Friday, September 18, 2009

Template 45 and Vacation Update

Wow, I have freebies 3 days in a row! I haven't done that in awhile. I've got another couple of LOs that I plan to turn into templates as well:) Me scrapping more means more templates for you;)

But first, it is time for my way overdue vacation update. We went on vacation for most of August to visit family. The majority of our families live about 800 miles from us. And we drove. With a toddler. Actually, Emma did extremely well on the trip. It helps that we have a portable DVD player that straps onto the passenger seat;) Emma got upset a few times and said "up" when she decided she wanted out, but overall, she did great. Though there were a couple of times where she'd said "up," so we stopped when we could...and she threw HUGE fits over getting out!! Aaah, the joys of traveling with a toddler.

We split the driving into 2 days, with a hotel stay between. John has a couple of married sisters who live about 3 hours south of the rest of the family. We went there first, since Rebecca was due at the beginning of September. We stayed at Trenna's house for a few days, then spent a few days at Rebecca's. Poor Emma threw up as we were turning into Trenna's neighborhood...thank goodness for washable car seat covers!

While we were visiting Trenna and Rebecca, we had a big birthday bash for our nieces and nephews with July and August birthdays. It was so fun! Rebecca made an amazing cake for it, too. I'll have to scrap it one of these days. She makes THE coolest cakes ever.

The day before the party, however, we made an unpleasant discovery: Emma is allergic to peanuts. Her cousins, ages 7 and 8, asked if they could give her a cracker. I said sure...but I didn't realize they were talking about those peanut butter filled bright orange cheese cracker sandwiches. I'm one of those anal no-peanut-butter-till-they're-2 kind of moms, so she'd never had any nuts before. My dad is allergic to all nuts, so I knew the possibility was there. At first, she didn't react to it, so I thought it was ok. But later, her face started puffing up and turning red. And then there were hives. Joy. We gave her some Benedryl and lathered her up with hydro-cortisone. Thankfully, her breathing was normal the whole time. It was pretty scary, though. Her poor cousins were SO freaked out. It was really sweet how worried they were about her. Once the reaction had been under control for awhile, I put her down for a nap. When she woke up, her poor face was SUPER swollen. I talked to her pediatrician and they said to just keep giving her Benedryl every 4 hours till she was better, but to take her to the ER if she had difficulty breathing. Thankfully, she was completely fine. It just took awhile for the puffiness to go down. She looked SO different all puffed up like that! It was weird.

After our trip, we had a follow up appointment with her pediatrician. They want to hold off on allergy testing till she's 2.5, but they gave us a prescription for an Epi-pen, just in case. Hopefully we'll never need it. The advantage to growing up with a father with nut allergies is that we never really had nuts in most foods. Sure, we ate PB&J sandwiches, but Mom never put nuts in main courses or desserts. John and I actually prefer our baked goods and ice cream nut-free anyway. Except for peanut butter...I LOOOOVE the peanut butter and chocolate combo. But it's not hard to avoid it when I'm around Emma. I can always enjoy it after she's in bed;) So hopefully, avoiding nuts won't be an issue. We're hoping she grows out of the allergy, but you never know. Especially since we've got the family history. I guess we'll see next May/June or so.

Anyway, while we were down there, we went to a Goodwill outlet. I didn't even know those existed! It was pretty cool. They sell things by the weight, so I got a huge bag of stuff for just under $20. My goodies included a navy blue infant car seat cover and a blue winter coat with a hole for the car seat buckle. Sweet! I found some clothes for Emma and for the baby, and a couple of things for John and I. The downside is that the clothing and such isn't really organized; it's all just shoved into bins and you have to sift through it to find anything. Basically, everything at the Goodwill outlet was rejected or not sold at a normal Goodwill store. And some of what we found in the bins were pretty nasty...boxers, whitie tighties, granny panties, lacy thongs...yeah. NASTY. Seriously, who would BUY used underwear?! And who in their right mind would donate that stuff thinking someone else would actually WANT it? I understand not having much money, but you can buy a pack of undies for really cheap at Walmart...there are just some things that shouldn't be reused...especially when you know nothing about the previous owner. Ew. Just ew.

Moving on. We also went to the zoo with Trenna, Rebecca, and their kids. It was fun! Though we were definitely tired by the end. Later that day, we drove up to my parents' house, which is where we spent the majority of our trip. John's family lives 20 minutes from mine, so we went back and forth quite a bit. We stayed at my parents' house though because it's a bigger house and less people live there. That, and we get the basement all to ourselves when we're there. Well, we had to share a room with Emma the whole trip, but it was fine. Though it WAS wonderful to have her in her own room again when we got back! And to sleep in our own comfy bed. But I digress.

I got to go fabric shopping with Kimi (yes, of Kimi's Kreations - we've been good friends for 11 years now) while we were home! It was fun! We had to take our kids, which was interesting (a 4 year old and 2 1.5 year olds in a fabric store...), but they were all pretty well behaved. Especially since we had graham crackers and apple juice for them;) I picked out some cute fabric for Kimi to make me a Mei Tai with. I'm excited about that:D We then took the kids to a park so they could get some energy out and we could have some mommy friend time. Of course, they kept wanting to run off in different directions, so that didn't work so well.

Before our trip, John and I hadn't seen Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince yet. We hoped we'd get the chance to while we were home visiting, and we did! We went with my sister Lisa to see it in the Imax theater while Mom babysat. AND Mom paid for our tickets, too! Sweet! We get a babysitter who pays FOR us to go out? Excellent. Moms are great like that:D Of course, she loved having one-on-one time with Emma. The movie was AWESOME. I totally want to see it again. I can't wait till it comes out on DVD!!

Just a couple of days after we got to my parents' house, we went on a mini road trip with my mom to my brother Paul's house. He lives about 2-3 hours away, but in a totally different direction. It was REALLY nice to visit with them. We drove over the day before my birthday and spent the night. But before we went to their house, we walked around this cute little tourist town near them. I have so many memories of going there as a child - it was neat to go back again. Then we had dinner at Paul and Kari's. After Emma went to bed, we relaxed in their hot tub. Aaah, so nice. Then we sat on the porch and talked for awhile. It was really nice and relaxing. On my actual birthday, we drove back - but not before hitting the Carter's outlet on the way:D I love that store. I could seriously go into some major debt there. Mom bought us some cute clothes for the baby and a few things for Emma, too. We got his coming home outfit! It's SO cute. Oh, and Rebecca gave us a bag or 2 of baby boy clothing, too. Yay! We're slowly getting there. We have some of what we'll need, but definitely not all of it. Hopefully someone will throw me a baby shower, since having a boy means I need a whole new baby wardrobe. Oh, and Kari gave us my nephew's old crib set, so we now have crib bedding for our little guy! It's really cute (I scrapped it already; scroll down an entry or 2 to see it). As for my birthday, we did the whole cake and celebration thing after we got back to my parents' house.

We spent quite a bit of time hanging out with our families. At one point, we went over to my other brother's house. Ironically, Scott was working the whole time we were there, so we didn't get to see him. But we had lots of fun with Laini and the girls! We ate a yummy lunch with them and played outside. Emma had a blast with their sidewalk chalk before she discovered their kiddie pool. We didn't have her swimsuit or a swim diaper on us, so we just let her play in the water in a diaper and onesie. Ooooh my goodness, that diaper got SOOOOOO overloaded with water! It was hilariously poofy. Talk about super absorbent. Of course, we HAD to take pics. I'll definitely have to scrap those. We had to leave after that so they could get to Rachel's soccer practice, but it was really fun!

Kimi and I wanted to hang out again, so she came over to my parents' house and we all just hung out. The kids had a BLAST running around like crazy and having fun. Kimi brought her nice camera and took lots of pics. She also took family and maternity pics for us:) She got some FABULOUS shots!! She would have tried to take more family shots (getting Emma to hold still when she had 2 little friends to play with is NOT an easy thing!), but her battery died and the charger was mysteriously missing from her camera case. Sadness. Oh well; it just means she'll have to take family pictures of us again someday;) Though when that will be, I have no idea. Living 800 miles away stinks.

For FHE one evening, we picked blackberries from my parents' yard. They have TONS of wild blackberries growing all over. I didn't get as many as I'd have liked, though, because I didn't really want to crawl into the super tight blackberry patches. That, and it was starting to get dark. But I made some mini blackberry pies:) They turned out fairly well. They weren't as good as I'd hoped, but they were still pretty good. Emma loved helping us pick the blackberries. She even started saying blackberries, in her own toddler way. She picks up on everything these days.

Our last night there, we went to a wedding reception for our good friend Kim. It was really nice:) They looked SO happy! It was a great way to end our visit:)

The drive back was looooong. We got a much later start than planned because we hadn't packed up much the day before. We meant to, but there was a family emergency that Mom had to attend to, which meant we had to transport Lisa to her dentist appointment...and yeah. Things happen. The first day on the road was ok-ish, but the second day just seemed to drag on and on and on. It doesn't help that we were both really tired, either. We had to stop more frequently to stay awake. Honestly, Emma did much better on the way back than John and I did! But we FINALLY made it safe and sound.

All in all, a nice vacation. We got to spend a lot of time with family. We ran around a lot, but we also got to veg with family at home, too. We didn't get to see everyone we wanted to, though. I especially regret not getting to see my uncle, who was recently diagnosed with cancer with approximately a year left...we wanted to visit him, but it just didn't work out. He was running around to doctor's appointments like crazy the whole time. Oh well. We also didn't see my grandparents, but...they aren't exactly on my good side at the moment. They've been making this whole situation with my uncle way more dramatic and stressful on everyone else. It's a long involved story that I don't want to get into, but suffice it to say no one is happy with them right now. At the latest development, I asked Mom if I could shoot HER mom and she said, "you'll have to get in line!" Yes, it really is that bad.

Aaaaanyway. Our trip was great! But we are totally road tripped out for a VERY long time. The next time we'd go would be next summer, and we'll have 2 of which will be nursing...hmmm...maybe we'll fly, if we go back at all. I don't know that I want to attempt that drive EVER again, let alone with 2 kids! I used to enjoy road trips...but then I became a mom. Not so much now. Someday we won't live so far away from our family...but that's at least 2.5 years away. They are more than welcome to come to US now!

Oh, and the night we got back into town, Rebecca had her baby! Yay for a new little niece! Obviously, we've only seen pictures, but she's adorable. Her big brothers love her, too:)

Aaaaand now that my rambling easily-digressive update is done, you get a free template! I don't have any pretty new pages today, but feel free to scroll down to previous entries to see my latest works. LOL, I wonder how many people actually read through the whole thing? Oh well; this is more for my benefit than yours. And I have friends and family who read this blog, too.

Template 45 is a 12x12, 300 dpi template in psd format. As always, I'd love to hear back from you:) Here's the preview:

You can download it here.

Hm, I think that's enough for today, don't you? Time for bed. I still need to write up a general life update, but the vacation stuff is long enough as it is! Maybe tomorrow, with another template:)

Oh, and we STILL need a name for our little boy. Suggestions are welcome! We prefer traditional names:) Night all!


  1. thank you for another great template! So sorry about Emma's peanut allergy - luckily, you caught it quickly!

  2. Thank you so much for this Freebie. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in Creative Busy Hands Scrapbook Freebies Search List, under the Page 1 post on Sep. 18, 2009. Thanks again.

  3. Thanks for another adorable template!! I just love them - and really appreciate you sharing them with me (and everyone else...LOL) You're family tree QP is ADORABLE as well - I cant wait to add that to my kids' books!! You Rock!

  4. Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the DigiFree Digital Scrapbooking Freebie search engine today (look for timestamp: 18 Sep [LA 07:41pm, NY 09:41pm] - 19 Sep [UK 02:41am, OZ 12:41pm] ).

  5. Cute, cute template! Sounds like a fun trip mostly :) It is really hard to do with kids.. and we do not go that far! What is a Mei Tai?? Good luck with the family drama.. totally going through some of that stuff over here :P

  6. hmmm.. great template:

    Names: Jacob (doesn't seem as popular these days and i have a jacob)
    Elijah, and Isaac, are a few of my fav.

  7. Thank you . To all participant, please have a look at our updated contest post.
    more templates easy to download