Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Home Videos

Her are some of our latest videos.  They are both a little long, but this is what we have been up to. I wasn't able to post them to the blog the typical way because they have music and there are some copyright issues so you will have to click the links that I have added below. And because of the size of the file they take awhile to upload, especially if you have a slower internet connection, so you will have to be patient!  Just click the pause button (ll) in the lower left hand corner of the video, wait for it to fully upload (maybe get a cup of coffee or something). There is a black bar next to the pause button with a white dot. Until that bar has turned completely grey the video is not fully loaded. And then play it when it has loaded.  Otherwise you will be watching it in 5 to 10 second intervals and then waiting in between, and that would annoy anyone!  Sorry for all of the instructions but the videos are worth it, I promise!  Soon I should be starting my own website that will eliminate all of the problems, so stay tuned!

This first one is for those of you who love our little Liam and never get to see him in person.  He is growing so fast and we are loving every minute!  We love his series of stretches as he wakes up and the way he panics for his bottle.  And we are eating up every little smile the he will give up.

This is a video showing the snow we got in Spokane over Christmas. 

Monday, December 29, 2008

Our First Christmas with Liam

What a big series of misadventures we had trying to make Christmas happen.  And all of it thanks to the crazy snow in the Northwest this year!  

We were scheduled to fly out of Seattle on Thursday the 18th.  When it started snowing Tuesday we thought it would be better to leave on Wednesday afternoon to go down to Seattle so that we didn't miss the flight trying to get down there early Thursday morning.  So, Wednesday at about 1:00 PM we had the car packed and ready to go. Edwin told me to go start the car and load Liam up and he would be out in a minute. So I started the car and headed back in to get Liam, but when I went back out all of the doors were locked, with the car running.  Surly Edwin has another key, I thought.  But the look on his face when I told him was answer enough.  We started calling every locksmith in the book.  The standard answer was a little chuckle and a "no way, not in this weather" from everyone we called. One guy actually said that if we could get his van unstuck from his driveway he would be happy to come unlock our car! Three hours later a nice guy came and got the car unlocked in about 10 seconds and we were finally on our way. 

With the snow and nasty road conditions it took us about 5 hours to drive to Seattle (normally a 1 1/2 hour drive) and it seemed like there was another accident every 100 yards. We made it to my grandma's a little worse for the wear, but our spirits were still high. Thursday morning we watched the weather news all morning, amazed at the madness on the roads, glad we were flying. But after parking our car at Master Park, hopping on a shuttle and finally arriving at the airport, our flight had been cancelled and it was a three hour wait to talk to someone at the ticket counter! We sat down and started to think about what we were going to do when Edwin had a stroke of genius. He went outside to the Southwest check-in stand and no one was out there because it was so cold.  So he booked us on the 9 AM flight for Friday morning. Our spirits were a little lower, but we still had hope even though it was still snowing furiously.

We got back on the shuttle and barely made it back to Master Park through the blizzard and several accidents and decided it wasn't safe to try and drive back to my Grandma's house. So we stayed at the closest hotel to the Master Park lot, the glorious Red Roof Inn.  I should have known what to expect from the name, after all, we have a rusty roofed shed with tarp sides up at the plantation in Guatemala called the Red Roof Inn. But beggars can't be choosers, so we took the very last available room (smoking room, I might add) and settled in for the night. Yep, it is still snowing at this point. 

Friday morning, with our hopes a little higher, we headed back to the Master Park, on to the shuttle and back to the airport. It had stopped snowing in Seattle, but it was FREEZING.  We go checked in, headed through security and to our gate with breakfast in hand (no small task with a three month old). Things were looking good until 30 minutes before our flight was supposed to leave. All of the sudden the screen flashed "Delayed". Apparently, Spokane Airport was closed for plowing. On a side note, my parents were in Spokane feeling just as frustrated as we were. So I hated to call them and tell them there was another delay. They were already waiting at the airport for their little grandson with a nursery all set up back home. So I called them and told them things were delayed again and all of our hopes began to sink a little lower. 

An hour and a half and a major baby meltdown later, the flight attendant started the boarding announcements.  Finally! Two minutes later she came back on with a new announcement that the whole airport was temporarily shut down because someone did something stupid at the security checkpoint.  You think I am kidding right?  Nope, this is how it actually happened. Another hour later we board the plane and start the taxi down the runway. Twenty minutes of sitting on the runway later the plane turns around and we are told that the Spokane Airport is shut down.  The de-icers are broken and they aren't letting any planes leave or land.  Flight cancelled.

With tears in my eyes, I tell Edwin "I am done." There were 100 people on the standby list for the flight that we were on and they will all stack up all day today and all day tomorrow.  There is no way we will be able to get a flight, and if we don't head back to Bellingham before it starts snowing again, we'll be trapped at the Red Roof Inn for Christmas!  The forecast at this point was snow for the next 10 days.  We called my parents and told them we weren't coming.  I couldn't drive back home only to drive back down and try to catch more flights and so on and so forth.

This left all four of us totally depressed, but there was nothing we could do.  Or was there? In the brief moment of sun on Friday afternoon we were driving north on I-5 about to pass the I-90 exit we made the spit decision to try to drive to Spokane (normally a four hour drive). We stopped in North Bend for chains, window washing fluid, gas, food, diapers, extra formula and water incase we were stranded somewhere and headed out with our nerves as tight as rubber bands. We didn't tell my parents because we didn't want them to worry and we didn't want to shatter their hopes again if we felt like the roads were too dangerous and had to turn around. 

By the time we got to Ellensburg the temperature was -7 outside and the old '89 lancruiser heat couldn't keep up.  I was sitting in the backseat with Liam (who was bundled in a million blankets) feeding him, trying to stay warm under a big comforter I was so glad we kept in the car. Liam was being such a trooper!  I am so grateful for his little attitude. 

It took us 9 hours to make the drive, but we finally pulled into Spokane, my parents none the wiser at this point. We pulled up to the house, put Liam in his car seat on the porch, rang the doorbell and hid around the corner. The moment they opened the door was so priceless, I will never forget it.  It was Hallmark movie caliber. 

After all that, we had a great time in Spokane for Christmas. It never stopped snowing (I am not exaggerating) and I rarely changed out of my Pajamas. Sounds nice huh?  We deserved it! Here are some of the pictures:

Grandpa, Liam and Edwin relaxing after a long few days

Liam compared to the depth of the snow along the driveway

Edwin, Liam and Grandma in the freezing cold

Isn't he cute?

A winter hat from Grandma and Grandpa.  Poor kid.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas, Weddings and Blizzards, Oh My!

Saturday was a great big adventure for our little family!  We left about 7:00 AM, right after Liam was up and fed, to go down to Kent despite repeated news warnings of bad weather.  We had a little brunch and celebrated Christmas with Grandma Nancy and Great Grandma Mary, since we won't be with them for the holiday. Then we got all dressed up, including Liam, and went to the wedding of one of the girls I have mentored for the last few years.  Liam, so far, was being quite a trooper. He did choose a very quite moment in the reception to let out an extremely man sized burp that rewarded us with strange looks from a lot of people, but what can I say, I was kind of proud.

After the wedding we loaded up in the car once again to head to back to Bellingham for an annual Christmas party we like to go to. We just made it through before the really bad weather in Everett and Mt. Vernon.  I feel bad for the people who were heading north an hour behind us! We arrived in Bellingham just as the weather was turning, but headed to the party anyway. One of Edwin's best friends was getting engaged and we couldn't miss it.  We stayed at the party a short few hours and decided to leave along with most of the other guests when it started to look really nasty outside. We made it about two miles before we came up to a major accident blocking the road home, with Liam having a major meltdown in the back seat and blizzard all around us.  Can you blame him?  Poor guy had spent way too much time in the car seat already! So we headed back to the party with three diapers, a few measly wipes and threats of a sleep over with our gracious host. 

Edwin put the chains on the car before the snow got too deep and we tried to get Liam to sleep on a blanket on the guest bedroom floor.  A few hours later he took the car to see if we could get through.  Things were looking better, so we packed up the car once again, put Liam in the carseat (he was so tired at this point he didn't even have the energy to protest) and headed out. It took us about half an hour to make the 10 minute drive, but I was so grateful to be home! I was scared we were going to have to start using our friends hand towels for diapers if we didn't get out of there.  Lesson learned. 

This morning we all woke up in our own beds with a gorgeous blanket of snow on the ground. I love how having a baby around makes everything a first.  This weekend Liam went to his first wedding, his first Christmas party, and is completely oblivious to his first snow!  I guess it is really all for the parents at this point, huh?  Christmas time has never been so fun for me!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Little Cutie

These are just some of the latest pictures of Liam. He has started smiling and responding more and it is so much fun! People are starting to say that he is looking more and more like me. Lucky guy, I guess!
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Childbirth Class Reunion

Last weekend we got together with some of the people who were in our childbirth class this summer. Only about half of us showed up, but it was a full house with all the babies. We had a really great time and all of the babies are so adorable! I am also meeting with the moms once a week just to hang out. I really hope that it continues so that the kids can grow up together. But life moves along quickly, so we will see what happens.

Liam was the first one to be set on the couch. It looks to me like he knew what was about to happen and wasn't all that thrilled about it.

Here are the four babies who made it to the party. From left to Right: Liam Richard, Jacob, Jacklyn and Liam Thomas

In her sleep, Jacklyn got a little cozy with Liam and he didn't like it very much.

That made Liam start to cry and this was the immediate result!

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