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Monday, October 15, 2012

10 Months in One Sweep!

So I haven’t posted in the last 10 months….no big deal right.  Ok so I am going to try and do one quick blog post per month with photos and videos.    It will be a poor excuse for a blog, but if I don’t bring it up to date I will let it die.  I can’t just skip 10 months!

January 2012

The Ducks won the Rose Bowl!!! Very, very cool for a Duck fan.

Robert and I went to the company holiday party. It was western themed and Robert and I went all out. It was a blast.

A little bit after the New Year we were finally able to make time to drive down Hwy 1 from Monterey towards Big Sur and that is a beautiful drive. I know I have said it already once, but it really is one the most gorgeous roads to drive. We didn’t exactly have a plan, but we ended up taking a quick hike on the McWay Falls trail. The waterfall was neat, but I was more impressed by where the trailhead ends. It ends on a little cutout on the cliff where the old foundation of a home belonging to the Burns family. It was interesting to a history person like me.

Reid was starting to grow out of his shirts, can you tell?

January came with heartache. Which is maybe why I stopped blogging. I just couldn’t figure out what to say about it. My family suffered a tragic loss of my great nephew and his mother in a freak-crazy accident in Albany, Oregon on January 18th. Aiden McLoughlin was 21 months old (he would have turned two on April 1st) and his mother Cathy McLoughlin who was 18. The car they were riding in ended up in a flooded stream of water. The car was sucked in and eventually through a very large culvert that runs under a city intersection. They both drowned. This hurt the hearts of my family members. I believe they still hurt. I experienced this from quite a distance in California, but I know that the support offered by the community was uplifting. I could feel it even from far, far away.

They are missed and loved.

February 2012

Reid learned how to Zumba, kinda.

(But the video won't load)

We went to Southern California to visit Disneyland for a day (I know we are a little crazy, it was a second trip in less than six months). But the only reason we were there was to see Sara perform on the Wheel of Fortune. Children under the age of 12 are unable to attend so Robert sat this one out and hung out with Reid at the beach while I was an audience guest! She was allowed three guests so it was me, her friend Kelly, and Kelly's mom Merry. It was an incredibly long taping. They literally make you stay all day, and there was one crazy audience monitor. They don’t want to be chatting at all. It’s about as strict as taking the SAT, but it was still fun.

We said goodbye to Sara and hello to Disneyland. For a one day trip we had lots and lots of fun. Reid met Mickey for the first time and loved him at first sight. Our one day Disneyland adventure back in October wasn’t very productive. It was busy, we didn’t know our way around too well, and we didn’t know what was baby appropriate. We made Mickey a priority and there wasn’t even a line. This trip to Disneyland made us official Disneyland lovers. We were on the fence before, but this one day adventure sealed the deal.

We also visited with the Beeby’s for a day, but we always forget to take pictures with those guys. We have seen then so many times in the past year and never take pictures together.

We stopped at the beach many times along Hwy 101.

At the end of the month, Reid and I boarded a plane to Oregon for Jeffry’s homecoming. There aren’t many pictures of that either, but we had a good time. Reid actually remembered everyone and was excited to see both families. He even liked Jeffry, but that’s probably because we still kinda look alike. And believe it or not, this is the only photo I have from the trip. We were visiting Steve G. and took a picture.


We were also able to see some cousins!

March 2012

March was a fairly boring month on our part. From what I can remember we didn’t do anything exciting. Reid was able to go see the neck specialist at Stanford for his lymph nodes and we were reassured that they were benign. They did some tests to be sure, but everything came back great. He needs periodic blood draws for preventive purposes, but he received a clean bill of health.

It looks like the most exciting thing was this photo!

April 2012

Easter! Reid was able to show off his first Easter outfit. He looked for eggs, and went to church looking fabulous!

Robert and I finally made it over to a state park in Santa Cruz called Natural Bridges State Beach to show Reid some tide pools. I’ll be the first to admit that we’ve seen better tide pools in Oregon, but maybe there are other parts of California that have some good looking tide pools. Regardless, we still had a good time. Reid has seen the man made tide pools at the Monterey Aquarium but we wanted to show him the real deal.

A few days after we visited this place they announced on the news that the water had tested positive for nuclear radiation from the plant in Japan that was compromised by the tsunami. That made us feel special!

May 2012

On the job front, we knew that Robert’s job retrofitting the Salinas hospital for seismic activity was coming to a close. We knew our days in San Juan Bautista were numbered, but we still didn’t know where the next job was going to be or when we would be going.

So since I couldn’t occupy myself by looking for a place to live or start really packing, I planned another vacation to Disneyland. I know, I know, we already went in October and February! But those were just one day visits. It was time for a three day visit.

We even met up with the Beeby family for one day in the park, and we have proof this time. Just a few photos! The park wasn’t too busy, there were a lot of school performances going on so it felt more crowded than our one day in February, but we were still able to get a lot done in our three days.

We were able to visit the California Adventure theme park adjacent to Disneyland. This was a first for all of us. We weren’t sure if we wanted to visit this park, because we weren’t sure if it was toddler friendly. There were a few things about California Adventure that I loved. I loved the Aladdin show. It’s this great little broadway type show. They sing, they dance, and have fabulous props. It even kept Reid’s attention. There is a great little parade through the audience area when Aladdin shows up as the prince. This was Reid’s favorite part. You can watch the whole play on youtube if you’re interested.

Even though we were having a great time, there was always a nagging in the back of our minds about where the company would be moving us next. On our final night at Disneyland while we were getting ready for our character dining at Goofy’s Kitchen we received the call. We were being sent to Chandler, AZ for a big job at Intel and we were to report in two weeks. WOW!

We are on the go spontaneous kind of people, but two weeks was a new record for us. By the end of that week the company had us set up to visit the area to find housing. We were on a plane headed to Phoenix to look at some houses in the area. There are things about this trip that didn’t always go smoothly. The trip didn’t cost a penny so I shouldn’t complain, but I have never been so irritated by a car rental place in my life. We also learned that Robert was in desperate need of a new license. It was pretty beaten up and they almost didn’t let him onto the return flight to San Jose.

My Uncle Reese was by far and away the most excited person to hear this news. He’s been in desperate need of family members to move to the state of Arizona for some time now. He and Missy helped us out by pointing us to decent neighborhoods, etc. They were invaluable during out search.

We ended up with a home in Gilbert. I think the lady was surprised that we wanted to move in the following weekend, and that everything hinged on whether or not that would work. The timeline ended up working and we were in Gilbert, AZ by Memorial Day moving in.

Overall, the move went smoothly if you don’t count our terrible night in a Motel 6 or Robert getting ripped off buying a used refrigerator. I’ll use my facebook post to describe our hotel night.

May 24 – via mobile “I picked a real winner of a hotel tonight! There was a prostitute asking men to join her in her room. I've had dreams all night of people breaking into our car or moving truck. And just now we were just woken up by (possibly the pimp I saw earlier checking in with his girl). He drove his car into the room right next to ours. He tried to drive away but our other neighbor stopped him. Right now his story is falling apart because he can't remember who he is supposed to pick up at the hotel at 4:30 in the morning.”

Added later that day to the same post. “I went out to get breakfast as the city's structural engineer deemed our room "unsafe to occupy." He was surprised to see me because the office said our room was empty. He was nice and said we could stay in the room for another hr. So I left for breakfast while Robert was supposed to get ready. When I got back Robert was kinda stressed because while he was showering Reid got the door open. Reid and our dog Willie were out running in the parking lot. Robert had to chase them down in a towel while a bunch of truck drivers starting their day watched. What a night....let's hope things mellow out for day two of driving.”

And as for the refrigerator, Robert went and picked a new one out at Lowes. We tastefully returned parts of it to its original owner to show him our displeasure in his shady business dealings, and we thought it was his responsibility to dispose of a broken refrigerator. In retrospect, maybe we shouldn't have done that.

June 2012

I can honestly say, absolutely nothing happened in June.

Robert bought himself an expensive mountain bike, that I told him counts as a Birthday, Christmas, and Anniversary gift. So Happy BirthAnniMas Day!

July 2012

Another month with not a whole lot to report. My phone died so I’ve lost of the photos from that month. I have no pictures of Reid enjoying our neighborhood Fourth of July party. He even held a sparkler, but almost burned his hand because he kept wanting to touch it.

July was the month that Robert was shipped off to Los Alamos, New Mexico. And I am ruining the story a bit, but he was there until the end of September while we had to stay behind in Arizona! As of the first of October he has spent more time in New Mexico that Arizona. He was only supposed to be gone for about four-six weeks, but it turned out to be much longer. We missed him, but he was able to fly home every other weekend to visit. They always felt too short. July was a hot month in Arizona, but I think we got used to it.

August 2012

Sara had her baby Brock Matthew at the end of the month. He was born Aug 27th and was a tiny little guy, weighing in at 5 lbs 5 oz. But they are doing well. He had some problems that first week, but things worked out.
I had a little accident with the dog leash, Willie, and a slide at the park that resulted in an expensive hand surgery to repair my broken thumb and torn ligament. The timing wasn’t ideal, which accidents are never ideal, but Robert was still away in New Mexico and I had one bum hand. Luckily he was able to come home for a week and help out during the week I had my surgery.
That xray shows the tiny piece of broken bone. Out of all of my broken bones this one seemed to be the most minor, but it was the most invasive one to fix. Weird. It hurt far more than I ever expected. The accident itself wasn’t too bad, but the recovery post surgery hurt a lot. I took all of my pain meds. I didn’t even take all my pain meds after having Reid. That is how much this surgery hurt.

But science is an amazing thing, and they were able to put me back together in a crazy way.