Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011 in Review

You may have noticed that you have never received a Christmas letter from our family and the reason for that is that I am never on the ball enough to get it done. This year one of my friends had the brilliant idea to put their family Christmas letter on their blog rather than sending it out. I decided that even I could manage that, so here are highlights of our 2011

*Jeremy took his series 7 (and passed with flying colors)
*Merrick FINALLY learned to sleep through the night (most of the time anyway)
*Jeremy quit his job to start law school and finished his first semester
*We survived a two day drive on our move to Oregon
*Merrick learned to ride a bike (with training wheels of course)
*I stopped babysitting one nephew and took on two louder, crazier nephews (plus a bonus two-year-old twice a week)
*Merrick began talking in full sentences and is now quite the jabber mouth

As 2011 draws to a close, we feel so blessed. We are grateful for each other, for family, for friends, and for our Savior. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you too are able to feel the spirit of this season.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Winning: It seems to be the family theme lately.

Jeremy feels like he is winning because he finished his first semester of law school. His last final was on Friday and he thinks that all of them went well. He is mostly glad to be done and ready to spend time with us and get ready for Christmas (and play his "Call of Duty" game that he has not touched in the month he has had it so he could study for his finals).

The study room pre and post finals

Merrick lately has discovered his competitive side. He always has to win. No matter where we are going he has to get there first. Jeremy and I have used this to our advantage when trying to get Merrick to do something that he doesn't want to do. All we have to say is "I am going to win" and he will drop whatever he is doing and say "No! I win!" and he will take off running in the direction that we tell him to. Going to the table to eat dinner, going upstairs to bed and going potty are just a few things that we have been able to get him to do using this trick.

If this is not the look of a winner, I don't know what is

I always feel like I am winning, but with the thought of getting to spend the next three weeks with both my boys I feel even more like the winner.

I am not sure which of us is really winning, but I think we are all so blessed and lucky that we all should consider ourselves to be winners.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Battleship Debacle

A few days ago I had planned on blogging about Jeremy's finals and how hard he has been working as that was the most significant occurrence of the week, but last night all that changed. We had gone to Ben and Becca's house for dinner. As was typical, Quincy was not eating dinner, but playing with toys instead. Last night he happened to be playing with Battleship. Eventually, Merrick finished eating and wanted to get down and play with his cousin. All the adults were still finishing dinner, but Merrick was within eyesight and I was not really worried about him.

After several minutes of playing Merrick started crying and came to tell me his nose hurt. I started talking to him about what had happened and Jeremy went over to talk to Quincy. Quincy was saying that Merrick bumped his nose and Merrick was not really clear about what happened other than to say "Quincy did". A few minutes later Merrick's nose started to run from crying and when I wiped it he started crying again. I thought something might really be wrong so I laid him down on the couch to take a look at it.

Even though I knew something was wrong I definitely was not prepared for what I saw. At first I thought I saw blood around the inside of his nostril, but very quickly it dawned on me that it was not blood, but a red peg from the battleship game. Instantly all the adults became panicky. We tried to rub it out from the outside and we tried to get him to sneeze it out by having him sniff pepper. Ultimately we decided that it was not coming out and that we needed to take him to the doctor. Being that it was Sunday evening our only option was the Emergency Room and a long drive into downtown Portland to the Children's Emergency Room.

All things considered the ER visit was as smooth as could be. They started by having me try a technique call "the mother's kiss" where I plugged the unobstructed nostril, put my mouth over his, and blew a quick puff of air into his mouth. This dislodged the piece, but he immediately sucked it back up. The doctors were worried about him sucking it into his trachea so they did not want me to try again. Instead they inserted a tiny tube with a balloon on the end up past the peg, blew up the balloon and pulled the peg out.

I was a wreck the whole time, but Merrick was so brave. In the end we are not sure if it was Merrick who stuck the peg up or if it was Quincy, but my favorite part of the experience was when the doctor asked Merrick if he had done it and he said, "No Quincy did it". When she asked who Quincy was he said "He is a quack-a-roo head". That is my boy, being a joker even in a scary situation.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011- Part II

It has now been over a week since Thanksgiving. I had intended to get on here to finish my Thanksgiving blog days ago, but the days just slipped by and now I am faced with the dilemma of remembering what happened a week ago, which is a difficult task for me. I will do my best to write about events as I remember them.

Thanksgiving Day was a blur of cooking, eating, and rummaging through Black Friday ads. The food was of course wonderful and so was the company. We had dinner at my parent's house with my parents, Brendon and Rachel's family and Larry Capps, my dad's best friend since the dawn of time. As I mentioned, we did some Black Friday research and as a result, our Thanksgiving festivities ended at about 7:30pm so that we could brave the cold and crowds to score our deals.

Those of you who know me well know that if there is one thing that I love it is a good deal. This Black Friday we were after a special surprise for Merrick for Christmas (sorry I can't tell you what it is yet) and a new XBox for Jeremy (his got the "red ring of death" a few weeks ago and he wanted to use the money he got for his birthday to replace it). We were able to find deals for both items but that meant two stores, Toys-R-Us which opened at 9pm and Walmart which opened at 10pm.

Black Friday was a success and by that I mean that we got what we wanted, did not get trampled, and we were home just after midnight. I do have to give a big "thank you" shout out to my mom for coming with us even though she was not buying anything and to my dad for putting Merrick to bed and holding down the fort while we were gone.

Much of the rest of the weekend Jeremy spent with his head in a book studying for finals, but we did take time for one other big family outing. On Saturday we packed left-over turkey sandwiches and had a picnic at Multnomah Falls. Merrick's face was priceless when he saw the falls for the first time and his mouth fell open. I always feel the same way even though I have seen it many times.

I have said it before, but I just have to say that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love that it is all about family and friends and that it marks the start of the holiday season. We had a great Thanksgiving and I know it is just a sign of things to come.