Sunday, December 21, 2008

quick note

Hi friends. We'll post a "real" post again soon. We recently made a trip down to the Phoenix area to look for housing for Feburary-May. I came home and read reviews of our top 3 complexes and almost barfed: Tempe seems to be crime-ridden and scorpion-infested, let alone expensive. If anyone knows of a great place to live within 45 minutes of 7th Ave and Indian School Road (the VA Jer will be working at), please do share!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

We were sad to leave Washington and my brother’s family, but every 70’s something day we enjoy and every story of snow we hear, we miss it less and less! Half kidding. It really is LOVELY here this time of year though. Just before we left Scott got on a kick where he wanted me to take a pic of him holding James first thing every morning:

Scotty: more amused, James: less

We left Washington late October, stopped in Folsom, CA to visit a day with Jer’s sister Jen and her family, then to Vegas. Here's Scott and California cousin Henry sporting matching undies:

After we said goodbye to papa again (but happily the last time for a long leave) Jer’s sister Emily and family whisked us away to Disneyland! Woohoo! Here's Grandma and the teacups, Scott's first ride:

Scott and his cousins, Adam (6) and Ethan (3) had a blast, of course. My personal favorite part of the trip was California Adventure. What a sweet park! King’s Dominion? Anyone? Almost exactly the same. Scotty’s report of the trip to Jer on the phone: “I destroyed bad guys.” Yes, Buzz Lightyear was his favorite. Since the trip, he introduces himself as “Zurg” to unsuspecting kids at the playground and walks around with his pointer finger outstretch saying "piu piu" at anything that moves. He also now commands my mother in law’s silk flowers to sing. Anyone else experience this after the Tikki Room? We were there for Halloween, which was awesome. The crowds weren’t bad and there seemed to be lots of special occasion things to do. The boys dressed in their costumes for the after dinner round at the park. Can you tell they wouldn’t last more than an hour? Scotty was “Boga” Builder, James was my punkin.

The second day I had to get very creative without a double stroller. Those of you who know Scotty well: can you BELIEVE this?? Stroller naps happened three times that trip – three of four times in his entire life. Poor tired puppy.

James has come a long way these last 2 weeks. He's weighing in right around 20 lbs. now(!) He rolled over many times from back to tummy and *then* learned tummy to back. Silly goose. He also learned how to gag himself with his toes and grab at my spoon during dinner…alas. 6 months is my favorite baby age though. I love watching him kick his feet up to his face and stare at them, then go roly poly all over the place. We never know how far away from his playmat we’ll find James next…or under which piece of furniture. He LOVES his big brother, and grins from ear to ear every time he’s near. He is thriving on this constant-doting atmosphere, as is Scotty. Hooray for grandparents.

and here are some raspberries:

here he is admiring his dad:
Scotty’s still obsessed with the day he’ll “grow into a daddy,” probably because of all the rides he could almost go on at Disneyland. He’s also very interested in shadows these days. When he catches sight of his own, he raises his hands above his head and gives a fearsome rarrr. We went to the Nellis AFB air show last Saturday which Scotty loved, of course. Highlights: posing with the cargo plane “eating” his head, sitting in the cockpit of a WWII bomber, and, of course, the Thunderbirds. They were amazing!

On a more frustrating note, I knew this would happen, but somebody please tell me there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Scotty is suffering some serious lapses in his potty training. Not number 1, just number *2*! Ahhh! I’m all ears if you have ANY advice. I’m about ready to go back to diapers…

Jer is in Allentown, PA, enjoying his program. He already made a trip to Philly to see one of his favorite jazz bands play, and he’ll be in NYC next weekend for another. Moping about without us, I know. He volunteered to spend Thanksgiving Day with my brother Ben in MD before he heads to Detroit for a week. Nice of him, huh? I think they’ll both have fun despite being away from family. I’ve always wondered what a Thanksgiving dinner out would be like…they might go for Chinese.

As for me, the only thing I’ve accomplished since coming here aside from further lardification is bangs. Yes, I have bangs, at the urging of my mother in law’s stylist. I’m very glad I waited until I know absolutely no one besides family to try them. Today I have a mullet. No joke. Mostly though I’m feeling spoiled by Jer’s parents. I’m really digging having some adult conversation every evening and having a more people around to shower my boys with kisses and compliments. I miss Jer, but he’ll be here in no time for his month off. Yaya! Life is good.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yay Washington!

We've been having a blast up here. If you've never been, MUST COME! Everyone told me it was gorgeous, but I was expecting east coast gorgeous. This is a completely different story. Granted we've been here for the most pleasant month (September) and saw the most consecutive crystal blue skies possible in a year. It's lovely.

What makes Washington even more stellar is my brother and his family. They've been more than generous hosts, and we couldn't be having more fun. Nate and Jeni eat super well (as in tasty AND healthy), Scotty is in toy heaven and is sandwiched between his 4 and 2 year old cousins Abby and Vivian, and Jake and Emmy (11 and 9) dote on/entertain both James and Scott often. Here's a quick catch-up of September for us all:


-stayed at a bachelor pad in Fife (an hour away) with two first year residents who also went to DMU.

-clerked at St. Francis in Federal Way in Sept. Loved it. Would love to do residency there!

-is clerking at Multicare in Tacoma this month. Verdict's still out.

-comes to see us every weekend and on surprise days off – yay!


-My sister in law Jeni got me started on an un-boring exercise program. So far no pounds or inches lost, but I feel good, and I don't hate exercising, which is a big deal for me.

-I have dinner nights and the family is mostly vegetarian, so cooking has been an adventure of sorts. I've had to get creative! They avoid meat for health reasons and consider it a more accurate interpretation of "eat meat sparingly." They're flexitarians. I thought I would feel weak or needy without meat, but I'm happy to say I don't miss it! I'm encouraged, and I think I may just try it out with my own boys.

-My first speeding ticket. doh.


-Turned 3 on the 21st yay!

- … wait for it… is POTTY TRAINED! We made a project out of Scott and his 2 ½ year old cousin Vivian with good (not great) success. Both still have consistent accidents if we ever go a minute over the hour timer, but they're steadily improving. And it's been easier with two than with just one, I think. We're also working on potty training a puppy. Going potty is constantly on the brain.

-He has adopted a new phrase he says at least once a day and sometimes dozens: "I'm going to turn into a daddy and…" usually followed by an action that requires being tall, like getting the games with little pieces off the top shelf, or getting the treats in the top cupboard, driving, or (my favorite) "I'm going to turn into a daddy and I can cook!...uh.... no I can't cook." Hopefully someday he'll learn being a daddy isn't a requirement for those things…

Here's the birthday after party:


-He rolled over, ate his first rice cereal, and cut his first two teeth!

-He also had a bout of the croup, which was freaky. I can know fully empathize with anyone who's been through a croupy night. It was brief though.

-He's giggling readily now but still mostly does his silent wide-mouthed "laugh" every time anyone makes eye contact with him. He seems to be in Heaven with all the little people around.

-He did finally shake off his sleepies and will stay awake for 2 hours at a time now. Tough, I know.

Our most fun outings have been to the new Sculpture Garden in Seattle, the Tacoma Zoo, visiting my freshman roommate Sofia and her family in Steilacoom, and visiting a picturesque town near here called Poulsbo. I still can't believe how beautiful this part of the world is! Seems like waterfront properties are a dime a dozen, and the water isn't murky or brown like I'm used to: it's clean and blue as can be. Here's some pics of the sculpture garden:

My favorite: naked father and son meet Tilton father and son.
Here's James' comfy perch and pillow

My favorite part of the month by far though has been spending time with relatives! Being so far away from family for so long was hard, and it's so different to actually live with family. Nate and Jeni seem to know something about everything, so there's always a new and interesting conversation topic. They're a great help to me despite having 4 very busy kiddos to care for, which is awesome. I'll never forget this little stay with them. The kids are all very creative and individual. Jake turns 12 next week and writes better then I do now – he's almost always at the computer writing a poem or short story. He adores James and is a great helper when he's fussy. Emmy, 9, is a helper by nature and loving and silly. Abby is 4 and SO dramatic! Mostly fun, sometimes hard. Only hard because Scott LOVES hearing her reaction to all sorts of pokes and pinches. A classic Abby phrase: "Mommy can I pretty pretty pretty please just hold your lipstick? I promise I won't eat it!" Vivian is 3rd percentile mini-adorable and the sweetest thing in the world. She often comes to me, pats my knee, makes some unintelligible exclamation, and waits for my happy response. I'll miss these guys so much when we go…

Monday, August 25, 2008

In transit

for a year! Ohmygoodness I still can't believe it and find myself saying "what on earth are you thinking?!?" every time I tell someone our year's plans. But the first month has gone smoothly so far, thanks to Katie, Wendy, Janet, etc. Highlights:

1. WE MADE IT from Iowa to Denver with absolutely no complications. Necessities if you're planning a solo road trip with two kiddos: an ipod loaded with books on cd for the driver, infant seat placed in the back middle, a very flexible right shoulder for binky hunting and placing, and a portable dvd player for the toddler.

2. Katie and Van treated us royally in Denver. We had a blast and filled our tummies and hope we didn't hinder their desire for children. It was also fun to stay with our family friend Wendy (Touchette) Mackay for a few days. Scotty's first heart-throb Angelina is as adorable as ever, and is still dusting him on vocabulary and social skills.

3. WE MADE IT from Denver to Utah! Honestly I doubted whether we'd be able to do those two trips without either a major breakdown (mom, not the car) or lots of money spent on a hotel somewhere. We've been enjoying Midway aka Heaven since the 4th of August. Aunt Janet's house really is a Scotty heaven: 3 horses in the back pasture who love toddlers with carrots, a GIANT tree swing, an endless lawn, an under-the-stairs play room complete with Scotty-sized kitchen, lots of tall grass to run through, a hot tub to go "swimming" in, a trampoline, a new playground, and Elky -- a perfectly aimiable and tolerant Golden Retriever who loves to romp around the yard and be tackled. We've had a blast. Here's my favoritest jewelery shop in Heber, Utah:
Scotty at the Gateway fountains:

4. Jer surprised me for our 5th anniversary and flew to town for the weekend. What a sweetie. If he had consulted me before-hand, I would have called him crazy and tried to persuade him to wait til the end of the month, but (of course) I was SO glad he came. We didn't stop the whole weekend for having fun. We even made it to the temple, which was a perfect way to celebrate 5 years of happy marriage. We're excited to see him again at the end of this week!

5. We went to Orderville, UT (hey hey hey) for our annual Tilton family reunion. It felt a little funny without Jer, but his family is a lot of fun and very helpful. Scott is the 2nd oldest of the boy cousins, and defintely the most brutish. I hadn't even noticed until we got there that he gets peoples' attention by bopping them on the back or shoulder with his fist. Too many cousins cried "aaaaaahhh he hit me!" by the end of the weekend. What a boy! We need to work on using names... While we were there we went to Zion's Canyon and the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon. Whenever I take a trip like that I'm anxious to die so I can ask to see the replay of how those rock formations came to be. So gorgeous. Here are all the cousins at weeping rock.

And here's Grandpa and his 2 -year-old grandson posse. ...way too little between my son and the grand canyon:

6. The Olympics. I was addicted. One night my cousin Heather asked her daughter Aunica (they live here at Janet's) if she had put her drink for the next day's school lunch in the freezer yet and she responded, "yeah, we put it in every night when Jennie starts watching the Olympics." Slightly embarrasing. My absolute favortie moment: Usain Bolt's 100 meter. I'd love to meet him in person. Oh yeah, and the opening and closing ceremonies. My other cousin commented that the London 2012 director would likely be having a heart attack watching...

We've visited lots of siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. I had a reunion with my freshman year BYU roommates in Park City. We even met Diana, Cory, and Kevin at the zoo one day, which was oh-so-fun. I also just starting playing around on Wii Fit. Crazy fun. I was playing the soccer balance game and Scott yelled, "HEY! Stop hitting mommy, balls!" Can you tell I wasn't doing so hot? Here's the only shot I could get of Scott and Cory. Typical action pic...

Before we moved, we splurged and got a jacuzzi suite at a local hotel. It was the best decision we've ever made: there's nothing like ending a crazy-long moving day with a giant jacuzzi and king size bed. I also fully confess that I'm a nerd: isn't this a cool pic? We found it behind our bed. It's an ant-bitten m&m. Did anyone else not know that ants take circular bites?
Here's Dad giving Scott one last hug before we headed in opposite directions:
And here's Scotty getting his own baby ready for the cross-country trek:

This still feels very much like a vacation: I have to keep reminding myself that we're not going back to Iowa. We miss our friends and branch family there. We hope everyone's doing great!
Next week we head to Washington state for two months to live with my brother while Jer rotates in Tacoma.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The men in my life

I have a bunch of pictures from the last few weeks, but no exciting stories to go with them, so this is mostly a pic post. Probably our last for a while: we're already swimming in boxes, and have many, many more to fill between now and the 31st. Then I'm not sure what my computer access will be like for a while.

First, some summerness. We went with Allison + entorage to the casino/race track for the 4th to watch the races before a spiffy fireworks show. It really was a great show -- I don't know if I haven't seen a good show in a while or what, but I thought it was the best one I'd *ever* seen! Scott was more interested in the horses and kept asking where they were during the fireworks. Can't you just hear them begging, "Let us out!"?Something in the works?? Summertime feet:Summertime head: (post run-in with a big stick)Scott in his Jetsonsmobile-meets-Flinstonesmobile. Don't you love the proportions of these cars? For our year on the road, we bought Scott a portable bedroom: a dog tent! haha. It's just the right size, and he's slept in it just about every night since we got it. Here's hoping it'll ease the shock of being a nomad at least a little bit. Scotty: "Don't even think about snapping that shot." AWESOME bribery material for 10 years from now...
More bribery material. This is a 90's version of Scott. Nerd-face Tilton. Big brother keeping James company during some tummy time:My manly men in fruity stripes:Here's a taste of what Jer gets to do all day. Before:
James chillin' with papa:
Getting REALLY excited about attention from dad:

Wish us luck with our move! We're mostly excited, but of course a little sad to leave favorite friends and places behind. We'll miss Des Moines!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

James Kenneth's baby blessing

We had James' baby blessing the weekend of the 29th of June and luckily both sets of grandparents were able to be there. We named James for the biblical James (we've both always liked the prophet and the name) and for Jeremy's dad Ken. After the fact, we realized that James is everywhere in my Scottish line of ancestors, and is also the name of Jer's mom's grandfather and great-grandfather. So it's very much a family name. Here are the two Kens bonding on the papasan: My dad, Ann, the boys, Corrine, and Ken:
The Tilton boys:The Jeremy Tilton family of 4:
We had a blast! Ken and Corrine came Friday. They do a PERFECT job of being doting grandparents. Indulge Scotty's every whim. He missed them so much when they left! Friday night we went out for yummy ribs and to see Wall-E, which was fun, of course. And Saturday after Ken fixed the Subi (again! Thanks, Ken!), we went to the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad. If you've never been, it's a little hard to describe. It was very Iowa. Slow, a little shabby, and no surprises. We had fun though, of course. Here's Scotty with his favorite, grandma Corky:
Scotty, Ken, and Corrine:Mossy Jer:James doing what he *still* does best:
Scotty messing with anything that looks like a potential gizmo to get him in trouble w/ the conductor.
I guess there was one kind of dramatic part: the "High Bridge" (most creative of all names) is 159 feet high, with no visible side rails. Pretty trippy. But not too scary going 5 miles/hour. My dad and Ann just moved to Nauvoo, so they came up that evening and the 4 grandparents went to Sam and Gabe's to hear Jer play one of his last gigs with Stu Calhoun, our 80 year-old jazz pianist friend. The next morning Jeremy blessed the baby at church and did a very nice job, Jer's parents left, and we had a bbq that afternoon with my parents before they headed home to unpack their boxes! It was a great weekend. Not too long or too short. Absolutely perfect, 70-something degree, breezy, sunshiny early summer weather.

Several times the following week I stopped everything I was doing and just sat there thinking about how truly blessed we are to be loved and cared for like we are. We love our parents! We're so glad they could come and support us. I also did a little swooning over my husband. I'm grateful for him, too, and that he's a good man, strong in the gospel, a great example for our boys, and so dedicated to our family. Whata guy.