Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Good News All Around!!

I love posts like this, where there's only good :)
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First, I'll start with Brigham (because it'll be quick since there are no pictures to go along with it) We got the results of the amniocentesis back and they are ..... TOTALLY NORMAL!!! His diaphragmatic hernia was NOT caused by a chromosomal abnormality, it's just a "fluke". More and more "normal healthy baby" news is good news!
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Our second "Hooray!" is:
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Carrie slept in her big-girl bed ALL night last night!!
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We tried it for the first time on Sunday night. I laid her down in the "big bed" and laid next to her to make sure she wasn't going to immediately try to get down. After about 10 minutes, she seemed to be fine so I got up to leave. As soon as I tried to close the door, she whimpered. So I stood in the doorway with it open for a couple more minutes. When she wasn't looking I "ran away" out of view of her doorway. It took a few minutes but she finally got down from her bed and came to the door.
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Overall, after probably 30 minutes of laying her back down every 5-10, we called it good and put her in her crib for the night.
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Monday at naptime, we pretty much repeated the routine, except this time I just laid her down and left the room, closing the door behind me. She was quiet, but I was pretty sure she wasn't going to sleep. I was right. Half an hour after I put her down, I peeked in to check on her. The bottom drawer of her dresser was emptied onto the floor and she had a stinky diaper. Again, I said to myself, "Good enough for today", and put her in her crib.
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Last night she was in her big-girl bed at 7:45. At 8:45 we went to check on her with camera in hand in case we caught her asleep. Nope... She was laying down on the trundle mattress (which I had pulled out about a foot so there wouldn't be quite as severe of a drop if she fell off the big bed) holding her baby doll, but she was awake. We laid her back in the big bed and left for the night. She looked really really tired so I figured she'd go to sleep eventually.
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I woke up randomly about 2:30 in the morning and peeked in on her. This is what I saw.
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Hallelujah!!! This morning even after we made the bed she kept wanting to climb up and sit on it. I hope that means she likes it and will keep sleeping well in it!
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And for absolutely no other reason than she's just so darn cute, a random picture from this last Sunday. She looks so grown up with her hair in pigtails!
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Friday, August 27, 2010

All About Carrie!

As promised, a post about our darling little Carrie. Such the diva with her little sunglasses. She's gotten pretty good at putting them on all by herself and will often walk around the house playing while wearing sunglasses. She calls them "gasses". She especially likes to put them on top of her head like mommy and daddy.
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Again, a picture of her trying to be just like mommy. We were headed out the door and she reached up asking for my water bottle. I thought she just wanted a quick sip so I handed it to her. She surprised me by slinging it over her arm and onto her shoulder where I had had it. She then motioned for my purse which she put on her other shoulder. She was finally ready to walk out the door. Of course, she was too dang cute, so I grabbed the camera. In this picture she's reaching toward me to hold that too!
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She's reached the age finally where she's starting to copy every single little thing we say... For example, last night I said "Oh, dangit"... A few seconds later we hear a little high pitched "Oh, dagit".... I started to silently laugh (and say to myself, "aw man, now I have to watch everything I say"). My back was turned to Carrie and apparently she thought my silent laughing was crying. She came over and started to pat my back to make me feel better.... She's. So. Cute.
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Speaking of cute, here's a little video of Carrie swimming in one of the neighborhood pools. She's so lightweight, her floaties actually totally support her and she can kick around.
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Tah-dah! Carrie's big girl room is all ready to go! (Whenever we decide to move her.) I'm so excited that it turned out so cute. I started slowly decorating this room a couple of months ago. Most of it has been done in about the last week though. The big shelf moved in there too (it's not in the pictures) and all it needs is to be stocked up with a few stuffed animals from the toy corner downstairs. I love everything about this room :)
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Since I posted some pictures of her new big-girl room, I thought I'd post a few of the "transformation" of her baby room that has now become Brigham's room. I feel so crafty and proud just looking at these pictures (brag brag brag, I know) :)
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Soooo, these first three pictures........
...have transformed into the last three pictures.

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And as long as I'm putting pics of Brigham's room in, I'll throw in a little tidbit about him. I had the appointment with the fetal cardiologist yesterday and.... drumroll... Hallelujah! Brigham's heart is PERFECT! The cardiologist says we shouldn't have to see him at all anymore during this pregnancy. Yeah for some good news!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Halfway Point

I'm 20 weeks today! I know this picture is a little weird, but Justin thought it was a good idea to give you a couple of "landmarks" to help you figure out exactly what you're looking at. This is Brigham's face, mostly covered by his hands. He would NOT move them so we could get a picture of just his face. Oh well, his fingers are cute too :) Anyways, the "landmarks" are; the blue dots are his nostrils and the red line is the line between his top and bottom lip. Now that you know where everything is, enjoy the picture without the funny marks :) I had an appointment at the Maternal-Fetal Center at Banner Good Sam. Another hour-long ultrasound and talking to a doctor afterward. We got mostly the same information as last week. Brigham is still a little too small (too early in the pregnancy) to be able to give concrete predictions, but we're getting closer.
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To estimate severity, they do a lung-to-head measurement ratio. It gives the doctors an idea of how squished for space the lungs are in relation to his overall size. As of today, the doctor said the ratio looks more favorable than unfavorable, but all the studies these measurements are based upon are usually done between 24 and 26 weeks. Soooo, I will go back to their office in 4-6 weeks for another look.
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From what I understood, this appointment at 24-26 weeks will be when we have a much better idea of what will be happening when he's born.
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Even though I'm regularly seeing a specialist, the doctor today was even more of a specialist and I felt like the info he gave me had a little more "plausibility". Which is good news for me because overall, I liked what he said a little bit better. I will still be having a planned induction (just to make sure Brigham's born on a weekday, during daylight hours so all the teams can be there without too much hassle). This doctor, however said in his experience, a C-section is not necessarily always warranted. As long as Brigham is head down, and there are no other foreseeable problems, there's no real reason not to try a "regular" delivery. He also seemed to have a little more confidence in Banner Desert's ability to possibly be able to care for Brig. This would be great if it really works out, because it's closer. :)
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It's fun to be able to keep seeing Brigham. Today was my 3rd ultrasound in the last 2 weeks. He sure is a swimmer! He is constantly wiggling while the ultrasound techs are trying to measure him and in the last couple weeks has flipped from head down to breech and back to head down again. I know he's still pretty small (about 10 ounces and 10 inches head-to-heel) but pretty soon he's going to start running out of room to flip all over the place!
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I have a fetal cardiology appointment on Thursday this week and then it's almost already time for my regular appointment at PPA (the regular specialist).
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Lucky lucky me, I have a lot of good friends in the ward who are more than willing to help watch Carrie while I'm running all over town to go to doctor's appointments. And again, lucky lucky me, Carrie is very easygoing and doesn't mind being babysat a lot. She's such a good girl.
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Now that I've written a book about Brigham, I'll take a little break and write a post solely about Carrie soon. We've been working on switching her from the "baby" room to her "big-girl" room. We haven't actually made "the big move" yet, but the rooms are almost totally re-decorated and ready to go. I hope you're all anxiously waiting for me to show off pictures of my craftiness and Justin's handiness in helping me get everything done.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Answering Questions about Brigham

The visit yesterday with the Perinatologist went well. Actually, I guess not really, because it's officially confirmed, Brigham does have a diaphragmatic hernia and will require surgery after birth. I had the smallest inkling of hope that we would get to the specialist and they wouldn't find anything... Overall though, we feel pretty calm and secure that things will work out for the best.
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I tried to find some good pictures on the internet to show you, but my search didn't turn up very much. So I played around in "paint". (Don't laugh)
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This first picture is what a healthy baby should look like. The diaphragm is the bright blue line in the middle. It keeps the heart and lungs above (in the chest) and the stomach, liver, and small and large intestines below (in the abdomen). The only thing that goes through the diaphragm is your esophagus and the hole that it goes through is only barely big enough to fit it.

Now onto a diaphragmatic hernia. Notice the bright blue line (diaphragm) doesn't go all the way across?... That's the problem. The hole in the diaphragm is letting the stomach come into the chest, where it doesn't belong. This puts pressure on everything else in the chest. The left lung has almost no room to grow and the heart is being pushed from the middle of the chest way over to the right.
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I will have an ultrasound every time I go to the doctor to check on how he's growing and changing. My next regular appointment is in two weeks where I'll not only meet with the Perinatologist (high-risk MOM doctor), but I'll also meet with the Neonatologist (high-risk BABY doctor). Eventually we'll need a Pediatric Cardiologist consult too (sometimes the increased pressure puts stress on the heart).
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The doctor said based on the looks of things in the ultrasound the defect looks "pretty sizable" but technology has come a long way and we will be prepared to take care of Brigham the best we can.
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The doctor also said his size is right on for his due date and there doesn't appear to be any other deformities in his body. Just to double check though, he recommended they do an amniocentesis to make sure he doesn't have any chromosomal abnormalities. In general, I tend not to like the idea of an amniocentesis (mostly because it freaks me out - sticking a needle through my tummy into my uterus?!) However, I agreed, because this is not an "in general" situation.
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Lucky for me, Justin had a couple of hours of sick time left this month and had come with me to this appointment because they did the Amnio right then. (TOTALLY WEIRD FEELING!!!) I definitely needed his hand to hold!
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While they were getting prepped, I told the doctor, "This is worse than an epidural, the anticipation at least... At least when I had my epidural I was in pain and I didn't care what had to happen to make it stop. Right now, I'm feeling just fine, and would keep feeling just fine even if you didn't poke me!!" We were all laughing. :)
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The doctor said they will likely induce me around 39 weeks. They want Brigham to be as big as possible, but want to be prepared for his birth. We'll have several "teams" of people at the hospital to take care of us when he's born. The doctor also said they more often prefer to do a C-section, but sometimes they'll consider a "regular" delivery. Not only for my own recovery time, but for future pregnancies' sake I'm going to try to deliver naturally (with an epidural of course). If they agree that it's safe to try, that's the goal. If they think it's safer to do a C-section, I'll do what they recommend.... The real ultimate goal is to get Brigham here safely and be able to bring him home with us as soon as possible.
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**Side note- Every time I ask Carrie "Where's Brigham?" she comes right over to my belly and gives him big kisses. I love being a mom..... :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bouncing Baby Boy and Pretty Princess

Brigham has been getting way more active the past few days! It's fun and reassuring to feel him move so much!
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I will be 19 weeks tomorrow. Time seems to be moving by pretty quickly. We have our appointment with the specialist tomorrow also, so hopefully my next post will have a few more answers about what's going on with him.
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Speaking of feeling him move, Justin was able to feel Brigham kick for the first time a couple of days ago. I always love that moment, the first time Justin is finally able to feel the baby. He loves it too. :)
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Over the weekend, my mom found two little fairy dress up costumes on clearance and bought them for Carrie. Last night she found them on her toy shelf and immediately wanted to put one on and for me to put the other one on... I put one on her and held the other one up to myself for a minute until she got distracted. She wore it most of the evening last night until it was time for pajamas. I was afraid it would be a little fight to get her to take it off, but luckily she didn't put up a fuss. She just loved wearing it around.
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This morning, first thing, before breakfast, even before a diaper change, she ran over to her toys and wanted to put on a fairy costume. So she ate breakfast in it... Life is so much fun with a girly girl.
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Mini-Momma

Carrie has turned into a doll lover the past few days. She has three little baby dolls that she's been carrying around and repeatedly putting them down for "night-night" time. She arranges them on the couch and gets the blanket to tuck them in. I love it!
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I was in a crafty mood this morning and decided to make Carrie a little purse. Apparently I rock because it turned out AWESOME! We're going to have to share it :)
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Also, a quick non-update on Brigham: I have an appointment scheduled with the perinatologist (baby specialist) for this coming Tuesday afternoon. We'll hopefully be able to find out a lot more specifics about his case. I am in desperate need of more information so I can feel more prepared. Right now I'm a little wacko. I have to try to not think about it. He is still moving like a little wild man though! This morning I told Justin I thought he was practicing karate or something!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

BOY OH BOY!!

That's right.... It's a BOY!! We are so excited to be "evening out" our family; in more ways than one. Justin is excited to even out our house boy-to-girl wise, and the new baby will also make an even parent-to-kid ratio (ahh! scary!)

His name is Brigham Justin Greer and so far Carrie's called him both "Bub" and "Gigah". I guess she still has 5 months to learn how to say "Brigham" a little better. She loves to give my tummy kisses and then likes to pull up her own shirt to look at her tummy. I think it probably wasn't the greatest idea to learn where the baby was and "belly button" at the same time. Cute though :)

At the ultrasound this morning we got a profile shot with his hand up by his face (we have an almost identical one of Carrie).I know it's hard to tell, but here's a foot (toes are on the left)

And here's "the proof". He's a pretty shy little guy and had his legs totally squeezed together the whole time. We got just enough of a peek though... He's a boy :)

He's right on my dates as far as size goes, has all the necessary organs, 10 fingers, 10 toes etc. so everything looked pretty good. We did, however, have an unexpected surprise when we met with the doctor after the ultrasound...

Brigham has what's called a DIAPHRAGMATIC HERNIA

This means his diaphragm has a hole in it which is letting his stomach and intestines come up from his abdomen into his chest. This will mean his left lung will be very undeveloped (just because there won't be any room for it to grow in his ribcage). He will need surgery to repair it right after birth and will be in the NICU for probably a couple of weeks with recovery and breathing problems.

Luckily, we know about it now. This is a big step in helping him get the medical attention he'll need at birth. I will be seeing a perinatologist in the next few days to get better quality ultrasounds and more in-depth specialist advice. I will likely be seeing them for the rest of the pregnancy so we can keep up on Brigham's development more closely.

Another "luckily", I've been a NICU nurse before. Although it certainly won't be fun, at least I feel comfortable in the environment and will hopefully be able to help Justin understand some of the things that are going on.

I've seen this condition once before, but apparently it's pretty rare. I had a baby with it in the NICU in Rexburg when I was only a few months out of nursing school. A co-worker said she'd been a nurse for 25 years and had never actually seen one. Because we were in a small hospital in a small town, we had to life-flight the baby to Salt Lake City for emergency treatment.

So, for now we're counting our blessings that we know ahead of time and will be able to be mentally, spiritually and physically/medically prepared. We'll keep everyone up to date as we learn more about his condition

WE'RE SO EXCITED TO BE HAVING A LITTLE BOY!!!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Baby Bump and Big Girl Booster

Just a couple quick pictures. First, I'll finally admit I'm showing... I'm 17 weeks and have a tiny bump. Technically I can still "suck it in", but it's getting harder every day. (I relaxed a little bit to take this picture)
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Second, while we were on vacation, we bought Carrie a booster seat. It was so great to use while we were camping, when we got home we set it up at the table and put the high chair away. For the last few days she's been a real "big girl" sitting with us at the table. She loves it! And we think she looks adorable!
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

We're Back from Priest Lake!

*Warning* This will be a hugely long post. I'm trying to make it a trip journal, so it will be very over-descriptive and packed with pictures!
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Mon 7/19: We packed into our van and started our long road trip towards vacation. Because of work, we had to leave Justin at home. We also had to leave my sister Marissa, her fiance, Brandon, and my brother Kevin at home for work. So our trip was me, Carrie, my parents and my 15 year old brother Jake (who just got his learner's permit a month ago).
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Jake made it his personal mission on the trip to drive in as many states as possible. I think over the course of the trip he got Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Montana and Washington. Pretty good I'd say :)
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Monday we drove for 10 hours and stopped for the night in Fillmore, Utah at our Grandma Shupe's. Carrie was a little fussy the first day, but her Grandma (my mom) gave in pretty quickly and let her have her binky and her "B" pretty much anytime we were in the car.
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Tuesday 7/20: We made it into American Fork, Utah to visit my Uncle Dan's family, but they weren't even home. Luckily, they ended up coming to Priest Lake a few days late so we still got to see them (they weren't originally planning on coming). Tuesday afternoon we made it to Idaho Falls to my Aunt Leslie's house. She treated us really well with homemade cherry cobbler, homemade ice cream and a few ping pong tournaments.
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*(Also a side note, on Tuesday, we found out Justin's sister Danielle is having a baby girl!! We're so excited to have another niece in December!)
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Wednesday 7/21: We made a short little caravan with my Uncle David's family and started the official drive to Priest Lake. We made several stops along the way, mostly to eat or get treats. By this point in the trip Carrie had pretty much given up fighting being in the car. It worked out pretty well for all of us, she was relaxed, and we didn't have to hear her whine or try too hard to keep her entertained. (Although we did have several toys, puzzles and sing-a-longs of "Monkeys jumping on the bed")
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We stopped at a campground called Tarkio Wednesday night and following tradition, put pennies on the railroad track to get smushed. Luckily I laid out extra pennies (about 10) because when we went to get them the next morning, I think we only found 4. Just enough for all the little kids that were there.
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My dad and Jake in the tunnel on the way to the train tracks
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Thursday 7/22: A few more hours of driving finally brought us to Priest Lake! It's awesome! We are totally camping in the woods (pine trees, squirrels, campfires etc.), but a 3 minute walk from the campsite brings you to the beach! The lake is pretty cold, but you get used to it pretty quickly. We checked out the beach when we got there and Carrie was ready to dive right in. She loved walking along in the shallow water getting sandy and splashing. My parents rented a big trailer for us to stay in.
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Friday 7/23: (Carrie's Half-Birthday! 18 months, yeah!! Quick time-jump to a few days after getting home: Carrie's check-up. Weight: 20lbs, about the 1st percentile.... Height: 31.5 inches, 45th percentile.)Anyways, back to Friday at Priest Lake- Our first full day on the beach.
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Carrie loved to sit and play with shovels and buckets in the sand.
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She liked the water too, but lucky me, she never tried to just run in on her own. She'd get about to her shins and then she'd reach up and behind her for someone to hold her hand so she could go in a little further. I think eventually she got in up to her armpits, but she usually preferred to play right on the beach with water only on her legs.
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Cute little sandy tooshie
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Floating in the little tube was not her favorite thing.
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But this one seemed to be ok
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This one was our favorite. It had mesh in the bottom so we could still get wet, but not soaked.
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I told myself I needed to get a "base" of color before I applied sunscreen. I got many "I told you so" looks later that night. I. Got. Fried... It did eventually fade and turn a little tan, but it was really really painful for a few days.
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Jake got a little excited with the sunscreen
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Carrie and her 4th cousin London. (Yes, we figured it out... they're 4th cousins)
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The big Priest Lake "wahoo" though, isn't the camping or the lake. It's the CANDY WAGON. We literally have a wagon on the beach that is FULL of candy. All the time. My uncle Brad described the candy wagon pretty well. He said, "The only rule about the candy wagon is kids can have whatever they want, as much as they want, any time they want and adults aren't allowed to say anything about it." I amended the rule with, "If you puke, you have to wait 10 minutes before you come back for more."Carrie's mode of transportation to and from the beach was the candy wagon. Fun, fun, fun. :)
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That's a dum-dum sucker in her mouth.
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She found the perfect sized walking stick
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Saturday 7/24: I can't remember anything specific about this day, it was probably very similar to Friday. Although, since I can't think of any activities from this day, I'll throw in a little about "the parachute".
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Between my mom's siblings, their kids and a few friends, we had 37 people this year. We eat all of our meals together and take turns cooking. We gather all the picnic tables from the campsites, bring them to one site, hoist an actual parachute over the top and vio-la! Instant eating area! The gathering of tables is also a very handy place to play card or board games at night.
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Sunday 7/25: On Sundays, we don't go to the beach, or out on the boats. After breakfast we had "church". We combined with my great-uncle Thad's family (about the same number of people) under the parachute for our meeting. It usually only lasts about 30 minutes; sing a song, say a prayer, have a speaker (this year is was my cousin Jared who had recently returned from a mission to Russia), and close.
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In past years, we usually would have a water fight in camp after church. (Kind of defeats the purpose of not going to the beach, I know) We decided that nobody really likes it and it's usually only the kids about ages 7-11 and my great-aunt Jean (age 80) who participate, so we decided to for-go it.This year, we had a different fun activity for the afternoon. We drove to a cedar grove and went on a hike.
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My mom caught a picture of me being so tired, my belly was totally pooching out...
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I don't know how long the actual trail was, but it felt like 10 miles (I'm sure it was probably only like 2). By the top of the trail, Carrie was hungry and tired... Poor thing. Good thing Grandpa (my dad) was there to carry her most of the way.
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At the top of our trail we got to a tree that took 6 adults stretched fingertip to fingertip to wrap around its trunk. (You can only see 4 people in my picture, but you get the idea, HUGE!)
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At the bottom of the trail, we were dipping our feet in a nice cool creek when a deer walked by, not even 20 feet away. Sorry my picture's a little blurry, but I wasn't expecting it :)
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Monday and Tuesday were pretty much the same stuff, hanging out at the beach, exploring the campsite (with Carrie wearing her new monkey backpack *[leash]*) Luckily, she loved to wear it around and feel independent all the while actually being very much safer than she would have been without it.
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"I'm wearing the monkey! Let's go outside!"
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My cousin Cody jumping off the pole of the dock (a small rite-of-passage thing for the 5-6-7 year olds)
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Dirty dirty dirty feet!!
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Getting her nightly bath in the teeny tiny trailer bathtub
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Wednesday 7/28: We got to go on a little kid joyride on the boat. One of my cousins took us and some of the little kids out on the lake and made sure to go over plenty of waves and make lots of little turns to make the kids giggle. I'm not quite sure what Carrie thought of it. She wasn't laughing, but she definitely wasn't crying. I think she was probably thinking "What is going on? It's really windy. Where are we?"
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Thursday 7/29: The last day at Priest Lake is always sad. We clean out the candy wagon, take down the parachute and wish we could stay longer. Carrie and I were definitely excited to be heading back home to Justin. I really wish he could have gone.
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Super-trendy city girl, all cleaned up and ready to go home
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Friday 7/30: One big long driving day (11 hours) from Priest Lake all the way to Idaho Falls. Really, the only good thing was stopping in Dillon, Idaho at the Dairy Queen (tradition..., you have to)
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Saturday 7/31: We hung out at my Grandparents' and Uncle Brian & Aunt Janet's house most of the morning. My parents wanted to get their laundry done before they got home because the school year starts here this week (my mom's a teacher). We left right after lunch and made it to Fillmore, Utah for dinner.
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Our plan was to drive to Kanab, and stop at a hotel for the night. When we got to Kanab around 9:30, we tried several hotels only to find out that there were absolutely NO vacancies. In the whole town. 13 hotels, motels, lodges, inns etc... Nothing. (By now, Carrie had decided that quietly suffering the drive wasn't enough anymore. Most of the day was spent with constant whimper-whines and about a 3 second attention span for any toy/book/song distraction. Although, Anastasia on DVD did seem to work for a little while)
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So we kept driving. Another hour later we were in Page, Arizona. 15 hotels etc... Nothing... It looked like we were going to have to keep going further. One very helpful hotel desk clerk was calling around town for my dad so we wouldn't have to stop and check everywhere, and hallelujah!- One hotel in town had just a couple of rooms left. We got one! Goodnight!!
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Sunday 8/1: We pulled into my parents house about 2:30 in the afternoon and unloaded their stuff. Carrie was definitely NOT excited to get back in the car to go the 45 more minutes to our house. It was heaven to get home though! Justin had just gotten back from church and was ready and anxiously waiting to greet us! After a round of hugs and kisses, he unloaded everything out of the van for me and made us frozen waffles for dinner. :)
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Justin also had a suprise waiting for me when I got home. He not only had vacuumed the whole house (which was greatly appreciated), but even more so,... He got rid of ALL the weeds in the backyard! This may not sound very amazing to some people, but the weeds were literally as tall as the fence in some places! And they were SUPER prickly. So, thanks babe :)
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I'm insanely proud of myself because by Monday at 1:00pm, I had done four loads of laundry, folded them and put them away, unpacked ALL our things from the trip, dusted the house, Carrie was down for a nap, a homemade frozen lasagna (yeah freezer meals!) was thawing on the counter for dinner, and I got to sit on the couch with a chocolate snack pack and watch a Tivo'd episode of Project Runway that Justin had saved for me. :)
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Now that it's taken me 3 full days to write this post, I think I'll take a break. We had tons of fun, but we're glad to be home.