Saturday, May 29, 2010

He's in the Army Now

Monday evening I drove two sick (one with an earache and one with a fever/puking) children up to Portland in order to give my brother a last hug before he reported for boot camp. He signed the dotted line a couple months ago but he didn't get picked up until last Sunday. He spent the night at a hotel and had a few hours free Monday evening to go out to dinner with us. Since I had two sick kids I met him at the hotel parking lot for five minutes. Totally worth it, I'm going to miss him!

He's starting out with an E4 rank in the Army due to his Masters degree. His goal is to make Officer Candidate School by the time his four years is done. I'm sure he will because he's pretty disciplined and has an excellent work ethic. So long as he gets the hang of doing what he's told with no questions (ha!) he'll probably do just fine. If nothing else he'll have his student loans completely paid for and a good sized savings account at the end of four years which is nothing to sneeze at either.

He's been in "purgatory" this past week waiting for boot camp to start. After boot camp in South Carolina he'll move to Georgia for his individual training in computer networks.

Since this is Memorial Day weekend I thought it'd be a good time to remind everyone to think about those who have or are serving our country. They sacrifice a lot and I know I for one appreciate them. Here's to my Uncles Greg & Brad, Aunt Rhonda, Grandpa Jack, Grandpa Bob, David's Grandpa Delbert, David's cousin Brian (currently in Iraq), and now my brother who have all served. Thank you!

I wanted to share some photos of my brother but when I went through my zillions of photos ( May 2010 folder has 666 photos in it and the month isn't over yet!) I couldn't pick just one. So I made three collages!

And last but not least...I had to share this I Heart Faces winning photo. The theme was laughter. Brian is convinced it won because of his natural beauty.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Last Day of Preschool

Can you believe that an entire year of preschool has gone by? Neither can I! It doesn't seem so long ago that she was headed to her first day of preschool. Next up is kindergarten! I attempted to take a few photos today but Grace wasn't being a super cooperative subject (as per usual) so they're not the greatest. Plus her hair looks like a mess which is what happens when we go to Indoor Park and she plays dress up all morning. Oh well. I did think ahead and took some photos of Grace with her teacher on Wednesday after class so we didn't have to wait in line today to do so.

Grace is super excited about going to kindergarten next year. We celebrated her completion of preschool tonight by having her favorite dinner (spaghetti), having Neapolitan ice cream for dessert, and watching Tinkerbell. We talked about her favorite things she learned in preschool and what she's going to learn next year. I'm really glad she's so excited about going to kindergarten next year!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Jiu Jitsu!

I tagged along with David to his Jiu Jitsu class in Corvallis one night in February and brought my camera along with me by his request. Since the class was in a school gym at night the lighting wasn't super so my photos turned out better in b/w in my opinion. It was fun to watch and see what David has been doing every Wednesday and Thursday night since September. Apparently the guys in his class have been asking to see the photos I took ever since February so today I finally got around to editing them. I thought I'd share some of them here so you can all see what fun can be had in a smelly gym with sweaty guys grappling each other. Or something like that.

Remember when David started last fall? Well he just earned his second stripe and his goal is to be a blue belt by the end of the year.

Here he is watching the action.

Is that a smile? Yeah I think he's having fun.

The guys in the white gis were easier to photograph.

David on top. His hair is getting a bit mussed.

Rolling with each other in practice. I had to keep an eyeball out for body parts flying my way...these guys can move pretty quick!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ethan's Stomach Bug

If you have a weak stomach you may not want to read any further. Consider yourself warned.

Yesterday morning I was awoken at 8am by Grace telling me that Ethan threw up in his crib. Indeed he had. I cleaned him up, stripped the bed, started a load of all the icky laundry, and sat down on the couch with Ethan. It didn't take long for him to throw up again. And again. And again. After the first couple hours it was clear that this stomach bug wasn't progressing the same way it usually does. Usually when Ethan wakes up sick he'll throw up several times in a 2-3 hour window and then he's done. Not this time.

He took his nap for about 3 hours which was the only 3 hour block of time in which he wasn't actively throwing up. He woke up by throwing up in his crib again. By dinner time it was clear that it wasn't stopping and I was starting to get worried because there was literally nothing left in his system other then the small amounts of water and Pedialyte he was drinking and promptly refunding. I called the on-call nurse after dinner and we tried their suggestion of giving him 2 Tbsp of sugary soda two to three times 5 minutes apart and then switching to 2 Tbsp of Pedialyte. The nurse said if he couldn't keep that down to go ahead and take him to the Emergency Room since there wasn't much else we could at home. We tried that method three times in ninety minutes without success. By that time we were exhausted and decided to throw in the towel since it was obvious that he couldn't keep anything down.

We quickly packed two bags and I took Ethan to the local Emergency Room at 9pm. There were quite a few people ahead of us so we had a bit of a wait which wasn't fun. Since there were so many people one of the doctors came out to look at everyone quickly (I think to make sure there were no true emergencies) and when she saw Ethan she quietly checked his pulse. Yes he looked pretty bad. He was tired but not sleeping, just staring listlessly off into space which is scary.

Once we got in a room they gave him some Zofran which is an anti-nausea drug and he instantly perked up. We stayed in that room until about 1am giving him Popsicles and little drinks of juice as the doctor monitored him. We were worried we would need to give him an IV but the Zofran made it so he was able to keep the liquids down and we were able to avoid it. I'm glad because I don't think he would have liked that so well. When they first took his vitals he just laid there without moving and let them do whatever they wanted to him. That's when you know your toddler is sick. When they're cooperative because they don't feel good enough to move. They even tried to weigh him on the regular scale but he was at the point where he couldn't even stand up by himself so we made a best guess.

My instructions as we got the paperwork to come home was to put him to bed and then wake him up at 6am to continue the Popsicle and juice every 20-30 minutes routine. Naturally Safeway closed at 1am and we drove by at about 1:19am so I had to get up just before 6am to make a run for Popsicles and more Pedialyte. I was so tired I didn't even remember to buy a Sunday paper! I did however, remember that I had a Pedialyte coupon that was a Buy One Get One Free deal and as a bonus I got a $1.50 off my next Safeway purchase coupon.

So far today Ethan has kept all the liquids and Popsicles that he's eaten down which is a great thing. He's even eaten 1/3 of a banana. He has spent most of the day on the couch or laying on his sleeping bag on the living room floor and has been sleeping a lot. He's definitely not back to normal since he's not interested in playing, but at least he's starting to recover. I just hope that nobody else gets this yucky bug. I absolutely hate to throw up and I think being thrown up on is probably up there in my Top 10 Least Favorite Parts of Motherhood list. Yesterday I think I changed clothes 5 times which has got to earn me some sort of Motherhood Survival Badge.

I didn't have my camera at the hospital with me but I did have my phone so I have some photos to share. The first is of Ethan wearing his ridiculously huge hospital gown and eating his first Popsicle which was the first thing he kept down all day!

There's not a lot of toddler friendly tv programing late at night but I did manage to find a soccer and baseball game on ESPN that kept him happy. I was happy that we didn't have to make use of the puke bucket!

He fell asleep the last hour or so that we were there. Poor little guy earned his rest!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Super Safeway Score!

I haven't posted much about my couponing on this blog in awhile but I thought that today's second trip to Safeway deserved a post because I made $4.79 by buying $49.92 worth of groceries. Read that again if you didn't get it the first time because it just might blow your mind. I came home with $49.92 worth of groceries for $3.21 out of pocket and catalinas for $8 off my next Safeway purchase (which will be tomorrow for more cereal!) so I actually earned money by shopping. I love it when couponing makes me money!

What did I buy? I bought 4 boxes of Kashi cereal, 2 Scrubbing Bubbles Cleaners, 2 Scrubbing Bubbles Cleaners Refills, and 5 pieces of candy. The candy was a treat for my kids because we made a zillion stops at stores today and I needed a bribe to get them to not scream like banshees because I made them go to Safeway twice today. That was money well spent. It's also why only two candy bars are pictured...the other three were consumed on the way home!

Here's how it broke down:

(4) boxes of Kashi Cereal $2 each when you buy 4 or $8
(3) $1.50/1 Vocal Point coupons (you should definitely look into signing up with Vocal Point for their awesome coupons!)
(1) FREE box of Kashi Vocal Point Coupon (this cashier gave me the full price amount $4.49 back...YMMV!)
(3) Safeway doublers for $1.50
Total: $I made $2.49!

(2) Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-a-Clean Starter Sprayers $6.99 or $13.98
(2) $5/1 Coupon found HERE
(1) Safeway doubler for $.50
Total OOP: $3.48
Earned $3 catalina for buying each one which means I really made $2.52!

(2) Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-a-Clean Refills $3.50 or $7
(2) FREE refill when you buy a starter Coupon found HERE
Earned $1 catalina for buying each one which means I made $2!

The candy wasn't a super fantastic deal nor did I use a coupon, but it did make the kids happy. The candy cost $2.22 for four candy bars and a box of Nerds (ick).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mothers Day and a Birthday

Today is my mother in law's birthday and we had the pleasure of having her visit us the past few days including Mothers Day. On Saturday my mother in law, Grace, and I joined my Mom at her church's Mothers & Others Tea which was a lot of fun. I was pretty lucky to be there with both my moms and daughter! We celebrated both my mother in law's birthday and Mothers Day Sunday evening with a super fantastic barbecued salmon dinner. We even made a lemon cake with lemon frosting that afternoon which we enjoyed after dinner. Grace sprinkled.

I'm pretty fortunate to have a mother in law that I really like and enjoy spending time with. I hear horror stories from other women and I thank my lucky stars that I have such a great mother in law! She raised two pretty nice boys and they both think she's pretty special. So do I. Happy Birthday and we're so glad you were able to visit!

It wouldn't have been Mothers Day without an attempt to get photos with my children. It is after all, the one day a year my husband attempts to take a photo of me and my children. This year it didn't go so well. This photo pretty much sums it up:

He did manage to get a few photos of me with my kids individually though. I'll take what I can get.

Ethan didn't want to sit with me at all and was much happier sitting on Grandma or Oma's lap. Apparently on Mothers Day I'm chopped liver.

Please note that a good majority of this photos were not taken by me but by my darling husband. He will want you all to know that when he was a senior in high school his photography teacher told him to major in Photography because he's very good. He doesn't like to show off his skills very often, and I'm starting to wonder if he's telling me stories. If he's able to get an in focus photo of me looking like a million bucks with two happy smiling children I will humbly bow down to his superior skills.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Parry Family Chronicles Turned 2!

So I've totally been a slacker on this blog and missed our two year anniversary on April 25th. I can't believe I didn't even remember about it until yesterday! I did remember to post last year on the one year anniversary and I figure that late is better then never so here's the post dedicated to celebrating my two years of blogging about our crazy life.

I've been posting less on this site lately because my time has been consumed by my kids and photography which leaves me less time to chat on here. Do you have any idea how much time it takes to not only take a photo (or over two hundred...) a day and then EDIT them all? A lot I tell you. A lot. It's addicting. I do post my photo of the day on an almost daily basis on my Project 365 blog so if you're looking for more action I suggest you check it out.
Here's the highlights from the last year:
  • My fabulous father in law and husband made toy bins for the living room and we started to redo the kids' room!
  • My "Laughter" photo was chosen by The Pioneer Woman as a finalist in the I Heart Faces challenge...Ree actually liked my photo! *Swoon*
  • David started Jiu Jitsu
  • We went on our first Family Camping Trip with our friends James & Jessi
  • Grace started Preschool
  • Ethan started potty training (though we're very far from being done)
Please tell me I'm not the only one who enjoys this blog! What's been your favorite post this year?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Living it up in Lincoln City

A little over a week ago our family spent four days in Lincoln City with my Mom and younger brother and had a lot of fun! My brother joined the army and will be shipping off for boot camp in a few weeks so we wanted to have some family time before he leaves. My Mom found an awesome house for us to stay in which worked out really well. We all had a bed except for the kids, but they think sleeping in their sleeping bags on the floor is a treat. We also had a bit of a view which we enjoyed, a hot tub which we really enjoyed, and were able to bring our dog Zoe. Perfect.

We had pretty good weather for our stay but it was absolutely gorgeous Friday morning when we spent several hours on the beach. No wind, lots of sun, warm enough to go without coats...does it get any better? Ethan has finally gotten over his fear of walking on the sand and happily spends hours playing in it. If he had a stick he was over the moon. Grace has always loved playing in the sand and discovered the joy of collecting seashells. We also played our "chase the ocean without getting wet" game with the kids which was a lot of fun. Ethan shrieked with laughter when we held him while running from the waves but wanted absolutely nothing to do with putting his own feet on the cold wet sand. Grace didn't mind it.

We visited the Outlet Mall there three times (once was just to exchange a few things for sizes though...does that really count?) and otherwise stuck to the beach or the beach house. We played a lot of games including the perennial favorite Pass the Pigs. The kids really liked that one. We also hit up the hot tub every night which felt super great. We even brought the kids in with us a few times and they loved it too.

The highlight of the trip for me was going tidepooling with Gracie. Ethan didn't care for walking on the rocks so he stayed on the sand with Grandma and Daddy. Gracie on the other hand loved it! We found a bucketful of shells (only picked up the ones that didn't have a living creature inside!), touched some pink sea anemone, and found some pretty agates. I even handed the camera off to David to get some photos of me to prove I was there.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mission Impossible: Photographing my children TOGETHER

If you ask any portrait photographer if it's easy to photograph their children I'll bet most of them say "heck no!" My children are pretty used to the camera by now. My son is a dream child to photograph, he cooperates by looking at me while sitting still and smiling. My daughter on the other hand, has better things to do with her time. Like look anywhere other then at me, only smile with her mouth open as wide as possible, or flapping her arms like a bird. Taking photos of her is probably my biggest challenge. No, scratch that. Taking photos of my children together is my biggest challenge. Why is that? Because my normally cooperative son can't stand to have his sister give him a bear hug or sit within two feet of him. My daughter becomes more cooperative, but only because she can tell how annoyed her brother is when she displays sisterly affection. It drives me nuts.

Yesterday I decided to risk the odds and attempt Mission Impossible. I sat both the kids on the stool in the middle of the soggy grass barefoot so that they weren't tempted to get off. Neither child likes to walk in the mud with bare feet so this forced them to sit next to each other without moving. Yes, I'm a mean mother. Then I tried to get them to interact without killing each other. As per usual Grace was more then happy to smother her little brother in kisses and hugs. And also as usual Ethan detested it. Then my very smart super intelligent husband opened the office window behind me and made the kids laugh. They smiled real smiles and didn't even seem to realize what was happening. I may have to try this trick again!

Here's the outtakes...very minimally edited. For the best of the bunch head over to my Project 365 blog.