Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Last Florida Post - I promise!

Who knew a 5 day trip would give me so much blog worthy material? I know, it'a little annoying but humor me for just a little longer...
I have have complied a 6 minute highlight video of our Florida Trip. Don't feel bad if you choose not to spend 6 minutes that you will never get back watching someone else's home movies. Hell, I don't know if I would. That being said, it is pretty cute to see Owen and Drew interact - ahem, correction - to watch Drew climb all over Owen while he whines like a baby (no offense to babies).
I was playing around with the video editing software so you'll see some special effects!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close up"

I mentioned the professional pictures Owen had done in FLA by Anne's friend Stacey The proofs are in!

I've included a few pictures but if you want to see all the proofs - go to All in a Moment Photography, go to proofs, click on Owen 5/10/08. Your user name is your email address (not mine, whatever your email address is) and the password is 5678. My sister and her fiancee's picuture is in the gallieries section under "In Love" (A few of Owen are up too under "Growing"!).

I was so excited to have Owen's pictures taken by someone we knew and who knew Owen's story. I was amazed by how she was able to capture Owen's personality! The below pictures are just a few of our favorites (they are low resolution so they can't be copied and printed). These pictures are owned by All in a Moment Photography so please do not copy and reproduce.

Flying with Owen

I totally forget to mention how Owen did on the flights. Thanks Sarah for reminding me. The fact that I didn't say something like "...and all the while Owen was screaming his head off.", in my nightmare flight story, should be a good indicator. He did great!

We are so lucky to have this kid. He was so good through the entire thing from the minute we stepped into the airport until we got our bags. It must be mentioned that both of our flights were past 8:00pm which made it easy to get Owen to sleep. On the first flight, he slept pretty much the entire time. On our flight back, he was awake enough to look out the window during take off and make friends with the dad (thank god!) sitting next to us. He really loved the speed of the plane on the runway.

As good as he was, we were armed to the teeth with baby tamers. Touch and feel books, his Elmo remote control, a portable DVD player with his favorite videos and yes - get out the bad parent award - a sucker. We tried the DVD player because he got a little fussy about 15 minutes into our return flight. However, in the grand tradition of electronic reliability, the batteries went dead about 7 minutes in. It was supposedly fully charged. The whole row noticed that the DVD screen went black and everyone held their breath, waiting for the enevitable wail of displeasure. Luckily, it never came. We moved on the the grandaddy of all shutter uppers - the bottle.

I was very surprised to see so many children on both of our flights. It's as if the late flight is a underground baby secret that you must figure out for yourself, like some sort of ancient rite of parenthood. It was nice to have other parents on the plane. I defintely didn't get any "Oh, crap! What sort of moron would bring a baby on a plane?" stares.

Here's Owen at Jose Cuervo's Tequilla Grill in the airport. Travel Tip # 131 - Never eat Mexican before stepping on a plane. Travel Tip #1 - NEVER feed your kid Mexican before putting him on a plane.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Family Blogs

OK - so I'm totally and inspiration and trendsetter. And while we are at it, I'm super cool, awesome, and a great dancer.
My family has started to blog! No, no, I'm not talking about my mother yet, sorry to disappoint. My sister has started a blog as has my cousin Jim. I also want to indroduce Stacey who is one of my sister's best friends and watches Drew while Anne is at work. She is also a very talented photographer who took Owen's picture while we were in FLA. I will post picts when I get them!
Anne - Smith Party of Five
The Thelens - 21st Century Dad
Stacey - The Cheesemans (Love Our 4) and All in a Moment Photography

Reunited and it feels so good!

Oh boy - do I have a travel nightmare for you guys! But let's not start out with the negative which, by the way, was the only negative of the trip. Let me just tell you how WONDERFUL it was to see my beloved sister and nephew! I have not seen that little bugger since January and at this stage of development, 5 months is a long time! We were lucky enough to sneak away for 5 days to visit Anne & Drew in North Port, Florida

Have you seen the T-Mobile commercial where they have the teenage cheerleader in a booth and they are monitering her talk time while she proceeds to go on for hours? (I included the link for your viewing pleasure). Drew is the 15 month old boy version of that. He has the vocabulary of a toddler and isn't afraid to use it. It is absolutely the most fun thing to be around. Listening to him talk was bar none my favorite part of the trip. He has the cutest voice and says everything in question form He says: "Dodo? (dog), mama?, dada?, baba? (bottle), bubbles?, brush?, nice?, baby?, mimi? (grandma), light?, Dan? (which he picked up while we were there), night-night? up? down?, lissy? (for his sis Alyssa), Stacy? and Ellen? (Anne's best friends), ditty? (for kitty, which I taught him), Melmo? (Elmo), nana? (bananas), noodle? and more that I'm sure I'm forgetting. My absolute favorite word he says? "Pop pop". It's not so much the word but how he says it. Its the only word he doesn't form into a question and the only one he whispers. It stands for grandpa which makes the fact that he whispers it hilarious. It's almost reverent, the way he whispers "pop pop" all quiet and serious. You would think he was the grand child of Don Corleone.

Drew will also "woof, woof" when you ask him what a dog says, moo for a cow and get this, go "Ohhhohhhh" when you ask him what a Seminole says! Because he was such a mynah bird, it was soooo tempting to want to teach him some...a-hem...more interesting words. Alas, we kept it clean, but he was picking up on "poopy" by the time we left.

Beyond his broad vocabulary, he is just the most adorable kid ever! He has this wrinkley nose little smile and makes a "freak out face". He is mellow and fun. I want to cry just thinking about the fact that I can't see him everyday.

How did Owen get along with Drew...hmmm....well....Owen was not too sure about Drew at first. Owen is very much in his head (is he too young for a shrink?) and Drew is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (hmmm, now that I think about it, this is strikingly similar to my sister and I). Drew really wanted to love on his cousin. He would pat his head, climb all over him and play with the same toys. Owen whined like a 12 year old girl so we told him to toughen up! The tide turned however, when Owen wrestled his bottle out of Drew's hands. He seemed pretty pleased to have asserted himself and mellowed a little after that.

Owen loved his Aunt Annie and her stepdaughters Alyssa and Carly. Owen is a sucker for the ladies and Alyssa and Carly had him captivated, as I am suspecting they will do to several boys as the years go on. They are truly stunning and wonderful little girls.

OK - the bad news about the flights. We flew out of Detroit Metro airtport which is about and hour and 15 minutes away from our house. Our flight was at 6pm so we left at 2:30 pm. Plenty of time right? Not so much. 1 mile before our exit, we hit traffic due to an accident. Long story short, we missed our flight. Because we booked through Priceline, Delta Airlines told us that they couldn't do anything. Priceline said that getting us on another flight was at the discretion of Delta. Does this sound like the runaround? Yeah, well it was. No one would help us so we ended up paying for another flight down to FLA. Flash forward to Monday morning the day of our return flight. I go online to print our boarding passes only to find that our itinerary has been cancelled. We have no returning flight booked. Unbeknownst to us, it is airline policy to cancel the return flight of a roundtrip when the departing flight was missed. I suppose this would make sense if we had simply not shown up at all but we did! We were at the Delta counter for 1 hour! They knew we got on another flight to Tampa! Priceline once again was awful and said they could not help us. Our only option was to book another flight back. Unfortunately this flight didn't get in until 11:30 pm that night and I worked at 8:00 am the next day. My mother, who should be up for sainthood by the way, booked and paid for our flight back. I don't care how old I get, I will never be too proud to have my mommy bail me out (well, just hopefully not out of jail)!

All in all however, every minute of the trip was worth it and I would do it again just to see Anne, Drew, Steve, Alyssa and Carly. My sister looks so beautiful (bitch!). The life she has built herself in Florida, away from her family, is amazing. She is one of those people who can go anywhere and adapt. She can walk into a room knowing no one and have 10 lifelong friends by the time she leaves. I wish I had more of that.

Alright, alright, enough talky talky and on to the pictures!

Drew's "freak out face"! Cousins don't shake hands, cousins gotta kiss!! Cat with her favorite boys! Blending into the Flordia scene with these cool shades. Daddy, Owen and the Florida sunset. Dan and Stever were nice enough to take the boys for the night so Anne and I actually had a girls night out! Looks like it started out pretty fun huh? Drew would point to Owen's diapers and say "Melmo?". Eventually he just started calling Owen Elmo. Drew is excited to have a bath buddy! Owen's making sure Daddy's face has plenty of sunblock on it.
Sun = endorphin = happy baby! Alyssa, Anne and Carly. How's this for a post baby body? My and my boy enjoying the Gulf of Mexico. Just to be clear, Owen is taking the binky from Drew and not giving it too him! These are our kids on Elmo! It's like baby crack!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Seve and Caleb

It is with a very heavy heart that I post the passing of Caleb Smith son of Seve and Scott Smith on May 12th, 2008 at 8:05 am. I will let Seve tell you in her own words about the short, yet remarkable life of little Caleb.

I have the birth story of Caleb. First off I would like to thank everyone who has said prayers in our behalf. We would not have the peace and comfort we feel without them.
I was scheduled for the c-section on 5/12/08 at 7:30 am. I came to a Dr.'s visit on 4/30 to have an amnio and drain the excess fluid off of Caleb. The Amnio made me have contractions 4 min. apart. Luckily after 2 hrs. of trying they got the contractions stopped and told me I was not returning to Bozeman, I had to stay on hospital bed rest for as long as possible. I made it to May 12th. However, not to 7:30 am.
I woke up at 5:30 am having very strong contractions every 2 min. At about 6:00 my water broke, a bad thing because the babies were both breech and I was completely dilated and was ready to push. During all of this my room became chaos. I was rushed into the OR and I had pushed 3 times before they put me under General Anesthesia and did an emergency c-section. David was born at 6:41 screaming, and rushed to the NICU. Caleb was born at 6:42 with more of a whimper and was taken back to the NICU where Scott got to spend an hour with the boys as I recovered. At about 7:30 I was wheeled into my recovery room and Caleb was brought in. Scott, his Dad and brother gave Caleb a blessing. After the blessing Caleb was placed on my chest, I stroked his hair, checked out every inch of him. He had bi-lateral club feet, I call them his patty-cake feet, he did have the shorted arms and legs, chubby little cheeks, perfect little hands, a cleft palate and the most beautiful navy blue eyes. He took his last sigh at 8:05 am. He stayed with us for 1 hr. 23 min. the most precious 20 minutes of my life. We got to have him with us until 8:30 pm. We got the chance to bathe him, so snuggle with him, to get tons of pictures, including all 3 of my boys together and getting kisses. We were in the NICU with him and David, David started to cry, we laid Caleb next to him, he grabbed Caleb's hand and instantly settled down. Now when I hear David cry I wonder if he too is morning the loss of his brother.
Caleb was 13" tall and 6 lbs. dark brown hair, dark blue eyes.
David is 18" tall and 4.8 lbs. dark brown hair, and dark blue eyes.
Although they are not identical twins you can definantly tell they are brothers.
David has followed in his older brother's footsteps and looks just like Ethan who looks just like Daddy. Caleb has more of my traits.

Thank you for all the kind words and support.

Please visit Caleb's Collage and pray for Seve and her family. They will need a lot of support in the days and years to come. http://www.astfurtography.com/Calebcollagenilmdtsresized.jpg

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I apologize for being MIA! Our computer has been out of commission for a little over a week. So I'm taking the little time that we do have to post to say...I may not be posting for a little while!
The Pistons don't play at home until next Tuesday and there are no scheduled concerts at the Palace this week so Dan and I are taking the down time to go to Florida!! Nothing like a last minute vacay to get the juices flowing. I will post all about our big FLA trip when I get back!