Saturday, April 21, 2018

Girls' Room

So the girls' room is finally "finished."  This means we got them a bunk bed - which was one of the main reasons we switched their room, Ben built a wall, etc., etc.  I ended up finding a bed and dresser on ksl.com (Utah news channel - their classified section) and my nice parents brought it down on Thursday.  We got it all set up and then went to dinner for a Northside fundraiser.  Then Ben and I showed our parents the first episode of our newest favorite show - Poldark.  It was a really nice evening.

It's a quality bed and dresser and looks great and the girls are so excited!  Although Emmy did tell me that it might be hard not sleeping with Lucy anymore . . . we'll see if they end up together some nights in the same bunk.  :)

The pictures don't do their cute room justice, but it gives you an idea.

(Yes, Brigham still loves to stare at the rats.  He doesn't do it all day long anymore, but it is a favorite pastime of his.  :)  )

(P.S.  Yes, I am really posting this at 4:15.  Once again, for the 3rd night in a row, I was awoken around 3ish due to my pain associated with my stupid chipmunk cheeks.  Parotid gland inflammation is the correct term.  My ears get really, really painful.  Like a really bad earache - which I have had several times in the past few years.  Only those times my eardrums would eventually rupture and I would be freed from my pain.  I don't think that's going to happen this time as the etiology of my earache is of a different nature.  I'm sort of miserable and tried of being tired and not feeling good.  Ben is on a camp-out with our two boys and 7 other scouts - it's been raining all night long.  I hope they aren't miserable.  It might be a napping Saturday!)

Friday, April 20, 2018

What is Happening to Me?!

I'm either A.  Turning in to a chipmunk, B.  Turning in to a peanut (thanks for that one, Lucy!), C.  Have mumps, or D.  who knows?!

Most likely it will end up being D.  As my doctor said when I went in on Wednesday, "You're the medical mystery of the week."  We are trying to cross out mumps because as unlikely as that is (seeing as I was vaccinated as a child and there are no known outbreaks in our area), it's all we've got at this point.

Monday evening I told Ben I wasn't feeling great and thought I was coming down with something.  I skipped going to my daughters' classes as I usually do on Tuesday mornings because I felt "off."  I took a nap to get ready for work that night and when I got up I noticed my swollen face - it was much more prominent on the left side that first day.

At first Ben and I were thinking my lymph nodes.  But the more we looked it was determined that it was my parotid glands instead.  I worked all Tuesday night and then had to stay up Wednesday morning until 8:30 so I could make an appointment with my doc.  I got less than an hour's sleep and then went to my appointment.  Where, as mentioned, I was determined to be a mystery.

I'm went for my second blood-work this morning and we'll see if that leads to a mumps diagnosis.  If not, it's probably some other weird virus thing and there will be nothing to do except to wait it out.

I do feel like I have some viral infection - general malaise, etc.  My cheeks are incredibly tight, uncomfortable, painful (especially at 3am in the morning - the times I have gotten up these past two nights and waited an hour until trying to go back to sleep . . .), and embarrassing.  I'm super embarrassed to go out in public - especially around people I know.  Yes, vanity for sure!  I only posted this picture for history's sake and because I don't think too many people check my blog anyways!  :)

Thursday, April 12, 2018

March and Upstairs

 Here was our March Madness!

And we had our upstairs painted and then while we were off backpacking, we got new carpet in.  It's like a new house!

 This is coming up our backstairs to the new hallway and door to the girls' room - which Ben made.  Check out the trim work he did - to match up with the rest of the house.  Lovely.

 A peak in to the girls' room - now with carpet.  Cozy.

 Looking at the wall that Ben built.  So nice!

 Looking down the hall in to our bedroom.

One more picture . . . looking from our bedroom down the hallway.

So nice!  I love it!

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Grand Gulch Day 4

Our last day!  And it was another cold morning!  We got up early and got the kids up and were on the trail by 8 am - Ben's goal!
 The fourth day and they were still smiling - even with their packs on.  Awesome!

 One handsome guy!

 We cruised on this hike!  We "only" had four miles to do - and I guess we had gotten stronger or something!  Also, we didn't have much boulder-scrambling, bush-wacking, or wash-climbing like we had the other three days.  Lucy was our leader for most of this day and she did so great and kept a fairly good pace!

 I'm so strong and funny and original.

 A cool spot on our hike.  We were getting close . . .

 And we made it!  By 10:15 am - it was a record for us!  What a great trip.

 As our hike was a horseshoe-loop, we had to leave Ben's bike at the Ranger station.  So he got on his bike and rode about 7 miles to our car left at the Bullet Canyon trailhead.  Besides his chain coming off over half-a-dozen times, he had a nice ride.

We hung out at the ranger station while Ben biked.  I cooked up some mashed potatoes for the kids - they LOVED it.  

We were totally impressed by these kids - all of them.  There were very minimal complaints and they backpacked 25 miles!  Wow.  Indeed, we can do hard things.

And awesome things!

Grand Gulch Day 3

Wednesday morning was cold!  But we managed to get ourselves packed up and back out on the trail.  Our first destination was filtering more water - which was found up Todie Canyon.  It was a good break for our kids, too - it took us about 45 minutes to find the water and then fill all the water bottles and water bladders that we had!
 Jonas bought me five pounds of taffy for my birthday.  5!  (Our local - 4 blocks away - hardware store sells some really yummy taffy!)  Miles agreed to carry it and handed it out at various times along the trail.  Here he is getting ready to dole out the taffy.

 Hand-print pictographs were at just about every site!  Cute.

 Some animal pictographs - the one of the right depicts (supposedly) a mountain goat with a spear in it.  Nice.

 Another cool ruin.  I think this site was called Turkeypen Ruin.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the cool "turkey pen."

 Miles was our reader - he read the information pamphlets at each site.  Not the whole pamphlet, but at least a few pages (and more than the rest of us!).  He then shared his knowledge with us.  He worked out great.  :)

 A cool kiva at Turkeypen - no, I think this was Junction Ruin.

 More cool hand-prints.

 This must have been part of Junction Ruin - our final destination for Day 3.  It was a big site - with even more ruins high above that were not accessible!  So cool.

We finished up hiking quite early this day - by 3 pm (usually we hiked until 5 or 6).  We had done another 6 miles. The kids had a lot of time to run and explore near our campsite - and get banned from certain places they were exploring (too scary for their parents!).  The boys found lots of ancient petroglyphs and pictographs:
 Some type of animal perhaps?

 Very cool.  I think this was Ben's favorite Indian art.  We walked along this wall and just saw all sorts of stuff.  Awesome.

 The boys chilling in their hammocks.  They slept out that night and weren't too cold (even though Ben and I were!).

 Lucy's brown bum . . . from silly putty + dirt.  :)

Oh how they love each other!

Lucy slept-talked on this night (which she has done previously before while camping - she'll talk, but she's not fully aware).  She was crying (Ben and I were in a different tent) and we tried to figure out what was wrong . . . but she didn't know/couldn't tell us.  Finally Ben asked, "Are you okay?"  She said, "yes," and so we all went back to bed.  Lucy had no recollection of it in the morning.  :)

Grand Gulch Day 2

We woke up that morning refreshed, but not too eager to put our packs back on!  The boys had explored around our campsite the night before and found (and climbed up to) another ancient ruin.  There are many more ruins not listed on the map.  The rest of us were none to eager to explore it the night before, but come Tuesday morning after breakfast, we all went up to check out the cool ruins.

 Without our packs on, we felt like we could fly!  There was a lot of sketchy scrambling up steep inclines on this trip.  Not Ben and I's favorite thing for the kids, but how else can you explore cool things?!

 I loved this one!  So neat!

 Then it was back to putting our packs on and heading out on the trail.  The trails I should say - plural.  There were so many trails and not one sign ever.  It was crazy.  Thankfully the boys are not as directionally-dumb as I am.

 We crossed the washes many, many times each day - which meant you go down one side, and then up a usually pretty steep incline.  Again, with our packs, it felt very hard!  I think we probably crossed a wash over 100 times in our four days of hiking!

 What is this picture?  A sweet brother getting burrs out of his sister's hair?!  Sure, but that "sweet" brother was the one who threw them at his sister - hoping she'd catch the clump of burrs instead of landing them in her hair . . .

 The "Green Mask" was one of our destinations for Tuesday.  A pretty cool pictograph!  I guess the archaeologists found a real mask that looked very similar to the picture at this site as well.

Water was a tricky thing in the Grand Gulch - as there are no reliable sources.  Luckily we saw the water report at the ranger station and knew the canyons and areas were water could be found.  They were usually not obvious and off-trail a bit.  The sources were also not lovely mountain streams, but more like puddles - some larger than others, and some nastier than others.  Luckily one of Ben's friends who was familiar with the area told us to get some Propel packets and that saved us!  Grape water never tasted so yummy.

 Ha, I can't believe this is the only picture I got of this area!  This was another ruin site not mentioned on the map, but very cool.  Most of these ruins were so far up the rock wall that it was unreachable.  But we did like this ancient "Y" on the mountain.  :)

 Break-time!  We were getting closer to our final destination . . .

 Our final destination for the day - Split Level Ruin.  Another very cool site!

 Ben thought this had more of a "modern" look to it.  :)

 We backpacked 6 miles that day - another full day and we were all again exhausted, but in a way that feels so good, too.  This was our campsite for the night.  It was cold that night and Ben and I didn't sleep as well as we had the other two night.  But for camping -  I couldn't complain!

Grand Gulch Day 1

We began our Spring Break on Sunday afternoon driving to our backpacking destination - the Grand Gulch area in Utah.  It's about 2 hours south of Moab.  Ben was given the advice to check out the area by a doctor he works with.  It seems like a bunch of doctors go there and were familiar with it - even though we had never heard of it before!

We basically got to the Ranger Station (which was closed of course) and drove a bit past it to find a place to camp.  Luckily we did and all went well that night - except for the migraine that Ben had from 2-4 am.  The girls slept in the car, as begged.  The boys spent their first night sleeping in their hammocks, and Ben and I slept in our tent.

We got up early and made it to the Ranger Station by 7:15 am.  It opened at 8 but as there were only 8 walk-in backpacking permits each day, we wanted to get there early if needs be.  A nice ranger (who looked exactly like my Uncle Randy) came out when we got there and got us going on the paperwork - which was so nice as it wasn't even time yet.

Anyways, we left Ben's bike at the Ranger Station and then drove to the Bullet Canyon trailhead, where we began our 25-mile backpacking trip.

 Packs on and ready to go!  Ben's pack was obviously the heaviest.  Poor guy.  Mine, though lighter, still felt heavy as lead.  :)

 A cool spot.

 Snack time!  The kids (and adults) each carried their own snack bags and knew they had to make it last for the four days - which everyone did.  :)  Miles took his all out to assess what amount he could have of each item each day.

 Ben checking out the map - something he (and the boys ) loved to do and did it frequently.  Next time I will make copies of the map so everyone can have their own.  Except for me.  I can't follow one.  :)

 Heading down in to the canyon.  This hike was challenging!  We had a lot of boulder-scrambling - not something we totally anticipated.  With packs on, it was almost unbearable!  But considering all that, we really had minimal complaints.

 Our first destination - at mile 5.0.  Perfect Kiva is what this site was called.  Very cool stuff!

 Lucy going down in to the "perfect kiva."

 Miles checking out the other ancient ruins.

 Inside the kiva - it was nice in there, for an ancient ruin.

 Our second stop - Jailhouse Ruin.  It was right around the corner from our other one.  Those circle images were interesting.  The "Jailhouse ruin" had a tiny little window in it.  Weird.  There was a lot rock art - pictographs and petroglyphs - all over.  So fun.

 Ahhh, our final destination for Day 1 - our campsite at the meeting of Bullet Canyon and Grand Gulch.  We went 7 hard miles that day!

 The kids enjoying some down-time.

Sleep went pretty well and uneventful, thankfully.