Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thanksgiving and Durango Baby Shower


Ho, ho, ho!!! It's the week after Christmas (and Chanukah for our Jewish friends), but I'm not going to talk about that. Instead, I'm going to try and get a little caught up by talking about Thanksgiving. I should get to Christmas sometime in March or so at this rate, so come back then if you want to find out about Scott, Molly and Audrey's visit.

Okay, Thanksgiving. Sandy had determined in October that she wasn't making any more trips to Denver in her pregnant state so we decided instead to have some people come to Durango for Thanksgiving. My Mom's friends John and Diane volunteered to make the trip up here and bring their twin boys and Mom along for the ride; they also said they would take care of most of the work so that Sandy could relax so of course we said yes. Their boys, Josh and Justin are 13 (I think, sorry John and Diane if I'm off a year) so they were happy to spend the bulk of the weekend camped in front of our TV playing with their X-Box.

Diane and Sandy talked a lot about having twins and Mom and John just had fun being in Durango with us. They did bring up a bunch of food, but despite their offer to do everything, the control freak in me came out on Thanksgiving and I pretty much took over anyway and handled most of the actual cooking. The big thing I learned this year about cooking turkeys: Brining. We used an Alton Brown recipe for brining and roasting the turkey and it came out awesome; we are sold. Then on the night before they returned to Denver we opened presents with Mom because we knew she wouldn't be able to make the trip up for Christmas. All in all, it was a great time and we appreciate John and Diane's help in bringing Mom up for a visit.

Then on the second Saturday in December, our friends Brian/Leslie and Ambika/Matt threw a Durango baby shower for us. Unfortunately, we were an hour late to our own baby shower due to some car troubles. To begin with, Rachel, Sandy's friend from Denver, flew in to visit for the weekend that morning and we planned to go straight from the airport to the shower. Now, the night before we went to pick her up Sandy noticed that a few "idiot lights" had lit up on the dashboard of the Landcruiser and asked if we should be concerned. I handled it the way I usually handle such car issues: if the car is still running, just ignore it. I figured we just had a short or something in the dashboard lights because how else would the brake, battery and transmission temp lights all come on at the same time? What are the chances of all of those things actually going out at the same time? However, as we were making the trip to the airport, I noticed that the dashboard lights seemed to be actually getting dimmer. Then I hit the windshield washers and got the most pathetic stream of washer fluid imaginable out of little nozzles and I realized, wow, the battery really is going dead. Well I figured a car can probably still run quite a while on a discharging battery, so we continued on. We made it to the airport, but the car died there. I got a jump from one of the hotel vans, but the car only made it about another mile back to Durango before dying again. Bummer. Okay, call tow truck, call Baby Shower, tell them we are going to be a little late. Sandy and Rachel had a great time laughing about the whole thing as we stood on the side of the road waiting; I was just irked that my vehicle diagnosis skills seemed to have slipped so far.

Anyway, the tow truck finally arrived and took us to the dealership. Now this was actually pretty cool; Sandy got to ride in the guy's truck but Rachel and I got to actually ride in the Landcruiser as it was being towed. I asked the tow truck guy if this was legal; he said not really, but we promised to duck if we saw any cop cars. I have to say, if you ever get the chance to ride in a car or truck being towed by a tow truck, I highly recommend it; it was great fun. Kind of like an amusement park ride, but much faster. The steering wheel even turned on its own when we went around corners. We eventually made it to the shower, although a bit late and had a great time with all of our Durango friends. Too many people to name them all, so I made the little slideshow below. Thanks to everybody for being there and being patient with our late arrival.

Durango Shower

In any event, it turns out that the battery, brake and transmission temp sensor had all gone out at the same time; go figure. The plus side to this was that winter arrived in earnest in Durango right after the shower and we had 5 or so days of snow and ice and locusts and the like to drive through with just our little Ford Escort station wagon (very fuel and space efficient in the summer, but crap in the snow).

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bump Update - Week 32


Okay, it's getting serious now. Not only is Sandy well along, we now have snow to deal with. Last week we got about 15 inches of snow over the course of 2 or 3 days and our backyard is on the north side of our house, so the snow goes away very slowly. Nonetheless, Sandy insisted on making the trip out to our usual location for this Bump Update. Now of course I had to lace up her snow boots, but she still made the trip through the drifts.

As for the bump itself, not much I can say.

Miliya doesn't know what to think.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas


Okay, between the pregnancy, the trial, finals at the College and hosting Thanksgiving, we are very behind when it comes to Christmas plans. So if any of you are hanging out at home and checking your mailbox and thinking, "Hey, I sent Doug and Sandy a really funny/heartfelt/cute/meaningful Holiday Card and I don't think they've sent me one," you're right, we haven't. And to be honest, I think I can say that if I were you I wouldn't spend too much energy going out to the mailbox looking for such a card going forward either. It's just one of those years. We didn't put up outside lights either.

We did go get a tree, although this year we just bought one at the grocery store instead of going up into the mountains to cut one. We have cut our own the last 3 years, so that's a bummer, but one of those things. We'll re-initiate that family tradition next year. As you can see, this year's tree is apartment size.

The other thing we did this weekend was go to Farmington and get the rest of the baby stuff we need. Because she is carrying twins and is at 32 weeks this weekend (but measuring at about 43 weeks for a single), the doctors have told Sandy she needs to limit her activity going forward. However, Target was beckoning, so we came up with the solution you see to the right. Sandy will tell you that those carts actually don't handle very well and she spent the afternoon knocking into displays and running over little kids feet. The best part is that the cart actually did that "beep, beep, beep" thing when she put it in reverse, just like she was driving a fork lift or something, so she was always easy to find.

Oh, and by the way, if you usually get a present from me, it's going to be late this year. Sorry.

Friday, December 19, 2008

What Comes Around

Sandy here:

Since last Sunday, we've been receiving snow here in Durango. Not enough to shut down the town, but certainly enough to make things messy and a bit stressful. On top of that our ginormous Land Cruiser broke down on Saturday (that's another blog post altogether) so it has been in the shop, and we became a one car family. I'm also getting huger and huger. I'm the size of a post 9 month pregnant woman (no wonder it's hard to move around!) and I'm probably carrying somewhere between 7 - 8 pounds of baby already (we'll find out for sure at our ultrasound appointment next week). As a result of all this hugeness, I've been put on "minimum walking, minimum stairs"--not bedrest, but my marathon training has been put on hold.

As some of you may recall, I started out the New Year with a broken femur. The repercussions of which were: I had to be driven everywhere, it was hard for me to move around the house--carrying things and bending down were out of the question, I was on minimum outside walking because there was so much ice and snow outside it wasn't safe, I couldn't help shovel snow. I spent a lot of time on the couch watching movies.

Now that the end of the year is here, I am ending the year by: Having to be driven everywhere (since we're down to one small car, I'm too large to comfortably fit behind the wheel), moving minimally around the house--thinking carefully before I bend down or pick things up, walking minimally outside because of all the ice and snow out there, and letting Doug shovel snow because I can't really exert myself like that right now. I spend a lot of time on the couch watching movies to help my swollen ankles.

Ah, the irony.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Twin Room!!!


Okay, after much delay, the update on the Twinkies' Room. I think the most exciting thing to Sandy about having babies (other than the weight gain and the inability to roll over and all) is that it gives her a reason to re-decorate a room. As most of you know, we moved into our house about 18 months ago and it was a bonanza for Sandy; plenty of wallpaper and shag carpet to remove and a blank canvas for all of her artistic vision. Then this summer she had a new garden to put in (complete with retaining wall), but nothing is as fun as a baby's room.

Anyway, the selection of cribs and dressers was a critical part of this operation, but when you live in Durango, it can be hard to find a good selection. And if
you're Sandy decorating a baby's room, you need
a good selection of cribs to choose from. Have I
mentioned that my wife can get very particular about things? Well after much gnashing of teeth, we finally found a very nice store in Farmington, NM and Sandy found the perfect cribs. Not too big, not too small, right color, safe, suitably expensive (oh, did I say that out loud, sorry hon).... The next issue was getting them delivered, a trick when you live at least 4 hours from the nearest Interstate. Its a good thing we ordered well in advance, because it took a good 4 weeks from the time the decision was made until we finally got them. The baby store actually felt bad about this and brought them up to Durango for us, saving us a trip to Farmington.

About Farmington, NM. Farmington is the closest
larger town to Durango, about 1 hour South and 30,000 people. It is where you go if you live in Durango and desperately need to go to a Target, or a Chili's, or a mall or a big box store. However, a cultural paradise it is not. Farmington exists mainly to serve the oil and gas industry's natural gas operations in Northern NM and Southern CO, and also to serve as a trading center for the Navajo and Souther Ute reservations. It's a bit of a dump with a high poverty rate; a land of very big diesel trucks and significant methamphetamine problems. It's about as different from Durango as you can get, so it's always an interesting trip. But you know, they do have a Target, so they have that on us. Anyway, always nice to skip that trip whenever possible and we really appreciate the people at
"Baby and Me" delivering the cribs.

Anyway, we only put one crib together for now; the Twinkies will share for the first few months until they get too big, and then we will put two cribs next to each other (we've been told twins like to be together). Sandy's parents helped me put it together and Sandy hovered and told us not to scratch anything. In any event, I think the room looks pretty good, and Sandy gets all the credit.

Monday, December 8, 2008

No Tucson Marathon for me


Some people have asked about how I did in the Tucson Marathon, which some of you may remember I was hoping to run as a Boston Marathon qualifier. The short answer: I didn't even end up going. About 5 weeks ago, my motivation to train took a severe hit for some reason I am not totally aware of. It could have had something to do with the arrival of cold weather (I am a warm weather runner) or just getting really busy at work or a busy training year with the Ironman, but all of a sudden, I just didn't want to run anymore. Nentheless, I got a few more long runs in and still planned to make the trip. However, I then spent all of last week in a trial that ended up turning out badly (and spent the bulk of the week before that getting ready), so by Friday I was totally demoralized, sleep deprived and thoroughly unmotivated. Add to that the fact that the bad trial result dictated the need for a client meeting today, and I just bagged the whole thing.

Bummer. Maybe next year.

However, it did give us a chance to get some good baby room work done. Pictures to come later this week.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Too Much of a Good Thing

Sandy here:

Let's be clear. I LOVE egg nog. And right now, since I'm not drinking any caffeine or alcohol (or shooting heroin, etc.), I think it's perfectly in my right to drink a little nog now and then. I'm also trying to eat a lot of calcium--not for the babies--those little suckers will just take whatever they want from me--but so I don't get osteoporosis later on because the little girls took all my calcium.

This afternoon I thought--what better way to get some calcium than to drink 8 oz. of egg nog?

Turns out that's not such a good plan after all...

Monday, December 1, 2008

I've Seen the Future

Sandy here:

One of the things that Doug has started doing is reading to the twinkies at bedtime. I've read that by now babies can hear things outside the womb, and it's good for Dad to talk to them. I really think they are recognizing the sound of his voice, because even if they've been quiet once he starts to read such classics to them as "That's Not my Teddy!" or "Maizy Drives" they start moving around and kicking. It's pretty cool.

Well, last night--he picked out 2 winners--Touch and Feel ABCs and Touch and Feel Animals. There was a small amount of movement, but nothing significant. After he finished he started reading Rule 901 of the Colorado Rules of Evidence (Authentication) to them (he has a trial starting tomorrow) and they started moving and kicking!

I'm going to be surrounded by lawyers.