding ring was fitting a little loose lately and decided to take it off.  When he went to do that he saw that it was already gone, he flung it out with the seed!

He of course was devastated, and trying to come up with a plan to find it ASAP, like by this Saturday since we are leaving on Sunday and there is a good chance a big snow will set in up there and cover the area until next spring.  He had a field trip already planned for Thursday, so could not search then.  Friday he got a metal detector and set out hoping to find it quickly.  The search was not going so well and he was getting to the point that he needed to work on wrapping up his equipment and head back to town.  Then one of the District Archaeologists, who is also a good friend of ours, showed up to finish up her part of the project.  She asked if Dustin found the ring yet and he said no, but he would come back on Saturday to look.  She said she wanted to look around a bit, so he showed her the area.  Now as you  may, or may not know, Archaeologists are trained to look for small human artifacts on the ground, so it's no wonder that eagle eyes was able to spot it!!!  We owe her big time, I am still amazed that she found it!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Back for a second

I am back from Santa Fe and wanted to check in quickly before we head our for our Thanksgiving family trip.

The trip was great, I wish that I would have taken along a camera so I could share photos.  I drove across northern Arizona to northern New Mexico and then down, and it is just some amazing and wild country.  I saw such cool rock formations.

The resort was fabulous, very fancy.  Although it comes at a price, I went to eat dinner with some colleagues one night at the resort and my dinner was $38, and it was nothing special.  And if you wanted internet it was $10/day so I did not even take my computer.  When I got there I saw they had a business center, so I went to check it out because every other hotel I've ever stayed at had free internet access in their business center, but nope, they had a credit card swiper and you got the first 10 minutes free, but after that it was $0.50/minute.  The first time I tried to check my email and Facebook I got charged $1.50, but the second time I had to fork over $5.00 and I didn't even have time to get to my blogs!

The conference was great.  I spoke with one of the coordinators and she said they thought they might have 100-150 people participate, but they ended up having over 350.  There were people there from all over the country.  I was a bit taken back during the very first session that I went to, it was given by a woman from the mid-west who I had never met before, but during her presentation she showed a picture of me teaching my kids.  In the big picture I don't mind if EPA folks use my photos, but it just seemed kind of weird that I wasn't asked for permission in this case and it made me wonder how many times my photos have been used with out me knowing it.  In between one of the sessions a man came up to me and introduced himself and said he saw a talk that I gave at conference 2 years ago and wanted to tell me that he appreciated what I had to say and that I got some of the cultural significance related to the topic I was speaking about.  He also remembered Austin as that is the conference that I took Austin to when he was about 9 months old and he was a handful!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Appointments, appointments

As I mentioned yesterday I booked two appointments today to take advantage of the Veteran's Day Holiday.  This morning Austin and I drove over for his very first dentist appointment.  Overall I would say it went well, the dentist said he did great for his first visit.  He loved the waiting room and all the fun toys they had in there.  Then we went back, which he was unhappy about until he saw their huge fish tank.  The Hygienist let him feed the fish which he loved.  He got to pick out a toothbrush and the flavor of the tooth polish.  She showed him each of her tools- the suction thing, the water squirter and the tooth polisher.  Then we tried to lay him on the bench and he was not having it even though they had a movie screen above it with The Lion King playing.  So I sat on the bench and held him in my lap, but he kept his mouth open and let her polish his teeth and then apply fluoride.  She asked him if he would let her take a picture of his teeth, but he was having nothing to do with the x-ray room so we skipped it. 

The dentist came in and was a little rushed and loud which I think intimidated Austin and he clammed up.  We had to resort to holding him down and forcing his mouth open so the dentist could check out his teeth. Everything was great and the dentist said his mouth was very clean and healthy so we should keep up what we are doing.  He did mention that he could tell Austin uses a binky and that we should try to limit that as much as possible as after the age of three their bones harden up and they stay permanently out of alignment if they continue to suck on a binky or thumb.  After Austin picked out a rubber duck prize we went to Walmart and did some shopping before heading home.

This afternoon I went to talk to the doctor about my MRI results.  Turns out that my meniscus, ligaments and muscles are all fine.  The injury is that I have a bone contusion, which are slow healing and could be from when I fell while pregnant three years ago.  It rubs against my patella and causes the crepitis.  He said I also still have a small cyst on the back of my knee that is no problem as long as it is not painful.  If it swells again they can drain it to relieve the pain.  For now I just need to get a knee brace that has extra patella support to wear when I hike or exercise and avoid contact sports and skiing.  I am so happy that I don't need surgery on it!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


It's Friday, eleven, eleven, eleven!

Have some fun and head over to Mama M.'s to play along:

1. What's the last thing you spent too much money on?

A tank of gas!!!  Probably enough said, but I miss the days of my youth when gas was less than a dollar a gallon!!!

2. What celeb chef would you want to make you dinner?

I'm not big on the celebrity cooking shows, so I don't really know many to chose from.  I did watch an episode of Dr. Oz the other day when I was home sick and he had Paula Deen on there and she seemed like a lady who could cook, so there you go, some nice deep fried southern food!

3. Where do you hide things when visitors pop over or do you let them see the real deal?

Depends on what the item is, toys get shoved in the end tables or toy box, that is probably the first thing to get stashed.  The other day we were supposed to have a showing of our house and I shoved the dish drying rack, which ends up being a catch all for a collection of random kitchen items that have no where else better to go, from the counter to under the sink with all of the miscellaneous things in it.  Office clutter goes in the desk drawers.  I think that is pretty much it, those are my main clutter zones.

4. Who is your oldest living family member?
Well, on my Mom's side she is pretty much the oldest as most of her family has passed now.  I guess it depends on how distant the relative is because she does have an Aunt, my Great-Aunt Bernie who just had a birthday this week and she turned 88.  
On my Dad's side, my Dad's older brother, my Uncle John is the oldest living member.  I can't exactly remember how old, but he is in his late 80's.  My Dad was one of eleven kids and sadly only three are left. 

5. What is your favorite DQ treat and/or Sonic drink combo (ie: cherry vanilla dr. pepper)?
I don't really do Sonic, one has never been close or convenient, so I don't have a flavor there.  I once in a blue moon go to DQ and if I want an ice cream treat I go with either a cookies n cream, or a chocolate chip cookie dough blizzard.   If I am thirsty I go with a cherry slush, or whatever they are calling them these days since they seem to change the name every time I go there.  

Thursday thoughts

Here it is Thursday already!  I guess time flies when you only work a two day week.  On Tuesday I tried to come to work, but my boss sent me home because I was still coughing like crazy.  I snuck back yesterday and am here today even though I am still coughing because I have NO sick leave left after taking off when Austin was sick and now for me.  I think I am over the illness otherwise, but just can't kick this cough and I am sick of it!  

Tomorrow I have the Veteran's Day Holiday off.  I will be taking Austin in for his first dentist appointment.  No problems yet, just having them checked.  We are driving 58 miles so that he can go to a pediatric dentist, I hope it all goes well.  I will also be visiting with my doctor in the afternoon as I called yesterday to get my MRI results and was told "she wants you to come in so you can talk about your options."  That is never what you want to hear when you call in for test results!

Here is what else is on my mind in bullet form:
  • Did I mention that Dustin got a deer last weekend?  He didn't get a buck, but got a good sized doe.  He took it in to have jerky and sausage made.  I'm apprehensive because deer meat usually makes me sick to my stomach, so I hope that whatever seasonings they use help kick the gamey-ness that always gets to me.  
  • I am heading off to Santa Fe next week for work.  In one way I am excited because it will be nice to get away and I am staying here, but then the mom in me worries and feels guilty for leaving.  I used to travel for work a lot before I had Austin, but now try to travel as little as I can possibly get away with.
  • I started to work on my Advent calendar last night.  I got all the pocket pieces cut out.  I will be working on the quilt again now, but I wanted to have these pieces ready so I can work on it while I am in Santa Fe.
  • My husband's Grandmother is planning on coming to my In-laws for Thanksgiving dinner.  She is the only one left in that generation, so it is extra special when we get to see her and spend time with her.

Monday, November 7, 2011

First snow

When Austin woke up this morning he looked out our French doors and said "SNOW, snowman!"

Despite the fact that we are both still recovering from being sick I gave in when he asked me to go outside after breakfast and bundled us up to go out and play in the snow.
Here he is throwing a snowball at me.

We didn't stay out too long, but had fun.  I would build up a mini snowman and Austin would kick it over.  We exchanged a few snowballs and got the much needed breath of fresh air after being cooped up inside the last four days.  By about 2:00pm the snow was all gone so I'm happy that we got to play in it while it was here.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Knock, knock

I totally forgot to blog about something that happened a couple of weeks ago, when I picked up Austin from the Learning Center Mr. Bing asked me if Austin told me his joke.  I was like "what?"

Then Mr. Bing told Austin to tell me "knock, knock" and he did, then I said "who's there?" and he said "boo" and I said "boo who?" and he said "Don't cry Mommy!"

I was totally shocked that he was able to tell a joke at 2!  Later he started saying "boo who" for his line, so we just added another "who" and it still works.  It's so fun now that he is talking really well, and he even has a sense of humor!

That was a first...

I know this will be TMI, feel free to skip this paragraph is you get queasy.  I just took Austin to the grocery store this morning since he has been cooped up in the house for three days now resting and trying to fight off his cold so I thought a trip to the grocery store wouldn't hurt to get him out for a bit.  He actually ate most of his breakfast this morning so I allowed him to get a free cookie while we shopped.  We got all the way to the freezer isle and he started choking.  To this point the cold has been strictly respiratory, mostly coughing and he breaths hard.  I am wondering if it was that his throat was swollen from the cold irritation and then he choked on the cookie, but whatever it was he threw up all over.  My first reaction was to try and catch it so my hand was full of it and I had it all up the sleeve of my jacket.  It was down his front side and all over the floor.  Of course there was no one around so with my clean hand I put my grocery bags on either side of the spill so no one would step in it and went to the check out to ask for help.  She gave me some paper towels to mop up most of it off of us so I could take Austin to the bathroom.  I went in and got us all cleaned up.  That was one adventure in parenting that I could have done without!

The MRI went well yesterday.  I don't know the results since they have to analyze the images and write a report.  I went to JoAnn Fabrics, Osaka Japanese Bistro, Best Buy and Costco afterwards.  I so love JoAnn, it would be dangerous if it wasn't 80 miles from my house!  They of course had all their Christmas stuff out and I admit that I enjoyed looking at it and starting to think about my plans for decorating this year.  I love the cinnamon-y smell of Christmas too!  I just picked up my computer Wednesday from Best Buy after having it sent off for repairs.  When I got it home Dustin realized that the sensor light-up buttons at the top weren't working, they control the volume, internet connectivity and there is a touch pad lock.  They were working fine before we took it in so they must have disconnected them.  The Geek Squad technician tried so hard to fix it on site, but was unable to figure it out, so they sent off our newer computer again and I am stuck with this old laptop that overheats.  It's better than nothing though.  When I finally do get our computer back I will be hosting my first giveaway, so stay tuned!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday thoughts

Today was a blah kind of day since I kept Austin home sick.  Dustin was sick last week, gave it to me over the weekend and I gave it to Austin.  It's backwards from how the process usually works, and it stinks to be the one to get your kid sick instead of vice versa.  I actually had a bit of regression and was feeling a little yuck myself, so the rest was good.  I was going to work tomorrow from 8-noon and then head over for my knee MRI, but I think I will stay home and keep Austin home to rest.  Dustin is going on the first day of his deer hunt and will come home by noon so I can go get my MRI done.

I am looking forward to doing a little shopping tomorrow after my appointment.  I want to go to JoAnn to get the backing fabric for the quilt, yarn for the chemo hats, and supplies to make an Advent calendar.  I think I will also stop by Costco and restock on some things.  I have been totally craving California rolls, so I might have to hit up the Japanese bistro while I'm over there too!

While I am looking forward to making the Advent calendar I am in no way ready for Christmas.  I keep hearing people talking about shopping and decorating and I am wondering what the rush is this year?  I think it's that all the stores are ALREADY advertising Christmas sales so it's giving people the bug to start.  Not me, I will take my holidays one at a time and wait until after Thanksgiving to deck the halls here and get my shopping on.

Since I was home today I made a homemade pizza for dinner and it was so delicious.

We got our newer computer back yesterday when I had to go to the big city for a work meeting.  They fixed the three things they were supposed to fix, but when we started using it we noticed that the touch sensor buttons at the top are no longer working, and they were fine when we took it in.  So I think I will drop the computer back off tomorrow to have them fix the sensors.  I feel better about it this time because last time we took it in I did not quite finish backing up our Itunes library and other files, and I was worried that they would wipe out our hard drive in the process of fixing the computer.  Luckily they did not and I completed the backup process today. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


So I was suffering from a bad case of foot-in-mouth syndrome yesterday.  I was at work and one of my co-workers came in to see my office mate and I saw that she had a cute new haircut.  I commented about how cute it was.  She looked at me and said "thanks, I kind of like it, but it will probably be my last one for a while."  Then I remembered that I had been told a few weeks ago that she was going to be receiving breast cancer treatment.  She went on to tell me that she was going to start chemo and they expected all her hair to fall out. 

I tried to redeam myself and asked if she had some cute scarfs or hats.  She said that when she goes in for her appointment they have some hats and wigs to pick from because regular hats don't go down far enough to cover the hair line.  So I was thinking about how I have crocheted hats for people in the past and thought that I bet there are patterns for cancer/chemo patients.  So I am in search of such patterns and I know some of my followers are craftaholics, so I was wondering if you have any thoughts on where I might find a pattern?   I am going to do an internet search, but if you have any ideas I would love to hear them.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween take 3!

This was Austin's third Halloween.  The first year we took him trick-or-hugging in his Smokey Bear costume since he was about 9 months old and definitely got no candy.  Last year we took him trick-or-treating in his dinosaur costume for about 3 houses of our friends, more just to say hi, he really didn't get into it.  So I had great expectations that Austin would really get the concept of trick-or-treating this year and we could go around the neighborhood and do some serious trick-or-treating.


Not-so-much!  We started out by driving to Dustin's co-workers house who is a big holiday fanatic.  Her yard was decked out:

It's hard to see the details, but she had a bunch of motion activated ghouls and goblins all over her yard.  Austin started to walk up to the house, but then ran back to the car crying.  I picked him up and he was so scared he was trembling.  I tried to calm him down and comfort him, but all he wanted was to get back in the safety of our car.  Finally Dad came and talked him into going in if Dad carried him and he agreed to that.

Miss Tanya hooked him up with a bunch of candy, which was a good thing since this was one of two house that he agreed to trick-or-treat at.  We stayed to visit with Tanya and family for a bit and Austin enjoyed spending quality time with Princess:

She is the best kid dog ever.  We have played with her a few times and she will take a toddler beating and never growls, snaps or anything.  Austin hugged her and petted her and even stepped on her tail and she just ate up the attention.

We went to one other house of some friends, which Austin was luke warm to.  Then we drove home planning to walk to a few houses in our immediate neighborhood, but Austin was done.  He refused to walk out of our driveway and instead enjoyed passing out candy from the safety and comfort of our house.

We had about 12 or so trick-or-treaters last year before we left for a party and left our remaining candy in a bowl on  the porch for who ever still stopped by.  I decided this year since we have so few trick-or-treaters, that instead of buying the little snack sized candy, I bought a pack of full sized candy bars at Costco.  The box I got had Butterfingers, Crunch, and Baby Ruth bars.  It was so fun to see the kids' faces light up when they saw the full sized bars, we were definitely a popular house.  We ended up having 23 trick-or-treaters which was a good amount for our little community.  

We let Austin eat some of his candy which or course led to a huge sugar crash tantrum when it came time to take off his costume and take a bath.  When I finally gave up and decided to just put him to bed in the costume he simmered down and willingly took a bath and brushed teeth.  The tantrum was so bad it was laughable.  Dustin and I just looked at each other and giggled as Austin was flailing and screaming, I mean what else can you do but let them get it out of their system, right?

So now I'm hoping that Christmas goes better.  He has been cold to opening gifts and getting into the whole Christmas kid mode the last two years as well, and I was also hopeful that this would be the year he gets over that, but now that Halloween was a backfire I am not as hopeful.

The Great Pumpkins

My husband and I went to rival colleges, I went to Colorado State University, home of the Rams:


And he went to University of Wyoming, home of the Cowboys:

So in our house it's a combination of both schools, even our wedding cake characters were our respective bobble heads.  

It was pretty fun last night there was a group of middle school aged kids that stopped by for trick-or-treating and I heard one of the boys commenting how cool our pumpkins were, especially the RAM!