Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ultrasound for baby #3

We had our first ultrasound last week. The gender wasn't going to be a public announcement because Melissa thinks its SO much fun to not know what it is, so we weren't going to tell her. She asked the one person who didn't swear not to tell what it was....Kyah. A 4 year old! So the cat's out of the bag. It's another girl, due June 20, 2011. She appears to be totally healthy and growing well. Surprisingly, she is actually measuring a day ahead of her due date. With both Kyah and Spencer, they were both smaller and measured 4-5 days behind. Maybe she'll be a little bigger when she's born or won't be a week late. The only problem they saw was the placement of the placenta. It's at the bottom and shouldn't be. She said I will eventually have to get another ultrasound to make sure it moves before I get to the end. Let's hope! Now let the name battle begin!

This somewhat disturbing looking picture is her face from the front. (You can see the two eye sockets and the skeletal opening of her mouth.) The little line below her head is her arm bone and if you look very closely, you can see her little fingers resting on her cheek. Little poser already.

And obviously, this is her foot. Kyle was curious how big it was so she measured and it was an inch long.

Now with that being said and enough time passing, I want to vent for a second. Baby girl was not our first pregnancy last year and I just have to say, I can not believe how insensitive some people can be when it comes to miscarriage. Insensitive is not the right word to describe those who were trying to console with "at leasts", but one word of advice. Don't. Don't try to console someone who has just had a miscarriage by saying, "well, at least it wasn't your first baby" or "at least you were only __ weeks along" or "at least you've only had one." So many people had a comment like this to make to me and they DON'T help. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate everyone who tried to be supportive. But it really really sucks no matter which number pregnancy it is or how far along you were. I DO realize that I am fortunate that I wasn't 12 weeks in or had multiple miscarriages or that I am able to have children at all. And I would feel horrible for someone who was so excited to get pregnant for the first time, only to lose it. They are all things I said to myself. But it doesn't lessen my own feelings of loss and sadness. The very worst was someone who knew about my miscarriage, when talking in a group of pregnant women all due around the same time I was, actually told me I missed the boat. Really? Totally hurtful and unnecessary.
I was talking to a friend about how blown away I was by people's ability to be so insensitive and she shared her own story with me. I was appalled! (I'm retelling it as best as I can recall!) She's been told she will never be able to conceive. So they adopted a beautiful little princess over 4 years ago. Not too long after the adoption, by a miracle, she became pregnant, and even made it far enough into the pregnancy to be able to hear the heartbeat, but then dealt with the tragic loss of miscarrying. She moved shortly after this and assumed she wouldn't have to deal with people knowing. One woman in their new ward knew she had been pregnant and she had to tell her. The woman actually looked at her young daughter and said something to the affect of, "it's probably for the best, it looks like you have your hands full." I am floored at how ignorant some people can be.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Allred family reunion

Kyle's mom's family has been having an annual family reunion since the 40s or 50s. Its really big. It started with his great-grandpa and his siblings back then. It keeps going after all these years with all their descendants and it is huge! There are so many people there and it is SO much fun! It's always held out in Altonah, UT on one of the family members property. They have a whole bunch of land and there is a tree-shaded clearing where everyone brings in their camper trailers. It has a little lake with a swing (which unfortunately we didn't make it over to this year...its hard with the little ones!) And of course we have a big campfire every night. Kyle's Mom and her siblings are in charge of putting on next year and they've decided they're going to let the "kids" handle it this time. I'm open to any suggestions if anyone has any fun ideas for a really big family reunion! :)

Kyle & Rachel

Spencer spent the whole 3 days in the sandbox and throwing whatever he could find into the stream.

Kyle's mom, Bunny and Aunt Barb

It came! It finally came!

Kyle has been on my case about buying a new video camera. We bought one right before Kyah was born, but it kept making its way back down to Kyle's work, so it was never around when we wanted to take video. I started seriously looking into which would be the best to buy. Melissa convinced me that I'd be better off (and more likely to take more video) if I had a really good still camera with a really big SD card, because I'll actually carry this around with me every where I go. So I bought one that is specifically advanced in taking video and I finally got it yesterday! I'm really hoping that the new camera will also inspire me to take more normal pictures too. I usually just let everyone else take pictures for me and have them send me copies because A) The quality was not that great and B) It was so slow to take pictures, kids would do something cute and stop by the time my camera actually got around to capturing the picture. I can't complain too was a gift and its been fine for the last almost 4 years. But I am super excited about the new one!

This shows the difference in quality of cameras. This is taken with the old one. Look how red and glowy Spencer looks, not to mention you can't even tell his shirt has just all blurs together.

And a picture taken few minutes later with the new camera. Much much better!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Costa Rica

The view from the check out desk. Those rooftops are the Villas amongst the trees!

Our much anticipated vacation had a really rocky start, but all in all, we had a good time! We had a red eye flight to Atlanta scheduled for 12:50 am. We had Kyle's brother drop us off at the airport at 11:00 at night, only to find out all flights between Atlanta and Salt Lake had been canceled all day. We spent the next hour waiting in line and then making arrangements to reschedule our flight. There is only one flight a day from Atlanta to Liberia, Costa Rica and that happens to be in the mornings. That meant we wouldn't be able to fly out of Atlanta until Sunday morning. The customer service rep we dealt with in Salt Lake said Delta would put us up in a hotel in Atlanta Saturday night since it was their fault. The Delta employees were not quite as friendly and helpful in Atlanta (that's being overly nice about it!) We found the "help desk" and an employee told us what line to wait in after we told her our problem. She went to check the computer for us and said that there was no note on us as to receiving a free hotel stay from them. So we waited in line for about 30 minutes (the line she told us to wait in) only to be first in line and have the woman at the desk start yelling at the first employee about sending people into the wrong lines and that she needed all of us to go to the back of the other line. We just pretended not to hear and stayed where we were! When we got to the desk, she told us the same thing....there was no note and if someone has promised us that, there should be a note. We very nicely and calmly (not that she deserved any respect the way she was treating everyone else!) told her what she could kiss if she didn't give us a room. Needless to say, we got our free hotel stay.
We got to Playa Conchal (our resort) and couldn't be more pleased. It's a pretty amazing place. The service was fantastic in every department! Their attention to detail is absolutely impeccable! We told them about our flight be canceled (clearly, not their problem) and they offered to extend our stay one day, free of charge since we checked in a day late. Who does that? The resort is basically like it's own city. It's a gated area with condos and about 40 8-plex Villas that are basically studio apartments (that's what we stayed in) and one hotel building. There are like 6 or 7 fantastic restaurants and all kinds of shopping. They have their own night club and performing theater, a golf course, a casino, tennis courts, several pools, and of course, it's right on the beach. I was really really impressed! I would go back there in a heart beat! If you want to see more pictures of the hotel we stayed go here....
Unfortunately it started pouring rain the first night we got there and didn't let up once until about Wednesday afternoon. Although it limited what we were able to do, we didn't let it get to us. It was still warm, despite the rain, so we still played in the ocean and walked along the beach. I even went to a spin class on Monday morning! (Don't make fun of me for working out on my vacation....there wasn't a whole lot of option with the rain!) It was fun. I had a one on one class with the hot Costa Rican instructor!
Kyle set up a trip to go deep sea fishing on Tuesday. We got all the way out to where they started setting up the equipment. The rain made really big waves and our boat was swaying back and forth. I already have issues with seasickness and that only made it worse! Kyle had them take me back in to the marina and he went back out to fish by himself, while I went back to the hotel and spent the morning relaxing.
Kyle's rooster fish

Wednesday we decided to take surfing lessons. That was the most fun thing we did! If I lived by an ocean, I could totally see myself getting into it! Our surf instructor was guy named Harlan that is from San Diego. He went to Costa Rica on vacation 6 years ago and decided not to go home. There were real bad swells in the ocean, so our learning conditions were less than optimal. He admitted it was so nasty, he wouldn't surf in those waves. He told me I was a natural....I jumped up on my very first try, but then didn't get into stance, and fell shortly after. On my 3rd ride, I got up and then rode the wave all the way into the shore, where I ran out of water, dug the nose of the board into the sand and went flying backwards and landed on my tailbone in about 3 inches of water. I fought back the tears on that one! I walked if off on the beach for a few minutes then went back out. It still hurts really really bad and I have a feeling I'm going to be dealing with it for a while! After my initial injury, I got knocked around quite a bit by the erratic waves and took a board fin to the quad. That sure left a mark! For Kyle, surfing did not click so easily as it did for me. It took him a little while longer to catch on. Talk about a work out! We were exhausted by the time we finished!

The weather cleared up almost completely by Thursday, so we spent that day at the hotel. Kyle rented a fishing pole from the vendors on the beach and took a kayak out and fished while I laid out. We also got massages together on the beach. Talk about a relaxing place to get massaged. I was pretty impressed by the massage too....I asked for a deep tissue massage and that's what I got.
Friday we went zip lining. That was pretty fun too! There were a total of 8 zip lines through the tropical forest and we even saw monkeys up in the trees. At the end of the zip lines, they had a platform we climbed to a gigantic swing they hooked our harnesses to. That was the best part!

The monkeys in the trees!

Saturday, our last day to play, we decided to go scuba diving. We went back and forth over whether or not to go, but ultimately, I figured we'd regret it if we didn't. Now I kinda regret that we did! The waves were once again really really big. The boat ride out was really long. I did fine riding out to the islands on the boat. It was when they made us go to the bottom deck with the engine and the fumes. We put on our gear and I really started to get nauseous. Usually I get sick on the boat, but once I'm under, I'm fine. Not this time. It was really rough even at 50 feet below the surface. We figured I must have had water on my ear that was throwing off my equilibrium because if I got any lower than 45 feet, I could not get my ear to pop. I kept going back up trying to fix it, to no avail. I've never ever had a problem clearing my ears while diving. I was relieved to be done with the dive. Our 3 minute sluff off at 20 feet nearly killed me. I really thought I was going to throw up under the water. I didn't....I waited until I got back on the boat. Needless to say, we didn't use our second tanks!
I really really enjoyed Costa Rica. Kyle did too. We were surprised by how nice all the locals were. A lot different experience than Mexico. By the end of the week, I actually really started to miss the kids. It was a fun trip, but it's also good to be home!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ogden Marathon 2010

Let me start at the beginning....
Who'd have thought that I would ever run a marathon? If you'd have asked me a year ago, I'd have said you were nuts! So for anyone reading this that says, I could never (or would never) do it, never say never! Running is a challenge for always has been. We had to run the mile in PE and weight training class in high school every Wednesday. I DREADED Wednesdays. My time was usually somewhere between 11-12 minutes for ONE mile! (Just a side note, as I got more into fitness, that was unacceptable to me, so I did improve my time of one mile to 9-10, but never any longer and it was a struggle for me!) Running is not natural or easy for me. I used to get these really bad side cramps after one lap that made it impossible for me to run any further.
So last October, Kyle and I were visiting his parents in St. George. It just happened to be the weekend of the St. George Marathon. We were trying to get across town and everywhere we went, we kept running into road blocks because of the dumb runners! We sat in a line of cars for a few minutes waiting for our turn to talk to the cop patrolling traffic and I watched the runners for a little bit. Don't ask me what crazy pill I took that morning, but as I watched them, I had this real strong impression in me.....I could totally do that! Wait, what? What would make me possibly want to do something so stupid? And you have to pay to get into the race! Who does that? Apparently, I do!
I came home and went to the gym the following Monday morning where I ran into my friend/neighbor Desiree. I told her I wanted to run the St. George Marathon next year. As fate would have it (and I couldn't describe it as anything but fate!) she had also been having the itch to run a marathon. Even more of a coincidence, she also wanted to run the St. George Marathon but had heard it is hard to get into and the more races you have under your belt, the better chance you have at the lottery. Well, she has LOTS of family that are regular marathoners and some of them were already signed up for the Ogden Marathon. So we decided to do it first, then try to get into St. George this October. So we signed up in November and started training. It started slow and short on a treadmill. I'd run a couple miles at like 5 mph and start getting that stupid side ache. I'd hold my side as hard as I could and just push through it. I learned by doing that, it'd go away after like 10 minutes. I don't get cramping at all anymore. Haven't since the first month of training. We started our early morning Saturday runs at 5-6 miles and slowly increased our distance. We got into our real serious training by January. We wanted to be able to run and be home by the time our families were awake so there were some mornings we'd go out at 3 am! (And yes, that means getting up at 2:15 am!) We both found Friday nights to be pretty sleepless in anticipation of having to get up. There were some mornings that were so cold, we had frost in our hair, eyebrows and eyelashes! Training in Salt Lake in the winter is not for the faint of heart!

So fast forward 7 months....Desiree and I drove up to Ogden together Friday night. We went to dinner at Bistros with Desiree's sister, Tami, her step-mom Kathy and Kathy's sister Ellen (both seasoned marathoners....this was number 19 for them!) Kathy's son Jake and his fiancee Becca. Also Kathy and Ellen's friend Eileen, and her husband Mike, their daughter and their friend Don. It's funny how there is an instant bond and friendship between runners. I sat down at a table full of strangers and left with a table full of friends!
We all stayed at the Hampton Inn one block up from the finish line (and right on the street the buses picked us up to shuttle us to the top of the canyon.)Des and me waiting to get on the bus.

The ride up the canyon seemed to take forever! But it was pretty cool once we got to the cow field they dropped us off in. There was so much energy. I could not have been any more excited than I was at that point!

All the runners preparing for the race!
Our group waiting for the race....Ellen, me, Desiree, Kathy
Eileen Tami
This picture does not describe the sight I wanted to capture.
You look ahead and all you see is racers.
You look behind and see the same sight!
When we first started, there is so much adrenaline. I couldn't stop smiling I was so excited! The scenery was just gorgeous! We absolutely rocked the first 7-8 miles. I ran faster than I've ever run in my life and didn't even notice. After that my legs started to hurt. We'd done training runs with hills, but I'd say the majority of what we ran was pretty level or a real slight incline/decline. This was non-stop up down up down from beginning to end. There was one HUGE hill at about mile 12 and one big downhill around mile 18, but the rest was constant rolling hills. My muscles were not prepared for that. Desiree really started to pull away from me around 8 miles. I could see her for several miles and then she was gone. I ran my best personal 13.1 (half marathon distance) and even stayed right on track to reach my goal time of 4 1/2 hours for most of the second half. I had been warned, but did not quite understand how hard that last 6.2 miles is! (We never ran longer than 20 in training.) It didn't help that I ran out of water right at the halfway point. I'm the type of person who only performs well if I can constantly sip water. Chugging water every 2-3 miles doesn't cut it for me. I carried my Camelbak to be able to drink whenever I wanted, but didn't fill it, assuming that with all the water stops along the way, I wouldn't need as much. Wrong! I've heard of hitting a wall around 22-23 miles. I never really experienced that. I had moments through out the whole race where I'd start to feel tired and slow a little, but then I'd get a burst of energy and take off again. But at no point did I ever feel like I couldn't finish. My last 6.2 miles was SO slow, it destroyed any chance of reaching my goal. I was running between 4-5 mph for most of it when the rest of the race I was running between 6-7. I did get one burst of energy around mile 23, but it didn't last long. I sped up a little once I got off that stupid running path (the most boring part of the race which also happened to be in the end!) Then I saw Chase and Mike with half a mile to go. I gave Chase my Camelbak and got my final burst of energy to get to the end. It was pretty emotional! (To be honest, I thought I'd be a bigger boob than I was, seeing as how my eyes would get misty every time I pictured myself crossing the finish line!) I got teary eyed, but I kept it together. I was lucky enough to be greeted at the finish line by Kyle with my kids, my mom, Melissa, Mike and their kids, and Chase and Kristi. Chase and Melissa decided to keep it a secret that they were coming. I asked Chase if he were coming and he started whining about it being his birthday and why would he come up. Melissa just always avoided the subject. Kristi was even supposed to be out of town, so it was a good surprise! My final official time was 4 hours 47 minutes and 53.3 seconds. Guess I'll just have to run another one and do 18 minutes better! I am so elated to be done and to be able to say "I've run a marathon!" I do have to admit....although it consumed my life and I haven't slept in on a Saturday in over 7 months, I am a little sad it's come to an end. I've thoroughly enjoyed all of it.....even if it was one of the hardest things I've ever done! I've decided running a marathon is like growing and delivering a baby. Almost as many months of grueling training that leads up to the big day of 4-5 hours of hard intense labor for a moment that is SO rewarding and gratifying!
What I wasn't prepared for is the pain afterward. I was always sore after our weekly long runs, but nothing like this. It hurt to walk the day I did 20, but I went shopping that afternoon. All I wanted to do Saturday was sit with my feet elevated. Every waddling step is pretty excruciating in my quads! I have to hang onto the banister with both hands to climb stairs. I'll be "walking" and my muscles will just give out and my knees will start to buckle. I can not do anything that requires the use of my quads. And go soon as we got home, Kyle left to go dirt bike riding the whole rest of the day. This morning he had to go meet someone at work, so I was left to get the kids ready for church by myself. And this evening, he had to fly out to Washington leaving me to try to take care of the kids alone. It's been really hard to tend to their constant needs! But the pain will fade and the glory will last forever....totally worth it!
Right after finishing, catching my breath!
Getting my medal. (Sexy backpack sweat!)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

And the worst blogger award goes too....

My excuse for not blogging more often is usually that I don't do anything worth blogging. But lately I've gotten to do lots of fun things and still no recent blog entries! No excuses....I just haven't done it. So here is a summary of the fun things I've gotten to do. Most recently, I went to Hogle Zoo with my two sisters-in-law and their kids and my mother/father-in law. It was good to get the kids out of the house and get a little sunshine....the weather was so perfect! Spencer was fascinated by everything. He's a curious one! Kyah just enjoyed being with her cousins.
Who needs animals? This thing is good for hours of entertainment!

Of course the kids got soaked, but the weather was nice...they didn't care!

This is how Spencer was with every animal all day. Just stared in awe.

He especially loved the little monkey boy!

Kyah and Missy

Naturally, they were completely spent and fell asleep within 5 minutes of leaving.

A couple weeks ago, Kyle had to go on a last minute work trip to Chicago. I'd never been, so the day before he was to leave, he asked me if I wanted to go. Of course! So we dropped the kids off with grandma and grandpa and had a weekend getaway. Several months ago, Kyle and the machinery department did a show in Chicago. They brought in a very large machine straight to the show in hopes of selling it there. They didn't. Rather than spending $18,000....yes, $18,000, to ship it to Salt Lake, he's been paying to store it in a warehouse in Chicago. He had some interested buyers, so he had to fly out to meet them there. We flew in Thursday night, had a nice steak dinner and took a walk along the path of Lake Michigan. (Our hotel was right on Michigan Ave.) He spent a few hours with the customers while I ran along the lake and the rest of the weekend was ours to be tourists! We took the tour at the top of the John Hancock building....learned a lot about Chicago! Then we went to the Field Museum. That didn't really do it for me! Since it was only 3 1/2 miles from our hotel, we decided to walk back. It was one of the best decisions we made. We got to see so much of the city by walking. We stopped to see the most major piece of art in the windy city....the silver bean!

I'm not much for art, but this thing is pretty cool. We came home Saturday, but not before a day filled with more site seeing. My favorite thing we did was go to the Museum of Science and Industry. We were sort of short on time, so we didn't get to spend nearly as much time there as I would like to have. I could go on and on and on about the amazing things they have there! I would go back if I ever get a chance to go back to Chicago. My favorite thing (which was also heartbreaking to see!) was the fetus displays. Actual still born fetuses preserved from about 5 weeks to 38 weeks and 5 days, with a description of what's going on developmentally. Kyle's was obviously the actual German sub that the American's seized in WWII. It was massive! We really wanted to take a tour, but they were sold out.

Kyle standing next to the sub....this doesn't even do justice for the size of the thing! They actually had to break the thing into 3 pieces, dig a hole next to the museum, assemble it in the hole and build a building around it!

The 21 week actual fetus. There were about 30 or so of these cases lined up to show the progression. The last one made me teary eyed!

And of course we couldn't leave Chicago without trying the pizza they are famous for. By several recommendations, we decided to try Giardano's. I have to didn't do it for me. We attempted to go there twice and the wait was an hour each time and it's not like we were there at peak times. I didn't hate it, I just prefer other pizza. Although their tiramisu was DIVINE!
It was a really great, much needed getaway. (On a side note, Kyle got the purchase order for the machine last week....YEA!)

And March, Mom, Stacey, Ryan, Kaylee, Kyah, Spencer and I piled into my car and drove to Southern California. Glendora, to be specific, where my Grandma, Aunt and cousins live. It was a packed trip! It was Grandma's birthday, so we all spent Saturday doing yardwork for her. That was all she wanted. It was a lot of work, but it looked really good when we were done! And I didn't mind doing a little labor in the gorgeous March California weather. I had a pretty good tan going until I came home! We decided to take the kids to Disneyland and since we had family that are CA residents, they were able to buy us two-fer passes in advance. That way we got to go to California Adventure one day then Disneyland the next. The kids LOVED every minute of it. Kyah's pretty obsessed with several princesses right now and didn't get to see one live princess. I was pretty sad about it. However she was absolutely thrilled to walk through Aurora's castle. She can't watch a single Disney movie without yelling "Aurora's castle!" in the opening. The first day my Aunt Jeanine got to go with us and the second my cousin Lauren and her husband Matt (who happens to work at Disneyland.) We couldn't have done it without their help with the kids! It was such a fun trip!
She didn't quite understand the concept of Disneyland before we got there, so we kept telling her "big park" and that got her excited enough!

Bug's's a real stomach wrencher!

Ryan and Kaylee getting ready for the Bug's Life movie.

Spencer's favorite....Nemo! He was wide eyed and smiling the whole time!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sometimes husbands do the nicest things!

We took my car into the dealership this week because there was a short in the heating element in the passenger seat. If you turned on the seat heater, it'd shut off after about 5 minutes. Minor big deal, right? So we took it and they pulled the seat out to replace the part only to realize that they were missing a part and couldn't complete it until the next day. OK, all they needed to do was put the part in and put the seat back. So I was really confused when Kyle told me someone had called him to tell him it still was not finished and I couldn't have my car back until the next day. Kyle went and picked it up yesterday and I didn't go anywhere last night after he got home so I didn't drive it again until today. I went out in my garage this morning and it is immaculately clean. It looks like brand new again...and it needed it BAD! The extra day was only to get it detailed! What a cute husband I have!