Thursday, December 6, 2012

#5 is Underway...

As I sit here waiting for Brooke to come out of her 5th surgery, I am thinking back at how we even got here! It's been an amazing amazing journey...and with an amazing child. I couldn't feel any more blessed to be the mother of this beautiful little girl.

We were supposed to get here at noon, but got a call to come in between 10:30-10:45am because Dr. Bauer was running ahead. They weren't sure that we'd get in to surgery any faster, but wanted us here earlier, just in case. Unfortunately though, she was taken just 5 minutes before the original surgery time!! So we had a lot of waiting we had to do. Surgery was supposed to be at 1:30pm so she wasn't allowed to eat anything after midnight...only clear liquids. Then nothing after 10:30am. However with this new phone call she couldn't have even clear liquids until after surgery. Needless to say, she was NOT a happy camper when she woke up & I wouldn't give her milk. It was so tough taking it away from her & watching her throw a little fit. I felt so horrible...but it was necessary.

We ended up getting here just before 11:00am & all we did was wait, & wait, & wait. Thankfully my mom & I kept her busy enough that she didn't ask for any food, just her bottle....which I promised her she could have as soon as she had the bubble. They gave her the versed just a little before 1pm, then took us to the OR waiting area about 1pm. The finally came & took her for surgery at 1:25pm...just 5 minutes before the original surgery time! While sitting there, she demanded that I take pictures of her!!! Didn't bother me at all...I was more than happy to oblige!

They took her away & I cried just as much as I did for the first surgery. I was surprised that I was that upset...but it HAS been over 13 months since her last surgery.

So now we wait. Thankfully I've passed the time by blogging! Unfortunately though, I'm on the iPad & don't have any pictures, so I'll have to post them when I get to the computer. Any second....any second now & I'll see Dr. Bauer walk through that door.......

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Dreaded Christmas Pictures

Well it's that time of year again...time for Christmas pictures. You can go back in our archives to refresh your memory on our horrible "luck" that we have every year with our pictures...but basically in a nutshell, we live in a small town so we have to go out of town for our pictures. Sears is our only option that isn't an arm & a that's what we've done every year...twice a year (once around April/May'ish to split the time between the girls' birthdays & once for Christmas pictures). We had always gone to Billings, which is 2 hrs away...but after an absolutely terrible experience, & another bad experience, we switched to Great Falls, which is more inconvenient for us, but went much better every time.

Fast forward to now...this is the very first time EVER that I've taken the girls to get their pictures taken all by myself! I figured I could hopefully do it though cause of their ages...and bribery. :) So let's just make this post short & sweet....


We left home, got to Great Falls on totally dry roads (thank you Lord), & went to Target. Got the girls' dresses, tights, shoes, & hair things, then went to Sears 1/2 hr early (but they got us right in), changed their clothes, & started taking pictures. The girls did just what the picture-taker told them to do. They smiled when they were supposed to, posed like they were told to, changed their clothes when it was time, posed again like they were supposed to, & then smiled again when they were told. It was just perfect. I got the CD & then we got in the car, got gas, grabbed something to eat, & headed home.

So without holding them off any are some of our adorable girls' Christmas pictures!!!

Here's to all years' Christmas pictures going this well!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Trip 'Round The World, Part 1

I am one blessed chick. I have travelled so much in my life...which is actually my favorite thing to do: travel. One thing on my bucket list is to go to every continent. This past 2 weeks I was able to cross continent #4 off my list! (Just Antarctica, S. America, and Africa to go...) Yup...get this...I. WENT. TO. AUSTRALIA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok a little background first... When I was an exchange student to The Netherlands (1997-1998) I immediately hit it off w/ a girl from Australia. We immediately became friends and were just inseparable. Her name is Amy. We literally had THE best times together: taking pictures, hilarious videos, telling stories, travelling, and just simply getting to know each other. It was no surprise to me when we instantly became best friends. We even got matching tattoos! The sad thing, though, was that we lived across the world from each other. When we went back to our respective homes we still spoke occasionally, emailed, etc, but we missed each other terribly.

So how surprising was it when I walked into my house one Friday evening in June of 2000 and saw Amy standing in my kitchen!! I about DIED!! (It had been 2 years since we saw each other last.) She came to surprise me for my high school graduation. Boy...what a fun couple of weeks we had! I showed her all over our town, introduced her to some American high school partying (tee hee), and just had fun catching up. We even got to go down to my cousin's (Leah & James) wedding in San Francisco. Of course, I couldn't be away from her for long, so I planned my trip to go visit her. Instead of going to Australia to visit her, though, I went to Singapore in April 2002 (another 2 years since we'd seen each other). Her parents moved there for a few years b/c of her dad's job, so she went with them. I'll never forget the 100 degrees and 100% humidity that met me coming off that airplane!

Singapore was absolutely amazing. It was my first exposure to driving on the opposite side of the road...which scared the absolute you-know-what out of me when Amy had me sit in the front seat of our taxi! We did so much on that trip...went to the Fountain of Welth (which has yet to "bless" me!), went to Bintan Island in Indonesia, had high-tea in a skyscraper, went on boats, saw SO many touristy things, and just enjoyed one of the cleanest countries in the world. (Oh yeah, and that was right smack dab in the middle of the whole SARS scare. Let me tell you though, that during my entire trip I only saw like 2 or 3 people wearing masks!)

Just over 2 years later Amy came back to the states to be one of the two maids of honor in our big wedding. (Yeah we were already married, but no one really knew that at the time.)   :o)  She flew here to MT and we drove down through Yellowstone to CA. I took her all over So Cal...sightseeing and doing touristy things. It was so much fun. Then, of course, the wedding, which still to this day was the funnest day of my life.

So back to's been since 2004 since we've seen each other. TOO DANG LONG!!! I was extatic when she called me just about a year ago and told me she was finally getting married. I mean, my gosh, she'd been with Adam for years!! :)  They planned their wedding for the day after Dustin's and my anniversary...easy for me to remember! And her parents graciously paid for my ticket to get there. We wanted Dustin to go with me, but he'd taken too much time off work for all of Brooke's surgeries so he didn't have any extra leave. So it was going to be a solo trip. I searched and searched for the cheapest tickets. Believe it or not, it was cheaper to have a long lay-over in an Asian country than it was just to go straight from LA to Sydney. Heck, my favorite thing to do is travel so why not have two long layovers!!! I found a ticket from LA to Sydney, via a 12- and 18-hour layover there and back, respectively, in Beijing, China! I'll take it!!! That ticket, PLUS my ticket from Billings to LA was LESS than a ticket from just LA directly to Sydney. Quite the deal...and I was so proud of myself for finding it! :)

I researched all there is to do in Beijing, then realized I needed a Chinese Visa AND a visitor's Visa for Australia. So I got those, got a small Beijing travel book, and was on my way!! I was gone from home for exactly 2 weeks, but was only in Australia for 10 days. I was taken to the airport by Dustin and the girls on Wednesday the 17th of October around 10am, flew to Denver, then got to LA at 2pm. I got to see my grandma and some family for about 9 hours, then my Air China flight left at 1:30am that night (which was now Thurs the 18th). I landed in Beijing 11 1/2 hrs later, but it was now Fri the 19th at 5:30am! Thankfully though, I was flying in the middle of the night so I could sleep on the plane and then it was morning time when we landed! Best time to take a super long flight is over-night I tell ya!!

Another thing on my bucket list was to see the Great Wall of China...not just see it, though, but to walk on it. This first lay-over in Beijing was the shorter of the two (it was just shy of 12 hrs) and I mainly used it to get my feel of the place. I had to figure out how to, first, get out of the airport; then figure out where the baggage hold was so that I didn't have to take my whole carry-on with me. Next, I had to figure out where the train left from. I'd done all my research I knew what I was going to do, I just had to figure out WHERE it all was. I got off the plane and just followed the people through customs, got the stamp in my passport, then kept following people through baggage claim (which, of course, my bag was obviously checked all the way through to Sydney), then search around this HUGE airport for the baggage hold. I had transferred money in LA, so all I had to do was give them my bag and some money, then look around for the train. I paid for a ticket to the main train station, got right on the train, and then got out my phone to let my family know I was ok. It was probably right around 8am in Beijing by now, but I wasn't in a hurry. I'm fairly good with the subway, as long as I have a map...which I did in my little Beijing guidebook. I made it to the subway then made my way to the Forbidden City stop. I walked around Tiananmen Square first, but didn't realize I was actually at Tiananmen Square because there were military marches, bag searches, and metal detectors! I thought I was at some sort of rally!!! I crossed the street and just stood there for a while looking around before I finally realized that you have to go through the bag checks and metal detectors just to get into the square! So that's just what I did...along w/ a whole bunch of pushy Chinese people. Seriously, it's no joke...the saying about how Chinese people don't know what personal space is is totally dead on. I just made sure to keep my purse at my front, be polite, & try as hard to blend in as I could!! Haha!

Tiananmen Square

Holy cow...when they say that Chinese people are pushy, they are RIGHT. It's not a rude kind of's just that they don't have the whole "personal space" attitude that we do. I was closer to more Chinese people that day than I ever have been! It was QUITE the culture shock.

So I made my way through the square and went to the Forbidden City.

The first entrance to the Forbidden City

I got the guided audio tour and walked through, took pictures, got my picture taken, and then realized that there is only one exit...on the total OPPOSITE side of the entrance. You can't walk back and forth in the place; you go in, walk straight, and walk out. I mean, it's absolutely HUGE, but it would have been nice to know that you can't exit where you entered. This meant a big problem once I exited the city! I needed to get back to where I entered from, because that's the area I was newly familiar with, and that's where the subway was. [The Forbidden City is this ancient rectangular "city", which is 168 acres, or 8 million square feet, surrounded by high walls and a big moat.]

So I went in, walked through it while listening to my English-speaking guided tour, then exited and started walking around the entire thing...which was just HUGE. I had no idea how else to get back to the starting point. There were quite a lot of Chinese men trying to get tourists to get on their mopheads to take them to the front but I had the time...and I was I just thought I'd walk. It was about 1pm now and I needed to get back to the airport for customs, etc for my 5pm flight. It was pretty interesting walking the blocks & blocks parallel to the City. I kept up a fairly quick pace, dodged others on the sidewalks, missed all the potholes, & dodged the Chinese men on bicycles. I finally made my way to the front of the city, then totally re-traced my steps by getting back on the subway, and went back to the airport. I made it with plenty of time to spare!

My next Air China flight from Beijing to Sydney was at 5pm Friday the 19th and was 13 hrs long. I landed on Saturday, October 20 at 8am...which, I might add, was my 31st birthday!! 31st birthday in Sydney, Australia......HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!! :o)  Just like the first flight, this second flight was at night, so really, my circadian rhythm wasn't off at all! If you ever need to fly, I HIGHLY recommend night flights so you can sleep and your clock won't be off at all.

I went through customs, got my bags, went through immigration, and found Amy and her parents standing there waving their arms w/ a Happy Birthday balloon and this beautiful national flower of Australia...all for me.

I tell you what, 8 1/2 years was too dang long to not see each other! It was so great seeing her and her parents again! We loaded in the car and headed to her parents house (Amy actually lives about 2+ hrs south, in the capitol, Canberra, but we were staying w/ her parents for a couple days). Her sister, Vanessa, was there, whom I'd never met before. I'd heard so much about her sisters but hadn't met them yet, because they weren't in Singapore when I visited in 2002. I settled in & took a much-needed shower. It was Saturday morning & I hadn't layed down flat since the night of Tuesday the 16th!! But I was much too excited to even think about sleep! I called home, then we left to go get Amy's other sister, Fiona, who I'd also never met, and go to a couple touristy places. We went to Bondi Beach and put our feet in the water for a bit, then we ate lunch (I had fried pineapple...yum! and tried various other "new" foods).

Then they dropped Amy and I off at the dock where they were having a street sale where I got myself a beautiful pair of earrings...something I'll wear forever & remember that awesome 31st birthday of mine! I was able to see the Sydney Opera House, the Harbor Bridge, and go on a boat ride to the other side of the bay where Amy's parents live.

When we got back we sat on their patio and had a glass of wine until dinner time, where we went to a great Greek restaurant. Amy used to be a vegetarian so this was actually the very first time I'd ever seen her eat meat! It was quite the sight for me! :) 

Proof!!!! She DOES eat meat! ;o)

Sunday the 21st we woke up and went sightseeing again. We walked around Sydney, went to get me a shirt at the Hard Rock Cafe, saw some WWII ships, went in some department stores (and Yes, saw Christmas decorations up already), then went back and had an amazing lamb and pumpkin dinner made by Amy's dad.

Monday the 22nd Amy and I packed in the car and drove the just-over-2-hour drive to Canberra in the Australian Capitol Territory (ACT). It's like our version of Washington, D.C. I got to meet her son, Landon, & her fiance, Adam, for the first time. It was so surreal. I'd only ever known Amy as the single girl w/ no responsibilities. That's how we both knew each other. Neither of us had ever seen each other with a spouse (until 2004 when she came to our wedding), but most importantly, neither had ever seen each other w/ kids! Every time we talk or see each other we just pick up where we left off. But this trip was different. Yes, we totally picked up where we left off, but after that first couple of days it was like " have a FAMILY!!!" I mean, I do to, but she's never seen me w/ my family. It was very different...but an awesomely GOOD different! I'd known she was a mom since she called me & told me she was pregnant, but actually seeing her as a mom was just awesome.

And now that we were at Amy's house...let the wedding fun begin!!!!!!

...To Be Continued...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

America's Funniest Home Videos

My grandma tells me over & over that I need to submit this to AFV. I've tried & tried but just can't get it to upload for some reason. :(  Here's one of the funniest videos I've seen in a long time...

Well ok here's a little background first... Brooke was asleep in my arms & I noticed a little pimple on her cheek, so I asked Cali to get me a wipe so I could get the pimple. She got me a wipe, I got the pimple, then started wiping her face very softly....and you can see the rest..... Oh and yes...she's completely asleep, except for at the VERY end, where you can see her wake-up. :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Exciting New Beginnings

My work career isn't anything exciting. Yeah, I have quite a few stories to tell, but it's not all a lavish, glamorous, luxurious Nursing career! Boy how I wish it was...hopefully someday. I became a nurse so I could work in OB. I just love the labor & delivery process. However, all the OB nurses have been there for years & they're not going anywhere soon, that's for sure. So my first job was at the State Home...a state mental facility with 3 wings of residents who were one step down from the main Montana State Hospital. That's where the majority of my stories come from. Literally, there wasn't a day that went by, when I worked there as a CNA, that I didn't come home with a new bump, scratch, bruise. When I was about 20 weeks pregnant with Cali I got horse-kicked by a 1-legged resident when I was trying to give her her breathing treatment. Stories stories stories. I don't like routines & I definitely don't like long-term-care...both of which were the epitome of the State Home. So only about a year after starting there, after I came back from maternity leave in 2008, I found another job. This job was at the Nexus Treatment Center...a 9-month meth treatment center specifically for male inmates. Keys, walkie-talkies, locked doors, being buzzed in & out, get the point. But again...a routine...pretty much the same story day in & day out, which is what I don't like. So I looked for something else. I started at a doctor's office in September 2008...literally something I said I'd NEVER do when I was in nursing school. I don't know why...I just always said I'd never work in a doctor's office. The pay wasn't good at all, but basically, you pay for convenience. No evenings, no nights, no weekends, no holidays. You seriously can't beat that in nursing. So I was fine with the lower pay. I immediately knew I loved it. It wasn't long-term-care. I mean, yeah we had our older population, but the doctor did OB as well...which I I got the best of both worlds. And it certainly wasn't a routine. Every day was different...which is what I wanted. For about 6 months I did all 3 jobs. The doctor's office was only part time (2 1/2 days a week) so I needed to make up that extra income by working the other 2 jobs as well. After having a 22-days-in-a-row stretch & basically got burned out so I quit the State Home. Then shortly thereafter I quit Nexus. I was at that doctor's office for 4 years...almost to the day. There were 7 women in that office & boy did we ever have fun! We had THE best Christmas parties, get-togethers, & just laughed & laughed together. So it made it VERY hard when another opportunity presented itself to me in June of this year. Another OB/Family Practice doctor was coming to town & she would be a hospital employee...meaning her nurse would be as well...which means more pay, better hours, & all the hospital employee perks & benefits. It took me a LONG time to make the decision, but I finally decided to go for it & apply for the job. I applied for it, had a phone interview in August when we were on vacation in CA, got in the final two, interviewed with the doctor, & then got the job! It was SO bittersweet. The doctor is so great...she's actually 2 years younger than me & is my same height! After much deliberation, Dustin & I decided that I needed to take the job. Mainly for more hours & more pay. It was so hard though. I mean at the job I was at for 4 years I literally had it made!!!! I could take off any day that I wanted as long as my co-worker could cover me. I had a lot of freedom, could be as organized as I wanted in my own space, & just truly loved what I did. I got to follow women as they were trying to get pregnant, then finally did get pregnant, then go through their whole pregnancy, & watch their new little baby grow up. It was just awesome. I became very attached to both the patients & my co-workers. So it was no shock when I gave my 2-week notice with a tear in my eye. This job also could have never been more flexible with Brooklyn's surgeries & doctor's appointments. I had to take SO much time off for her 4 surgeries, 2 dermatologist appts, & 2 surgeon consult appts & they never once complained. I am FOREVER grateful for all of those amazing women. :)

But....this new opportunity was too good to pass up. I'd be a hospital employee, but work just right across the hall from where I was. I'd get all the employee perks/benefits (if I wanted them), better pay, more hours, newer computer system that could do SO much more that I ever guessed a computer system could do, brand new office all to myself, more responsibility, & the list goes on. So I took the job & started officially in September. Here's what my new office looks like:

With some beautiful "Congratulations on your new job" flowers from my grandma & great-grandma!

We saw our first patient on 10/1/12 & we're pretty slow so far...but that's to be expected with a brand new physician. We'll pick up soon, I'm sure. I really really REALLY miss my previous job, but I'm happy to be here & am excited to see how everything works out!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Random Fun Pictures

Just some fun, random pictures!!

Brooklyn decided she wanted to paint her nails. Thank goodness I laid a towel down first!

Cali wanted to play hide & go seek...

Then Brooklyn wanted to play...

We woke up one morning to find the girls like this... Evidently Cali said that Brooklyn got scared in the middle of the night so she climbed into bed with Cali. And Cali gave her her blanket. That's sisterly love right there!

Uncle Curt went to his very last Prom!! Cali & Brooke loved Katelyn's flowers!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Chokecherry Festival

Every year here in little ole Lewistown, Montana there is a cute little street fair on our main street through town...appropriately called Main Street. Imagine that. The most "famous" berry here in Lewistown is the chokecherry. So the annual festival is the Chokecherry Festival. There are tons & tons of vendors lining both sides of the street for about 6 blocks. There are always all sorts of fun things to look at. Everything from purses, jewelry, and individual businesses to any type of homemade goodies & Hutterite vegetables.

This year I decided to have a booth at the Chokecherry Festival as a fundraiser for Brooklyn & our next 2 surgery trips. I had Volumes 1 & 2 of our cookbook, Killer Salsa, drinks (lemonade, iced tea, water), & homemade treats (caramel popcorn, white chocolate popcorn, chex party mix, trail mix, pretzels, Trix treats). We only sold about 6 cookbooks, but were absolutely amazed at how awesome everything else sold, especially the salsa.

A little side note about the salsa..... The lady that makes it used to live here in Lewistown. Dustin met her on his mail route & she instantly fell in love with our family & wanted to help us out for our surgeries. Unfortunately, she had to leave town quite suddenly & she felt so bad about not being able to help us that she actually gave us all her salsa to sell for Brooklyn! It was a super nice gesture & we are forever greatful. The salsa was a hit today & we almost sold out!! To check them out visit

Here's a little picture of my booth

I had a poster board with "Brooklyn's Story" on it that was a hit. Even if people didn't buy anything, they still stopped & looked at the pictures. I bet a good 500+ people looked at that board today. Here it is:

It was a very long day but surprisingly enough it went by SUPER quick! We were there by 8am & weren't allowed to take down until 5pm. But I got to meet a bunch of new people and see TONS of people I know. It was such a great day visiting & sharing about Brooklyn. Along with a couple very generous donations, after today we now have enough for our December surgery! PRAISE THE LORD!!!!! It seems like just yesterday that I was so discouraged about how on earth we'd pay for these last 2 surgeries, but the Lord has made this first surgery happen and we are so greatful. We can't thank everyone enough for supporting us in this time in our lives. And a special thank you to my mom, my brother, & his girlfriend for being there today to help...especially to my sister-in-law, Marji, for literally being there with me the ENTIRE DAY!! She was such a huge help & I couldn't have done it without her!

Thank you all again for your support!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Home Already?

Well 2/3 of our trip has come to a close, unfortunately. But first, Cali wanted a mommy day at the park, so that's just what we did. She had a you can probably tell!!

Then I had to have my Kindergarten friend get-together!! No, they're not friends of mine who are in Kindergarten...they are my friends who I met in Kindergarten & we all still keep in fairly close contact. It's so awesome to see what we all are doing in our lives now. I can't ever go to CA without seeing my friends. This time, we met & had dinner at Downtown Disney. It was SUCH a great time!
Me, Tiffanee, Janine, Joslyn, Tammy

Left: Tammy & me        Right: Tiffanee & me

 Joslyn, Tammy, Tiffanee, me, & Janine

It was such a great time catching up with everyone & I can't wait to see them all again!!!

Now we just have our drive home. On our way down here we went more to the East so on our way home we came up the West coast. Our original plan was go completely up the coast of CA, OR, & WA into Seattle, then go completely East until we got home. However, w/ time & money we weren't able to do that. We started home & went to Paso Robles to see my Great Aunt & Uncle for a couple hours...
Then we were back on the road towards Napa to see my biological dad. The girls had a lot of fun with Grandpa Gary & Jojo!
We went for lunch, the girls got ice cream, then we played at 2 different parks.

The girls w/ Grandpa Gary & Jojo
Then we were on our way home...
...with a stop in Spokane for the night to see my Aunt Shirene & Uncle Pat & their family. Here is Cali & her cousin Kensley playing dress-up.

...& we finally made it home the next day. It was an absolutely awesome trip to remember & we all had a blast! This is how we all felt once we got home though... (and yes, she's sound asleep!!!)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Oh California!

California....Oh how I love thee!!!

It's no surprise that I'd LOVE to move back here, but the timing's just not right yet. Hopefully someday. :)

We have literally been jam-packed the whole time we've been here...which could be a good thing or a bad thing!! We got here Monday night, the 13th, so here's a recap of what we've been up to......

We cut the girls hair...

We went & saw Grandpa Gary & then went to Aunt Valerie's house to see more family. The girls fell asleep in the car & we didn't want to risk having a crabby-Cali so this is how Dustin carried her to the house!! It's too priceless to not snap a quick picture!

We took the girls to Disneyland...see next blog post!!

We didn't do much, & then that night Dustin & I had a date night close to home at Lucille's & then went & saw Total Recall. It was a nice night just the 2 of us. :)

The first day of our Family Reunion was today! We had a beach bonfire tonight & it was loads of fun. However, I hate the beach. I guess that's a big "however", but still!!! Ugh Sand!!! I now know why my mom hardly ever took me to the beach as a kid. I knew Brooklyn would like the beach but I never knew HOW much she'd like it! Take a look..

Getting the bonfire pits are first come first served...with no reservations available. My aunt & uncle were there a few months ago at 6 am & they were all they made sure to get there early this time. The kicker was, though, that there was hardly anyone there at that time! Figures. We had shifts so that the same people didn't have to be there the whole time. I was the 3rd shift, from noon to 2pm, so I sat there at the bonfire pit for a few hours getting burned. I wanted to take my iPad to read my book, but I left it plugged in at home. UGH! But that's ok cause me & my aunt just sat there & talked the whole time. It was really nice & relaxing! After my shift I went back home, picked up Dustin & the girls, then we all went back cause that's when the family was showing up.

Cali & Brooklyn running to "the beach"...(totally unaware that "the beach" is the whole place, not JUST the water!!)

Cali washing off in the showers

Dustin & I at sunset

The group around the bonfire

It was a great day visiting with family...and the girls had an absolute ball!!

Saturday was Day #2 of our family reunion. Ironically enough, it was also the 15th Anniversary of my great-grandpa's death. Our whole entire family who was at our picnic was the product of Nanny & Poppy (my great-grandparents). They had 4 kids, who all had at least 2 kids, who all have kids of their own...which is where we get such a big family. Poppy died the day before I went to The Netherlands in 1997. So with Nanny we have 5 generations in several families, which is so cool. (Actually my great-great grandma died when I was in The Netherlands, so I was fortunate enough to know her well.)

If you take Nanny, who is the mom of all mom's and make her #1, then make each of her kids #'s 2 through 5, then their kids their numbers in chronological order...that makes the youngest member of our family #72! My grandma is #3, my mom is #6, & I am #24 (and so is Dustin since we're married). We got shirts with our own individual numbers on them for the reunion. Here are my little #'s 63 & 68.

And here's a big group picture...with a good 1/3 of our group missing. :(
Oh...and NO...we didn't mean to stand by color. It's just how we turned out!

All the little boys picking on the big boys (Dustin & Curtis)

Cali hitting the pinata

Another Disneyland day...see the next post (when I get around to writing it)!!  ;)

After trying to recover most of the day we went to a Dodger game that night. I'm SO glad we didn't have anything planned for Monday during the day cause we were hurting units! I mean, I know I'm only 30...but WOW I can definitely tell I'm 30! I'm not the early 20-something girl who could walk around all day & go do it over the next day! I was one sore puppy. My whole lower body was aching. We actually didn't get out of bed until about 11am! We did get to go & get yogurt though with our aunt & cousins...which was so yummy!

We went to the Dodger game & watched them LOSE against the Giants. :( But it was fun either way.

Our view (which, in my opinion, is the best in the deck right behind the plate...seriously can't beat it)

We left our seats to go sit by my family so they could help us with the girls. Here's Dustin, the girls, & me...with my mom, Kaitlyn, & Mike looking on in the background!

Tuesday we had a nevus family get-together...which was just so awesome! I totally forgot about traffic, and really thought that the people would have already been at work by 10am, but they weren' we were a whopping whole HOUR late to our nevus beach date. :( I felt so bad, but everyone was really so understanding.

We met at the Santa Monica pier & there were 2 adults with nevus as well as 4 families of kids with nevi's. Such a great turnout, in my opinion. Here's a picture of the kids...

And here's my little beauties in the car on the way home...

That night we were offered 2 free tickets to the Dodger game. Ummm, 2 Dodger games in 2 nights? YES, PLEASE!!! You certainly don't have to ask me twice!! Plus, it was Fernando Valenzuela bobblehead night, which you just can't pass up! Our seats were a level down from where we were the night before, and just about even with the right field foul pole. I couldn't believe all the food places even just one level down from where we usually sit. I have just always sat in the Top Deck so I don't ever remember sitting any lower, which will now be our new seats. Dustin & I were in heaven & we didn't want the game to end!!!

Our view Tuesday night...where they lost, again, to the Giants. :(
Even though they lost, it was still great. We got go see Fernando Valenzuela pitch the first pitch & watch George Lopez announce the starting lineup!

Wednesday was the #2 reason we came to California...for Brooklyn's dermatology appointment with Dr. Eichenfield in San Diego. (More of that to come in another blog post...) So what else should we do while in San Diego...let's go to Sea World! I really wanted to go to the San Diego Zoo but seriously EVERYONE was telling me to go to Sea World we did. Brooklyn & I actually dropped Cali, my brother Michael, & Dustin off at Sea World, then went to her appt, then went back & met up with them.

Here's Mike with the flamingoes

Here's the Shamu show

And here's Cali having a blast on the jumping thing

As great fun as these pictures seem...Sea World was horrible!! Seriously. It was terrible. First off it was $73/person to get in. Then Dustin spent $48 on 2 hot dog meals & a sandwich meal for him, Cali, & Mike while Brooke & I were at the appt. Then later on in the day I spent $28 on just 2 apple juices, a milk, 2 coffee's, & a yogurt parfait. Then every show cost money to see. We did not have to pay for the 10-minute Shamu show, thank goodness. But all the other shows cost money (that we could see). Also, Cali is 40" tall. Well every ride is 42" to ride alone. So Cali had to ride with me for the 3 rides in the Sesame Street play area. She couldn't go alone, like she wanted. So we went to the little kid place...but all of that stuff you had to be less than 39"!! Well what about the poor kids who are 40"?! Brooklyn couldn't go on the bouncy thing that Cali loved. Cali couldn't go on the few rides that she wanted to go needless to say, both the girls were not happy. Mike wanted to go on the water ride...the one that you get soaked on. So I took him. And of course, you literally go under an entire waterfall so we got off the ride completely soaked from head to toe. We could have dried ourselves off in their little machines for $5!! Uhhh, no thank you. But every single other ride says that you can't go on them if you're wet! Super. Plus, we were very disappointed in the lack of animals they had. We thought they'd have had more than what they did have...unless we just weren't looking in the right place. But we were following their who knows?! We actually left a lot earlier than we thought we'd have...but we were very glad to leave. :) It will be a VERY long time before we go back there again!

Today we didn't have anything on our agenda except dinner with my grandma. She had dinner planned since tonight is the last night with all of us. My mom, brothers Mike & Curt, & Curt's girlfriend Kaitlyn are all leaving bright & early in the AM. So we all had dinner together. Then Dustin & I went to my aunt & uncle's house to see if there's any way they can have a cooling system in it. It's been very warm here the past 2 summers so they were curious about air conditioning. It was great to have a lazy day just visiting with family that came over to see us...and write a long blog post too!!