Sunday, August 30, 2009


Our family has a tradition of camping at Leavenworth each summer. Well... my style of camping anyway. You know, the kind where there is a river, outdoor pool, coffee/ice-cream stand, playground, pancake breakfast, and most importantly, an air-conditioned cabin. I was especially looking forward to it, because last year our family wasn't able to go for the first time ever (Casey was born that same week!). We actually went right before Casey's birthday, but then we had his party, Gavin knocked his teeth out... life just happened.

I cannot even describe how happy I was to be with my mom, sister, brother-in-law, Maddie and Travis. First of all, with my husband as a pilot, I am so grateful for any time off when our family can play together. Secondly, my kids would rather play with their cousins than anyone else in the world. I could watch their smiling faces as they chase each other in the grass ALL DAY. Third, my sister and her husband can make me laugh until it hurts. You know those people who have a witty comment for everything? I don't know how they come up with the things they say, but I love it! Add my mom to that equation who gets up at the crack of dawn to walk to the playground with me and my kids... offers to stay with Casey because he is too little to go river rafting... puts my kids to bed so Adam and I can see an outdoor play. Camping would definitely not be as fun if any pieces of this puzzle were missing.

So here are some pictures of the things I was telling you about...

Our cabin with a little porch swing out front

Playing with Daddy in the river while Mommy took pictures

Sy even made a friend!Running around with the cousins

I can't run around yet, but look out next year!
Until then, my cousin Maddie will hold me...The outdoor plays in Leavenworth are AMAZING. This year was particularly special because Adam and I got to take Jacob to his very first play. My mom, sister, and I went to plays all of the time growing up, so it definitely gave me goosebumps to pass down the tradition to my oldest son. It happened to be one of my all-time favorites, The Sound of Music. I spent the entire week preparing Jacob by singing Raindrops on Roses, Do Re Mi, Sixteen going on Seventeen, and Edelweiss. So Jacob was super excited when he recognized these songs throughout the play. He told me afterward that his favorite part was when all of the children put on The Lonely Goatherd puppet show... and he liked Gretyl, because she was five just like him.

The play is set up in the mountains, so you have about a ten minute hike to get to your seats. Maddie even gave Jacob a piggy back ride for the first part.

My favorite part of the camping trip was river rafting. This was brand-new to the KOA this year. Our family purchased tubes with my sister's family and carried them down to the river. We linked all seven tubes together so nobody would get separated! For the most part, the ride was really calm and we just chatted it up while we floated down the river. If we noticed something fun like rocks to climb on (or jump off of), we hopped off of our tubes and played with our kids together. All of us adults jumped off a super high rock and I even convinced my niece to hold my hand and jump with me! The world is completely blurry without her glasses, so it was particularly brave! It was a very eventful two hours ~ My nephew fell out of his tube during one of the rapids and Adam dove to save him (thank goodness for life jackets!), Gavin pooped in the river because well, there was just nowhere else to go (Daddy cleaned up that one while Mommy was rock jumping ;), we went swimming for my sister's lost flip flop, we went swimming for both of Gavin's sandals, jokes were told, and memories were made. At the end, a little van from the KOA picked us up and drove us back to the campsite. It was honestly one of the most fun afternoons of my life!

Then my sister and her husband left for the play, so we had all five kids. Can you believe we took them swimming in the outdoor pool at eight o'clock? Hot weather will make you do crazy things! After that, we all settled in for s'mores at the campfire.

Look at this adorable s'more face, pre-toothlessness
All but one were in their pjs.

By the end of the night, our mission was successful. They were all passed out in separate bunks.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Update on Gavin

My little guy has been SUCH a trooper. The next day, he woke up bouncing around like his normal, happy self... and was more than excited to try out the bubbles, watercolors, and M&M's that the tooth fairy left for him. (Jacob was very relieved to see that she had left all of the treats downstairs :)

Meanwhile, I was able to call my dentist (Jacob and Gavin have been seeing him as well), who referred me to a pediatric dentist. After seeing this fun-filled place, I think I'm sold. There were toys, stuffed animals, colorful walls, smiling hygienists, tokens to exchange for prizes... about the most fun a dental appointment can be. ;) The dentist was very personable and told us that Gavin had a 50/50 chance of his left tooth coming back down on its own. (The chance was higher until he looked in Gavin's mouth and saw the root of the tooth bulging against his gums!) So he wanted Gavin to come back in two weeks. If his tooth is coming down on its own by then, they will most likely leave it alone. If not, an oral surgeon will have to remove it.

The part that broke my heart the most yesterday was watching Gavin as he tried to take a bite of cantaloupe. It was then that I realized this poor little guy is going to have to develop a whole new way of eating. Adam tried to show him how to take a bite with the side of his mouth, but I felt too horrible watching his feeble attempts and cut it up for him. Then he went to drink his milk through a straw, and immediately grimaced as it settled right into his sore gap. Tonight, we had corn on the cob and he watched again with his big blue eyes as I cut it all off for him. Poor thing.

Through it all, Gavin has had such a joyful attitude to match his toothless smile. My favorite part was watching him crawl up on our bench to check out his new look for the first time. He carefully pulled his lip up and stared at the new gaping hole in his mouth. Then he started smiling and making funny faces at himself in the mirror. What a silly boy!

I do miss his baby smile... but his new look is growing on me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our traumatic night

Little Gavin lost his two front teeth tonight... about four years earlier than we had pictured. I never in a million years thought Gavin would lose a tooth before Jacob did. So many thoughts are racing through my head ~ like every picture we take of him for FOUR years will have his two front teeth missing. Four years of people asking me how he lost them. Four years of him sticking his tongue through the gap. Four years of singing "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth."

Anyway, the story goes like this. We had just gone out to dinner with my friend to celebrate Casey's first birthday. We shared a mile high mud pie and I took a picture our five kids together. I'm not sure why, but we've never taken one of all of them. I thought that was a momentous occasion in itself. Now it is much more momentous... it's the last picture Gavin took with his two front teeth.

It happened as soon as we got home. I watched it right before my very own eyes. Gavin tripped and banged (what I thought was his head) on the handle of a wrought iron bench in our living room. As soon as I picked him up, I saw that his teeth were missing. One was lying on the living room floor and the other was jammed up inside of his gums. He was screaming and gurgling on all of the blood in his mouth.

My husband is the calm, rational one who happened to be flying an airplane when this all was happening. I am the emotional one who panics and breaks down crying in these situations. I somehow pulled myself together and ran next door to ask my neighbor to watch Jacob and Casey. Then I buckled Gavin in and sped to urgent care, which thankfully is less than a mile away from my house.

The nurse couldn't have been any less concerned about the situation, like we were there for a routine check-up. She weighed Gavin, took his temperature, and starting making small talk with us. I was thinking... "Are you kidding me? My son just knocked out his front teeth! I do NOT want to chat it up with you!" She proceeded to tell me that this happens all the time and it's not a big deal. Really lady? Because I almost called 911.

She left the room and I was holding Gavin for several minutes before going outside to ask for some ice. The doctor was at the computer, saw how upset I was, and followed me into the room. She told me there is nothing we can do and seriously, kids knock out their baby teeth out all the time. She gave him some ibuprofen and I am supposed to call the dentist in the morning to see if they need to pull the tooth that is jammed up inside his gums.

The only thing that made me feel a little better was to tell Gavin that the tooth fairy would come tonight. I tried to make it super exciting so he would see how fun it can be to lose your teeth. Until Jacob overheard that the tooth fairy was coming... and totally, completely freaked out. So here is my five year old on the couch screaming, "SHE WILL COME IN MY WINDOW? AHHHHHH! I DON'T WANT HER TO COME! NOOOOOOO MOMMY NOOOOOO!" He was totally inconsolable and wouldn't come to bed. So then Gavin was scared and started crying too. Are you kidding me? Seriously, this night has not already been dramatic enough?

Finally, I knelt down beside Jacob and told him that I called the tooth fairy and told her not to come. I convinced him that mommies and daddies can do that. They just say no thank you to the tooth fairy. She understands and will give the treats to the mommy and daddy and will NOT come in your room. My goodness!

What a night. Here is a picture of my sweet Gavin. It still doesn't seem real. But hey, one day Gavin and Jacob will take a picture together with both of their two front teeth missing... and not many siblings are able to do that, right? ;)

At least, for the time-being, he is sleeping peacefully.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Casey's first birthday

It was Casey's first birthday today, so we had a little "monkey" barbecue with family and friends to celebrate. Jacob, after looking at all of the decorations, asked me how I knew that Casey wanted a monkey party... because he is a baby and can't talk. So I told him Casey said "Oo oo ah ah" one day and I just knew! He looked at me for a minute with a smile and I could tell he knew I was kidding.

I was actually surprised Casey would let me put his party hat on, because he usually takes off any hat I try to put on within seconds. I guess he was distracted by the fun balloon. ;)

Grammy has been teaching Casey to blow everyone kisses. It's the cutest...

It was a perfect day for a barbecue

Since we have a pond nearby, all of the kids were trying to catch frogs
Then we came inside to open presents
I found a monkey cake pan online, but since I am not super artistic or much of a baker... my friend Wendi offered to make it for him. She did an AMAZING job. I felt a little bad amputating his head and letting Casey smash into all of her hard work. ;)

Thanks girl... you're the BEST.

We got Casey a little monkey pull-string pinata and each little friend got to try to find that magic string. ;)

Cousin Evan found it!
The cutest thing was when I went to put Casey down for a nap later that afternoon, I found four little candies spread out in his crib. I had a feeling that his cousin Travis wanted to make sure Casey got some candy from the pinata. I was right. When my sister asked Travis if he did it, his eyes got big and he said, "Am I in trouble?" Then when we told him how sweet it was, he had a huge proud smile on his face.

The best surprise was that my good friend was able to come to Casey's party with her baby. He was born with CDH, Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, and just came home from being at Children's Hospital since his birth. He is such a little miracle and it truly was a gift from God to be able to have him there.

Happy first birthday Casey! It has been such an honor to watch you smile, laugh, roll over, sit up, crawl, stand, and grow so BIG over this year. You fill our hearts everyday with your joyful nature and we love you more than you could ever imagine.