Friday, December 16, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

A collection of family memories from our 2011 thanksgiving trip to California. I know at least a few people who wanted to see these again. Enjoy.

Breaking News!

Our otherwise uneventful Saturday was rudely interrupted right before bedtime with a trip to the emergency room.

Levi was sliding around the kitchen floor with some new slippery flannel pajama pants that are big enough to hang over his feet. I think he was enjoying the ice-skating like sensation when suddenly the ground came up and attacked him. Completely unprovoked. I heard the thud and looked over to find him on his belly with his arms out in front of him. Even before he started crying it was obvious something was wrong with his right forearm. It wasn't anything too bad but definitely something was broken.

So we dropped everything (even left the cookie dough on pans waiting to go in the oven) and drove the 1 mile to the hospital. I guess it is times like these that we're happy to live right next to the hospital, and to have an ER that wasn't busy, and to have competent doctors. And in the interest of full disclosure it may have been a bit difficult for me to hold back the tears while carrying my own wounded kid through triage.

The diagnosis was pretty obvious, but the X-rays confirmed two broken bones in his right forearm.

You can see in the second X-ray how his arm was bent a bit. I'm still having flashbacks to the time my brother TJ broke his arm while we were roller skating. Same thing, except this time I was a tiny bit more help than to just say "Uh Dad, TJ won't stop crying."

After the X-ray Viv and Gwen went back home, and Levi was distracted enough by the movies on my phone to stop thinking about how much he doesn't like hospitals. 

Levi held up pretty well. He didn't like any of it (you could see it on his face) but he was silent while they helped him. They gave him the medication (ketamine, I think, so he was awake but not aware) and then had me step out so as not to faint while they did the reduction (seriously though, why does the medical field insist on using these counter-intuitive terms that force me to have to ask yet another question just to figure out that you're just aligning the bones). And when I got back this was what I saw.
Within minutes he was aware again, and they took another X-ray to make sure everything was ok and we went home (only 2.5 hours in total at the ER which was shorter than I expected). Once I got Levi in the car he was noticeably happier, and he wasn't tired even after giving him some pain medication so we watched movies until 1am like this.
Notice the smile. He was definitely in pain until the cast was on, but it also seems like the hospital was the main cause of the sadness. I don't blame him. By the time we were home he was back to his normal, talkative self. He slept well, and except for the obvious inconvenience of the cast he is doing fine.

In other news, Gwen learned how to roll over and snuck out two little teeth while nobody was looking.

Also, a few hours earlier when Levi still had two functional arms we discovered the grocery store now has kid grocery carts. Levi loved it. OK, I think that is the end of this long post.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gwen, 5 months old

-finally getting on a nap schedule
-happy as a clam in her car seat (woowooo)
-thinks Levi is hilarious
-likes carrots, oatmeal, and pears

-retains a strong suspicion of the general populace
-quite opinionated when tired

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Big Person, Little Person

"I love baby Gwen, can we keep her forever?"
Yes, yes I think we can. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Fun

We had a lot of halloween fun this year.  A party at work, a party at church, a party with work friends, a party at preschool, a party in town, and finally some good ol' trick or treating around the neighborhood, which I think was my favorite part.  Although the party at preschool was awfully cute.

I'm also quite proud of the photo booth I set up at the church party (see below).
And yes, we did walk through snow to get to people's houses to trick or treat.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The inner circle

Two years ago, I decided I wanted to put ads on some of my youtube videos just to see what kind of revenue they generated.  Come to find out, you have to get invited in to the revenue sharing program and before you do that, you have to have a video that people, other than your friends and family, actually watch.  No problem, Rachel and I set about making a wildly popular youtube video called "How to make perfect princess Leia hair".  Which has a been more like "mildly" popular.  THEN fast forward to the present (2 years and 45,000 views later) and I recieve an email with this heading: "Invitation to earn revenue from your YouTube videos".  Whaaat??  I am in! We did it!  Lets start earning the big bucks!

Rachel and I said back when we posted this that we would take any money it made use it for a noble purpose.  But now we can't remember what that was, so any suggestions?  So far we've come up with: ice cream.

Here's the video in case you want to watch and up our view count:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gwen's movie debut

Here's a few clips from the first few months of baby Gwen's life.  Some clips of her and some of what you might have seen if you were her.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sarah and Rachel visit New England

After spending some time in Nova Scotia, Sarah and Rachel stopped by New England on their way home.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Here's an update for you on everyone's favorite 3.5 month old. 
1. She sleeps all night, every night.
2. Her funny hair and surprised expression gives people a good laugh in the grocery store.
3. She is generally good-natured, and will even nap on the fly, when being carried around all over the place in the moby wrap.
4. Has not yet had any major or even minor health issues.
5. Unlike her chubby older brother, is in just the 50th percentile for weight. (See Cons #2)

1. Thinks being in the car seat is how they get answers at Guantanamo.
2. Isn't too keen on being put down.
3. Emphatically refuses to be bottle fed 
4. Seems to have developed early-onset stranger anxiety. This includes such "strangers" as friends that we see almost every day.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Claire and Gordon visit New England: 3 states, 2 countries, 6 varieties of apples, 18 kinds of cheese, 4 kinds of maple syrup, 5 flavors of ice cream, 1 birthday cake

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hair Accessory

Today I did something I wouldn't have guessed I would do. I MADE a hair accessory and put it on my baby. Surprising, that I had fun doing it and not surprising that she looks so cute.
"Make a Gwen face"

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Roommate

Since moving to our new apartment, Baby Gwen is no longer sleeping in the kitchen, but is trying out sharing a room with her big brother. After the first night sleeping together, the conversation went like this. Me: So, did you know that Gwen slept in the same room as you last night? Levi: (surly) Yes. Me: Oh really? How? Levi: "She was making noises ALL NIGHT. Like this "eh eh eh". In the panic I had to hide under my blanket! " So, last night was night #6 and she woke him up at 5am and I'm pretty sure he did not fall back asleep, while the rest of us had no problems.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A casualty of the hurricane

I'll be honest with you, at first I thought this hurricane was wimpy. The news coverage was overdone, people were panicked, and the hurricane was never going to be able to live up to the hype. We watched it rain a lot on Sunday and at times it would get a little windy, but that was it. I might have even said at one point, "Is this all you got?"

When I got to work this morning you can imagine my surprise when people were talking about how Vermont got pounded and all the roads were closed. But yes, somehow we were fine here and 3 miles away there was widespread flooding. For the most part people are ok, but on the VT/NH border the Connecticut river flooded a bunch of big retail stores. And many, many covered bridges were destroyed. Including my favorite one so far in Quechee (pronounced kwee-chee).

Here it is before the storm (doesn't it seem so high up)?

It is right next to a little dam, and a fancy restaurant/glass-blowing place. (and yes, I think Levi kinda wanted to jump in)

We went there for the balloon festival.

And now a storm made it look like this.

Here is a video of the craziness. I'm amazed that water filled the whole waterfall/dam, and flooded the restaurant, and wiped away that walkway we were standing on. I'm sure things will get rebuilt but right now it just looks like a battle zone. Was it because I mocked you, Irene?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Do you see what I see?

I'm excited for fall time to come. We'll be in a new apartment, Levi will start preschool 3 days a week, and I am going to make as many apple pies as is reasonably possible.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

July catch up

We've been fully taking advantage of summer. Going to lakes, rivers, and pools. Eating ice cream cones and roasting marshmallows. We even saw Cars 2 at the drive-in.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What's in a name?

Thought you might like to hear a little background on the name.

Gwen: We spent a lot of time thinking about a name for our baby girl. There was a list of requirements and frequent trips to this website to analyze popularity trends. In the end, it turned out to be the only name that fit all our search criteria and that we both really liked. It means "white, fair, blessed". As an added bonus, one of my Grandma Brown's very best friends was named Gwen.

Sophronia: meaning: wise. Levi Orlando is named after Jerry's grandfather, Jerry Orlando Mortensen. So, we thought it a good trend to stick with a family name for the middle name. So Gwen's middle is after my Grandpa Brown's great-great grandmother Sophronia Kelley. Sophronia Kelley was a Mormon pioneer who joined the church and traveled to Salt Lake City with the saints. She was present when Brigham Young assumed leadership of the church. I found the following story about her on a genealogy website (told by her daughter).

"The next incident I must refer to was while crossing the Missouri River. My mother was driving her own team and wagon of supplies with her baby on her lap. The water was so deep the box on the wagon she was riding in floated off the wagon and tipped over, throwing her and her baby into the water. Her brother, who had crossed the river just ahead, ran down the stream, climbed out on some willows that reached out over the water. Reaching down from this position, he caught her clothes as she went under and held her until help arrived. She was unconscious as they dragged her onto the bank, but was still holding the baby."

As an added bonus, Joseph Smith had a sister named Sophronia. She was born in Tunbridge, Vermont, which is about 30 miles from where we are now living.

Pictured: Sophronia Kelley

some good ones

In case you didn't recognize it, that is Krissie being a Tyrannosaurus for Levi. What a good friend she is.

Friday, July 15, 2011


These pictures make me happy.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Help

I have some amazing parents. After a visit from dad and kathy and then from mom, I felt so lucky and more than a bit spoiled. And Levi, well he soaked up every minute of the grandparent attention. Here's just a sampling of our good times together.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

4 weeks old

I can't do magic with the camera or post production like Viv can, but I tried to snap a few when Gwen had her eyes open this morning. Here ya go grandparents. She'll be 4 weeks old on tuesday.

 Inadvertent smile?

Spooked or suspicious? I can never tell and this seems to be her preferred look when she's just hanging around.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I know a bunch of you probably just want to see baby pics but too bad. Instead I wanted to show you a little demo of our seasons.

Exhibit A: Our visit to Mascoma lake this morning.

Exhibit B: The same lake and roughly the same spot 6 months ago.

Note: If you interested in perfoming miracles, it is considerably easier to walk on water in January.

We're trying our best to enjoy the season (summer season, and newborn season) we are in right now, without getting too anxious about whatever freezes might come our way again.

And I guess I'll put a bonus pic at the end again as a reward for making it to the end of the post. I think they'll be good friends.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

3 weeks old

For my birthday I got myself one of these flashes for our camera, and it is so easy to use I was able to get that pic above. In reality Viv will be the true owner of this gift but at least I got the first taste.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MBA Hood

It took a number of miracles to get me to my Norwich University hooding ceremony last Thursday evening. Dad and Kathy were a huge huge help in making it happen and it was so nice to have them there to celebrate with me. Jerry had to talk Levi out of a total meltdown during the ceremony, which is just a representation in miniature of how he's been supporting me all along.

If you're wondering, I am not actually all the way done, but am in the middle of my final semester right now, which will end in 9 weeks, 8 assignments, and 1 thesis. Still, the end is in sight and I feel quite proud of what I have accomplished thus far. It was great to visit the beautiful campus and meet my classmates that I have been working with for so long.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Baby Pics

Here are some pics to enjoy. We're all home now and everybody seems to be doing good. Nothing much beyond that to report.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gwen Sophronia Thomas born June 7, 2011

Welcome to the family, Gwen.  7 lbs 10 oz and 20.5 inches. Born at 6am.

Just like Levi she's just a few days on the early side, calm, and healthy. The good news is there isn't much to report. With such a sensitive process where so many things can go wrong, we're grateful that there haven't been any problems. The cord was wrapped at least twice around her neck (probably from all those in utero somersaults), but luckily it wasn't an issue. Both she and Viv are doing well and hopefully they'll get some sleep tonight.

Here is the before picture. Making labor look fun.

Here is the after picture. Ready for a nap.

Levi was excited to go visit the hospital this afternoon. I showed him some pics before we drove over and he said "She's so cute!" and then after we came back he said "I love my new baby sister." At least he has room in his heart for one little girl in this world. We'll see how it goes when Gwen comes home tomorrow.

In other news, I tried to cook for myself and Levi tonight and burned the taquitos. Yeah those premade type in the frozen food aisle. I could blame the oven with the misleading temp scale, or the lack of sleep, or maybe even feeling the weight of parenting el nino all by myself. But let's face it I'm lost without Vivian. I'm glad she's healthy and healing.