Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cub Scout Day Camp

On Monday and Tuesday, Ryan was able to go to his first cub scout day camp at Camp Tracy in Millcreek Canyon. He has been looking forward to this day for an entire year. When I took my scouts last year, Ryan was extremely disappointed that he wasn’t able to join us.

The boys had a great time this year. There was a fun obstacle course, complete with a rope swing. The boys were thrilled to see that as part of the course. The camp counselor asked them if they wanted to be Indiana Jones on the rope swing. That obviously created even more excitement as they waited in line.
Another station had the boys make Native American “talking feathers” (FYI…the feather doesn’t talk, the person holding the feather talks). At the following station, they made headbands with Native American pictograms and then secured their feathers to the headbands.
The boys were excited to hear that they would have a chance to pan for gold. The camp counselor told stories while the boys waited patiently for their turn. Each boy panned until he found a nugget of iron pyrite.
The sports activity area had a variety of games, including horseshoes. Ryan found that he was a great horseshoe player, so during the free time at the end of the session, he spent his time there perfecting his skills.
The favorite activity, however, was the BB gun shooting range. Ryan hit several of the “easier” targets quite quickly, so he moved on to the more difficult targets. He only missed a couple of those attempts.
Side note – my allergies have been HORRIBLE the past several days. In fact, Marc called earlier in the week and asked if I was having allergy problems. Apparently we are genetically predisposed to be annoyed by the same things (interestingly, not just allergens). I took my strongest allergy medicine Monday morning, but between the cottonwood trees and the dust being kicked up by the boys, I was miserable by mid-day. My eyes were red and puffy, which was not good, since I was the driver!

Over the two days of camp, the boys earned several achievements and electives, as well as four belt loops! Ryan’s goal is to have his entire belt full of belt loops. He has a great start already! Despite the severe allergies, it was a fun couple of days.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Ryan’s baseball season started the first week of June. He missed a little bit because of his bizarre illness, but has come back with gusto! In last Thursday’s game, he hit a grand slam! We were excited that Rara, Papa, and Mommy were all there to see it! Here are a few pictures of the game…

At bat...
Running (and sliding) into home...
Tuesday night Ryan’s team played the team that a couple of his friends are on. I was sitting with all of the parents (Yes, the parents of the kids on the other team. We all cheered for BOTH teams!) I had just BARELY finished telling them about Ryan’s grand slam last Thursday when he hit another one! It was so fun for us all to see and cheer for! He is a great little athlete, and a great sportsman, too.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I LOVE My View!

As you know, we've been cooped up for the past week. Since we weren't able to go out for entertainment, we enjoyed watching the sunset every evening. That's one of our favorite things, anyway, but many nights we are elsewhere.

My house faces west, and the views over the Great Salt Lake and Antelope Island are usually quite stunning. I will have to say that they even rival the gorgeous sunsets we saw in Hawaii! Here are a few pictures I took on five different nights last week...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I Think We're Good!

Thank you, everyone, for your prayers and phone calls and emails. And I completely understand your reluctance to visit in person!

Thank you, also, for your ideas and thoughts about what it could be. I should have mentioned that an allergic reaction was also ruled out early on. That was one of my first thoughts, especially with all of the paint and various cleaning products and solutions around our house the prior week. Thank you for your concerns about meningitis, too. Yes, that was also one of my first thoughts and fears. I don't think my family could have gone through THAT again! The doctors also ruled that out early on. Luckily with just a few questions, not with a spinal tap!

Ryan is doing so much better! We were able to keep the fever under control during the week, and he apparently also stayed pretty well hydrated. Those were the two main concerns of the doctors. He appears to be back to normal temperature, and the rash is almost gone. I still haven't taken the sheet off of the new couch yet, though.

Jeff (Ryan’s dad) drove up from Las Vegas to hang out with Ryan today. We’ve even ventured out into public a couple of times! The doctors are pretty sure it was just a weird virus, and felt that Ryan would have been well over any contagious periods by Friday (yesterday). We hope that is the case!

Thank you, again, for your concern! I think we’re getting back to normal. I even had Ryan do all of his chores today! :)

I am so grateful for my awesome family and friends. I couldn’t make it through stuff like this without all of you!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bizarre Illness Update

We have now made our third doctor visit in five days. Since Ryan’s pediatrician was back in his office, we decided to have him take a look at Ryan. The first thing he said was, “Hmmmm…very interesting. (pause) It’s not really a good thing when I say ‘interesting'.” Great. Just what a mom wants to hear.

We have now ruled out chicken pox, strep, West Nile Virus, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and a variety of other things. I panicked for a moment when the doctor said, “I don’t suppose you’ve been to the tropics recently.” I think he panicked for a moment when I said, “Um…yea.” After a few more questions relating to incubation periods, we determined that it wasn’t some bizarre tropical disease, either.

The good news is that Ryan’s fever has gone down substantially. He seems to be doing better, so maybe we’re on the home stretch of this thing. If anyone has any ideas of what it might be, I’d be happy to hear! We have the medical professionals stumped!

A funny side-note-update…as I mentioned in this post, my brother LOVES (read sarcasm) the unpredictable Utah spring weather. He called yesterday morning to check on Ryan…and to report that they had SNOW at their house! Yes, snow in Utah on June 11. We’re all ready for REAL summer.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Am I a DFS File?

Isn't there a law that says medical personnel have to report to the DFS when they see the same kid more than once in 4 days? Please tell me there’s not. (Melissa?) ;)

Ryan’s fever finally broke on Tuesday, and he started feeling a little bit better. He still spent most of the day on his “sick bed,” and still had his “sick eyes,” but seemed to be doing better. Well, for a little while.

Ryan and I have this routine…this thing that we do every day. We dance to the theme song of one of the programs he watches. I’ve taught him the cha cha, which fits the music perfectly. I know the day will come when he will no longer want to dance with me like that, or even when he won’t watch that program any more. But for now, I’m enjoying the tradition.

As we were dancing today, I noticed that he had a rash on his neck. When the song was over, I lifted up his shirt. (No, I do not do that with all of the guys I dance with.) He had the same rash all over his chest and his back. Not good. I called his doctor, who was out of the office. I described the events of the past few days to the MA on the phone, and she suggested I take him to the Instacare. Again.

We went in, and I recounted the past few days to the front desk person. She had me bring him over to the desk, and ran back into the exam room area. She said they may have to quarantine a room for him, but we definitely needed to keep him away from the other patients in the waiting room.

We went into the exam room, where he immediately went for the drawer where the kids’ books and puzzles were. I joked with the MA that you know we’re there too often when he knows which drawer to go to for the entertainment.

The same doctor that saw us on Saturday was on duty. She checked him out again, and told us that for now, it just looks like a viral rash/heat rash from the fever. However, it could still turn into chicken pox. She described exactly what the chicken pox rash would do in the next 24 hours. If it does develop into chicken pox, we have to keep him quarantined for 14 days. Oh, won’t that be fun?

So…I apologize in advance to Melissa, Gayle, Kathi, Kim, Natasha, Nicole, Linda, Geri, and anyone else whose children have been around my child the past few days. Although, I’ve heard that “chicken pox parties” are the new thing. Seriously. If you want your kid to be exposed, watch for an update within 24 hours. If he’s in quarantine for 14 days, he’d love to have friends whose moms WANT them to be exposed!

The worst part of the day was that he missed his baseball game. Just like missing Monday night’s Blaze game, he was pretty mad at me. I explained that parents would not be happy if it ended up that he had the chicken pox, had we known that was a possibility and still taken him there. His next game is Thursday night, so hopefully he’s better and able to play. He’s thinking I’m a pretty mean stick-in-the-mud mom these days.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Quit It, Kid! You’re Scaring Me!!!

Most of you know that Ryan is a very active kid. He rises before the sun, plays hard all day, flops into bed at night, and is sound asleep just after his head hits the pillow. Saturday morning he had his Home Depot class and then baseball practice. After lunch and chores, he went outside to play with neighborhood friends. In the late afternoon, he came home and said, “I think I want to lie down for a few minutes.” HUH? He got a pillow and went to sleep on my 8-hour-old couch.

He woke up two hours later, sobbing hysterically. He started wandering around the house saying, “I need to find Sponge Bob. He has the key to the condo and we have to get in to get Max’s couch. It’s too heavy to lift.” Okaaay. You all know I have a pretty good sense of humor. If he were trying to be funny, I would have laughed right along. Most of you also know that I can usually follow Ryan’s thought patterns. Not this time. He was freaking me out. He was inconsolable and just kept escalating. He even went outside, sobbing and talking jibberish, wandering around the car looking for something (apparently Sponge Bob). I gently coaxed him inside, which made him really mad. He threw himself, sobbing, sweaty and snotty, onto my now-10-hour-old couch. I carefully picked him up, and he was burning up. I threw him in the car and headed for the Instacare.

All the way there, and even once we got there, he kept ranting about Sponge Bob and condo keys and Max’s couch. (FYI…Max is Ryan’s Build-A-Bear. He has no couch.) They did all kinds of tests (strep, etc.), and everything was negative. The doctor said she thought it was just a virus, and to keep him hydrated and on Motrin every four hours. That’s it? Fifteen minutes before, he would have been a candidate for the pediatric psych ward, and Motrin and Gatorade are going to fix it? She did say that if the fever (and bizarre behavior) lasted more than 2 days, to come back. Um…yea.

We had volunteered to take a neighbor to church on Sunday, so we got up, got ready and went. But about 30 minutes into Sacrament Meeting, Ryan started telling me that his stomach hurt and he felt like he needed to go get a drink. I think I speak for most moms when I say that your kid puking in the chapel (or anywhere in public, really) is one of our worst nightmares. So we made other arrangements for the neighbor to get home, and left. We came home, changed clothes, put a bedsheet over the 30-hour-old couch, and that is where he stayed the rest of the day until he went to bed.

Monday he slept until 11:30! I checked on him every once in a while, and even woke him up at about 8:00 for another dose of Motrin and a drink. We were supposed to go to the Blaze football game with some friends Monday night, but decided we’d better take a raincheck for another time. He was really upset with me for that one. But, again, that puking nightmare.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I’m Someone’s Muse!!!

Not long after I did the post on Ryan’s Indiana Jones birthday party a couple of months ago, I received the following comment on the post:

I don't know you, but I hope you believe that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, because when my son turns 8 in a few weeks, we'll be recreating this party! THANK YOU for the great ideas!! :)
I followed the profile link to the blog of Melissa D. in Washington. I enjoyed reading about her family, and about the many things we have in common. We started emailing each other and checking each other’s blogs on a regular basis. We have become great blogging friends.

When I checked her blog for the post about her son’s Indiana Jones birthday party, imagine my delight when she referred to me as her “birthday muse!” I’ve never been anyone’s muse before! (Now if we could only find a nice single guy to say that about me!) ;)

Thanks for the kind words, Melissa. I’m so happy that I was able to get you started with some fun ideas for your party. Let’s collaborate again!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I've Been Busy!

My name is Melanie and it’s been one week since my last blog post.

Ok, I know you’ve all been waiting on the edge of your seats with bated breath for my next post. Sorry about that! I’ve been knee-deep in paint, blue tape, and carpet cleaning solution.

Ever since I redecorated the master bedroom and bathroom, I’ve had the overwhelming desire to do the rest of the house. It has just been an issue of time and money (more specifically, the lack thereof.) Well, I decided to take the summer off of school (I’m still working and teaching classes, just not taking any) and my car is now paid off. So I’ve been keeping my eyes open for things I like and ideas of what I want to do.

Conveniently, my newfound time and money coincided with Memorial Day furniture sales. Last week I found an absolutely gorgeous 7-piece living room set for almost 50% off the regular price. I’m sure most of you feel the same way I do – 50% off is a GREAT characteristic for anything to have. I bought the set and arranged for it to be delivered yesterday.

Here are a few “before” pictures of the living room…
So, Monday and Tuesday we took EVERYTHING out of my living room. Wednesday we cleaned, taped, and painted. Ryan thought it was really funny that he had to practice the piano in the kitchen!
Thursday the carpets and drapes were cleaned. We had a couple of other things going on Friday, so we took a break from the house stuff. Saturday the furniture was delivered. It is beautiful! (It looks much better in person, so feel free to stop by for a look.)
I am so excited to finish decorating. I’m still on the lookout for things that really strike me for the walls, so they’re still bare at the moment. But since I kind of have in my mind what I want, I’m sure they won’t be bare long.

Now on to the kitchen!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hostile Corporate Takeover

I should have known this day would come. Ryan is the only child of two oldest children. All four of his grandparents are also oldest children. To me, that’s a recipe for assertive and bossy behavior.

A couple of weeks ago, some neighbor kids set up a lemonade stand on the corner. Ryan walked down the street to check it out. A few minutes later, he came home and said, “Mom, they really need some help. Their prices are too high and they don’t have a very good sign. I need some cardboard, a marker, and some tape.” So I gathered the items and sent him out into the business world.

I’m not exactly sure how it was all communicated, but when I went to check on them about 15 minutes later, they had a big sign up (one of the older girls had written it), and had lowered their prices. Oddly, Ryan was the only one there. Apparently two of the girls had gone inside to make more lemonade, and two of the other kids had gone to find other things to sell. I’m not sure whose idea that was, and I’m not sure I want to know.
Yes, I bought a cup.
And...TOTALLY unrelated...a big congrats to the Highland rugby team for winning the national championship last night!!! They beat the Utah United team 45-7! We think it's AWESOME that two Utah teams played for the national championship! It would have been a great outcome whichever team came away with the victory!

New Treasure

I thought about titling this post “Blue Eggs and Cherries,” but I wasn’t sure if anyone besides me would find the humor in the “Green Eggs and Ham” connection.

About a week ago, Ryan came running into the house yelling at me that there was a nest in our cherry tree with robin eggs in it! (He really did correctly identify them, my sweet little ornithologist.) He had discovered it during one of his climbs. Ok, so I’ve done plenty of tree climbing in my life, but it looked just a little high for me to venture to at this point in life. He wanted to take some pictures, so I sent the camera up the tree with him. Here are the pictures he took…
We had a little discussion about the importance of leaving the eggs and the nest alone, and not scaring off the mother robin. But every day this week, he still took a moment to check on the nest.

Yesterday we were outside working in the garden, and he realized he hadn’t checked on the nest for A WHOLE DAY. He climbed up the tree and excitedly screamed at me that the eggs had hatched! Again, not feeling up to tree-climbing myself, I sent him up with the camera…
Now that we know they’ve hatched, we hear their little squeaks most of the day (starting quite early in the morning, I might add). It has been a fun experience to share with Ryan, and I know we’ll enjoy watching their progress.

One funny side note…in the fall, a black garbage bag blew into one of our other trees. It was too high for us to reach it, and it has really bothered me all winter. Amid all of the snowy, white beauty of the yard, this black garbage bag was always there, blowing in the wind. As the wind and snow came throughout the winter, it has slowly shredded a little bit, and some pieces have fallen to the ground for us to collect and throw away. But some still lingered in the tree – I thought forever. Well, apparently it also bothered the little mother robin. She took what was left in the tree and used it in her nest. I LOVE that mother robin! (Take a look at the pictures again. You can see the remains of the black garbage bag carefully woven into the nest.)