Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Visit with Santa...

Word to the wise, the best day to visit Santa Clause is on Black Friday.  While everyone else is pepper spraying each other for a $2 waffle iron, Santa is available and there's never a line! ;O) 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Photos...

Dave bought me some photography lighting for Christmas and I managed to get it out of him early on the pretense that I would put it to good use taking Owen's Christmas photos.   The alternative, is going to Sears and spending $25 on a sitting fee (which is good all year, but, we rarely use it more than once) and if I remember correctly, they make you buy a $150 package in order to get the photo cd with copyrights.  So, see, I'm SAVING him money already! ;O)  One sitting fee and package at Sears should have cancelled out the cost of the lighting, but, because we are here in AK, they take total advantage and the shipping ends up being as much as the light kit itself!!!  So, I'll have to keep forcing photo shoots to make up for it I guess!!

Now I just have to get these on some sort of Christmas Card and get a letter written...I may be sending out Happy New Year cards instead! ;O)

These was one of the two good ones I got from the last impromptu photo shoot (I posted the other one in his 5-year look back post)...

Cars 2 Birthday...

I bribed Owen into another photo shoot this morning...I wanted a picture of him in front of this birthday decoration we had on the wall before I took it down.  He was less than cooperative today and that made me flustered enough that I didn't notice how bad the lighting was...I watched a few youtube videos...but, apparently, that's not enough!! ;O)

I really loved this one, but, the lighting was especially bad...I tried to reduce the saturation so he wasn't so blindingly white against the background!!  I am going to keep working at it, but, thought I'd share it anyway.

I have so many more to fix, I'll share them as I finish them up!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Owen's Officially Five...

In honor of my baby no longer being a baby, I thought I'd share some pictures that we used for his birthday celebration at school.  I had to provide one picture for each year to show the class while we talked about what he did and what he was like that year.  Here's the pics I used this year:

2 Days Old
1 year-January 12, 2008 (Maui)

2 years-August 1, 2009

3 years-October 8, 2010 (Butte, MT)
 4 years-April 6, 2011 (Disney World)

5 years (Almost)-November 19, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's a Healthy Baby....

GIRL!!!!!  I was so sure this was another baby boy, it honestly never crossed my mind I'd end up with a little girl, I'm in absolute shock and still trying to come to terms! ;O)  She is a trouble maker already and is going to keep her big brother hopping I do believe!!

I was SO excited for the "4-D" sonogram we were scheduled for, but, instead, he spent most of his time in 2-D mode anyway.  So, here's another grainy shot of our baby girl.

The sonogram guy waited until the end to get a good shot of her face and by that point she'd had all she was going to tolerate.  The picture below is the best he was able to do.  The rest of them have both her arms crossed in front of her face!!  The one thing we're sure about...she has all 10 fingers! ;O) 

And just because I think its crazy how much these two look alike, I thought I'd show a picture of Owen and his new sister at the same age!!  I think they BOTH are going to be little Daddy mini-mes...I just get the chore of making them and he gets all the credit! ;O)


So, Owen was SUPPOSED to be Bumble Bee from Transformers for Halloween this year.  We even did a little photo shoot in the backyard in September with that costume!!

Instead, he INSISTED on wearing last year's costume come Halloween night!!  I could barely get the hood over his head and then he was mad because I made him wear his coat over his costume.  He cried and told me that nobody would be able to see the costume...dude, it was 20 degrees that night and it's not like I could fit a winter coat UNDER the costume that is almost 2 sizes too small!!  Goof ball!  He finally gave in when we told him he could answer the door for the other trick-or-treaters as a "dinosaur".  He really enjoyed that part, but, instead of giving each kid 2 pieces of candy, he gave the girls 2 handfuls!!!  Such a typical man!!

His uncle dressed up and went out with him.  Owen was thrilled to have him there!


We FINALLY got a little snow this past weekend...woohoo!!  Dave went out to put away the last of the stuff laying around the yard in preparation for winter while Owen supervised, sledded, and enjoyed some hot chocolate by the fire! ;O)  Don't you love that hat?  Dave bought that for me before Owen ever existed as a joke.  But, Owen thinks its the greatest thing ever made!  It pays to keep stuff every once in a while I guess!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin Patch...

Well, a pumpkin patch Alaska style anyway!!  The Reindeer Farm in Palmer put on their first Halloween event this year and we decided to go.  We had such a great time!!  O.k., so the pumpkin patch left a little to be desired...they had about a 50 pumpkins tossed out in the field to choose from...it was kind of pitiful!  But, they did have a hay maze, pony rides, a tractor pulled hay ride, and of course, we got to feed the reindeer!  We also had a chance to check out the elk herd they have there now and a couple of bull moose they've rescued.


I think this turned out to be a super cute shot.  Gram thought Owen and my Uncle Bill needed matching beenies.  Owen doesn't quite grasp the difference between the Marines and all the other branches of the military yet, but, he does know how proud we are of the heros in our family!  Plus, anything to look more like his uncle is a winner in his book!

Big Brother...

We bought this shirt as a subtle hint to the family about the baby, but, nobody picked up on it!  My uncle even told Owen that now all he needed was a little brother or sister to go with it...hello!!! ;O)  Anyway, Owen knows what it says and wears it as often as I can get it washed.  He's really excited for this baby to get here and he insists that if it's a boy, we have to name him "Engine"!  I'm not so sure about that, but, we will know what the baby is going to be in less than 2 weeks!!  Things have changed SO much since I was pregnant with Owen.  We get a "4D" sonogram with this baby, I guess that's standard now.  Last time, you only got a "3D" sonogram if you were considered high risk and I don't think "4D" even existed!  Nothing like making me feel even older than I already do!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Remembering the Tonsillectomy....

So, as you all know, the tonsillectomy was extremely traumatic for all of us.  But, I thought I'd share a few shots from the whole ordeal and just write-up what occurred for posterity sake!

The night before the surgery, we got a phone call around 8pm telling us that instead of being at the hospital an hour prior like we were originally told, they needed us there TWO hours early...not a big deal right, well, unfortunately, Owen's surgery was at 7:30am!  I was less than impressed to say the least!

We made it, but, that just meant we had to wait and worry for TWO long hours!  We were lucky to have a coworker of Dave's wife as our pre-op nurse.  She was wonderful and between her and the other staff, it helped calm our nerves some.  We didn't think to get a picture, but, when they took Owen back for the surgery, they put him in a Radio Flyer wagon!!  It was so cute!  He didn't even look back at us!!!

From the time they took him from us to the time the doctor came out to tell us all had gone well was just under 30 minutes!  It was hard to believe that they could knock him out, take his tonsils and adenoids and be done that fast.  I barely had time to start panicking/worrying! :O)  Below is Owen after his surgery in his dad's arms.  I was the one to go back in the room with him while he came to from the surgery and it was hard to see.  But, his recovery nurse gave him a little bit of pain meds and he went back to sleep and woke up just a few minutes later back to his old self...well, as close as he could be post-surgery!  

We got him home early Thursday afternoon and started him on his pain meds...acetaminophen with codeine every 3 hours around the clock.  By Friday, I knew something wasn't right with the meds and called the doctor not once, but twice, in hopes he'd give us something else.  I was blown off both times and told that there was no alternatives and to increase the frequency of the dosages.  I was so groggy and stressed at that point that I followed through, but, I regretted it.  By Saturday night, Owen was angry and mean, he hadn't spoke a single word since his surgery...just grunted, and had yet to eat or drink anything voluntarily.  We'd gotten maybe 5 ounces of liquid down him in 3 days.  I made a command decision that he was done with the prescription meds and gave him Advil instead.  He immediately perked up and started playing and I think even ate an ice cream sandwich.  We had a good night although he continued to be in pain and we went to sleep that night in hopes that we'd turned a corner.  We continued to wake him up every couple of hours for another dose of Advil and I think it was that night that he woke up and was screaming in pain (which was typical, he struggled to deal with the pain every time we had to wake him up).  I was holding him and rubbing his back waiting for the medicine to kick in when he looked at me and said, "Mommy, you need to calm me down!".  I don't know what I was doing that wasn't adequate, but, I was just informed I had to step it up!

Here's a couple shots of the poor kiddo the days after the surgery.  We made him get out of bed and get dressed to watch movies downstairs in hopes it would perk him up to be moving around...we were wrong.

Sunday morning, just 4 days after the surgery, Owen woke-up puking blood.  It was the scariest thing I've ever seen in my life.  There was blood ALL over the bathroom and he seemed to be losing such a large volume and so fast, we weren't sure if he would make it to the hospital if we drove him.  We made the decision to go ahead and get him as close as we could and call for emergency help on the road if necessary.  He did o.k. in the truck and they moved us right through and back to a room in the ER where he started vomiting the blood again.  They gave him some anti-vomiting meds and an IV and  he was able to stop the vomiting and fell asleep.  They called our ENT who had performed the surgery, but, couldn't get an answer.  The on-call ENT refused to come in because Owen wasn't his patient.  I was SO mad and terrified.  I can't believe they'd prefer to leave a 4 year old sit in an emergency room rather than come in and check on someone else's surgical patient.  Two and a half hours later, our ENT finally called, but, didn't bother to come in to see him.  We were told to go home and hopefully it wouldn't happen again.  Nice huh!  On Monday I had to call the doctors office and throw a tantrum until they prescribed a new straight high dosage acetaminophen.  Why couldn't they have done that when I called on Friday!!

Here's our little dude in the ER.  He was so brave and even tolerated them having to poke him 3 times to start the IV!
I took Owen to see my rolfer the following Tuesday and had him use his cold laser on Owen's throat.  The results were unbelievable!  Just hours after the laser treatment, Owen was drinking AND EATING voluntarily!!!!  The first time for either since the surgery!  He was also full of energy and TALKING and PLAYING!!  It was such a relief!!  We did a second treatment that Friday with the rolfer and because Owen continued to have pain in his jaw joints, we also took him to see a doctor in our naturopaths office that does cranial sacral therapy.  He worked on the plates in his head as well as the muscles in his shoulders and upper back.  He said that they were so tight and knotted up that he couldn't believe he hadn't complained about his back.  After a couple visits with him, we haven't heard any complaints about Owen's jaw and are happy to report that he's back to himself!!  I'm so thankful for naturopathic medicine treatments/remedies!!!

Coming Soon....

For those of you that don't already know....we're expecting Baby Number 2 next spring!!  We're excited, but, mostly, just overwhelmed!  This little buggar is making it tough on me to be on the computer, so, posting is probably going to be far and few between!  I'm still taking pictures though!!  I'll have to catch-up at a later date I suppose.

Lots of Catching Up!!!

I have TONS of photos to share from the past few months, but, figured I'd start with the few I've already edited.  Right after Dave's parents headed home, my Dad and Mitzi came up for a visit.  We headed over to Hatcher Pass for a hike and Dave took lots of pictures.  I thought these were the best of the bunch and more importantly, already edited them! :O)

Dave was playing with the Black and White Mode on the camera...I'm going to have to take the camera rights away from him I think!!  If he'd done them in color, I could have converted to B&W, but, I don't know how to convert back to color.  So, what you see is what I've got!

Owen Skating Video...

I think we've texted this to most of you, but, I just think its the cutest thing ever.  We're hoping that Owen will play on the hockey team this October, but, thanks to a "Learn To Play Hockey" class that was more like hockey boot camp for 12 year olds, his confidence is low.  Dave will have to work with him this month if he can find the time!!  I hope this posts, if you can't see it, please let me know!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


I edited both of these photos the other night and just now remembered them...

I took this one a couple weeks ago.  Owen had a long day fishing with dad and wanted to watch t.v. on his little dvd player (not sure why thats a thrill).  Anyway, Dave came downstairs and was talking to me while I worked on dinner.  I don't know how much time had passed when I finally realized we hadn't heard from Owen.  Dave doesn't realize how much excitement fishing can be for a little boy...he was absolutely exhausted!!  Of course, pants were off as soon as he walked through the door...when is he going to outgrow this "stage"!!!

This is just a shot from our photo shoot the other day.  I missed it when I first edited the photos, but, caught it later and especially like it for some reason.  I think because its truly how our little man looks without a cheesy picture grin on his face...plus, I love how the pink in his cheeks shows! ;O)

What does $250 Buy You....

Hockey gear for a four-year-old!!  O.k., not really, we already had the "expensive" parts...his skates and helmet...thank goodness!!  I just had to share these shots of Owen in his gear, I couldn't decide between the two photos, so, you get them both.  We were just trying everything on, so, don't mind the tags.  All I can say is this kid better get a scholarship out of this!  

There was a guy in the store that had two kids in hockey...we'd have to re-finance the house for a second one! ;O)  Owen is absolutely ecstatic though, so, hopefully it's as fun to him on the ice as it is at home!!  We'll keep you posted...

Lil' Kicker...

I have tons of photos to go through from our 4th, but, couldn't resist posting these really quick.  I took them of Owen after soccer practice today.  He's sure enjoying it, he starts hockey on Tuesday and is super stoked!  It's only a 3-week class, but, I'm hoping he gets a lot out of it in preparation for hockey season in September! ;O)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Gold Cord Lake...

We stayed close to home this holiday weekend, so, to make up for it, we tried to get out and do something every day.  On Friday we saw Cars 2...they've really made this one a boy movie.  I enjoyed it, but, thought it was a little dark and very James Bondish...they even killed off a few cars!!

On Saturday, we headed up to Hatcher Pass and hiked around for a few hours.  We typically just make our own trail up behind Independence Mine, but, this time, Dave decided we try something new and hike up to Gold Cord Lake.  It was a fairly steep hill, but, the trail weaved back and forth and made it a lot easier.  Of course, the scenery didn't hurt either!! 
They've done a really nice job on the trail and even have bridges built in here and there where necessary.

There was a lot of low hanging fog on the way up the mountain, but, it cleared as we approached the top and we got to see more and more of the mountains.
Owen led the way all the way up and seemed to really enjoy the hike.  But, he was definitely worn out by the time we headed back downhill and thought we should carry him...fat chance of that, he's too big!!

The lake was absolutely breathtaking and the water was so clear...all those brown rocks you see in the picture below are under water, crazy huh!

Of course, no trip to Hatcher Pass is complete in Owen's mind without taking some time to play on the little mine train they have on display (I don't know the technical term for this thing, but, I'm sure Dave will correct me when he reads this!).