Monday, July 21, 2008

My Grandfather

This is my Grandfather (my mother's dad). He now lives in Salt Lake with his wife Elaine. My Granny passed away 7 years ago and my Grandfather has since remarried. (and yes, we call him "Grandfather". We love visiting them.

Flying on planes with small children

My kids love flying. I would too if someone packed all my stuff and prepared me a special backpack filled with new toys and yummy treats. But as it is, I endure flying. The whole time I just thank my lucky stars we aren't driving and that is enough to get me through. On this most recent flight, there was a moment when everyone but me was asleep. I thought -- "This is Great!!!!" I was wrong. Here is what happened next. First, I decided to slide Madelyn's head off of my lap and next to me on the chair. That left me with only half a chair, but at least I had peace and quiet . . . Trent was holding Adam who was asleep and Julianne had her head Trent's lap when all at once Adam woke up. He was kicking and complaining and so Trent handed him off to me so he wouldn't wake up Julianne. And that is where it got hard. You see everyone else slept the rest of the time and Adam and I shared that 1/2 seat the remaining 2 hours. It is bad enough to share 1 seat with a busy 22 month old kid, but a 1/2 seat????? it was a LONG TWO HOURS.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

And the thunder rolls . . .

As if getting all ready to move this weekend isn't enough. We have been having the most amazing thunder/lightning storms this week. Every afternoon right when the kids need to get outside and do something, the storm starts. And on Tuesday while we were all at the dentist, we think our house was struck by lightning. I came home to find no phone, no internet, 1 clock radio dead, 1 GFCI outlet (the one that controls the bubbles in my bathtub) totally fried, the whole electrical system that runs the security system and the smoke detectors fried, and the DVR box not working too well -- it acts like it has a short in it and the remotes no longer work well. The phone was fixed on Wednesday, the internet was fixed today, my dad and trent got the gfci back in order and looked and read but can't figure out the security system so the electrician is coming tomorrow morning. I called the dish people hoping for a quick fix, but they could only send me a new box, and knowing we are cancelling dish tomorrow I decided we would be fine for 1 day using the slow to respond remotes. In the meantime I am packing all of us for our 2 week vacation in Utah and trying to organize everything for the packers who arrive tomorrow.

The kids have been really good. And they have had so much fun rediscovering toys as I organize . We have a busy crazy 5 days ahead, but then we will be on vacation and the stuff will be on its way to our new home!!!!!

And, I survived the contract process (Trent laughs at me for being such a worrier!) and I am so relieved to have been able to rent this beautiful home in Connecticut. We are so excited for our new adventure. (Although I am not sure how excited I am to be unpacking -- if only all the work would be all done!)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fourth down

Fourth down -- as in July the fourth
We had such a great time on the fourth of July that I never got around to taking any pictures. We had a relaxing morning. Every hour or so I had a "patriotic" activity. Sometimes I would call the kids and Trent around the piano and we would sing patriotic songs. I thought it was high time the kids learned them. We made it happily through "My Country, tis of thee" and "The Star Spangled banner" and then in the interest of family harmony we did not do any more (I was also gonna include "America the beautiful" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy"). We colored flags and learned what the stars and stripes represent. The kids thought it pretty great that we are moving from "just a star" to a "star and a stripe". They think it is pretty cool that Connectictut is one of the 13 original colonies. Later that day all of my family came over for dinner, swimming at the Lazy River Pool, and fireworks. We put on quite the show and the kids all had fun. Adam was pretty scared at the beginning of the fireworks, but by the end he was running around and enjoying (with a lot of parental help) sparklers.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Do I have the stomach for it???

Last night at the swim team end of year season my girls made me enter the adult hula hoop contest. Now, I have not hula hooped for probably 9 years and have since had 4 children . . . but I won, and it was a piece of cake. Now if only that meant my stomach was like a six pack and all nice and flat . . . but it doesn't!

Then today we have been going over the contract to lease the house in Connectictut. I now know why I majored in Genetics. There are no contracts in genetics, there is no tricky wording. There are only four letters (A, C, G, and T). When conducting experiments on cells there are no contracts or clauses. I simply don't have the stomach for contract negotiations. Trent on the other hand deals with contracts all day long. He reads them with a fine tooth comb. He notices every detail. I read something and say, "I think what they mean is this . . ." He reads them and says, "but what it says legally is this." I get emotionally attached to the paper and feel bad for it if we find any changes. He bleeds all over the paper and assures me that the contract will be better for it. I know it to be true for pruning bushes, but it just makes me a wreck when it comes to contracts. I always wonder what the other party is thinking. Are they more like me? or are they more like Trent? And then there is just the impersonal nature of them. How can you assure on paper that a person will take as good (if not better) care of your house? I don't have any way to say . . . "Hey come on over and check out my current house -- see how we live, It will set your mind at ease"

I couldn't do it for the family moving into our house (England is a bit far) but I wished I could.

This almost makes it sound like the contract negotiations have been bad . . . they have not, but any level of back and forth makes me feel all confrontational . . . good thing Trent can handle it. Hopefully it will all be over soon.


For all of my friends who may read this blog who knew the Cluff family, (Rod, Melissa, Jessica, Jane, and Grace). I just wanted you to know that Grace, their youngest daughter (almost 6 yrs old) has been diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma and has begun chemotherapy in Austin, TX. They have started a blog to keep everyone updated as well as a care calendar (the info is on the top of the blog) for those wanting to help. Their blog is

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Catherine loses her first tooth!!!!

June 30 -- Catherine lost her first tooth during dinner. She was very nervous about losing her teeth, but now she is a pro. The permanent tooth is already in place.

She told me she looks cuter, with her tooth missing!
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The License plate game

While stuck in traffic for about 25 minutes, I started taking pictures of license plates to see how many we could get. I missed several (including Texas), but there are certainly a lot of people vacationing in New York

The rest of the trip

I won't bore you all with the tons of other houses we saw. In summary, there are 2 houses that are "back up" plans. They are in upper saddle river New Jersey. They are both beautiful and big. The funniest thing we saw was a nice home with a bidet in the powder half-bath right off the entryway to the house. I guess they really want their guests to feel comfortable. (they also had one in the master bath -- but Wow, the half bath???? pretty crazy !) Here are the other highlights.