Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Home, Sweet Home

Ah, Colorado... if ever there was a more wonderful place, I don't want to know about it, because our families live here.
Seriously, it was a fabulous trip and we were glad to see everybody. We must admit that it was in no way whatsoever the most relaxing trip we've ever taken. There were 13 people staying in the house - five of whom were age five or under. Two of them would wake up every night several times, depriving their poor mother and most of the rest of the household (not to mention themselves) of much-needed sleep. To quote their grandmother, "If they weren't so cute, we'd drown them in the river."
They are intensely cute, however (lucky for them), so it was nice to be around them. The unfortunate drawbacks to having so many cute nephews all under one roof is that nobody can really do much other than babysit or cook for any extended amount of time. This means that the quality time we came for with our in-Hawaii-residing family was hard to find until long after all of the kids were down for the night. So most nights we were up until the wee hours, trying to have adult conversations and wash the dirty diaper smell from underneath our fingernails. Both Kira and I arrived back home somewhat disappointed that we did not have enough of a chance to do any "real" talking with the rest of the family.
I did manage to sneak away a few times to my own family and get some quality time in there, but of course, it came short of adequate.
If nothing else, our trip has further convinced us that Colorado is indeed the promised land, and home still is and will forever be home. I am now starting to consider graduate school in Colorado Springs more seriously.
Among the more mentionable events of the week was Keely's High School graduation. She was a major part of the program, and sang wonderfully in front of the thousands in attendance.
Next was the mistake I made in coming to my house just in time to get suckered into helping my brother build a swing set. It actually turned out pretty nicely, but throughout the entire process an image kept flashing through my mind of three cavemen standing around, grunting and scratching their heads, unsure of what they should be doing. But it did take only 3 trips to Lowe's to complete the job.
Another was going to see Spider Man 3. In short, it's worth seeing, but there was just too much going on. See it, but don't spend $8.
Kira and I also picked out a baby quilt for Avey. It will match our quilt pattern, but with different, more girly colors. My mother also made some absolutely adorable booties (in addition to the other ones). Kira and I are getting very excited to have our place covered in pink!
We also had a luau for Keely's graduation, put together by our resident Hawaiians. The food was incredible, and the hula dancing class was a riot! If anybody is looking for some caterers, I know a couple, but they're not cheap.
In other news, I had a phone interview while there, and yesterday I went in for a second interview. It couldn't have gone much better, so I am very excited and think this may be the one. I'll let you know.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Furniture

Well, thank you all for your congratulations, etc. on our happy news! We are very excited to be new parents. We've talked some about what makes us so excited and we both agree that it's the joy and privilege of witnessing and taking part in the forming of a brand new person. We're ecstatic to get to know our little daughter when she enters the world, and to learn about life all over again as she learns for the first time. Kira hit 20 weeks yesterday, so we're about halfway there!
If any of you noticed the comment about arranged marriages, that was a little idea we had with our good friends, the Bishops. They have two little, adorable boys and we were already talking of a good old-fashioned betrothing before we were sure we're having a girl. I've begun to draw up the papers, now we just need to decide which boy we want little Avey to marry. One is just a few weeks and the other is 18 months or so. Oh, decisions...
Speaking of the Bishops, Kira and I now break into tears every time we pass their house (they were neighbors until just a couple of weeks ago). They say they moved to the other side of the country for an internship, but deep down I know that it was because I didn't bake them cookies often enough (sniff).
This has probably been my busiest week since December. We got some solid furniture a couple of weeks ago, but they needed a little work, so that's been my project for the past little while. The first is a coffee table that needed some refinishing badly. After a lot of sanding, staining, and fumes up the wazoo, it has turned out beautifully (the picture doesn't really do it justice). The other big project was our new kitchen table. It was in great shape, but the legs were hideous. I sanded those down and painted them and now it looks practically brand new. The table also came with a drawer with no bottom and it was stuck tight. So it took a few trips to Home Depot, but I got a new knob and bottom for the drawer and after days of sanding all over the place to figure out where it was sticking, we are in business with a beautiful table! All for only $20 (plus paint, sandpaper, the knob, the drawer bottom, and countless man hours).
Because we are moving into an unfurnished place in September, we've been feeling pressure to get cracking on acquiring our own. This week, we bought a sofa and an entertainment center. Those, along with the two couches and entertainment center already in our living room made for quite a claustrophobic nightmare! Yesterday, I spent a lot of time emptying out our place to make room, moving a bed, a kitchen table, the old entertainment center, a couch, and an end table down two flights of stairs with the help of a neighbor. But all the effort has paid off and our place looks like home!
As far as jobs, I am currently waiting to hear back from one at Kira's company, and I interviewed for a position with the state of Utah yesterday up in Salt Lake. That interview went great, but I won't hear back about a second interview until mid-June. I had another lucky break this week too. About a year ago, I volunteered at a place Kira interned, and I had checked with them about openings a few months ago. They said they'd have something open in June or so, so I've been checking periodically with no results. Then I checked this week out of the blue and there was the spot I wanted, posted on their website. I printed off and filled out an application, went up there and ran into the HR guy there at the entrance. It couldn't have gone much better. I should interview once we're back from Colorado.
I've blabbed enough. We leave for Colorado on Monday and can't wait to see everybody!

Friday, May 11, 2007

The System Works

...and the "girls" have it! Yes, that's right, it's a GIRL! We had the ultrasound at 2pm today, and know for sure.
We didn't realize that democracy also works for choosing the sex, but here is the living proof. The pictures are just scanned, so not the highest quality, but you get the idea.
We had a nice mix of responses for the poll, the "girls" just beating the "boys" by two votes. The reasons behind the votes were pretty interesting, including the trouble we're having finding names for boys, family history, our personalities and what they would fit, and so on. We actually had one vote for "a cute tiny kitty" by a two-year-old nephew. Although that would be nice too, we're both much more pleased with a human girl (though she is pretty tiny).
My dad had worked out the odds in our family based on history and found that the odds were 80% in favor of a boy. Well, looks like we've beaten the odds! You could also consider this a manifestation of Murphy's Law, because now we have almost no source for hand-me-downs.
Above is the proof. You can kind of see the structure of the pelvic bones and the femurs protruding down and to the left. Those two teeny white lines to which the arrow is pointing are the labia. If it were a boy, there would be a single, much bigger white line right in the middle (sorry if anyone's grossed out by this).
And here is her hand with digits 1 through 5, beginning with the pinky. She was wiggling around quite a bit while the guy was trying to get good shots of different parts. She's a lively little one! And she's very shy; we didn't get a very good shot of the face because she kept twisting away. We got a very clear view of the profile and she's beautiful! We are now getting very excited to start looking at little pink dresses, etc.
Oh, and I suppose I should actually reveal her name; she is Avey Elaine Ricks. Avey is Kira's grandmother's name, and Elaine is my grandmother's name. We've had that name picked out for about a year and a half, and we can officially use it now!
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Sunday, May 6, 2007

Cribs, and another poll

This was actually quite an uneventful week. I'm sort of at a loss for what I should type.
The biggest news was that we bought a crib for our upcoming bundle of joy (and poop). I think I was more anxious to get buying the furniture because, as the father, very little changes for me to remind me that the baby's on the way. I get impatient because I don't feel sick when I smell food, my tummy doesn't expand, and I don't feel kicks and jabs inside of me (Kira limits them to my shoulder, usually). I really just sit around for nine months, twiddling my thumbs, taking orders from the wife. I've tried to stay involved by researching the whole process and stuff, but after a while, you've heard it all a hundred times. So I think it helps to keep a fairly constant flow of "baby" this and "baby" that coming into the house to keep me feeling like we're progressing.
Anyway, so the crib - if you'll recall my post on prom dress shopping, I was terrified to actually take this on. A crib is a significantly bigger purchase than a prom dress (no offense, Keely). I guess that's partially why I wanted to start sooner than later, because I feared the baby would be crawling before Kira decided which crib she wanted. However, I was pleasantly surprised that we went to only two stores and it took a total of two hours to pick out both the crib and the mattress! Maybe my subtle sighs of boredom are finally beginning to work their magic! I also saw Lee Cummard, of BYU's championship basketball team there in Babies R Us also. That was wild.
Yesterday there was a stake-wide yard sale to raise money for the young men and women for summer camp or something. I showed up at 8:20am, and there were already about 150 people there. I scrambled to find any good stuff and found a really great kitchen table for $20! It'll need a little cleaning up, but is solid and will look great when I'm through with it. When Kira came for our second sweep of the sale, we couldn't help but look through the infant clothes. That got us even more excited and we even bought a few that would work for either gender.
Speaking of which, we find out whether it's a boy or a girl this coming Friday, and I will post it immediately, so stay tuned!
Until then, let's take another poll for the gender of the child. Give us your vote on if you think it will be a boy, girl, and/or twins. And why you so think, if you'd like. Comment, or email us.