Monday, December 31, 2007

Interesting Choice

The Friday before Christmas I had a friend and my visiting teacher come over to help me bake, I had only done one kind of cookie. The three of us got 2 other cookies and a batch of fudge baked. Plus we had a great time visiting and enjoyed lunch together.

Meanwhile Ainsley played with my friend's little girl. She's 2 1/2 but she and Ainsley play really well together. They disappeared upstairs to Ainsley's room. I was a bit surprised because there really aren't many toys upstairs. They came downstairs dressed like this:
What an interesting choice! (considering we have princess dress up clothes) My friends little girl did NOT want to take off her bathing suit when it was time to go home. You just never know what kids will come up with!

Saturday, December 22, 2007


My mother goes to Curves, an exercise center for women. It's a strange place to learn how to make beautiful intricate looking snowflakes but that's just where she learned it. My kids spent last weekend at her house and she taught them how to make these beautiful creations. They each came home with one of their very own.

I thought they were so beautiful that I suspended them from our kitchen ceiling and we enjoy them all day long.
Pretty huh?

Friday, December 21, 2007


My little unicorn was so amazed by my big unicorn that she wouldn't look at the camera. It's amazing what a little soap and water can do!

For those of you who know what a cupie doll is - Doesn't Piper look just like a one? She really looked like that rubber dolly when she was standing up but I wasn't about to let her stand by herself in the slippery tub so I could get that perfect shot. You'll just have to picture it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Accident

I have eluded to the accident that Piper had on November 30th but I have yet to get to writing it down. I did actually start posting but Daniel had me stop putting up all the graphic pictures because we are in talks with the property insurance of the apartment complex where it happened over Piper's medical bills. Daniel doesn't want me to post anything to graphic just yet.

Emily came to find an apartment during the end of November. I was taking her around to see apartments and they often have leasing centers/club houses. We were waiting in this one and they had a kitchen with some candy, coffee, and a popcorn machine. Emily was filling out their guest card and I was holding Piper on my hip and scooping up some popcorn on a napkin. Piper started to squirm so I put her down. She walked around the couches and end tables scouting things out and then she started walking toward the gas fireplace. I saw her heading in that direction but I honestly didn't think it would be scalding hot. We have a gas fireplace at our house and it is on constantly. She plays near it and climbs up on the hearth etc... But ours has a mesh screen flush with the glass, like a window screen. You can't see it unless you are up close. This screen acts as a barrier so you can not touch the hot glass. At the apartment complex, the gas fireplace was on the floor with no hearth. I just assumed that it had a screen or tempered glass because how could you have a scalding hot piece of glass exposed on floor level in a public place? Anyway, I was about 10 feet away at the most, I said to her "Piper that might be hot" (thinking very warm, uncomfortable, NOT SCALDING) She approached the fireplace glass and put 2 fingers on it, realized it was hot, stepped back quickly and stumbled causing her to lean forward with both palms flat against the scalding glass. At this point I came running but the awful part was that she couldn't back herself off the glass. So for the 3 to 4 seconds that it took for me to grab her, her hands were pushed against the glass by her body weight. By the time I got to her everywhere on her hands (the whole palms and all the pads of her fingers) that had been against the glass was pure white.

We rushed her to the sink and put her hands in running water. I had Emily call Daniel at work and ask him what I should do. He said to wrap her hands in wet towels and get her to the ER. We did so and they gave her some heavy pain meds, tried to get her to soak them in water to no avail, lathered silvadene cream on them and bandaged them up. She had second degree burns all over her hands. She was really miserable for 2 weeks everytime we changed her bandages. The first night she had blisters 1 inch think on her palms and her little petite hands were fat as sausages. The next day the blisters had totally drained leaving saggy wrinkled skin. 2 days later we saw a wound care specialist and he cut off all the dead skin. This was the hardest on me. Poor Baby. I have pictures of each of these events but they are quite graphic and I will post them at a later date.

By the second or 3rd day she seemed to be fine when her hands were heavily wrapped. She could still play, help her daddy put up the Christmas tree;

and even hug her baby!!

I felt awful for poor little Piper and awful for Emily because she only had two days to look for apartments and here we were spending half a day in the ER. I just wanted to push rewind and not let her down or stay in the car or anything different that would have prevented what happened! Here's an interesting thing - The next day I drove Emily around and stayed in the car while Piper slept and the other kids watched movies (Dan had to work on Saturday of course). Emily told me there was a gas fireplace in one of the other leasing centers with exposed glass and she touched it and it WAS NOT hot. The glass had some black flecks in it - must be special heat tempered glass.

Poor Piper had 6 doctor visits in 3 weeks time. The first 4 visits were in the first week. She was also seeing her pediatrician because she had a fever for 5 days and we didn't know if it was from a virus or if the burns were infected (the biggest risk for burn victims). She even had to go to the lab and get blood taken. See her little band-aid? The Pediatrician gave her some augmentin to help what he thought was a sinus infection (since she had a yucky nose and fever). By the 3rd dose the augmentin caused her to break out in hives all over her body. We quit giving it to her after the 5th dose. The next day she had a horrible diaper rash caused again by the augmentin. Daniel said it was probably a yeast infection because the augmentin had killed all the bacteria in her system. It was true - her poop didn't smell for 2 days. I had never experienced that. I didn't even know her diaper was dirty til I'd go to change her for another reason and then I got a total surprise. I know this seems gross, but I could put my nose an inch away and not smell a thing. Amazing what bacteria can do.

So this poor little baby has been through alot!! After the 2nd visit with the wound specialist we only had to wrap her palms and not all her fingers as well. And yesterday we saw him again and she's still red and tender but we've stopped wrapping all together and he said we don't need to come back unless we notice something unusual.
Yeah!! She'll be able to unwrap her Christmas gifts. At first our Christmas tree was safe this year (which I had been totally worrying about) because she could only bat at the ornaments because she had no use of her fingers. But now she is constantly pulling off ornaments and carrying them around the house. The top of our tree is a bit ornament heavy and the bottom is pretty sparse now.

Thanks to all of you who kept her in your thoughts and prayers. I'll post the burn pics later after things get ironed out. We did tell the complex that we would like to see them put up some sort of barrier in front of that glass so it doesn't happen to anyone else. Even something like those heavy cast iron tri-fold screens. Were were told about a week ago that they have put up some sort of barrier.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Escape to New York

Right after Thanksgiving, Daniel came home saying one of his partners really wanted to go to a course being offered in NYC in December. Dan seemed like he'd like to go but didn't really know if that was a good idea. He'd been gone for 9 days in November and this would be a Saturday in December, which we all value our Saturdays in Dec a bit excessively.

I excitedly told him that he should go - we all should. We have the dearest of friends, David and Laura, that live just north of the city that we don't see nearly enough. For those of you unaware - David was my best friend in high school and my next door neighbor, Laura was my great friend from Spain that I did exchanges with all through high school and lucky for me they married so I get a two for one when I visit!

So we had a date (Dec 7-8) - it worked for them as well. Then with Piper's burned hands, sick kids and threatening weather it didn't look good at the beginning of the week. But the kids were reasonably well by Friday - and we braved some slush and snow but by the time we got to New Jersey the weather was fine. We left right after school on Friday and were able to visit some on Friday night.

On Saturday morning, Daniel hopped on a nearby train and headed into the city for his course and the rest of us just enjoyed visiting. David is always at the helm with electronics and so of course he has a Wii. The boys were in "little boy heaven" and couldn't stand to sit at the dinner table one extra minute because they had to get back to the Wii. We let them stay up until mid-night on Friday and Chase was awake at 6am ready to play again. I threatened him that he'd never play again if he didn't stop making noise and go back to sleep.

David and Laura have a little boy, Pau, that is one week older than Piper and a little girl, Amelie, about a year and a half younger than Ainsley. So our little ones were more than entertained as well. Ainsley and Amelie were the best of friends and had a great time!!!

You can create your own players on the Wii and so David created a Wii-me for each one of us. So when it was our turn we had a player that looked just like us. He kept looking at me when he was creating my character trying to get the right nose, right eyebrows in the right size and then he says, "Britt, I can't get the forehead big enough" - you know you have a close relationship when someone can say that to you, be serious about it and yet it doesn't hurt your feeling a bit. He then said, "Ha - I just moved your face down toward your chin and now the forehead looks right" He's lucky we go way back!

Mostly the boys played the Wii but Laura, David and myself joined in for a few games of bowling. You hold the controller and make the movements of the sport you are playing. I thought, no problem I can do this and I rolled my best ball with my best follow thru. David asked, "How did you DO that? I've never seen the ball roll soo slow!" It was rolling about an inch every 10 seconds and then the pins would fall one by one. I guess I'm not the best Wii bowler but my form looks good.

Daniel returned about 3pm. We visited for a while and then Laura treated us to some of her gourmet cooking. I am serious - she is a gourmet cook and pastry chef. We lucked out because she had hosted the dinner for her "Gourmet Club" the night before. So she had fixed extra knowing we were coming. Yummy!! I told her I want to take the train up sometime with just the baby and I want her to teach me some specific recipes of hers that I love. These are recipes that I have to learn by watching. She couldn't just read them over the phone!

We left around 6pm, got caught in a little traffic in the city but were home by 9:30pm to tuck the kids in bed and get ready for church the next day. It really wasn't that much work and it was totally worth the effort.

I am so glad we made the trip and we'll have to do it again soon.

Monday, December 17, 2007

New Floor

We've lived in our house 2 1/2 years now. Ever since we moved in we knew we wanted to upgrade the kitchen vinyl floor to tile. We decided this summer that we would start looking for what we liked and have it done this fall. Well - I had to look over and over and over again. I searched tons of websites and visited at least 3 places in town more than once.
I really like the slate entry at my sisters house. But real slate is very uneven and tends to chip which I didn't want for my heavily used kitchen. So I finally decided on this - it's a porcelain tile made to look like slate. It's in tan and gray tones. In these pictures, without the light on, it looks more gray but in reality it's more tan with gray swirls.

Here's a picture with the lights on:

We really like it. We used 20 inch tile. It is supposed to make the room feel bigger. The guy who laid the tile told me that people in the east tend to be scared to use big tile. It's more common in the west.

Here is Piper playing with her stuffed rainbow trout. (Can you guess who got her that?) She is sitting on the old vinyl so you can compare.

The old floor was a "tile look alike" which I did like when we bought the house, but it was a very light color and it had a lot of texture. Dirt and dirty mop water would get caught in the grooves or low lying texture and dry there. It was really hard to get those grooves clean. This tile hides the dirt well and has the look of texture but is completely smooth. The old floor was easier on your feet and things weren't guaranteed to break if you drop them. The new floor is very hard and cold, I have to wear my slippers but will bring more value to the house when we sell it.

So there you have it!!

More Masks

My kids loved painting the Halloween masks and decorating the garden so much that I searched for some Christmas ones. The Christmas ones were more fun because they actually had black outlines on them so you didn't have to try to free hand your design. The Halloween ones were completly blank so the kids just made up their designs.
We painted these weeks ago but I haven't gotten a picture of them in the garden yet - They look fabulous. But I am tired of waiting.
We gave Dan the standing nutcracker that had the tiniest detail to paint. He really took his time and did a marvelous job. The kids are amazed at their Dad's handicrafts.
The kids each did the mask they are holding and I did the reindeer. If I ever get a picture of the garden I'll post it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Special Visitors

We were treated to a very special visit from my cousin Amanda , husband Jon and her daughter Alissa. Alissa was born only 2 months after Piper. Since they live 5 hours from here and Alissa has NOT been a cooperative traveler, they have not made the trip up here for family gatherings yet. We were delighted that they came for Thanksgiving and made a brief stop at our house. Ainsley enjoyed showing Alissa all of the toys in the house. I think Alissa was quite thrilled at the abundance of new things that make noise, light up and wiggle.

Piper napped for the first part of the visit but when she awoke the two babies had a "love-hate" relationship. They kinda liked seeing other each other but at the same time a few tears were shed when they wanted to hold the same balloon:

And they wanted to climb on the same box:

We sure had fun watching them. And Alissa has the most beautiful thick baby hair. Life is definitely not fair. My poor girls got the short straw when it came to hair, but Amanda has beautiful thick hair and has passed it down to Alissa - although I'm not sure where the red comes from.

Thank you guys so much for stopping in - oh and we enjoyed seeing my Aunt Eileen and Uncle Chris too, they just moved to Maine from right here. We miss seeing them more often and running into A. Eileen at the grocery store.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Thanksgiving Birthday

We have a Thanksgiving Birthday at our house (this year it's actually the day after) and we did a little double celebrating on Thanksgiving Day. I have a feeling that will be happening more often than not.
We attended a small Thanksgiving at my parents house. That is: small in number of attendants not in choices of things to eat. It was just my brother's family, our family and my parents. Chase asked when everyone else would be arriving and I said, "Sorry Bud this is it." What was funny was that we had just all been together for my brother's birthday 4 days prior so Thanksgiving didn't feel very different.

After we stuffed ourselves we waited 30 minutes and then began a little birthday party for Piper. I made a cheesecake this year for a couple of reasons. 1. I asked for a springform pan last year for Christmas because I had never made a real cheesecake. SPH-1 obliged me but I had yet to use it. 2. With all the pies available I didn't expect anyone to want to eat birthday cake so I decided maybe a cheesecake would get eaten.

I gave Daniel several options of what kind of cheesecake and he picked Oreo. We actually used Mint Oreos and followed a recipe from where they post recipes that are supposed to be copies from restaurants. This was the Oreo cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory. I learned that Cheesecakes take ALOT of time and attention but the end result was pretty yummy.
Piper liked her cake. She was quick to pick it up and take a few bites but then she found the paper plate. That kept her interest for a while as she looked it over and folded it and then she went back to the cake. At least cheesecakes are not quite as messy as regular cake and frosting.
Then she opened a few presents.

She was rather pleased with the end result:

She got some new boots for winter and to be stylish of course and a stroller to push around. She loves to drive things around the house like an upside down laundry basket.

She also got some adorable shoes with hard soles because since she's been walking she's only had one pair of shoes that fit and they are soft soled velvet dress shoes which are fine for around the house but when you take her out and she wants down like on a side walk or at the mall, those soft soles are not the best. So we are happy to have shoes!!
She also got a few other fun things but I didn't get pictures of those.
I don't have her official stats because she just had her appointment for her 12 month well check but she had a fever so she couldn't get her shots and they didn't do all the through measurements. Instead we used the appointment as another evaluation for her burned hands (more coming on that). So all I have is that she weighed 18 pounds at 12 months and 10 days which is actually more than I expected. Yay!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Cabin Pictures

OK - I admit I've been out of touch lately. It's not like me to go 3 weeks without a post but free time has been at a minimum with Dan out of town, Thanksgiving, Birthday, church calling, getting ready for Christmas, home improvements, sick kids, company etc....

So I don't have anything major to say in this post but I thought I would post a few cute pictures from our trip to the cabin in late October. We met Christine, Aaron and Elaine there as they passed through on the way to their new home in Washington. We took some walks, lit up the wood stove and enjoyed watching episodes of LOST on Dan's computer.
I thought this picture with Dan and Ainsley hiking was really precious.

Here are the boys having a pine needle fight. There were sooo many pine needles covering the deck outside of the cabin and the kids posed for some "fighting" pictures for Daniel. They also pushed all the pine needles off the deck into a giant pile for jumping in.

And here's cute little Elaine. Of course Piper wanted to touch her in the face and we had to referee but Elaine thought Piper was worth smiling for.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sound of Music

We had the opportunity of a lifetime last night. The Salzburg Marionette Theatre from Salzburg, Austria is on a US tour premiering it's version of the Sound of Music. And yes, somehow little Lancaster scored such an awesome production but for only 4 days. Even though it cost a pretty penny - I thought it was worth it. My kids loved it and it's not like they are going to get this opportunity again. (I mean this was on a school night and only 12 minutes from our house. We didn't have to fight big city traffic or spend a ton of time in the car. This was local!) We were sad Daniel couldn't go with us but since he's in Denver for 9 days it just didn't work out. We're glad Mamaw could come in a pinch.

The best part was - The managing director of the Fulton is in our ward so I called him yesterday morning to see if there were still tickets available. He said yes and asked where would we like to sit? I said anywhere he thought the kids could see well. He said, "How about the second row?" He told me that they hadn't sold any tickets in the first or second rows because they didn't think you could see well from there, but after the Tuesday night show - they realized that you could see fine from the second row. So we sat deadcenter second row with no one in front of us. What a dream. It's probably the only time in their lives that the kids could see a show without sitting on their knees and leaning side to side to see around other people's heads. We were so close you could see the faces of each puppet. I realized how good our seats were when I had to take Ainsley to the bathroom during the show and from the back I noticed they could only see the figures of each puppet but not their faces. Ainlsey sat eyes glued to the stage the entire time, not fidgeting, or asking when it would be over etc....

My mom happened to be coming yesterday anyway to help watch the kids while I was the "mystery reader" in Ainsley's class and while I attended each of the boys parent/teacher conferences. I was so glad she was here to help me with the kids and enjoy the show with us. We left the baby with a sitter of course. It was amazing how many strings were attached to each puppet ( at least 10). It's amazing how they don't get twisted or tangled and how life like each puppet moves. At the end of the show they lifted the top curtain and did one more number with us watching the puppeteers. INCRIDIBLE! There were 9 of them shoulder to shoulder, wrapping their arms around each other as they pass their strings around each other to move their puppet down the stage. I hope they all hold stock in deodorant companies - because they operate in VERY close proximity. I don't know how they maintain such control of their strings and remember the choreography of each puppet for the whole show. RAW TALENT!!

I realized that the kids had never seen "Sound of Music" and didn't know the story line. How could that be? I thought EVERYONE had seen it. Then I remembered that Daniel had told me how he hated that movie (I think with 5 sisters and probably one TV he had been forced to watch it too often growing up) so whenever it's been on TV during our years together, he won't let us watch it - or he chooses something else he thinks is better. That sounds a little nicer. Anyway, because it dealt with WWII and Nazis - Chase and MacGregor were easily sucked in and now we have a date Friday night to watch the movie (Daniel still won't be back so we don't have to torture him :) )

I am so glad the kids and I had this opportunity. I greatly appreciated the time and effort these puppeteers put into developing such an awesome talent. I love being able to expose my kids to the arts and hope they will develop a love of them and an appreciation of others cultivated talents.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


A couple of weeks ago I asked Ainsley to go get ready for bed and when all was said and done this is what she looked like. She had the slippers, the purse, and the jewelry. I guess she likes to retire in style. I love that little girl!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Keepin Em Up

Ainsley has a terrible time keeping her pants up. Her underwear and worse yet her crack always seem to be showing. I think this problem is two fold. First all the pants they make for little girls these days all seem to be low rise. Like 4 year olds need that! And second, the girl has no hips, no bum, nothing to keep pants up. Even with the adjustable waistbands they fall down. After trying on a cute pair of brown cords that wouldn't stay up I left the store thinking, What if made her a pair? Unlike Taffy and B - I don't make clothes, only blankets. People don't worry so much how a blanket fits.I did buy a pattern and waited for my mom to come help me. It was a lot more complicated with a lot more measuring and finishing raw edges etc... than I had expected. My mom was on the phone and distracted when I was cutting out the fabric. I didn't know that you had to flip the pattern over so you got two fronts and two backs. So I ended up with 4 fronts. We went back to the store and bought more fabric and I finished the first pair. They actually look pretty good and they don't fall down!! Yeah! I now am going to make a second pair of brown cords since I already have the fabric and embellish the cuffs or something to mix it up a bit.


We've had a lot of little things go missing this year, namely teeth. Mr. MacGregor lost 3 middle teeth all at the same time last April - seen here:

Those 3 have finally grown in and then over the last 3 months he's lost 3 more. I don't know how the kid can talk or eat without drooling all over him self. We call him "Gaptooth" now. Here's the current look except he's lost another since then and has another loose one.

MacGregor's new lower lateral incisors are growing up behind the central ones. It reminds me of myself with one big clump of front teeth. Daniel wants him to go see the orthodontist right away. Chase didn't go until he was older but his teeth had much better placement. Infact the Dr. said that he'll need treatment but might not need braces. Of all kids, I thought it would be MacGregor who didn't need braces. He's always had space between his teeth and I thought that meant he'd have enough room. I thought Chase's teeth would have super crowding but the Dr. said his crowding his very mild.

Chase lost 4 teeth in April as well (I've been meaning to post this for 6 months). He had to have all his baby canines removed with hope that the new ones will grow in quicker and they could begin orthodontic treatment. The Dr. said Chase's treatment plan is very long term, I guess he grows teeth really slowly. On a side note, Daniel said he treated a 9 year old girl yesterday that had already lost all her canines and premolars. I think they may have been grown all the way in already. Anyway - I had no idea what all that meant either until Dan said that she is WAY early. He said her "dental age" is at least 5 years ahead of her natural age. Wierd huh?

Here are some before and after surgery pictures of Chase. He had the BEST surgeon! He's great with kids and even he provided post operative checks at home. I'll tell you what - I'm going back to him!!