31 July 2008

Drama Queen in Training

So far our week was really good! Amelia and I took 3 bike rides down our favorite route. Justin went camping with Kenny, Spenser, and Mason down in American Fork Canyon. He said it was hard to sleep but fun. They went fishing this morning and caught some fish!! Amelia and I stayed home. I found some fabric to match a hat for an outfit I am working on and we went to Cafe Rio while the guys toughed it out. I finished reading Fablehaven for the second time late last night. Yummy book. This morning Amelia started asking for Setie (Seth) and achy (Jacob). We met them at the Murray DI. I ran into Justin's cousin's wife (Kari)...who is moving to Virgina tomorrow. I love how Utah can be such a small world.

For dinner I made Calibacitos (a squash, tomato, corn dish) with fresh vegetables from my garden. Justin even ate seconds! That warms my little heart to see him eat more of what I make. Grandma Jean gave me a recipe for a cream peach tart. I used fresh apricots from Mom's tree instead of the peaches. It was good but not as tasty as Grandma's. The apricots were still a little too tart.

29 July 2008

First Haircut in a Salon

Amelia's hairstyle was on the verge of following the sheepdog look. We went to Cookie Cutter's salon to get it trimmed up. She sat in a really cool pink car, had toys to play with, Elmo to watch, and a sucker to lick. What did she do? Scream the entire time!!! I am afraid she inherited my tender scalp. It looks a bit better and should grow out faster and more evenly.

Grant is ONE and Seth is FIVE

We celebrated Grant's first birthday yesterday while Grandpa and Grandma Call were here. He actually turns one on the 3rd of August. Melissa baked up a HUGE cupcake for him to demolish. He did a pretty good job! For FHE we heard some stories from Grandpa and Grandma. Thanks to Aunt Laura for the good lesson.

We stopped by the Lances for a few minutes to give Seth his birthday present. He was a real birthday boy. I can't believe he is five now. We got him a new cool transformer. Seth, Jacob, and Amelia played Ghost Train. If you are wondering what the game is all about then just grab a blanket, throw it over your head, and run around like crazy. Pretty fun game.

PS: these pics turned out on the dark side....muhah, hah, hah

Elijah's Blessing

The Call's gathered early Sunday morning to participate in Elijah's baby blessing. We drove to Providence, UT where Raquel and Scot meet for church. Raquel dressed Elijah in a spiffy white tuxedo outfit. Grandpa Call, Justin, Kenny, Spenser, and of couse Scot all joined the other men from Scot's family. After the blessing we went to a park for brunch. The park had a perfect setting for family pictures. The kids were super excited about a small stream running through the park. I am amazed noone got wet! Fun times. Here are some pics of baby Elijah in his super cute duds.

27 July 2008

Call Family Reunion

Friday we drove to Heber for a Call family reunion. We met Spenser and Laura and Granny's shakes to get some lunch. Ironically, my great-grandmother was born in that home. We met at a park for lunch and to gather all the Calls. Around 2 pm we drove up to the Young Woman's camp where the family reserved four large cabins. We stayed in Camp Sariah. The sky and trees were absolutely incredible. Justin and I stayed until about 7:30 because we did not feel like camping after 10 days on the road. I was very glad to meet Bruce's siblings and talk to Grandma Clarisse. Of course my camera was by my side most of the time. Amelia must think I have a third eye...a big black shiny one!! Justin and I mused over all the little coincidences between our two families. Justin's Great-Grandfather gave my Grandma Jean her patriarchal blessing. My Great-Grandpa was secretary to Justin's grandpa. My Joseph Stacey Murdock ancestor was good friends with Anson Call. Small world! The chances of Justin and I meeting and marrying were so slim to none that we count our marriage as a miracle.

Bryan Call's Family
Dirty Birdies
Cute Megan
Silly Ana

A little of this and a little of that

26 July 2008

My Mom

We heard on Wednesday that my mom was in the hospital. After only two weeks in Jordan she contracted a serious lung infection. Fluid filled her lungs and surrounded her heart. The doctors were nearly ready to medivac her to Germany for treatment. Before that they decided to treat the infection and see if they could control the infection there in Amman. She is much better now and back at home after 3 nights in the hospital. Originally when the doctor looked at the images of her chest he gave her only 3 days to live. My mom had to patiently explain she had cancer as a child and that all the dark spots on her vital organs were results of radiation scarring. She now has a prognosis of living much longer. Glad you are feeling better mom.

Love/hate relationship with Elmo

I have to say that Elmo is the most annoying and most wonderful creation ever. Amelia will sit down for an hour without moving to watch Elmo. At Grandma Jean's home she cried the first time I left her to go exercise. She whined the off an on the whole time. I put on Elmo the next time and she didn't even know I was gone. Elmo is my new babysitter while I take a shower in the morning. At least Elmo is educational and not a big purple dinosaur.

California Dreamin'

I LOVE California. Here is a small peek into our trip:

*Thursday night we had a family BBQ at Grandma and Grandpa's home. Grandpa grilled burgers and hot dogs. Grandma made some yummy dessert, salad, etc. Jon & Jan plus kids, Rory & Jessica (with their baby in utero), Scott, Shawn plus kids, and James & Miekka plus kids. I drove up to Livermore earlier in the day to pick up Justin.

*Loved the sales at the Gilroy outlets. Miekka and I had fun shopping for cute girl clothes. I found jeans for $2 per pair. I finally found a shirt to go with my new skirt from the DI. Almost spent a fortune at Gymboree, Carter's, and Strasburg.

*Amelia, Seth, and Jacob had a blast playing with rice in the backyard.

*Visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium with James, Miekka, Seth, Jacob, Julia, and Joshua. We had so much fun. Amelia ran out of spit from blowing so many raspberries (her noise for a fish). She tasted as much water as she could from the touch and feel play areas. We had lunch at my favorite place: Papa Chano's.

*Amelia got her feet wet in the ocean for the first time. I played a precarious game trying to balance my two babies: Amelia and camera. The water was cold!! She was fascinated by all the seagulls.

*Saturday Scott invited me to his studio for a three hour jam-packed photography and photoshop session. My head is still swirling from all the information he taught me. Can't wait to practice some more.

*Sunday Uncle Shawn gave a good talk on pioneers. Grandma made a smashing dinner of grilled pork, potatoes, fresh tomatoes, and bread. Her dessert was an awesome peach tart. Holy Smokes!!! I think I gained about 30 pounds.

*Drove Justin back to Livermore. Amelia and I stayed up there until Wednesday morning.

*Monday Amelia and I drove to San Francisco. My little GPS unit forgot to tell me the highway into the city is tolled. The first time I was allowed to pass without paying (they only take cash). The second time I was fined $30...bummer...felt like a retard. We drove to the Golden Gate Bridge the parked on the eastern side. We walked to the other side on a cool pedestrian path and back. I captured some cool pictures of the bridge and the islands in the bay. The weather was really cool due to a crisp breeze. Amelia was really tired so we rested at the hotel for a couple hours until Justin got off work. For dinner we found a little Italian restaurant. All the garlic smells from Gilroy caused a raging craving for something Italian. I ordered a plate of garlic clam spaghetti. Amelia munched on a plate of spaghetti much to our amusement.

*Tuesday Amelia and I explored the wharf area. The toll booths were much easier to deal with when you have cash. We paid $16 for 4 hours of parking (yikes) then explored the waterfront. We walked from pier 1 to fisherman's wharf. The tree man was even out scaring the wits out of unsuspecting tourists. Amelia wouldn't eat a $7 cheese sandwich because the bread was weird. Little stinker. I found a onesie that says " drama queen in training" over the Dairy Queen swoop. Driving in San Francisco was a bit hairy. My little digital GPS told me what to do in an annoying, persistent voice. I got really tired of the word, "recalculating."

*Wednesday we drove back to Gilroy for the night. A raging fire burned down a building in the school next to Grandma's home. The same building burned down in January, it was unfortunate because the renovations were nearly finished.

*Rory and Jessica's home is beautiful. I really enjoyed seeing all the work they have put into their home. I hear they are all moved in now! The nursery was the first room Jessica finished. Their baby is due any time now. We met Jarom's new girlfriend, Stephanie, who just happens to be my sister-in-law Courtenay's sister! I met Stephanie at John and Courtenay's wedding back in September. Fun times.

*I really enjoyed seeing Amelia Jean and Amelia Jean Jr getting to know each other. Grandma Jean taught Amelia to say happy. Amelia pulled out all the stops showing off her walking skills, spouting off new words, mimicking, and pulling funny faces. She even let Grandma hold her for 5 seconds of her own volition.

*Our flight home was wonderfully uneventful. We made it home late Thursday evening.

16 July 2008

California at Last

I'm sitting at my Grandma's computer in the kitchen that looks nearly the same from the time I was a little girl. This morning I walked/ran along the levy remembering all the reasons why Gilroy has such a huge hold on my heart. 

I love the abundance of flowers, the smell of garlic (no wonder I constantly crave spaghetti), the quiet cool mornings, and the smell of my grandparent's home. As a little girl I remember swinging from the rafters in Grandpa's garage, finding a Strawberry Shortcake doll in the Christmas tree, Dad waking us up in the gray dawn after being away for a long time, Grandpa pushing my dinner plate until it was flush with my chest, Grandma reading books out loud on the porch, and on and on. Memories are so precious. Each time I visit Gilroy it feels like home. 

Getting here was a very stressful experience. Early Monday morning Amelia started to cry. I went in to check on her only to find her with a temperature of 104.5. I gave her some Tylenol and mused about what to do. We ended up packing her up and going to the airport. After all the stress of going through security we plopped down for some breakfast at Burger King. They worker only gave us a quarter of what we ordered, forgetting drinks, tots, and Amelia's biscuit. We make it to the gate. There Justin finds out the flight was overbooked by three people. Our choice was either Justin or I takes the flight. He went. I was very glad to get the $400 voucher and $21 in meal tickets. I was booked on the next flight leaving at 9:15 pm. Justin paid for parking with his credit card and took the house key with him. Problem! I couldn't get the car out of the parking lot. De-bo came and picked us up. My neighbor who had my house key was not home. We waited outside in the heat for about 30 minutes until she got home. I took Amelia to the Dr to find out she had either a sore throat (something -gytis) or rosea. Luckily, her fever was nearly 104.7 so they hopped around and got me in and out rather quickly. On the way home Justin's car stalled each time I stopped for a red light. That was NOT fun. Justin wasn't available to discuss options with so I just sat in the car and cried. Feeling better I finally made it home. Justin finally called and we decided to just take the 9:15 pm flight and deal with her fever later. De-bo took me back to the airport. The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful. Amelia slept most of the flight. One guy in front of me kept giving us the stinky eye whenever she cried. I let Amelia pull his hair on accident. Opps. Justin was like a shining GOD of grace waiting at the end of the baggage claim area. We spent the night in Livermore. 

Tuesday morning Amelia and I drove down to Gilroy finally arriving at my Grandparent's around 11:30. Phew! Amelia stuck to me like "velcro" according to Grandpa. No naps and a new environment made for a cranky baby. Last night she slept pretty well and is napping right now! YES!!!  

12 July 2008

Family Fun Day at Heritage Park

Once a year the "This is the Place" Heritage Village has an open admission day. Charity told us about it late last night. We decided it would be fun to go since we will be in California on the 24th of July. We arrived early at 9:15 am to avoid the crowds, accommodate for naptime, and cooler weather. Lately, Amelia is enthralled with animals and the sounds they make. I was glad to finally show her a live horse, cow, sheep, pig, goat, chicken, etc. She was not very sure what to make of the petting area. Most of the animals were taller than she was, which admittedly is a bit intimidating. The smallest animal was a pygmy goat who decided to chew on my Italian stroller and red purse. She also rode a pony named Sugar. We met up with Charity, Melissa, Jonathon, and the kids at the train station for a cruise around the village. I captured some nice pictures of the Pay cabin (Justin's side). We all walked over to the Pay cabin and listened to Charity, Melissa, and the cabin's volunteer talk about the Pay family. Amelia was very tired from too much fun so we took her home for a longish nap.

Treehouse Museum

Justin, Amelia, and I went to the Treehouse museum Friday afternoon. Miekka and her family met us there. Amelia was enthralled with all the toddler-sized play areas. She was very busy toddling here and there examining a table of cool stuff or saying "hi" to another child. Justin and I trailed in her wake giggling at how cute she was behaving. Her favorite areas were the pretend kitchen, an activity table, and the music room. We had a very fun afternoon!
I also photographed an awesome family around 4 pm. My friend Natalie just had a new baby, Ethan! She agreed to model for me with Ethan, and sometimes Ladd and Jayden (husband and son). I had a blast trying new techniques out and getting to know Ethan. Jayden and Natalie have the most incredible eyes! Here are a couple of my favorites:

10 July 2008

I Love the DI

I must have inherited Grandpa Baerwaldt's love of getting good deals. My mom has it and so do I. James and Miekka live next to the Murray DI. Nearly each time I visit their home I make a stop at the DI. In my opinion they have the BEST DI ever. This time I found a very cute child sized table and four chairs for $17 (I was looking to spend about $250), a wrought iron baby doll bed, a mega cute skirt, and an entire rack of diaper covers (bloomers). When I photograph infants I like to have them stripped down to a diaper and stinkin' cute diaper cover. I discovered an entire rack of diaper covers. Heaven!

The little bed had a warped mattress holder thingy. I pulled out plywood, cardboard, foam board, MDF, trying to find something to strengthen the bottom so a child could actually fit. Finally, I tried an extra wire shelf for a closet system the previous owners installed. It fit almost perfectly. Amelia danced to the music of me sawing off metal parts of the shelf with a hack saw. The music was pretty. After that I wrapped an old pillow to the shelf, bound it down with yarn, then wrapped some batting and cloth around my contraption and glued it all together. Glue guns are one of the top 100 favorite inventions. The result is a very sturdy thingy that fit perfectly in the bed of the...bed. Sometimes my thinking avenues surprise me. I hope that doesn't sound conceited. Just WOW! What amazing things our brains can be. Amelia helped me showcase the baby doll bed.

09 July 2008

Boring Week

Just thought I'd pop in a small note. Dad, Mom, and da boyz arrived safely in Jordan Monday morning (our time). They are tired but happy to be there. Dad is already meeting with Princes and Princesses as the current attache is training dad and introducing him to all the important folks. How would you like to say, "I met Prince Numair today" in a nonchalant voice? Goodness gracious.

Justin's foot is very colorful. He said the bruising extends to his toes, the other side of his foot and up his lower leg. We are considering amuptation if it does not get better soon.

I am going to California!!!!!!!!! Finally, Justin's work approved travel for me after a lot of grief. I can't wait to visit with Jessica and craft away. I also can't wait to smell the garlic wafting though my home town of Gilroy (the garlic capital of the WORLD). Dad meets princes and I eat garlic. Awesome.

Amelia said "I love you" for the first time yesterday. We were leaving Aunt Charity's after an hour of swimming and dinner. She said her customary bye-byes when I prompted her to say, "I love you"! She actually did! It was super cute and melted my heart. She is walking like a pro now. She carries her mi-mi under her arm and toddles around the kitchen pulling food out of the pantry. This is a fun game. I totally understand the sense of "fun" since my sister and I used to play house and McDonald's. The game went as follows:

During nap time Mom would send us to our room for a nap. We didn't sleep. Instead we would pull all our clothing off the hangers and out of drawers, remove the sheets and mattresses from our beds, pile all our belongings in the middle of floor. Jana, the bossy one, would then stand in the closet and order me around. I would have to beg for hamburgers only to get an itchy dress passed from Jana in the closet. I imagine we switched sometimes. After nap time we spent the next 3 hours confined to our room cleaning up the mess. My mom became so exasperated with us that she only allowed two outfits apiece, two shoes, no sheets, and no toys. We still played. I remember that game was so much fun. I tried to play it the other day in the guest room but it was not so fun. Amelia would not stay in the closet and boss me around. LOL.

06 July 2008

Recent Craftiness

Cute 4th of July hat

Visored-beanie for a friend
Mary Jane's


Justin's Ankle

Spectacular bruising on the side of the sprain
Even some bruising on the other side

05 July 2008

The Fourth of July Par-tay

Uncle Fred and Aunt Elizabeth sure throw a good party! We arrived around 3:30 to find a yard full of family. Family kept arriving for the next 3 hours! It was awesome. The Crook Clan rocks. We had some fun swimming, chatting, eating, swimming some more, chatting some more, and eating some more. I am actually looking forward to Fast Sunday tomorrow to give my belly a break.
Justin sprained his ankle a little while after we arrived. He stepped off the deck (over a 1.5 feet high) and rolled his ankle. An hour later it was swollen nearly twice the normal size. Elizabeth found him some ice and some pain killer. Poor guy! He had a nice spot near the pool in the shade to observe all the action.
The gathering was almost as well-attended as a family reunion. Thank you Fred and Elizabeth for providing the fried chicken. The rest was pot luck! I was very happy to see Mark and Elaine show up. They live near St George so are not very close.
In some ways waiting for the party to end was like waiting for the inevitible good byes to Dad, Mom, Jeremy, and Jared. Finally, the moment came...it was hard to say good bye. It has not sunk in yet that they are a whole entire ocean and a sea apart from us now. Having mom and the boys close for an entire year was a gift. No tears yet! I guess we are too experienced at saying good bye to dither over emotion. They will have FUN.
By the time fireworks were set off I was happily asleep, Amelia was asleep (I think), and Justin was on the couch elevating his foot. The comfort of living in this great country is such a blessing. I am very proud to be an American!! Hurrah!
Pool Party
Playing with a ba-all (you can see my front teeth)
Nerd of all Chickens
Sweet Ma-Ma Debbie feeding ice cream to Amelia
The Ankle