Friday, December 31, 2010

30 Before 30: the results =)

Those items that are crossed off are those that I accomplished.
If I posted a blog about the item, you can read it by clicking the link.
The ones in red are those at which I failed miserably.
Those in pink were attempted, but for some reason did not work out and you can read why below the item ♥

Love, Lauren

  1. Take Madeleine to the Zoo
  2. Get a new haircut.
  3. Re-pierce my rook & maybe finish with an industrial
  4. Go with Tim to the Getty Museum -I really did not actually want to do this one, but feeling obligated, I looked for a virtual tour online. With little success, I realized that my art museum days aren't as important to me as they were in college (and even then they weren't absolute!)
  5. Go to Huntington Library -Once I realized the above about the Getty, the Huntington Library went the same way too.
  6. Decorate nursery to include Peanut
  7. Go to a national park
  8. Run a 5K race
  9. Paint the bathrooms-Not sure what to do, I did say bathrooms, plural, but I actually did paint our master bath. So, this one is kinda done. I also have the paint for the second bath ready.
  10. Re-finish/paint our hand-me down tables
  11. Re-finish/paint our Adirondack chairs-again, not sure what to count for this one, I did re-sand the chairs, but I kept them unstained/painted because I tried to sell them at a garage sale and I thought they would go faster if the buyer could choose the color for themselves. Seems people want a finished project, for my chairs did not sell, even though they are handmade and I was only asking $25 each. These are hand-made wood chairs that would easily cost $75-100 from a garden center. Maybe I will just paint them turquoise, tighten up the loose screws and try a re-sell.
  12. Play a song on my guitar- I got my guitar out, learned to tune it, and praticed chords for a week. Learning takes a lot of time, which I have very little of.
  13. Spend a night away with Tim
  14. Sew a dress for Madeleine
  15. Find a “good” mascara
  16. Enjoy a piece of mudpie with Christina
  17. Organize the linen cave
  18. Learn the Abondigas soup recipe
  19. Enjoy karaoke night with friends
  20. Buy awesome maternity jeans
  21. Go to a Chargers game-Tim and I decided that even off-season tickets were out of our budget and one of the only games we could make it to was when they played the, no.
  22. Enjoy my backyard during the summer
  23. Have another baby
  24. Enjoy a girl’s day out at the wineries-I did have a day planned, but everyone had to back out unexpectedly and child care was a little issue for me. I have this date planned in March and am sending an e-mail to my girlfriends to determine our exact date.
  25. Start a scrapbook for Madeleine
  26. Start a scrapbook for Peanut-Since I started one for Mads, and the books will be the same for the first few pages, I essentially did one for Gracen too.
  27. Drink at least 64 oz of water a day
  28. Organize a summer book club
  29. Have a scrapbook night with my mom
  30. Have a fabulous 30th birthday

Monday, December 6, 2010

30 Before 30: # 23 Have Another Baby

I must say, this is a sizable task to mark off my 30 Before 30 list, but what a joy to finally have our baby here! In the interest of time (which is scarce these days) I will post mostly pictures and try to keep the birth story short. You can read about Madeleine's birth here, but I was very nervous that Gracen's labor would be like Mads'. So when I went into "true" (read: working) labor on November 12th around 6pm, I didn't get too excited. We did call our moms to let them know, because they were going to be at the delivery and Madeleine would need child care from my aunt and cousin. At around 6pm, we were feeding Mads and getting her ready for bed. I had to stop and sway and rotate my hips to work through contractions, which were about 7 minutes apart. Tim and I sat down to eat and watch a movie, but I couldn't really concentrate on the movie and I didn't really want to eat. I was very nervous when labor slowed around 10pm, right as we went to bed. I was nervous that we would labor all night and still not deliver for a few days. Even though I was able to sleep, I could feel a persistent achiness and dull fire in the entire top of my thighs. It felt like really bad menstrual crampiness, it was a time of rest, but not truly restful. Around 2am, I started having working contractions again. I could not sleep and was starting to get restless. I labored all morning with contractions getting closer to 5 minutes around 8am. At that time, we called my mom to come over and take care of Mads, helping to feed her and play with her. I was starting to become a concern for her, so we wanted my mom there to take her to Nani's house in case she was scared. At this point I was "singing" through every contraction. It was more like a long "ooooooooooooooooooooooohhh oooooooooooh" and Madeleine kept inquiring "Mama?" "Mama?" from the other room. Tim told her I was singing and she would come in periodically to point at my birth ball, saying "ball". I would tell her I loved her and my mom read to her and played in the play room since I really didn't want her with me during transition. Tim was, of course, my perfect labor partner and always by my side. He helped keep me hydrated and timed my contractions and made sure we were all packed and ready to go. He didn't want us to get to the hospital too soon, but he also didn't want to deliver on the side of the 15 South; he timed our departure perfectly. I was alternatively sitting on my birth ball rotating my hips and standing up with my arms on the dresser rotating. I think I got the idea to rock and roll my hips from a belly dancing woman who said she danced right through her labor. I was very tired right before we left, so I laid down to rest on the bed, but my contractions slowed, so I got back up on my birth ball. This time, I noticed that I found stronger "rituals" to help me through labor. (BTW- the best book on delivery we have read is Penny Simkin's The Birth Partner, she talks about rituals). One thing I did with Gracen was to moan through the contraction. Somewhat embarrassing and, I am sure, annoying for those hearing, but it helped me. I also started briskly rubbing my hand on something as I worked through a contraction. When I laid down, it was my pillow; in the car ride, it was my knee; in the hospital, it was the bed. I used the fingers of my bladed hand to create a warm friction as I rubbed quickly and it seemed to help me focus through the contraction. Something about the vigorous movement helped me as contractions got intense.
Here we are, working through labor around 9am; I am on my birth ball =)
I'm not going to lie, the car ride was horrible. I was into transition and was also experiencing carpolpedal spasms in my hands and face. I could not relax my hands and they were in this frankensteinesque position, nor could I relax my face, so it was in a permanent "O" shape. The car ride down was the fastest one I have ever had with Tim. He is a very good driver, very conscience of everything and extra safe. I was never scared, but I'm very glad he has code 3 driving practice. Right around Gopher Canyon Rd. I told him I thought I needed to push and we started going even faster. What I noticed during these intense transitional contractions was if I pushed, just a little- more like just flexed my abdominal muscles, it actually helped take an edge off the intensity. I know you're not supposed to push until you're at 10cm, but these small "pressures" that I elicited on the uterus really helped me work through the contractions; they were now 3 minutes apart. Thanks to Tim's connections at Palomar, we were greeted by a sweet tech who wheeled me in a wheelchair into L&D. I don't remember too much of that ride! Once we got to our room, there were like 5 nurses who made me sign paperwork and stripped me down, threw a hospital gown on me and checked my cervix. I was so happy when they said I was at 8 cm. I was still nervous that we would get down there and I would be at 5- just knowing the worst was still to come! But no, I was an 8 and that was a relief. Because I was so far along, they didn't draw blood, nor did they force an IV. Although they didn't look at our birth plan until after delivery, I did have to suffer through a fetal heart monitor for a while. At least I could stand up and be mobile, and I was concentrating too much to worry about it. By the time we were all checked in and it was just Tim and me in the room, it was about 10am. I wanted to walk around a little bit and dance with Tim. Contractions slowed again and I became nervous that labor would stop. Thankfully, I remembered that sometimes, after transition, the good Lord gives us women a "rest period" before the pushing phase. I just enjoyed being able to sway with my husband, there were a few contractions until about 10:40ish. There was still an enormous amount of pressure and as we were dancing, I told Tim that I felt like I needed to push, which I did and my water broke all over our feet. It was surprising and felt wonderful for me (not so much for Tim). At that point in time, I NEEDED to lay down. Contractions were now coming fast and the doctor came in about 5 minutes. He checked me and said to push when I was ready. I liked the doctor because he helped me deliver. With my midwife, it was all on me, but Dr. Chavez helped me to let the contraction build and then bear down. With my midwife, I didn't know what to do and didn't really get a lot of input. Dr. Chavez also really helped make an opening for Gracen in stretching me out while I pushed, I just felt like things were going really well. I kinda lost it at the end, I had been very kind and thanking all the nurses and techs even though I was deep into labor, but right at the delivery, I was unable to keep it together. At this point, Tim's mom was over my right shoulder,Tim was right at my right ear, a nurse was to his right, the doctor was in front of me, another nurse was to the left, and my mom was at my left side. Everyone was really encouraging me and saying "push" and "you're almost there" and I felt frustrated because I was trying my best to push. I also felt like people were yelling at me and I was starting to feel overwhelmed, so when everyone was urging me, I just shouted "STOP IT!!!" after the second push. Tim knew what was happening and started whispering in my ear. During the third push, I blacked out for a second. I opened my eyes and heard everyone urging me to push again and I looked up and said "I just disappeared, I went somewhere" I was out for like a half second, but I felt like I could have been gone a half hour. I awoke to find I wasn't doing anything effective anymore, so I waited for the fourth push and as the doctor said "Go, go, the baby's crowning, it's crowning" I pushed with all my strength and delivered Gracen.
Here you can see my facial spasm posture as Tim helps me through a contraction:
Our beautiful family photo, we have almost the exact one of Madeleine too, complete with tearful Dada.
I know this may sound bizarre, but it's true: when they gave me Gracen, I really didn't mind getting all smeared up with blood. I had blood all over my face from her head and although it may be visceral, I kinda liked the warmth of it as I held my newborn child. I didn't want anyone else to touch her, even though she was a little blue and needed to be rubbed. Once I saw that she wasn't as pink and crying as she should be, I started to rub her and get her skin-to-skin as quickly as possible. I also breastfed her within the first 15 minutes or so, after getting stitched up (probably the worst part of it all). Thankfully, Tim detoured the nurse from giving me a shot of pitocin after delivery. I guess they do it to help the uterus contract? Sheesh, so many interventions to dodge at the hospital...Tim really helped keep the birth natural by insisting our birth plan be followed for post-delivery, driving me down to deliver just in time and encouraging me in our desire for natural delivery. It's hard for me, but sometimes harder for him to watch me, feeling somewhat helpless as his wife is in pain. The fact that he stays strong and sober-minded even through the intensity of delivery attests to his love for me, wanting to be a rock upon which I can break.
Tim helps give Grace her first bath and clothes her:
our newest princess: Gracen November
born November 13th at 11:05am weighing 8lbs. 11oz and measuring 21 in.
We chose Grace a long time ago. Madeleine was almost a Grace. But I wanted a formalized name, a two-syllable name. We already had a Madeleine, so Gracelyn was out. Graceland was just a little too honkey-tonk and I couldn't get behind Graciela. I don't know how I thought of it, but I just added an 'n' to Grace. I then googled the name and it came up as the style name for a J. Crew bridesmaid dress. I figured it was, therefore, obscure enough to be fashionable, but classic enough to match her sister's old-fashioned name as well. We call her Gracen, Grace or Gracie depending on our preference.
Big sister Madeleine has handled the adaptation beautifully. She loves "ba-ba" and shares her stuffed animals. She is gentle and tender with her pats and kisses. I don't know why I worried, for she has the sweetest little heart and loveliest disposition.
A family of four!
sweet baby, who looks a lot like her sister's baby pictures:
MJ shares "Soulja" monkey with baby Grace:
ooey-gooey goodness:
the love of my life and our baby:

Tim found this shirt at a thrift store as a high-schooler; it reads "Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy"- so true =)
We are blessed beyond measure, and I really have to praise God for our healthy baby. She is awesome. We are very happy with the gift God gave us in precious little Grace.
Love, Lauren

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Denver, CO

Since we spent the first two weeks of September on the road, I figured I would just finish up the roadtrip post, throw in a few photos from the end of September and call it good. Getting back to our roadtrip...we left Arches National Park and headed toward the Starr home in Denver.
Madeleine reads while we drive.
Traveling with a child is WAY different than just the two of us roadtrippin'. So, we found some nice rest areas to let Madeleine run around a little bit. Doing this post in December, it seems crazy to me that I was still two months away from delivering Gracen. Here she is, with us on our trip!
We traveled some beautiful country. My favorite were the San Rafael Reefs in Utah- of course, the red rocks is my fav, but Tim prefers the mountains with their greenery.
We stopped at Independence Pass to let Madeleine walk around a little bit. It was cold, but we got some great views.

We picked up a Real Estate guide after falling in love with a lovely little town called Frisco, CO. I"m pretty sure, a long time ago, I had seen it featured in Runner's World and I always wanted to see what it looked like. When we stopped by as a side-trip we were pretty much ready to move there. Too bad the neighboring cities are Vail and Breckenridge. Frisco is just a little bit out of our price range!
Our last rest stop before reaching Denver!
Here is Madeleine in the Starr basement. She liked playing with the toys down there. When we got into Denver, we grabbed some pizza to share with the Starrs and headed to their house.
The Starrs also have some lovely chickens, and we got to see some home-grown eggs. Tim shows Mads the chickens. The Starr kids would pick them up for us to see, and they are very pretty. I like the black and white ones, I can't remember their names right now. One is Pat Benetar right Rose?
We went to a park with the Starrs and I love this perspective shot of Madeleine. Emma is swinging in the background.
Even though the weather was not cold enough (even in Denver, which was hotter than I expected) I indulged in my first soy pumpkin spice latte of the season. My favorite drink from the 'Bucks.
Tim mustered up the courage to wrangle a chicken for Madeleine to touch. You can see Todd Jr. in the background on the coop.
After a visit to Fancy Tiger fabrics (which carry Amy Butler designs) we went to Sweet Action Ice Cream, a delicious boutique ice cream parlor downtown. You can see all the flavors they offer on the fridge to the left of me and Rose. Since it was the Great American Beer Festival in Denver the week we were there, the parlor was offering some crazy yummy flavors that featured beer. They make all sorts of interesting concotions.
Tim and his girls toured the Denver Library. Here Tim snuggles the table at which the UN council met when clinton was president. I can't remember what the guy's name was, but Tim is getting back to his roots by carressing the French Prime Minister's seat.
Checking out the view. Wow, Madeleine looks so young in this pic- she's growing up too fast!
Outside a Denver Art Museum
Even though Madeleine did a fairly good job on our trip, we decided in Hot Springs to fly her and me back home. Tim would then drive the way back to Utah, pick up our boat and head home. This was due to the fact that our daughter was starting to show signs of road wear. She was cranky, not napping well and we didn't really want to sit in the car for another 48 hours trying to get her home. So, we said good-bye to the Starrs for all their hospitality and headed home. My parents picked me and Mads up in San Diego at 9am and we waited for Tim to arrive around 2am that night.
He stopped by Frisco again on the way home =)
Thank you Starrs, for sharing your home and some more of Denver with us. We always enjoy hanging out with you, and hope you can meet little Gracen sooner than later.
Love, Lauren

30 Before 30: # 20 Buy Awesome Maternity Jeans

Knowing that I would be pregnant in November, I wanted to invest in at least one pair of nice fitting maternity jeans for Peanut and future pregnancies. Tim took me to Motherhood Maternity where I quickly (we had Madeleine) browsed for jeans. I also quickly found out that I have no desire to spend over $30 on jeans. I didn't even look at the Pea in the Pod selection they featured. For me, it's all about functionality and price. I ended up buying a pair, but couldn't even stand them for one day. I like the secret belly fit type with the Lycra panel that lifts over your bump, but unfortunately, the jean material is too heavy to stay up without the help of a stronger panel. All day I was trying to pull the jeans up into my hip area and feeling like I was losing a losing battle anyways. So, Tim took me back and I quickly (we had Madeleine) browsed for a new pair. I decided on a black pair of corduroy pants. They were less expensive, and the lightness of the corduroy in combination with the color created a flattering and versatile look. They aren't quite as easy to match as jeans (I find that I can only wear black shoes) but they work. Now I can check #20 "Buy Awesome Maternity Jeans Pants" off my list =)
The jeans I took back (36 weeks):
The pants I kept (39 weeks):
Love, Lauren

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 Before 30: # 13 Spend a Night Away with Tim

Tim and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary a month early this year. With our impending birth, we decided to not risk missing out on a night away together because once Peanut is out, it will be quite a while until we can leave her overnight. We left early on a Tuesday in October and headed down to my 38 week appointment in San Marcos. Tim was able to hear Peanut's heartbeat again and we had a chance to discuss and finalize our birthplan with our doctor. Then, it was on to San Diego! We planned NOTHING! Tim did have some possible plans in case we felt up to doing anything, but for all you parents out there, you know what I mean when I say that what we wanted the most was to sleep in and do nothing. Or, maybe we are just boring =) Regardless, Tim took me to this Mexican place famous for its connection to Nacho Libre-esque wrestling called Lucho Libre. The ambiance was very fun and festive, the food was ok. It was a novelty type eatery and we enjoyed pondering how one can sit at the gold-plated "Champions" table. We decided to try and get an early check-in at our hotel: Andaz. Originally, we had booked at the Omni, but we decided to try and save a few bucks and be spontaneous by using Priceline. We chose our desired neighborhood (Gaslamp- we were all over the map the previous weeks checking out everything from Downtown highrise to Coronado condos to La Jolla motels to a resort on Shelter Island) and our desired hotel level (4 star) and we let our price do the picking. We ended up at a Hilton called Andaz. Tim was concerned because he really tries to make everything perfect for me, and the one thing I told him I wanted was quiet and relaxing. So, when we found out that this hotel was very famous for being a club first, then a hotel, he started to worry. He checked out the site and found that the rooftop pool boasts some 800 socialites looking for action on the weekends. So, we were interested to see what it would be like on a Tuesday night. We were able to get an early check-in and were very impressed with the modern decor. This boutique hotel also had two pimped-out Escalades that would taxi you anywhere within a 2 mile radius, we were enjoying the luxurious catering. The concierge, Phil, upgraded our room to a junior suite and it was awesome! But, like most of the reviews told us, this hotel is not kid-friendly! (picture of our room). We got into our room and took a nap! Yup, we napped for about two hours before laying in bed and reading.
We went to dinner at 'de Medici, the restaurant we went to on our 1st date. I had saffron risotto with lobster! Oh my goodness, it was amazing. Tim had ravioli, and it was delectable.

We re-visited the rooftop pool and the huge rock fire pit. We went to bed around 9:30! I know, we are so lame, right!? Then, we slept in until a blissful 9am!! We grabbed a Jamba Juice for breakfast and checked out at 12. We had the Escalade take us to the harbor where we boarded the ferry to Coronado. We enjoyed a stroll on the island and some lunch and by then, it was time to come home. It was wonderful! We thoroughly enjoyed joking, snuggling and just loving the other person with no pressures or agenda or discussions pressing. We grabbed coffee on our 22 block walk back to our car (we kinda missed the ferry to the convention center and had to disembark farther upshore) and chatted on the ride back home about nothing and everything. It was perfect and relaxing, just like we wanted.
Happy Anniversary to the love of my life
Love, Lauren

Saturday, October 30, 2010

30 Before 30: # 28 Organize a Summer Book Club

Good thing I said that I only needed to organize a summer book club, because it was disasterous! I started the SBC in July with the book Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. The impetus behind the club was to help me stay accountable for reading over the summer. I had found that my ravenous reading had dwindled to meager snippets here and there with the pressures of being a SAHM and no real involvement in academia per se. I don't usually read multiple books by a single author, but I have coincidentally found that every book (ok, everybook but one) I have read from the Salinas native has been a real enjoyment. I love his style and authenticity. I love his grit and compassion. I love his insight into the human character and the unassuming way he goes about presenting it. I've only read 5 of his books, but that is more than any other author for me. Anyways, I chose Grapes of Wrath for June and invited people through Facebook and some word of mouth. At the time of the invite, I had not decided on a book, but I later messaged people to tell them it was to be GOW. Only two people replied that they were coming, but as I messaged them to confirm, neither knew that I had actually chosen a book. I don't know how it happened, but through some communication error, June's book club only had two people saying that they would come, but unaware of the reading.
I made a stronger attempt in July to make sure people knew when we were meeting and what we were reading. However, I boggled this month's club too. I chose Dave Egger's A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I memoir of sorts, I chose it because it was talked about highly in some circles I used to frequent and he had won a Pulitzer for a different work, and I had bought it years ago and it was just sitting on my bookshelf. I sent out the invite and started reading. That's when I realized that although I cannot expect pagan authors to keep their works clean, that I was unwilling to ask my friends to read this book which was stuffed full of vulgar language. It wasn't just an exclamatory here or there, it was superfluous and gratuitous vulgar language. So, I had to change the book; the problem was that some people had already replied they were going to come based on the book choice! I chose The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs instead. This book is about an atheist Jew who chooses to try and live out the Bible literally. He doesn't cut his hair, blows a horn every morning and stones adulterers. It was amusing and insightful, but I would have liked to discuss his shortcomings in regards to the new testament. I chose this book because my mom and Tim had already read it. I think I was hoping to at least host someone! Some people said they would come, but changed plans at the last minute and I was left alone on another book club.
For August, I took a request from Becky Lawlor and we read Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. It was a good book and a totally engaging read. However, I changed the meeting date on everyone because of some scheduling conflict and successfully bumped anyone who was planning on coming from actually coming. In the end, I was glad to be done with my bungled book club because it was a little stressful for me to choose the books, wonder who would come and then prepare to entertain. I am so enjoying being part of a book club, but not organizing it anymore. Oh well, I did it! And, it's one more thing off my list =)
Love, Lauren

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crazy Baby Boom

I know it has to be the age I am at, but I just had to post on how amazingly explosive the baby-making is getting around here. Here is a list from fabulous friends to slight acquaintances who have recently delivered or announced a pregnancy:

Sarah M. (delivered August 8)
Coley D. (delivered September 15)
Patricia M (delivered September 11)
Julie B. (delivered October)
Meredith L. (delivered October 15)
Allison (due October 25)
Me (due November 4)
Joey S. (due November 5)
Christina K. (due November 23)
Rachael S. (due November 25)
Mary M. (due November 28)
Joyy L. (due December)
Renee W. (due January 2011)
Katrina L. (due March 2011)
Alison B. (due April 2011)
Kari M. (due April 2011)
Regina (due APril 2011)
Lauren D. (due April 2011)
Erin T. (due June 2011)
Jenny G.(due June 2011)
Elizabeth M. (due June 2011)
Korina A.
Courtney C.
Nicole S.

I wonder who else will be added to this list...
Love, Lauren

Saturday, October 9, 2010

30 Before 30: # 7 Go to a National Park

When I wrote the 30 Before 30 List, I was pretty sure that a few things wouldn't really get done, and I was totally fine with that. It was mostly a goal list and, as I'm finding out, a good way to figure out what I think I enjoy doing and what I actually enjoy doing. It's also revealing in the sense that my life has changed so much, but I am still transitioning into that change. For instance, have a fun karaoke night with friends probably won't happen for a few reasons. One, I really don't have that many friends who I would actually invite to a sing-along fest, and even if I did, we all have kids, so hitting a pizza joint and staying up singing "Eye of the Tiger" until midnight doesn't even really sound like a super-blast. I guess I'm moving from thinking in terms of "single/married fun" to "family fun". Not that anything I did was uber-un-family, it's just that you don't take your 16 month old out to the Round Bar at 11pm and sleep in until 9 the next morning.
Anyways, all that to say, when I wrote the list, I wasn't quite sure how we were going to get to a National Park. The closest one is probably Joshua Tree, but we didn't have any realistic plans to head out to that area, let alone in September heat. So, when Tim suggested we extend our Lake Powell trip another week and tour the southwest again, I knew there were quite a few places we could go to complete this item. We were pretty ambitious in our planning, at first, but we did temper the trip and ended up choosing Arches National Park. Not only did this complete a 30B30 item, but it's actually been my #1 desired NP destination for about 6 years now. There is nothing more glorious to me than red rocks. I don't know what it is, I think it's the influence of hot summers driving in an old Suburban, with the windows down, out through the Mohave toward red rock county for endless family vacations. It's the folding levels of Lake Powell's shores that slip into sparkling blue water. It's the spiring pinnacles of stacked sun-burnt rock in Valley of Fire SP. I don't know what it is, but I just love this landscape. Pretty much everyone is familiar with the ubiquitous Delicate Arch, but I was very excited to seeLandscape Arch too. Of course, the largest natural arch is actually at Lake Powell: Rainbow Bridge.
So, we stored our boat and stayed in St. George on Saturday and headed out for Arches NP the next day. We drove into the park and took our obligatory family park sign picture.
We then stopped by the park headquarters to see some of the exhibits and get oriented with the park. We also grabbed a map and took a few pictures of Madeleine. Unfortunately, we didn't get a picture of the huge bronze Borregos outside, they were much too hot in the sun. We did manage to snag this picture of an awesome Sportmobile. We're thinking when we hit 5 or more kids, this might be the way to go. We're saving now though, since a sup-ed up one can round out to $80,000! Or we'll just buy a horse and wagon =)
Outside the NP HQ, Dada creates Madeleine into an arch:
The sun was already on its way down, so we just did a quick drive tour. I used to bemoan the fact that so many of our national Parks are road accessible (Bryce Canyon comes to mind) and that you could really tour many of them from the luxury of your vehicle and never get out, but now I don't know if I want to moan about it anymore. When you have a toddler, are pregnant, or are elderly, I could see why accessibility is really for all people. Arches is a relatively small park, so we were able to see many of the prominent pinnacles, arches and windows from the car. We did get out to do a little one-mile hike to North and South window and Turret Arch.
South Window @ 33 weeks:
North and South windows:
After our little hike, we were debating trying to get out to see Delicate Arch. It is supposed to be amazing at sunset, especially for pictures. However, a 5 mile for our family wasn't really in the future and we decided to just go to the lookout. We saw lots of people lining the trail out to the arch. Delicate Arch
We again miscalculated the time and our timing and pushed Madeleine a little far. We had to search for a long time for a campsite and had forgotten that when we were packing we did not have an propane for our stove. At home it was a simple, "We'll get it on the road". But since we needed it now, it became a drive to Moab and a late dinner for baby. She slept fine in the tent with me until I tired to cover her with a blanket around 5am. We were up and trying to get food down and get out of there for Madeleine was trying to wake everyone in the site with crying. It's quite a different experience camping with children. Yes, it was difficult, but she had already been on the road for two days after a week on the houseboat. I think we set some rather large expectations for her, and she really was amazing. After a nap on the drive into the park, she seemed a little more adjusted, but still was not interested in sitting in the KidPack for too long. We planned to go out to Navajo Arch but cut our trip short. I was very tired too, so Tim and I took turns heading out to see Landscape Arch.

Landscape Arch:
The scenery was breathtaking and I was glad to see Arches NP. We decided to head on toward Denver and try and give Madeleine a little rest from everything. Thanks to my wonderful husband for making it happen, and for understanding when Mama and babies needed to quit looking at rocks and lay down =)
Love, Lauren

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lake Powell Sept. 4-12

Once we got Sima on the road to recovery, we set out on Sunday to make the 14 hr. trek to Page, AZ.
Little miss with her "Baa" and "Lamby":
14 hrs, 3 tanks of gas, a hotel stay from hell, a boat that wouldn't start for 2 hours and two tired parents later, we were boating our way up to the San Juan Arm of Lake Powell. Once we were there, we let Nani and Popi take over some Madeleine duties and tried to rest and relax.
Popi, MJ and Nani go for a stroll:
We were able to get some rest and enjoyed the cool temps and lovely water along with the others on the houseboat. You can see our yellow sea-doo and orange Malibu. Isn't the water gorgeous? If I had to pick my favorite landscape, it would be red rock and turquoise water. The entire Lake Powell, Havasupai reservation, Lake Mead, Virigin River Gorge, Grand Canyon, San Rafael Cliffs area is superb.
We left Madeleine for a nap while Tim, Jared, Katie and I went to Dangling Rope Marina (about 45 minutes away). While on the way, Jared had brought a drink and he was having a hard time drinking it considering the ride was a little bumpy. So, I took a picture of him trying to drink it because it reminded me of the time when we were about 8 and 7 years old and our parents bought us ice cream cones. But, as we were leaving the London Bridge area, we hit a lot of chop in the boat. Our ice cream cones were dripping from 104+ degree heat and every time we went in for a bite they would end up all over our faces. I can't remember which of us ended up crying (maybe it was Alex) but I think we had to throw our cones over the side. Now that I think about it, I have no idea why we didn't just stay at the bridge and enjoy our treat...but, oh well. It made for a childhood laugh for Jared and me as I snapped this pic.
Madeleine helps her dada drive the boat back to Wahweap Marina:
Our funny family:
Mama & baby Madeleine enjoy the beach around the corner- room to walk about and shallow pool for baby to explore:
Dada & his baby girl on an early morning (letting Mama sleep in!)
Look at those beautiful loves!
Again...Lauren is a lucky girl!

Love, Lauren