Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy Thanksheaving!

Happy/Merry: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years! With our inability to keep this thing up to date, we might as well get all of the major holiday greetings out there to keep the masses appeased. Okay, we're not waving the white flag just yet and will strive to blog the good fight.

The Thanksgiving trip was the first for the Ricks family that included travel to a state that isn't spelled I-D-A-H-O. Not to mention the first Thanksgiving in recent memory where nearly as much dinner came up after it went down. Gross? Yes, but we're getting ahead of ourselves. The three of us decided to make the drive by night to take advantage of Paisley's penchant for sleeping through the night. We got the car loaded up and left Vegas around 9:30 p.m. The drive was uneventful for the most part until we hit fog about an hour out of San Diego. Tim's mom had rented a house on Mission Beach for the week, so outside of the given directions, we didn't have much to go on. We found the street easy enough and finally were able to match the given access code with the correct garage after a couple of tries. Such is the futility of 3:30 a.m. Being the first ones to arrive, it didn't take us too long to stake our claim on one of the bedrooms and crawl into bed.

We eventually got out of bed the next morning (letting Paisley cuddle up to mom in our bed bought us a couple more hours) and walked down the boardwalk for breakfast then back to the house to wait for all of the others to arrive. By late afternoon, everyone had gotten in from Seattle, Salt Lake, Denver, and Moscow...Idaho. Paisley enjoyed meeting some of her cousins, especially Kennedy and Lucy who are a few months older and a month younger than her.

There were big plans for the week but it didn't take long for a little stomach bug to make its way through the house. The good news was that the effects only lasted about 24 hours; the bad news was that every morning seemed to bring about 2 or 3 more victims. Call it stubbornness, vitamins, and no Disneyland aspirations, but the three of us were able to avoid any of the symptoms.

We spent one day at Sea World and another day at the world famous San Diego Zoo. The day at Sea World started fairly warm but gradually got colder as the day progressed. We watched the jumping dolphins, the goofy sea lion show, and capped it off with the Shamu "Believe" which is really quite the production. Not exactly in a good way. Sure every show there comes with a fair amount of cheese, but this "Believe" thing goes above and beyond. It felt like church camp with an emphasis on camp. Was there a movement bringing into question the legitimacy of orcas? What really impressed us was this amazing pet show put on by a bunch of animal rescue graduates (mostly dogs and cats). They've managed to train cats! THIS show needs to be called "Believe." The highlight of Paisley's day was probably the beluga whales since they were so big and white and would swim right through her line of vision.

A few days later we checked out the terrestrial side of the animal kingdom at the zoo. DISCLAIMER: Under normal circumstances we tend to not be big fans of the caged animal scene but San Diego's got a pretty good reputation, so like most vacations, we thought we'd relax our morals a touch. We saw koala bears, panda bears, Asiatic black bears, and sun bears. Elephants, hippos, and Tim's absolute favorite: primates galore! Once again, Paisley seemed to enjoy the large pasty thing swimming right past her face (the hippos this time).

We decided to work up our turkey appetite by taking a walk (long enough to qualify as a hike) from the house to Trader Joes only to discover that it was closed for the holiday. Thanksgiving proper went on without much of a hitch despite the fact that it was Grandma Ricks' turn for illness. I'm pretty sure that we didn't see much of her all day but the turkey was tasty, potatoes perfectly mashed, some yummy cranberry stuffing, not to mention our sponsored appetizers.

The last family activity of the trip was trying to put together a picture on the beach with all the cousins. With three infants, it made us really appreciate those trained cats at Sea World. Half the family flew out on Friday, with the rest following on Saturday morning. We were the last to leave and being the only ones that didn't have to worry about luggage restrictions, we bought a cooler and packed up all the leftovers to take with us. It was like Christmas, a month early! It was a great Thanksgiving and it was fun to see all of the family and let everyone meet Paisley, even though we had to keep the sickies at safe distance.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Hopefully Tim won't mind me posting this because I couldn't resist - it was just too funny... Last Sunday at church Tim was making his way through the halls after class when he heard a woman next to him laugh and say to her 3 year old "No honey, that isn't Jesus." And I just thought my daughter was extra spiritual always smiling at pictures of Jesus.

(picture of Tim circa 2004)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

BOO!! err... MOO?

The ballots have been tallied and just like most elections, most of the eligibles chose not to vote. But of those that did, the clear-cut winner of Halloween Costume Decision 2007 was...the cow! Which was a really good thing since we had taken Tinker Bell back to Never Never Land. Or at least Probably Next Year Land.

Paisley's first Halloween was pretty much over before it started. Everyone got dressed up in their costumes: 2 veterinarians and 1 prized baby calf. Paisley seemed a little weirded out that her mom suddenly had jet-black hair, but then again, so was Tim. We loaded up and headed over to the church for a chili cook off and trunk or treating. The parking lot was full of fairies and princess, but we're pretty sure that we arrived with the cutest piece of beef at the Clark County Fair. Even if she did end up sleeping through most of the activity. It didn't take too long to give out all of our candy and so we headed back to the house.

Having another generation for Halloween should be pretty fun. Sure, Paisley wasn't too involved this year, but it'll only get more fun from here on out. Throwing on a pair of scrubs is the number one cop out when it comes to creativity, but we've already recommitted ourselves for next year. By then Paisley will likely be able to walk under her own power, appreciate the sweet goodness of candy, and have parents that will try much harder not to eat way too much chocolate BEFORE the big bowl of chili.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy Nevada-neer Day

Due to the fact that Tim had last Friday off of work to commemorate the annual Nevada Day (Pioneer Day's step brother), we decided to forgo all of the parades and fireworks and celebrate in Southern Utah. Mostly, we used it as training for the big Thanksgiving trip to San Diego to see if Paisley was up for the challenge.

We loaded up the car on Friday morning and headed north. We weren't quite ready to go rugged with the tents and sleeping bags, so we made a reservation with one of the hotels just outside Zion National Park in Springdale. Flanigan's Inn had caught our eye 2 years ago when we were looking for a way to spend our one-year (dating) anniversary but we ended up having to alter our plans at the last minute due to family health circumstances. It seemed fitting that it just so happened to be the same time of year.

After our arrival and getting settled into the room, we walked over to The Spotted Dog, our favorite area restaurant, for dinner. Luckily, the pumpkin seed chicken pesto fettuccine was still on the menu. Paisley must have felt that we were enjoying ourselves a little too much, and so one of us had the benefit of enjoying the rest of the meal one-handed. We tried to eat early enough and Paisley happens to be cute enough that the Germans sitting behind us didn't seem to mind. One of the extras touted on the Flanigan's website was a nature hike that leads up to this little chakra maze and overlook. We decided to explore it, not to get all mental and centered, but mostly just to stretch the legs and see how well Paisley would tolerate her baby carrier. Turns out that she's a huge fan of hiking as she squealed in delight the whole time - but it could have just been all the dharma in the air. (It's probably heretical for a hippie to be bagging on the whole yoga thing, but like anything, it can be taken WAY too far bazaar. There's also a good chance that we're just jealous that we can't do any of the moves.)

None of the dessert menu items sounded too appleing so we took the stroller out of the car and headed out in search of some sugar delight. We ended up at Blondie's Diner for their highly recommended homemade apple pie. Appleing! Get it yet? Paisley was beyond ready for bed and we ended up eating half of our pie inside and half outside. Voluntarily, of course. We got back to the hotel room, Paisley ready for bed, and tucked into the Pack 'N Play that we borrowed and put her down for a good night's rest. Or so we had hoped. The reality was that she just wouldn't settle down and would wake up after only sleeping for a few minutes. Even when we "sacrificed" our evening by turning the TV off and going to bed at nine. That maybe bought us a few more minutes, but in the end, Paisley spent the night cuddled up with her mom. (Paisley's idea of cuddling entails a lot of kicking, scratching, and squirming, which isn't the best recipe for a solid eight.)

Morning finally arrived and after a return to The Spotted Dog for pancakes and bacon, we loaded up and headed into the park. The place was beautiful as the leaves on all the cottonwoods had turned yellow and the few oaks had turned red. Coming from an area where the seasons mean one shade of brown to another, this was pretty rewarding. The weather was perfect except for the shifted winds had moved smoke from the fires in Southern California creating a thin haze.

As good as Paisley was, no one was ready to take on Angel's Landing, so we pretty much just rode the shuttle around the park, took a short hike to the Weeping Rock, and watched the video at the visitors center. If people's reactions are a fair measurement, one of the more popular sites in the park that day was a little 3-month-old girl riding around shotgun on her mom. For the most part, she did pretty well and only acted up when she got tired or hungry - which forced us to work on our skills as discrete nursers in public.

If we had to give the whole weekend a letter grade, we'd go with a B+. Traveling until we replace our iPods is always going to suck a degree or two, so this leaves us with room for improvement but the trip was definitely well mannered enough to look forward to Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tinking Udder Pressure

It's rare that we ask for the opinions of our readers. It's even more rare that we actually care. But today is one of those moments. The quest is trying to decide on a costume for Paisley to wear for the upcoming Halloween. We've been able to narrow our choice down to two options. Here they are, Tinkerbell the fairy or Tinkerbell the cow. We want to hear from everyone. Even those of you Euros who found us by searching for Chris Isaak pictures. Perverts! Ready? Go.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Paisley - 3 months

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

On Her Weigh Up

We apologize for being new parents. Not that we're apologizing for being new parents, but behaving like new parents. Our posts have recently been reduced to mostly pictures and little literature. Two explanations for this: A)Paisley is super cute and we can't help but show her off and B)we're so exhausted by the time we get her to bed and have our hands free, we've lacked the energy to put together full thoughts and complete sentences let alone the masterpieces our loyal following expect. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes, words can be worth thousands of dollars. We've been following the story of the mom in Chicago who has become famous for her amusing blog and ebay stories about life as a stay at home mom for her 6 kids. We think that with a little more effort, we too will be offered a book deal, a movie deal, and a tv show. Tell your friends, because it's time to cash in.

Anyway. Paisley has been more and more of a handful every day. But mostly because she is eating and growing so well. Today she went to the doctors for her two month check up. That's 60 days and Tim still hasn't dropped her yet. Well, again anyways. Unfortunately, the 2 month visit also included a series of four vaccinations. Four shots in two chunky but still very small legs. Tim totally wimped out with some lame job excuse leaving Brandi having to endure the blood curdling screams all alone. Despite the pain and heartbreak, both the girls were extremely brave and made it through the experience without too much emotional scarring. With the aid of some liquid Tylenol, Paisley is recovering well at home tonight.

Now for the numbers. Paisley weighed in at an impressive 11 lbs. 7 oz. which puts her into the 75th percentile. (It feels strange to be so excited about her gaining weight while watching The Biggest Loser.) She is 22 1/2 inches long which puts her into the 50th percentile, i.e. normal. And finally, her hat size is in the 10th percentile. All very positive news to show that she's thriving despite our care.

In other news, Paisley has started sleeping 8 hours straight at night regularly and sometimes longer. Last night was a near perfect 10. The real challenge now is for mom and dad to get to bed before 10:30 p.m. to really take advantage of her independence. Of course doing so comes at the expense of all the house chores we try and catch up on since we haven't figured out how to hold a baby and change the cat's litter at the same time. Maybe we should just put the cat in diapers too. Squalor never felt so good.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Big Day For Paisley

The first weekend of September was an exciting one for both us and Paisley. In reality, Paisley probably didn't notice anything special except for the fact that she had about eight different baby sitters. Since we don't know eight people in all of Vegas, that can only mean that we were lucky enough to be surrounded by family on both sides. The special occasion was the Sunday that Paisley's baby blessing took place in church. There was quite a crew that traveled down from the Salt Lake area to help support Paisley for the big day. We borrowed a beautiful dress from Tim's sister in Denver, complimented by a bracelet made by Aunt Becky & Grandma Sue Ann and a headband made by a friend of ours in St. George. Paisley was so excited to be dressed up but we just couldn't stop thinking about worse case scenarios when dealing with non-potty trained beings, white outfits, and an audience. Her diapers haven't exactly been 100% of late, not to mention her new found talent of spitting up all over her mom. When all was said and done, she held onto all of her breakfasts and slept right through the blessing as did most of the congregation. A perfect fast Sunday. After Sacrament meeting, we all rallied back at the house for brunch and conversation.

It was a fantastic weekend and we are so grateful to be able to spend most of it with family. So, with all of the boring recap, here's what you're interested in: the pictures.

Friday, September 7, 2007


Just a few pictures from that beautiful day one year (plus one day) ago.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

One Year Down...

As of about this moment, Brandi and I have been married for a whole year. 365 days and 365 life changing events later, we’re still kicking and even a winning. I am grateful to be able to introduce the most amazing and beautiful person I’ve ever met as my wife. Especially after waking up last night with your hand over my mouth trying to suffocate me, at least this time it wasn’t with a pillow. You’ve been a wonderful companion and mother and Paisley and I are extremely lucky to have you in our lives. I love you and can’t wait for all the great moments and adventures that lay ahead. Thank you for being my home, whenever and where ever. I promise to always love you three days of the year: yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Happy anniversary, my love.


Monday, September 3, 2007

It's not a party, it's nausea.

When we were in Salt Lake for the funeral for Tim's dad, we had a rather eye opening experience in terms of the difficulties in raising children these days. Tim's 3 year old niece, Natalie, loves to play on the internet. And away from the safety filters of home and a little lapse of supervision, she was able to find some absolutely horrific material on the World Wide Internet. The most concerning aspect of the experience was it all happened on the site We're old enough to recall the Telebubby controversies and how detrimental that program could be to child development. How desensitized have we become? We were all sitting around eating lunch (ironically) when Tim suddenly became aware of some strange music coming from the corner of Natalie and the computer. After a little investigation, this two minutes were stuck in his head for days. In the end, maybe it works as an obscure metaphor for the afterlife and coping with death, but probably not.

The experience seemed to get blocked from recollection until a ten second clip on The Soup Friday night brought it all back to the surface. As concerning as all the violence and sex on tv can be to new parents, is this stuff supposed to bring us any comfort? As if this is the best way to teach kids about the digestive system. It's almost enough to make us want to donate our tv to the closest charity. When Brandi lived in D.C., she knew a family in her ward that had a homemade cover for their tv with the letters "R-E-A-D" sewn across the front. Not a bad idea.

Without further adu, we introduce you to "Yo Gabba Gabba." May God help us. View at your own risk.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Tim!

Yay, Tim finally caught up with me and is turning 32 today! His wonderful employer has given him the day off and so far we've celebrated by Tim making waffles for himself, followed by an hour of Oprah, and most recently him changing Paisley's dirty diaper. Luckily we have a few more exciting things on our list, like making a trip to Costco, Home Depot, the bank, and very possibly the post office. Hopefully our dinner plans will sort of make up for a relatively lame day. We'll be trying out the famous Sen of Japan sushi restaurant which we've heard very good things about. Paisley is excited to eat her first piece of raw fish! Happy Birthday my love, it's been very difficult to top that year we went to Hawaii...maybe next year! (A special Happy Anniversary wish to our wonderful friends Nate & Tonia who chose Tim's birthday to be their special day 2 years ago.)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Pictures For Grandma

Paisley's Food Storage

Now we're just working on stockpiling the breast milk. We may need a larger freezer.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Blue Light Special

This is a public service announcement. Over the weekend, Tim's sister was kind enough to share with us a link to a page full of Target coupons. Normally, a kind gesture. But the point of her email was to draw our attention to a specific deal. $1 off when you purchase 2 Gerber food products. Apparently, unless you've got a little one that qualifies for spaghetti and meatballs disguised as apple sauce, it's difficult to appreciate how good of a deal this is. Brandi took the challenge, printed 20 coupons, and went to investigate. She came home with 40 different meals. The grand total for all of this? Well, at a price of 52 cents each, the trip set us back 80 cents. Granted, not all of the food is as cheap as 52 cents, some of the products were 77 cents, and the really high brow stuff hits 99 cents. That was Monday, on Wednesday she printed off 200 more coupons. This was going to be fun.

That night we ended up at a different Target. Someone must have been tipped off to our mission since when we pulled our cart up to the baby food isle, there was another empty cart already waiting for us. And even though we decided to cut it short at 200 items, we stilled filled both carts. The check out alone took 14 apologies and 30 minutes but we saved over $100. Now we just hope that Paisley likes the stuff. Prunes, pears, chicken soup, vanilla custard, turkey and gravy. Paisley is months away from graduating from breast milk, but no worries, some of this stuff doesn't expire until 2009. So even if we were faced with some natural disaster like 4 more years with a Republican in office, we've got our food storage started. After seeing some of the survival foods on the market, we think we'll stick with the blended peas. Until then, we just need to find a place for it.

So here is the link. Just scroll down until you see the Gerber coupon about 1/2 way down (it expires August 15th). If you do take the challenge, send us your stories, it'd be nice to know that we weren't the only crazies out there.

Friday, July 20, 2007

"Dear God Please Help Me" - morrissey

It looks like Paisley's prayers have been answered as today marks the one week anniversary since she came home from the hospital. That means that we have somehow managed to keep her alive outside of the watchful eyes of the nursing staff. Forgive us for patting ourselves on the back for a moment.

Since we haven't been able to keep up on the blog for the last 2 weeks or so, we thought we'd hit some of the highlights. We ended up going to the hospital at about 2 am on the morning of the 11th. They got us settled into a delivery room and by about 4 am, we were finally able to try and get some sleep. They had hooked Brandi up to a pitocin drip to try and initiate contractions but we really weren't able to make much progress until they decided to break her water at about 9am. It was at about this time that Brandi was able to answer a long nagging question: How do labor contractions differ from Braxton Hicks contractions? It wasn't long after that where we were introduced to the modern miracle of epidurals. For the next several hours everything seemed to progress smoothly and before we knew it, they were telling us that Brandi was dilated to the magic number of ten. It seemed that the only issue was that Paisley was face up and so in attempting to turn her face down, they kept Brandi rotating from laying on her left and right side. Which was pretty tricky since the anesthesiologist gave her so much extra juice to compensate for her extra height (5'10" isn't really that tall, but Brandi wasn't objecting) that she was a virtual paraplegic. Not so good for lower limb management, pretty great for labor. The rest was just like the movies. A little "push, push, push" followed by the supportive "You're doing great, Breathe!" There was a little concern when they had Brandi start pushing before the doctor showed up and Paisley's heart rate would drop to half its normal rate but would recover fairly quickly after the contraction. The doctor finally showed up and thought it was an issue of the cord being around Paisley's neck but didn't seem too concerned and so we pushed on.

As previously reported Paisley made her world debut at 2:49pm weighing in at 7 lbs 1 oz and stretching out to 19 inches. In a follow up visit, they've shrunk that to 18 1/4 inches which was surprising but she's got arms, hands, and feet that give us faith that she will soon enough grow into her full potential. For those who don't know, Tim is 6'6" tall. But for now, she's so cute and little that even her smallest outfits drown her. We stopped into Baby Gap the other day to pick her up a few preemie onesies. As also suspected, she came out with a full head of hair.

Mom and baby were released from the hospital last Friday morning and we've been hanging out at the house reading, making progress and a few mistakes but really enjoying the time that we've had to get to know each other. We've had some family visit from both sides which was nice and helpful while Tim has been able to take time off work to help a little as well.

Paisley has been such a good baby. She sleeps quite a bit and very seldomly cries. The feeding sessions have been the cause of a little frustration but not nearly as bad as the ones in the hospital with the nursery staff and their very hands-on, over-the-shoulder approach. Even though she's been working us over with her diaper situation, we're just so in love with this bundle and are excited for all the time that we'll be able to spend together while she grows up.