Thursday, August 26, 2010

Random Pictures - July and August

Here are some random pictures:

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Yogurt Incident

Noah really likes the Soy yogurt that Jill found for him.

But one day, Jill bought some regular milk based yogurt that was in a container that looked extremely similar to the soy version.

Unfortunately I did not notice my mistake until Noah had had a few bites.

As you can see, he was not amused by my mistake. Nor was I.

He also was not amused that I stripped him down and took pictures!

We love Benedryl!

There are a few more pictures here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day Trip to New York

We drove up to New York City for a day trip. I have been through the New York airports and several places in up-state New York, but I had never actually done the whole city thing before.

We stole commandeered the Kneeland vehicle again and drove up to the Staten Island Ferry. We rode the free ferry across to the bottom of Manhattan. The ferry passes right by the Statue of Liberty.

We walked through Battery Park, then up Broadway, past the Stock Exchange and Trinity Church.

We ate gyros and hot dogs from a food cart in Zuccotti Park.

We walked by Ground Zero and looked at some of the memorials and all the construction going on.

Next we found the metro station, then walked and walked and walked through the tunnels until we found the right platform that we wanted to be on. 

We rode the train up to Time Square then we walked and wandered a bunch more stopping in a few shops to browse (and purchase).

Eventually we walked up to Central Park where we rode one of the bike rickshaws around the park.

Next we hit FAO Schwarz, the Apple Store, and The Plaza. Then we walked down to the American Girl Place, Rockefeller Plaza, WitchCraft sandwhich shop, NBC, a Cupcake shop and back to Time Square.

We caught a taxi all the way back to the ferry. Unfortunately the where only able to catch small glimpses of the fabulous sunset as we rode in the taxi. By the time we got the ferry, the sky was getting dark.

It took us several tries to get out of St. George with the confusing one-way streets but we finally found our way to the freeway and were back at the Kneeland's around midnight.

We had a great adventure by car, ferry, foot, metro train, bicycle rickshaw, and taxi.

Of course, you can find more pictures here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Camden Aquarium

We visited the Camden New Jersey Aquarium with the Kneeland gang.

Noah loved seeing all the fish.

Maya and Noah liked being able to touch the sharks and rays.

Noah was struggling to make it through the all of the exhibits toward the end.

And he did not like the 4-D interactive movie at all. The water sprays were no fun and we could not figure out how to block all of them.

You can find more pictures here.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Grandma Kneeland's 60th Birthday

We celebrated Grandma Kneeland's 60th birthday while we were in the Philly area.

Linda and Toby hosted the festivities and decorated their house with 50's themed decor.

One of the presents for Donna was a book that we put together.

We gathered lots of photos from her youth, early married life, and each of the kid's childhood and beyond.

It was a fun project, but a lot of work and time to put it together.

Donna's sister, Linda was also in town for the celebration.

You can find more pictures here.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Philly and Baltimore Trip #1

Our summer vacation this year was a trip out East to visit friends and family. We were excited to go as it provided an opportunity to celebrate my mom's 60th birthday and allow me to help host my friend Shelley's bridal shower. For those of you who don't know, Shelley has been a dear friend for the past 17 years. I met her when I moved from Texas to Virginia when I was seventeen. We had fun in high school, visited each other in college (even when I was going to school in Utah) and then had many fun years living in Baltimore. Shelley was even brave enough to have me as a roommate for a few years right before I met Corey. Anyway- I was really excited to be able to help her celebrate her wedding.

We arrived in Philadelphia on a Friday afternoon. We had so much fun being at grandma and grandpa's. This was Maya's first trip to their home and to Philadelphia. On Saturday, we decided to enjoy a beautiful day by being outside.

We met up with Shelley at a State Park in Delaware to go hiking, have a picnic and play around. It was a fun way to hang out and let the kids be kids. We had fun touring a cool nature center and the best part was eating ice cream at a local creamery. Sooo good! On Sunday, we went to church and then spent the day at Linda and Toby's adorable home to celebrate mom's birthday. That is a separate post.

Since Corey and I were in charge of creating the scrapbook gift, Linda and Kelly were in charge of the party. They did a great job. The 50's decorations were so cute and of course there were games to play. They created some fun challenges such as ping pong, hula-hoop, and blowing the biggest bubble. They even had a candy bar filled with 50 and 60's style candy. I think mom liked the scrapbook and I hope she knows how much we love her. Noah's favorite part of the night was playing with the mylar balloon that played music when you hit it.

I was one of several hosts to Shelley's bridal shower. Since her last name is Foote, we thought it would be fun to do a flip flop party. We also were having the shower at her Aunt's house next to the pool. It was initially a challenge to organize everything as the hosts live all over the place, me in Utah, friend in Philadelphia, friend in Texas, mom in Florida, mother in law in Baltimore and aunt in Maryland. But, thanks to email it all worked out. There was an adorable cake, fun games, nail polish favors and delicious food. It was a lot of fun thinking about Shelley and getting excited for her big day. It also wouldn't be a surprise that I caused a hiccup to the day as when I gave everyone a hug to say goodbye and then my car doesn't start. I needed a jump start. Ohhh good times.

I was so grateful my friend Brittany took time to come and visit me with her two adorable boys. We spent the afternoon catching up with each other and having our boys play together. It was so fun to see them. I don't know if everyone knew this but Brittany is a great friend whom I met while attending Utah State. We were both in the social work program and learned as graduation approached that we were both moving to Baltimore to attend UMB graduate program. We played together as members of the Baltimore singles ward and even started working at the same foster care agency for a few years (thanks to her for getting me the job). I am so sad we are now far apart but have dreams of her moving to Utah.

The whole family (grandma, grandpa, Linda, Toby, Kelly and us Burks) drove into Jersey to visit the aquarium. It was a hot and humid day so it was nice do an activity in doors. We enjoyed all the aquarium had to offer and would recommend it to anyone.

Grandpa wanted to some special time with Maya so he took her to one of his favorite places, Valley Forge National Park. I have no idea what they did but I bet grandpa talked a lot and Maya pretended to listen. We appreciate that he wants to spend special time with her.

Once we knew we were planning this family vacation I knew I needed to take Corey and Maya to New York City. With all the years Corey lived in Virginia he never made it up to New York City. As Noah was a big adjustment to the family we really looked forward to taking Maya alone for the day. The day in New York City was busy, hot and so much fun. We drove to New Jersey and rode the ferry into Manhattan so we could have a view of the Statue of Liberty. We walked to the subway and took the subway north to Time Square. We enjoyed Time Square, some lunch and shopping. We then rode on a bike rickshaw around Central Park. We then took a cab through the city back down to the ferry. We stopped at souvenir shops, the American Girl store, M&M World and the Swatch store. It was so fun being in the busyness of the city and spending a special day with Maya.

While I was in Baltimore for Shelley's shower, Grandma took Corey, Maya and Noah miniature golfing. It was special grandma time. Maya even made a hole in one.

Aunt Linda and Aunt Kelly planned a fun date with Maya and Linda's niece Emma who is close to Maya's age. They found a charming old home that hosts tea parties. The girls first went to the craft store and bought items to make fancy hats. They wore the hats to the restaurant where they ate sandwiches and lemonade in tea cups. Maya had a blast and loves spending time with her aunts.

We had an allergy scare on the plane during the flight home, well actually while waiting to take off. Everything was going smoothly until we had to wait for take off after boarding. The weather was bad and we had to wait for planes to land before to could take of. Noah was getting restless, jumped off my lap and found a peanut on the floor. He ate it as most 18 month olds would do. We quickly had him a drink of some water and gave him some Benadryl. We waited anxiously to see what would happen and are grateful he was just fine.

Unfortunately while we were gone, our small aquarium crashed, meaning that all of the fish, corals, snails and crabs died.

We had a great trip, thanks to everyone for making it so fun.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Noah Burns his Hand

CAUTION: You may not want to see the pictures included on this post. There is no blood or gaping open wounds. In fact most of us have had a blister in our lives and know what it looks like once the blister breaks. That's all this is - except that the blister is pretty much the whole hand, on an innocent little boy, and it may make your stomach ache a little bit, you might wince, and you will definitely want the empathy pains to go away quickly.

Second Caution: This post actually has a lot more words than pictures. I know you are not used to that from me, so you may need to pace yourself. OK, I think you have been sufficiently warned. You may proceed now, carefully!

After the aforementioned hike, the family met at Mom and Dad's place for hot dogs and tin foil dinners cooked in the backyard fire pit. This was all as a replacement activity since we were unable to go camping as a whole group.

Dinner was great and as most of us were nearing the end of our feast, Noah tripped and his hand landed in cooling bed of hot coals in the fire pit.

Grandma was instantly up and retrieved Noah before most of us knew what happened. We had a large bowl with melting ice cubes (for our drinks) that was quickly recommissioned into a burn treatment vessel. Matt also suggested applying vanilla so we did that too.

I held him trying to console him, keep his hand cool in the water/ice cubes and try to evaluate the extent of the damage. After about 10 minutes or so, we loaded him up and went to the InstaCare a couple of blocks away.

They rushed us right to one of the rooms and began to check him out.  Unfortunately there really is not much you can do. It is just pain management, keep it clean and wait and see how much damage has been done.

The doctor and nurses wrapped his hand (coated with burn cream) in gauze. Noah quickly ripped it right off.  They tried again and he quickly ripped that one off too. Then we wrapped both hands so that his left hand would not be able to remove the bandages from the right hand. That came off too but it took him a bit longer. So one more time - both hands wrapped up, then ace bandages wrapped around both hands.

During this whole time of me trying to console Noah who is screaming in pain and really annoyed that the nurses kept wanting his hands completely wrapped up, Jill went to drop off a prescription for pain meds (lortab) so that it could be filled as quickly as possible.

Now that he had two clubs for hands, Jill and I swapped. I went across the street to pick up the drugs while she stayed with Noah. Jill said that it was one of the most heart breaking moments she has ever had. Noah was rolling around on the floor trying to get away from the pain. He also was unable to hold onto his bottle which frustrated him even more.

Gratefully the pain medication kicked in pretty quickly. He was quite entertaining as he was clearly not feeling any pain once we got back to the house.

We continued to struggle with the bandages. Each we had to reapply the salve and rewrap. We went back to the InstaCare a couple of days later. They trimmed a bunch of the dead skin off and said that it was looking quite good.

Since we were only a few days away from our big trip to Philly to visit Grandma and Grandpa Kneeland, Jill made an appointment with the UofU Burn Clinic so that we could get a second opinion and make sure we were doing everything we needed to do while we were away.

The burn clinic confirmed that it was looking pretty good. All the skin was pink (meaning second degree burn) not black and charred (third degree). They cut off a lot more dead skin then wrapped him up in a new silver foam treatment instead of the cream. This was much better to administer and let the skin breath more.

They gave us all of the supplies that we needed and we were set for our vacation.

By this time, we were no longer wrapping up both hands. He knew that he was supposed to leave the bandages on his hand. But boy, they are sure tempting! Every day (sometimes multiple times) I had to repair his bandages. He is just too active for them not to fall apart at some point.

The trip to Philly was fabulous. Jill will be writing about those adventures, right Jill?

Each day the wounds looked better and better. Each day the bandages decreased in size. The silver foam allowed us to wrap each finger individually so that he had limited use of his hand. That made him much happier boy than he was with the club hand. By the end of the trip, he was able to play in the water with Grandma's water toys which made Grandma very happy!

We returned to the burn clinic after our trip and they said that everything looked great. We just need to keep applying lotion and massaging the area to make sure that the skin stays soft and pliable.

It is truly a blessing that the burns were not any worse and it is amazing how fast young kids can heal. You really have to look to see any of the original wounds. There are couple of spots on the back of hand that really the only scarring left. Amazing.

You can find more pictures of his hand here.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Family Hike to Donut Falls

We enjoyed an almost annual tradition of hiking to Donut Falls this summer.

It is a fun casual hike that all the kids can enjoy.

There are more pictures here.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Rainbows and Lightning

Here are some fun shots from one of the summer rain storms.

There was a nice rainbow in the afternoon.

Then lots and lots of lightning later that same night.

You can find more pictures here.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Albion Basin

Noah and I went for an adventure up Little Cottonwood Canyon.

It was nice to get out of the valley for a bit.

Noah loved finding his way through the wild flowers at Albion Basin.

It was quite the maze for him since the flowers were often taller than him.

As we worked our way back to the car, we saw a mother moose with two babies.

We watched them for quite awhile only a few yards away from the parking lot.

It is fun having nature so easily accessible.

You can find more pictures here.