Friday, June 30, 2006

Color me pink (Blog Challenge #5)

Today's blog question is:
If you were a crayon what color would you be and why.

For me, it's pink. Not only is it my favorite color, but it's a color that symbolizes so many things in my life. It symbolizes the feminism that I bring to this testosterone-filled home. It symbolizes the love I feel for my children. It symbolizes the tender care that I have for my friends. It's also the color of my face when I get embarassed (quite easy to do!) and the color of my skin when I'm out in the sun. Pink is the color of my life.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Broken Boney Tristeroni strikes again ...

We have always called Tristan "Boney Tristeroni" but added the "broken" after he broke his wrist falling off the see-saw in early 2005. Well, he has earned the nickname yet again.

We were camping at Ft. Stevens at the beach near Astoria, Oregon. It was a pretty rotten trip from the get-go and it ended horribly. Here's the story ...

To start out, the mosquitos there were vicious! The first thing that happened when we got there is that we were swarmed by mosquitos. And these things don't care if you're wearing bug spray, at least the kid-friendly version of it. We had to jump in the van to the store and get the super-DEET-filled hunters version. It helped some, but they were relentless. ICK!

Then we just had grumpy people. If it wasn't one of us, it was another. We were just not meshing well.

The second day we were there we went to Long Beach for the day. It was hot at the beach, around 85, but it was SOOO windy. We only spent about 1/2 hour at the beach where we ran in the waves and played in the sand a bit. We came back to our campsite then headed to the beach there to see the remains of a shipwreck. Played in the sand again but were sent home because the wind was making the sand sting when it hit us. So we decided to head to the campsite and take showers. After showers we decided to ride our bikes a bit before dinner.

The boys did a couple of laps around our camping loop with Grandma, then with Grandpa. Then the boys, Brian and myself decided to go on a longer ride to other parts of the campground.

On the way back Tristan took a nasty fall. He turned his handlebars to the right and the bike slid and flipped. He landed hard and started screaming right away. I was riding right next to him and stopped quickly, as did Brian who was riding behind him. Tristan was very entangled in the bike and Brian immediately got him out of that. He had Tristan sit up and that's when he yelled at me to go get the van because Tristan's arm was broken.

I set out on a run to our campsite. I've never ran so fast in my life. I got to the campsite and yelled at Dad to get our keys, which were in the motorhome. He got them and jumped in the van with me. We drove over to the crash site and Brian told me to call 911. Tristan's arm was hanging at such an awful angle and he was in so much pain that we didn't think it was wise to move him.

While we were waiting for the medics we looked Tristan over and we were surprised to see that he had no scratches or blood. Nothing. Not one little mark on his body, including his arm. His helmet was decently scraped up and his arm was obviously injured but beyond that he was well.

The volunteer medics from the local fire department arrived and helped splint his arm. We tried to keep Tristan calm but he was crying and scared. He has a habit of holding his breath and squealing when he hurts and he was doing a lot of that. We did get him mostly calm by the time the ambulance arrived. They moved him to a stretcher, which caused him to scream and cry in pain. It was horrible to watch him in so much pain, but there was nothing we could do to help out. Brian & I stayed with him, trying to keep him calm.

They decided to transport him to the hospital in Astoria, about 20 minutes away from the campground. I rode in the ambulance with him and Brian and his Dad followed us to the ER. Brian's mother kept a frightened Chase and Carissa back at the campsite. On the ride to the hospital Tristan calmed down. He was obviously in pain but didn't want to let the paramedics put in an IV so they could give him pain meds. I convinced him to let them try so that he would feel better, but the paramedics looked at his arms and decided not to attempt it, as there were no easy spots to put it in.

In the ER they looked Tristan's arm over and took X-rays. After the first x-ray they couldn't tell the extent of the damage so they took a 2nd X-ray. I knew it was bad when they told me not to let him eat or drink anything. They finally came back to us and told us that he had a dislocated elbow. In addition, he had a chunk broken off of the bone above the elbow. One look at the x-rays and it was obvious that he was going to need additional care. The hospital in Astoria is a smaller hosipital and no equipped to deal with this, so they made arrangements to get Tristan treated elsewhere.

While we waited for those arrangements one of the ER nurses brought Tristan a stuffed Pooh for him to cuddle. That little gesture meant so much to him. He loves stuffed animals and it calmed him to have one to hug. They even added a little hospital nametag to Pooh's foot, which said that it belonged to Tristan.

Knowing that we were going to have to go to another hospital, Brian drove his Dad back to the campground. He grabbed a few things, reasurred Chase and Carissa, and returned to the hospital to find that they had made arrangements for Tristan to be treated at Doernbecher Childrens Hospital in Portland.

We moved Tristan to the van, another painful process because the Astoria hospital had briefly looked for a vein and not finding one decided not to attempt an IV. He'd had no pain medicine so that 2 hour drive to Doernbechers was pure horror. He was so lethargic and tired, both from the accident and the fact that by now it was after 8pm. He kept falling asleep in the van but the pain would wake him up and he would jerk his body, including his arm, causing more pain. He finally fell asleep for about 1/2 an hour and all was well, but when he woke up we were still 1/2 an hour away from the hospital. He had been through enough and was in such pain that those last minutes were the worst. He kept hurting, kept crying and was just so hurt. It was horrible to watch him go through that and not be able to help him.

By the time we got to Doernbechers it was after 10pm. We had to go to the emergency room at Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU) to get him admitted and looked at. They were busy in the emergency room and it was another hour before they came in to give him an IV. The nurse was obviously having a hard time finding a vein, just as the previous nurses had. She tried once but it didn't work. The second try, in his hand, was very painful for him and it took 3 people to hold him down while they got it in. The good news is that it worked and he finally got some much needed pain medication.

The pediatric orthopedist came in to talk to us. The first course of action was to get the arm "reduced". In other words, to pop the elbow back into the socket. They did some sort of sedation on him that caused him to be very very sleepy. They warned me beforehand that he would wake up when they did the procedure and that he would hurt, but that the medication caused amnesia and he wouldn't remember the procedure once it was over. They were right on both accounts ... he did wake up and screamed while 4 people held him and one yanked on his arm. But the good news is that it did pop right back in and when Tristan was fully awake he didn't remember. In fact, he looked at his arm, which was now in a splint and said "how'd I get a cast?".

After the procedure they transfered us next door to Doernbecher Childrens Hospital for a little rest before they took him into surgery. By the time we got to sleep it was 2:30am. We got a whole 3 hours of sleep before they woke us up. The doctors came by and decided that Tristan could eat breakfast, as his surgery wasn't going to be until that evening. Tristan gobbled down a cinnamon roll, some toast, apple juice and water before his time to eat was up. The rest of the day was spent mostly in the hospital room trying to keep Tristan busy and keep him from leaning on his arm. My Mom visited and Brian's parents packed up the campsite and our other 2 children and made their way back home.

They took Tristan into surgery at 5:15pm, exactly 24 hours after he had the accident. It didn't exactly go well in the beginning, as Tristan's IV closed down and they couldn't get anything into it. They decided to give him a little smelly gas to help him get to sleep and then try for IV's. So they wheeled him into surgery, still holding his Pooh bear, while we waited in the waiting room.

The surgery lasted 2 hours. The doctor came out to talk to us and said all went well. They inserted 2 pins into the bone and splinted him back up. He explained that the pins would come out in an office visit in about 5 weeks and that he would get a hard cast later in the week. We were just happy that the surgery went well and that the doctor was able to line up the bones well. The doctor was also happy with the condition of his ligaments once he got in there, as he was concerned there could have been some damage because of the dislocation.

Once Tristan woke up we were allowed to see him. The first thing I noticed were his bruises. We were horrified to see that, in their quest for an IV spot, they poked him 10 times. He had 6 bruises and poke holes on his arm and 4 on his foot. They were finally successful in finding an IV spot on his foot. I know it must have been hard for them to find an IV spot, but it's so hard for me to see so many bruises and poke holes on my sweet boy.

Tristan came back and slept straight through the night. No waking up in pain, which was a welcome change. The IV machine kept beeping all night long though, as he would kink the hose every time he moved and the IV alarm would go off. I spent all night pushing the nurse button so that they could come turn off the IV alarm. Needless to say, another night with very little sleep.

Tristan was so out of it that he doesn't remember that night. He woke the next morning and asked why Grandma, Grandpa, Chase and Carissa didn't say goodbye to him last night. They stayed for the surgery, came to the room afterwards, said goodbye and gave kisses. Tristan just doesn't remember that all.

He slept all night, woke the next morning and was famished. He ate a cinnamon roll, froot loops, half a cookie that Grandma had brought him the day before, Pop Tarts the other Grandma had got for him, and chocolate milk. He kept the food down and used the bathroom too, which fulfilled all the conditions of his discharge from the hospital. After the doctors visited again and the hospital processed all the paperwork, we were finally able to leave the hospital and return home to our own comfortable beds and hot showers.

We're home now and all is well. Tristan is still in a decent amount of pain and bummed that he won't be able to swim this summer or go to summer camp. And we're having a bit of a hard time finding different things for him to do with a cast all the way from his hand to his armpit. But he is going to be fine and that is what matters most of all.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


My Mom came over yesterday to spend some time with us before she heads home. She lives in Costa Rica most of the year so we only see her 3 or 4 times a year when she comes home for a bit.

Mom came in the morning and we gave her this:

Rico is a build-a-bear that the kids made a few days ago. I had them record a personal message for her and that's the sound box inside the bear. So when she pushes his from paw she hears the little message the kids recorded for her. I thought it would be a good way for her to hear their voices when she was in Costa Rica.

After giving Mom the bear we tried to call my brother Jimmy in Italy but missed him twice. Then we decided to head to the zoo. It was a nice day for it - mid-70's with just a few clouds in the sky. We only stayed for about 1/2 the zoo, as the day was getting late and I wasn't feeling well. But we had lots of fun. My Mom hadn't been to the zoo in years so it was a chance for her to see all the new exhibits. We fed the lorikeets (brightly colored birds), saw the wild bird show, watched the trainers work with the sea lions, and viewed lots of other exhibits. Grabbed a few pictures with my Mom & the kids while we were out.

We stopped for pizza on the way home and dairy queen for dessert (not a good diet day! LOL). Took Mom to see the river and the kids to the park. Then the day was over and Mom had to go. We won't see her again until November, so it was nice to be able to spend an entire day with her and the kids just talking and enjoying ourselves.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Busy Summer Plans

It's been a busy week already and our summer looks to continue that way through the end of July. But at least it keeps the kids busy and entertained. :)

School got out on Thursday. On Friday we went to see "Cars", which was SO adorable. I was entertained and that's pretty good for a kids movie. Then again, having your kids sitting next to you laughing their heads off is a pretty good indication that the movie is funny.

Saturday we spent doing family things and then Mom & Dad came over to help us work on our deck. We set up the pool in the backyard and it's warming and filtering right now.

Sunday was Fathers Day and we headed to Mom & Dad's for ham dinner and to finish the fencing we started this spring.

Monday we took our kids as well as Brenden & Anwen (Chase's best friend and his sister) swimming at the local pool. Then we went into town to see my father and wish him a belated fathers day. Got some fresh raspberries from his bushes while we were there. YUM!

Tuesday once of the mommies from Carissa's preschool came over to scrapbook with me. She brought her 2 kids. Then another mommie from preschool (who is having her baby tomorrow!!!) dropped her kids off so she could go get a manicure and pedicure before giving birth. Add Brenden to the mix and I have 7 kids over here! Busy, busy day!

What's ahead for us? Camping this week for 4 days. Home for a few days then gone camping again over the 4th. Back for less than a week and I am taking Chase to Cub Scout horse camp. Home for 2 days and I'm back out for Tristan's Cub Scout camp. After that we actually have 2 weeks with nothing major planned, but after that Brian and I are going to Eastern Oregon for a week so he can take some arts courses and I can relax, scrapbook and read. After that things finally calm down. Then it's just school clothes shopping and other back-to-school activities.

And here I thought I was going to relax all summer long. What was I thinking?!?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sad ...

Angie and Uriah left today. They left for their new home in Wisconsin. And I'm sad.

Uriah has been one of my scouts since I started leading in Tiger cubs. I used to babysit him in the morning when his mother left for work and he and Chase became good friends. And Angie and I became friends too. She was just one of the friendly and genuinely nice people. But we knew that evenutally her job with the Coast Guard would mean that she'd have to leave. But an early promotion and new assignment means that they have to leave a year earlier than planned.

We drove by their house today and it sat completely empty. We were all sad that they were already gone. A few hours later we answer the door and it's Uriah and Angie stopping by with some cleaning supplies for me and some gift certificates to share with me and the other cub scout families. While that was nice, I was glad just to be able to see them both one more time and wish them goodbye.

In the 3 years that we've known Angie and Uriah they have become our friends and we are going to miss them.

(Photo of Uriah & Chase at Small Fry Olympics)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

For sale ...

This weeks challenge is to write an ad about yourself as if you were for sale. So here's mine:

Married White Female, 32 years old, red hair and the temperment to match. Hates to do the dishes, fold the laundry or any other cleaning tasks. Loves to relax reading a good book, scrapbooking or walking on the beach. Unable to commit to making a decision for herself but can make decisions for others all day long. Good listener. Enjoys cats, dogs & horses but not snakes, frogs or bugs. Likes pizza, chocolate and good friends. Dislikes vegetables, mean people and fakes. Can often be found listening to music and singing (loudly) along. Comes complete with 3 children and a hunky husband.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Bek ...

I've never heard the term second-chance friends, but that's exactly how I would describe my friendship with Becky. You see, I've had the same friends since I was in elementary school... Kim, Wendie, Karina and Jenn. Some I keep in contact with, some I don't. But they're the only ones I truly consider "good friends". Brian and I are both homebodies, so we haven't made good friends with anybody in our community. So our only friends are our childhood friends. Thanks to Bek and Brandon that has all changed.

Becky and I met on a message board for Mom's due in February of 2001. I asked her to join an email group we call the February mommies. And through that we became friends. She lived in Euguene at the time, about 2 1/2 hours away from where I was, but then moved to Vancouver, less than an hour from me. We finally met when she came to my baby shower in December of 2000. Then we met again to introduce the families. Then we met again when the girls were born. Then we met again and again and again ... voila, friends!

Now the wierd thing is that Becky and I have all these wierd similarities. Just random things that connect us. Like the fact that the exact day that Brian and I were married was the day that she and Brandon got engaged. How we have 3 kids ... 2 older boys and our Feb. baby girls. How we once cut out hair in the exact same style without consulting or speaking to each other about it first. How we could be easily mistaken for sisters. And there's more of these similarities that we've realized over the years. (Not to mention that she is SOLELY responsible for my scrapbooking obsession).

Another great thing is that Bek's husband Brandon and my hubby Brian get along very well. They're both rugged, outdoorsy, tinkering, manly kind of men. They can talk about fishing and fix cars. They can work on household projects and drink a few beers. They can just relate well to one another that makes it easy for Bek and I to get together without complaints.

We took a chance on Bek and Brandon and they have become our second-chance friends. The ones who weren't there for the first 27 years of our life but who we fully expect to be there for the next 27.


And no, I'm not talking about the boys. I'm talking about ME! I finished my final assignments and tests yesterday so I am DONE. And I'm not taking summer classes, so I have a break until fall. YEAH!!! Doing the little happy dance here in my dining room.

Brian's done for the term too (double YEAH!) and is only taking a week long arts program this summer. So we are both off the hook for weekly assignments and readings and such. Will be a nice break for us both.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

SPLURGE (Blog Challenge #3)

In this life where I am mother and wife, I have learned that I can't have everything I want. I can't have expensive haircuts, tons of shoes or spa treatments. But I can have this ... my shampoo. It's the one thing I do allow myself to splurge on. And believe me, it is a splurge. A new round of moisturizing shampoo, conditioning balm and detangler can cost about $75. Yes, I'm a wife and mother who stays at home all day with the kids, but I still deserve something for myself. And this is it. My shampoo, my splurge.

Friday, June 09, 2006

In My Mind Eye ...

OK, so I'm not actually IN "My Minds Eye", but I want to be! See, My Minds Eye is a scrapbook manufacturer that makes some of my all-time favorite papers, Wild Asparagus. They also make a wonderful line of bright, fun papers called Kaleidoscope. They currently have a design team call and I applied. So keep your fingers crossed for me. I know the competition is tough out there and there are usually around 600 entries for any DT application. But I want this one SOOOO badly! I've only applied for 3 DT's because they were the only ones I could REALLY see me loving to design with. And My Minds Eye tops the list! (Think it would help if they knew my latest page requested for publication uses their products?!?)

OK, enough of my wishing out loud. Here's some of the work I've done with their papers.

20 years ago ...

... I got my first horse. A wonderful loaner horse named Pete who lived with us for a while way back in 1986. He was such a great teacher for me ... kind, gentle and oblivious to the 12 year old who didn't know how to ride.

And now, 20 years later, Carissa has found her teacher in Cloisine, a sweet little Arabian mare. Today was her first riding lesson and the pictures tell it all ... she was THRILLED. She spent all lesson with this huge smile lighting up her face.

I was absolutely impressed both with Carissa and her instructor, Michael. Carissa listened well the whole lesson and was able to translate what she was learning into the correct actions. And Michael was so kind and patient, explaining what you do and why and how you do it.

Carissa and Cloisine started out walking the ring with Michael by their side learning how to steer. After a bit they moved on to lunging so that Carissa could get a feel for the (very bumpy) trot and work on some balance exercises. Then came time for Carissa to go solo ... and she did! She guided Closine around the arena, manuevering the cones and turning the corners, all with a huge smile on her face.

Brian and I sat outside the arena and proudly watched our 40 lb, 5 year old daughter riding a 1200 pound horse around, without fear or hesitation. We looked at each other and smiled, then Brian says "she's right at home." And she was.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

I've been "sighted"

Little ole me ... I was sighted today! You see, my photo was in Memory Makers most recent issue next to a layout of mine that they published. And today when I was at the boys school a mother came up to me and asked me my name. When I told her it was Annette she said "I thought so ... you were in Memory Makers, weren't you?!?". Totally blew my socks off and made my day!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


OK, NSD offically stands for National Scrapbook Day but at ScrapAddict they decided to make the festivities last for the entire month of June.

I did get quite a bit done (22 layouts, 1 altered tin and 2 circle journal entries). And they had some really great challenges to get us moving.

Although I was out-scrapped by several other die hard scrappers who won the big contests, I did tie for 1st place in the "best photo" contest. (It was the photo of Carissa that I took from above in her dance costume ... you can see it a few posts below.) I also won the "best journaling on a layout" contest with the layout below.

Huge thanks to ScrapAddict for a wonderful NSD!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

It's a new month ...

... and that means that I can now share my designs using June's kits from

Loved the kits this month (but then again, I always do!). My favorite by far was the "Meg's Flower Shop" kit. Here are some LO's I made from it:

I wasn't even assigned the "Flower Freak" kit but knew I had to have it as soon as I saw it. I've made a few LO's with it but this one is my fave.

And last but not least was the "Crayon Canyon" SDJ (meaning that it's a super sized kit). Now this kit has Basic Grey paper with it, which I usually find hard to work with. But I'm pretty pleased with what I made.

OK, enough of my LO's for today. Thanks for looking!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Ballerina Girl, You are so lovely ...

I look at these photos and those lyrics start running in my head. Today was Carissa's big recital day and she was so lovely. Our sweet little ballerina girl.

She was so excited for the recital. The first thing she asked this morning was "Is today my recital day?". She had a hard time standing still so I could put her hair in a bun (though she did stand very still for her first time wearing mascara).

Carissa had a great time and did such a wonderful job as a fish in The Little Mermaid. After the show she received a beautiful bouquet of roses from Grandma & Grandpa and a Little Mermaid musical plate from Brian and I.

There is definitely not another like Carissa. She was the most lovely ballerina girl of them all.

Friday, June 02, 2006

For Darla & Michael

What, you're name's not Darla or Michael? And you're still reading this post? Shame on you. Nosy, nosy, nosy. JUST KIDDING!!!Those who know me know that my dear friend Kim passed on in 2002. She and I were like sisters in many ways (and we fought like sisters sometimes too! LOL) and she was such a huge part of my childhood. Lately I've gotten back in contact with her mother (Darla) and her brother (Michael) who requested to see some LO's that I had done. So here they are. You should be able to click on them and see them larger to read the journaling.

More for Darla & Michael

It would only let me post a few pictures at a time, so here are the rest.

Three Obscure Things (Blog Challenge #2)

So today's blog challenge is to post 3 obscure things about yourself. These are things that most people don't know about me. So read on and keep the snickering to a minimum:

1. When I was about 12 I won the "Most Freckled" contest at the Lincoln County Fair.

2. When I was a teenager I had an entire wall in my room plastered with New Kids on the Block pictures that I tore out of my "Tiger Beat" magazines. And I once cried myself to sleep when I realized that I was never going to be able to marry Jordan Knight (one of the singers in the group).

3. I'm very attached to my hair. Not just in the literal sense either. My hair is my safety net. I play with it when I'm nervous. I let it fall in my face when I'm trying to hide or I'm embarassed. I throw it over my shoulder when I'm trying to be flirty. I'm scared to do anything traumatic to it because I don't know what could happen, so I only get a haircut about once a year and I never try the highlights I've always wanted. I swear, if something happens to my hair I don't know what I'd do!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Happy Birthday to me ...

Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday to myself
Happy Birthday to me.

LOL ... ok, so I turned 32 today. Had a pretty great day. Brian got up with the kids and got them all to school. My Mom called from Costa Rica to wish me a happy birthday then Brian took me out to breakfast. We had some things to do after Carissa's school but then came home for a while and I got a phone call from my brother in Italy. My in-laws came over for dinner and brought me an Old Navy gift certificate (YEAH!!! I've lost about 18 lbs. and I want clothes that fit right!) and I got a Little Green spot cleaning machine that my Dad so cleverly hid under my bathroom sink when he was here 2 days ago. My Mom sent me a check, which I already spend on some cute strapy sandals for summer. So I am all set. It was a pretty wonderful day and I have to say that I'm feeling great, even if I am now 32.