Sunday, September 14, 2014

Aunt Helen and a monsoon

My sister-in-law, Helen, came to visit us for a day last week!  She lives in Alaska but travels for work and had a conference in Phoenix.  So she booked her flight and hotel a day early so she could spend some time with us.  Two days before she came we had a pretty good monsoon that cut our power a couple times.  The night before she came, we had a historic monsoon that kept us up all night.  The lightening flashed every second, literally, for I don't even know how long, but it was bright in our room as often as it was dark.  The power went out again and I heard the boys screaming in their room.  Bryce is really afraid of the dark.  He can sleep through the fire alarm, babies climbing on his head, I can flip on his lights and put away laundry in his room or whatever, but the second his nightlight goes off he senses it and starts to cry.  So he was crying and I think Gabe was feeding off of him and was upset.  But it was understandable, it was actually kind of creepy to go from such pitch black to such bright flashes so intensely.  So I rounded up the candles and flashlights again and tried to get them back to sleep and head back myself.  I knew it rained most of the night, but I had no idea just how much.  

The next morning it was still raining and Marty headed off for work and to take BandB to school like he always does,  I didn't think much of it.  He called after he dropped them off to say how rainy it was and how bad some of the roads were.  I worried about it a little because I once caught myself in a bit of a flash flood.  It wasn't raining when I went to the store, when I came out it was, and by the time I was driving home it was the "dumping" kind of rain.  I didn't know the streets in QC very well yet at that time and I picked a bad one and I honestly was not being able to tell just how deep the water was.  The water came up so high on the car it really scared me, but somehow I made it up on the drier side and was fine.  But since then I've been able to see why you have to be careful.  ANYWAY.  When Marty got to school he called me again and said that his school was cancelled, they just wanted everyone to stay home and be safe.  So at that point I hopped online to see the news and the facebook feeds and everything.  This is what I saw:

I had friends with flooded basements, with water retention areas filling up to their front door, with landscaping that honestly looked like waterfalls.  So then I started worrying about Helen's plane coming in and whether I'd be able to get the kids later on in the day.  I almost went to pick them up early, just in case it got any worse but I'm glad I didn't.  By the time I went to get the kids it was still raining, but not as hard.  There was really only one street I saw that was pretty washed out, but I was always totally comfortable.  At that point it had become the wettest day on record, the governor declared a state of emergency, and there were even a few fatalities.  It was also being called a "slow moving disaster," because it took a while for this to happen:

Lots of people out of homes, and many more without power for days at a time (and it's still HOT here).  I really felt for what people in Mesa were going through, and was grateful we didn't get the worst of it.  

But I knew our chances of seeing Helen on Monday would be pretty slim.  Luckily for us, she rearranged her schedule and got out of some things Friday so that she could be here Thursday night and Friday morning before flying back out.  It was sooo good to be with her!

Ok, I love my brothers and everything, but I waited a long time for sisters so I actually loved having time to chill and chat just with her.  Thursday night we played apples to apples and got the kids down and chilled.  Then Friday morning we had a yummy breakfast of eggs benedict at the QC Olive Mill down the road.  We got to sit and enjoy the morning before it got too hot...and then I got the pleasure of chasing the babies around the olive tree grove when they decided they had had enough, haha!

Then we picked up the kids from school early so they could have a little more time with her before she had to take off.  And I was just hoping her travels would be a little smoother on the way home.  No floods or shuttle wrecks or crazy Pedro. ;)

Thanks for making it work, Helen!  We all love you so much and are so glad we could spend time with you!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hello, September

Brynn went to a birthday party and I had some time on my hands, so I took advantage of having a girly-girl and had some fun with her hair.

Two things to note on the table.  One of them should be pretty obvious.  Marty caught her in the act when we got lazy about pushing the table and chairs against the wall and took a picture.  Also, there is Brynn's new prized possession, the My Little Pony she got with her little friend at the Build-a-Bear party.  I love those two little friends together, they are so much alike and so easy-going and kind with each other.

These next two pictures I didn't even know existed until Marty downloaded them onto the computer - he is so sentimental!  I guess Sunday is Camille's day for injuries.  I'm always telling Marty he doesn't know his own strength!  He loves to rough-house with the kids and they love it too.  So Sunday he was swinging Camille up and down, and because of Bryce's nurse-maid elbow issues he ALWAYS lifts the kids by their shoulders. And then of course this ONE time he swung Camille up by her hands, her arm popped out of socket.  So we very calmly (HA!) tried to decide if we attempt to pop it back in ourselves (last time we tried it with Bryce I just couldn't get it and made the swelling so much worse) or if we run her into urgent care.  Then we started thinking of friends who would know what they were doing.  Marty decided to look down the road to see if a good family friend of ours was having a family get-together, knowing they often do that on Sundays and one of their sons is a pediatrician.  It was the sweetest tender mercy; that friend's son just happened to be there and was able to be at our house and popping the elbow back in within five minutes.  We were so grateful for the way the whole thing turned out, and grateful for friends and selfless service (he was so sweet with Camille - he had her smiling and playing and then snuck the pop in before she had any idea what was going on!).

So anyway, it was getting late so after things calmed down I took the older three to put them down and Marty said he wanted to put Camille down.  I was listening to him squeeze her and sing to her and read books to her, like he had to make it up to her - and apparently he was taking pictures, too.  He's a tender daddy. :)


Crazy hair day at school.  Brynn told me this year she wanted her hair to look like a doughnut!  We sprayed the heck out of it, and I was amazed at how many of the sprinkles were still up there when she got home!

Marty's birthday was SO fun this year!  It was on a Saturday (oh yeah!) and we had nothing whatsoever going on, which is super rare for Saturdays.    The night before we had gone out to dinner with the other teachers on Marty's faculty at Joe's Farm Grill, and I can't believe I haven't been there before, the patio is beautiful with such mature trees!  Anyway, they give you $10 to spend on your birthday, but it has to be the day of.  We mentioned that we had been to Liberty Market and Joe's BBQ, two places close by it that do the same thing on birthdays.  Then someone else mentioned that they had made "the grand loop" before and hit up all three.  Yep.  We had Saturday wide open and we DID IT.  It was awesome.  So here I go, a little embarrassed by it, but here are the freebies we hit up that day.

  • We started out by Going back to Joe's Farm Grill and getting a pizza as somewhat of an appetizer.  We ordered ahead and just picked it up.
  • Then we went bowling (psht, no freebies there!)
  • Then we went picked up our order of a BBQ sampler at Joe's BBQ.
  • We went across the street to Liberty Market for Dessert.
  • After that, I really wanted to stop at Ross to get shoes for Bryce.  I had gotten more cortisone shots in my feet earlier in the week and hadn't been able to run any errands, so we were planning to run a few together really quickly.  Camille was asleep in the car, so Marty said he would just stay out in the car with her.  Well, Chick Fil A was in the same parking lot, so what's a birthday boy to do?  Hit them up on free ice cream, that's what! (By the way, Bryce was falling asleep in the cart and kept hitting his head on the sides as he went down, then Gabe threw up all over himself, me, and the cart not so we hightailed it out of there and got him home - just car sickness mixed with too much junk food, sorry Gabe).
  • Later that night we got a free ticket to Jesterz, and free custard after at Nielsen's, but I'll elaborate on that later...
So yes, I'm part proud of all the freebies and part embarrassed by them - but the day was just so much FUN!

Bowling was totally ridiculous.  We forgot the stroller and Camille was even more of a monkey than usual, so we traded off chasing after her.  I got lots of strikes and spares - followed by five strait gutterballs!  It's cool though, because I still beat Marty who, for the first time ever, didn't break 100!  We will blame all the little crazies around us for Marty losing his focus. ;)

I do not like bowling.  I don't like stinky bowling allies, smelly shoes, and grimy finger holes in the balls.  But somehow in UT County that is like the go-to date, so I wound up bowling more than I cared to.  After Marty and I married I broke the bad news that I just flat-out didn't want to go bowling anymore.  So I've only been a few times since I've been married, and it's always been on Marty's birthday because he gets to request whatever he wants and I get to be a good sport, ha!  But of course, it's always fun, especially fun for the family.

In this picture: Brynn hamming it up, Bryce showing off his shoes, Gabe doing his thing, and Camille refusing to stay put, even for just the few seconds it takes to snap a picture.  These are my kids!

Oh dear.  I tried to help Gabe and wound up throwing him with the ball down the lane.  So after that it was Marty's job!  Here they are waiting...waiting...that ball will make it down the lane at some point... ;)

Bryce took it very seriously and had the most adorable stance and follow-through.  I didn't get a really great one on video, but here's one anyway...

That night we had planned to go with three other couples to Jesterz, an improv comedy club that is totally family friendly, but the night was a little stressful for me.  BYU was playing (they gave Marty a great Bday present!), but during a monsoon the power went out.  So he high-tailed it over to a friend's house to watch the game.  I told him it was fine, but then I spent the next hour trying to get everything ready for a baby-sitter (in the dark), scrambling around lighting candles in bathrooms for kids who were scared of the dark and the thunder, watching Gabe to make sure he wasn't going to throw up anymore, and feeling like I needed to call the baby-sitter and just cancel (I don't know how I'd feel about sending my teenager over to a house with five kids and no power).  But I didn't have a phone or a computer to even contact her with!  I had plugged mine in RIGHT before the power went out.  Of course.  It lasted about five minutes.  But just as it was starting to feel mighty warm in our house, the power came back on, Marty came home, and Gabe seemed fine.  So we went!

We had a lot of fun there.  This cast wasn't quite as funny as the last one we saw, but it was so enjoyable to be there laughing with good friends.  This is probably a ridiculous thing to say, but Marty and I love to laugh together.  We always have, so this type of thing is just so us.   A couple of "yellow" personality types have a lot of fun - they might not always get everything accomplished, but darned if they didn't have tons of fun trying!

Marty was once again the obnoxious birthday boy, and once again they pulled him up on stage to do a skit with them.  And he did great, he got the biggest laughs in the skit!  

After that we got custard at Nielsen's, which I can't believe I had never been to before.  And then all of us thirty-somethings were tired and headed home to wake up the baby-sitter who was a total trooper about how late it was.  Happy 33rd, Marty!!  Thanks for bringing me along on for the ride. ;)