Saturday, September 30, 2006

What's in a name?

Suggestions we've had so far, in no particular order:

Friday, September 29, 2006


  • I HATE rodents! I know that hate is a strong word but I have FOUR, yes four new voles holes over night! I'ts a downright infestation! Bring out the propane! You know that saying, "a dingo ate my baby"? Well, let's just say that I'm getting a little bit nervous?

  • My neighborhood is so stupid! Ross and I got a letter in the mail, yet again, about our landscaping not yet being finished and threatening heavy fines because our yard isn't done. Why us? Is anyone else getting harassing and threatening letters from Mr. Flippen? Why not bug someone who isn't doing anything with their yard (half the homes on my street, let alone the neighborhood), instead of us! Poo on them! We KNOW that things have to be done by November 1, leave us alone and they will be. Maybe I need to put a flaming bag of vole on the front steps of the HOA offices. Or, maybe I should just move.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The voles are back and they're gonna be in trouble

Warning: There is some violence in this post!
To start with, though I am not a semi carnivorous rodent and have not experienced this first hand, Ross and I must have some tasty grass. So tasty in fact that we (well, really just Ross) have been battling it out with voles all summer long. What is a vole, you may ask? Well, this is a vole! Why do they live under the concrete from the sidewalk to my front porch? How am I supposed to know!

We first discovered and started waging war on the voles back in June when not only did we uncover nearly 12 holes lining the edges of the concrete, but we actually saw their chubby bodies and beady little eyes. It almost felt like the whack-a-mole game at Chuck-E-Cheese's because when one poked it's head out of a hole, we ran over and pointed, just to see another head pop out of another hole.

To say that Ross was unhappy with our yard guests was an understatement. First, he just bought poison (decon and anything else he could find at the Home Depot) and then filled and covered the holes. A few days later (remember, this is still in June) the holes were back. This time, Ross used poison and smoke bombs to kill the little suckers! A few days later, the holes were back, again. Then, in true Caddyshack fashion, Ross waged war on the little buggers and put so many smoke bombs down the holes that I couldn't light them fast enough. Once the mini execution chamber under the front walk was completed, Ross ripped up some of the grass and filled in all the tunnels with dirt.

Since that time in June, we had been fairly confident that we, the humans had conquered the voles. We had even learned that the only true way to kill them is either with an exterminator (which we would never pay for, how silly is that?!) or, with propane (Thanks for the info Uncle Brian.). Yes, filling their holes with propane is a way to eliminate them. Apparently, when you smoke bomb or poision, they have little hiding places. Well, they seem to have been using those little nooks and crannies for protection. Ross and I thought they were gone, but to our shagrin... silly humans we are because, voles come back. Last week, we noticed new vole holes. After some mild cursing and stomping about, Ross smoke bombed and covered the holes.

This morning as I was leaving for work I noticed that those holes were still covered, and three new holes had sprung up! Damnit! I called Ross to inform him of the new problem and his only response....Time to go Medieval!

I'm not quite sure what that means, but be afraid, be very afraid!

Monday, September 25, 2006

National Family Day

Today is National Family Day and the organization that sponors it wants you to eat dinner with your family tonight. If this activity wasn't already in your plans this evening, then maybe it should be.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Willie was right!

I've known since the end of May about the whole baby thing, within about 2 weeks of it happening. I guess you can say I'm one of those girls that is "in tune" with what is going on. Since that time, life has been somewhat of a roller coaster with the diabetes diagnosis, switching doctors, and blood pressuer medication. Throw in a busy work and life schedule, and I'm happy I've made it this far alive and fairly awake.

Now that I have opened myself up to discussion, and am officially at the 5th month today, I figured (largely at the prompting of Jared) that I ought to blog a little bit about the impending bundle. I'm really not comfortable with questions, especially personal and prying ones, so hopefully anyone who is interested can get enough information from this entry. I don't plan to turn the blog into "baby watch 2006", but I'll at least do this one post.

Today was my second ultrasound, and because I am "high risk" I'll have one every 4 weeks until the big arrival, but this one was the big one! The ultrasound where they make sure everything is working, in the right place, and tell us gender if we want to know (we wanted to know!). I even had it done in the office of a pediatric neonatologist because of the health issues involved. Anyway, we discovered a few things.
  • One, the kid is tall (go figure) and the technician even remarked at the long arms and legs.
  • No spinal bifida (I was worried about this one), no cleft-pallete and no visible health problems at all. Good heart and lungs which can largely rule out Down Syndrome (something else I was worried about.)
  • Bladder was full of fluid (takes after Ross already)
  • The little fart is a wiggly sucker and wouldn't even hold still to get a good picutre for measurements, etc. and kept it's hands over it's face almost the entire time.
  • Everything measured out good in the size department and they estimate that right now, it weights 14 oz. That's almost a whole pound.

Oh yeah, and IT is a BOY! That one blew my mind. I had convinced myself that it was a girl, was ready for cutesy girl things, and had even started mulling over a few girl names in my head throughout the last week or so. Now, throw all that out the window. The only one who knew for sure it was a boy was Willie. The kid progressed from Alien to Squirt, and most recently, to Gary (SpongeBob Squarepants pet snail that meows like a kitten).

Willie was convinced it was a boy even though all of us were thinking girl, largely because he thinks girls are dumb and he didn't want to be an aunt. Well, he's an official uncle as of 2:30 this afternoon.

In case you are interested, here are some pictures and by the way, if you see my dad or talk to him, "IT" is still an "IT" because he doesn't want to know "IT" is a boy.

baby profile 906
The Profile Shot

baby face 906
A little creepy, but they claim this is a face

baby feet 906
Little Itty Bitty Baby Feet (bad scan, sorry)

baby bits and pieces 906
Self Explanatory (This one made Ross rather proud)

If you've any thoughts on names (like I said, Gary is all we've got so far) then Ross and I are more than happy to hear suggestions. Submit them to the blog, please!

The disgusting side of me couldn't resist

How are you feeling?

I am feeling ok - a little nervous about sharts.

Sorry to hear that. I hope you feel better soon.

If you need the definition of shart (or shard will get you there, too), check here: and do a search but, I'll warn you that some of the definitions are naughty! Don't blame it on me.

If you need a video reference to the Shart, then check out this clip from YouTube.

Thought from my wallet

"I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage, with my books, my family, and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splending post, which any human power can give."
--Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My First Anniversary

Happy Anniversary Howden Family Blog! Today, the blog is officially one year old. In retrospect, it has been an interesting year, you can go back and read about it if you'd like. I have really come to enjoy blogging, however bland and boring my blog may be. To celebrate, here are some of my favorite posts in no particluar order with no apparent reasoning behind the choices:

After reading through most of my postings over the last year, I realized that I didn't say too much that was exciting or interesting. But, I have had a great time writing on the old blog and like to think of it as a piece of history. I am creating something that, if I keep it up and properly save it (which I have been thinking a lot about lately), will sort of be a little memento of my life for others to read and contemplate.

As part of my reflective process, I'd like to list all that I have accomplished over the last year......or not. Here are a few highlights however:

  • Ross and I traveled to Washington DC, AZ a couple of times as well as making it a Southern California adventure all summer with three trips to the state. These trips were no Europe, but we still had a great time.
  • I've had more doctors visits in the last year than in my entire life...even when I was a little kid and a total puker.
  • Some good photographs have passed through the lens of my camera and some decent books have connected with my eyes and my brain.
  • I've been observant of all the odd ball stuff around me from signs to spider webs, to voles living under my front walk.
  • My family still likes me.
  • This week I added Ross as an author to the blog, even though I'm not too sure how I feel about that yet. It could be good...or he could be like The Brain and turn me into Pinky and try to take over the world.
  • Perhaps most importantly, but by no means least (and I can't even beleive that I am going to put it on the blog or that I am opening myself up to discussion), my most interesting accomplishment of the year is (if it is an accomplishment), the fact that I am going to have a baby! If you didn't know...don't feel bad, almost no one knows. If you do know, don't feel lucky, it just means I couldn't keep it a secret any longer and the circumstances required that I tell you. If you have questions, ask Ross. :)

So, happy anniversary blog. May the next year of entries be just as mediocre and lack luster as the first.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Editorial Control

Have you any edit rights (or writes) for blogs? I do now - readers beware.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Holy Freezing Cold, Batman!

Today was little league Saturday and aren't we lucky that the game was in a snow covered and freezing Park City? The team won 13-0 and are currently 3-0. Yeah team. The weather sucked as Mom, Haley, and I were covered by snow pellets. I wore two shirts, two jackets, a scarf and some gloves and now, several hours later, am still freezing. I can only imagine how the kids felt.

Willie played a great game and the field was so slippery and wet he fell down a couple of times. But, being the ever dedicated little leaguer that he is, he made sure that when he fell, he pancaked kids...twice. At the end of the game he slipped, fell on a kid, and it took the kid a good five minutes before he could get up, with assistance, and walk of the field. Yeah Willie. Way to be heavy.

park city004
Mom and Haley, not quite freezing...yet!

park city011

park city015

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

California Dreamin'

If it weren't for the fact that I didn't really like California for more than a few days at a time, it would be a great place to live. Especially if you could score a pad close to the coast and near the beach...the perfect weather might make you happy all the time.
Over the weekend, Ross and I were able to attend the wedding of Steve and Debbie in Torrance, CA. We stayed in Redondo Beach, Ventured to Palos Verdes, and even hit "the alley" in downtown LA for some cheap knock-offs and an overwhelming smell of urine. Regardless of LA urine, the ceremony was very nice, the setting absolutely breathtaking (Wayfarer's Chapel, designed by Lloyd Wright, Frank's son). And, lest we forget, a Sunday night trip to In and Out so Ross could get his beloved double-double animal style before we headed for home sunday morning.
It was a lot of fun to hang out with the Howden side of the family that we hardly ever get to see and spend some quality time shooting the bull, telling stories, driving freeways, and having a grand old time.
Enjoy a few pics from the wedding weekend.

Marschke Wedding 06005
Wayfarer's Chapel

Marschke Wedding 06054
Bird of Paradise in, well, you can guess it

Marschke Wedding 06017 copy
The two of us at the ceremony

Monday, September 11, 2006

That was a first

Ross and I flew home from the Long Beach, CA airport this afternoon. We were at the wedding of Ross' cousin this weekend and needed to head out today. As we made our approach towards the airport, we noticed all the roads leading to the airport were closed. After calling Jet Blue and listening to the radio, we found out that there was a "mysterious package" left in the rental car parking lot. This package shut down the airport for hours and required too many police officers, fire trucks, and news crews to take care of. Luckily, in the end, we got to fly, were only about 30 minutes behind schedule, and, were able to see an entire airport, even a tiny one, shut down for an entire morning.

I hope the mornon that left his bag on top of the rental car and then drove away feels like a moron.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Rock Wall Progress

I must admit that Ross has done a nice job on his retaining wall so far. We know that the HOA wants all yard projects completed by Nov. 1 and I think we're on track to be close. Ross has been after me for weeks to post some pictures of his progress online so, here are a couple. If you are dying to see more shots, just click on one of the pics and that will take you to my flickr page.


The New Supplies

Real Progress

4 days later

As you can see, my sore foot is healing nicely.

Note: The faint bruise across my toes, the nice scratch, and the excellent tanline. The only place I got a tan all summer was on my feet.



Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Son of a .....

Yesterday, Ross told me that he actually reads the blog. I didn't know that. Good thing I don't ever write anything interesting or nasty on it...then I'd really be in trouble.
On our labor day holiday yesterday, Ross and I decided to venture to the Park City outlet mall with pretty much everyone else in the state that wasn't driving a camper/boat back from the woods. We make the trip to the Tanger Outlets once every six months or so and it is generally a bust for me. Usually, I never find anything good, Ross hits a "fashion" gold mine and I end up pouting because I am a giant. But, not only did I find a cute pair of shoes and a chocolate brown cardigan (something I've been hunting down for almost a year...thank you Eddie Bauer) which I greatly appreciated, I also got a major wound for my efforts.
Walking out of a store, Ross decided to hold the door open for me (how sweet)...however, he did not choose to hold it open completely OR long enough for me to actually get outside the building. Instead, he propped it open, and let it not so gingerly drag across my foot and rip of a good two inches of flesh.
A day later, my foot is a puffy disaster and hurts like the dickens.
Party on Wayne!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Happy Anniversary Mother Nature and Father Time

(Begin sappy tribute part)

Dearest Mother and Father,

You have been married for 30 years now. You've been through the good times and the bad times, the sweet times and the sour times, and especially the stinky times since Willie started playing football.

Thank you for being such great parents an teaching us children the things that children need to know to be good, successful children. I wish you the best on this 30th year and I wish you 30 more to come.

That moment in your lives will come when you are both old, feeble and a grand 82 years of age. At that point, your oldest child Elizabeth will be 58, your middle child Haley will be 56 and your bouncing baby boy will be 41. Willie at 41? Yes, I know it's difficult to imagine. Can you make it? Set the goal today and you can achieve anything!!! Plan for the future. Live out your dreams.
As a final note, may I give you some words of advice as you hearken into your more experienced years. Stay clean. Brush your teeth often.

Eat healthily. Stay active. Don't be too proud to use the walker if it will help you from falling. Please don't fall. Keep your mind wipper-snapped and sharp. Let your hair go gray, but always comb it nicely . . . and finally . . . .

Okay, I'm done! Happy Anniversary!

(End sappy tribute part)

Haley (and Annie, even though I'm not funny enough to ever write something like this.


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