East Coast Tour

Check out all of our trip (200+ photos!) here!

 

For Dave's Spring Break we took off in the Civic and visited friends in Newark, NYC, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.  We began the trek in a rainstorm, and the rain continued to fall the ENTIRE way to Newark!  The roads weren't that bad, but the gray, lifeless skies weren't the most entertaining!  We stayed with the Avery family in Newark.  While there, we ate at a nice bagel shop, drove around the town, hung out at their house (they have a month old baby at home, and it was so fun to see such a little guy!), and that night we took a nice walk to  Hoboken and then ate dinner at Tick-Tock Diner-Yum!  DSC03486

Next it was on to NYC, the Bronx to be specific, to stay with Rory and Raphelle.  We went to church with them, and then after a lovely lunch at their place we met Joseph (David's brother) downtown.DSC03518  

Without any planning on our part, it turned out that Joseph was in NYC the same time as us for a Model UN competition!  It was SOOO fun to see him.  We basically walked around the town and talked.  We saw the Temple, Central Park and Columbus Circle.  Then, back on the subway to a wonderful enchilada dinner a la Raphelle.  Monday was spent watching part of the St. Patrick's Day parade on 5th Avenue, Little Italy and Chinatown.  We had a great time!  We ate lunch in Chinatown at a place that looked non-touristy.  The food seemed authentic, and it was great.  The waiters LOVED Harry, and they kept trying to entertain him with orange slices, plastic serveware, chopsticks, etc.  He was spoiled.  We shopped a bit, but didn't buy anything.  Then it was off to Philadelphia for a few hours to see Pat!  It was a wonderful visit.  He took us on a walk around his place, and we ate dinner at a super good Indian buffet.  Pat and David enjoyed rousing conversation about politics!  I don't have much to say about that, so it was fun just to listen!  It was a short visit, but then we were off to Baltimore to stay with the Campos Family.  We spent Tuesday in Washington DC!

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I had never been there and I loved it!  We were able to pack in many monuments and sights in one day:   Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, the Reflecting Pond,  Arlington Memorial Cemetery (and the changing of the guard), WWII Memorial, Korean Veteran's Memorial, The Museum of Natural History (Mammal and Gems Sections) and a bit of the Air and Space Museum-which I thought was awesome!  I wish we could have spent more time there-well, at all of the monuments for that matter.  Oh, we also saw the White House, Vietnam Memorial and Jefferson Memorial from a distance.  There was a neat feeling all around.  To make the day even better, we had found a free parking space, which I was pretty amazed with.  I think my favorite monument was either the WWII or the Lincoln-man, they were all amazing, though.  We spent Wednesday with the Campos' exploring Baltimore.  They took us to the perfect place for us-the Lexington Market.  It is a very old market that is full of pretty much whatever kind of food you would like!  We tried the "best crab cakes in Baltimore"-I guess they are almost world famous (they WERE good!) and we tried clams and oysters on the half-shell.  I liked the oyster better than the clam.  Dave ate a small whole crab, and we got some Mediterranean food for our "real" meal.  It was such a fun time!  Oh, and there were elephants there-yes, REAL, LIVE elephants!  The Ringling Bros. brought them to the south parking lot and it was pretty cool.  Around 2:00 we headed back on the road to return home.  It was a whirlwind trip, and we had a blast!  I am so thankful to all of our friends that let us stay with them.  We are so lucky to have such true and fun friends.  Believe it or not, it basically rained the entire way home too-minus about 1 hour.  We took Highway 40 for part of the way home which was such a beautiful road.  I think it is a national historic road.  Harry was a real trooper on the road and did pretty well with all the driving we did throughout the trip!  I think Harry loved the trip too, he seemed to be totally entertained with all the new things he was seeing.

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Here's the link again to all of our crazy fun times!

Too cute not to post

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AND.... another movie for those that can't get enough.....(like maybe the grandparents?) Harry's talkin' in this one

Harry rolls, sits, talks

It makes us so happy to see Harry learn and grow.  I think especially since he's our first little one, it's that much more exciting to see each "milestone." 

Harry loves to roll all over the place!  It's fun to see him realize that it can get him places!        

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Harry can sit up now!  He'll do it until he gets bored with it and wants to lay down and kick.  I always think it must be exciting to learn to sit up, because it would totally change your view of the world!  Just think about it!  8 months of just staring at the ceiling, and then....hey, things look different!  It makes me so happy to watch him learn!!!

 

Sorry for the almost naked baby footage!  Pretty cute belly though, you have to admit.  He's worked hard for that belly-even putting in hours in the middle of the night!

This is his new thing, he is exploring so many sounds now, but this is his most popular.  Watch his hands and wrists and notice that it looks like he is practicing to ride a motorcycle!  It's so funny!  He's actually done this little motion for a few months now, but he thinks in combination with the new sounds it is just exhilarating!  I'm not sure I approve of motorcycles, but I'll let him practice up for now!

 

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The other night Harry was so bored of being cooped up in the house that he just fell asleep.  Just kidding, it was his bedtime and it was wonderful to have him just gently fall asleep on his own-right in between us.  Luckily, the camera was just close by so we snapped a picture.

SNOW!!!

Well we are being hit with a HUGE snowstorm!  It was about 69 degrees and now it's a total blizzard.  Franklin county is under a "Level 2 Snow Emergency" which means that "Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow.  Only those who believe it is necessary to drive should be out on the roadways.  Contact your employer to see if you should report to work." (10TV News)  There are 12 central Ohio counties that are a Level 3 which means that it is illegal to drive!!  The snow is crazy, but it is sure beautiful.  It's a winter wonderland!  Approximately 10 inches (or more) have fell last night, within 12 hours, and it's been constant all day.  We have been called by visiting and home teachers to tell us that all church meetings are canceled for tomorrow (Dave was supposed to speak!)  I don't even remember the last time church was canceled-I'm not sure it ever was in Utah....well I think I recall one time.  Part of the problem here is that I think the city employs about 3 plows for all of central Ohio; they just lay down buckets of salt.  We wanted to go to the store today, but as the day went on we realized that there was no way we were venturing out in the storm!  Alleyways are definitely not plowed, and the snow is REALLY piled up behind our garage!  I don't have any idea what the freeway is like.  Although I've been a little stir crazy the past few days, it's pretty fun to have a wonderfully wintry day in our cozy home.  I'm going to have a cup of hot chocolate! 

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The snow drifts on our back door.

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Dave went out in the snow so that we could see how deep it really was.

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I like the snow hanging off the garage roof.

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Our front porch covered in snow drifts.  This car is totally buried, I hope they're not going anywhere soon.

 

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Enjoying some family time in our wonderful warm home!

 

Here's the AP article about the storms throughout the country.  There are a few pictures of Columbus.

In the News

Vaccines are in the news again.  Here's my view on why vaccines are such a hot topic:  There are "some reports" of detrimental events/diseases that are caused by vaccines, BUT what about the MILLIONS that have lived healthy, long lives because of it?  If you Google -medical journal autism vaccines- you get 180,000 results.  If you search without the medical journal part, you get 506,000 hits.  It is in the news because of a case involving Hannah Poling.  You can just read the story if you're interested, but basically the family is receiving "compensation."  But, here is a statement from the article in CNN.com today  

"The government has made absolutely no statement indicating that vaccines are a cause of autism," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a conference call with reporters.

"This does not represent anything other than a very specific situation and a very sad situation as far as the family of the affected child."

Parents should continue to get their children immunized, she said: "This is proven to save lives."

As a parent, it is actually a sad story.  I can't imagine Harry very suddenly showing severe signs of autism as Hannah Poling did.  It would be heartbreaking!  That is the problem with things like this-there is a LOT of emotion involved.  Everyone wants to do the best for their children.  What I found in doing my little research fling is that this is a complicated issue.  Take two hot topics, put them together and POW you've got the news reading public engaged.  I really wish I knew more about Autism!  I have a very limited knowledge of it.  But, the more I read, the more studies I found that show there is NO link between the MMR vaccine and Autism.  It's all very interesting reading, though, and anyone who is interested in this kind of thing can read any of the following sites.  I tried hard to look up credible sites, not just the average "hypochondriac.com" site.  I know many people are very against vaccinations, and sure there is evidence against it.  I believe it is hard for people to see the good of vaccines, because a parent may never know the exposure of diseases.  It's like saying, "my child was immunized, and I can definitely see evidence of a wonderful, happy, and extended life because of it."  It's just hard to pinpoint things like that.  So now you probably know my view....get your kids immunized.  I welcome any comments for or against!     

MMR vaccination and autism 1998 -- Roberts et al. 316 (7147): 1824 -- BMJ

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p2065.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Misconceptions about Immunization

ABC News: Vaccine-Autism Fear Fallout Hits U.K. Kids

Autism Speaks, Statement by Dr. Geri Dawson, Chief Science Officer, Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks, In the News, Current News, Parents Speak Out on Vaccine Settlement

CNN.com - Paging Dr. Gupta Blog

Autism Information Center, DD, NCBDDD, CDC

Mitochondrial Disease

Birthday Celebrations

We celebrated our friend Lauren's birthday on Saturday and I thought it was a ton of fun!  Dave made the dinner portion and I made the dessert.  Dave did an AMAZING job on dinner.  It was one of the best meals he's made, I'd say.  At one point in the preparation, he had pans on all five of our elements!  He made a pasta with a lemon/clam/onion sauce, steak prepared in a special way with a creamy dipping sauce, fresh green beans provided by the Stacey's (thank you!) and some yuuuumy chicken wings.  Dave made the sauce, of course without a recipe, and it was such a hit!!  Seriously, they were probably the best wings I've ever had.  We went back and made it a couple days later to actually measure out amounts and stuff so we could make a recipe.  The recipe will be coming in a future post.  Here's a picture just to get your mouth watering!  You will want to make it!

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  I made a cheesecake in the new springform pan that David got for me on half off!  I have been wanting one for a long time, and one day he just came home with it as a surprise!  I must admit, the cheesecake turned out pretty dang yummy.  I just followed a recipe from the Philadelphia Cream Cheese website.  Here is the recipe. 

 

1-3/4 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs

1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted

1-1/4 cups sugar, divided

3 pkg. (8 oz. each)  Cream Cheese, softened

1 cup Sour Cream

2 tsp. vanilla

3 eggs

PREHEAT oven to 350°F if using a silver 8- or 9-inch springform pan (or to 325°F if using a dark nonstick 8- or 9-inch springform pan). Mix graham cracker crumbs, margarine and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Press firmly onto bottom and 2-1/2 inches up side of pan; set aside.

BEAT cream cheese and the remaining 1 cup sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour into crust.

BAKE 1 hour to 1 hour 10 min. or until center is almost set. Turn oven off. Open oven door slightly. Let cheesecake set in oven 1 hour. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Loosen cheesecake from rim of pan; remove rim.

  I just crush up graham crackers in a plastic bag, but you can buy them already crushed if you want.  When it was baking, it puffed up pretty big, but then it does go back down just fine-if this happens to you, no need to worry!  I topped it with thawed out frozen strawberries, and that tasted just great-no extra sugar needed!  It looks pretty too with all the strawberries on top.  You could also use pie filling if you wanted.  

 

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The Staceys are some of our greatest friends!!  They are the kind of people that will always make you feel truly happy, and your worries seem further away after you spend time together-and we ALWAYS have a good laugh together.  Andrew and David served in Italy together, and they were also in our married ward back in Provo for a few months before we all moved out here!        

 

Harry actually went to sleep pretty early (before we ate dinner), but here are some pics just for fun!DSC03322 DSC03323 DSC03324 DSC03325 DSC03326 DSC03329

Harry thinks it's really funny when we put this bowl on his head and lightly tap it with a spoon! 

Basement Renovations

Dave has been doing a lot of work on the basement in order to make it a little closer to a workable space.  It's looking great!  Dave spent a lot of time leveling out the existing dirt patches to get them ready for cement.  We are almost 100% sure that one of the patches was a coal bin back in the day, because there were black remnants of coal in one corner.  Kind of cool!

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Does anyone know what the little loop on a stake is?  In the next picture you can actually see the dust in the air.  This was only the beginning of the dusty fun!  Luckily I had a TB mask left over from when I worked at the hospital. 

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Dave found some cool little trinkets in the dirt, too!  A funky ring, a chunk of coal, an old belt buckle, an old (probably handmade) nail, and who knows what that little circle thing is, but it looked interesting.  We bought a couple bags of cement from Home Depot, and Dave went to town mixing, pouring and leveling a thin layer of cement over the areas that were just dirt.  We ran a hose through the basement window, and I controlled the water outside while Dave mixed it all up and set it.  

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Here is the cement.  It was a LOT of work for Dave!  There is also another patch of dirt that is about 2/3 this size that was also cemented.  Then began the sweeping.  This created so much dust, it is almost unbelievable!  Luckily we learned from the earlier leveling that we needed to turn off the heating system so our whole house wasn't a dust bin!  Dave worked his tail off sweeping the downstairs and did a great job of getting the floors about as clean as they could get-I'm sure it was the cleanest they've EVER been.  But check this out-this is the amount of dirt/dust that was collected by our shop vac.

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Seriously, that all came from our basement.  After the dust had settled from that, there was quite the layer....over everything!  We spent a while dusting everything off down there.  I don't like dust.  Not a bit.  I can't complain though-Dave was down in the dust like 10 times longer than me doing all the hard work!  Not only did he install cement, but he also installed a shop light down there that is hooked up to an existing light.  I told him he could do whatever he wanted with the electric system as long as he didn't burn down the house.  He studied up in the Home Depot book we got on basic household repairs, and it was actually a pretty easy process!  I have the coolest husband.  He is a carpenter (builds tables), mason (lays cement-is that a mason?), electrician (installed the light), and maid (dusting...he he).    And that's only what he's done in the basement!  He is the best!  He is very excited to be that much closer to a space that he can tinker with paintball guns, his bow, his tools....etc.  It is very exciting!  I know I have been somewhat of a slacker in blogging lately, but this week I'll be posting pretty much every day!   DSC03306

I just took care of Bug (one of Harry's nicknames) while Dave did all the dusty, dirty, heavy lifting.  Pretty lucky. 

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