Tuesday, August 25, 2009


We met some friends at the Living Planet Aquarium yesterday. It was mine and Sandy's first time going to the aquarium.

Sandy loved it! Her favorite thing was this open pool full of rays and fish. They would come right up to you and let you touch them, although Sandy splashed so much, they never came right up to her. She could have stayed and splashed in the pool for the rest of the afternoon.

There was a section of tunnels and caves for the kids to crawl through.

There was a rock climbing area that Sandy tackled. All of the exhibits had steps so the kids could step up and get right next to the glass. Sandy loved the octopus. She kept trying to touch it through the glass.

Here's Sandy and I back at the pool. Did I mention that was her favorite?

We got a membership. Hey, it was only $16 for a year for me and Sandy (along with any kids 2 and under) is free. So, if anyone wants to go, let us know and we'll join you!

After the aquarium, we went to Wendy's for lunch. I put Sandy in one of the Wendy's high chairs and tried to feed her chicken nuggets, fries, and mandarin oranges. She wouldn't eat her food, threw everything I gave her onto the floor, and kept signing that she was all done.

Well, when I finished eating and got her out, I realized why. She had diarrhea while she was sitting there and it was everywhere - in her chair, up her back, down her legs. Of course, by the time I realized what had happened, I had picked her up and covered the front of my shirt, too. Ugh! The last time we had a blowout like that was on our way home from Island Park last Christmas (when I stripped her down in a gas station bathroom only to discover that my wipes were frozen solid...) But back to yesterday's blowout....

So, I took her into the bathroom to clean her up. And there wasn't a diaper changing station!! Or even a counter!! So, I wiped her down the best I could midair, pulled off her clothes, put on a fresh diaper....And, luckily, Jen popped in with a clean change of clothes she happened to have in her diaper bag that she let Sandy borrow. (I'm sure glad she was prepared! She even had a ziplock bag to store Sandy's soiled clothes.)

Then I came out to tackle the high chair and found one of the Wendy's employees just finishing disinfecting it. Whatever they are paying her, it definitely isn't enough!! And I should have said something, but I was embarrassed, covered in poop, and holding a tired, cranky baby. So I just left.

Well, Sandy took a great afternoon nap and has seemed fine since. So I guess the Wendy's incident was just impeccable timing...

No one warned me that so much of motherhood would involve being thrown up on and pooped on! I knew I'd have to clean it up, but there is a big difference between cleaning it up and being covered in it!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Got Milk?

Sandy drank a half cup of milk for breakfast this morning. This is the first time she has actually drunk milk. I even gave her chocolate milk one time and she only took a sip or two.

Her new like of milk is probably due to the fact that....

drum roll, please....

She is officially weaned! It has been 38 hours--and she hasn't even tried to nurse. I had a theory that if I went cold turkey when we got home from vacation the change in routine would smooth the transition. I guess it worked.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Homeward Bound

It's been a great trip: 12 days, over 3000 miles, but it will be nice to sleep in our own beds tonight!

We had a great visit with Grandma Gingie and Grandpa Pete. They have a doe with two fawns that visits their yard.

Here's a picture of one of the fawns taken from Grandma Gingie's window.

Sandy and I went out to the trampoline and were almost there before we realized the doe was bedded down next to it. She didn't seem afraid of us at all. I think that's the closest I've ever been to a deer.

It was so much fun to see Grandma Gingie and Grandpa Pete! Sandy is getting new teeth, though, and so she has been fussy, fussy, fussy. We tried to get pictures before we left, but she didn't have very much patience.

Luckily she settled down once we got her in the car. Let's hope she stays that way for the rest of the ride home.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rocky Mountain National Park

We just finished driving through Rocky Mountain National Park. It was beautiful!

Sandy has done really well in the car on this, the longest leg of our trip. It's the stops that are the hardest, though, because she doesn't want to get back into her carseat. Bill stopped to take pictures of the breathtaking views and Sandy was tired of being taken places and decided she just wanted to play with the rocks and dirt near the car.

Can you tell she's tired of driving?

We came around a bend and noticed several cars stopped on the side of the road. Where there are parked cars and tourists with cameras, there must be wildlife.

There were three bucks laying in a field right off the road! So we stopped and Bill took some pictures.

Now we are on our way to Grandma Gingie and Grandpa Pete's house.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Grandma & Grandpa

It is so much fun to watch my parents as grandparents! We had a great visit and Sandy warmed up to both of them very quickly. I wish we could see them more often.

We're heading toward Colorado, now. We'll get as far as we can tonight and probably stay somewhere in Nebraska.
Mom, I'll send you a CD of pictures. Our email is still down so I can't email them to you.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Butterfly House

Photo taken by Bill

My parents took us to the Butterfly House. It was amazing! A rainforest room filled with exotic butterflies.

Photo taken by Bill

I had thought we might get some fun pictures of the butterflies landing on the kids. This is the the closest we got, though.

Butterfly on my dad's pants.

Bill had a blast photographing the butterflies. My dad has gone there early on a Saturday morning to photograph the butterflies without anyone else around. Some of his photos are hanging in a room in the Butterfly House, but the room was closed so we didn't get to see them. He has them up on his website, though. They are in the Zoo/Captive Animals album.

The kids had fun looking at the butterflies, but they got bored before the rest of us were done. Luckily, the Butterfly House has a fantastic playroom!

My niece, Ava.

Ava loves to wear dresses every day. This is a dress her older sister, Bianca, wore at my wedding.

Left to Right: Sam, Joseph, Sandy, Sherri

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Splash Park

Today we went to the splash park with my sister-in-law and her kids.

My niece, Ava.

Bill and Sandy

Sandy taking a break from the splashing.

My niece, Bianca.

Sandy getting splashed.

Me and Sandy.

I couldn't find a picture of my nephew, Joseph, that didn't have a shot of my sister-in-law in her swimming suit. Her swimming suit was adorable and she looked great in it, but since I wouldn't really appreciate someone posting a picture of me in a swimsuit I figured I'd better leave it out.

My other niece, Baby Gretel, stayed home with my mom. Sandy really enjoyed meeting her newest cousin. She was fascinated with Gretel's mouth. She stuck her finger in it the first time they met and seemed really surprised at how wet it was. The second time she tried to stick Gretel's binkie in her mouth. The third time she tried to feed Gretel with a toy spoon. I'm glad she was so interested in the baby, but I guess we need to work on the concept of leaving their mouths alone.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

South Dakota

We made it to my parents' house in Sioux Falls, South Dakota! Here's what we did on the way....

Last night we stayed at a KOA in Custer, SD. This is my kind of camping: flushing toilets, hot showers, electrical outlets at the campsite.... And, a tent set-up area filled with soft sand so there is no chance of sleeping on roots or branches. Sandy thought it made a great sandbox.

Then we headed to see the famous rock faces...

But on the way we got distracted by another rock face.

Bill and Sandy at the Crazy Horse Monument.

Here we are at the rock faces we intended to see...

And a picture of Bill and Sandy.

The obligatory postcard...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Yellowstone National Park

Well, after road construction delays and getting lost, we made it to our campsite in Yellowstone National Park around 11 p.m. Sunday night.

Bill and I left Sandy sleeping in her carseat and got out to find that it was about 35 degrees outside. Not what we were expecting in August, I guess we should have checked the weather report.

Bill got the tent set up in record time. We decided it was too cold for Sandy to sleep in her pack and play, so we bundled her up between us and snuggled into our down sleeping bags.

Shortly after midnight, Sandy was cuddled up into Bill and I decided this camping thing wasn't too bad. Then Sandy rolled over, nuzzled into my neck, and threw up. Twice.

I wiped Sandy and I down the best I could with baby wipes and settled in for a long, restless night. Luckily we were able to find showers and a laundromat the next morning.

Then we were off to see the beauties of Yellowstone!

Bill and Sandy at Old Faithful.

Megan and Sandy at another geyser.

Megan and Sandy again.

Bill and Sandy making dinner back at the campsite.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

On the Road

We have officially started our roadtrip! We left yesterday evening and stopped in Evanston, Wyoming for the night. I know, I know, we didn't make it very far (maybe 2 hours from our house).

We had planned to leave Saturday morning before Bill got stuck with a lot of work that delayed our schedule and I had done the dishes and taken out the trash one last time about five or six times and decided we just needed to go.

Here's a picture of Sandy playing in the car when we stopped for lunch. We stopped in Daniel, Wyoming, to eat sandwiches next to a cemetery. As we walked around, though, we came across a Prairie of the Mass monument honoring the location of the first Catholic mass in Wyoming.

Then it was on to our first official stop: Grand Teton National Park.

Bill really wanted to see Mormon Row (above), which is the remnants of a settlement of Mormons within the park boundaries.

We made it to Jackson Lodge in time for a 5:45 sacrament meeting. It was a great meeting - the Jackson Hole Playhouse provided the speakers and music. The owner and the director are both members of the ward as are many of the cast members and so I guess it is an annual tradition that they present a musical sacrament meeting. There were some excellent talks, primarily focusing on gratitude, and beautiful songs including "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" and "I Stand All Amazed."

By the time we got done with the meeting, though, we were starving. So we thought we'd grab some food and eat it on our way to our campsite in Yellowstone National Park.

Sandy ate macaroni and cheese out of her snack trap. I love this snack cup!!

On to Yellowstone!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mommy Needs a New Toothbrush

and daddy really needs to remember to put the toilet lid down.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


One of my favorite websites is Goodreads. It keeps track of books I've read and books I want to read. I can share with friends, similar to facebook but specifically related to books.

However, I have been mystified by printing my "to read" list. The site offers a "print" option, but for some reason it doesn't really work. It looks like it will, but when I print it spits out extra pages. When I go to www.printwhatyoulike.com (a site to adjust the way websites print so you don't get extra pages), it doesn't read the page I want either.

So, I've just figured out a workaround and thought I'd share it here for my readers that are also goodreads members. (And if you aren't my friend on goodreads, add me - I'd love to see what you're reading.)
  1. Log into good reads
  2. Go to "my books"
  3. Go to "import" (left side bar, shown as "widgets | import | api")
  4. Go to "export to a csv file" (right sidebar)
  5. Choose "Open with Microsoft Office Excel" (this is the default option on mine) and click "ok"
  6. When the Excel file opens, sort by the "bookshelves" column (column p on mine) and hide or delete anything that is not listed as "to read"
  7. Delete or hide anything you don't want to print (I just leave columns A-title, B-author, and R-my review). Adjust page layout as necessary (I change to landscape orientation, narrower margins, and shade every other row*)

* excel will shade every other row for you, but how to do it depends on your version of excel. Type "shade every other row in excel" into Google for directions.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Road Trip Entertainment

We're getting ready for our roadtrip. I'm a little nervous about entertaining Sandy (13 months old) for 45 hours in the car. Yup, that's what the estimate is for roundtrip and all of our stops. We'll be spreading that out over a week and half. Here's what we have so far:

Lots of snacks.

Speaking of snacks, I found this great spill proof snack cup, the snack-trap, that Sandy loves.

Lots of books.

Some fun toddler tunes.

My sister-in-law reminded me of my mom's trick - wrapping things up for kids to open on long trips. Sandy hasn't really caught the vision of opening presents, but she loves little bags, boxes, and purses. So, I thought I'd bring some along and occasionally tuck treats and toys inside and let her discover them.

I found an idea online - bring bubbles! We can blow them inside the car for Sandy to look at or outside at rest stops.

Electronic toys.

Some outdoor toys for rest stops.

Well, that's what we have. Hopefully it keeps her entertained. Any other suggestions?