Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy 35th!

My amazing husband celebrated his 35th birthday today! As he inches closer to the big 4-0, I'm enjoying my status as his young, hip, trophy wife... riiight! :)

Our niece, Melissa, offered Rick one of the greatest birthday presents ever- to watch the kids overnight! We decided on a night away somewhere close to home, but not too close... Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Washington. Beautiful! We had such a wonderful time. The afternoon started with a couple's massage at the Waterleaf Spa, followed by a soak in the outdoor hot tub in the pouring rain. It was SO relaxing! We checked into our forest view room with a fireplace, but were pleasantly surprised to open the shades to a beautiful river view room, with a view of the Columbia River! The king size bed actually faced the window, so we could sit in bed and enjoy the cool view! The main dining room menu was a little too fancy for our tastes, so we settled on splitting some nachos and a hamburger in the more casual bar/restaurant. Yummy food! After our relaxing massages and full bellies, a late evening nap was in order. We had booked a dinner and a movie package at the resort, which included our dinner that night, an in-room movie, and popcorn and sodas delivered to our room. So, at 9pm, we order our popcorn and sodas and started "Yes Man" on the television. It was a treat to enjoy a non-kid movie for a change!

We were able to sleep in (another BIG treat!) and get ready a leisurely pace. With growling stomachs, we made our way back towards Gresham and decided on breakfast at the Multnomah Falls Lodge. The Sunday brunch was good, but the table by the fire and our view of Multnomah Falls out the window were great! It was a fun, spontaneous, end to our 24 hours of alone time. A HUGE thank you to Melissa for being brave enough to watch all three kids for us and even braving the Children's Museum with Riley and Tyson alone! We appreciate it!

After our dinner and before our nap!
With all the rain and cold outside, the fireplace in our room made it very cozy!
The amazing view of the Columbia River out our window
After Sunday Brunch at the Multnomah Falls Lodge
And a full-length shot of the Falls... the picture does not do it justice, so awesome!

A fun sidenote about the trip across the river to Stevenson. We crossed the Columbia River from Cascade Locks into Stevenson over The Bridge of the Gods, which was featured on one of our favorite shows, The Amazing Race 13. The 13th Race ended in the Portland area and one of their final tasks was to ride a zip-line off the bridge onto an small island in the Columbia. It was fun to be exactly where they filmed it and we were left wondering how long they had to close down the bridge, build the zip-line, etc. I love that show!

Happy Birthday, Rick!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Over the river and through the woods...

... to grandmother's house we go!!

We just got back from another whirlwind visit to the Tri-Cities to spend time with family. You know the phrase, "It's always something"? Well, that's how I feel about our visits to the Tri-Cities. Every time we plan a visit, something seems to come up that shortens the amount of time we are able to stay. Over Thanksgiving, I had class Tuesday night, preventing us for coming the whole week. At Christmas, it was the bad weather and closed I-84 that kept us from coming earlier. And this week, the kids had their swim lesson Tuesday night, causing us to have to leave earlier from our Spring Break vacation than we would have liked. We were still able to have a quality visit with family, but didn't really get a chance to see any friends this visit- always a bummer!

Friday night, we left town after Rick finished school and meeting with our tax guy and didn't pull into Kennewick until 10:30pm. We enjoyed a lazy Saturday morning at my mom's and I was able to go for a run in the chilly, rainy weather in my mom's neighborhood. After a quality naptime for the kids, we made our way to my dad's house for some of his World Famous BBQ burgers... alright, maybe not world famous, but we LOVE them! Great home cooked meals were a theme for the weekend... my mom made a great quiche for breakfast, we had homemade pizza for lunch, and then the cheeseburgers at my dad's. No wonder I gained a couple of pounds while we were gone!

Sunday morning, we hit the road early for a day trip to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The weather certainly could have been better (think rain, cold, more rain, and wind), but we enjoyed lunch at the Coeur d'Alene Resort and walking around some of the shops. Rick had never been there before and I'm hoping he and I will be able to go back when the weather is warmer and maybe even without the kids! :) On our way back to Kennewick, we made a stop at our good friends, Maggie and Casey's, for another yummy home-cooked meal. It was great to catch up with them and let the kids all play together.

Monday morning brought another road trip, this time to Walla Walla to have lunch with my grandma at Applebee's. Monday was actually the first day of the trip that I remembered to take out the camera!

Cooper with his great-grandma Clarette
Our attempt at a picture of all the cousins on my grandma's couch.
Mommy and Cooper
Cousin Cassidy and Cooper
Uncle Bryan and Cooper
Daddy and Riley
Tyson, playing around with grandma's shoes... again
Riley and Tyson enjoying their new favorite activity... coloring!

We hit the road on Tuesday morning in order to get back in time for the swim lesson, which went really well! Over the past few lessons, Tyson has regressed a little and wasn't doing very well in his floating (think sinking, swallowing water, and many tears). He is battling a cold and we were a little worried the lesson was going to be a huge disaster again this week, however, he surprised us all and did awesome! Back to his old self and floating like a champ! I guess having to cut our trip short was worth it after all. The cold is slowly making it's way through our family... Cooper had it first, after we returned from D.C., then Riley had it, now Tyson and I seem to be in the midst of it. Let's hope Rick can avoid it and avoid having it ruin his much needed spring break! The tired, achy feeling and runny nose is already getting old!

This morning, Rick and I complied a rather long To-Do list for the remainder of spring break, which should keep the both of us pretty busy. We're both in a spring cleaning/organizing kind of mood, so I'm looking forward to crossing things off the list, one-by-one. Hopefully we'll have some great "after" photos to post of a few of our list items! Now, if only the weather would start feeling a bit more like spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's the little things that make me smile...

"Tyson, I want a hug."
Going to Costco with all three kids can be a challenge, but this moment made it all worth it yesterday!

Socks are yummy!
I think someone is teething...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

D.C. Continued

I'm finally getting a chance to do a little blog updating after returning from Washington D.C. late Monday night. Cooper, my mom, and I had a great time visiting my sister and getting a chance to see what her life has been like out there for the past couple of weeks. Being able to take the Metro everywhere was great and we were able to see and do quite a bit in only a few short days. My only complaint would be the weather we had while out there, it was cold and rainy most of the time.

As I mentioned in my first D.C. post, we got a chance to visit the Holocaust Museum and the American History Museum on Saturday. Saturday night, we drove to a little town called Tysons Corner and met some friends of my mom and sister for dinner, which was a lot of fun! Sunday morning, we took the Metro in to D.C. again and walked to the White House to snap a few pictures. We then hopped back on the Metro and went to Georgetown to meet my sister's friend Amy for brunch. Georgetown was really interesting, seeing all of the old buildings. The restaurant they chose ended up being full of history- it's the place where J.F.K. proposed to Jackie and several other presidents have eaten there over the years. It was called Martin's Tavern, I think.

The restaurant seemed a little small and I was nervous about taking Cooper in there and disturbing other customers, so he and I ended up grabbing a bite to eat at Starbucks instead and walking back into D.C. to check out the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument up close, and checking out a few more things at the American History Museum. It was pouring rain the whole walk from Georgetown to the Smithsonian and it took me about an hour and a half with a couple of sight-seeing stops along the way. I was pretty wet, but Cooper was all warm, dry, and cozy in the stroller! I know that if the weather had been better, we would've done a lot more walking around and sight-seeing, but the trip was really about seeing my sister and we had a great visit. I can't wait to get a chance to take our kids someday and really take time to explore all of the Smithsonian museums, the Holocaust Museum again, and other sights, like the Arlington National Cemetery.

Cooper and I, standing in front of the back side of the White House...
Looking through the fence of the front of the White House
I snapped this photo standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. You can see how wet and miserable it was outside, but I had so much fun walking all around and taking it all in!
Cooper and I walking through the Transportation Exhibit at the Smithsonian
Cooper did so well throughout the entire trip, even on the airplane! Doesn't he looked thrilled to be walking through the Smithsonian? :)
I stopped a stranger and asked him to take my picture with the Washington Monument in the background... it ended up looking like it was coming out of the top of my head!
In the photo, I was trying to get the Capitol Building in behind me without having to stop a stranger again... but didn't quite get it in the shot!
Second time is a charm! I hate these type of up-close and personal pictures of myself (especially after hours of walking in the rain), but I wanted a memory of being there- see the Capitol Building off in the distance? Also, my hair started out down that morning and then made it's way into a ponytail after my second shower...
Cooper was in the carseat and stroller so much throughout the trip, that he spent as much time as possible on his tummy when we were in my sister's room. While I was taking this picture, he was in the middle of telling me a very interesting story, probably about his favorite part of our adventurous day! :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tyson's stash

Rick emailed me this photo yesterday, with the following message...

"Notice all these toys? I just retrieved all of these from the heater duct. I guess I should have been paying closer attention to little Mr. Tyson. And to think I was so impressed that he was playing so well in the playroom."

A lot of toys for such a small heater duct... Oh, Tyson!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cooper and Brooke Go To Washington

My sister has been in the Washington D.C. area for the past two weeks, training for a new job with the Department of Energy. My mom was going to fly out and visit her this weekend and Cooper and I were able to tag along for a surprise visit! We arrived late last night (Friday) and today (Saturday) we rode the Metro into D.C. to visit the Holocaust Museum and Smithsonian American History Museum. When we came out of the museums, the rain kind of put a damper on our plans to walk around more, but we're hoping to make the rounds tomorrow- see the White House, the Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial, etc. My sister has been a great tour guide and she'll be here for another 2 weeks for training. I haven't taken a ton of pictures, but here a few so far...

Here is my little Coopster on the plane ride... he was a model passenger and getting to be a seasoned traveler!

I have to preface this photo with the confession that I am incredibly afraid of heights... The escalator ride down to the Metro by my sister's apartment is a steep, steep ride downhill. I was holding on to the railing for dear life on the way down, I couldn't even look down without my stomach doing flips! I was carrying Cooper in the Baby Bjorn and kept getting the sensation I was going to fall forward. Luckily tomorrow we'll be taking the stroller and we'll get to ride the elevator! This picture was taken from the bottom, looking up- it doesn't look nearly as scary from this angle. :)

I snapped this photo of the Washington Monument when we were walking from one museum to the next. I was a little surreal to look up and see the Capitol on our right and the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial on our left.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cleaning out the camera

Today I was cleaning out the pictures from our small Lumix digital camera and came across some photos from the past few weeks...

Riley getting her hair cut at Aunt Debbie's beauty shop in West Linn

Our nephew, David, at his Eagle Scout ceremony

The beautiful roses Rick got me for our anniversary last week

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Well-baby stats

Today I took all three kiddos in for their well-baby checks- Riley's 3 year, Tyson's 2 year, and Cooper's 4 month. Here's how they measured up!

3' 1.5" (54%) and 28lbs (19%)

2' 11.5" (73%) and 27lbs 4oz (37%)

2' 2.75" (93%) and 14lbs 5oz (30%)
The (%) is how they compare to other kids their age. The doctor put it well, they are all long and lean. I'm glad they are all growing and thriving! Did you notice that Tyson is only about a pound lighter than Riley? So funny! The one thing their doctor kept saying over and over was how impressed she was with Tyson's vocabulary and ability to communicate. Apparently he's pretty advanced verbally compared to other 2 year old boys- which can be good and bad for us! One of the benefits of having a talkative older sister!

As much as Riley and Tyson like to antagonize each other and fight over toys lately, it's nice to know they do still have a little love between them!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Happy 4th Anniversary!

Four years of marriage...
Three beautiful children...
A lifetime of love and adventures still ahead of us!

I love you Rick!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Last night at swim lessons, Riley earned her Superfloat Blue Ribbon! What does this mean? Riley got in the pool fully clothed (shoes and all), turned herself over, and floated... for 5 MINUTES!! And truth be told, she could have floated for A LOT longer than that! What an amazing accomplishment and so fun to see how far she has come over the past few months! The really funny thing is, she still HATES actually going under water, which is why I think she does so well at getting to the surface and floating!

Way to go Riley- we are so proud of you!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I learned something new yesterday...

Did you know that if you go into the ER with chest pains as a symptom, they pretty much get you seen as quickly as possible? I found that out last night.

I have been having pretty annoying chest pain for about a week now, along with abnormal fatigue, heartburn, back and neck pain, and a pretty bad headache. Last night, Rick convinced me not to take it too lightly and go get some things checked/ruled out. So, off to the ER I went, feeling pretty miserable. I was seen in record time considering the amount of people in the waiting room and went in before a bunch of other people (which made me feel pretty horrible).

After an EKG, wires all hooked up to my chest, oxygen thing on my nose, chest x-ray, blood work, checks for clotting issues, some esophagus numbing medication, and a "routine" IV shunt.... nothing was found to be wrong with my heart (thank goodness!) or blood clotting (also thank goodness). All my blood work, EKG, and chest x-ray were completely normal. The numbing medication for my esophagus was suppose to make it feel better, but only gave me really bad heartburn, so their best guess is that I'm having some sort of irritation in my esophagus that is radiating pain into the rest of my chest. It was a long night, but I'm thankful they were so thorough. I woke up with the same chest pain and headaches and other pains this morning, but at least I know my ticker is alright. The Pepcid prescription they gave me isn't 100% guaranteed safe while nursing, so I'm going to hold off on taking it for a few more weeks. Until then... live with the discomfort I suppose!


Got this from Heather's blog...

Pay it Forward...the first three people to leave a comment on this post will receive, at some point during the year, some goodies from me. What it will be and when it will arrive is a total surprise! The catch is that you must participate as well. Before you leave your comment, write up a pay it forward post on your blog to keep the fun going. Then sit back and anticipate the arrival of your goodies! Please submit in an e-mail or on the comment, your address, if I don't have it already. Remember that only the first three comments will receive a gift from me, so be quick! Have fun!