Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Next time won't you sing with me...

Natalie loves singing her ABC's. Here is our first attempt at video....



Seems like the sound is off a bit... still need to figure out the video

Monday, January 29, 2007

...My 6 dollar fix

After dropping the big kids off at school this morning, I went directly to Walgreens. I scrapbook with friends on Monday mornings and needed to pick up some pictures but I also took the opportunity to pick up another toy stroller for $5.99. Problem solved, peace restored.

When Alyssa came home she was quite excited but she did say, "I think I like Natalie's better." Caleb was also very pleased with the new situation and said, "Oh good! Now you guys don't have to fight anymore."




"There is joy in every sound..."



"...when there's two strollers at home."






Sunday, January 28, 2007

My 8 dollar mistake...

So yesterday we wanted to go down to the South Hill Mall to look at some things (mostly Tara wanted to shop). Caleb and Alyssa absolutely abhor shopping and the mention of it usually throws them into tizzy fits. The only way we could get them to go (peacefully) was if I took them to Toy's R Us. I told them I wasn't buying any toys for them, but if they wanted to use their own money we could look for something in their price range. (Alyssa had 8 dollars, Caleb 9 dollars). Tara's shopping schedule did not include Toy's R Us, so I decided to drop her off at the main mall and I would take the kids across the street to the toy store. Natalie, never wanting to be left behind, started yelling "I wun out"... so to comply with her desire and I am thinking... hey this will be easier with just the two older kids I let Tara take Natalie.

This was the beginning of my 8 dollar mistake.

You see Alyssa and Caleb looked all over the store... most items I had to say, "nope not in your price range." Alyssa finally found her item. A toy baby stroller and it was only $7.99. She said "Dad, I can buy this and still have a dollar left!" I had to explain to her that with sales tax the total would just over 8 dollars but that I would loan her the .36 cents in order to purchase the stroller. She was excited and couldn't wait to start playing with it as soon as we got home.

We got home, and I soon realized my 8 dollar mistake. No it wasn't that I allowed Alyssa to get a new toy. It was that I failed to get Natalie the same toy.


Natalie and Alyssa giving me a headache!


We've hardly had a moments peace since bringing home the stroller.
If I had only taken Natalie, I would have known to get two!


Ah... love at home


I think we will make another trip to Toy's R Us just to keep the peace in the house!
I guess we need to teach our almost two year old the concept of sharing. Pictures cannot express the constant running and screaming that this toy has caused.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

100 Things About Tara

I love the idea of making a list of 100 things. I am going to do one for each of my kids (I'm done with Caleb and Alyssa can't wait to start hers) for their scrapbooks. I have a friend that interviews her kids every couple of years using the same questions and she says it's really fun to see how the answers change. I'm excited to see which traits stay the same and which things change as they grow up. Here's my list of 100 things...

  1. Jon is my favorite person in the whole wide world!
  2. I often curl up on heating vents to get warm.
  3. I love to sleep and am ALWAYS tired.
  4. I’m very good at throwing pity parties.
  5. I get up at 5:55 a.m. and run the same 3-mile route every weekday morning.
  6. I don’t do anything half-heartedly.
  7. I love pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bars and pumpkin blizzards.
  8. Wendy’s vs. McDonald’s—not only does Wendy’s have the better food, it was a better place to work!
  9. I wear slippers in the house at all times.
  10. My stomach is a bottom-less pit.
  11. I LOVE football!!
  12. I have a dream of being a dial-a-down girl at a football game. Somebody call Oprah and make it happen!
  13. I always have high expectations of myself and others (which means I set myself up for disappointment).
  14. I could eat Mexican everyday.
  15. I love my acrylic nails.
  16. I am technologically challenged.
  17. I rarely pay more than $20-25 for an article of clothing, not including coats and shoes.
  18. I find people and their stories fascinating.
  19. I love reality TV.
  20. I like to have a busy schedule.
  21. I love party games.
  22. Silver sage (Restoration Hardware) is my favorite color.
  23. I rarely drink anything but water.
  24. I have a terrible memory.
  25. I wish my backyard were professionally landscaped or that I had the green thumb to do it myself.
  26. I am petrified of flying but love to see new places.
  27. I’m always cold.
  28. I’m good at keeping secrets.
  29. We will never own a pet!
  30. I love jewelry.
  31. I love getting flowers from Jon—so grateful he’s a romantic!
  32. I have very dry skin.
  33. I love guacamole or anything with avocado.
  34. Guilt is my constant companion.
  35. I taught first grade for 3 years.
  36. I think 1:00 church is the best and I am so sad to say goodbye to it.
  37. I believe less is more, in most cases. If only I could apply it to food!
  38. I am very dependable.
  39. I’ve been on national TV.
  40. I find anything with caramel irresistible!
  41. I believe kids should work for what they get.
  42. I hate Walmart—Thank goodness for Target.
  43. I experienced love at first sight.
  44. I like four distinct seasons—fall (football season, of course) is my favorite.
  45. I can’t put the sour cream container, or any other jar on the dinner table—nice serving dishes only!
  46. I love the fresh summer berries of the Northwest!
  47. I couldn’t live without my king-size bed.
  48. I ask a lot of questions. (see #18)
  49. I love going out to eat.
  50. I love home-cooked meals.
  51. I ran a 5K 9 months pregnant—delivered Natalie 11 days later.
  52. I like to/have a need to be well planned.
  53. I enjoy social gatherings.
  54. I hold grudges like no one else!
  55. Breakfast is my favorite meal-we used to have a Saturday morning tradition of going out to breakfast. The schedule is just too busy now.
  56. I think potty training is the worst thing a parent has to do.
  57. I always wanted 7 kids…oh, was I ever na├»ve!!
  58. I love surprises--good ones, of course!
  59. I’m scared of the dark.
  60. I can beat anyone at a hand-stand contest.
  61. I sort my M&M’s by color before eating them.
  62. I have one child with blue eyes, one with green and one with brown.
  63. I rarely make a recipe without changing it somehow.
  64. I never buy greeting cards, they’re so much fun to make!
  65. We didn’t know Caleb’s gender prior to his birth. (see #58)
  66. I used to be able to quote every word of The Princess Bride.
  67. Jon and I are two years, two months and two days apart in age.
  68. Our first address was 222 E. 700 N. #2
  69. I graduated from high school, two years later graduated from Ricks, two years later graduated from BYU and got married, two years later had our first baby, two years later had our second and all of these major events happened on even years!
  70. Two would be my lucky number if I didn’t have such bad luck.
  71. I used to be a Calvin and Hobbes faithful!
  72. I walk fast, can’t stand to “mosey” and get annoyed when I get stuck behind someone who is.
  73. I was never good at sports other than gymnastics.
  74. I struggle with making big purchases.
  75. I love Sketchers shoes. Every member of our family has at least one pair!
  76. My knees make terrible grinding sounds when I go up or down stairs.
  77. I love seafood—especially crab and shrimp.
  78. I resist change.
  79. I don’t have very good hearing.
  80. I love to do crossword puzzles.
  81. I hate grocery shopping but laundry and bathrooms are even worse!
  82. I shed-it’s amazing I still have hair left on my head.
  83. I wish I were a better housekeeper-- am only a clean freak about the living room/dining room.
  84. I LOVE my Honda Pilot.
  85. I prefer nuts in my fudge, chocolate and ice cream but don’t want them in my chocolate chip cookies.
  86. My sweet tooth is my Achilles’ heel.
  87. I dream that when my kids are grown they will say, “My mom was the best cook!”
  88. We didn’t have a dishwasher when I was a kid.
  89. I deal with my emotions by talking them out—I love to talk, poor Jon!
  90. I am easily entertained.
  91. I’ve never seen the Rocky movies.
  92. I got my first job, a paper route, when I was in the fourth grade.
  93. I tried out for Annie when I was young, didn’t make it and was scarred for life!
  94. I HATE the University of Utah and still get excited when I replay this year’s win over those nasty Utes!
  95. Dijon mustard is so much better than regular.
  96. I don’t know how we ever lived without DVR.
  97. I like to be involved and be in the know.
  98. I’m excitable-which can be good and bad. It sure makes our house a fun place to watch football!
  99. I can’t stand repetitive noises.
  100. I think that my children, the monkeys that they are, are the most beautiful kids in the world! Every mom does, right?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Grrrr...

Caleb was very ill again last week. Because this is his third major episode in 3 1/2 months, Caleb's pediatrician recommended that he be seen at the Gastroenterology clinic. I scheduled the appointment last week when he was still quite ill but they couldn't fit us in until today. I knew he'd be better by today since he's usually always better by the fifth day.

So, I took him out of school, figured out childcare for the girls and drove all the way to Tacoma. When we checked in we were told that we were going to see the Nurse Practitioner. Grrr...I wanted the MD! I felt very prepared for this visit with a detailed timeline, details about each episode and a list of my questions. The long and short of it is, I left feeling very frustrated with zero answers or explanations. They did another x-ray, said it looked good, did a bunch of blood work and sent us home to continue the medication that he's been on for the past three and half months. We were told that if it happens again to call. Oh, that's helpful! I had hoped that they would be able to tell us how we could prevent this from reoccurring, something different than what we are already doing. I repeatedly expressed my concerns and explained how and why this was different than any other case I'd ever heard of (of course my experience is limited to other "mommy" stories) and she agreed saying that she was perplexed, that this was most definitely "atypical". Grrr...that doesn't help me! She then said that because it was quite odd, that she would run it by one of the gastroenterologists. Why couldn't I have just seen one of them in the first place! I guess I knew in my gut that this visit would amount to a big waste of time and money but I think I was hoping my gut was wrong.

The good news is, Caleb is currently feeling just fine. We'll keep doing what we've been doing and we'll just have to hope that he stays that way!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My trial: PRK eye surgery

I guess in my vain ambition to go through life without the need of corrective lenses I thought, hey why not get LASIK. I know lots of people that have had successful LASIK eye surgeries without complications...

First, many years ago Chad and Amy underwent LASIK. No problem, and this was before some new advances in the procedure that exist today (WaveFront LASIK(.

Maureen had it. No problem. Then I had a bunch of people that I know from here in WA that have had it. Each time, no problem. So I say... I can do this too.

Oct. 2005 begins my laser eye surgery experience. I go to Restore Vision Centers, because that is where most of our friends have had the procedure done and were happy with the doctors and staff. I am told that my corneas are a bit too thin for LASIK so they tell me that PRK is the only option for me. I am told by receptionist and others there that it is a much safer procedure because there would be no chance for flap complications later on in life. You see in LASIK the dr uses a tiny blade to cut a small flap to expose the underlying of your cornea. PRK was a pre-cursor to LASIK with it first being performed in Germany in 1988. The main difference that the laser eye surgery literature tell you is: PRK takes 5-6 days to regain vision while LASIK you can often see very well the next day. I am thinking... 5-6 days I can do that.

But boy was I wrong...

I had my first eye surgery in Feb 2006. I was optimistic and hopeful that I finally would rid myself of glasses. The first few days were awful, followed by the next few weeks were my vision would fluctuate, but never get that crystal clear that you would expect. I could definitely see better that I could before without glasses, but I still wouldn't want to go the rest of life seeing like I was. It seemed that I was the 1% guy whenever I went for my post op appointments.

1. Not many people have too thin of corneas
2. A drug you use to help the healing process after PRK is a steroid drop to reduce hazing. Some people respond negatively and their ocular pressure rises to dangerous levels that could cause glaucoma. You guessed it... I am a steroid responder. So my first surgery I had to go off the steroid completely. (I was told later that this was most likely the reason I didn't get great vision afterward).

So, after all this mess you'd think I would have learned my lesson.. But no... I really wanted that good vision and again was told I was a good candidate for a PRK enhancement. (Another term for the exact same surgery just done again).

So, on Dec 7th 2006 I underwent the same procedure. After a few days I was getting really down and nervous that my vision would never come back. I couldn't even see my computer screen well enough to work. I was put on a different steroid drop (one that is not supposed to raise ocular pressure). After a week they increased my dosage from 4X a day to every 2 hours.

On or around Dec 20th, a miracle occurred and I could see crystal clear. It was our Christmas miracle. I couldn't believe it! I could see! I could see close... I could see far... it was great. My steroid dosage was dropped back to 4 x a day for another week then 3x a day for 3 weeks, 2x a day for two weeks, a 1x for a week.

I went like this for the better part of 2 + weeks, but I could tell that my right eye was going south a bit. It seems to be much hazier. We got back from Sadie's blessing and that night I put on the glasses I wore before (Tara's glasses that didn't fit me at all) I could tell an immediate improvement... I was discouraged... my crystal clear vision was going... going... gone...

I went back for my 1 month appt and that is when they noticed some pretty severe hazing in my right eye... so I was put back on the steroid drop every 2 hours. I did this for a week and went back... not much improvement... and yes you could guess it... my ocular pressure again was elevated.

So now what? Well, I am now on a regimen of yet a different (more clear steroid, than the milky one that was causing me problems) and also a glaucoma medication to reduce the ocular pressure. I go back on Thursday... but I have nearly lost hope that anything will come of it.

I have resorted now to using a friend's pair of glasses because I could tell that Tara's glasses now were not strong enough. Yes my vision is now worse that it was before I had the second surgery...

I have had struggles with clouded vision, ghosting images (seeing sometime 2-3 of the same image just off center a bit - mostly in stoplights etc...) and halos and sunbursts around headlights of cars.

But with the glasses all these seem to be reduced to where it doesn't bother me too much and I don't think about it all that often.

So I am again in glasses, and I will never... repeat never again have laser eye surgery of any kind.

Sorry for the rant and the woe is me attitude. I really am fine and grateful that with the glasses I can see relatively well.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Spiderman... err Alyssa

Alyssa told us today she could climb up walls... having never see her do this before I dared her to do it...

And lo and behold we have a true monkey in our house.

Proof!

This is my first attempt at posting to our blog. I am writing it (as Jon stands looking over my shoulder) to prove to my very smart, computer programmer/analyst and somewhat smug husband that although I am definitely technologically challenged, I CAN do it!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Start a blog? Y Not?

Ok... Ok... we are braving the blogging world and starting the Hatch Family Blog.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

101 Things About Me (Jon)

1. I never thought I would have a blog.

2. I speak 3 languages... 2 of which probably not so fluently anymore.. (Spanish, K'ekchi')

3. When filling out my mission papers, I specifcally rated myself so I would not be sent somewhere I would have to learn a new language...

4. I have 3 beautiful children. A boy, Caleb and two girls, Alyssa and Natalie.

5. I weigh over 300 pounds but at one point in my adult life I only weighed 150.

6. I used to drink at least 64 ounces or more of Coca Cola every day.

7. I have tried again like dieting to give it up. Seems to be my vice.


8. I wish I were more of a handy-man.

9. I am a software developer and have never taken any formal training.

10. My favorite football teams are:
College: BYU Cougars
Pro: Seattle Seahawks

11. I have 5 sisters and no brothers.

12. I don't think I will make it to 101 things about myself.

13. My favorite TV show is 24, thanks to my bro-in-law Jay who introduced the show to me.

14. My favorite person in the whole wide world is my wife, Tara.

15. My favorite color is blue.

16. I own more than one brown plaid shirt.

17. I prefer name brand clothing.

18. My favorite band growing up was Van Halen. However, I don't think I'd go to a show of theirs if they went on tour. (They are now going on tour and yes I am going...)

19. I don't think I'll ever go to a rock-n-roll show again. ( Again going to Van Halen. Just couldn't pass up the opportunity to see David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen perform together again.)

20. I was told I was too small to play football in high school.

21. I was cut from the freshman boys basketball team and never tried out for another team sport.

22. I had a mullet in high school and wore a pink lavendar sport coat in my senior picture.

23. I named my second daughter Alyssa out of spite... (most everyone wanted the other name, Mallory)

24. I love my 37" widescreen LCD HDTV.

25. I work for
WaMu

26. So far this has taken me two days to get this far.

27. I would love to live in North Bend, WA. (Actually I don't really care where I live as long as I have my beautiful wife and kids with me)

28. My son knows more sports trivia than I do.

29. I can never remember the proper use of lay and lie. (I lay down, I lie down both sound good to me)

30. My best friend moved away when I was in the 3rd grade. I've only spoken to him a few times since.

31. If it weren't for my wife, we would not be a Christmas card family...I've never written the Christmas letter.

32. I can't wait to get the new
iPhone! (not gonna happen)

33. I have had 1 failed PRK eye surgery, and 1 PRK enhancement surgery still waiting the outcome... (so far not so good)
(failed twice, never to do again.)

34. I am a Tetris playing champion--I hold all of the high scores on our HOA website.

35. I've used Just For Men hair product 3 times.

36. Even though Tara takes much better care of her teeth than I do, I alway get the glowing report when we go to the dentist, who tells me I have teeth that will last me until I am 200 years old.

37. I often buy Christmas presents for myself. (Usually the electronic gadgets Tara thinks I don't need)

38. One such gift was a video Ipod, which I loved until Natalie put it in the toilet.

39. I coined the acronym "U.N.C.C". (unnecessary chit-chat)

40. I've never liked Star Trek.

41. I commute by train to work most every day. (30 min each way)

42. I love to watch Seinfeld reruns.

43. I broke the shoulder of one of my good friends while playing tackle football, (he tackled me).

44. My current church calling is as a High Councilor.

45. I have tried to complete this post for a week now.

46. I've been deer hunting one time in my life... didn't get anything.

47. I've never seen Mt. Rushmore.

48. I've been to Disneyland twice.

49. I have a fear of running out of milk on Sundays. I always check the fridge on Saturdays to ensure our milk supply is adequate.

50. I am really hard to offend.

51. My wife says I'm romantic.

52. It has been my experience that everything I buy that requires assembly, I always have to re-do a step or two a couple of times.

53. I have hurty heels. That is what my wife calls my calloused heels.

54. I drive a red ford ranger, with a rebuild title.

55. It's much better than the Saturn that was totalled when someone hit me head on.

56. I met my wife while studing "abroad" in Guatemala.

57. I was married in the Portland LDS temple.

58. I stayed in a hotel room with my wife, mother-in-law and sister-in-law on my one year anniversary.

59. I am not an eagle scout.

60. My favorite movie in high scool was "Strange Brew". Good day, and welcome to my blog eh?

61. My best friend in high school is named Brij.

62. I have a very small backyard.

63. I'm really ok with that.

64. I have purchased Thai Silk curtains from Restoration Hardware that cost more than I paid to have all of my children delivered at a hospital (combined).

65. I have had glass from a windshield removed from my forehead 3 times (all from the same accident).

66. I like to collect coins.

67. My favorite desset is Vanilla Bean cheesecake.

68. It has taken me now nearly 4 months to get this far on this list.

69. I like tabasco sauce.

70. I would love a hot tub.

71. I don't wear a wedding ring. Just don't like the feel of it.

72. I don't wear a wristwatch. See above.

73. I am really trying to think of something, but nothing is coming to my mind.

74. I would like to go to a NASCAR event at some point in my life.

75. I still have my appendix.

76. I like to watch American Chopper.

77. When I was a kid I liked to read history of the Old West. Crazy Horse was my hero.

78. I work on the 39th floor in the new WaMu Center in downtown Seattle.

79. I don't aspire to run a marathon.

80. Or climb Mt Rainier.

81. I usually do the dishes at dinnertime.

82. I never scrub the toilets, but I will give it a quick wipe down when splatter happens.

83. My wife thinks number 82 is false.. the part about the wipe down.

84. My favoire chocolate bar is the Hershey's Symphony milk chocolate bar.

85. Whenever possible I will choose to substitue onion rings for french fries.

86. I was married by an astronaut.

87. I was married in Portland Oregon.

88. I didn't return to Portland until 10 years later.

89. I bought my wifes wedding ring in Mesa, Arizona while attending Doug and Jenny's wedding.

90. My favorite cold cereal is Wheat Chex.

91. My favorite vegetable is celery.

92. My favorite fruit is banana.

93. Someday I would like to travel around the country with my wife in a RV.

94. She would sleep the entire time. (she falls asleep the second she starts travelling in a car.)

95. I would also like to follow in my parents footsteps and server a mission with Tara.

96. I think the wireless remote TV control is one of the greatest inventions ever...

97. A DVR is up there as well.

98. If you made it this far, I congratulate you on reading 98 things about me. Are you wondering why you did it?

99. I am.

100. I can't waterski.

101. I can't think of anything else to put on this list.

102. I love my wife more than anything in this world. I am not the easiest person to live with and she completes me. Thank you my love.