Family Picture

Family Picture

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The One With the "Nastics" Girl

I'm not sure what got Preslie so obsessed with gymnastics.
I surely haven't pushed it on her - though I always wanted to do it myself when I was younger.
I think it started with the summer olympics - the one with Shawn Johnson and Nastia Lukin. Ever since then Preslie is a "nastics" girl.
Me: Preslie, let's get your pants on.
Preslie: No. No pants. Nastics girls only have their legs.
Like I said, she is obsessed.
It's adorable.
Eric's older sister was incredible at gymnastics - he broke her leg right before the olympic trials. WHOOPS! So Eric called around to a few places and found a club about three miles from our house and started her the following week.
We had the HARDEST time trying to find her a leotard.
It was ridiculous.
We went everywhere. Called every sports store. Even looked online. But most stores carry down to a 4T and Preslie, at best, is only a 3T. We finally found one at Wing's Gymnastics. It was so much fun for me to take her to pick out her leotard and little shorts - there was TOO many to choose from.
She had her first gymnastics practice last Tuesday and I loved it! Proud mamma right here! There is nothing cuter than these little girls learning to flip and twist around. There were four little girls in her class. They crab walked on the parallel bars, spent some time on the tramp doing summersalts, learned to walk on the balance beam, and got good at "ta-da-ing" after every dismount.
Eric and I decided that we probably won't stay at the current gym. The facilities aren't as great as they could be, and most of there trophies are for 4th place, but it is a perfect little beginner's course to see if she would continue to love it - and she has! In April she should be starting at Mountian West Gymnastics Academy . . . . they are a little farther away from us, but they are incredibly good, they win every state competition, most of the regionals, and three of their level 10 gymnasts are ranked in the top 80 gymnasts in the entire country. We decided that if we are going to do this, we want to do it right - and the both have the same membership dues, so you can't go wrong.
This is a future CHAMPION right here! :)

The One With the Soccer Firsts

Last week Parker started soccer for the very first time in the history of ever!
Eric was a remarkebly good soccer player in high school (all-state), but I really don't know anything about it other than that you kick a ball through a net and Mia Hamm as insanely masculine abs.

I want my littles to experience being great at something. I want them to have the ego boos that comes from them being great at sports and I want them to start learning discipline while they are young so once they start school they can be good with time management and get good grades. Plus, I figure if we start them young enough maybe they can get scholarships to college and I won't have to choose between their savings being used for mission/wedding or college.

These little soccer players are adorable. In a round about, unintentional way, Parker ended up on the same team with four other boys from our ward. It is awesome! They all get along super well! Some of the boys have done a season of soccer before so they are a little more advanced, but I think it helps Parker and the rest of the team know what they are supposed to be doing.

Yesterday was Parker's first soccer game ever. I lost count on the score once we were up 27 to 3. The poor other team, it really was no contest. Parker did great, he assisted with a few goals, and ran super fast (we just need to work on him not being interested in watching his shadow while he runs). I am super excited to see where this first season of soccer takes him!

The One With the Concealed Weapon

At the first of the year Eric surprised me with a date . . . .  to a concealed weapons course.
My family was never huge into guns and hunting.
Surprising since they all grew up as farmers and ranchers, I know. My dad had a rifle in our house, but I don't know that it has ever been shot. Luckily we never had someone break into our house to find out if it even works. Eric's family is HUGE into guns and hunting. They can talk about guns for hours - and often they do. I typically glaze over, not really knowing much about what they are talking about.
My knowledge of guns goes something like this:
pull trigger
In this scenario I can only pray that the gun is already loaded.
Anyways, we sat for a few very long hours (4 1/2) at this concealed weapons course. And then we went out the next day and bought us soem concealed. Eric's family is all very concerned that with all the new gun control laws coming down the pipeline that we may not be able to buy in the future. That is why my dear sweet hubby has bought 4, yes that's right four, guns in the past two and a half months.
Moving on from January when we took the course to now.
Now Eric has a job and is on his graveyard rotation, which means I am home ALONE with our kiddos five nights out of the week. We have a security system on our house, and to be honest I think that 95% of our neighborhood is LDS the remaining 5% are all nice good people, so I doubt we will ever have an issue, but it's always good to be prepared, right?

Right before Eric started his graveyard rotation he thought it might be a good idea for us to go to a shooting range and get me used to shooting the pistols we already have again, and then to actually shoot my new concealed weapon for the first time.
Shooting guns is weird.
It's good, don't get me wrong.
But I have this strange need to be a great shot without any practice.
Plus every time I pull the trigger I think something along these lines, "There goes a $2 bullet." And then it gets even harder for me to continue shooting 30 rounds through the gun knowing that it amounts to $60 total. I'm so cheap I guess.
Shooting a gun is also kind of therapeutic. And it's good for me to know that if anything ever did happen, I would have the ability to defend my family without anything crazy happening.
My gun is a Ruger LCP .380 - for those of you who are like me and don't necessarily know what that means, it is a bigger bullet which means more damage, and hopefully no one chasing after me. It also has a laser sight, which I like. I would never use this gun to protect us in the home - I much prefer the .40 caliber (even bigger bullet) that is behind my bed. This little gun has a super heavy trigger pull, but if I'm going to carry it around in my purse on the off chance some crazy person comes into the restaurant I am eating at, I figured I should shoot it a couple times. These were the first six shots out of my concealed . . . . I think he's dad.

The One With the Diva's Birthday

I cannot believe that this little princess is now three years old!
Looking back I can't really say the last three years have gone by fast, but it sure seems like that sometimes. This little girl is the most amazing little blessing that has ever come into our lives, she has taught us so much about faith in our Heavenly Father's plan for us, and how to hold on to and love the moments we do have with our children - they truly do not last forever, although I am grateful I will get to spend eternity with them.

Preslie is full of spunk.
Though she is but little, she is fierce.
I know everyone seems to be saying that about their daughters nowadays, but that statement is so fitting for this little girl. She is this little ball of independent fire all wrapped into a gorgeous, under three feet tall, package.
She is a fiery one.
She knows what she wants.
She knows when she wants it.
She is also one of the most loving little girls I have ever met, she is forgiving, and she is always concerned when others are sick.
Preslie's birthday was a little rough this year.
After Christmas, and Paxton's birthday party, a crazy trip to Portland, school, church, etc etc etc (does the list really ever end???) it seemed like an impossible task to pull of the typical HUGE birthday parties that I like to.
It didn't help either that Preslie's idea of what she wanted her birthday to be like changed daily hourly.
Strawberry Shortcake
Minnie Mouse
Hello Kitty
My Little Pony
Tea Party
I think she may have even asked for a princess pirate one in there somewhere. It was a little nuts. I kept thinking that as we got closer she would eventually decide on one, but she didn't. And if I tried to say "I think we should do [this] one" and it wasn't what she wanted at that moment, it started a sobbing fest.
It ended up being finals week for BOTH Eric and I as well (all this schooling will be worth it eventually, right???) so we really ended up doing it a lot more low key than I probably would have liked. I do plan on taking her and some family and friends out to a little cafe here that does tea parties, she is obsessed with teapots at the moment.
In the end we didn't do too much of any theme. We aren't HUGE cake eaters so we had strawberry shortcake with raspberry mouse. When we went to the store to get some supplies Preslie found these red velvet cupcakes and swore she had to have them. So we got them for cake instead, added some oreos to make them Minnie Mouse, and TA-DA done!
(for the record, we found these cupcakes at Walmart, they are peanut/tree nut free perfect for my nephew who has a bad allergy and they are delicious!!!)

Little Miss got spoiled rotten!

Getting Preslie to pose for pictures usually goes a little bit like these next three pictures . . . . she loses interest pretty fast. 

 From us this year Preslie got a tricycle to ride at grandma and grandpa's while we are at work, a pillow car just like Paxton's to ride while we are at home, the entire Strawberry Shortcake collection (insane), TONS of clothes, a sleeping bag (that she never wants to get out of), shoes, and underwear (That's right folks, we now are completely potty trained!).

I am so grateful to have this gorgeous little miracle girl eternally sealed to us. She is my favorite little princess!

Friday, March 1, 2013

The One With McDonalds

Eric has been working at University of Phoenix for a little over 18 months now. It's been awesome. I really don't think I could ever express how great this job has been for us. Discounted schooling. Regular paychecks. And MEDICAL BENEFITS! Man! With all the surgeries we've had in the past six months we could have easily been bankrupt if we had private insurance.

University of Phoenix is going through some "restructuring" right now. Although the company is extremely profitable (grossing over several billions of dollars last year) new restrictions are pushing them to layoff thousands of employees. About 9 months ago they laid off over a thousand employees and shut down 125 campuses over the country. And ever since they have been letting go of a few hundred people per month.

The Idaho campus will be fine. Of that we are pretty sure. And as long as the Idaho campus remains open I think Eric would have a job. He's relied on pretty heavy there, and involved in a bout a bajillion committees. That being said, uncertainty kind of sucks! And when people think there is a possibility there job is on the line, they can go kind of nuts!

When Eric got told from a friend (and former UofP employee) that Simplot was hiring, he applied. Eric interviewed . . . along with six other people, several of which actually worked at the plant already, but in the end Eric was offered the job. Like we really thought that wouldn't happen??? Our entire marriage shows that if Eric interviews for a job, he gets it . . . . at least it's never happened otherwise. What can I say, he's a charmer!

This last Monday, February 25th was his first day on the job. He worked Monday and Tuesday, and now he starts in the shift the guy whose job he took over was in: GRAVEYARDS!!!! YUCK! Good thing is they rotate the work schedules every quarter, so he only works graveyards until April instead of a solid three months, which is nice. Technically this job he took is temporary - basically his job is to shut down the plant in April of 2014 as they are combining three plants into one state of the art facility. Sounds a little nuts to take a job you know has an end date, right? Well he could move to the new plant, and he could get one of a thousand other jobs at Simplot, they are a HUGE company! Plus the pay increase was rather large, so I think we can make it work. They told him Simplot takes care of their own and if he's good (which we know he is) there will always be a spot for him.

When Eric told the kids he was no longer working at University of Phoenix they were pretty bummed. Parker asked Eric what his new job was like. Eric said he was now the plant manager for Simplot and Simplot makes things out of potatoes like french fries and they sell them to placed like McDonalds.

Now Parker's favorite thing to tell people is how his dad works at McDonald's. From collegiate suit-wearing graduate to khaki loving potato eater in one fail swoop. People will think we are nuts. But for the record  . . . . it's not McDonald's it is SIMPLOT! :)

The One With Helen Keller

Yes . . . . it's been a solid month with no postings. . . .  I know, it's bad.

I keep thinking "once we get past 'such and such date' things will finally slow down". Only it's like a mirage, and after such and such date occurs there are really ten more things that have to happen before life will slow down. I guess I'm finally starting to realize that the concept of life slowing down is really just a joke and I should put on my big girl underwear and get used to it. Time to master life.

Tuesday, January 29th we went in for Preslie's post-op after her second surgery for the tumor removal. Lots of good news - finally. Incision is healing great, and everything came back completely benign! Two thumbs up! This girl doesn't get many good doctor visits, but that's starting to look up too!

Wednesday Eric and I went and sat at a hearing doctor's office for like three hours. It was insanely long and mostly boring. Basically Eric has been deaf since approximately 3 minutes after I met him. I'm pretty sure Eric has "selective" hearing . . . . as in he can hear when he wants to hear, but anything I say something like "it'd be awesome if you'd clean the bathroom" somehow that gets missed. All kidding aside Eric is a great husband! But I have been trying to lower the loudness of my voice for the past six years (a loud voice seems to be genetic in my family), and Eric constantly saying "What???" is making it hard to keep to minimum decibels.

After an excruciatingly long doctor's visit that really left me wondering "why the heck am I here???" the doctor finally hit us with this one: Eric has a Vestibular Schwannoma . . . . also known as an Acoustic Neuroma. . . . also known as a small, slow growing tumor on the acoustic nerve that goes from the ear to the brain.

Another tumor? In this family? NO WAY!

I've reached the point where it doesn't even surprise me anymore. Instead of shock I move to - okay who do we call to get it removed? I don't even ask cost either, because who cares??? This is is hearing right?? Since it's so slow growing they are going to watch it for a bit. We head back to see Dr. Van for an MRI and his opinion of how to proceed. Southwest Idaho ENT must adore us and all the money we hand over to them.

Monday - post op. Tuesday - another tumor. We are on a roll.

Wednesday Eric had is yearly visit with his eye doctor. Last December (2011) Eric went in right before Paxton was born and got glasses. He's severely color blind but apparently a bit far-sighted as well so he got glasses. In the entire year he's had them I think I've seen him wear them three times. They look awesome so he should wear them more. But mostly he wears them for looking at a computer and driving.

This time the eye doc hugely dilated his eyes and kept him for a whopping two hours for an appointment that was only supposed to be about 30 minutes. Why you may ask? Well the answer is simple . . . . Eric has glaucoma.

Yes you know, that thing that only old people get where the pressure in the eye builds up so much that it makes them go blind???? Yes, that. My 29 year old husband in the past two months has gotten shingles which only old people get, glaucoma which only old people get, and a rare tumor in his head. The luck we have in the Marshall house will be legendary.

The way I see it, within about 15 years I will be married to Helen Keller - no sight, no hearing . . . we've already started learning how to sign into each others hands.

But only kind of.

Good news is that nowadays glaucoma is pretty easy to treat. They give you some eye drops that decrease ocular pressure, so that should be nice. Plus glaucoma is one of the most popular diseases that can receive a prescription for medical marijuana. So if all else fails in the career world we can always have a career as a dealer.